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I wish I were triplets

Boys basketball - Brookfield Central, West Allis Central, New Berlin Eisenhower, New Berlin West, Girls basketball - New Berlin Eisenhower, New Berlin West

I wish I could cover at least three games Friday night.

GMC Boys

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Part Deux... (see Una Parte)

IB; International Baccalaureate; Wauwatosa Catholic School; Pre School; Middle School

What a great end to a great week!  Catholic Schools' Week ended with a busy weekend for Wauwatosa Catholic School families and friends.  (This is a long post, so be sure to scroll to the end to catch everything.)

On Saturday, there was not a pair of skates in the house, literally, at the Abby Bunzel Skate Night. 

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Lego coming to Mayfair

 Construction on a new Lego store -- the first in the Milwaukee market -- is set to begin this week at Mayfair mall.

The store, to be upstairs at the mall between Starbucks and Gymboree, is scheduled to open in May.

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Schlitz Park lands suburban technology firm

Downtown, Office

A suburban company that provides technology to the financial services industry has signed a lease for 18,000 square feet of space at downtown Milwaukee's Schlitz Park.

The firm, which wasn't named in the Wednesday announcement from Schlitz Park developer Gary Grunau, plans to move 50 employees to the first floor of Schlitz Park’s Bottlehouse A building. That move will occur June 1.

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A look at Woodland/GMC races

Boys basketball - Brookfield Central, Tosa East, Eisenhower, New Berlin West - Girls basketball - Ike and NB West.

So many things to write about and not enough time...

  • Brookfield Central boys (8-3) whipped Wisconsin Lutheran to snap a 3-game losing streak. Central faces Brookfield East, Tosa East and Sussex Hamilton to close out the year. First-place West Allis Central (9-2) plays MUHS, Menomonee Falls at home and Brook East on the road.
     
  • Tosa East boys (7-4) need a minor miracle to get a share of the title. They finish with West Allis Hale at home, Brook Central on the road and MUHS at home.
     
  • Eisenhower boys (11-3) are a game behind Whitnall (12-2) and with games against South Milwaukee, at Whitnall and Tosa West left. Whitnall plays at Tosa West, Ike and at Greenfield. The Lions won't be getting any help.
     
  • New Berlin West boys (11-4) lost a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE game at St. Thomas More on Tuesday and fell a game behind in the loss column to More and Pewaukee, both 11-3. West finishes at Cudahy, Shorewood and Brown Deer, all winnable, but it might not matter. More plays at Shorewood, at Brown Deer, Cudahy and the big one - at Pewaukee). The Pirates play St. Francis, at Cudahy, at Shorewood and then More. Pirates have the easiest schedule.
     
  • Eisenhower girls (13-0) have won 35 conference games in a row. They will clinch an outright title when they beat South Milwaukee Friday. They play Whitnall, Tosa West and Greendale in conference after that, but have a tough non-conference vs. Milwaukee Vincent (12-2) to end the year. They also play Mukwonago (10-5) in a NC game.
     
  • New Berlin West girls (11-3) like the boys trails the leading Pewaukee and Cudahy (11-2) by one game in the loss column. The girls play Cudahy in a HUGE game on Friday at home, play two conference games on the road (Shorewood, Brown Deer, 6-21 combined). Pewaukee plays St. Francis, at Cudahy, at Shorewood and then More.

It should be fun.

Friday Morning Just For Fun

Don't Bring Me Down, Electric Light Orchestra, Friday Morning Music, Just For Fun

Time to put on your dancing shoes and turn-up the volume for this 1979 hit by ELO.

Whether you say Grroosss, Gruß or Bruce - enjoy the compilation...

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Elm Grove Brewer fan a finalist in MLB Fan Cave promotion

MLB Fan Cave

Elm Grove Milwaukee Brewer fan Kurt Peter is looking for votes in the MLB Fan Cave promotions.

After reviewing more than 22,000 entries, Major League Baseball revealed Peter as one the top 50 fans vying to be a contestant in the 2012 MLB Fan Cave.

The voting runs through Wednesday. Fans can view video submissions from all 50 applicants on MLBFanCave.com and vote for their favorites. The 50 men and women include fans from across the U.S. and Canada.

“I decided to do it after I was watching the MLB Network one day and saw the commercial advertising the ‘Best summer of your baseball life.’ I’ve been trying to break into the MLB job market, but it’s extremely tough, so I thought I’d give it a shot.”

Peter turned in a two-minute video describing their favorite baseball moment and why you’d be the most entertaining baseball fan. It also had two 500 word essays with a few options.

“I chose to write about who I’d most like to meet/interview in the Fan Cave and what young star I thought would most likely win a Cy Young. I linked some previous sports writing I had done and that’s that.”

In 2012, the MLB Fan Cave will return to the 15,000 square foot location at 4th Street and Broadway in the heart of New York City’s Greenwich Village that was formerly the home of Tower Records.
The MLB Fan Cave is currently being redesigned to feature new technology and interactive elements.

The MLB Fan Cave is a unique event space mixing baseball with music, popular culture, media, interactive technology and art. 

Supported by MLB Advanced Media, it also serves as a content factory providing baseball fans with a constant flow of online video and conversation via social media. The MLB Fan Cave has more than a quarter of a million combined followers on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/mlbfancave) and Twitter (@MLBFanCave). The MLB Fan Cave features products and services provided by nearly 50 companies.

Major League Baseball will select 30 finalists based on fan voting, quality of the original submissions, and the ability of the contestants to generate buzz and interest in their campaigns. The 30 finalists will earn a trip to Spring Training in Arizona at the end of February, where they will compete in a variety of challenges to determine the final group of contestants.

These winners will begin the season in the MLB Fan Cave with the goal of watching all 2,430 MLB games on a large wall of big screen Sony televisions while chronicling their experiences online through videos, blogs, and social media.

Along the way, they will compete with one another over the course of the season in a series of challenges, with fans online helping decide who gets to stay in the Fan Cave and who gets eliminated with one eventual winner crowned before the end of the World Series.

Good luck, Kurt.

 

Hitting Our Stride

Artificial Joints, Friends, Girlfriend, Hunting, Life Is Good, Terrific Cooking

Making the grade.  Back in the saddle.  In the groove.  On track.

There are plenty of ways to describe the feeling that things are working out.  And I've been looking for an excuse to give that new hip a work-out and see if Girlfriend could still run with the other dogs and flush and retrieve birds.  I just finished my seventh week on my new and improved leg and Girlfriend is nearly fully recovered from her battle with an auto-immune disorder that knocked her down for the count beginning in November of last year.

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A happy Valentine's Day

Underwood Creek Parkway, Gratitude, Valentine's Day


I left work a little early today to grab some more of the light and the mild weather than my usual day allows. And to give my faithful love, Idgie, a decent walk for Valentine's Day.

The good thing about not having a romantic partner, if there is a good thing about it, is that you get to love more clearly all the rest of whatever it is you are given to love. This rescued dog, these children now grown, those neighbors and chance acquaintances, you friends who know me and let me know you back.

We walked the Underwood Creek Parkway as we often do. And though the sky was cloudy, the most wonderful colors hid among the grays. I felt a little sorry that dogs, except maybe the birding kind, don't raise their heads up much, except to catch a windbourne smell, a sharp sound.

There was one of those: sudden, high, bright. A child's voice. I can't remember the last time I saw children playing here. But there they were, this boy, about eight, and this girl, a little younger, cautiously making their way down the concrete walls of the creek. They'd come through the maple bog and crossed the railroad tracks, and now they were investigating the ice edging the water.

"Look," the boy yelled, excited. "It's pretty!" He paused, bent to examine something, and shouted again: "It's pretty!"

I don't know what he saw, but I hope the girl saw it too, and I hope she felt the same delight. Leaves layered and frozen in translucent ice, maybe, or the brittle, lacey, clear kind of ice that breaks in fractal patterns.

I think I know just how he felt. In the most unexpected places, you are seized by joy or love or wonder--or by all of those.

"It's pretty," your heart says, all on its own, without having to be taught.

I waited a bit, a little worried that these children might not know how to handle themselves even in such tame wild places. I'm a mother: that's what we do. But a woman followed them down to share what held their attention.

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Lewiston, Scheel doing good job with New Berlin West teams

New Berlin West boys and girls basketball

I wanted to just take a second and tip my hat to the New Berlin West boys and girls basketball teams.

The boys - coached by Jeff Lewiston - are 13-4 in the Woodland Conference Blue Division - and 16-5 overall with a bye this week before the seeding meetings on Saturday. The Vikings play Brown Deer at home in the finale on Wednesday next week.

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Recipe of the Day

Hunting, St. Francis Xavier Church, Terrific Cooking

If you are looking for a source of tested and proven recipes there is nothing like getting ahold of a church cookbook.  You can count on the fact that the church ladies are going to submit only those recipes that are proven successes - both in the preparation and in the consumption.  Anything less might invite a discouraging word.

I still have the St. Bernadette Parish Cookbook from the neighborhood where I grew-up.  And periodically I'll refer to one of mom's or Aunt Lois' or one of the other Christian Mother's recipes that were compiled into the ring-bound, and what has become a very dog-eared, cookbook.

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Safeguard your personal information!

Crime Prevention, Identity Theft

Here is a short list of things to consider when safeguarding your personal information:

·        When disposing of documents containing the personal information of anyone in your household, shred them. This includes pre-approved credit card and loan offers received in the mail.

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In Praise of Paper

Newspapers, Technology, The Online World

I'm a creature of habit. Every morning, after feeding the dog, saying my prayers (yep, every morning), letting the dog out, and checking Facebook and email, I sit down and read the newspaper. The actual PAPER newspaper. I spread it out on my counter, grab my bowl of oatmeal and spend a blissful 30-45 minutes reading up on the world and our community.

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A little spring hopey-changey in the air?

Scott Walker, Ethics, Non-partisan politics

It's been feeling like a strange and wonderful early spring around here, and the asparagus ($1.99 on sale at Sendik's) and the rhubarb (foraged from the County Grounds) pie we had for dinner last night helped that hopeful feeling along.

If I put up enough filters to the onslaught of information and disinformation, I can even feel a little hopeful about our political climate.

Can it be that more people are looking at even their "own guys" and saying "wait a minute. What's going on here?" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Mike Nichols writes ". . .here's what I don't understand: How come more conservatives--who, like me, believe Walker did the right and necessary thing (regarding unions)--don't look at Russell and scream?"

Timothy Russell was now-Governor, then-County-Executive, Scott Walker's aide. He's part of a still growing John Doe investigation into illegal campaigning and misappropriation (that would be theft) of funds. As Nichols, a conservative think-tank fellow, says, it's that stuff and not the union busting stuff that could take a governor down.

A little sneaky illegal action on the side is no big deal to insiders, for whom, too often, dirty pool is the only way the game is played.

But for the rest of us, who try to be decent and honest, having people do your not-quite-right or downright wrong work for you while you turn your back (and in this case, finding they are doing a little dirty work you may not have known about on the side) taints you, too.

If you'd asked me a month ago I'd have said Scott Walker is probably really as squeaky clean a guy as he seems. No hidden mistresses, no closet surprises. I'd still bet that about his personal life.

But when you start to live by the belief that the end justifies the means and make compromises accordingly, you lose your shine. Making sure you don't know what's going on damns you when people start to put bits and pieces together.

Now here's the hopey-changey part. With neither party doing any kind of stellar job for us (that would be the people) or our economy, we're starting to think harder about fairness, honor, and actual effectiveness. We're starting to question the claims and rhetoric we've accepted unquestioningly. This means going beyond blind party loyalty.

In the same Milwaukee Journal Sentinel issue, BadgerStat performance measurement guru Andy Feldman sets some criteria for deciding who to support for Wisconsin's governor. They could be adapted to any candidate for any office.

1.  A leader who is willing to speak candidly about the strengths and weaknesses of public employee unions and who supports legislation that reflects both.

2. A candidate who wakes up every morning thinking about how to help grow jobs in Wisconsin but who understands that some economic development policies are much more cost-effective than others.

3. The candidate who advocates most strongly for (non-partisan reforms that would give more power and information to the Wisconsin citizens and taxpayers).

More power and more real information to the people! Now there's a concept. Of course, when we get it, all of us need to call out our own guys and not just the other guy's guys when they fail to be honest, above-board, or take responsibility.

Not sure whether we have to scream, though. My guess, we can do it strongly and firmly without resorting to distortions and hysterics, even though we haven't had a lot of models for doing so lately.

Real American Hero

Heroes, History, John Glenn, Project Mercury, Space Exploration

Give it some thought and it's not all that difficult to compile a list a American heroes.  John Paul Jones, Theodore Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Wilbur and Orville Wright all come to mind.  For sure my hero list would include John Glenn. 

As a youngster the American space program captivated me.  I consumed anything and everything I could lay my hands upon about NASA, Project Mercury, the Gemini and Apollo programs. I was allowed to stay home and watch on television Alan Shepard's  launch and recovery. Today is the fiftieth anniversary of America's launch of a manned spacecraft to successfully orbit the earth.  It was piloted by a Marine Corps aviator hailing from a small town in Ohio.

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Prayer & Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday, Wauwatosa Catholic School, Ash Wednesday Mass, Ash Wednesday Service

Students in all grades at Wauwatosa Catholic School are taught about our Catholic Faith.  This is an example of a classroom prayer written collaboratively.  Students at Wauwatosa Catholic School will attend Mass on Ash Wednesday as they do each Wednesday.  The public is welcome to join us in celebrating Mass at 8 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2012.

Vote--and remember to bring your ID

Elections, Wauwatosa

Today's your chance to help narrow the field of competent, promising candidates for mayor of Wauwatosa. There's a county supervisor seat and, depending on where you live, you might be able to do the same thing for your city council representatives.

You'll need your ID this time. I don't expect that will make much difference here, but it will be interesting to watch the experience in communities with larger or more transient populations.

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Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Reading, Elementary School; International Baccalaureate, Dr. Seuss

Wauwatosa Catholic School's younger readers will celebrate this week!

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Otto Partz Gets A Word In Edgewise

Economic Policy, Life In Tosa, Local Government, Public Policy, Wauwatosa Politics

Years ago the Milwaukee White Pages telephone directory had a listing under: Fone Company.  Probably Wisconsin Bell's concession to those whose formative years included an emphasis on phonics and not reading.  There was also a listing under:  Otto Partz.  Perhaps a tongue in cheek entry for a concern that was in the automobile parts trade.  Or maybe someone who struggled with reading.

In case any of you missed it - there is an exceedingly long and tedious discussion thread over at the Tosa Town Square concerning the imminent invasion of an O'Reilly Auto Parts store.  I'm certainly going to be denied the last word in that discussion so I'll take a stab at getting a few words in edgewise in my own exclusive forum here.

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Playoffs getting underway...

boys basketball for Tosa East, , Tosa West and New Berlin West and Eisenhower.

To say I picked the wrong time to get sick is an understatement.

I am on the sidelines right now with Cellulitis in my left ear, which is often caused by a bacterial infection. My left ear looks like I went through 10 rounds with Mike Tyson (before he bit it off). I was so sick that JR Radcliffe stepped in for me to cover the Tosa East-Tosa West game last night.

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