If you specifically look for writers who share the same hometown as you, and you happen to live in the Milwaukee area, this guide will help you find some writers from your region. Whether you're looking to watch a movie, read a novel, or take on an air of superiority as you recite poetry, these authors have been found to have some connection to your local Southeastern Wisconsin world.

The general biography is from Wikipedia, and Real Wisconsin News provides the links to remain compliant with Wiki-rules, RWN has also added some commentary.

Jim Abrahams — director and screenwriter

Abrahams was born in Shorewood, Wisconsin to Louise M. (née Ogens), an educational researcher, and Norman S. Abrahams, a lawyer.[1] His family was Jewish; he attended Shorewood High School.

He may be best known for the spoof movies that he co-wrote and produced with brothers Jerry Zucker and David Zucker, such as Airplane! (for which he was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay) and The Naked Gun series. The team of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (also referred to as "ZAZ") really began when the three men grew up together in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He produced movies on his own such as Big Business, and further honed his skills in parody with Hot Shots! and its 1993 sequel, Hot Shots! Part Deux.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Abrahams

While Real Wisconsin News is real, we appreciate the efforts of folks like Abrahams and the Zuckers to make spoofs and parodies of those who take themselves too seriously, like OJ Simpson.

 

Joseph Anthony — playwright, actor, and director

Joseph Anthony was born as Joseph Deuster in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on May 24, 1912. His parents were Leonard Deuster and Sophie Deuster (née Hertz). Anthony attended the University of Wisconsin. He married Perry Wilson. He prepared for the stage at the Pasadena Playhouse from 1931 through 1935 and at the Daykarhanova School from 1935 through 1937. Anthony served in the United States Army in World War II from 1942 through 1946. On January 20, 1993, Joseph Anthony died at the age of 80 in a nursing home in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Anthony

Only question: why would someone with the last name Deuster (like Deuster's Lanes) change his name to something as boring as Anthony?



William Bast — screenwriter

William Bast (April 3, 1931 – May 4, 2015) was an American screenwriter and author. In addition to writing scripts for motion pictures and television, he was the author of two biographies of the screen actor James Dean. He was partnered in work and life to Paul Huson.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bast

Interesting to note that Bast was able to write two biographies about an actor who starred in three films. Wondering how many other biographies exist about Dean and how many more Scott Walker or Gene Wilder deserve.



John McGivern — actor and writer

John McGivern (born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American actor and writer, best known for playing Bruce McIntosh in the Disney film The Princess Diaries. and many commercials for companies such as Kohl's department store, Sears, and Philadelphia Cream Cheese. He is a graduate of St. Lawrence Seminary, in Mount Calvary, WI.

In 2010 he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement for Individual Excellence On Camera: Programming - Performer in the Chicago/Midwest region.

As a playwright, his work includes Shear Madness, a comedic murder mystery with audience participation elements, and several one-man monologue shows. He performed at the inaugural We're Funny That Way! comedy festival in 1997, and appeared in the festival's documentary film in 1998.

He is also the host of Around the Corner with John McGivern, a Milwaukee Public Television series in which he visits and profiles various communities throughout Wisconsin.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McGivern

If everyone for a decade gets excited about seeing the same local act over and over again at Summerfest, eventually it becomes an institution that will not go away, for better or worse. Arguably better than the BoDeans.

 

John Ridley — author, television and movie producer

John Ridley IV.(born October 1965) is an American screenwriter, film director, novelist, television showrunner and writer known for 12 Years a Slave, for which he won an Academy Award in 2013 for Best Adapted Screenplay.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Ridley

Showrunner?



Brian Jaeger — screenwriter, playwright

Brian Jaeger (born1975 in Milwaukee, WI) is an author, screenwriter, playwright, and satirist. His two collaboratively-written screenplays (Eighth Grade Ends and The Jeff Movie) and musical play (Philadelphia Store) represent his body of work in film or theatre so far. His writing also includes the Arizona and Utah adventure series and the Wild West Allis series. Brian is an author for several local websites, including his family blog (Satisfamily.com) and a satire news website (Real Wisconsin News). His entire portfolio of writing can be found at McNewsy.com.

Brian was born and raised on the West Side of Milwaukee, attending John Marshall High School and UW-Milwaukee. His subject matter is often local and personal, and he prides himself on being an everyday, normal guy who knows how to write about being an everyday, normal human being. Brian was a teacher for twelve years before being laid off as a result of budget cuts to education.

Planned projects include Mohican Falls High School--Going Falls Deep (the story of being a teacher in Wisconsin) and Arizona and Utah and The Search for the Gypsy Gold (a novel 10 years in the making). Because he spent many years trying to keep his writing separate from his teaching, Brian has only been promoting and publishing his work as himself since 2014.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Jaeger

This guy sounds awesome.

 

Richard Schickel — author, film critic, and filmmaker

Richard Warren Schickel (born February 10, 1933) is an American film historian, journalist, author, filmmaker, screenwriter, documentarian, and film and literary critic. He was a film critic for Time magazine from 1965-2010, and has also written for Life magazine and the Los Angeles Times Book Review. He currently reviews films for Truthdig.

Schickel was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Helen (née Hendricks) and Edward John Schickel.[1][2] He is featured in For the Love of Movies: The Story of American Film Criticism. In this 2009 documentary film he discusses early film critics Frank E. Woods, Robert E. Sherwood, and Otis Ferguson, and tells of how, in the 1960s, he, Pauline Kael, and Andrew Sarris, all young critics, rejected the moralizing opposition of Bosley Crowther of The New York Times who had railed against violent movies such as Bonnie and Clyde. In addition to film, Schickel has also critiqued and documented cartoons, particularly Peanuts.[3]

Schickel was a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1964. He has also lectured at Yale University and University of Southern California's School of Film and Television.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Schickel

You kind of wonder why someone would leave a gig with Time Magazine to go work for Truthdig. Then again, Real Wisconsin News was once an unknown online magazine looking for the hearts of readers.

Mae West — actress, screenwriter, playwright, named 15th Greatest Female Film Star of All-Time by the American Film Institute

Mary Jane "Mae" West (August 17, 1893 – November 22, 1980)[1] was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter, and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.

Known for her bawdy double entendres, West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the stage in New York before moving to Hollywood to become a comedienne, actress, and writer in the motion picture industry. In consideration of her contributions to American cinema, the American Film Institute named West 15th among the greatest female stars of all time.

One of the more controversial movie stars of her day, West encountered many problems, including censorship. When her cinematic career ended, she continued to perform in Las Vegas, in the United Kingdom, and on radio and television, and to record rock and roll albums. Asked about the various efforts to impede her career, West replied: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae_West

She seems legit.







Top Authors

 

David Backes — author; professor

David Backes (born May 14, 1957 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is an American author and professor, best known for writing a biography of Sigurd F. Olson. The book, entitled A Wilderness Within: The Life of Sigurd F. Olson, won the Small Press Book Award for 1998,[1] and received a positive review in the New York Times.[2]

Backes is currently a professor in the Journalism and Mass Communication department of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee.

While it's true that you should write what you know, if you do choose to write only what you know (Sigurd Olson in this case), does it make you a legitimate celebrity author or just a fan who keeps writing about the same thing. Anyhow, I should have cashed in on The New Kids on the Block when they were big and written a few biographies about them.

 

 

William George Bruce – author, historian, publisher, civic leader for Milwaukee Auditorium and Port of Milwaukee

William George Bruce (March 17, 1856 – August 13, 1949) was a Milwaukee author, publisher of educational, historical and religious books, and founder of the American School Board Journal. He was a noted civic leader for the Milwaukee School Board, the Milwaukee harbor and the Milwaukee Auditorium, and active in Milwaukee and state politics.

Just reading the list "educational, historical, and religious books" is boring. I'm sure his stuff is great, though.

 

Jack Finney — science-fiction and thriller writer; his novel The Body Snatchers was basis for movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Jack Finney (October 2, 1911 – November 14, 1995) was an American author. His best-known works are science fiction and thrillers, including The Body Snatchers and Time and Again. The former was the basis for the 1956 movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers and its remakes.

No complaints about Invasion of the Body Snatchers.Never read the book version, though.

 

Marguerite Henry — award-winning children's author, known for books about animals

Marguerite Henry née Breithaupt (April 13, 1902 – November 26, 1997)[1][2][3] was an American writer of children's books. Her fifty-nine books based on true stories of horses and other animals captivated entire generations. She won the annual Newbery Medal for one of her books about horses and she was a runner-up for two others.[4] One of the latter, Misty of Chincoteague (1947), was the basis for several sequels and for the 1961 movie Misty.

Let's be honest, if most of her books were about horses, most of the minds that were captivated were those of little girls. Unless there were cowboys shooting things off those horses.

 

Elizabeth Jordan – writer, journalist

Elizabeth Garver Jordan (May 9, 1865 – February 24, 1947)[1][2][3] was an American journalist, author, editor, and suffragist, now remembered primarily for having edited the first two novels of Sinclair Lewis, and for her relationship with Henry James, especially for recruiting him to participate in the round-robin novel The Whole Family. She was editor of Harper's Bazaar from 1900 to 1913.

Not sure how much she wrote of her own while editing and recruiting. However, she apparently shares a name with a porn star. My best porn star name using the pet/mom maiden name thing is Cody East. My wife is Sparky Quinn. Elizabeth Jordan, being a suffragist, would approve of my wife and my porn star names, and for that, we are eternally thankful to her and other like-minded women.

 

Brian Jaeger — author, satirist

Brian Jaeger (born1975 in Milwaukee, WI) is an author and satirist. He has published collections of short stories and satirical articles. He is also a best-selling author of educational lesson books and assignments. His writing includes the Arizona and Utah adventure series and the Wild West Allis series. Brian is an author for several local websites, including his family blog (Satisfamily.com) and a satire news website (Real Wisconsin News). His entire portfolio of writing can be found at McNewsy.com.

Brian was born and raised on the West Side of Milwaukee, attending John Marshall High School and UW-Milwaukee. His subject matter is often local and personal, and he prides himself on being an everyday, normal guy who knows how to write about being an everyday, normal human being. Brian was a teacher for twelve years before being laid off as a result of budget cuts to education.

Planned projects include Mohican Falls High School--Going Falls Deep (the story of being a teacher in Wisconsin) and Arizona and Utah and The Search for the Gypsy Gold (a novel 10 years in the making). Because he spent many years trying to keep his writing separate from his teaching, Brian has only been promoting and publishing his work as himself since 2014. However, his writing dates back to the mid 1990s, and some of his work had been published for nearly a decade under a nom de plume.

Here's an author with a little variety. Like when you go to the club, and you all dancin with only short girls, and then some volleyball-playin real-sauce woman comes in like she owns the place, and you know it's time to spike that; dig?



Ellen Raskin — author, illustrator, and fashion designer; recipient of Newbery Medal

Ellen Ermingard Raskin (March 13, 1928 – August 8, 1984) was an American writer and illustrator. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and grew up during the Great Depression. She was educated at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.[1] Primarily a children's author, she received the 1979 Newbery Medal for her 1978 book The Westing Game and a 1975 Newbery Honor for her 1974 book Figgs & Phantoms.

Raskin was also an accomplished graphic artist. She designed dozens of dust jackets for books for 15 years including the first edition of Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.[2]

Raskin's first marriage ended in divorce. In 1965, she married Dennis Flanagan, editor of Scientific American.[3]

Raskin died at the age of 56 on August 8, 1984 in New York City due to complications from a connective-tissue disease.

 Doesn't it seem like it should be the Newberry Award rather than Newbery? Not to belittle her talents; it's just that her award seems to be spelled wrong.

 

Peter Straub — fiction writer and poet; best known as a horror-genre author

Peter Francis Straub (born March 2, 1943) is an American author and poet. His horror fiction has received numerous literary honors such as the Bram Stoker Award, World Fantasy Award, and International Horror Guild Award.

 What we're all wondering is which is most prestigious as an award: the Brammies, the WFAs , the IHGAs, or the IGMTAs (I Gave Myself This Award). 

Neale Donald Walsch — best-selling author of Conversations With God

Neale Donald Walsch (born September 10, 1943) is an American author of the series Conversations with God. The nine books in the complete series are Conversations With God (books 1–3), Friendship with God, Communion with God, The New Revelations, Conversations with God for Teens, Tomorrow's God, and Home with God: In a Life That Never Ends. He is also an actor, screenwriter, and speaker.

This guy is awesome because he took something that he would have been executed for 500 years ago and made it something people wanted to buy. That's pretty cool, like Joseph Smith and Brigham Young cool.

 

Shauna Singh Baldwin — Canadian-born author currently living in Milwaukee

Shauna Singh Baldwin (born 1962 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian-American novelist of Indian descent. Her 2000 novel What the Body Remembers won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize (Canadian/Caribbean Region), and her 2004 novel The Tiger Claw was nominated for the Giller Prize. She currently lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her second short-story collection, We Are Not in Pakistan, was released in Canada in 2007.

Canadian - Quebecois - American - Indian (from India, not American Indian or from Indiana), and she wrote a book called We Are Not In Pakistan in Canada? If you don't find any of that funny, you're probably French or from French Lick. There probably aren't enough lines on the census to officially count her as a Milwaukee author.

 

Walter Wangerin, Jr. — author

Walter Wangerin, Jr. (born February 13, 1944) is an American author and educator best known for his religious novels and children's books.

 Not to accuse Walt in any way, but it makes you wonder if Christian Erotic Novels exist, besides The Scarlet Letter.

 

Stanley G. Weinbaum — science fiction writer

Stanley Grauman Weinbaum (April 4, 1902 – December 14, 1935) was an American science fiction writer. His career in science fiction was short but influential. His first story, "A Martian Odyssey", was published to great (and enduring) acclaim in July 1934, but he would be dead from lung cancer within eighteen months.

Some believe Stan is still alive, writing stellar online reviews of his one (and only?) story.

 

Richard Nelson Bolles — author

Richard Nelson Bolles (born March 19, 1927 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) is a former Episcopal clergyman, and the author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?

I guess we all hope he is a former minister because he retired, and not because he got rich from writing a book about job hunting and turned his back on God. It does make you wonder, though, if God was looking for a new job, how would that go? I'd smite the crap out of anyone who wouldn't hire me, but that's just me.

 

Antler — poet

Antler (born Brad Burdick; 1946 in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, USA) is an American poet who lives in Wisconsin.[1]

Among other honors, Antler received the Whitman Prize from the Walt Whitman Association, given to the poet "whose contribution best reveals the continuing presence of Walt Whitman in American poetry," in 1985. Antler also was awarded the Witter Bynner prize in 1987. Antler was the poet laureate of the city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for 2002 and 2003.[2] He is also an advocate for wilderness protection.

Part poet, part wilderness protection mascot. I feel sad that I've lived within a couple of miles of one of Milwaukee's most famous animal appendages without ever meeting him, unless he tans himself at the lakefront or drives around in black station-wagon with writing all over it. Maybe he spends his free time frolicking in the woods, daily reconsidering renaming himself as a singular part of a deer's head.

 

Todd Temkin — contemporary poet and cultural activist

Todd Temkin (born 1964) is an American poet.

Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Temkin has carved a niche as poet turned social entrepreneur and cultural activist. His poems are rich in humor, intimacy, and self-deprecating irony.

Temkin's poems startle the reader with "bursts of lucidity stripped bare of false poses and exaggerated gestures."[1] In a recent documentary on Chilean television, Temkin stated: "We live our lives weighed down by the burden of names and labels that society bestows upon us. For me, a poem doesn't come alive until it sets us free from such burdens."[2] Temkin's poems surprise us with their complex simplicity, breaking through the barriers that separate verse from oral speech."

The fact that Todd's poetry startles and surprises means that reading his work is kind of like going to a haunted house in October. You'd better be prepared, because around every verb, BOO, a guy with a chainsaw and a prepositional phrase! But he's not waving the chainsaw with exaggerated gestures because that would be false, apparently, after the initial startle and surprise. We're probably all lucky this poetry is not weighed down by the burden of extreme pretentiousness bestowed upon or by an obviously inferior-minded society.

 

Matthea Harvey — poet

Matthea Harvey (born September 3, 1973) is a contemporary American poet, writer and professor. She has published three collections, most recently, Modern Life (Graywolf Press, 2007), which earned her the 2009 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and was a finalist for the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award, and a New York Times Notable Book.

Is Graywolf Press related to the lodge in the Dells?

 

Alter Esselin Yiddish poet, carpenter, 1889-1974

Alter Esselin, (originally Orkeh Serebrenik) was a Russian-born American poet who wrote in the Yiddish language. He was born in Tchernigov, Russia on April 23, 1889 and died in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on November 22, 1974.[1] In fifty years of his life, he wrote and had published several hundred poems in such publications as Di goldene keyt,[2] Di veg, Kundus, The Zukunft or Di Tsukunft (The Future)[3] and many others.

One Wisconsin poet became Antler, while the other was called Alter. Unfortunately, most of us don't understand Yiddish any better than we understand deer language.

 

Carlotta Perry — poet

Carlotta Perry (1839 in Michigan - 1914 in Chicago) was among a group of premier women poets of the late 19th century. Her poems, children's stories, and short stories were published in many of the most read publications of the time including Harper's Magazine, Godey's Lady's Book and Lippincott's Monthly Magazine. Some of her verse can still be found today in Christian newsletters and even in an ad for a paint company describing their shades of white. Known mostly for her poetry, she was also a journalist and was active in many of the journalism and women's organizations during her working life.

She grew up in Watertown, Wisconsin where she worked for the Watertown Democrat. She moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and wrote for the Milwaukee Sentinel. She then moved to Chicago where she was associated with the Starret School for Girls. She worked on the women's building at the World's Columbian Exposition (1893) in Chicago.

Anyone who grows up in Watertown knows what it's like to want to escape for a better place. Luckily, Milwaukee is just down the road, but first you need to get through Ixonia, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Brookfield, and Tosa.

 

Brian Jaeger — poet

Brian Jaeger (born1975 in Milwaukee, WI) is a poet who writes accessible and meaningful poetry. He has published collections of poetry about humanity, education, love, and sports. He is also a best-selling author of educational lesson books and assignments, including creative writing assignments. Some of his poetry appears in his Arizona and Utah adventure series and Wild West Allis series. His entire portfolio of writing can be found at McNewsy.com.

Brian was born and raised on the West Side of Milwaukee, attending John Marshall High School and UW-Milwaukee. His subject matter is often local and personal, and he prides himself on being an everyday, normal guy who knows how to write about being an everyday, normal human being. Brian was a teacher for twelve years before being laid off as a result of budget cuts to education.

Because he spent many years trying to keep his writing separate from his teaching, Brian has only been promoting and publishing his work as himself since 2014. However, his writing dates back to the mid 1990s, and some of his work had been published for nearly a decade under a nom de plume. He has also participated and organized poetry showcases in front of large audiences. One of Brian’s main goals is to create poetry that revives the genre as something ordinary people will read on purpose.

I can't imagine wanting to read any other poetry on this list more than this. Maybe Carl Sandburg.

 

Carl Sandburg author, reporter, poet; worked as organizer for Wisconsin Social Democratic Party at headquarters in Milwaukee; met wife Lilian Steichen (Menomonee Falls) in 1907

Carl August Sandburg (January 6, 1878 – July 22, 1967) was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln.[2] During his lifetime, Sandburg was widely regarded as "a major figure in contemporary literature", especially for volumes of his collected verse, including Chicago Poems (1916), Cornhuskers (1918), and Smoke and Steel (1920).[3] He enjoyed "unrivaled appeal as a poet in his day, perhaps because the breadth of his experiences connected him with so many strands of American life",[4] and at his death in 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson observed that "Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America."

While Carlos might have been a social democrat in Wisconsin and have had the misfortune of choosing a wife from The Falls, he is not really a Wisconsinite any more than Ryne Sandberg or Jim Sundberg (except in 1984).

 

Susan Firer — Poet

Susan Firer ... (born October 14, 1948) is an American poet who grew up along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, WI. She was poet laureate of the city from 2008-2010,[1] and from 2008-2014, she edited the Shepherd Express online poetry column.

Due to the overlap in editing of the powerful poetry column of the Shepherd while holding the title of Milwaukee's supreme master poet, some people called for her to step down amid the controversy.

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Jacksonville News

New Jax Witty

Articles, reviews, advice, and legitimate research to go along with some back-handed comments. Think of us as Jacksonville's mother-in-law.
  • Does HOA collect police reports for crimes in my neighborhood?
    Someone on Nextdoor was asking this question, and I was tempted to respond that the only thing HOAs collect is money. The real responses to the question ranged from, "It depends on your HOA" to "That's not part of what an HOA does." While I can understand that crime is separate from house paint and green lawns, since crime is the #1 factor in property values, HOAs probably need to DO something when it comes to crime.

    I read that in a town in the Southwest, an HOA was being sued because a house that had been deemed a nuisance was not foreclosed on, resulting in a child being killed in a drive-by shooting meant for the residents of the nuisance house. I agree with the people bringing the lawsuit. If the HOA's sole purpose is to maintain property values, then people who bring crime to the neighborhood should be forced out, just like someone who might never mow the grass or  pay HOA dues. 

    When one of our neighbors brought two violent incidents to our block, I wrote to my HOA and to the owner of the rented house. I mentioned the lawsuit above to the HOA, and I told both entities that other neighbors had confirmed to me that the police showed up at the house several times before we'd moved in. I myself had seen a member of the household arrested a couple months before the violence. So three incidents in about four months, and I decided it was time for the family to move on. I never really received much of a response, but the family DID move out within a couple of weeks. Maybe the family realized it was time for a fresh start, but I'd like to think that getting involved helped to push them. However, I also believe the HOA and rental company would have either not known about it or ignored the problem without my letters. 


    Crime, however, is often a result of people from outside of the neighborhood. That crime itself may not be the responsibility of the HOA, but installing a trail camera on a cell phone plan with a solar power battery pack might do the trick to capture trespassers. Any kind of camera, really. See if the police will install one. Even a fake camera might deter one crime. I'd let a wifi camera on my street use my guest wifi, as well, and I assume some of my other neighbors would, too.

    The HOA could go semi-all-out and install an automatic gate without a code, along with a powered camera that stores video. If there's no code, anyone can get into the neighborhood, but it slows people down and ensures everyone entering knows they are on camera. The good news is that the roads are still public and part of the city.  

    Maybe HOA bylaws need to include more about crime and nuisance homes, especially in an area like Jacksonville. Crime is spread out in this town. Maybe back when my HOA was formed in 2004, there was no crime in East Arlington, but that's not the case today. Homeowners need to expect more out of their HOAs, as property value is more about crime than a nice pool and paint color of the houses. 






    Search New Jax Witty

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    Jacksonville Neighborhood Bill of Rights Means Something Or Other

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    Thanks for reading. See more of my content:

    Satisfamily - Articles about being happy as a family
    Passive Ninja - Web Design in Jacksonville
    McNewsy - Creative Writing
    Educabana - Educational Resources
    Brave New Church - Church Website Design
    Voucher School - Pros and Cons of School Vouchers
    Luthernet - Web Design for Lutheran Churches
    Sitcom Life Lessons - What we've learned from sitcoms
    Mancrush Fanclub - Why not?
    Epic Folktale - Stories of the unknown
    Wild West Allis - Every story ever told about one place
    Educabana on Teachers Pay Teachers (mostly ELA lessons)
    Real Wisconsin News - Satire from Wisconsin
    Zoo Interchange Milwaukee - Community website
    Chromebook Covers - Reviews and opinions

    Brian Jaeger - Resume (I'm always interested)

    Contact Me
  • Jacksonville List of Neighborhoods
    I keep seeing all the Jacksonville neighborhoods as backdrops to maps, but I have yet to see them listed for those of us who like lists. So, after using the government websites to find the GIS maps that contain the neighborhoods, I was able to extract the lists of areas in Jax that appear on maps. It could be useful to those of you who also like lists and deal in real estate or something where you'd need the names of all the neighborhoods here.


    The lists are in alphabetical order by region. Jacksonville is big, so it's divided into six planning zones: A (Arlington and Beaches), N (North), NW (Northwest), SE (Southeast), SW (Southwest), and U (Urban Core). I wanted to make a visual grid map using a table, but it's just so big. Also, I do understand alphabetical, but it would be nice on a map if the letter-number combinations were adjacent, but that's just an opinion, and we're pretty much stuck with alpha order now. I think a couple of names were cut off because of length, but this is a fairly comprehensive neighborhood list for Jacksonville/Duval.

    It's also interesting to note that if Jacksonville ever made the move to un-consolidate, the six zones would be the most likely separate cities.


    A01 Alderman Park
    A02 Arlington
    A03 Arlington Hills
    A04 Arlington Manor
    A05 Arlingtonwood
    A06 Atlantic Blvd. Estate
    A07 Atantic Highlands
    A08 Beachwood
    A09 Beacon Hills & Harbour
    A10 Charter Point
    A11 Clifton
    A12 Cobblestone
    A13 Colony Cove
    A14 East Arlington
    A15 Empire Point
    A16 Fara Ways Forrest
    A17 Fort Caroline Shores
    A18 Gilmore
    A19 Girvin
    A20 Glynea/Grove Park
    A21 Golden Glades/The Woods
    A22 Hidden Hills
    A23 Hogan
    A24 Holiday Harbors
    A25 Holiday Hill/Century
    A26 Holly Oaks
    A27 Lake Lucina
    A28 Love Grove/Riviera Ma
    A29 Mayport
    A30 Monterey
    A31 North Beach
    A32 Oak Haven
    A33 Park Ridge
    A34 Regency
    A35 St. Johns Bluff
    A36 St. Nicholas
    A37 Sandlewood
    A38 Southside Estates
    A39 Spring Glen
    A40 University Park
    A41 Woodland Acrea
    A42 Woodmere
    Atlantic Beach
    Baldwin
    Jacksonville Beach
    N01 Biscayne
    N02 Biscayne Terrace
    N03 Black Hammock Island
    N04 Blount Island
    N05 Brown Island
    N06 College Park
    N07 Copper Hill
    N08 Dinsmore
    N09 Duval
    N10 Eagle Bend
    N11 East Point
    N12 Forrest Trails
    N13 Fort George Island
    N14 Garden City
    N15 Highlands
    N16 Hollyford
    N17 Imeson Park
    N18 Jax. North Estates
    N19 Jamestown
    N20 Little Marsh Hill
    N21 New Berlin
    N22 North New Berlin
    N23 North Lake
    N24 Oceanway
    N25 Pecan
    N26 Pumpkin Hill
    N27 San Mateo
    N28 The Cape
    N29 Turtle Creek
    Neptune Beach
    NW01 Allendale
    NW02 Biltmore
    NW03 Bulls Bay
    NW04 Carver Manor
    NW05 Cisco Gardens
    NW06 College Gardens
    NW07 Commonwealth
    NW08 Crystal Springs
    NW09 Edgewood
    NW10 Edgewood Manor
    NW11 Grand Park
    NW12 Harborview
    NW13 Lackawanna
    NW14 Lake Forrest
    NW15 Lake Forrest Hills
    NW16 Lincoln Hills
    NW17 Magnolia Gardens
    NW18 Marrietta
    NW19 Mixon Town
    NW20 Murray Hill
    NW21 New Town
    NW22 Normandy
    NW23 Normandy Estates
    NW24 Normandy Village
    NW25 Osceola Forrest
    NW26 Panama Park
    NW27 Paxton
    NW28 Picketville
    NW29 Ribault
    NW30 Riverside
    NW31 Riverview
    NW32 Robinsons Addition
    NW33 Rolling Hills
    NW34 Royal Terrace
    NW35 Sherwood Forrest
    NW36 Tallulah/ North Shore
    NW37 Whitehouse
    NW38 Woodstock
    NW39 45th & Moncrief
    SE01 Arrowhead
    SE02 Avenues
    SE03 Bayard
    SE04 Baymeadows
    SE05 Baymeadows Center
    SE06 Beach Haven
    SE07 Beauclec
    SE08 Bowden
    SE09 Brackridge
    SE10 Briarwood
    SE11 Craven
    SE12 Deercreek
    SE13 Deerwood
    SE14 Deerwood Center
    SE15 Del Rio
    SE16 Englewood
    SE17 Goodbys Creek
    SE18 Greenfield Monor
    SE19 Greenland
    SE20 Isle of Palms
    SE21 Julington Creek
    SE22 Kilarney Shores
    SE23 Lakewood
    SE24 Loretto
    SE25 Mandarin
    SE26 Mandarin Station
    SE27 Miramer
    SE28 Monclair
    SE29 Pickwick Park
    SE30 Pine Forrest
    SE31 Royal Lakes
    SE32 San Jose
    SE33 San Jose Forrest
    SE34 San Marco
    SE35 Sans Pareil
    SE36 Sans Souci
    SE37 Secret Cove
    SE38 South Riverside
    SE39 South Point
    SE40 Southwood
    SE41 Spring Park
    SE42 Sunbeam
    SE43 Tiger Hole/ Secret Wo
    SE44 Windy Hill
    SW01 Argyle Forrest
    SW02 Avondale
    SW03 Cedar Hills
    SW04 Cedar Hills Estates
    SW05 Chimmey Lakes
    SW06 Confederate Point
    SW07 Duclay
    SW08 Duclay Forest
    SW09 Fairfax
    SW10 Herlong
    SW11 Hillcrest
    SW12 Hyde park
    SW13 Jacksonville Farms/Te
    SW14 Jacksonville Heights
    SW16 Jax Heights West
    SW17 Jax Naval Air Station
    SW18 Lakeshore
    SW19 Maxville
    SW20 McGirts Creek
    SW21 Normandy Manor
    SW22 Oak Hill
    SW23 Ortega
    SW24 Ortega Farms
    SW25 Ortega Forest
    SW26 Ortega Hills
    SW27 Otis
    SW28 Settlers Landing
    SW29 Sweetwater
    SW30 Venetia
    SW31 Wesconnett
    SW32 Yukon
    U01 Brentwood
    U02 Brooklyn
    U03 Downtown Jacksonville
    U04 East Jacksonville
    U05 Fairfield
    U06 Hogans Creek
    U07 LaVilla
    U08 Longbranch
    U09 Midtown
    U10 Mid Westside
    U11 Moncrief
    U12 Phoenix
    U13 Springfield
    U14 Southside
    U15 Tallyrand
    U16 29th & Chase

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  • Top 4 Spots in Jacksonville's Arlington Neighborhood
    I was on the News4Jax website when I saw an "article" about local restaurants. The article said it was about Arlington restaurants, and I figured it wasn't that big of a deal that my location was being used to show me stories relevant to where I was. However, after reading the short blurbs about the top 4 restaurants in my area, I saw the disclaimer on the bottom of the article:
    This story was created automatically using local business data, then reviewed and augmented by an editor.
    So, I was not only reading an article that accessed my location in order to serve the right content, but the content itself was provided by the businesses being reviewed. Sure, the star-ratings were from Yelp, which is semi-reliable, but there is no real indication that these four restaurants were the top-rated restaurants on Yelp. I assume that they were the four Arlington restaurants that paid to be part of an advertising article promoting them.

    You can see from the address bar that the article title was "Check Out The Top 4 Spots in Jacksonville's Arlington Neighborhood." While I'm sure the four listed restaurants are just fine, it's disturbing that this content was served to me on a NEWS website as NEWS. It's clearly blatant advertising, paid placement, and not a real review or opinion by a human being. 

    What's next? Top four crimes this week articles that pull information from JSO's Crime Map? I know, there's no ad money in that, so probably not. The point is that if pretend articles are being pulled from content on paid-service websites and placed on news websites, then we're in trouble. As readers and as writers. Even the images are from Yelp, which means user-submitted. No one did any work on the article in question, and more than likely, the "editor" is in India, curating and augmenting hundreds of pretend articles every day, never having eaten barbeque ribs in her life. 

    With so much data out there, it's nice to get a quick guide to some decent local restaurants to try, so there's a value to articles like the one that I thought I was reading. I might even like the listed places. It might even be accurate. But it's also wrong. 


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  • My Messy Office
    My messy classroom, home office, and garage all indicate the same thing to people: I must be careless, cranky, and uncaring. That's according to a study that showed two different work spaces to participants. A messy workspace left people with a negative perception of the unknown worker who occupied the space.


    That's kind of sad, since my mess is part of my creativity. Actually, I have to have a mess somewhere in order to function properly. I used to have a junk drawer when I first got married because my wife is pretty much the opposite of a messy person. She allowed me one junk drawer on the main level, and about half of the three basements we had. And most of the garage. And the tool shed. Those were my messy places.

    In Florida, we don't have the built-ins with drawers or a basement, so I have to be better at hiding my messes. It's frustrating, to say the least. The whole point of having a mess is that what I need is right there for me when I need it. I don't want to venture into the garage attic to find what I need. I don't want to have to page through file folders for tax documents when they are all stuffed on my desk where I need them. There should be a pen sitting out and within reach from any location in any room.

    The most frustrating, however, is the fact that I can't always find my writing notes. I'll take notes while out at a bar or while at church. Observations for later. And those notes need to be out in the open to remind me of what I need to be writing, like Christmas tree ornaments in my office space, or else I won't ever write those ideas. Then they just get stuffed in a box, which is suffocating for ideas.

    I also have to wonder if my bosses over the years have assumed something negative about me because my school desk was always messy. I tried to keep it way in the corner, but it was very, very messy. But that was because I was usually working on planning new lessons, revising old lessons, grading papers, writing, thinking, researching, and contacting people. Sometimes, I'd be testing out video production equipment, hooking various electronic devices into my computer to see what they could do, and generally figuring out if I could improve as a teacher. But it looked like I was somehow careless to outsiders.

    All in all, I'm lucky to have a wife who forces me to clean once in a while. If we were both like me, the house would be a disaster all the time, and people would be afraid to come over. And they'd probably think that both of us are careless, cranky, and uncaring.



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  • There Was a Time When St. Augustine Stole The Biltmore Ads
    There was a time when I saw an ad for St. Augustine, Florida. It was a simpler time, when none of the other ads were about politicians of ill repute. But it seemed to be a time when St. Augustine had decided to infringe upon the terminology associated with Biltmore. It was last year on local TV.


    I saw the St. Augustine ad twice on network television (late 2017, I believe), and it was an obvious lifting of the Biltmore ads I'd seen all the time. You know the ad, wherein we are made privy to this fanciful world where ladies and gentlemen seem to exist and behave a certain way that seems sadly gone most of the time. Yet, it does still exist if you stay in a certain hotel. Maybe one with a hot tub time machine.

    The St. Augustine ad seemed to be a send-up of the Biltmore ad. I don't think the idea was to steal it as much as acknowledge we've all seen the other ad around here. But, of course, it was stealing. Brazenly. So the St. Augustine ad was taken off the air very quickly. As in, some lawyers spent last night at the Biltmore and now it's gone. 

    I was watching a PBS documentary that said back when Flagler built his St. Augustine hotels and pushed for the railroad to come through Jacksonville rather than terminate there, it ruined tourism in Jacksonville. I'm sure the Biltmore is always watching out for other fancy destinations to pull some kind of stunt that might steal guests away, and if one of those places is going to rip off the exact wording from an ad, then it's pretty obvious. 


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  • What is the most popular city in Florida?
    This is an interesting question that pops up on Google when you search for information about Jacksonville. I believe people want to know the most populous or populated city in Florida, unless they are total tourists who are just interested in popularity. As far as being popular, I suppose Miami is tops, then Orlando and Tampa. Population is always a bit more complicated.

    By metro area, here are Florida's most populous (highest population) along with 2018 US rank:

    #7 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL MSA 
    #18 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MSA 
    #22 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL MSA 
    #40 Jacksonville, FL MSA 
    #72 North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL MSA 
    #76 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL MSA
    #81 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL MSA
    #87 Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL MSA
    #95 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL MSA

    That's top 100 and over 500,000 population, anyhow. 

    Here are the cities (not metro areas) in Florida, ranked by most populous within the city limits:

    #12 Jacksonville
    #40 Miami
    #49 Tampa
    #71 Orlando
    #79 St. Petersburg
    #95 Hialeah

    Keep in mind that Jacksonville's area is 20 times that of Miami. So, Jacksonville is the largest city by area, and largest city by population within its city limits in Florida. 

    Side note: Rhode Island, with a population just over one million, is only about 40% larger than the CITY of Jacksonville in area. That's crazy. And a good reminder why there's no city of Jacksonville walking tour map. 

    While Golden Girls reruns keep Miami popular, and Mickey Mouse makes Orlando shine, Jacksonville is also popular. We might have to work a little harder to figure out what that is, exactly, but it also presents an opportunity. Let's not make it murder or something negative. I watched a PBS documentary about our bridges, and those are nice. Nature. Other stuff.........
    San Dimas High School Football rules!

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  • Deep Forest Airport, Please
    I've complained a little about the local JAXEX Craig airport, and while I am hoping it stays at a manageable size, I wanted to take this opportunity to redirect some of you to an airport I never knew existed. I am hoping some of the rich and famous who fly over my house will choose to hit up another rich and famous local resident to use his private runway instead. Please, all you robber barons, carpetbaggers, venture capitalists, elite socialites, property developers, and ponzi schemers, give your buddy George a call and use the Deep Forest Airport instead of JAXEX.

    The runway at Deep Forest is 1.27 miles long. That's longer than either runway at Craig. You can land your G6 with no problems, according to Cutler Knupp, who apparently has a special pass to land at the private airport. I am hoping more G6 owners head for the Forest. Also those who own the Pilatus PC-24, the Cessna Citation Longitude, the Gulfstream G600, the Bombardier Global 6500 or 7500, and the Airbus ACJ319NEO.

    Mostly, I want you to land down in Deep Forest because there have been three airplane crashes on the St. Johns River, near JAXEX, in the past six months. Eventually, someone is going to crash land over houses rather than the river. Therefore, I'd prefer more airplanes flying to airports that are away from population centers. Or else fewer crashes. 

    Also, even if you're not in the jet set, maybe the owner of this private airfield, basically adjacent to Mayo Clinic, will allow you you land your turbo prop on the runway to save a life. But I'm not sure. You can call the number on the link to the irport.

    Next time the city council wants to talk about expanding Craig at JAXEX, it might also be the right time to remind the politicians (who might be allowed to land their own G6s at Deep Forest if they approve the right zoning proposals for the owner of the airport) that there is another option, and it's been around for years. 

    All other opinions aside, I hope Jacksonville does consider the Deep Forest site as a better JAXEX location in the future, and then plans ALL development around the location appropriately after the move. That's called planning.

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  • Male Fashion and Lifestyle: Matching Hats
    If you want to be really cool as a group, get you some matching hats. Most of us don't think about it ahead of time, and we often make the mistake of matching t-shirts or NASCAR jackets, but matching hats are really the way to go for guys. Let's take a look at how to decide on those hats so that you can look your best.


    Sports teams have matching hats. If you join a team, you'll get one like everyone else. When you go out for an ice cream after the game, everyone will know you are a team, even if you've put on jackets to keep warm. I kept all my North Central Little League hats, which is how I was able to get a photo of my past teammates and coaches all wearing matching hats. Sure, some of them were All-Stars hats, but they were all black North Central Little League headgear, and we looked like a team.

    Even if you're not on a team, your grandma could make the awesome decision to buy matching Nike hats for all the cousins in the family, creating the photo op from above. Actually, my grandma probably should have done this every year, but I'm not sure the womenfolk saw how cool the whole thing was. Instead of spewing on about politics and drinking too many Bud Lights, we were hanging out in the yard like a football team (all linemen), just because we'd gotten those hats.

    My friend and I went on the Miller Brewery tour just before St. Patty's Day one year and procured the matching foam hats you see here. That was a good hat purchase because everyone seemed to want to take photos with us, and this was way before smart phones and selfies, circa 1999. Check out those Chuck Taylors and that Seiko Kinetic watch.

    Of course, you can get it all wrong with matching hats, too. Family reunion hats seem to fall in this category. Or matching cowboy hats--those are supposed to be individual. Probably band hats, too, like if you and four of your friends all had matching Def Leppard hats, even at a Def Leppard concert, you'd be kind of lame. But most of the time, matching hats are pretty sweet.


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  • Male Fashion and Lifestyle: Sunny Boy Hair
    I originally got the "Sunny Boy" wig when I was an extra in an independent film that was never finished. I had to wear a Polo shirt, a sweater over my shoulders, and the Sunny Boy blonde wig. I was the bad guy, and my Mercedes 300SD also fit the bill. We only finished one day of filming, at Lake Park Golf Course in Milwaukee. I was probably revealing my devious plans to co-conspirators while golfing. I don't recall. However, Sunny Boy stayed with me, and I put it to some use over the years.


    Once in a while, I'd pull Sunny Boy out and wear it somewhere. Not just to drive with blonde hair, but to actually be Sunny Boy on an excursion. That means getting it to fit just right and owning it all day, like I did when I was in the movie. I am sure the people with me during those adventures kept wondering when I was going to take the hair off and be normal, but it was just a simple way to be a little outlandish for a day. I never totally got into character. It was just the blonde version of me. 

    The main events I remember best while wearing the wig would be crazy hair day at my teaching job, going apple picking, a day at the zoo, and our daughter's Barbie birthday party. 

    As a teacher, I am a consummate professional, even if I like to tell a good, funny story to the students, so most of them couldn't help giggling at me all hour as I wore Sunny Boy. For some reason, they couldn't take me seriously, even though the rock star wanna be teacher down the hall looked like Sunny Boy all the time. 

    The photo above is from apple picking at the Elegant Farmer in Wisconsin. I wore Sunny Boy while there with some friends. No one seemed to notice or care out loud, but I knew some people wondered at the wild hair on the hay ride. It gave the whole day more of a care-free feeling, so it was fun. 

    I lived about a mile from the Milwaukee County Zoo, so why not walk up one day with Sunny Boy? Nothing special. Just another day at the zoo, but maybe some of the animals wondered at the crazy hair on that one human. 

    Lastly, Sunny Boy was used at our daughter's Barbie party. I got my wife a big blonde wig to be Barbie. I am not sure where she found the dress. I wore Sunny Boy, even though I'm not sure Ken is normally blonde. No one in the family had trouble recognizing me, probably because they'd seen me in my hair before, but my wife's grandma didn't know her. 

    I'd recommend having a dress-up box, even as an adult. I have a giant bin of props, as well as one with just hats. Some are goofy, but others could be used in more serious situations. Probably not job interviews, but just nights out on the Town Center. 




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  • Check Your Google Adsense, Fellow Jacksonville Bloggers
    I'm not going to keep this one to myself, since someone not on my site isn't clicking my ads, anyway. If you have a blog or even a big ol' company website that has some Adsense ads on it (the Google ads), then you need to add a custom ads.txt file to your website. I did not receive an email about it. I just showed up to check earnings, which I don't really bother to do very often, and there it was: a dozen websites without the right code. 

    If you are on Blogger, and it's monetized through Adsense, then it should be automatic. My problem was that this site IS on Blogger, but my Adsense is technically a 3rd party ad system because I had set it up with a different account or something. So I had to add my custom page even to my Blogger page. 

    The basic idea is that you need to download the file from Adsense, upload it to your domain, and then wait for Google to see it. This took about two days. If you have FTP, you can do it that way, but it also works in CPanel. If you only have access to the website and not the actual domain, then you might need to get your web guy to add the file for you. Also, the ads.txt file would not download for me in Firefox, only Chrome.

    It's not the same as adding Google Adsense code to the <head> section of your website. Google seems to want to confirm you also own the domain, as I am sure plenty of hackers have found ways to add Adsense code to unwitting websites out there. It's a good thing for all of us that Google is trying to make sure website owners are the ones putting up ads and getting the money from those ads, even if it's a hassle to stick this code on multiple websites. That said, I'm sure most local Jax bloggers have one or two sites to deal with. 

    It's simple to check to see if your Blogger or other website is configured properly. Just type yourdomain/ads.txt. The page should look like this:

    If this helped you keep your Jacksonville blog monetized, make sure to click on an ad to show your appreciation. I'd do it for you.


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