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Parking Tickets are Awesome!

So I got a parking ticket last night and here is what is so great about that…

For starters, I don’t have any choice but to park my car in the public lot downtown. You see, I live here as well as work here, so my car is here 24 hours a day. I don’t have a garage or a car port, heck- I don’t even have a driveway.

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The Social Network - Friendship, Wealth and Litigation

Blog, critic, film, Oscars Movie Waukesha Marquette, Movie, review, waukesha, wisconsin, The Social Network

The Social Network follows the litigation hearings of Facebook founder Mark Zukerberg, a Harvard student who possessed the combination of computer genius and a keen sense of how college students might interact with one another online. Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, agonizes through the painful process of defending himself from lawsuits over whether or not the idea of Facebook was really his, and whether or not he had cheated his best friend and original CFO, Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), a fellow Harvard student, out of the value of his investment in the company once it began to attract larger investors. The testimony in the litigation depositions tells the story from Zuckerberg's first big hacking success at Harvard to his eventual settlement of the suits against him.

Zuckerberg is a brilliant, but eccentric and in need of someone with adequate business sense to bring his idea from a small campus website to a mulltibillion dollar operation. Saverin is Zukerberg's first choice, but Zuckerberg catches the attention of Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake), the inventor of Napster. Parker inspires and challenges Zuckerberg in such a way that he eventually follows Parker to California where he sets up shop, hires interns, and turns Facebook into the site that Parker told him it could be. Saverin's relationship with Zuckerberg becomes ever more strained as Parker lines up deep pocketed venture capitalists who see the potential in Facebook. Saverin's shares of the company, which began at around 35% of total shares, are diluted when Zuckerberg sells more shares to investors, bringing his ownership to .03%. Saverin furiously sues his friend, who by the end has made enough money to consider his settlement with Saverin the fiscal equivalent of a "speeding ticket".

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What's Happening: Oct 4 to Oct 11

Days Gone By: Remembering Laura Ingalls Wilder

Enjoy the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the grounds of the Dousman Stagecoach Inn. Learn about the Laura's life on the prairie and take part in activities and crafts.. Dousman Stagecoach Inn, Brookfield; 10 am - 4 pm; 262-782-4057;

2010 Waukesha Reads: Family Ties

Interested in family history but don't know where to start? Join Waukesha County Museum Archivist, Eric Vanden Heuvel, as he shares tips on how to conduct family research. Waukesha County Museum; 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm; (262) 951-2859;

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I probably shouldn't mention this, but . . .

Probably shouldn't mention Waukesha North's Varsity football game against Arrowhead being televised live tonight on Channel 24. It will probably be an embarassing blowout. I feel sorry for Arrowhead.

It's also Parent Night where the seniors and their parents are all introduced before the game.

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Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas gets an "A+"!

Community, County News, Observations, Schools

In my Board time with the Waukesha Education Foundation (WEF), the Telecommunications Director at Waukesha West – Ms. Chris Beck, and I “birthed” a TV program called the Education Connection. This program has given its’ students real-life responsibilities in filming and editing for a variety of interview subjects for local channels 13 and 25. People kind enough to spend time have included Former Governor Lee Dreyfuss; Former Waukesha Mayors Carole Lombardi and Larry Nelson; the Directors of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, the Waukesha Museum and the Waukesha Civic Theatre; and, in 2005, newly appointed Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

County Executive Dan Vrakas and I recently set up an appointment to re-visit and catch-up in the studio. My goal is always to use these interviews as a platform of discussion about the opportunities available within the Waukesha School District for a quality education and its’ value to the surrounding Communities. Our hopes are also to gain insights into our Community Leaders and their perspective on whatever the “topics of the day” might happen to be.

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A Woodman Supermarket in Waukesha?

Various Topics, Local Food Stores

Even though I miss my small Sentry on Moreland and Delafield, the prospects of Woodman's considering a Waukesha location is exciting. I was introduced to Woodman's about a dozen years ago when I was doing refrigeration work at a few of their stores. I told my wife that she had to see this place so we drove down to Kenosha to do our grocery shopping for the week.

It seemed like they carried every brand and size of whatever was edible. Some items that we thought were no longer made were found and stocked up on. It is a grocery shoppers paradise.

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What's Happening: Oct 11 to Oct 18

Caregivers Chat

Preventing Spousal Impoverishment for Baby Boomers and Beyond, Jane L. Walker & Leah J. Poulos Mueller, Attorney at Law. The Caring Place; 4pm-5:30pm; 262-542-6388 or 262-928-2314;

2010 Waukesha Reads: Willa Cather and Her Literary Contemporaries

A scholars' panel examines the author's life and her connections with other authors. Waukesha County Museum; 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm; (262) 951-2859;

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What's Happening: Oct 18 to Oct 25

The Natural Step Study Circle

Participants will apply The Natural Step framework in discussions about issues of sustainability including water, food, waste, transportation, land use, renewable energy, and working with government to affect change. Check out their website to register. Lake Country Unitarian Universalist Church, Hartland; 7pm-8:30pm; 262-369-1703;

10/21/10- 10/24/10
My Antonia

A story of the land and the people who came to settle the Great Plains.. UW Waukesha; 262-521-5212;

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Waukesha Walmart to open Nov. 3


The new Walmart on Hwy. 59 in Waukesha will open November 3, according to a sign posted at the old Walmart on Hwy. 164.

The older store will close when the new one opens. A clearance sale is underway now at the Hwy. 164 store. I visited the store Tuesday and found many shelves already bare in the general merchandise areas.

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Waukesha answers questions about Lake Michigan water supply plan

Waukesha -- The Water Utility has posted a "frequently asked questions" publication on the city website to provide information on the city's request for a Lake Michigan water supply, Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

Residents will find brief answers to 14 questions. Among them: "Why does the city need a new source of supply for drinking water?" and "What drinking water supply alternatives did the city consider?"

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Is the Chupacabra demon lurking in Waukesha?

El Chupacabra, Waukesha, The Wildlife in Need Center, fox

Those burning eyes. That dragon tail. The scales. What stalks Waukesha County after dark?

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outside the box

Boxing Day is typically Dec. 26; we don't observe the occasion here -- it's more common in Canada and England. It's been boxing day of a different sort lately. Inventory at the warehouse meant weekend and overtime hours moving, counting and opening boxes. The count went well and we enjoyed being treated to Rochester Deli sandwiches and pasta salad Friday and Papa John's pizza Saturday... after bakery and bagels in the mornings. It's nice to feel we are appreciated.

Probably be working again today to help get things put away and ready for business Monday. I'll transport some of the close to 800 pallets we brought down from the racks for counting. These skids were spread throughout the 110,000 square foot warehouse and need to be moved back to the aisles so reach trucks can put them back up in the racks. My best work is done when there's a clear goal and time frame.

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I need a dog?

The cat probably thought he was going to the vet.

I often used to take the dog along in the car for company, and he loved it. I wasn't about to open the window so Pepé could stick his head out sniffing the air, but thought he could handle a short trip to Illinois with me Thursday morning.

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Thank You But Keep Your Money

Politics-Local, Economy, Development and Growth, Aviation and Airports

I was away on business when using my iPod's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel application, I read the news story about Waukesha County receiving federal and state money. It read; "The Federal Aviation Administration is providing $719,458 while the state and Waukesha County are each paying $18,930 toward the project." The money is for increased security at Dale and Dean Crites Airport.

For the record, I'm a licensed pilot. Took my test from Harland Sedgwick at the airport. I volunteered for some EAA conventions, standing on the runway and waving off airplanes to make room for those behind them on final approach. A dangerous job if there is any there. I had to hustle on more than one occasion for the occasional plane rolling out long or just having some fun with me. I worked at two other airports, Capital Drive and Timmerman, for several years doing various things including flying. My point is that I am pro-aviation and have some experience behind me.

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What's Happening: Oct 25 to Nov 1

10/27/10- 10/31/10
Wisconsin Feargrounds

Waukesha County Expo;

10/29/10- 10/30/10
Old World Wisconsin's Autumn Dinner Theater

Enjoy an exciting evening of unique dinner theater, staged at Old World Wisconsin. Old World Wisconsin; Fridays: 6 p.m.; Saturdays: 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; 2625946301;

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Gingrich in Waukesha Tuesday

Walker, Gingrich

Newt Gingrich and radio host Mike Gallagher will appear at a rally on Tuesday night at the Waukesha Expo Center to support Wisconsin Republican candidates.

Waukesha is one stop on the "Job Here, Jobs Now Tour," which is also stopping in Phoenix; San Diego; Las Vegas;  Sioux City, Iowa; Collinsville, Ill.; Manchester, NH; Harrisburg, PA; Lima, OHJacksonvilleAtlanta, and Greenville, SC

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Write Me a Murder

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

When I was in the third grade, I discovered Nancy Drew books.  I loved the mystery, the intrigue.  I'd hole up in my room for hours devouring them.  And while I was greatly disappointed to find out that the author of the Nancy Drew seriesdidn't exist, it was written by 'ghost writers,' (as were similar series like The Hardy Boys) still, the stories were fun to read and they hooked me.  Thrillers still do. 

I love Mary Higgins Clark, and Ted Dekker and many other authors who write in this genre.  I enjoy the challenge of wondering, "who did it," and the fascination of how criminal minds work and how they tick.  Of course in real life, no one wants to be the target of a criminal mind, but safely reading a book, watching a movie or attending a theatre production; well, that's obviously an entirely different matter.

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Got a Clue.

I don't know "who done it," but I have a clue. I went downtown Saturday to see what all the fuss was about. Someone blew a hole in a wall at North American Computer and stole three secret chip codes.

It could have been any number of characters wandering Waukesha for the third Live Clue Adventure. I wasn't playing the game and didn't stick around for the results, but had great fun none-the-less. It looked like everyone was having fun. The weather was great and the game was something different a family or friends could do on a fall Saturday afternoon without much else going on.

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I'm just blown away

There is absolutely nothing more overhyped in the news right now than the wind. There is talk of it being similar to the storm of 1998, which I remember as being a much different system - a derecho having strong but very brief winds. Or even of the storm that sank the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Either way, I hope all the leaves blow into the neighbors' yards.

Paranormal Activity 2: A Shadow of Its Former Self

Blog, critic, Film, marquette, movie, Oscars Movie Waukesha Marquette, review, waukesha, paranormal activity 2

Paranormal Activity 2 builds on the enormous success of its predecessor, a fictional documentary of a young couple's experience with some unhappy paranormal entity (demon, spirit, ghost - you fill in the blank). The first movie followed Katie, her husband Micah and her San Diego home as they slowly come under the power of this evil force. Paranormal Activity 2 follows Katie's sister Kristi (Sprague Grayden), her husband, Daniel (Brian Boland), teenage daughter Ali (Molly Ephraim), and toddler Hunter as a similar (or possibly the same) force invades their San Diego home. The movie follows a similar pattern to its predecessor - unnatural and unexplained events start occuring in their home and slowly build in intensity until they climax in tragedy at the end. While Daniel continues to insist that there are natural forces behind all the strange things that happen until almost the end of the movie, his wife and daughter are clued in early to the danger they face as their Latina nanny tries to employ folk remedies to drive away the evil spirits. Much of the video is from security footage captured by a company Daniel hires after some paranormal activity takes place, activity he believes to be a break-in. As the events grow in severity, Kristi eventually comes under the spell of the evil spirit and goes catatonic. But the audience is surprised to find that Katie turns out to be the real threat.

This movie reminds me of many of my favorite sports teams who have all kinds of potential but spend the entire season missing opportunities. The first movie was terrifying and spellbinding (no pun intended). This movie featured lots of sudden loud noises and some scared people toward the end, but the viewer who has seen the first movie spends most of this one waiting for something interesting to happen. The nanny is not half as interesting of a character as the consultant that Katie and her husband hire in the first movie. The audience is suppsed to be concerned that the pool cleaner keeps ending up on the deck next to the pool, but who cares? The ending was violent, but cinematically weak. I imagined myself sitting down in one afternoon and coming up with three or four ideas of what they could have done to make this movie more effective. And I'm no expert. Maybe they should hire one before they make Paranormal Activity 3. I give it 2.4 out of 5 stars.

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