For six months out of the year lunch in Milwaukee looks like this!


I love music. I also like thoughtful news. So when I interviewed in Milwaukee a few years ago, I was curious to learn what I could find on the rental car’s radio.

I was pleasantly surprised!

After living here for three years, I am thrilled with the radio stations in Milwaukee (I say that as a person who has lived in a lot of cities!).  The radio stations in our city have turned my 1997 factory radio into a musical wonderland. Radio in Milwaukee is so good that I have not even bothered with using my iPod adapter. I just go with old school FM radio.

Here are my Radio Presets:

1. 89.7 WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio This is the NPR station at the University Wisconsin Milwaukee. During the day the station plays in-depth local, national, and global news. At night they play intelligent alternative music.

2. 90..7 WHAD Wisconsin Public Radio Oh yes we have two NPR options in MKE! This station offers quality programming from all over the great state of Wisconsin.

3.  88.9 Radio Milwaukee This is one of my all-time favorite radio stations. I love their quality eclectic mix of music (Wilco and  DeLaSoul in the same hour!). I also love that they include local musicians, and focus on community events.

4. 91.7 WMSE This is a non-profit radio station out of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. They have a number of volunteer DJs who really press the margins with fringe and experimental music.  It is the opposite of mass pop radio.

5. 102.1 Independent Alternative Radio When I need to hear something with a little more angst, I tune into this great station. They provide a nice mix of alternative tunes from the past twenty years

My family has a membership at an amazing fitness center  in metro Milwaukee. The Princeton Club has an outstanding facility, leading-edge equipment, exciting programs, great staff, and admirable leadership. The entire family fits the description of raving Princeton Club fans.

They could get a Sunday Shout Out post just for being such a fantastic club, but they are at the beginning of new campaign that deserves the full attention of the post, and your participation or replication. The Princeton Club has begun a campaign called the Million Pound Challenge.

Here is the Situation:

People need food and exercise to be healthy.

Some people do not have enough food.

Some people have too much food and/ or not enough exercise.

Here is a Solution:

People pledge a number of pounds that they want to loose, or a number of hours that they want to exercise, over the next five months.

The Princeton Club will donate 10 pounds of food to a local food pantry for every pound lost, or hour exercised, in that time.


I just love this idea. It meets some very real needs in the area, hunger and obesity. It also helps broaden the focus of personal fitness beyond self, which I suspect will make it more  fulfilling.

Please join me in shedding a few pounds and getting some food to those in need. My personal goal is losing 10 pounds by the end of May, which the Princeton Club will turn into 100 pounds of food for a local food pantry!!!

If you live in Madison or Milwaukee, sign up here.

If you live elsewhere, do it on your own or start a similar campaign!

We moved to this beloved city. 

I didn’t know it was on the beach.
I didn’t know about the beautiful country close by.
I didn’t know the people are genuine beyond compare.
I didn’t know what this church would be like,
what this job wold be like,
what this neighborhood would be like.
I didn’t know Trader Joe’s.
I didn’t know who our friends would be,
or how we would meet them,
or if we would like them.
I pretty much knew that I was moving state-to-state for the 4th time in our 6 year marriage.
I pretty much knew that we seemed to do nothing but find places and people and grocery stores and traffic patterns and home decor we loved,
and then we moved.

And for all I knew, this was yet another move.
Another job.
Another city.
Another big church where we knew no one.
Another dang fixer upper house that we would wait years and savings to finish and enjoy.
(And then maybe move again?)
Another neighborhood.
Another airport I’d get lost driving to. For months. And months.
Another set of losses replaced with set of hopes.
Another move.
But this time?
This time, we’re so happy.
It’s not perfect.
It’s not easy.
And it’s certainly by no means rote.

We have people.

A Grocery store. (Ehem, Trader Joe’s!)
A beach 15 minutes from our house.
A incredible running route.
A fabulous gym.
A great job. (Well, we both do.)
A great church that is choosing to love the world well.
And a city we call home.
They say it takes 2 years to find that. They’re right.
And it’s pretty nuts when you move again just as you find it.
But we’re lucky.
We’ve got friends from each stop, and we can’t imagine ourselves apart from the beauty they have shared with us, and the love they have made us better know.
And we have this life here now that’s not perfect.
But it’s fabulous.
It’s got Grace.
And of course, as I type it’s 11:07 pm and I just an hour ago found my daughter disassembling her 3rd generation adult desk by pulling out the screws with her fingers…
Our ample bit of crazy.
Here’s to those who have known and supported us along the way.
Thank you.
We love you.
We like it here.
We are grateful.


It has  been some time since I gave props to our fair city.

I have been too busy enjoying the city to write posts about it!

I am sure that I will have time catch up on writing posts when it is -10 outside.

However, before we get to winter (I actually do enjoy the first 2 months of winter.), we have autumn.


Autumn in Milwaukee is outstanding.

Quick visits to nearby apple orchards and pumpkin patches.

 Electric yellow, orange and yellow leaves.

A new school year’s excitement.

Crisp air.

Octoberfest (When in Milwaukee do as the Germans!).

Running and playing in piles of leaves.

Many of my friends who are native to Wisconsin claim autumn as their favorite season.

I am not there yet (Summer rules.), but autumn in Milwaukee sure is grand!




Lake Michigan is simply unbelievable!

Some of our geographically challenged friends did not know that Milwaukee was located on this great lake.

We are.

Unlike our larger and more famous sister city 90 miles south of us, we are actually able to make it to the lake without much fuss. Any point in the city is within a 15 minute drive to Lake Michigan.

The city has done a great job with developing a wonderful lakefront with beaches, museums, parks, festival grounds, marinas, the port, and trails – all aspects worthy of future posts. Most of those things are easy to get to and free to visit. I think that is great stewardship of this great resource.

Today though, I just want to celebrate the lake.

It is adventurous, calling us to the horizon.

It is daring, exploring all shades of blue.

It is exciting, brining new wave after new wave.

It is inspiring, showing us just how big somethings (outside of us) can be.

It is comforting, remaining just to the east of us at all times.

Much of our life, especially in the summer, revolves around trips to Lake Michigan.

In Milwaukee, we can squeeze a mini beach vacation into any afternoon. In fact, this post would have been up earlier today, but it was sunny and 82 degrees outside in April, which left us no choice but to visit the beach.

Lake Michigan is yet another reason why we love living in Milwaukee!


The view of Milwaukee and lake Michigan from Bay View on the City’s south side.

lake-mi-mke-winter-1Even in the winter, Lake Michigan proves an awesome sight!

For more great pictures of Lake Michigan – come visit Milwaukee, or search Robyn’s blog:

jim-holding-alterraRobyn and I moved to Milwaukee about a year and a half ago. We have been very very impressed! This is a great city! In an attempt to give Milwaukee her props (proper respect) I will occasionally write a post about something great about this city.

I am leading off strong with Alterra Coffee.

Alterra is a local independent coffee shop chain here in Milwaukee. Alterra puts first things first – for a coffee shop that means great coffee drinks. The beans are top quality, and they often have baristas who compete at the national level. In addition to great drinks Alterra offers very good food at reasonable prices. The atmosphere is hip yet comfortable, and it includes great music and free WiFi. The chain also has a sense of social responsibility – most products are organic and fair trade and they use renewable energy sources.

To some it up: – this place is simply amazing. I will go as far as to claim that Alterra is probably the best coffee shop chain in the nation. Now I know that all of the Pete’s Coffee fans will protest this claim, but I dare you to give it a try. Simply fly me out to CO or CA, and I will bring the Alterra coffee beans! You could also visit Milwaukee, or place an order at the site below.

This place is so good that my wife, a native southerner, told me in the middle of winter last year (imagine wind chills at 30 below 0) that we could never move outside of driving distance of an Alterra.

Here is the link: