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145 lbs. of Medications Collected!



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Bin Laden's Death Sparks Wave of Online Scams

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Not long after we learned about the killing of Osama Bin Laden on Sunday, May 1, scammers were hard at work trying to profit from the news.

Within hours, websites were built claiming to show "leaked", uncensored pictures and videos of the firefight that killed the world's most notorious terrorist. Within days, links had spread to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Today, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received an email from an "insider" wanting our help in smuggling Bin Laden's fortunes out of the country. However, they're all scams. We knew it was only a matter of time.

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The Wisconsin Humane Society (WHS) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a $40,000 grant from The Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust. The grant will fund Shelter Smart II: A Foster Home Network for Behaviorally Challenged Dogs. 

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Oh, Those Hats!

I didn't watch much of the royal wedding last month, but every newsreel of the event featured a number of shots of those hats worn by many wedding guests. You know the ones I am talking about -- Fergie's daughters wore two of the most outrageous styles. They are small, extreme over-the-top things wore jauntily on the front of the head.
Those designs were the work of Philip Treacy, who is supposed to be one of the hottest names in fashion today, millinerly-wise, at least. I remember watching a "Project Runway" competition and the contestants had to design outfits to compliment one of his hats. The judges, Michael Kors, Nina Garcia and Heidi Klum fell over themselves praising these creations and made it seem like they were the most important advancement to couture since the zipper. Any contestant who did not appreciate or gush over these hats enough were made to feel uneducated and fashion-backward. Really Heidi? That was high fashion?
Now that the entire world has seen and laughed at these Treacy styles, I think it may be realizing that while the Emperor may still have his clothes, he definitely has no hat. They looked ridiculous and the people wearing them looked like characters out of "Alice in Wonderland." Seriously, would any normal person chose to appear wearing one of those things willingly? They were like train wrecks; you just couldn't look away.
If SNL does a parody of the wedding, they will have every character, from William on down, wearing those stupid hats. Mark my words.
I honestly can't imagine that wedding did anything positive for Treacy's career. He can't continue to show those hats on fashion runways and expect the experts to view them with straight faces. There is no such thing as bad publicity? Not in this case. I hope Treacy has another career to fall back on.
We need some exotic head wear for the ballet scene in "The King and I," but I don't think we will be giving Philip Treacy a call anytime soon.    


Brief history (aka true story):  Approximately 5 years ago, I was on a dating website.  Exchanged a few mails, chatted on the phone, went on two dates.  Realized he wasn’t my cup of tea, moved on with my life, end of story?  NO!

Throughout the last 5 years, he has contacted me via various social networking sites.  “Would you like to go out again”, he emails.  “No thanks, I have moved on with my life, good luck to you!” I reply.  After numerous attempts, I reached the final straw.  “LEAVE ME ALONE, YOU ARE A STALKER, GO GET SOME HELP. IT’S BEEN 5 YEARS, GET A GRIP”, you get the picture. 

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Children & Pets: FREE Columbia Center Seminars at the new Saukville shelter!

The Wisconsin Humane Society Ozaukee Campus is proud to host Columbia Center for two special educational events:

Sunday, May 22, Introducing Your Baby to the Family Pet
Kim Rinzel, training manager from the Wisconsin Humane Society, will share tips and techniques on preparing your animals for your baby's arrival and their first introduction. RSVP for this event no later than May 18.

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Restaurants & Tipping

When we go out to eat at a non-fast food restaurant, we usually have a buy one get one free or buy one get one at 50% off coupon.  Or, we may have a gift card.  No matter what, we always leave a tip.  Lately, we have experienced great service, so we leave a 20% tip based upon what the entire bill would have been prior to the coupon or percentage taken off.   Just because we have a percentage off or "free" coupon or gift card does not mean that the good service goes unrewarded.  

If service is not good, we tip accordingly...or , we don't return to the establishment.

Hi, Ma! I'm home

Another spring, another trip to the USBC Open Championships in the books.  Won't you join me and My-Sugar-Na in reliving the first week in May?

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Don't blame me!!!!

Let’s argue about the beginning of time.  I say it happened in 7 days, you say it was evolution.  Whatever the case may be, chances are we won’t be in agreement on this issue any time soon.

How about religion?  I say that the right way is Christianity, you claim Atheism.  Add that one to our list of topics which cannot be resolved in a matter of minutes or hours. 

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Rabbit Wars

bulb, garden, landscape, lawn, parks, perennial, plants, spring, yard, tree, rabbit, pest, winter

I look out my front window seething, watching well-fed bunnies happily hopping all around my yard. Don't let them fool you - even though they are fluffy and cute, they are pure evil under all that silky soft fur and innocent demeanor.  Just ask Elmer Fudd and his friends – who have hunted and tracked their silly prey for over 70 years.  Bugs Bunny is less interested in escape than in driving his pursuer insane and can be heard to say (with casual unconcern), “What’s Up, Doc?”.  Well, bunnies, I will hunt you down, trap you all, and get rid of you – for the next 70 years if I have to!  You have eaten your last tulip just as it opens up – sawing off the flower stem with a diagonal bite and leaving the flower petals to dry up on the lawn in the spring sun.  To use your own catchphrase, "Of course you realize this means war!" This is not fun and games.  You seriously have to go.

All kidding aside, rabbits wreak havoc on yards, gardens, and parks where thousands of dollars of trees, shrubs, annuals, bulbs, and garden plants are eaten every year.  Besides munching on the flower heads and tender sprouts in the spring, they do the most damage in the winter when they are foraging for food to fill their nutritional needs.  Have you seen any areas where the bark of your shrubs or young saplings have had their bark scraped off not too far up the base?  Many times you can see where the hard packed snow provides a hill around the trunk that gives them ample access and the ability to stand up on their hind legs and reach as far up as they can. This is called “girdling”.  They girdle the saplings to reach the tree's cambium layer, a coating of sap under the thin bark that provides the tree with nutrients and acts as antifreeze.  Once the inside is exposed, extreme cold weakens the tree’s defenses, allowing it to freeze and inviting disease and pests to get in and kill it.  Parks, golf courses, and botanical gardens (not to mention home and business owners with yards) have to pay the price – replacing the costly vegetation.  This can be $50,000+ a year for a greenscape such as a golf course. 

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Many SNL alums have made the jump to the big screen with fantastic success and I believe Kristen Wiig will regularly be joining them soon. This talented comedienne is starring in a new comedy (that she also co-wrote) that is clever, fully-developed and laugh out-loud funny.
"Bridesmaids" is the tale of two best friends, played by Wiig (Annie) and Maya Rudolph (Lillian.) Annie's life is in a definite downward spiral -- she loses her bakery, her love life is reduced to "friends with benefits" status and she discourages all the customers she waits on in her new job as a jewelry salesperson. Lillian, on the other hand, is newly engaged and finds her life radically changed as she encounters the more lavish world of her fiance's boss. When Annie agrees to be Lillian's maid of honor, she is thrown in with a group of bridesmaids quite different from her. She struggles to make the best of it and tries to arrange the bridal shower and batchelorette party, but things just don't seem to work out the way she planned. The results are alternately harried, hilarious and heart-wrenching.
This could be branded a "chick flick" by some, but that is not quite the case. My husband laughed as much as I did. Plus, there is a real story here, not just a piece of fluff. No one's life is perfect and as these women get to know each other, each one reveals their secrets and sorrows. Also, on a real sad note, this is the last movie made by Jill Clayburgh, playing Annie's mom, a woman who sponsors AA members, even though she herself has never had a drink. Nice cameo for a great actress. 
This movie is set in Chicago and - wait for it -  Milwaukee. Wow, how exciting is that? Truthfully, it is not exciting at all. The movie has to be set somewhere. I have not watched the local news but I am sure that some broadcaster has led his or her segment with some moronic teaser such as:"Milwaukee is the star in a new hit movie" simply because this film is partially set in Milwaukee and they love to make a big deal about the lamest things. Sure this movie does mention Milwaukee a few times and has some stock photos of Milwaukee iconic landmarks --  the lakefront featuring the Art Museum, downtown with the Usinger's building, a few expressway shots with signs pointing to well-known Milwaukee-area destinations and a four-family apartment building located on South KK -- but that is the extent of the city's involvement. The film's other footage is obviously shot elsewhere. There is no real local flavor and no local actors anywhere. So yeah, technically, some of these people are said to live in Milwaukee, but it could be Anytown, USA. Seriously, that other movie could have been "Sleepless in Sarasota." Milwaukee here is just a place.
So forget the Milwaukee kinda sorta connection and go to see this film because it is worth the price of admission (even if I had to cover my eyes at the throwing-up scene.) But keep the kiddies at home. It is rated "R" for adult situations.
IN OTHER NEWS: The West Allis Players has just cast a group of talented individuals for "The King and I." I am directing and Steve Makovec, my partner in this blog, will serve as Assistant Director. This promisies to be one sweet ride -- we will keep you posted. The show opens July 15.

Tourist in Milwaukee Day

vacation, The Pabst Mansion, The Pfister, Milwaukee Coach & Carriage, Milwaukee, Tourist, Wisconsin

I've lived in the greater Milwaukee area for my entire life. Aside from a six month stint in Florida, Wisconsin is all I know. I love The Great North Woods, I've appreciated Door County, I've relaxed in Prairie du Chien, and I've learned about writing in Madison. I love the candy shop in Eagle River and the Taco John's in Waukesha. Wisconsin is where I've worked and played for decades.

That having been said, I'm not a big lover of downtown Milwaukee. I'm not sure why, but I get lost everytime I've attempted to get somewhere in the city. I get disoriented and can't remember which side of me the lake is on, so I'm never sure which direction I'm traveling. I've been to the museum, Summerfest and the Bradley Center, but I tend to avoid all activities that will require dealing with the one way streets, lack of parking and excessive amounts of traffic that I associate with being downtown.

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Squirrel War

bird, bulb, education, garden, lawn, pest, pets, plants, seeds, yard, squirrel

Move over bunnies, my next enemy is the squirrel.  These tree rats cause a lot of havoc in our yards, eating bird seed, digging up lawns, shorting out transformers, snipping off buds on trees and shrubs, and when populations are large they can also eat the bark on trees like rabbits do.

What bugs me the most about them are the saucer type digs they create all over my yard. And they are bold!  I would move the earth back when I found one and a few hours later they would be back with a new one!  These pint-sized archeologists are looking for history, which in their case is only last year’s history – nuts that they thought they buried.  I wonder how many they actually find?  I’ll bet the percentage is very low. If they could remember, there would be fewer holes in my yard.

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It's been a good run

When I look back at the past 43 or so years, I can say that I've done OK.  From surviving childhood, to being The Man at the former West Milwaukee High School to a decent bowling career and good family.

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WAPD Click It or Ticket Initiative

The West Allis Police Department will intensify its enforcement of the mandatory safety belt law during the annual Click It or Ticket mobilization from May 23 to June 5. More than 300 law enforcement agencies in Wisconsin are expected to participate in this year’s Click It or Ticket, according to Captain Bob Fletcher

“All too often when responding to a crash, our officers find people killed or seriously injured because they were not buckled up. That’s why we’re serious about safety belt enforcement,” said Captain Fletcher, “To save lives and prevent injuries, our officers will stop a vehicle and issue tickets whenever they see a driver or passenger not wearing a safety belt. Our goal is not to write more tickets but to convince people to buckle up voluntarily so that eventually we can reduce the number of preventable traffic deaths to zero in Wisconsin. But if voluntary compliance fails and people ignore the law as well as common sense, we will provide a very convincing reminder about wearing their safety belts.”

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1,000,000 CHANCES...

When does an individual comprehend internal pain?  Where do we learn to harm one another?  Is it via the family, television or video games?  When is it time to say “enough” to someone who may or may not apologize for behavior which has been acknowledged or confronted?  

If your mind is wired correctly, chances are, you know how to behave and treat others.

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It's a Beautiful Week in the Neighborhood

West Allis Ala Carte, Downotown West Allis

     What a great week to spend in Downtown West Allis! To kick off the month of June, we will be hosting Lunch on the Avenue starting Wednesday, June 1st. Enjoy your lunch hour by walking up and down Greenfield Avenue while purchasing a quick bite to eat and doing some lunch time shopping. Lunch on the Avenue will be held every Wednesday in June from 10 AM until 2 PM on Greenfield Avenue between 70th and 76th streets.

     In addition to Lunch on the Avenue, Downtown West Allis will be hosting the 4th Annual West Allis Ala Carte on Sunday, June 5th! From noon until 6 PM, come down to Greenfield Avenue and enjoy a variety of different food, games and vendors. We also have live music provided by broken and LeRoy Airmasater on our main stage. In addition to our Main Stage line up, our Variety Stage is booked with unique entertainment provided by The Miltown Treblemakers, After School Special, Denai's Dancers, Scoots Shticks, Wildcard Gymnastics and Heart of Harmony. As well as all the food, music and live entertainment, West Allis Ala Carte will have Bingo on the Hour in our Bingo Tent! Admission and parking are free for this event, which is a definite plus! Also, be sure to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to local food pantries. West Allis Ala Carte will be held on Sunday, June 5th from noon until 6 PM on Greenfield Avenue between 70th and 76th streets. Be sure to come on down to the 4th Annual West Allis Ala Carte to enjoy a day of family fun!

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Weather forecast

The way I look at it, using "Weather forecast" as a blog title is guaranteed to increase the amount of page hits.  Between my Vegas/Reno trip report (which I linked to in numerous other locations) and this title, maybe I can make up for the two months in which I didn't blog.

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What's in your closet?

If someone were to search through your personal belongings, what would they find?  A wallet, identification, credit card, possibly some change?  

How about your desk at work?  If you took a gander in mine, one would find files, books, CD’s, a newspaper or two, drink mix, soup and assorted odds and ends.  I also have some perfume for the just in case times.   Other than that, it’s pretty boring.

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Preparing a New Planting Bed

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I get asked often about how to start a new planting bed - for flowers, veggies, whatever.  We had a planting bed on the side of the house that got all day sun, and had very little growing there, so we decided to use it to grow tomatoes and peppers.  I documented the steps in pictures as we went through it. 

If you have a potential place you would like to start a new planting bed, look closely at the site.  Assess how much sun it gets, is the soil poor? Drainage good? Anything growing there already?  In my example, I checked the sun exposure at various times of the day to make sure that what I wanted to use it for would get enough sun.  Match the plants to the hours of sun it will get each day.  We wanted a good place for tomatoes and had very little sun in our backyard, so we decided to take advantage of the extra sun we were getting on the south side of our house. It's a small space, but you can grow quite a bit in a small space. 

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