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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

Fri
Hi: 78
Lo: 67
Sat
Hi: 78
Lo: 68
Sun
Hi: 82
Lo: 70
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Happy birthday, leap year babies.
Happy birthday, leap year babies.

Feb. 29 birthday = forever young?

I was trying to explain to my kids why there’s an extra day of February this year. After freshening up on the facts via Google, I told them – in short – the earth doesn’t revolve around the sun in exactly 365 days, so we add a day – Feb. 29 – every fourth year to make up for it. If we didn’t, over time, it would fall out of sync and we’d celebrate Christmas in summertime.

This is interesting. But even more interesting to me are the people who were born on this day. There are about 200,000 leap year babies alive in the United States and 5 million worldwide.

Patrick McDonald, the father of OnMilwaukee.com manager of sales development Caroline McDonald, was born on Feb. 29, 1948. In real time, he’s 64, but according to the calendar, he has only celebrated 16 birthdays.

"I actually get one this year," says McDonald.

When presented with the most commonly asked question of leap year babies – "when do you celebrate your birthday?" – McDonald says he celebrates on both Feb. 28 and March 1 on non-leap year years (also called "common years").

For McDonald, the significance of Feb. 29 goes beyond his birthday. Feb. 29, 1968, was his first day in the Army and on Feb. 29, 2008, he retired.

"These are a couple of big things that happened to me on Feb. 29, besides being born of course," he says.

Kristalei Warner-Baskins was born in 1980, but as a leap year baby, she celebrates her 8th birthday today.

"I like having an odd birthday. It's fun to watch people have to think about it when they ask how old I am and I say 7, or as of tomorrow, 8," she says. "They think I'm crazy."

Warner-Baskins usually does not celebrate her birthday, but she did at age 21 and rang it in on both Feb. 28 and March 1.

"It does feel a little different for me just to know that it actually is the 29th. It's nice to know I finally will be another year older," she says.

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Get the rack you've always wanted.
Get the rack you've always wanted.

Win free, fake boobs

I get it: some ladies want their cups to runneth over, and if this is you, here's your chance to score some free cleavage.

Saturday, March 10, Bottom's Up Tavern in Butler, 12504 W. Hampton Ave., will host a casting call for "Thanks For The Mammaries," from 6 to 9 p.m. Five women will be selected during this initial event to compete in a six-week contest the winner of which will get $5,000 toward breast implants. (Does this cover the total cost? I do not know. Anyone?)

After the March event, the five selected women will guest bartend for Saturday night shifts between April 7 and May 5, and every dollar raised will count as a "vote" for the contestant.

After all five contestants complete their Saturday night shift, Bottoms Up will host a final "parking lot event" on Saturday, May 19, when the ladies will tend bar simultaneously. Whoever raises the most money after their two guest bartending shifts wins the boobs.

To find out how to enter, go here.

Flower and vegetable slayer.
Flower and vegetable slayer.

Squirrels are evil

I moved to a different neighborhood last April, and since then, numerous people have asked me if I have any complaints. Although I love my house and have had no issues with crime, I still have one major beef: the squirrel situation.

When I first moved in, I found it adorable and charming how these fluffy-tailed critters would actually sit on the deck railing and peer into my office window while I worked. But after living with them for almost a year, I have come to the conclusion that my dog was right: these nut nibblers are total a-holes.

Last summer, I planted a small garden. They ate everything they could get their freakishly-small hands on – even the jalapenos. So I re-planted in a pot with wire mesh around it. They knocked it over.

I filled two window boxes with impatiens and they jumped  – a la Rocky the Flying Squirrel – from my front porch into the boxes and dug them up. I planted them one more time, like a dimwitted Bullwinkle, and guess what? My window boxes served again as all-you-can-eat petal buffets for bushy-tailed terrorists.

As the summer went on, the situation got worse. They chewed a hole in my garbage cart and started pulling out crap from inside. They bring the rotting food or stale bread chunks onto the deck and eat it outside my back door. They've also eaten my kids' sidewalk chalk and are slowly (but consistently) devouring our grill cover. It's insane. Now I'm worried they are going to chew through my new roof and squat squirrel-style in my attic.

The nuns living on my block are contributors to the predicament. Yeah, you heard me: problematic nuns. These well-intentioned sisters go out into the alley, once or twice a day, and pour bird seed and other grainy feeds up and down the alley, nourishing the birds, the raccoons, the squirrels and whomever else with four legs and the munchies.

I have lived in urban neighborhoods my entire adult life, but never once was the neighborhood "problem house" filled with nuns. I am yet to get the …

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Circa 1880, whatcha got?
Circa 1880, whatcha got?

Updated: plans for Olive Pit space

A business by the name of Circa 1880 has applied for a liquor license in the former Marchese's Olive Pit space, 1100 S. 1st St.

Thomas Hauck, who was the chef de cuisine at Mason Street Grill, plans to open the bar and eatery in early May. The building was built in 1880, hence the name, but the menu will be very modern.

"We'll have vintage photos and maps on the walls, but the food will be very forward thinking," says Hauck. "The market will dictate the menu, which will be constantly changing."

Most of the menu items will be made with food from Wisconsin farmers. Hauck says Circa 1880 will also have a good selection of half bottles of wine so groups can experiment with different pairings.

"And local products like those from Great Lakes Distillery will be at the forefront," says Hauck.

The Olive Pit closed in December of 2011, much to the surprise of many longtime enthusiasts of the Walker's Point Italian restaurant.