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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 22, 2014

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We've had perfect weather for a car wash lately.
We've had perfect weather for a car wash lately.

Perplexing car wash prices

With the kind of weather we've had this year the idea of getting my car washed keeps cropping up.

Just the other day I went through a place, and I was struck by the various pricing signs outside. At the bottom end was a basic wash for $3.79. At the top was a wash with wax, under car and a bunch of other stuff. That one was $12.

Since I don't know jack about cars or things like that, it got me to wondering. Is it really worth the extra $8 to get the top-of-the-line wash?

I want to take care of my car and I want it to last. I hate it when it has a coat of dirt that looks like a shroud. But that $8 bucks is also important. At those drive-through places I have a suspicion that the extra money really only gets you more water.

I mean, how good a wax job can you get in one of those places. Does it even help the car?

From now on, unless convinced otherwise, I'm going for the basic wash under the assumption that anything else is just a frill that doesn't do a damn thing.

"The Artist?" No thanks.
"The Artist?" No thanks.

No attraction to "The Artist"

I love the movies. When you have kids, going to a movie becomes a logistical battle kind of like the invasion on D-Day.

But once the kids are gone, going to the movies becomes a regular feature of social life. Afternoon, evening, it doesn't matter. I love the movies.

I also love some lousy movies. "Sister Act" is an all-time favorite, but it doesn't make any top 500 movie lists.

I always use the Oscars and Golden Globes and SAG awards shows as a guide to movies. Not foolproof, but it's a guide at least.

I cannot, however, bring myself to go see "The Artist."

Everyone I know who is cool loves it. I think I ought to love it. If I want to be part of the in crowd then "The Artist" ought to be high on my list.

But a silent movie with cheesy music and cheesier costumes just isn't luring me to part with the bucks for this movie. I've read a lot about it. I've seen trailers and clips. I've even talked to people who think I'm odd because I'm not enraptured. So far, nothing can convince me to go.

For some reason I think it's about an era of movie making I didn't live through and that I don't have any particular reverence for.

Anybody want to give it a try, feel free.

Not your ordinary fast-food burger, folks.
Not your ordinary fast-food burger, folks.

Three chain restaurants that Milwaukee needs

I used to travel a lot and it was never on my own dime. I've been in almost every major city in this country, some outside the United States, and a whole lot of backwater places, as well.

Since it wasn't me paying for hotels or meals, I have managed to try restaurants all over the place. Many of them are forgettable. Some of them are one of a kind places that I remember with great fondness.

And then there are those that have multiple locations in multiple states. And it has gotten me to wondering why we in Milwaukee don't have some of these wonderful places. They are so good that I'm sure they would be real successful.

I know the restaurant business is a tough business and that Milwaukee has an extensive variety of places to eat. But some of my favorites would be a great addition. There are three restaurants I'd love to see here.

One is Ruth's Chris, the steakhouse you can find all over. Middleton (just outside Madison) has one, even though that boggles my mind. The restaurant chain is famous for the outstanding food and service that would make it a big hit here.

The second one is Legal Seafood, which is headquartered in Boston and which has locations in a number of states. If there is one food category that I think is under-represented in Milwaukee it's top flight seafood. Legal Seafood has a variety of menu items and the best crab cakes I've ever had anywhere. They try to add local fish to their menu in their locations and I'd love to see a great smelt dinner for example, in Milwaukee.

And finally, I'd love to see and In and Out Burger place in Milwaukee. Talk about simple. A small menu of fresh burgers and fries and shakes. I don't know what it is about these places, which started in California, but they now have almost 150 locations and eating there is an experience that you will long remember.

I'm sure there are lots of places I could add to this list, and I'd love to hear other suggestions.

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