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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend people.

Get yourself some mello with Dylan...

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Nightmare Before Christmas

Santa, Easter Bunny

I never, ever enjoyed sitting on the lap of the Easter Bunny or Santa at the mall. I don’t know why, maybe because the idea of a bunny so large that it could eat me left me shaking in my acid-washed baby jeans.

I’m sure that some people find the experience magical like this little Dutch girl for instance…

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A Piece of Tosa's History

Pictures cannot do this justice!  It's almost St. Bernard's 100th!That means that it's time for you to purchase a piece of St. Bernard's History!  In doing so, you are purchasing a piece of Wauwatosa's History.  This 100th Anniversary Cookbook has been published and is selling fast at St. Bernard's Parish Office for $15 a copy.  (3 for $40)  Inside you will not only find fantastic recipes submitted by parishioners and past parishioners, but you will glimpse the past and see the history construction of the current parish walls as well as view archival memories of the last 100 years. 

This is a treasure for ALL of Wauwatosa' residents.  The books sells during regular parish office hours (enter Harwood Ave. side of building).  Please click: for those days and hours.  We also thank the Little Read Book in the village for its support in featuring the cookbook on its shelves.  CONSIDER THIS AS THE PERFECT STOCKING STUFFER, TEACHER GIFT,  NEIGHBORLY GESTURE this Christmas Season.   Humble thanks.

Scott Walker, Deer Management and Hunting

Critters, Deer Camp, Hunt'n, Governor Walker

The opening day of the 2000 gun season our camp shot eight deer.  As the Dutchman noted in the camp diary that was the year we hung a stringer of deer from the meat pole.  A group photo of this extraordinary occurrence has been prominently hung in the stairwell.

Other years we hunted for days on-end and never saw a deer.  Some years brought wind and violent lashings of rain.  Sometimes there was snow.  Last year it was an almost impenetrable fog.

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We'll miss you, Coach

Heaven’s bells are ringing out ahoya.  Wauwatosa has lost one of its great souls.

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend people.

Take a lesson from John Prine and don't take yourself too seriously.

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Deer Camp, Friends, Hunt'n

The UPS man delivered a holiday gift last week.

Two entire slabs of bacon from Esicar's Smokehouse in Cape Girardeau, MO.

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend people.

Enjoy some Johnny Rivers.  And a chuckle...

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Teenage Texting

communication, texting

OMG how r u? im rly gr8.

Not exactly.

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Hap-happiest time?


Some of my friends are wondering why they aren't feeling the holiday bliss. I never ponder that. I know exactly why I'm not in a state of enduring, sustained happiness. And only part of it's because I'm one of Garrison Keillor's "dark Norwegians," people who see the somber lining in every silver cloud.

The days are shorter, giving us less light. It's colder and icy out there, making us long to stay where it's warm and safe. That's all sort of biological.

Then there's the workload. To whatever we were doing before, add decorating, baking, cooking, entertaining, participating in or even just attending events, buying presents, and paying those once or twice a year bills that show up when you least need them.

Except for the last, those are pleasant things, at least individually. But the stress research says even good changes in our routines can make us sick. And when you add in many such changes, well, expect a mood-nose-dive.

This year, there's an additional burden of general ambient craziness (GAC). That's the technical term I just invented for all the tension and anxiety raised by our perceptions of what's going on in the world as filtered through the media we choose.

I just spent a moderately high GAC factor hour listening to intelligent, hardworking, decent people tell a talk show host and her guest "well, if I don't have that, no one else should either."

So let me be clear: I'm not arguing that because not everyone finds the holidays to be pure occasions of chronic happiness, those of you who do should stop being happy. God bless you, every two or three of you.

But for most of us, it's really sort of goofy to think we should be in any sort of sustained hyper-joyfulness for days on end, let alone months. There's nothing wrong with you if you aren't feeling the holiday spirit all the time. Most people who maintain a constant state of euphoria, apparently stimulated by the endless consumption of various consumer products, live in advertisements, not life.

For the rest of us, joy comes and goes. Even the greatest events--the birth of a child, falling in love, accomplishing a difficult goal, evading death, winning the lottery--don't lead to weeks of uninterrupted ecstasy. Reality intrudes. The baby has colic. The lover has ideas of his or her own that conflict with yours. The accomplishment means you have to move away from people and places you've always loved. The recovery comes with pain and limitations. Relatives, strangers, taxes, and bad judgment deplete both the coffers of chance winnings and your pleasure in your luck.

If you're feeling bah-humbuggy, just step out of the holiday for a bit. It'll still be there when you feel like returning to it. While you're at it, if you're feeling angry and indignant toward ordinary people who are in much the same boat you are, step outside that for awhile, too.

In the quiet and stillness you step into, you may see a speck of the light of hope. You may feel love and wonder. That kind of happiness is holy.

Healthcare Tip Of The Day


I happen to think I know more about healthcare than the average person.

Which stems from the fact that when things go wrong with me healthcare-wise it's usually traumatic, expensive or unusual.  Sometimes all three are involved.  Like the time I broke my back.  Or the time I got a sharp stick in the eye working on the tree farm.  Or put a permanent dent in my shin bone from a ricochet while splitting wood.  There was the busted toe from dropping the firewood while only wearing socks.  I broke my wrist getting pitched off my bicycle by the giant pothole on 71st and North Avenue.  You don't even want to know about the incident with the hornets nest.

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Are You Advertising What Is In Your House?

Crime Prevention, burglary, Theft, Security

When you are unpacking those great electronic gifts you receive at Christmas, do not leave the boxes at the curb. Doing so only advertises what kind of really cool new goodies are in your house. The “Bad guys” do drive around and “Shop”, making note of where the flat screens and laptops are based on the boxes at the curb. Then they will actually “Case” the homes where the boxes of the desired items were observed.

So please, break down all your boxes and take them yourselves to proper recycling facilities such as the cardboard dumpsters at the City dump located just east of the Police Station; the Police Station is 1700 N 116th St and the dump is 11100 W Walnut St. The dumps hours of operation are Tue – Sat 7:30AM – 4:30PM except holidays. There is a $10 annual dump permit fee.

As a side note any old electronics can be taken to any Good Will who will sell or recycle; these items are not excepted at the City dump.

Counterfeit US Currency Reported In Wauwatosa

Crime Alert, Crime Prevention, Public Education, Business Watch

The passing of counterfeit U.S. Currency has been reported in Wauwatosa.
Business owners and employees alike should be on the lookout for counterfeit
paper bills that are being passed as genuine.

The passed counterfeit bills have been bleached genuine $5.00 bills which have been reprinted with a larger denomination (i.e. $20.00, $50.00, $100.00).

Because these bills are printed on legitimate currency paper, counterfeit detection pens are ineffective. Businesses should not rely on the counterfeit pens alone. The current counterfeit bills use poor quality printing and lack several security features inherent to genuine paper currency:

• Color Shifting Ink: The denomination number (i.e. 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100) in the lower right hand corner should change color from green to copper when the bill is tilted. The current counterfeit bills do not have this characteristic and remain one color.

• Watermark: By holding the bill up to a light, a faint image or “watermark” of the President should be visible to the right of the main image. The portraits should be identical.

• Security Thread: By holding the bill up to a light, a thin plastic strip called a “security thread” should be visible running vertically across the bill. The security thread is printed with “USA” and the corresponding denomination (i.e. $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100).

• Print Quality: Compare the suspect bill with a known genuine bill of the same denomination. Counterfeit print color and clarity is usually sub-standard causing the bill to appear “washed out”, faded, or blurry. Counterfeit paper currency may not be centered on the paper or printed crooked.


If you determine that a bill is counterfeit, do not return it to the customer. Note the customer’s description, the description of any companions, and the license number of any involved vehicle(s). Notify the police department immediately. If you feel that it is safe, you may attempt to delay the customer until police arrive. Handle the suspect bill as little as possible to preserve evidence. Place the suspect bill in a bag by itself to protect it from contamination.

Be an Angel

As a boy, I always found it amusing when older women would say "Be an angel, would you?" when they wanted me to get something for them.  It's a charming turn of phrase.

I've always been a bit skeptical about the existence of the angels that you see in books -- you know, the tall blond guys with big wings.  But through the years, I've met a bunch of "Clarence Oddbody" types, regular folks who've helped me when I needed it most.  A few times, the unexpected intervention of friends and strangers has been life-altering for me.

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Friday Morning Music

Holidays, Popular Culture

Have a wonderful Christmas everyone!

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Merry Christmas

I enjoy Christmas music probably as much as the next person, however,  I have my limits. Every year when the cheesy oldies station that I listen to changes their format to be "All Christmas Music All The Time" sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving,  I have no choice but to re-program one of my car presets my car radio to something new. This year I found NPR. I'm sure many of you think I am a dolt for not regularly tuning in to this varied and intelligent option but please accept the fact that I am now a convert.

Here is a gem  I heard yesterday- hope you enjoy it!

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Recipe of the Day

Dangerous Kitchen Experiments

The tradition of baking stollen during the Christmas holiday has been around for a long time.  Christmas Stollen in Dresden was already baked in the 15th century.

Grandma Gaertner made stollen every Christmastime.  Enough for the each of the extended families.  Grandma was an artiste when it came to baking.  Mom was an excellent baker.  I know of no mortal that can replicate mom's pie crust.  Jill happens to be a baker of some repute.  Strudels, cookies, you name it.  Her pumpkin pie is absolutely to die-for.  If only mom was here to perpetuate the crust recipe.  Sigh.

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Why I Love the Holiday Season

10 reasons why I LOVE Christmas Vacation

1. Well, this may seem like the most obvious and that’s probably why it’s right at the top. I don’t have to go to school, do homework, or study for tests.

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Friday Morning Music

Popular Culture

It's the start of the weekend.  The end of the old year.  The ringing-in of the new year. The trifecta!

I would like to take this opportunity to extend best wishes for healh and prosperity to my 71 readers.

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Make mine vicarious

If you're looking for a polar bear plunge that doesn't involve getting cold or wet this New Year's weekend, stop in at the Rosebud to see Feed the Fish. It's a low budget up nort' movie filmed in Door County. Sweet and funny in a broad, undemanding kind of way, it makes those of us who've spent time in the tip of the Door feel right at home.

Most of us will recognize and enjoy the characters. Tony Shaloub plays the cranky and possibly crazy sheriff, Barry Corbin (Maurice for all of us Northern Exposure fans) his cranky but heart-of-gold father. The younger actors, involved in a conventional love triangle, are sort of adorable. And Joe, the blocked young writer, has a really nice butt. I'm just sayin'. . .

If you're looking for existential angst or dramatic special effects, this isn't your baby. Journal reviewer Chris Foran didn't like it.   He's from the Let's Transcend Laverne and Shirley school of critics who want Wisconsin portrayed as more like Manhattan and less like Fargo. Which is fine if you think there's something wrong with the quirks of country folks and something endlessly fascinating about the quirks of urbanites.

Me, I like a movie where no one gets maimed (well, not for long anyway) or raped. Where people behave in the silly and noble ways real people sometimes behave. And one that follows the old conventions of a story: something happens, and people change. And in the old romantic comedy tradition, some people are a little happier for it.

Uff da!

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