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Just a bunch of garbage

City services, Things that bug me

What I have to say here is just a bunch of garbage…literally. I think we have it pretty good here in Tosa, where garbage is concerned. We have convenient and reliable garbage pickup.

But what I’ve found lately is that you have to really be on the ball…or the cart…in order to get optimum pickup.

For instance, our “new” recycling program, featuring bumblebee-colored recycling carts, has been in operation for a little over a year now. From my point of view, I’d say it works fairly well. I only have two minor complaints: The first is that it’s imperative that you get your recycling cart out on the street early. In our neighborhood, the recycling truck comes pretty darn early – sometimes 8:00 or 9:00 am. That’s fine, but judging by the number of full carts I see on the streets mid-day on garbage day, some people still haven’t figured that out. I still remember watching a neighbor run down the street wheeling his recycling cart to catch up with the recycling truck. Funny for me. Annoying for him.

Secondly, I can’t help it – I miss weekly recycling. Since it’s every other week, and since more plastics than ever are recycled, my black and yellow cart is pretty darn full on recycling day. In fact, some weeks, I can’t fit everything in it, which means that it’s working, but sometimes means that I have leftover recycling that has to wait two weeks. (Yes, I know, I could drive it over to the dump, but that would require far more effort than I’m willing to put forth.)

As far as the regular garbage is concerned, I only have two tiny complaints: The first is that I wish our garbage carts weren’t so appetizing to backyard critters. I’m not sure if they’re manufactured with peanut butter or something, but the squirrels and raccoons seem to LOVE to gnaw on the corners and, inevitably, squeeze in and snack on my garbage. Ick. (And yes, my carts have been “repaired” but apparently the aluminum strips and silver tape are just as yummy.)

My second garbage complaint is so small that I wouldn’t blame the guys on the truck if they thumbed their noses at me on the next pick up day. Here it is: Just once, I’d love it if my garbage cart didn’t end up dead center at the end of my driveway after the garbage has been collected. It’s a minor irritation, but an irritation nonetheless. Sometimes I have to park the car, get out, move the cart and then drive into the driveway. It’s almost as if they’re mad at me about my garbage. And if they are, sorry! I put the cart away from the end of the driveway, but it never ends up there.

Oh well. If that’s my biggest problem, then life is pretty good.

Finally, a solution to e-mail

computers, Fluff, Technology

Overwhelmed with all that e-mail you're getting every day? At last, there's a solution.


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Late winter and early spring is a good time to be catalog shopping.

For instance, all of my garden seed has been ordered, purchased and shipped - all from the comfort and convenience of the warming glow of my computer monitor.

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The Road is Paved with Resignations

Mayor Didier, Politics-Tosa

I was talking with a friend over dinner last night who expressed his chagrin over local politics.

You know Tom, Tosa politics has become - well - too political.

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A couple days left for your comments on the County Grounds

County Grounds, economic development, UWM engineering school

If you're one of the people with strong opinions about the UWM engineering campus proposal for the County Grounds in Tosa, you still have a little time to comment. The Milwaukee County Development Committee is accepting written statements from the public until Tuesday, April 7, on the purchase proposal for a big chunk of the northeast quadrant by UWM Innovation Park, LLC. Send your thoughts about the proposed Michael J. Cudahy Innovation Park to:


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Lamenting land lines lost

Technology, The Online World

Recently, my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Yes, it is pretty impressive. Mostly because it’s hard to imagine that there’s someone on earth that’s been willing to put up with me for that long. All I can say is that he’s a saint.

Anyway, that also means that we are also celebrating the silver anniversary of our telephone number. We got it a few months after we moved into our first house, just a stone’s throw outside of Tosa.

I’ve always been attached to our home phone number. You see, the first three numbers just happen to be the same as those in my phone number while growing up on the north side of Chicago. To me, it seemed like fate and therefore, I will have a hard time letting go of what is now referred to as our “land line.”

And yet, that’s exactly what more and more people are doing – getting rid of their land lines. The days of the home phone are becoming extinct. In our house, we’ll probably hang on until they rip it out of our wall. But our kids, well, that’s another issue.

When our son went away to college, one of the first things that I noticed was that nobody in college has a dorm room phone. And when they move off-campus, they don’t have an apartment phone or a house phone. Everybody has a cell phone, which is great, because you can reach your kid anywhere and everywhere. The bad thing is, in four years of college, I have NEVER spoken to my son’s roommates on the phone. NEVER. I don’t really know those guys. They seem nice from what I’ve been told.

Why is this a problem? Well, when I went to college (back when dinosaurs roamed the earth), my parents would call my dorm room phone and slowly build a relationship with my roommates. “Karen, Donna seems like such a nice girl. Where is she from again?” And so it would go. For me, although I like instant access to my son, I miss the idea of a backup plan. Just try reaching your college kid when they forget to charge their phone.

So although our land line seems to rarely ring anymore, I’m hanging on to it indefinitely. It’s one less set of numbers to memorize, which is a blessing for my aging brain. And I like the fact that until we move out of Tosa (a.k.a. never) we’ll always be reachable at that same old reliable number.

Now, my new quest is to figure out a way to make our home phone number work with this really cool thing. I may be attached to an old school phone number, but that doesn’t mean I can’t give it an upgrade.

I leave you with a video from Louis CK who has a great way of putting everything in perspective and making us old folks feel a little better:

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Monday Music

Popular Culture

Happy birthday Merle...

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Spirits of compromise, bold new ideas

County Grounds, Development, UWM engineering school

Is something new and wonderful happening? Plans coming out of the closet and into the light of day? People meeting, sharing ideas, and considering each other's positions? Improbable, but maybe true.


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Hart Park & The JASON Project

Hart Park, Jason Project, Science

On Friday, March 20th the Fourth through Eighth graders went to the Milwaukee Public Museum to attend a JASON Project conference. They were able to talk with several area scientists including Dr. Cuhel. Dr. Cuhel works for the Great Lakes Water Institute and is a host researcher for the JASON Project this year. He is studying the effects of the Quagga and Zebra mussels on Lake Michigan. At the museum he answered student questions and performed experiments to help the students understand the difference between the two mussels as well as the challenges they are introducing to the ecosystem of the lake. Also, our students competed in a fish race in which they had to design their own clay fish adapted for speed. Eighth graders, Katie Buxbaum and Joel Gebhard, presented the base line results of student testing of the Menomonee River and surrounding soil in Hart Park. The JASON scientists were very impressed with their work. The students will return to Hart Park this Spring to retest and analyze any changes.

The JASON Project,, a nonprofit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, connects students with great explorers and great events to inspire and motivate them to learn science.  St Bernard's middle school teacher Corrine Beresford, incorporated the JASON Project as part of the curriculum this year.

Whose woods these are, I think I don't know.

Today I got slightly sunburned, which means one thing – it’s finally warm enough to go outside again! I can’t even explain how excited I am for summer. When I have nothing else to do I love to just get out and wander around, but with Wisconsin winter weather my free time is instead consumed by facebook. Sunburn may hurt a bit, but I’ll take it over pasty any day.


Today’s sunburn is a result of wandering somewhere new with my family and dog. What’s interesting is that this place is right in my neighborhood, yet I’ve never been there before. I’m not sure if this is just a well-kept secret or if I’m really out of the loop, but behind the man-made lake on the east side of Swan Boulevard there’s a set of trails that not only leads through some gorgeous woods, but that also contains some interesting stone stairs and what look like building ruins, as well.

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The Road is Paved with Resignations - Update

Mayor Didier, Politics-Tosa

Hi everyone.

I hope you all enjoyed a blessed and relaxing Easter holiday.  I sure did.

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Stalking the wild asparagus

County Grounds, Food, UWM engineering school

 I know where the biggest stand of wild asparagus in Wauwatosa is. The spears haven't started peeking up yet, but when they do they will look like this:


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working on the chain gang

 I drove by a bunch of fellows dressed up in orange and black bumble-bee striped outfits picking up trash along the roadside the other day.  These enviromentalists were enthusiastically picking up McDonalds bags, Starbucks latte cups, PBR cans and whatever else mindless idiots toss out of their cars.  What a treat to actually see someone "pay back their debt to society".  How 'bout we turn off their taxpayer funded cable for a couple of weeks this summer and have them learn how to fix potholes?

On The Road Again

Family, Life Is Good, Roadside Curiosities

I like driving.

More than one person has said something to the effect of - Tom, you would make a good over the road truck driver.

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Tree Stumps and Vigorous Lawns

City services, Neighborhood

Dear City of Wauwatosa,

Recently, the card shown below was left on my front walk. I believe that it was supposed to be left on my front door but the seasonal winds must have blown it away.

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It's been ...........

 ....... 2 years since I started writing this Blog.

Here are some thoughts for my anniversary:

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Talkin' Turkey and the Recipe of the Day

Hunt'n, Terrific Cooking

Turkey Tidbits With Cranberry Dip

This is a fun recipe.  As both you and the major contributor are intimately involved in the process. 

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More Palace Less Intrigue

Mayor Didier, Politics-Tosa, Random Musings and Idle Chit Chat

Alert - to my 16 readers.  Journal Interactive is gravitating to a new blogging platform and your comments have been sent to cyberspace - hopefully temporarily.  Thank you for your patience as we attempt to restore them.  -Gas Pains

4/23/09 9:29 PM  - Comments have been published.  See below.  -Gas Pains

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The Garden Chronicles

Gardening, Outdoors

Remember this character?

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