Search This Blog


Monday, September 15, 2014

Manpower Job Fair on 9/17/14 in East Troy

Manpower is hosting a job fair at the East Troy City Hall on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 9am until 2pm. Manpower representatives will be there to speak with you about your experience and our current and future openings. Address of the facility is:
2015 Energy Drive
East Troy, WI 53120
Municipal Building Meeting Room A
We have quite a number of openings in Lake Country in a variety of fields, such as:

·         Production/Assembly
·         Press Operation
·         Customer Service/Inside Sales
·         Warehouse

We are looking for individuals who are motivated to work hard and advance their career!  
If you are interested or know someone who is, please plan to attend and bring along a copy of your updated resume for review. In the meantime, please make sure you are registered on

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Funtastic Times at Serb Hall 8/27/14

Funtastic Times at Serb Hall
Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 5-7pm (5:00 to 5:30 register)

Serb Hall
5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.
Milwaukee - 53219

$10 at the door

Appetizers provided. Cash bar.

Please arrive a little earlier if possible, and bring plenty of business cards, as we are expecting a big turnout!

For additional questions or concerns, and to RSVP:

Dick: 414-517-0663 or
Tim: 414-426-1208 or

Click here to visit the Funtastic Times Web site

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Funtastic Times Networking at The Astor Hotel on 7/30/14

Funtastic Times at The Astor Hotel
Wednesday, July 30, 2014, from 5-7pm (5:00 to 5:30 register)

The Astor Hotel
924 East Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee - 53202

$10 at the door

Appetizers provided. Cash bar.

Please arrive a little earlier if possible, and bring plenty of business cards, as we are expecting a big turnout!

Bowling for Dollars is coming back to Milwaukee TV! We will provide behind-the-scenes information. Come and meet Lori Minetti, Wisconsin Lottery hostess, and a new host for Bowling for Dollars.

For additional questions or concerns, and to RSVP:

Dick: 414-517-0663 or
Tim: 414-426-1208 or

Click here to view and print the current event flier

Read what others are saying about Funtastic Times networking

Exclusive Interview: Musician Jefferson Grizzard

By Aaron S. Robertson

Up and comer recently out with his second album discusses his broad musical interests, his recent European tour, how he got started in the business, Wisconsin’s famous cheese, musicians he’d love to work with, and a whole lot more.

At 24, Jefferson Grizzard has a lot to be proud of so far. He just released his second album, Learning How to Lie, last fall. The album, which has garnered a number of rave reviews, was followed by a great companion music video this spring. The Georgia native also did a mini European tour this past winter, with dates in Ireland, Germany, and the U.K. It was his first time performing in Europe, though he has been there as a tourist before.

jefferson grizzard learning how to lie
Courtesy: Back Porch Syndicate Records
“In Europe, they really take the time to sit down and listen to the music. There’s more of a fan base over there for real music, as opposed to the cookie-cutter pop stuff here in the U.S. There’s more of an appreciation for the art,” Jefferson explained to me during our roughly 50 minute conversation by phone on June 24. “London, in particular, was great for me. A lot of fans over there. I got to talk with a lot of drunk British guys at our London stop. Couldn’t understand a word they said, but we all had a blast,” he added with a laugh.

Jefferson also had the opportunity to team up with Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls, recording some tracks at that band’s studio in Buffalo. “Robby’s a great guy. We cut four songs that haven’t been released yet. It was a great experience,” Jefferson told me. Later on this September, Jefferson will be performing at an arts festival in Buffalo that Robby has a hand in. “Mike, my drummer, is from Buffalo, so he has a lot of connections there. I have a lot of fans up there,” Jefferson continued.

So how did it all start, I wondered? “Well, I really liked writing, even before playing. I grew up in a pretty boring, little town in Georgia. That’s how I passed the time,” Jefferson said, continuing, “I’ll often forget about the songs I’ve written, until I find them again later on - scrap paper sheets that just pop up again.” The guitar playing started when, “My sister got a guitar for Christmas one year. A cheap little Yamaha or something. I played for weeks, and then months. I played until my fingers bled.”

He counts among the songwriters who have influenced him Jeff Tweedy, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan. “The first songwriter I really got turned on to,” Jefferson said of Dylan.

Jefferson certainly has some powerful, moving, thought-provoking lyrics in his portfolio. I can see he’s a serious writer. What are his influences or inspiration when it comes to lyric writing, I wondered? Does he like to go anywhere in particular to get away? What is his process like? “I get that question a lot. I really have no process. It just happens,” he explained to me. Jefferson continued: “I’ll be outside doing something, and then it just comes. Or something just brews in the subconscious for a while before it comes out. I never really spend over an hour on a song. The ones I do spend that much time on never really turn out good.”

When asked about the moment he realized, Hey, this is for real - I’d like to do this as a profession, for a living, Jefferson said it came about more as an evolution than as a single moment. “It just kept evolving. I felt I was a different person when I did the first album compared to when I did the second one [the latest, Learning How to Lie],” he explained, continuing on, “For the second album, I really felt like I was a part of the larger process. With the first one, I was younger, I just went in and was told what to do. The second felt more like a true album, as opposed to just a collection of songs.”

I got my hands on a copy of Learning How to Lie before my interview with Jefferson, and I can attest that it really is a lot more than just a collection of songs. For starters, the album case features some great photography and design layout, and it comes with a booklet featuring the lyrics for all 12 songs along with more eye-catching photography and design. It’s packaged nicely, to say the very least. The lyrics are profound, which unfortunately seems pretty rare these days in most mainstream American music, as Jefferson was alluding to earlier. Jefferson’s voice is soulful, and the music is rich and diverse, featuring a good variety of instruments like horns, keyboards and organ, tambourine, and soul-filled background vocalists in various tracks. Drawing from elements of many musical forms, Jefferson explained, “I really wanted it to be an Americana album, with R&B, blues, rock, gospel, and country in it, even in one song.”

In his spare time, “I love to people watch, travel, and take in inspiration and information from the world.” A sci-fi fan, Jefferson enjoys watching Star Trek, playing Dungeons and Dragons, and reading. “I have the goal of writing a sci-fi rock opera someday,” he told me.

We got into talking about Milwaukee a little bit. Jefferson was here for the first time at the end of this past January for a show at Club Garibaldi. I felt pretty bad for him when I learned that, knowing that he arrived in our otherwise beautiful and hopping city in the middle of one of the longest, most bitter winters we’ve had in recent memory. But it wasn’t all that bad for him. “We stopped off at a roadside cheese shop. I bought the best cheddar cheese I ever bought in my life! That was my cultural experience there,” he told me.

Asked about dream musicians he would love to perform or record with, Jefferson presented a well-rounded, all-star lineup: bassist Catherine Popper (“The best bass player I’ve ever seen live”), drummer Glenn Kotche from Wilco, and British singer Laura Marling (“The greatest female voice around right now. The greatest songwriter of the Millennial generation. A great poet, songwriter, and guitar player”). He would also love an opportunity to work with British producer Ethan Johns.

His advice for aspiring musicians is as powerful as any of his lyrics: “If you’re a songwriter or musician, or any kind of artist, don’t look for an end goal. Always be satisfied in the present. Don’t look forward to the future. The music is the end, not a means to an end,” he said. And, for a young man who grew up in the Internet age, he warns, “Stay away from the Internet as much as possible. It’s too easy to get wrapped up with what others are doing or trying to do. I avoid it at all costs.”

And his parting words for fans and those who happen to come across his music - simple: “Listen to the words!”

You can learn more about Jefferson and follow along on his journey at .

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jefferson Grizzard Unveils New Video; Upcoming Performances Scheduled



For many rock acts, a memorable music video is crucial to their development and for building a global fan base.

And with Jefferson Grizzard's new video for the title track of his latest album, 'Learning How to Lie,' the singer/guitarist has certainly accomplished this.

For the clip, Grizzard has hooked up with famed director, Matt Mahurin, whose track record speaks for itself - directing such classic videos over the years as the Black Crowes' "She Talks to Angels," Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity," Metallica's "The Unforgiven," and Alice in Chains' "Angry Chair," among others.

"Working with Matt was an amazing experience," explains Grizzard. "His expertise and relaxed style made being in front of the camera easy. Somewhere between the beauty of Topanga Canyon and the experience of working with an expert film maker, the shoot was surreal. Mahurin is truly a master of his craft."

The video clip can be viewed via this link:

Also, Grizzard has the following upcoming performances confirmed:

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014 @ 8:00 P.M [Opening for Willie Nile]
Highline Ballroom
New York, NY 10011

Thursday, June 19th, 2014 @ 7:00 P.M. [In-store performance]  
The Record Exchange 
20 S Tulane Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 [Opening for Willie Nile]
White Plains City Center 
White Plains, NY

The Georgia native is best described as either a "poetic singer/songwriter with his roots in American Rock" or "'65 Dylan and the Hawks meet Cohen and Petty," and the proof is in the music throughout 'Learning How to Lie,' which runs the gamut from rocking tunes ("Long Time Coming") to ballads ("Lorelei"), and also strikes a chord lyrically (especially the aforementioned title track, which offers commentary on the human condition).

And Grizzard's talents are being recognized by his peers, including fellow singer-songwriter Willie Nile, who has had praise for the new release (and even contributes vocals to a bonus track, "When Levon Sings"). “Brilliant new CD by Jefferson Grizzard. Thunder and lightning in letters from the underground. Strangers and outcasts learning how to lie in the search for truth and salvation. Tom Waits meets the Stones at the Heartbreak Hotel. Great album.”


1. Long Time Coming
2. Plastic Lady
3. Lorelei
4. New Location
5. Learning How To Lie
6. Rough Times in Paris (Around Around)
7. In the Fall
8. Bound For The Sun
9. So Far Down
10. Rose
11. Cant Knock Em Out
12. When Levon Sings

To purchase a copy of the new album please visit:



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Exclusive Interview: Mark Hall-Patton, History Expert Featured on Pawn Stars

Mark Hall-Patton. Source: .

By Aaron S. Robertson

The administrator of the Clark County Museum discusses his love for learning, the show’s origins and what it’s like working on it, Howard Hughes, advice for those looking to enter the profession, classic rock, and so much more.

Imagine this: You’ve been a museum administrator for many years, just going about your life and work. The role alone doesn’t carry any kind of celebrity status. On the contrary, it’s, for the most part, a pretty quiet, stable, behind-the-scenes, everyday kind of professional job. Until a couple of TV producers come to your town (Las Vegas) with a great idea, albeit, no pun intended, a gamble. Actually, it’s a little more complicated - we’ll get to that shortly.

That’s exactly the fortune that befell Mark Hall-Patton when an idea formed for a TV show that would bring together a love for history, collectibles, rare artifacts, and interesting trivia with the oldest form of credit here in the U.S. - the art of the pawn deal. Of course, I’m talking none other than the now world-famous show, Pawn Stars, now entering its fifth year.

But in the beginning, Mark, who has come to be affectionately known as “the beard of knowledge”, was actually very skeptical about the show’s future. “I thought a show about people coming into a pawn shop would not be interesting,” Mark told me during our roughly 90-minute conversation by phone on May 27 from his office at the Clark County Museum. It is my second interview with a Pawn Stars expert (see my interview with Rebecca Romney from early last year).

And to be fair here and give credit where credit is certainly due, the show’s origins are actually more complex. “Well, the show was actually Rick [Harrison]’s idea,” Mark explained, adding, “Rick is the one who really had the vision, who saw the potential. He pursued it. Even the Old Man [father Richard] thought it was a dumb idea. Rick talked to HBO, but HBO had different ideas for it. He then took it to Leftfield Pictures, which is the producer of the show,” and the rest is, again no pun intended here, history. Okay, it was intended.

As for Mark’s role, he goes back to the very beginning, having appeared in a pilot episode. “I still don’t know all the details of how my name came up,” he noted. He was doing a show for the local access channel at the time, when, one day, he received a call asking him if he’d come down to the pawn shop to take a look at a military jacket. “I told them I couldn’t offer a value. I don’t appraise items,” he recalled, noting that he was never in the appraisal business and doesn’t follow market values. They went ahead with the filming anyway, and Mark has been invited back ever since to offer his expertise on a wide array of artifacts. And his appearances on the show have paid big dividends for the museum system he oversees.

“We as experts on the show are not paid anything. You do it for the publicity,” Mark told me. The result of all this publicity? “Attendance has increased 66% over the last two years. And they come from all over, including many from out of the country. All over the world. You name it.” To that point, the show itself is now shown in 151 countries and dubbed into over 30 languages. “A lot of kids watch the show, and they’ll drag their parents out to the museum because they want to meet me,” Mark explained. And if you happen to go out there when he’s not around, you can have your picture taken beside the life-size cutout bearing his image.

Asked what his method or best practices are for constantly taking in new information and acquiring new knowledge, seeing as how there never seems to be enough time in a day, Mark told me, “I’ve been asked similar questions, and to be honest, I don’t have a good answer for that. I’m always reading five or six books at the same time. I like learning. I like research. I do all my own research. I like writing articles that seem to have absolutely nothing to do with each other. I usually have a few articles I’m working on simultaneously in my briefcase. If something’s interesting, I’m curious about it.” He went on to add, “Most of the time, there’s a book in my hand, even while waiting in a dentist’s chair or at a doctor’s office. For me, I don’t really see it as time management. I just have a running list that I work off of, and I just tackle those items.”

Along similar lines, Mark really couldn’t come up with an answer for what a usual day is like for him. “I don’t know what a typical day would look like,” he said with a laugh, continuing, “I oversee three museums, and anything can come up. The show has definitely increased requests to look at artifacts. It has led me to spend more time in the gift shop, meeting visitors and taking pictures with them. Aside from all of that, the usual reports, research, managerial duties.”

Howard Hughes
A young Howard Hughes.
We got into talking about Howard Hughes a little bit. I told Mark that I’ve been fascinated with Hughes’ life and work ever since seeing 2004’s The Aviator, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the brilliant and famously reclusive industrialist, aviator, movie producer, and just all-around innovator. In fact, I did a couple of papers and presentations on Hughes in college. Mark quickly responded, “Don’t rely on that film, though. I went to see it just to find out everything that was wrong with it.”

The conversation about Hughes was prompted by me asking Mark what he could tell me about Hughes’ stay in, and influence on, Las Vegas. Were there any artifacts or spots dedicated to his life and work in the area, either in the museums or in the more touristy, commercial settings, I wondered? “There is no Hughes property out here now,” Mark told me, explaining that his companies were broken up and absorbed into other businesses over the years following his death in 1976. “There is a house behind Channel 8 here that was owned by him. Whether or not he actually used it, though, is highly doubtful.” Mark told me something that I wasn’t really aware of in my own research on Hughes over the years - “He was instrumental in getting Nevada to allow corporations to own casinos, which, as we know, completely changed the landscape.”

Mark continued on Hughes: “I’ve lectured about him. I knew people who knew him, and they liked him. But he was so brilliant, that he was off. If you’re not discussing something these kind of people find interesting, they’re gone. You’ve lost them. They’re off thinking about something else.”

We also briefly discussed the hotly-debated subject of pre-Columbian expeditions, a topic that my colleague Kyle is interested in exploring. “I’ve read some of the literature on it. Some of that is documented well enough where I think we can say, ‘Yes, it happened.’ Theories surrounding the Japanese are problematic. It is an interesting area. But I’m not an expert. There is a lot out there for those interested. Check out some of the archaeological publications.”

Having served on my city’s library board for a number of years now, I was wondering if museums find themselves faced with questions of relevancy today. I know that, across the library profession and industry, those discussions are taking place all the time - essentially, how do we remain relevant today in such a technologically-advanced world?

“In ways, similar questions are being asked, yes. We’re both in the informal education business. One of the things we tend to do in both is grab onto technology as a savior of what we want to be,” Mark said, adding, “We sometimes lose sight of the fact that technology is merely a tool. And if you lose sight of what your original purpose was, you’re losing what you can provide. You can’t control what it is someone is going to want in books. You can’t control what it is someone will take away from your exhibit. But your visitors will teach you what they want, if you listen.” He went on to explain that, for museums, “What we provide is a place where people can connect with real artifacts. There’s real stuff in museums. And kids understand the difference between real and unreal. They know there’s a big difference between seeing an artifact of some sort on TV, which is nothing more than a bunch of pixels on a screen, and being up close and personal with the real deal.”

I was curious to know what Mark particularly enjoys discussing himself, seeing as how he is quite the expert in a wide range of fields. “I’m really fascinated by bridges and bridge engineering. It’s a subject I enjoy lecturing on. Learning how they’re made has always captured my interest. Beyond that, I would say obscure history and mining history in the West. The nice thing about history is that you can specialize in everything relating to XYZ, or you can learn a little bit about everything.”

His advice for those thinking about entering the profession: “Get your M.A. You’ll need your master’s. And volunteering. You’ll need a master’s these days to go far in the profession, but the degree itself won’t really teach you how to run a museum. That’s where volunteering comes in. Get out there, get into the field while you’re working on your degree. In the next 10-15 years, you’ll see a wholesale turnover in museums because of retirements. At least in history museums anyway, art museums are a little different.” He continued, “You won’t get rich working for museums, but it is a lot of fun. I truly love my work, and I can say I’m genuinely happy to come in every day after all these years.”

We discussed music a little bit, mostly classic rock. Many of my interviews these past few years have been with musicians from the 60’s and 70’s era, including Doug Clifford and Stu Cook of Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). “My son loves classic rock and is a big CCR fan,” Mark told me. “He brought his music to Afghanistan while serving with the Nevada National Guard. The Afghans he worked with over there loved the music!” Mark also shared with me that his brother, Mike, was the bass player for the Middle Class.

Like Rebecca Romney, Mark hasn’t been to Milwaukee yet. But he did at least step foot in the state. “I drove across the bridge one time from Woodbury, Minnesota into Wisconsin while visiting relatives in Minnesota. And I applied for a director’s job in Green Bay many years ago. I remember being told during the interview it was necessary to be a Green Bay Packers fan. I thought, ‘Uh…okay,’” he said with a laugh.

As for final thoughts, “Come by the museum when you’re here, and go visit your local museum! And I hope you like the show!”

Additional Resources:

Monday, June 2, 2014

Milwaukee's 2014 Lakefront Festival of Art

The Lakefront Festival of Art, which is a yearly fundraising event held in support of the Milwaukee Art Museum, returns again in 2014 for another celebration of art, food, and music. The festival, which dates back to 1963 and typically draws in an attendance of nearly 30,000 people over the course of the three day event, will run from June 20th to 22nd at the Milwaukee Art Museum. The museum is located at 700 North Art Museum Drive and festival hours will be from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

This year's festival, which will feature more than 180 artists from around the world, will include works based in a number of mediums like ceramic, wood, glass, and metal. Fiber (including fiber fashions) is bound to be another popular medium at this year's festival, as will paint and pastel-based art, plus digital, print, and photographic works. Jewelry, sculpture, and mixed media pieces (both two dimensional and three dimensional) will also be on display throughout the course of the festival.

While at the Lakefront Festival of Art, be sure to check out the main stage where several musicians are scheduled to perform throughout the weekend. The various performers span a range of musical genres including jazz, folkgrass, pop/rock, classical, Latin, and soul among others. For a special treat, head on over to the main stage at 1 p.m. on Saturday for the Fiber Arts Fashion Show. The show will feature fiber art fashions that were uniquely crafted by artists participating in the festival.

The festival will also feature a stage in the children's area of the grounds with live music, dance, and theatrical performances specifically tailored to a child audience. A number of children's entertainers will also be roaming around the area, so keep an eye out for the various face painters, magicians, and jugglers on site. By visiting the Children's Art Tent, children will also be able to flex their creative muscles while creating their very own one of a kind work of art.

Many on-location vendors will be happy to serve you, should you find yourself looking for a bite to eat or craving a refreshing beverage while at the festival. Milwaukee Magazine, in particular, will be sponsoring a wine garden where guests can partake in a wide selection of premium wines and cheeses while enjoying a read-through of Milwaukee Magazine's latest issues. The Blue Moon Brewing Company will also be on the grounds with samplings from a number of their microbrews including Pine in the Neck, Tongue Thai-ed, and Chimp from their Graffiti collection.

To help raise additional money to support the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Lakefront Festival of Art will also be holding a silent auction where you can bid on numerous pieces that have been donated by the festival's chosen artists. Bids can be made online prior to the event as well as throughout the festival weekend until the auction closes on Sunday. Festival attendance is not required to participate in the silent auction.

The "at the gate" ticket price for the Lakefront Festival of Art is $17 for general admission. Seniors (aged 65 and over) and students with a valid ID can purchase tickets at a discounted price of $14 each, whereas members of the Milwaukee Art Museum will be granted admission to the festival for $10. Three day passes are also available for $25. To save $5 off the cost of general admission, simply show your Pick n' Save Fresh Perks card at the gate and donate a non-perishable food item to their Feeding Families Food Drive.

Advance tickets to the event can be purchased for $10, either online or at one of over 60 ticket locations in the greater Milwaukee area. To view a full list of available ticket outlets or to purchase advance tickets online, please visit the ticket information page of the Milwaukee Art Museum's website at All Lakefront Festival of Art tickets include free all-access admission to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Free admission to the festival is available for both children aged 12 and under and Wisconsin K-12 teachers with a valid school ID or pay stub. Active members of the military, reservists, and military spouses are also welcome to enjoy the festival free of charge. Simply present your valid military identification card during admission to be granted free access to the event.

For anyone planning to drive to the Lakefront Festival of Art, please note that the underground parking lot at the museum will be closed during the festival, but an alternative parking location has been chosen nearby. Official festival parking, which costs $10, will be at the CPS lot located across from the Summerfest main gate. Entrances to the lot can be found at 691 East Chicago Street and 265 North Harbor Drive. A complementary shuttle service will be on location to transport visitors to and from the festival grounds.

The Lakefront Festival of Art is so much more than just art. It's also great music and tasty food surrounded by an inviting family-friendly atmosphere. Not only that, but it's also helping to raise funds for a great cause – supporting the Milwaukee Art Museum and its extensive collections of art. This fun-filled festival is unlike any other and a prime example for how fundraising events should be held. So, why not head on over to the Milwaukee Art Museum between June 20th and 22nd to show your support and to see what the festival has to offer for yourself?