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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Monday, Sept. 15, 2014

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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

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Monday August 27th, 2012 – Milwaukee, WI

   Living where I do puts me right in the middle between Milwaukee and Chicago, and it’s almost exactly equal in distance to the mile to get to downtown in either city. I have friends and contacts to maintain in both places, so no matter which direction I need to go I’m already halfway there.

   Today it was north to Milwaukee to rattle the cages of a few of my favorite people. It’s good to maintain contacts, but gas prices have made it necessary to squeeze as many meetings as possible into each trip these days. I used to be able to shoot back and forth on a whim, but not any longer.

   It’s a minor inconvenience, but not the end of the world. It just makes me have to plan my trips more, and that’s actually a good thing. It makes the most productive use of my time and gives me a goal and a deadline – two of the most important ingredients of getting any task accomplished.

   My first stop was breakfast with my cousin Wendy. She’s one of a precious few relatives I can think of that aren’t from the dark side of The Force. Her father and my grandfather were brothers so that makes us second cousins. She’s a total sweetheart and completely down to earth, and does what she can to not only make the best of her situation but make life better for those around her.

   She’s a great mom and now grandma, and one of the few people I can talk to about how totally insane our family situation was and is. I know we’re not the only ones in history to have endured family craziness, but ours is a special kind of warped. We’re both trying to let it go and move on.

   After that it was a meeting with my friend Lynn Miner. Lynn is a fantastic person, and we help each other on many levels. He’s a master magician, and took one of my very first comedy classes in 1994 to punch up his magic act. We hit it off immediately and have remained in contact since.

   Lynn was also formerly in a high position at Marquette University, and is now one of the very top grant seekers in America. He travels the globe giving lectures on how to get funds, and is the author of several bestselling books on the subject. Lynn doesn’t fool around. He’s the real deal.

   We always have productive brainstorm sessions, and today’s was no different. He comes to my situation with logical input and I put a little craziness and excitement into his. It’s a perfect fit for our natural tendencies, and we always come away with a fresh perspective on what we’re doing.

   After that it was a lunch with my old friend Drew Olson from 540 ESPN Milwaukee radio. It’s been way too long since we hung out, and he’s another one I can safely exchange new ideas with on a mutually beneficial basis. We’ve been able to help each other quite a bit through the years.

   I also met up with Russ Martin to scout out potential locations for both regular comedy shows and ‘Schlitz Happened! An Old Milwaukee Blatz From The Pabst.’ That’s another win/win if we can find a place to do it on a consistent basis. It has to be the right fit for everyone, and that’s the reason I made the drive. I wanted to get a feel for each place, and the only way to do that is show up in person. Since I was in town I thought it would be wise to make some rounds. And it was.

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