A bunch of thoughts have been swirling around my head lately -- none "blogworthy" on their own, but collectively better suited for another "Larry King" style rambling monologue. Enjoy.
I can't remember a weirder Wednesday in Milwaukee than yesterday. Obviously, the spring snow "storm" enveloped the whole day in disarray, but once again the TV weather forecasters grossly overstated the amount of snow we'd get. I heard nine inches from a few stations, and from my office, I still see green grass poking out through this dusting of white stuff. I'm trying to imagine what OnMilwaukee.com would be like if we got our information wrong as frequently as TV weather people do. It would be like announcing that a Beatles reunion was coming to Summerfest, when in reality it was just Kenny Chesney again. I certainly wouldn't boast of "live, local and late-breaking storm team coverage to keep you and your family safe in times of threatening weather," or whatever each local station bills itself as.
That said, the weird wintry weather makes me think that we've broken the planet. Sure, it's snowed in Milwaukee in May, but the increasingly bizarre weather patterns we're witnessing across the country can't be a good omen. Did you see the waves on Lake Michigan yesterday? It really reminded me of what I saw living on the East Coast.
Then, there was the spectacle of the Indians-Angels game at Miller Park. I went to Wednesday night's game, and more than 16,000 atypical fans joined in the fun. I say atypical, because this group wasn't rooting for one team or another. They cheered for individual plays, but also sat strangely quiet during most of the action. And as a Miller Park regular, I must say that this group didn't look like the usual crowd at a Brewers game. It seemed like more families and kids and people soaking in the good seats they don't usually buy for a mere $10. I saw the fast wave and the slow wave make its rounds through the stadium several times -- not your typical Brewers game behavior anymore. The Indians also brought in that drum-banging dude, who was sitting in the right field bleachers with his wife (presumably). They were the only two people out there, and when the Tribe smoked a homer to right, the drum dude's wife calmly walked over and picked up the ball. Truly surreal.
Intriguing or not, however, I decided I would rather be watching Brewers baseball after the fifth inning of American League action. My friend Bill and I headed a few blocks west to the 4th Base, which was strangely lively for a weekday. There, we received an honest answer to the question that everyone asks about this gourmet sports bar: How the heck do you set your prices? In a nutshell, we were told that you just need to talk about it first, since there isn't really any menu. An individual chef will make a portion however big or small he wants if you don't discuss it. That's why some report of extremely expensive meals, while others don't see the big deal. So just ask before you place your order, and if it seems too much, then scale it back a little. Done and done.
I'm still trying to decide whether or not I like the new 88.9 Radio Milwaukee. This morning, I heard Cheap Trick, Codebreaker and Gomez. Other times, I've heard Phish followed by Manfred Mann. I think the format without a format is interesting, but this station is all over the place. And I can't put my finger on their DJs. Yesterday, I heard one of their jocks poetically delivering his spiel, actually rhyming out his playlist. At first, it sounded cool and unique. But then he kept going. And going. This morning, "Chatty Kathy" was even more loquacious. For a station without commercials, there sure is a lot of talking. I'm not sure I enjoy the random "check it" and "word" and "yo" thrown in every few sentences, though I love hearing songs I've never heard on Milwaukee radio. Admittedly, there might be a reason for that, too.
The other day I noticed a ridiculous misspelling on the little flags that grace the lightpoles in Bay View. They all say "Bayview." OK, come on. I'd maybe excuse that typo if it was written by people who don't live in that neighborhood or don't know how to spell very well. But for something that was allegedly approved by a local government body or neighborhood group, it would be nice to spell the name of the neighborhood correctly. It's two words, people. And while I'm on that topic, your address isn't "Bay View, WI." It's "Milwaukee, WI." Think of how ridiculous it would be to address an envelope "Riverwest, WI" or "East Side, WI." Bay View ceased being its own village many, many years ago (1887, to be exact). Get it right.
Andy is the president, publisher and founder of OnMilwaukee. He returned to Milwaukee in 1996 after living on the East Coast for nine years, where he wrote for The Dallas Morning News Washington Bureau and worked in the White House Office of Communications. He was also Associate Editor of The GW Hatchet, his college newspaper at The George Washington University.
Before launching OnMilwaukee.com in 1998 at age 23, he worked in public relations for two Milwaukee firms, most of the time daydreaming about starting his own publication.
Hobbies include running when he finds the time, fixing the rust on his '75 MGB, mowing the lawn at his cottage in the Northwoods, and making an annual pilgrimage to Phoenix for Brewers Spring Training.