A Positively Patriotic Parade was yesterday at the VA Medical Center during their annual Reclaiming Our Heritage weekend. It was a chance to see hundreds of reenactors and veterans pre-Revolutionary to present, dignitaries, animals, lots of motorcycles and old vehicles. Close to an hour long, this parade offered the perfect oportunity to thank a vet.
Though I have doubts about the Dancing Granny's, I suspect most participants were veterans. Many spectators realized this and brought signs saying "thank you" and "God bless you". They obviously put a lot of thought into the signs and some even dressed up a bit for the occasion. I've always seen people applaud or salute at the sight of veterans in other parades, but really liked the sign idea and may use it at some point myself.
Deer are generally pretty cool to observe in nature as long as they're not damaging crops... or windshields. Today's AP article appearing in the Journal Sentinel mentions June as being the first or second-worst month for deer crashes in the last four or five years. There were almost 18,000 deer / vehicle crashes reported last year in the state - 655 in Waukesha County.
One of the reasons deer crashes are so numerous in June is the yearlings are starting to wander away from their mothers. Didn't the mothers teach them to stop and look both ways when crossing streets before sending them out on their own?
It's been a year now that I've been transfered from working in Pewaukee to West Allis. I'm in the middle of the action between State Fair Park and Miller Park. Last week it was interesting as I frequently heard the roar of the race cars qualifying for the big race. Not much different than the Harley's roaring up and down in front of my house.
I also suffer the effects of a clogged up freeway when the Brewers have a game where the traffic coincides with the evening rush hour. This is one of the concerns that I have about the proposal for Frame Park. The traffic patterns in the area are not designed well to handle traffic. I suspect that the roads are typical of older cities in that they started out as horse trails and didn't change much when Mr. Ford facilitated us from horse apples to carbon footprinting.
No....Mother Teresa (were she still with us) would not qualify to be the new Waukesha School Superintendent. Nor would Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, and Albert Schweitzer would only make the first round of cuts.
Why would these otherwise kind, great humanitarians not qualify for the Superintendent's position? Because their efforts to promote kindness, compassion, wisdom, and vision were met with acceptance and appreciation. Given the current funding challenges facing the new District regime, any of the aforementioned traits will be discounted by some in the local Waukesha Community as being "not what's needed" right now.
I know, I know…I haven’t written a blog in a very long time- and I apologize.
However, I am not to blame for the lack of blogging this time around.
It's been a month since a drunk driver that should have been off the road and in jail killed my daughter in law and grand daughters. Since then other people have been killed by drunks. The slaughter continues. Yet I hear official say that it's going to cost money to toughen the laws and enforce them. Did any one consider a pay as you drink method of funding this expense?
Come on and get real people. We've taxed the heck out of cigarettes. How many Innocent people have been killed or maimed by someone puffing on a cigarette or cigar?
I know we are all going to be inundated with flood photos and stories, but I really wanted to share these with you and my friends and family here and in California.
Even though the weekend started happy it ended rather crappy. After pedalling over to WCTC to see Lance Armstrong and the start of the Trek 100 on Saturday morning, I drove to Eagle for a 5 mile hike on the Ice Age Trail. The hike was through the Scuppernong Prairie and we encountered dozens of runners taking part in the 13th Annual Kettle Moraine 100 endurance run. Some runners were doing either 100k or 100 miles. They started at 6:00 in the morning and would finish the next day.
I had a wild ride yesterday as I tested the Schwinn for sea-worthiness. Many downtown streets were, and still are, closed and the bike was the best way for me to get around. Was able to keep it upright through a foot of water on Corrina, (what an experience!). Certainly great to see all the people downtown. Large crowds were seen along the river as well as at Allo! Chocolat and Divino Gelato. The flooding was something most of us have not seen before and it brought people together with a common curiosity. Waukesha seems rather pedestrian-friendly right now. There's a Norman Rockwell feeling of what it must have been like before autos took control of the city.
There is no shortage of articles about the flood. I didn't realize just how bad it was until I got out of the neighborhood, even though the intersection of Bel Ayr and Pine Street, just a few houses from me, had water that appeared as deep as four feed deep and many flooded basements in the vicinity. This is not the time to talk about it here. It'd get lost in the flow of things. Later.
Sunday I did decide to visit Mitchell Park and Minooka Park's Dog Parks. Kanook and I went to Mitchell first as I knew it would be flooded and that the flooding would be over the sod which would allow Kanook to splash around and not get muddy. It was more than I expected.
I usually get the blame for things that go wrong around here. If something should leak or break ten years after I repair it, it's got to be my fault. Car not running right? Yep, it's me. Not enough snacks / bread / milk / money... you guessed it.
I don't always agree that I'm responsible indefinitely for something I may have fixed years ago, but with the sewer flooding our basement this morning for the fifth time in a week, I will accept most of the blame... this time.
Next Wednesday will be a committee meeting in Madison regarding some proposed changes in the drunk driving laws. To be discussed are proposals to require ignition interlock devices on all repeat offenders and on first time offenders with a blood alcohol content of 1.6 or higher. The Bukosky family and friends will be present to participate in the discussions.
In a related news item, Mark Benson, the person who crashed into and killed my daughter in law and two granddaughters is looking for a reduction of bail so he can be free after he serves the 72 days in jail that he was ordered to serve after his third drunk driving offense. It is important to note that when he killed my family members, he had his license revoked and was ordered not to drive a motor vehicle. I can't imagine a judge letting him out and allowing him the opportunity to slide behind the wheel of another vehicle and thumb his nose at the law, again putting the people of Waukesha County in danger. His lawyer argues that he is innocent until proven guilty.
To some, being proactive about drunk driving is knowing that there are consequences if caught. The hot topic is toughening up those consequences. While I am generally for that, I also like to see some assistance for people who do choose to drink, not become legally drunk if they intend to drive after doing so.
Pat and I had a rather lively discussion while having breakfast this morning at Christina's. We were talking about the Wednesday committee meeting in Madison regarding drunk driving proposals. There are a whole lot of ideas that are floating around both before and after the act of driving while intoxicated. I'd like to start somewhere soon.
The weather cleared in time for an enjoyable Father's Day though rain dampened Flag Day and graduation day celebrations Saturday. Congratulations to all grads and dads!
It's this blogs second blogiversary and I just want to say thanks. It's really been a pleasure. I am more active in the community now than ever before. One of the side benefits of writing is needing something to write about. I've volunteered, attended plays, concerts, festivals, services... enjoyed it all and enjoyed talking about it too.
I've long been bothered by just who "they" are who put up the stumbling blocks to withdrawing the oil reserves that are rightfully that of the people. I also wonder about how "they" wield so much power. Congress operates in fear of them such that our so called representatives do not change the laws so that exploration and drilling can take place. It would eliminating much if not all of the need to be concerned about the politics of the middle east or Venezuela.
While enjoying a wonderful morning, weather wise, on the patio and reading the Sunday newspaper, Several articles, all in the first section, began to make me feel uncomfortably warm. The heat was turned up higher when I read about "they", a so called environmental group, going to court because the government has leased land to some oil companies for exploration. There are some polar bears in the region and what amounts to wording that the human beings making up the oil companies can protect themselves from the bears without fear of legal repercussions, seems to be the call to court for "they". In this case we know the "they" are an environmental group but just who are the individuals that make up the "they" and how do they get the money to cause the people of the country such trouble and who is it that provides the money?
I guess I'm OK when it comes to predicting the future, but are we going to be the last ones to get the Economic Stimulus Payment? I predicted we'd see our cash at least a month ago. We filed taxes early and electronically. We've had so much time to think about how we're going to spend the money that we'll have to borrow to do half of it. (It's what the government is doing for the money anyway.)
As a matter of fact, I think we already spent the money and will just use the payment to pay on debt. Kind of sounds familiar; borrow to pay a debt.
The theater was packed - even the $500.00 seats appeared to be sold out. The Pabst is absolutely beautiful and, even though it's older than Les, he'd never played there before Saturday. The stage had a relaxed and comfortable feel to it. Several people sat at pub tables and chairs around the perimeter giving the setting a jazz club atmosphere. The tuxedoed gentlemen falling off his stool just added to the realism of the bar scene.
Les played many decent tunes accompanied by three other men, but he could have played tiddlywinks and we would have applauded. The three hour program was kept interesting with new introductions every few songs, and with stories about him and by him. One of the first introductions was quite auspicious because he represented the future to Les' past. An eight year old boy played guitar beautifully with Les and even sang a blues tune. By our tickets, we were all contributing to the new "House of Sound" educational exhibit, and by this young man we knew we were doing the right thing. It didn't take much imagination to think of this boy as young Les as he played beside the 93 year old. Les was eight when he began playing an instrument.
Les Paul flips me off. Really flips me off! Have to forgive him though; I think at 93 he's entitled to be a little crotchety. After all, we deserved it. We were clapping too much and giving him standing ovations. I really don't think anyone took offense at his one-finger salute - anyone who knows Les understands his brand of humor. Besides, with badly arthritic hands, it hardly even qualified as a "bird".
I could make this story short and just say, "heard some old guy play guitar and tell stories at the Pabst Theater last night", and direct you to read the concert review at jsonline. But that wouldn't be any fun.
Gas at $4.15/gallon. Utility bills skyrocketing while they lobby for increases. Grocery bills which climb, noticeably, on a weekly basis. Flooding which impacted tens of thousands in SE Wisconsin and which will strain State budgets in the coming year(s). GM announces eventual closure of Janesville plant. "Upside-down" in one's mortgage is a phrase many now understand. Iraq. Midwest Airlines struggles in the fight of its' life to stay aloft. Lake Delton disappears in a couple hours. A continuing weather cycle which started early December and continues to plague us with storms of greater than normal intensity seemingly every 4-7 days. 401K plans never were designed for today's economic climate And now...Mosquitos!!
Where are the lessons to be learned from this? We don't and can't control many of the above. In fact, we can go to our backyards and scream in unison and futility over the myriad of challenges we now face - and no one will listen. Lives are being changed - most not for the better. Charities are feeling the pinch of re-directed funds and many programs for those in need will go underfunded. Where is any silver lining in this?