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Making Ends Meet - Updated To Include Disclaimer

Life In Tosa, Local Government, Strange But True

*BIG PUBLIC NOTICE - I am informed that the Mothership is receiving 'salvos' of feedback from several places that either believe this blog post is real or are not finding the humor in it.  Therefore, in the interest ot avoiding any public unrest I've been asked to disclose that this is satire and an April Fools prank.  

Can't anybody take a joke anymore?

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Reader writes "you've been gamed"

Wauwatosa mayoral candidates, trolls, The Better Angels of our Nature

A reader wrote to chastise me for allowing folks to “smear” Kathy Ehley. Because no one stepped in to denigrate Pete Donegan, that’s the effect of the uneven response, he said.

I don't think I allowed anyone to smear anyone, but the reader deserves a response.

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The unbearable blandness of research parks

Research parks, Milwaukee County Grounds, dogs, better design, innovation

"I'm dirty; it's okay to jump on me," I say as we cross paths with the man and the black lab. He looks at me astonished and I realize what I have said.

I am of course referring to his dog, who moments before he had warned against doing any such thing.

My boon companion Idgie is on her leash, having been a rather bad dog, by which I mean having been fully true to her doggy nature. Leaping two four-foot orange plastic landscape fences in a single bound, she'd gone exploring in the almost-like-a-real-pond retention pond and would not return.

I'd panicked when she disappeared from sight. Could she drown there? I was of course forgetting that she can easily swim across medium sized lakes, though her lack of any lab-like genes makes her indifferent to the act. Eventually we reconnected--after I'd mucked through the swamp on the one day I hadn't bothered to wear my beloved Farm-N-Fleet rubber boots, and I'd clamped on the lead.

Idgie, like the black lab, was dirty, which meant she was happy.

"I'm dirty; it's okay." That's my motto for today. Monday night I had listened to the inspiring Cornel West at UWM remind us that this business of life is all about funk, to get into it and be it. Work and life are both a little funky in the process.

I'd been planning to walk with Idgie through the Milwaukee County Research Park. Since I'm looking for jobs, why not start where I already am, I reasoned. A mile and a half down the road and I don't have a clue what's there, though the buzz words "research" and "innovation" are always glued to any statements about the place. Got some experience with both of those, I figured.

But somewhere near the intersection of Innovation and Discovery, I realized I did not want to get out of the car into the field of building with no distinguishing characteristics after building with no distinguishing characteristics. And aside from a Children's Hospital System building, hardly a business name to be seen on the identical doors until you get to GE Medical, which not only claims itself but has some design chutzpah and a piece of sculpture in front.

I haven't seen a GE ad in awhile, but since they all start with "black belt in six sigma," I'm out of the running anyway. Later, I'll look at the research park website to see what's behind all those blank building faces. But it's hard to imagine working there. Something about the relentless anonymity and sameness of the place. . .

We walked instead in the place slotted to become another research park, Innovation Park. The word "innovation" used to be followed by "incubator" in the marketing materials for such places, but now it's "accelerator." I guess everything is moving at warp speed now, and the leadership of UWM gives it some claim on the fancier, faster term.

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"Openly practicing medicine" revealed, "scandalous material" concealed

Milwaukee Archdiocese bankrupcy, Madison protests and doctors, "crime" and punishment

This is a tale of two sets of records, one released and one sealed.

The headlines read 20 doctors disciplined for sick notes and Bishops’ testimony to remain sealed. You probably know the cases—the first, doctors who scribbled health excuses for protesters in Madison in February 2011, the second, the sexual abuse testimony of Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese past leaders in a current bankruptcy trial.

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Friday Morning Ear Worm

Ear Worm, 70s Culture, Friday Morning Music, Tony Orlando

Bang on the pipe.

Cha, cha, cha....

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Dates You Can Use

Vacation Bible School, Wauwatosa Catholic School

Registration for some classrooms is still going on at Wauwatosa Catholic School for the 2012-2013 school year.  Call 414-258-9977 for details, ask for Kathy.  Below are the upcoming dates for some very busy months yet ahead for this very successful year.  ******************************************************************

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Meet Frank

Critters, Girlfriend, Hunting, Romance, Strange But True

The Door County Fish Farm and Game Club does much to promote the rich heritage of hunting, fishing and trapping on the peninsula.  For instance, last weekend I walked to the other side of the road to congratulate a youngster who had traversed the field with a big old gobbler slung over his shoulder.  I heard the single report of a shotgun only thirty minutes earlier.  The answer to the Ford pick-up materializing on the shoulder of the road before sunrise was revealed.  He had been hunting with an adult mentor during Wisconsin's youth hunt.

And he had a smile on his face a mile wide.

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Spring Cleaning Feels Good

There is something about spring that motivates me. Things are warming up, color is returning, and the hibernation sluggishness begins to wane. The increasing energy makes me look around and take notice of all of the things that accumulate and fill various nooks and crannies around the house, garage and yard. Piles of unread magazines, paperwork and mail need to be dealt with; unnecessary boxes clutter up the garage; faulty Christmas decorations and a broken bird feeder need to be repaired or thrown out; and fallen branches and litter caught in the bushes need to be cleaned up. Sure, it takes some effort, but it sure feels good to eliminate them from my to-do list, and things just shine and sparkle a bit more!
Trees, too, require a spring cleaning. They naturally accumulate clutter from years of growth and hardship. Insects attack, weaken and kill branches. Fungal diseases kill some limbs and internal decay fungi weaken many more, leaving them vulnerable. Storms cause some branches to split or crack, providing even more opportunities for fungi and insects. Growth within the tree is often crowded or misdirected, causing weakness and vulnerability. Too much shade from nearby canopies causes branches to die. Dead branches attract insects, and the resulting decay will spread fungi deeper into the tree.
Our Certified Arborists expertly employ the ANSI A300 pruning standard for this kind of clean up. It is called Crown Cleaning and is aptly named. We recognize and clean out the branches that have various fungal canker diseases starting, while we watch for and remove damaging insects. Understanding tree structure and biology enables us to make good decisions about which branches detract from structure or health. Storm damage is detected and removed. Intensity of pruning corresponds with specifications for each tree, based on the dimensions and health of each branch.
Trees improve so much from the cleaning! Pruning diseased, damaged or inferior branches leaves the tree healthier, safer, and more beautiful. Stress is reduced, and value and appearance are enhanced. Future growth is off to a better start and tree energy is reallocated to optimum growth and defense. Your tree can now yield all the benefits of shade and property enhancement for years to come.
Spring-cleaning is a necessary ritual that uplifts our spirits and improves our environment. It is a good time to assess our trees and get out the clutter that bogs them down. Our properties can then shine with pride!

Friday Morning Music

Beg, Steal or Borrow, Friday Morning Music, Ray LaMontagne

I'm off crooning the turkey love call while trying to bag this year's Thanksgiving Day wild, free-range, organically-grown and incredibly wiley, wild turkey.

The music is on schedule.

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Talking Turkey

Frustration, Hunting, Just For Fun, Life is Good, Strange But True, Talking Turkey, Turkey Hunting

It's been an interesting spring turkey hunt for sure.

Day One - Thursday, April 12

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BBB Hosts Free Document Shredding Event This Weekend

BBB, Better_Business_Bureau, free_shredding, shredding, AnchorBank, ProShred_Security, identity_theft, ID_theft

BBB Helps Consumers Thwart ID Theft by Hosting
Free Document Shredding Event

ID Theft is Nation’s #1 Complaint to FTC, Grew 8 percent in Wisconsin last year

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Going to the Dogs

Family, Feg Shui, Girlfriend, Healthcare, Labrador Retrievers, Sister

It has been an interesting six months in my household.

Girlfriend became gravely ill with an auto-immune disorder immediately before last November's annual South Dakota pheasant hunt and male bondage weekend.  What followed was a stint in canine ICU.  For a short spell her survival was very much touch and go.  Months of treatment with steroids followed. 

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10th Annual Pancakes With Mom Hosted By The Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers, Crime Prevention

The Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers  are sponsoring the tenth annual "Pancakes with Mom" breakfast. 

This year's event will be held on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13, 2012 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at The Muellner Building at Hart Park, located at 7300 W. Chestnut St. in the city of Wauwatosa.

We will be serving all you can eat pancakes, Klement’s sausages and Starbucks Coffee along with juice, milk, chocolate milk, bottled water and fresh fruit.

There will also be flowers for Mom, music, balloons, games for the kids and raffle items! Come and meet the Klement’s Famous Racing Sausages!

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, we will have cake and a special gift while supplies last!

Tickets are available at the door and are $6.00 for adults, $3.00 for children age 3-12, and children under age 3 are free.

Friday Morning Bert Kaempfert

Bert Kaempfert Orchestra, Friday Morning Music, Trip Down Memory Lane

It's the start of the weekend people.

When I was growing-up there was a thick selection of Bert Kaempfert albums in the file by the Hi-Fi.

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Rocket Baby and the leavening power of yes

Rocket Baby, leavening, trickle down, the power of yes, economics, community development

I’m not sure if it’s the sun and grand opening balloons or the incredible croissanty crispness of a perfect blueberry cheese Danish, but this morning’s trip to Rocket Baby Bakery did much to restore my dented hopefulness.

People sat on a bench outside, chatting and watching other people strolling about, getting their Sunday ham at Cranky Al’s across the street or just enjoying the day. The only thing marring the scene of a vibrant city street was the blank marquee at the Rosebud Cinema, and there’s reason to believe the lights will go on again there.

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The Garden Chronicles

Construction Projects, Gardening

A couple-plus weeks ago I planted peas, spinach, beets and radishes.  After basking in the glow of any number of 60-70 degree days I was gloriously optimistic about 2012 vegetable gardening.

Maybe too optimistic.  Since then there has been cold and snow mixed with pelting cold sleet and rains and a few sultry and teasingly summer-like days.

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Evergreen Disorder: Needlecasts

Conifers continue to stay in the news. Spruce had been the most noticeably affected by drought stress and disease agents up to now, but recently both Pines and Spruces are showing browning needles that affect their beauty and health. The culprit is a group of fungi collectively known as needlecasts.
This browning can develop slowly, over several years, or very rapidly, as has been the case this spring. These fungi attack the needles as they are emerging. Their spores are in the air in spring and land on the soft needles. If the needles are moistened often enough from rains or heavy dews, the spores are able to germinate and then attack the vulnerable tissue. In years when the frequency of moistening events is greater, there is more and faster browning from needlecasts. Drier springs reduce the amount of browning from needlecasts.
 This spring has provided several rain events. Many Pines and Spruce have rapidly browned as a result, and many more will show progressive browning over the course of ‘08. Their weakened state from previous years of drought stress has lowered their resistance to fungal attack and spread, further speeding the browning. Individual trees vary in their ability to resist disease, (as we do as well); therefore, the amount of browning will vary from tree to tree of the same species. Site conditions that favor fungal development such as shade, crowding, reduced air movement, etc., will have an effect also.
Infected needles show spotting or banding of discoloration, but then begin to brown, usually at the tip at first, but eventually spreading along the needle. When the needle dies, it is shed (“cast” off the tree). In Austrian and other Pines, the fungus is usually Dothistroma. In Spruces, the needlecast is usually Rhizosphaera.
Needlecasts are controlled through protective fungicide spray programs. Timing and materials can vary with the species of needlecast. In the case of evergreens, patience is needed for both control and the return of aesthetics. Spraying protects the new growth that comes on in spring. Since evergreens carry at least 5 years of needles, when these become infected, it takes at least 3 consecutive years of the spray program to collect 3 years of protected and retained needles to have beauty return.
Many evergreens are needlessly removed by saddened homeowners or ignorant tree cutters who don’t realize that they can be saved. Don’t let this happen to you! Call your Wachtel Certified Arborist for the accurate diagnosis. Also, share this newsletter with your neighbors who may be thinking of cutting down their evergreens. Especially where these are providing needed screening between yards or obstructing unwanted views, this could be tragic.

Hauntings and condemnations: the Eschweiler buildings

Escheweiler buildings, Wauwatosa Historic Preservation, Development, Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy

For more than twenty years you’ve been in love with the red brick ruins of the Milwaukee County School of Agriculture and Domestic Economy on the Milwaukee County Grounds.

In a time of woeful, slapdash architecture, the peaked roofs and pleasing proportions of the Tudor Revival buildings delight your eye. A bookish person who doesn’t worry much about anachronism (and who does these days?), you imagine insane wives locked in the attics, former teachers scratching the blackboards at night with shivery ghost nails and hatching eternal torments for generations of unwashed, long dead, students.

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Friday Morning Music

Friday Morning Music, New Order, True Faith

It's the start of the weekend people and time to put on your dancing shoes and get funky with this set by New Order...

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Frank The Pheasant

Critters, Romance, Strange But True

Just a bit more than a couple of weeks ago I introduced you to our resident pheasant - Frank.

Since then a few of you have inquired about whether or not he's still around.

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