Highlights from Milwaukee

>I spent the first half of this past week in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for work. The highlight, by far, was Monday night, when I went out to dinner with Jon and Ruth Jordan, they of Crimespree Magazine fame. We met at the Motor Restaurant at the Harley Davidson Museum and basically had the place to ourselves on account of the big snowstorm that had been blowing through the city all day. After our meal we went back to their house and talked books, writers, music, comics, and a whole bunch of other stuff.

These two people are well-loved in the crime/mystery fiction community, and for good reason: they are just great folks. Immediately we were jabbering away like old friends, and it was a perfect way to spend a long evening away from home. That is something we spoke of, in fact, that this particular community of artists is so supportive of one another, and are generally every bit as cool in person as one would hope them to be. I really had a great time hanging out with them, and look forward to doing so again.

No, they weren’t dressed this fancy; I swiped this image off the ‘net because I didn’t take pictures while we were hanging out

I can’t figure out how to embed the video, but if you go to THIS PAGE and scroll down a bit you will see a little video interview with them. You’ll also get a glimpse of their huge library of books that fill shelves in every room of their house. I referred to it as a Temple to Pop Culture, and that ain’t far from the truth.

Other Than That. . . .

I’d already put in a full day’s work at the customer site before meeting Jon and Ruth. The weather had been fine the previous day, Sunday, when I went out for a drive in the countryside (and stumbled into Lake Geneva, home and resting place of E. Gary Gygax, and the birthplace of Dungeons and Dragons!*). Monday morning it was snowing steadily, and bare streets were beginning to get covered pretty well already. It snowed all day, and must have piled up in excess of six or eight inches. Here is a shot of the customer site, and up the street where it was located.

It was a cool, if roughish, neighborhood. A pretty tasty Mexican restaurant was just down the street. I had lunch there on Monday, then went back for dinner on Tuesday.

This restaurant was just down the street; I loved the signs painted on the wall a few blocks down.

I played with the navigation thing I downloaded onto my phone, where it guides you around via GPS. That was kind of fun. The wonders of technology.

If work hadn’t been something of a hassle I would have liked to spend more time checking out Milwaukee. It was beautiful with all the snow, and kids sledding down hills around several parks my navigations took me by. I visited Mystery One bookstore, but would have liked to explore even more. Hopefully I can make it back in summer some time. Julia has some family property just north on Washington Island which we keep talking about visiting. Perhaps one of these summers, sooner than later, we can head up there, with a day or two to check out Milwaukee as well.

One Other Thing. . . .

Last week I was in Chicago, and this one I was in Milwaukee. As many of you may know, the NFL season has wound down, and the Chicago Bears play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to decide who will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. It has been fun listening to both sides of the debate on the local sports radio stations — this is the oldest rivalry in football, and it is heated. I almost regret that I won’t be able to see the game! I don’t really care who wins, all I know is whoever does win is who I’ll probably be pulling for in the Super Bowl.

* I kinda hoped I’d wrap up early on Tuesday so I could head back to Lake Geneva and explore the D&D aspect a little more, maybe find where Gygax is buried, etc., but things didn’t work out. Maybe next time! It was still cool, though. When I was in junior high, Lake Geneva was one of those places I desperately wanted to visit, because it seemed that all that was cool in the world at the time was originating there.

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