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Day 2 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

State Fair, West Allis

I heard one of those commercials on the radio on Friday that sure is a noodle scratcher.

The lady's part was one who was a total ditz.  She is talking to a man about a Fair that she is throwing in her backyard.  She is making cream puffs, and a neighbor is putting together a band.  She is doing this because of the price of parking and gasoline to get to the State Fair makes it too expensive to go..  The insinuation is that it is cheaper to make homemade cream puffs and hire a band to play in your yard than it is to drive to and park at the fair.  Then the male voice (or narrator) mentions that she could have taken a shuttle bus or freeway flyer to the Fair.

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Day 3 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

State Fair, West Allis

What a glorious day in the near-State Fair Park area!  About 78 degrees, low humidity, a nice breeze... kinda makes me wish I was at the Fair today.

The neighborhood was far busier both last night (Friday) and today (Saturday).  It is possible that the slowing economy is having a positive effect on the State Fair.  Some families may not have a lot of money in the vacation treasury, so instead of driving to Six Flags St. Louis, or the Mall of America, or even the Wisconsin Dells, they are staying local. 

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My Celebrity Family

 Alright everyone, you heard me, I am going to fill you in on something.  I have a CELEBRITY FAMILY. 

You may be thinking, well, gosh Laura, I have never seen you on TV, the big screen or singing the national anthem at the ballpark.  What makes you a celebrity?  Have your kids been though Simon Cowell at American Idol?   I mean, give me a break, who do you think you are anyway?

This is the deal.  Listen up folks, you may agree with me when I am done.  A miracle could occur.

I am sick and tired of watching the news.  Nope, not the bad news.  That is a fact of life.  I am done with watching every waking moment of every person who has made millions of dollars on TV, movies or sports.  Why are we so obsessed with Suri, Shiloh and every other kid who has a movie star life?  I mean, really, when are we going to wake up and realize that these kids, and their parents are never going to be a part of our lives.  Let me give it to you straight.  We make them money, millions of dollars.  Yet, we will never get it back.  Nope, you heard me, your favorite star, the one you spend time dreaming about, doesn't even know who you are.  Never will.  And you know what, his or her life will go on. 

While we sit here padding their bank accounts and the Manolos on their feet, they move on to their next multi-million dollar mansion, WITHOUT YOU. 

I used to have a crush on Andrew McCarthy as a kid.  Yep, thought he was romantic.  Also had a thing for Mel Gibson, (oops, did I say that).  Rod Stewart is my favorite singer.  Of all time.  Go crazy at his concerts.  But, low and behold, I still have yet to meet one of them.  Didn't have enough for the back stage pass.

This is the deal.  While we focus so much on these folks, you know, the ones we obsess over, we are losing precious time with the people who are right under our noses.  This is usually a fact for me because I am 6'1" and everyone else is shorter than me.   Don't you think it's time we focus on doing something really outstanding for the people in our lives?

What makes us a celebrity family, you may ask?  Let me tell you.  In my home, there is not alot of "gifting".  I mean, sure, once in a while they get a new cd, movie or whatever.  But, this is not a daily event.  In my home, it is a gift to have somewhere warm, safe, and dry to live.  To be in a family where you love and respect eachother is the ultimate.  To make memories out of goofy things and be able to laugh, gosh, I cannot think of anything better.   We are celebrities because people look up to us.  We love being able to help people.  When you watch us, it's a form of entertainment one will never forget.  Sure, we might not have expensive vehicles, but our love far outweighs anything a car ever give you.  Spend a few minutes with my kids and your life will never be the same.  They are amazing young women and have truly made a difference in the lives of others.  Sounds like celebrity to me!

For their birthdays, well that is another story.  Last year, I rented a limo for my daughter's 15th birthday.  The girls who came to the party had never been in a limo, including my own.  It was a huge secret.  I told the girls to be dressed, makeup, hair, everything by 9pm.  I had the curtains closed until then.  When 9pm came, I opened up the curtains.  There out in front of the house was a stretch limo.  I told them to look outside and they freaked out.  They all went crazy.  They almost fainted.  We jumped in and cruised around.  The limo driver knew what he was getting into.  The girls would request him to stop at every one of their favorite places around Milwaukee.  He did as they requested.  He would get out, hold the door open for them, and hold each and every one of their hands as they exited the limo.  They truly felt like superstars.   It was a night that has and will never be forgotten. 

This is what I am talking about.  Each and every one of your family members is fabulous.  Ultra-fabulous for that matter.  Why not do something really special for your kids.  You don't even have to invest alot of money.  All they want is time, one on one time.   They want to feel like they are walking the red carpet of your heart.  Why not reserve a couple of hours one night, you know, the one night you usually just hang out watching TV anyway?  Focus your attention on them and only them.  It is important that this happen at least once a month.  If you have more than one child then enlist the help of your sister, mom, or whomever to take care of the other children while you focus on one. 

There is no time like the present.  With so many activities going on for summer, start today!  I have a special date with my daughters today at the State Fair.  We will go pig out, slide down the big slide and walk around.   We will have an awesome time, I can guarantee you that. 

Another great idea is to make a "magazine" cover with your son or daughter's picture on the front.  Title the magazine HERO.    I know there are places around town which do it for a very minimal price.  Then, create the magazine.  You can compose this on your computer.  Make it a project.  It doesn't have to be long, just a memoir and appreciation of the child you created not so long ago.  I bet your child will not only sleep with it under his or her pillow, but also take it to their special day at school. 

What I know is this.  Life is way too short.  Our loved ones are taken from us when we least expect it.  It is time we start living life to the fullest and not waste more on those who really do not matter.  Invest time in your kids and you will reap the rewards, especially in your time of need.   I mean, would you rather not live with one of your children than in a nursing home later?  I do!  I mean, if I changed them, the least they can do is change me... 


Day 4 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

Craps, Free market, Green Bay Packers, My-Sugar-Na, NFL, State Fair, Television, West Allis

A record setting day in the mobile child delivery system industry.  22 cars parked beat the record (of 21 cars set yesterday).  However to be fair, My-Sugar-Na and I made more money yesterday, as the "Demand is more than supply" theory set the pricing.  And to prove the free market works, today "Supply was more than demand", so pricing needed to be adjusted accordingly.  However as of tonight, we are 60% of what we made last year, with a full week to go.  My theory that more folks are taking local vacations seems to be bearing out. 

However, I did park two cars with Illinois plates today.  They were both good sports, however, none agreed to pay the "The Cubs can *** my *** tax.  They also wouldn't pay the $20 exit fee to leave my driveway.  Typical Cubs fans.

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State Fair Anyone?

My husband and I were at the State Fair yesterday -- it was a perfect day...maybe a little warm, but we had a great time.  My husband was a little miffed about the turn lanes blocked off and parking was a bit tricky, but that was the only dark cloud on the day. 

We have certain things on our MUST DO list every year.  I have to see the horse and pig barns, the pig races (did you see the racing ducks?  How cute!), ride on the Sky Glider, and we always go through the pavillion.  On our food list is always deep fried cheese and cream puffs.  It's like a ritual.  I can't go on the rides because they make me sick to my stomach which is a bit of a bummer for my husband, but vomiting in front of hundreds of people is not really my idea of a good time.

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Day 5 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

Fox 6, My-Sugar-Na, Restaurants, State Fair, Television, West Allis

On my way home from work this evening, driving east on Greenfield Ave., I turned right onto 86th St. to see what the parking situation was like.

Dead.  Very, very dead.  When I got to my block, there was not one car on one lawn... as a matter of fact, there was a parking space available on the street right across from our house.  Nobody was even outside waving cars in.  Was it the forecast of a hot, humid day?  Or was it the forecast of potentially heavy rain in the evening?

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Day 6 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

Free market, Milwaukee Brewers, Naughty businesses, State Fair, West Allis

No traffic in the neighborhood last night.

But I am intrigued by the scamming of State Fair tickets.

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Day 7 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

State Fair, West Allis

What an odd day on Wednesday. 

(Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Stepston, Grizzly, manned the parking flag (or more appropriately, teenaged the parking flag) yesterday afternoon.  At about 4:30, he called and said that he had parked three cars within a half hour.  Strange, because there wasn't even any neighborhood traffic the previous two days.  By the time I got home from work he had parked two more, and another two within minutes after I got home.  And then it stopped.

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"Play On!"

What happens when a theater group attempts to put on a show and has to deal with the author constantly changing the script? That is the premise for our fall show, "Play On!" The production is a funny look at the backstage antics of a cast trying to deal with an unreasonable playwright as well as a dress rehearsal fraught with problems -- in other words, a community theater's dream of a show!
Auditions for this comedy will be held at 7 p.m. August 18 and 19 at West Allis Central Auditorium, 8516 W. Lincoln Ave.
We will soon be announcing our entire 2008-2009 season as well as highlighting other shows in the area. Theater is such a fantastic experience and we hope you will give us a try!

Day 8 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

Milwaukee Brewers, My-Sugar-Na, State Fair, West Allis, YouTube

Once again on Thursday, autos were streaming into the yard between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.  I have concluded that it is because the neighbors are not yet home from work so our unpaid, underage staff gets a jump.  We parked nine cars (although one was my cousin, although she paid double the rate) before the signs came out in the neighborhood.  My-Sugar-Na and I stayed out until about 6:30, and decided that was long enough to head to the Fair ourselves.

Last year when we went to the Fair, My-Sugar-Na was ahead of the curve by buying her ticket from a nogoodnik in front of Walgreens (who had sold her a used ticket).  This year we had taken advantage of the Brewers Doubleheader Deal and had our tickets in hand since early-June.  We made that laborious trek quick hop, step and jump from our house to the Fair, and the fun began

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Day 9 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

State Fair, West Allis

Props to (Sponsor's Name Here)'s Official Stepchildren, Grizzly and Sloppy for parking 17 cars on the lawn with no parental assistance.

Due to a family situation, updates may not be to my high standards this weekend.  Bear with me and things will look better next week.

Day 10 - State Fair Blog done (Sponsor's Name Here) style

James family, State Fair, West Allis

The second Saturday of the State Fair has always been a gold mine for lawn parkers like me.  And this year was no exception.

Starting at 10:30 AM, cars started streaming into our yard.  Again, I am 3+ blocks from the southwest entrance, so if I am starting to get cars, imagine what residents on 84th between Greenfield and I-94 were doing!  Among those streamers, however, was non-revenue squatter Knobbleknees and my brother, Mr. Uncie (which actually was fair, as they resuced me from Arlington Park racetrack on Friday afternoon).

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High Prices, Less Money

ATM cards, bundling services, charge cards, coupons, energy costs, grocery prices, Milwaukee water, rent

Has anyone besides me noticed that their grocery bill has skyrocketed? Where are the days that I could get $50 worth of food and have five bags of food to show for it?  Today, that same $50 just might get two or maybe three bags of food. Food shopping is just the tip of the iceberg too. I won't even get into the price of gas, electricity and any other kind of energy that we just might be using. How do we manage? What do we give up? Where do we cut back? Here are a few suggestions that are working for me. I'm on a rather fixed income too.

Try bundling your phone, internet and satellite/cable services. You often can get some good deals even if they are only for a few months. Your circumstances possibly will change before the price does. If they don't, you certainly will be saving some money. The deals are out there, check them out and how they can fit into your budget.

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Endless State Fair segues into the endless Olympics

Free market, Olympics, State Fair, Television, West Allis

Thank you to everybody who expressed their concern.

Before I get into my rant on the Olympics, let me first, the wrap-up my State Fair commentary.

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Dental Care for Your Furry Kids


My oldest cat, Apollo, is on a twice yearly schedule for trips to the veterinarian.  He’s 14 years old (geriatric).  Seriously, the vet (or his assistant, I can’t remember which) called him geriatric a few years ago when they decided Apollo needs to come in more often than once a year.  It could be a clever marketing ploy, but I’m a softie when it comes to my babies.


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Metallica is Nirvana

I will try to be calm for this post, but it is very hard.  For that reason, this post will be very short.

Mandatory Metallica is on XM Channel 51 non-stop through September 30th.  Metallica is the best metal band in history by most measures; number of hits, longevity, concert attendance, relevance, whatever.

  • Sad But True
  • The Unforgiven
  • The Unforgiven II
  • King Nothing
  • Enter Sandman
  • Fuel (aka the Derrick Turnbow music.  Little did the Brewers know Turnbow = gasoline)
  • Hero of the Day
  • Nothing Else Matters
  • So What
  • Whiskey in the Jar-O
  • No Leaf Clover
  • Many more hits
  • Many songs I've never listened to.

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This is truly a rarity

This is one of the very few blog entries in which I am soliciting comments.

Fact:  Michael Phelps signed an endorsement deal with Frosted Flakes.

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My take on Phelps' Frosted Flakes endorsement

Free market, Olympics, Other blogs

I agree with most of the commenters of yesterday's post... Good for him.

The reason I brought this topic up was the numerous articles and blogs that I had read that all included comments from various doctors and nutritionists that commented that Wheaties is a far more healthful product than Frosted Flakes, like this and this and this and this and this and this.

I think the endorsement is fine.  Phelps should get all he can while staying legit (what I mean is Frosted Flakes is good, while an on-line porn site is bad).  Kellogg's is a business to make a profit, and apparently Frosted Flakes is a good brand for them.  Kudos to Phelps for getting a deal, kudos to Kelloggs for reeling in a big fish, and kudos to the responsible parents out there that monitor their childrens junk food intake.
Some junk food is good, and as long as the parents are teaching dietary balance and keep reasonable serving portions, I see no problem with this endorsement at all.  And about the parents that aren't montioring their kid's intake of sugarey cereal... well, that isn't Phelps or Kellogg's problem.

The End of Summer?

Autumn, fall, Indian Summer, Labor Day, Springtime, summer


I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a fan of winter and fall. So, while the fall colors are beautiful they signify that winter is coming soon. I love spring, the rains, the muddy earth and especially the first green shoots poking their heads out of the ground. When my daffodils and lilacs bloom I know for sure that spring is in full form.


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Didja ever get that feeling that the end is near?

Milwaukee Wave, MISL, Xtreme Soccer League

On May 30th, the Major Indoor Soccer League folded.  The speculation is that because the league by-laws allowed defunct teams to have an equal vote on all league matters (as long as they paid their yearly franchise fee) and by the end of last season, there were more former owners without teams than there were current owners with teams.  By folding the league and starting over, they ridded themselves of these owners without teams.

The problem over the summer was that the owners couldn't decide on how to reformat the new league.  At issue were the number of teams (of the eight remaining MISL teams, three were in the midwest [Milwaukee, Detroit and Chicago], four were on the east coast [Balitmore, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Orlando] and one in Mexico [Monterrey].), the calendar schedule and number of games, and the salary cap.  Also muddying the waters are that two of the cities - Baltimore and Philadelphia - may lose their arenas after this season.

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