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We need more bloggers in West Allis

Development, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Other blogs, School Board, USBC Masters

(Picture me waving my finger at each of you in the international symbol of "shame on you".)

I have posted 11 blog entries since Aaron's last post.  12 entries since Steve posted last. 

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Christmas Already?!?

I love the holidays.  I can spend days at a time in the mall, lost in a fantasyland of Christmas lights and mechanical elves.  When I finish wrapping my gifts, I’m more than happy to help you wrap yours.  I try to make at least a few of my Christmas gifts every year and most of my Christmas cards.  Candy Cane lane is my favorite holiday destination, and decorating our Christmas tree will take all day (Christmas music playing in the background).


But I also love the holidays to remain where they belong…between November 22 and December 26. 


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My Veal Schnitzel is gone!

Restaurants, West Allis

Doyle's Milwaukee Inn (on 74th & Greenfield) closed over the weekend, and in its place will be an Italian restaurant.

Doyle's had quickly become one of my favorite restaurants since my family moved to West Allis.  In addition to their Veal Schnitzel, I liked their Hungarian Goulash.  But most of all, I was a big fan of the casual pace of the meal (never feeling rushed, and with each course being brought out separately), and the wide array of steaks, seafood and European dishes offered.

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From the Waupaca Front

Country roads, Vacations, Waupaca, Wisconsin diners

From the Waupaca Front Last weekend I went up to Waupaca again with my girlfriend. (Don’t insinuate anything into the word “girlfriend”, we are both very heterosexual.) She needed to close up her home up there for the winter. Just the usual things, set the phone alarm, put the hose away, bring in the ATV, lawn mower and boat motor batteries so they don’t freeze. She’s lucky to have good neighbors up there who keep an eye on her property during the winter. On the way up there my girlfriend asked me if I minded if we made a few stops before we got to her place. Since I’m always open to an adventure I agreed. Our first stop was at the Star Dairy in Weyauwega. This is a great local dairy. The milk somehow tastes fresher, the butter is creamier and their cheese is outstanding. I’ve tried their homemade brats and Italians too and they are great.   The second stop was for “farm fresh eggs”. She pulled into the driveway and there was a small log house which almost looked like an outhouse or a hut for kids to wait for the school bus. Inside was a small refrigerator with eggs and a box to pay for them. All transactions on the honor system. Somehow I don’t see that flying down here in the city.  Then we stopped at a vegetable stand that had pumpkins, squash and Indian corn. The honor system was employed here too. That just amazes me. What is different about the people up north that they can be trusted to comply with an honor system?  Methinks, down here, someone surely would rip off the money box or steal all the merchandise. Our last stop was at a lovely craft store just outside Waupaca and perused their stock. I bought a votive candle infused with bergamot oil. I was also amazed at how green everything still was up there. Most of the summer birds have gone south, although the jays and cardinals were still in full force.  The squirrels have been busy too. At the bottom step of the deck there were a gazillion shells from the nuts they harvested. Those pesky Japanese beetles that pass themselves off as ladybugs were everywhere too. How they get into the house is beyond me. Probably come in on our clothes. On Sunday evening the neighbors came for dinner. We enjoyed the meal (stuffed pork chops, squash and homemade apple crisp). Afterwards, Chrissy had us both laughing and squealing with her story of the mice jumping out at her and landing on her shoulder while she was cleaning out a box of pots in her potting shed. Her husband, Lee, then told us of the mice nests that he “disposed” of in his workshop. And, I thought I had it bad when my cat catches a mouse on the odd occasion. The weekend went all to fast as usual. Since I live on a busy street, the quiet up there is truly appreciated. I’m a night owl normally and up there I was in bed by 11 pm and I slept all night too. Must be something in the northern air! On the way home we stopped again at the Star Dairy for our stock to bring home and in Lomira we found Suzie’s Home Cooking. A very friendly diner that advertises home cooking which we found out was true. I’m looking forward to stopping there again, maybe for breakfast on the way up to Waupaca in the springtime to open the house up for the summertime.


Do you want to see me with my 42" waist in a Speedo?

Blogger's Clip Show, NFL, Star-Spangled Banner

You must be kidding.  There is no way I would try to squeeze myself into a Speedo, much less get a photo taken of such an event, much less post it.

So why did you look?

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I went YouTubing again

Nostalga, YouTube

Some days are just made for surfing the internet.  With the Bears/Oakland tied 3-3, and Cinti beating Balto 6-0, this was the day.


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The perfect musical?

When theater veterans (both performers & audience members) are asked what they like or dislike about Musical Theater, one of the comments that seems to recur quite often is that they don’t like them because the songs interfere or intrude on the story.  Having directed dozens of musicals these past twenty years, I find myself agreeing with that statement.  When I selected Fiddler On The Roof to set on my high school students this fall, I was considering those very statements.  Fiddler was the exception to many of the musicals written in the 60’s & 70’s.  It achieves what most musicals of this period didn’t do very effectively – that being telling a story that truly captures the essence of this period in history with honesty, integrity, and sentiment. It uses the music to move the story forward with that same honesty & sentiment.  It also presents some wonderful characters with a level of depth that current playwrights should use a reference.

The Fiddler production being presented at West Allis Central High School on Nov. 9,10,16,17,18 will encompass a cast, crew and orchestra of nearly 100 students & faculty.  There has been an incredible amount of support by parents, local businesses, and the staff of Central High School that should not go unnoticed.  It is that kind of backing that will ensure the future of theater for these young people.
It truly has been a labor of love for this Director. It still remains one of my favorite shows and truly is the perfect musical…

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Regarding the East End of West Allis

affluence, East End, prejudice, riff raff, Starbucks, Target, West Allis, West End

Recently there was a response to one of our bloggers regarding the status of various neighborhoods in West Allis or 'Stallis as some call it. The insinuation was that the East End wasn't quite as "good" as the west end is. I blew it off at first, but have had some time to think about it and now, I'm seriously irritated. The comments had to do with the idea that the East End was full of crime, riff raff and that most of the people who lived in this area just weren't in the same class as the rest of West Allis. I take offense at this.

 I've lived in the East End for 40 years. I've seen many changes over the years. Increased traffic on 60th Street, fewer factories, less taverns, some very good restaurants located here and a lot of new housing. In my neighborhood, most of the houses are owner occupied and well taken care of. We all know each other and watch out for each other. We're not afraid of letting our kids play outside and ride their bikes on the side streets. Families have come and gone in my area and I'm very pleased to see that a lot of young families are moving into the area again. NOT everyone is poor nor are they riff raff as was insinuated in the response to Steve's blog. He writes a good blog and is often right on the money in his opinions. We have government workers, military, insurance workers, teachers and self employeds. That's not riff raff as far as I'm concerned.

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Believe it! A community that freezes spending in mid-year.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Reno, School Board, Taxes

Since I've been to Reno five times (and Reno isn't really that big) I know the city well enough to occasionally glance at the Reno Gazette Journal and read some of the local news.  For example, when the Mitzpah hotel burned down in October 2006 and killed 12 people, I knew exactly where that hotel was located.  This past summer when fires threatened Lake Tahoe's southern shore, again, I knew the affected area and now check in on the reconstruction of the area.

Today, trying to kill off the last five minutes at work, I surfed over there and read the headlines.  I was intrigued by one, titled Washoe board freezes 5% of budget spending.  I read it, because earlier in the day I had read on JSOnline that the Milwaukee County board overrode most of County Executive Scott Walker's vetoes.

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Oh, craps

Craps, Gambling, Las Vegas, My-Sugar-Na, Reno

As much as I would hate to turn away readers, if you don't know much about craps, this entry might be hard to understand.  But please, try to follow along.

For years, I've wanted to learn how to play craps at a casino.  Pre-Potowatomi, one of my best friends, I'll call him Pete, would drive to the Chicago riverboats every week for a game.  Pete was pretty cool about it, too.  He would crow about his wins, but he would also tell about his sometimes huge losses.  When I asked him how to play, he would always say that he would show me "the next time we were at a casino".  Invariably, the next time we would be in a casino together, he would start throwing $5 cheques all over the place and I couldn't keep up with him.  I would try to interrupt with a "why did you do that?", but before he could answer, the dice were rolled and he was either collecting or making another bet that I didn't understand.

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Remembering one of our own

We, the West Allis Players, would like to extend our sympathy to the family of Jack Strawbridge. Jack was a member of the Community Theater family for many,many years. He worked extensively with Falls Patio Players, but the West Allis Players were fortunate enough to have him as musical director for our 2006 production of "Fatherhood." He was a teacher as well as a director and those of us lucky enough to have worked with him will never forget the experience. Every exit is an entrance and Jack is making his on a heavenly stage right about now!


While the West Allis Players have a few months before our spring show, our Children's Series is just gearing up. These shows are one-hour productions scaled down for our younger audience members -- but are great for every member of the family. By keeping the running length down, we are able to present whole shows that hold children's interests and give them a great introduction to the theater.
We open with "Cinderella" on Sunday, December 2, presented by the Tosa Teens. All our children's shows are held at Nathan Hale High School. Show time is 2 p.m. Admission is $3 for children and adults.
The rest of our Children's Series line-up is as follows: "A Mid-summer Night's Dream" by The Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa's Children's Theater on January 13 and "Tigers in Traction" by Concordia College on February 10. All show times are at 2 p.m. and tickets are sold at the door.
When the weather turns cold and snowy, bring the kids inside for an afternoon of laughs and excitement. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to experience live theater!
Happy Thanksgiving!!!

What's your M/$?

M/$, Nostalga

As we all know, everybody goes mental over the "miles per gallon" of his or her car.  Car companies tout their mileage estimates.  Consumer Reports and various other websites say that by keeping your car tuned up and tires inflated, you can increase your gas mileage.

Great.  But I don't have gas mileage in my wallet (Side note, I don't actually carry a wallet.  My duff is big enough without another two protruding inches.)

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The holiday season is rapidly approaching – again.  Maybe it’s just me, but the years seem to be passing more quickly then they did during my youth.  As those years have flown by, I’ve learned to be thankful for what I have instead of moping about things I haven’t achieved.   

I’m thankful for every experience in my life, good or bad, because everything I’ve been through has molded the person I am into someone I’m proud of.  I like myself a lot more now than I did 20 years ago. 


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Did you notice the lack of an explosion around State Fair on Thanksgiving Day?

Cooking, My-Sugar-Na, Television

I successfully deep fried my first turkey Thursday... ON MY FIRST TRY!!!!

First the disclaimer.  I don't like the taste of turkey.  I don't know when I decided that, but it was sometime in my early adulthood, probably when eating a sub sandwich, thinking "I could be eating real meat".  (Side note;  I could start my own lsit of culinary no-nos -  turkey, the looks/smells/taste of ketchup, margarine, milk, eggs, baked chicken and a host of others.)  Anyhoo, at some point I decided that I didn't have to eat turkey, and so I've made first the Devil Reincarnate, and now My-Sugar-Na, make a ham for me on Thanksgiving to go with the traditional turkey.

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The 14th Commandment

Cooking, Religion, YouTube

Moses appeared on Mt. Sinai with - not two - but THREE stone tablets.  Unfortunatley, as accurately depicted in Mel Brooks' "History of the World, Part I", as Moses descended the mountain, he dropped one of the tablets, and watched in shock as the tablet broke into pieces.

Recently archeologists have uncovered numerous pieces of this third tablet.  Erosion has not been kind to the stone and biblical scholars are trying to decipher God's thoughts as they relate to four of the five newfound commandments.  Amazingly, the part of the stone that contained the 14th commandment has been found completely intact.

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I feel obligated to post about the NFL Network not being on cable

Free market, Green Bay Packers, NFL, Television

I kind of feel the same way about this as I do about smoking...

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