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Holy Snow Bank!

As you know, I’ve been supporting the West Allis snow removal team all season.  The same people who diligently collect our trash every week, have done a fantastic job keeping the city from grinding to a halt under the 80+ inches of snow that have fallen (almost daily) all over our streets.  I’ve been behind them 100%, even as my side street has begun to look more like the surface of the moon, with several inches of ice melting in such a way that we have craters so deep we could almost search for extra-terrestrial life in them.  No matter, because I could still get where I was going and I was happy with that.


But on Saturday morning, about 5:30am (!), I awoke to the sound of snow plows scraping the road.  If that wasn’t enough, 90% of it is piled in my front yard.  I can hardly wait for spring so the salt might kill the grass along the curb.  I’ve been fighting weeds for control of my yard since my husband and I bought our home 3 years ago.  I was actually beginning to win.  Now I start a new battle with road salt.  (Will road salt damage the lawn?) 


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ADOPTED! Sweet Boston Terrier ...


UPDATE: Little General met a nice family from Franklin, who adopted him this weekend. Congrats!  

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Heath Ledger - role model or pathetic druggy?


I am not particularly the most well-versed in Hollywood stuff.  Going to the movies is always difficult for me, because unless you study them (and I don't), the only movies you've ever heard of are usually the ones with marketing tie-ins... which I have learned means that those movies are usually too lousy to stand on their own without the marketing blitz (side note - do you remember the movie Congo from the early-90s?  If you bought a 32 oz soda from Super America, you could get refills forever for $0.59.  I still have TWO of those cups!)

So when Heath Ledger died, I can honestly say I had never heard of him.  When somebody told me he was in Brokeback Mountain, I nodded, as I saw parts of the movie but I still couldn't connect the name to the movie.

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A Good Ending

Alderman Czaplewski, Pick and Save

The "official" recycling bag situation at the Pick and Save has been resolved. I received a phone call this morning from my  alderman, Mike Czaplewski. He told me that he talked to the manager, who is new to the store, and he was unaware that those particular bags are necessary in this area. He was told that they weren't being made anymore by "someone". After speaking to the alderman, the manager called the other Pick and Save stores in West Allis who are sending him some of their stock until his stock, which he has ordered, arrives. 

 I applaud the alderman for taking care of this in a timely manner too. He also gave me quite a bit of other information about other happenings in the East End of West Allis which I'll be doing blogs on to help get this information out to the East End citizens. I believe that being informed on what's going on in the city and the neighborhood keeps a lot of misinformation and rumors at bay.

Sex Ed, In The Home...

Before deciding to write about this particular topic, I have given it much thought.  Regardless of what many may have to say, in the end, this may very well help one parent or child make a new decision regarding this particular subject.

I saw in interesting show recently, Dr. Phil to be exact, and the topic was teens and sex.  On the show he had Bishop Jakes, and abstinence "counselor", a teacher, teens and parents.   It was quite an affair, and I listened to each side of the story.  Each person made a good point regarding teens and sex and I found it useful to use the show in my own home as a sounding board.

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Putting the X back in the church

Catholic church, My-Sugar-Na, Religion

(Side note - I added this first line after I typed the first four paragraphs and realized that I've diverted way off-topic.  But bear with it, I'll get there eventually.)
One of my favorite aunts will likely pass today.  Although (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Parents, as well as My-Sugar-Na, are taking this kind of hard, she is 81 and not-so-gradually over the last 10 years or so became less of the aunt I'd become fond of.  She became cranky and depressed, and she always had some physial ailment to prattle on about.  Over the past few years, I've been mourning the loss of that person.  Now as she prepares to enter God's Kingdom, I am more concerned for her five children and their immediate families as they prepare to bury both parents over the course of 14 months (my Uncle Vince had a massive heart attack right around Christmas 2006, and the day he died, I am sure my aunt died, too.  The Lord, however, wasn't quite ready for her until now).
The Auntie El that I remember was the type of person that - when she walked into a room - she held court.  Not in a stand-up comedian kind of way, but she just had that presence and that way to tell a story.  She would be going on about something, and she would get to a detail that she couldn't quite remember.  She would say "Jay (her nickname for my uncle), do you remember why my peach caftan - you know, the one with the yellow blossoms - got caught in the toaster oven?"  He would reply "It was because you were sweeping the kitchen floor."  She then would say with disdain "It was not!"  Then he would smile, shake his head, then join us in listening to the rest of her story.  Auntie El was also the one that introduced me to the fun of Latin Mass (when it was held in the chapel at the semniary)
My Uncle Vince had one of those government jobs that people look at and say "He got paid how much?  To do THAT?".  Then he retired quite young.  My aunt had mostly been a stay-at-home mom (because that is how it worked in the 50s through early-70s).  However, I do remember that she took a job waiting tables at the University Club... probably as much to get out of the house and socialize as anything.  Picture Rosiland Russell as Auntie Mame with Uncle Vince playing the part of Patrick Dennis (granted, my aunt looked more like Lucille Ball, but I've seen both versions of Mame and Rosiland Russell pulls off Auntie El far better than Lucille Ball).  Remember the scene soon after the 1929 Stock Market Crash and Mame was a clerk in a department store?  I could easily picture that as my aunt at the Club.  Mame had only been taught how to process COD orders, and walked the floor trying to get the customers to order COD.  I can see my aunt, having only been shown how to refill coffee, walking around the dining room with coffee pots chanting "Coffee!  I can refill your coffee" ("Ma'am, I would like another gin and tonic."  "Sorry, sir, I can only refill coffee!" she would say, gleaming.)
Another comparison to Auntie Mame is the scene near the end of the movie where Auntie Mame has this new platform furniture, and she is trying to impress company by raising the platforms with the cords that were located across the room as sort of a control panel.  The scene ended in pure hilarity as the cords got messed up, and some guests were raised to the ceiling and others spilled their drinks as the platforms went off-kilter.  A few years ago, she got a new walker with a seat attachment.  She then demonstrated all of its features (at one point, I expected her to put a few drops in the laundry to get my clothes the whitest).
While laying in bed this morning thinking about my aunt's last few days, I wondered if - as a devout Catholic - she had received her Anointing of the Sick (the current way of calling them the Last Rites).  I assumed that she did, and wondered if her parish priest, Fr. Lou Ferrigno (well, he really did look like him) administered them, or if another hospital priest took care of that sacrament. 
And then it hit me like a flash of lightning.  Jesus Christ himself probably said "Its about time somebody thought of this!" 
Way back (like, in the 50s) the sacrament was known as Extreme Unction.  What a way to get the younger kids back into the church... something EXTREME.  The church could call it X-UNCT.  Kids would be down with that, wouldn't they?
Granted, the Catholic Church would need a tag line, something like "When your Maker calls, make sure you answer TO THE EXTREME!  Call your priest and get down with the X-UNCT!"
I can imagine in a few days, when Auntie El is meeting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  St. P-Dog (as the young Heaveners call him) has got a voice like Duffman (from The Simpsons) and askes my aunt "X or not?  It takes an X-TREME sacrament to pass through these gates"  My aunt will respond "HEEAAAAAUUUUUGGG, X to the MAX!"
The Gates open, my Uncle Vince is waiting for her and takes her to their Heavenly living room where Jack Benny, Vi & Jerry Loper (family friends) and some guy that once knew the Ricardi's (more family friends) are sitting on the furniture.  Auntie El says "Sorry I am late, but ugh, that St. Peter.  Jay, I don't like how this furniture clashes with the china in the hutch." 
And Heaven begin to learn the joys of Auntie El.

ADOPTED! Big Yellow Lab (comes with ball)

UPDATE: JUNIOR WAS ADOPTED IN TIME TO CELEBRATE ST PADDY'S IN A NEW HOME!  HOORAY! (and time to buy stock in a tennis ball manufacturer)
Meet Junior. He may go home with that tennis ball because he seems to carry it everywhere he goes!  This handsome 6-year-old lab has silly puppy energy and always greets you with a smile.  And the tennis ball. 

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Get up, get up and get out of here... GONE!

Bowling, Naughty businesses, Taxes

The United States Bowling Congress made official today what I had predicted weeks ago... they are moving to the Dallas-area by the end of 2008.

  • 230 jobs?  Gone.
  • The income taxes and potential spending of those 230 jobs?  Gone.
  • Prestige as the Bowling Capital?  Gone.
  • The Milwaukee 7's credibility?  Gone

In the press release, the USBC has said that one of the attractions of Dallas was that this "bowling campus" was to be in close proximity to the Dallas Cowboys new stadium, the Texas Rangers stadium, and a Six Flags amusement park.  Supposedly, this would make it a "destination" that Milwaukee couldn't offer.

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Read the following article and comment

Free market, MLB

I will hold my comments to a later post.  I am curious what y'alls think of this (from the Cape Cod Times).

Major League Baseball plays hardball with Cape League

var isoPubDate = 'March 07, 2008'

The annual operating budget for the Cape Cod Baseball League is between $1.5 million and $2 million — not much more than the yearly salary of a backup infielder in Major League Baseball.

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"MUST HAVE........."

So, this morning I went to church.  Before the service began, they discussed a non-profit organization which I thought would be a great place to volunteer.  It was a really great morning and I saw some old friends.  I can honestly say it lifted my spirits and gave me some new insight into life.

 After church I decided to head to the closest mall to walk around and get something to drink.  I am more of a window shopper than anything.  There are not too many times when I feel I "need" something at the mall.  If you find me at the counter with a new purchase, you can bet it is something that is on sale, marked down or last season.  Even if the latest greatest technical item is on the market, my initial thought is, "I can purchase that next year for a fraction of the price" and I wait.  By the time it does go on sale, the initial excitement has worn off so I usually end up forgetting it was that I thought I had to have.  I remember when DVD players came into our lives.  I never thought I needed that as well.  What is so funny is that I ended up having 3 within a year, given by friends and family who had no need for the more than one they had purchased already.  Although I can honestly say I enjoy my DVD player, I never felt "less than" when I didn't have one.

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UPDATE! Mattie could TEACH a manners class

UPDATE! This sweet dog went home to a great family thrilled with their new companion!

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Need help with your NCAA bracket picks?


Want to win My-Sugar-Na's company's pool?  So does she.  Although she didn't ask me to, I decided to give her some help.  Looking at it, here are a couple of tips for filling out her (and your) brackets.
(For entertainment purposes only)...

Notre Dame "FIGHTING IRISH" vs. George Mason "PATRIOTS". Especially the day after St. Patricks Day, the drunken Irish should whop the crap out of the Patriots.  Take ND.

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Rumor has it……

I had the opportunity to stop at a recent rehearsal for Neil Simons Rumors. The scene being rehearsed was between the characters of Cassie Cooper and her husband Glenn.


The rehearsal was very pleasant to watch and enticed me to want more. We have some new faces in our cast of characters and some returning faces as well. Kudos to James Lentz Jr., Director and Katie Davis, Assistant Director for assembling a vibrant and strong cast.


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More Snow?!?!


I don't know about the rest of you, but I think Mother Nature has proven her point.  She's all powerful.

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ADOPTED! 8-month-old Lab Seeking Tennis Pro

Tinsel is a blast.  He's one of the funniest souls you've ever met and he thinks life is just awesome.  You'll feel such joy introducing this 8-month-old black Labrador Retriever mix to new situations and people. He will renew your appreciation for the little things - perfect blades of grass on which to munch, sparrows perched on telephone wires, the sound of the school bus turning the corner - Tinsel notices everything and is fascinated by anything.

Tinsel is looking for a guardian with a good arm and a big supply of tennis balls. Although if you don’t have any tennis balls, he would probably settle for plush toys, or Frisbees, or squeakers, or well, you get the idea. Tinsel loves toys! The only thing that Tinsel likes better than playing with his toys, is playing with his toys with you

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I support Simmons in '08

Milwaukee Bucks, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, NBA, Other blogs

Poor Larry Harris.  The underqualified guy with a nice hairdo is out as GM of your Milwaukee Bucks.

Fortunately, there is somebody who is probably equally qualified out there in Internetland, and one that is campaigning for the job.  Bill Simmons from and ESPN The Magazine.

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East End Growth

Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Pyramax Bank, Quaker State Steak & Lube, Rupena's, Six Points Area, State Fair, West Allis

The east end of West Allis lost hundreds of jobs with the closing of Allis-Chalmers, Pressed Steele Tank, Kearney Trecker and several other businesses. Now, these empty and, in some cases, torn down buildings are being revitalized. This area of our city has always been known as a blue collar section. Now, with revitalization, we are seeing and will be seeing more white collar jobs along with the blue collar jobs the area is known for. Many of us that reside in the area and even into the western areas are unaware of the job growth that is, has and will be taking place. For instance, take a drive down the 70th Street corridor heading north. Just past MATC on your left check out the new businesses on your left. Then take a turn right at Washington Street. Did you know that there's a hospice there? Did you know that Blue Cross/Blue Shield has office space there? More than 250,000 sq. ft. of the old Allis-Chalmers buildings are and will be revamped into some very cool professional office space and manufacturing jobs that will be paying a living wage for families. Rupena's has a small restaurant in that area too. All this job growth boils down to $180,000 in new taxable  value and the addition of over 4,600 jobs in the area. All of this growth spells property tax relief for the city.

If you happen to drive on West National Avenue check out the progress in the Six Points area. The lofts, condos and flats are going up quicker than the dandelions come up in the springtime. The Paradise Theater building comes with a lively past and is undergoing some changes again. Once upon a time it presented vaudeville acts. It used to have an orchestra pit and dressing rooms behind the stage. Then it became a movie theater and remained that for many years. Now its owned by a church group that wants to put a coffee shop in the front part that faces the Six Points.

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Mary Beth Topf, a West Allis resident and board member of The West Allis Players, is directing the musical, The Pajama Game, for Falls Patio Players.  Mary Beth has cast West Allis Players member Art Carter as Pops and recruited West Allis member and board member Ruth Caves as the stage manager.


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ADOPTED! Murphy's a barrel of lovin' sunshine

When you meet Murphy, you'll fall into a laughing fit.  This dog is such a happy, exuberant fellow that his enthusiasm for life is contagious.  He has a stocky golden body, dense coat and always-wagging tail.  At 8-months-old, this Labrador Retriever/Chow Chow mix is at a great age. Murphy loves to meet new people and eagerly eats up all the attention he can get.  He's fond of stretching out on the floor to invite a belly rub, too! 

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Birding, anyone?

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