Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Six Flags Adds Sleeper Cars To Its Roller Coasters For Passengers Who Prefer More Restful Ride

Reported at The Onion.

On the other hand, wouldn't it actually make sense to replace the old-timey perimeter railroad with steam engine, like the Scenic Railway at Six Flags Great America, with a roller coaster along the lines Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Journal Sentinel responsive, but less so than Rip Van Winkle

"The Milwaukee Journal retired the Green Sheet in 1994. Readers have been calling for its return ever since.

"You talked. We listened! The Green Sheet is coming back on Monday, May 25th!"

So says a full page ad, on white newsprint but with green background, on the back page of section A of today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. (Here's the Green Sheet's Wikipedia entry.)

There was also an article attempting to explain the revival.

"'Our readers have never stopped asking us to bring the Green Sheet back, even after 21 years,' said Journal Sentinel Editor George Stanley. 'Many readers, including some in their 30s, told us they learned to read through the Green Sheet; they wrestled their brothers and sisters over it; their parents read it with them before they could read on their own. Many also missed the lighter side of daily life the Green Sheet offered.'"
So why was it dropped? My impression is the editors regarded the Green Sheet as too provincial, too Milwaukee in a Laverne and Shirley sense. I suspect they'd also hear this from staff and subscribers who had moved here from elsewhere. All the Green Sheet had going for it was that it was popular with subscribers and readers who grew up with it, which wasn't enough since the paper regarded them as too Milwaukee, as well. [Update: see my earlier post on GS editor Wade Mosby.]

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

PC to Chromebook: uploading files

My new Chromebook works fine, but to be a PC replacement, I need by files available from it. Which can be daunting when one has been accumulating files for 20 years.

Google provides an overview of Transitioning from other computers to a Chromebook, but on some topics it's pretty general.

Step one, if one doesn't already have one, is to open a Google account.

Step two is

"Migrate your files

"You probably have a bunch of files stored on other computers at home. Install Google Drive on your Mac or PC and download your essential documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Then find your files in the Google Drive folder that is conveniently built into the Files app on your Chromebook."

Which appears to mean by download to copy files documents to the Google Drive folder on one's PC, and they'll be available on the Chromebook. [Update: here's how to Install Google Drive on your Mac/PC.]

Having a long-established website, I have a lot of web pages on my PC. I edit them offline and can proofread them offline before uploading them to my web host. Google says one can Host webpages with Drive by selecting the Share option (button) on a web page in Drive. What I'll need to investigate first is how to preview web pages in Drive using a web browser.

Over many years, I've accumulated a lot of digital photos on my PC. Derek Walter anticipated my question, Save Photos in Google+ or Google Drive? As of a couple years ago, at least, he suggested activating any available the Instant Update feature on a smartphone, which will put the photos in Google+. Presumably that would be the place to copy photos already on a PC, as well. After any editing of the photos, he then copies them from Google+ to Google Drive.

Contemplating the potential move of at least some of thousands of audio files lead me to Arpit Kumar's suggestion on how to Transfer Files To Chromebooks from Windows, Android and iOS by installing the Intel Easy Migration extension to the Chrome browser on both machines. My PC and Chromebook both have Intel processors, so I've done this.

Now it's just a matter of "pressing the button" and hoping I'm not overwhelmed by the transfered files.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Template for weekend TV reporters

"(Name) was (killed/shot/stabbed) tonight by his (brother/father/son/sister/husband/wife/friend) in an argument over a (card game/drug deal/woman/family dispute)."
-Carol Larson

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The once and future Rectory?

Two weeks ago our parish Parochial Administrator (not yet formally made Pastor by our Archbishop) included with the bulletin this letter about a possible Capital Campaign. And in doing so he says,
"I wanted to introduce into the conversation the possibility of reclaiming part of the Rectory building for housing."
More on that below.

The possible campaign stems from two issues, the condition of the Outreach House, which had been the Rectory, and the mortgage balance. Both the Rectory conversion and the mortgage came out of the parish building project early last decade.

That project, you might recall, also included a new Day/Adoration Chapel. Its proposed design was, from my perspective, the bait that got me to pledge for the first round of that capital campaign. And the switch to construct it to a very different design (see as-built photo) was what got me to not pledge or give to any subsequent rounds of capital fundraising. As I've said, fool me once, etc..

You might also recall that our Parochial Administrator not long ago announced that the Chapel would be rearranged to better accomodate Eucharist Adoration. (see second photo) This rearrangement is essentially that shown in those architects renderings around 15 years ago. So what could I do; even though there was then no campaign, I started sending in checks designated for the mortgage.

A lesser bitter taste had been left by the closing of the Rectory as a residence for priests in connection with that circa 2002 project. For a very brief summary of how that came about, see the later part of my June 28, 2005 post and my comment to it. When I joined the Parish Council in 1996, there was already an evaluation of the parish's use of its buildings in progress. This included consideration of possible changes in the use of the Rectory building, then occupied by two priests and some parish offices. There was not, as far as I can see, a parish decision to convert the Rectory to other uses. And a proposal to demolish it as part of the circa 2002 building project drew enough objections (including from me) that the building remains.

That bitter taste wasn't just from seeing "how the sausage is made", here someone's desired result of not having a Rectory as such at St. Al's. It was that a priest-tenant not assigned to our parish would otherwise have continued to live there, and within a few years a new Associate Pastor was surprised to learn it was not available to live in. As far as I can tell, we might have had four priests living in it now if it had remained a Rectory.

In his letter, our Parochial Administrator went on,

"It would be my dream to be back in residence at St. Alphonsus. The parish is my family and I would love the ability to live in the family home. Therefore, some of the options that the Finance Council will present to for our consideration will include space for several priests to rent from the parish, still leaving room for vital ministries critical to our mission."
I see that our Pope made a point of encouraging our priests to live simply. Owning a home, or even a condo, and commuting to work never struck me as simple compared to living in a parish rectory. Given that there had been that push to demolish the Rectory 15 years ago, it's hard to believe it's essential for office space today, other than than offices for the priests.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Chromebook arrived today

HP, 4gb, 14 inch screen, refurbished.

Will this be the beginning of the end of the frustrations of Windows and PCs?

Or will these be replaced by new and different frustrations? If so, it was priced low enough to be, in theory, disposable.

Step one, I have to find time to turn it on.

Friday, March 27, 2015

And then there's Maudy Thursday

From our parish bulletin for last Sunday.
"Maudy Thursday—The Last Supper

"Jesus understands his time on Earth is nearly over. He gathers his friends and followers (his 12 Disciples, including saints John, Matthew, Mark and Simon—the men who went on to describe their experiences with Jesus in the four gospels, which feature in the New Testament of the Bible) together to share a final meal with them—the 'Last Supper.' ..."

It's attributed to, and quoted from the Maundy Thursday section of this post, at NetMums.

Might make a good catechetical 'What's wrong with this picture' exercise.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Taking a plane trip, and flying

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sophocles 'Oedipus at Colonus' at UWM March 26th

David Mulroy writes,
"there will be a dramatic reading of my new verse translation of Sophocles' last play, Oedipus at Colonus, at 7:00 pm on Thursday, March 26, in Mitchell Hall 195 performed by members of the Vanity Theatre Company under the direction of Erik Ebarp."
Mitchell Hall is on the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee campus on the northwest corner of North Downer Avenue and West Kenwood Boulevard, 3203 North Downer Avenue. (see map)

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Physician group starts urgent care clinic in Franklin

Guy Boulton reported at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on a new local business started by Dr. Eric Adar and 13 other emergency physicians.
"Last week, the 14 physicians opened popcare, an urgent care clinic at 6501 S. 27 St. in Franklin, becoming the most recent entry in an increasingly competitive market.
[...]
"The 14 physicians who are investing in popcare initially will staff the urgent care clinic, but they plan to hire physician assistants and nurse practitioners trained in emergency medicine."
While it's common for Franklin residents to find it more convenient to take their business to a neighboring community, in this case the clinic location is on the border with Oak Creek and two blocks from the border with Greenfield and Milwaukee.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Newsmakers: Sen. Mary Lazich

Video at WisconsinEye
"On March 4, 2015 senior producer Steve Walters spoke with Senate President Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) about the current legislative session."

Friday, March 6, 2015

Slow-developing Hampton hotel in Franklin now expected to open in spring

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"The $12 million, 100-room hotel at 6901 S. 76th Street has been under construction since November 2013 and was initially planned to open by last fall.
[...]
"'We hope to have the hotel opened by the end of April or the first part of May,' Schaefer [Lance Schaefer, president of Everest Hospitality, and project manager] added.
[...]
?Schaefer also anticipates that the hiring process will begin by early March and employees will be ready to go mid-April."

Friday, February 13, 2015

Ah, capella

The February 1, 2015 column by our Pastor Parish Administrator brings news of a couple more small steps.
"On Fridays in Lent, the parish will offer the Stations of the Cross. This beautiful devotion is conveniently scheduled at 7:00 p.m., right after our excellent Fish Fry. In order to do this devotion, we needed to move the Stations into the Church (they had previously been in the chapel.)...
As you might expect, this being a modern adoration chapel, the stations were a few feet apart. It was almost as if this devotion was an afterthought, or even that someone wanted to discourage it.

Even more surprising...

"Since the stations are moving out of the Chapel, we also thought it might be a good time to try something new in that space. So, you can expect a slightly different look. The walls will be patched and painted, and the furniture that is already there will be rearranged."
Could this mean rearranged so that the seating will be perpendicular to the long axis of the room, with the altar at what would have been regarded as the front of the room? That's how it was portrayed on the architectural drawings that induced me to contribute to the capital campaign that included building it. I was a bit chagrined when the room as built had the altar on one side of the room, with the seating then facing that side. By chagrined I mean this was a factor in my discontinuing pledging to church fund appeals. I don't mean stopped giving, just stopped pledging. Fool me once, etc..

Perhaps these changes will be steps toward de-chagrining.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Franklin considers resident's request for dog park

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"[Jeremy] Affolter pitched the idea to the Franklin Parks Commission last December.
[...]
"But the parks commission does have a good idea of where the facility should be located: Southwest Park, which does not exist yet but is on the docket for development, under the city's forward-thinking [sic] recreation plan.
[...]
"The CORP [Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan] proposes the Southwest Park be "an approximately 350-acre regional park comprised of the existing 165-acre Milwaukee County-owned Franklin Park and an additional 175 to 200 acres to be acquired by the city of Franklin."
I haven't read the 274 page plan. A pond with a little beach, deep enough for canoeing, kayaking, sailing dinghies, maybe with winter skating, would be nice to have someday.

Update: John Rasche has since reported that an Informal poll to gauge interest for Franklin dog park. Mayor Steve Olson had the online poll posted.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Of 21 oak trees selected, only six to be saved during South North Cape Road work

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"Last year, the Franklin Common Council agreed to spend $50,000 in order to save 21 trees along the road that were endangered by reconstruction [by Milwaukee County].
[...]
"'The idea was to save 21 trees, but that was done … before the designs were complete, and before we knew how much it was going to cost to save those trees,' said City Engineer Glen Morrow.

"Morrow said that in order to save all 21 trees, the city would have to spend $150,000 under the final calculations ... .

"'We worked with the county to try and get it down to within your budget and these (six) trees were the most significant,' Morrow said.

"The final cost to save those six trees comes in at around $38,000, including $20,000 in fees for additional county engineering resources that were used to construct the multiple road designs.

"'It was hard for me to spend $50,000 on (saving) 21 trees, and I can't support this much for just six trees,' said Alderwoman Janet Evans. ...
[...]
"The council approved the South North Cape agreement with the county in a 4-1 vote. Evans opposed the motion."

Thursday, January 22, 2015

The streetcars of old Milwaukee

An article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel anticipating yesterday's vote to delay consideration of the proposed downtown streetcar included this map of the Proposed streetcar route. It shows the initial route, route extensions, and potential future extensions.

Some critics have applied the term '19th century' to the proposal. While the streetcars would be modern designs, not what are called Heritage or Vintage, the routes do bear a resemblance to those of Milwaukee Streetcars - 1892.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Why a Generation of Adoptees Is Returning to South Korea

Maggie Jones's essay in The New York Times included this on one such adopted child.
"In Franklin, Wis., a largely white suburb of Milwaukee, [Laura] Klunder attended a Lutheran school where she was taunted by one boy for years: 'Why is your skin so dirty?' 'You look like a black Barbie.' 'Did you fall in the mud?' Her parents had good intentions and, Klunder says, 'were loving in more ways than they were not.' But they didn’t acknowledge how central race was in their daughter’s life. 'My parents told me they didn’t see color,' Klunder said. 'They couldn’t engage on that level.'

"When I recently talked to her mother, she said: 'I could see how upsetting certain things were to Laura. But I said, You can’t let these things bother you so much; there will also be people like that in the world.'"

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Homeward bound: Victory of the Lamb, Kayla's Krew move closer to making new facilities a reality

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now on this collaboration.
"Construction for the new church facility is slated for summer 2015, with a tentative grand opening in November.

"Victory of the Lamb's new home on West Loomis Road will also pave the way for Kayla's Krew playground, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to building an all-inclusive playground in Franklin."

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hickory Grove Apartments proposal stands still after alderwoman abstains

John Rasche reported at Franklin Now.
"The area selected for the apartment complex is designated for residential, single-family homes under the city's current comprehensive master plan. However, city staff has claimed more than once that the designation was intended to be for multifamily developments since 1998.
[...]
"Because the master plan amendment was not approved, the council could not vote on further zoning items related to the apartment complex proposal — an announcement that received applause from the project's opponents, who had believed their battle had been lost."

Monday, January 12, 2015

Candidates file for spring election in Oak Creek, Franklin, Greendale and Hales Corners

John Rasche and Heather Ronaldson reported in Franklin Now.
"No positions on the Common Council will be open for the spring election. ...

"Incumbents Janet Evans and Aimee Schlueter will run for re-election on the School Board. Residents Jeff Lewis and Jessica Kent will run for the two open board seats as well."