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Scams cloud the apartment hunt

Time flies when you're having fun – and walking into a job right in the midst of March Madness.

Needless to say, it's been an adjustment the last couple weeks trying to learn on the job here at while trying to get around town and meet people.

There are still some folks I need to introduce myself to, but so far everyone involved with the Brewers, Bucks, Wave and Mustangs as well as Marquette, UW-Milwaukee, Wisconsin and UW-Whitewater have been great.

The same goes for all of you – everyone reaching out regarding the Squad Six story, as well as on Twitter and Facebook have been very welcoming. I thank you for that.

The Big Move will be happening soon as it looks like we've found a place here, which is a relief. As most renters know, finding a new apartment can be exhausting. It's true when they say it's a good market for us, but there's still a lot of bad out there, too.

Last I wrote about that process I was nearly losing people's pets but fortunately, I didn't have any such issues at different showings. But, a new problem popped up - nearly one third of the listings I found were scams.

Here are a couple of my favorites:

One person didn't even try, saying they lived in the UK and was the only one with a key and, you know, if I just sent my deposit over they'd send the keys right over – sight unseen.

Another listing included multiple photos and a detailed description of the place, but didn't publish an address. The "landlord" wrote a lengthy reason for this, citing vandalism of the property. So, to keep the place safe, he wanted potential renters to provide information for a "soft" credit check just to make sure, you know, they were on the up and up. But it seemed like a sweet deal – as long as you didn't have more than three evictions. Four, and you were out of luck.

The third listing also had pictures and a nice description and an address, but the contact number listed was a fax number. My wife and I emailed the landlord separately, a…

Novak's teammates love "the belt move," and have also imitated the NFL MVP's signature touchdown celebration.
Novak's teammates love "the belt move," and have also imitated the NFL MVP's signature touchdown celebration.

Will Novak do Rodgers' belt move?

Will he? Or won’t he?

These were the tough questions for Steve Novak before shootaround this morning at the Bradley Center.

For weeks, a New York Knicks security guard kept after the Marquette and Brown Deer High School alumnus about breaking out Aaron Rodgers’ championship belt celebration after he a made a 3-pointer.

For weeks, Novak resisted.

Then, on Feb. 19, in a nationally televised victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden, Novak couldn’t help himself. The 6-foot, 10-inch forward had just drained his fourth 3-pointer of the fourth quarter and broke out the move as he turned up the court.

"It just kind of happened that day," he said.

Sure enough, the Green Bay Packers quarterback took notice and shot a message of encouragement to Novak over Twitter.

Novak's teammates love it as well, and have also imitated the NFL MVP’s signature touchdown celebration.

"I stole it from him obviously," Novak said of Rodgers. "Then in the Dallas game, I did it and it just kind of took off from there. Because it is my Wisconsin association and I am such a big Packer fan, I thought it was cool but then it just took off on its own. It’s kind of just become something that’s really funny. To have Aaron Rodgers tweet me and say he was a big fan of that kind of thing was really cool."

A Bucks fan his entire life who works out locally in the offseason, will Novak make the move tonight if he hits a big three?  

"Whenever the time calls, it’ll come out," he said with a smile.

If the time does call for it tonight, how will the hometown fans react?

On one hand, you’ve got your native son making his only regular season appearance this season, honoring one of the Packers’ greatest players. On the other hand, it means he’s making baskets against the Bucks, who are t…

Trivia at Brocach has become a favorite of's newest staffer.
Trivia at Brocach has become a favorite of's newest staffer.

Trivia and Bucks make a good day

Well, one night in and I almost found someone willing to mix the Wu-Tang Clan and Seinfeld. Almost.

During trivia Wednesday night at Brocach, one round was dedicated to the show about nothing, while Snoop Dogg made an appearance during the "name that tune" round.

(I say "almost" because I rarely go to public places where hip-hop and Seinfeld are even discussed, let alone featured. So that counts as an almost in my book.)

Afterward, it got me thinking: I don't have another lifelong quest at the ready to pick up should I find someone (or some group) that loves Wu-Tang and Seinfeld as much as I do.

So, while I would've been immensely happy in that moment to discuss The Contest and "Bring Da Ruckus," some sadness surely would have followed.

And, thanks to some very smart teammates who have proven time and again to know a lot about nothing, we finished in the money.

Buzzer beating thoughts: Caught the tail end of the Bucks 106-104 loss to the Chicago Bulls, too, which proved to be all anyone needed to see.

Ersan Ilyasova became a legend and Derrick Rose proved, again, why he's a top 5 player in the NBA.

Brandon Jennings did well to stay in front of The MVP and moved him help side, forcing the exact shot you want a guy to take in that situation - a hop back, off balance, 20-footer.

It's an incredibly low percentage shot -- but what can you do?

Tonight matters: Tonight is a big one for the Bucks, who currently sit three games behind New York for the eighth playoff seed in the East.

The Bucks are in NBA no man's land -- but  they're not the Charlotte Bobcats -- so make a run for that last spot and give Milwaukee postseason basketball. If they draw the Bulls or the Miami Heat in the first round, all the better for the basketball fans here.

Where the Bucks sit is not a fun place. They're not so bad they can draft an impact player, but they can't be called a Finals contender. Unfortunately those are the only two designations that matter in the NBA, and it's an awful space …

Hard at work on my first day at
Hard at work on my first day at (Photo: Andy Tarnoff)

Welcome to Milwaukee ... sort of

Welcome to Milwaukee! Welcome back to Milwaukee?

I wasn't sure quite how to feel about this, my first day as an staffer. I've lived in Wisconsin for two years, but never within the city limits. My wife has, however, so it was a second home to me for four years. I have great friends here, and places I frequent.
It has never felt like visiting, necessarily – rather, leaving and returning.

So, as I'm beginning the process of formally moving here full-time, it does feel a bit odd. It's new, but not really. It's definitely exciting, though.

This is my third go-round in acclimating into a new marketplace, but never into one as big as Milwaukee.

I was based in Naperville and Aurora (Illinois' second and third largest cities, or vice versa, depending on the census year), but of course I had to travel to Chicago to cover the major sports.

I can't count the days lost in the car commuting to venues in and around Chicago, but I can count the mileage on the two cars I've ever owned – 380,000 – so the prospect of being everywhere important (outside of Green Bay and Madison) within 20 minutes is completely foreign to me.

Needless to say, it's something I'm definitely looking forward to.

Like going to Miller Park yesterday – 10 minutes. Awesome. Managing Editor Bobby Tanzilo introduced me to Brewers media relations coordinator Ken Spindler, who toured me around the press areas in the stadium.

Interestingly, being there was far more comfortable than apartment hunting over the weekend. A press box is a press box, sports are sports. One apartment is always different than another though, and the stress level was definitely higher there.

One-on-one with Tiger Woods? Been there, done that – with some laughs, even.

One-on-one with a landlord, looking for water damage while accidentally letting the resident's cat out of the house? Been there, done that – but it's twice as hard.

Fortunately, the housing situation should be finaliz…