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Nest Box Update

Conservation, Guess the critter, Outdoors

Girlfriend (the dog) and I have been making our rounds on the nest box trail and a variety of birds have taken-up residence.

When breeding - this little bird will sing from daylight to dusk. 

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Tosa Trivia

Tosa Personalities, Tosa Trivia

The parent of a couple of popular Hollywood personalities previously owned the buildings that were demolished for the Best Buy store located on Mayfair Road.

I was acquainted with him when my office was located in the Mayfair Tower.  He was a delightful personality with a dry wit.

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Right Time to Live in Tosa

Restaurants, Tosa Business

Sometimes, you’re just in the right place at the right time. That is exactly how I’m feeling  about summer in Tosa. Look around you and there are some awesome dining experiences just waiting to make summer in our town better than ever.


We’ll start out west. There’s Locker’s Pointe on 92nd and North, where you can sit on chairs reminiscent of the UW patio and sip Alterra coffee or grab a scoop of Locker's gelato. Up the street, there’s City Market where the patio is packed on a typical Saturday or Sunday morning.


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Operation Overlord - A Tosan's Experience

Family, Personal, Tosa Personalities, Veterans

Today is the 64th anniversary of D-Day.

A day noted by the largest invasion armada ever assembled in the history of mankind.  A Tosan happened along shortly thereafter. 

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Nest Box Update

Conservation, Outdoors

Did any of you notice that the Journal Sentinel has now jumped-on the nest box bandwagon?

Meg Jones did a great story on bluebirds last weekend.  You can read it here.

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Intermodal Station – It’s For the Birds

Community, Restaurants, Things that bug me

I recently visited the brand spanking-new “Intermodal” (i.e. Amtrak/Greyhound) Station in downtown Milwaukee. I was pretty excited when I heard about the renovation because the old station was, um, a dump. I have to say, the remodeling was a success. The place looks gorgeous, with its floor to ceiling windows.


So today, I read this story about how the city is fighting to get a decent restaurant next door, but thus far, the only takers are a couple of fast-food joints. Even Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said “we can do better.”


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Riding the floodwaters

Flood, Nature, Walking the dog

 Image from Russ's Picasa web album


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Basement Flooding?

Odds and Ends, Public Policy, Rubbish

Now that the flood has crested the city has decided to give away free sand - ostensibly so we can build a bunker or dike around our homes and businesses.

Too little too late?

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Wringing Some Blood Out of The Blogger

Healthcare, Odds and Ends, Personal

Back in the good-old-days medical treatments were simple and straight-forward.  Opiates and alcohol were the pharmaceuticals of choice - sometimes concocted in interesting combinations.  The practice of bloodletting - a procedure to relieve the body of the ill humors - was immensely popular.

Intended to heal the sick it probably killed quite a few people as well.  It maybe killed George Washington. 

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Knowing which way the wind blows


A little after 2:00 this afternoon, tornado sirens went off downtown. I was in a meeting near the top of the Federal Building, and while many of us started shifting around uneasily in our seats, the meeting went on without comment. Finally, someone came in and announced "(the director) would like to remind you that we are at the top of a glass building and you need to go down to the ground floor and away from the windows."

I'm not sure what feeling was greater: relief at being told to actually abide by safety policies or annoyance at the interruption of the meeting. We could have reconvened the meeting in the hallway downstairs, but excitement makes people social. We broke into amiable clusters to chat. The Blackberry enclave was the largest group, all peering down toward their palms like soothsayers, reading the weather radar images thereon and describing the storm's movement from Franklin to the airport. Others were texting friends madly asking what was going on in the outside world.

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The best of schools, the worst of schools?


I just may have shed a few tears Saturday as a bunch of lovely young women (and a few men) in green robes sang "Happy Ending" at Wauwatosa West High School. Still, commencement weekend has been a joyful time. George and I topped it off with gyros at Sts. Helen and Constantine Church tonight. We ran into a beautiful woman who was a student of mine years ago and is now a teacher herself. She says it's my fault, and if that's true I've done one good thing in my life. I bet she's a great one, full of enthusiasm and energy.

And that, plus some heated but polite discussions in the Tosa Town Square about the quality of education and administrative decisions about curriculum and classes, set me to thinking about our family's experiences with the school system here.

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Just For Fun, Outdoors

Garden was planted on May 23-24 and stuff is growing.  Well, sort-of.  Until last Sunday.

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This just in: Flood brings scams, relief


June 18. Some press releases that might interest you came across my day job desk today.

Emergency food assistance for Milwaukee County flood victims. Governor Doyle announced today that emergency food assistance will be available for residents of Milwaukee and six other counties. However, they only have seven days to apply: the deadline is June 27.  If you know someone who has been devastated by the consequences of flooding, let them know they can apply for FoodShare through the county's Department of Health and Human Services.  More

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Nest Box Update

Conservation, Outdoors

Girlfriend and I have been checking weekly on our growing families of cavity-nesting songbirds.

It is absolutely amazing the progress the birds are making.  Some broods already have the avian equivalent of teenagers.  Just like earning a learner's permit to drive - these birds are ready to fledge.

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An inconvenient truth: authenticity is rare

McCain, Obama, Presidential election

Although the major news media are ignoring it, a recent news release on Al Gore’s energy consumption is propagating madly through smaller publications and right-wing blogs. The point of the press release, from the right-wing think tank Tennessee Center for Policy Research, is that the Gore family consumed an enormous amount of energy--more, not less, than last year. And he’s a big old hypocrite.

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Summer with a Side of Service

Community, Kids, Tosans

Teens these days. They’re so, so, so…willing to sacrifice their time and comfort and….gasp...even their cell phones to do something for other people.


Wait…what?! Right now you’re wondering if I’m serious, right? Believe it or not, I am.


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It's a Man's Life

Fish'n, Friends, Outdoors

There is an old saying about a bad day of fishing being better than a good day at work.  I'm not so sure about that since I happen to love both.

A foolish man might confuse his priorities and venture out on the water with a fishing rod in one hand and his PDA in the other and attempt to multi-task both the day job and the angling; the result of which is mediocre performance of both.

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Gun Owners Get a Fair Hearing

Firearms, Hunt'n, Politics-Other

In a 5 to 4 ruling today the high court cast aside the District of Columbia's 32-year-old ban on handguns as incompatible with gun rights under the Second Amendment.

This is HUGE.

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Becoming a Badger: some things get better

Kids, Madison

Once upon a time, my high school friend Vicki, who'd gone to Brigham Young for college because it was the cheapest school with great skiing, called me and asked, "What are you doing next year?" I didn't have any good ideas, so when she said, "Let's go to Madison," I answered "Sure. Why not?"

I can't remember if we drove there in her brother's VW Beetle or took the Badger Bus. But we got there, enrolled, and wandered around until we saw an apartment building on Francis Street with a for-rent sign. The manager gave us the names of two girls who were looking for roommates, we talked to one (Mary Hill of Wauwatosa, it turns out), and we signed the lease. A month later we came back, big brother Jack and a U-haul in tow, and moved into The Surf.

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Tosa's Two Toughest Finds

Nature, Tosa Business, Weather

Pssst. Hey - yeah, you. Wanna buy a can of bug spray?


Remember last winter? Who doesn’t?! That endless icy blast of Mother Nature that coated our sidewalks and front steps with potential lawsuits. Back then, the toughest find in Tosa was salt (or ice melter.) No matter who you talked to, conversations always came around to: “So, do you know where I can buy some salt?” Neighbors would call each other with hot tips on a bag or two of calcium chloride.


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