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Van McNeil's Blog


Posts from August 2012


Remembering Jack Bartosz...

March 13, 2011 Milwaukee Wave MACC Fund Game | Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers w 9-year-old Jack Bartosz of Hartland (left) and 7-year-old Emilie Janzen of Pewaukee. (right)Cancer SUCKS!

"Sucks" is a word I rarely use but in this case I'll make a rare exception!

I had the honor of meeting Jack Bartosz and family at the Milwaukee Wave / MACC Fund - Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer Game in 2011.

Jack was diagnosed with Stage 4, high-risk neuroblastoma in September 2005 after a tumor was found on his adrenal gland.

Sadly, he passed away yesterday.

You can read more about Jack's story at www.ibackjack.org.

I go back to that March 2011 Milwaukee Wave game and remember meeting him. 

He was a spunky little man, creator of the MACC Fund Star and so excited to meet AND take the field with Green Bay Packers QB / Super Bowl Champion Aaron Rodgers.

I'll never forget that smile...

Please keep the Bartosz family in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is a statement from the family....

It is with heaviest of hearts that we write to tell you that Jack found his ultimate cure yesterday afternoon. Our amazing boy left his tired body so his soul could soar free. As we grieve for the loss of our beloved Jack we also remember Jack’s personality, humor, sensitivity and heroism. We are thankful he is at peace yet are missing him so desperately.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank everyone who has supported Jack and our family throughout his courageous fight with neuroblastoma. We are touched and inspired by the sheer number of people who backed Jack, including you the media. Jack touched so many lives, but none greater than that of his loving family.

Our life suffered a dramatic, cruel twist with Jack’s cancer diagnosis nearly seven years ago. When we started the I Back Jack Foundation we knew that regardless of Jack’s outcome we would remain determined to ensuring Jack’s story would result in a happy ending for children unfairly chosen to battle cancer. Jack will always fuel us and inspire us to do more as we continue to raise funds for pediatric cancer research.

While our time with Jack on earth has ended we know that we have a great love that will never be erased. We appreciate your prayers, your support, and your ongoing backing of Jack.

Missing our boy,
John, Sarah and Annie

VIDEO: Sunday, March 13th, 2011 | Aaron Rodgers Shows Up To Help Cause, Make Dreams Come True at Milwaukee Wave game...click here.
READ: Aaron Rodgers remembers Jack Bartosz...click here.

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Franc D'Ambrosio LIVE at Peck Pavilion Interview
The LIVE! at Peck Pavilion outdoor music series continues at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and tomorrow / Tuesday you are in for a special treat with Franc D'Ambrosio BROADWAY!

Franc has been in the Broadway sensation, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, has appeared in the movie, Godfather III and lots, LOTS more!

Take a listen to the interview w Franc below and find out what you can expect at the show Tuesday night!



www.MarcusCenter.org
www.FrancDambrosio.com
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Talking Race, Religion and Sex w Larry Wilmore.
Who the heck is Larry Wilmore?
You may know him for his appearances on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Emmy® Award winner Larry Wilmore has been a TV producer, actor, comedian and writer for more than 20 years. He has written for IN LIVING COLOR, THE BERNIE MAC SHOW (which he created and served as executive producer), THE PJ’S (which he co–created), THE OFFICE (on which he has appeared as Mr. Brown, the diversity consultant), and THE FRESH PRINCE OF BEL-AIR. He won an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series” and a Peabody Award for his work on THE BERNIE MAC SHOW. He's also an author and penned the book I'd Rather We Got Casinos and Other Black Thoughts and now he joins me to talk about his new special, "Larry Wilmore's Race, Religion & Sex from Utah", set to air Saturday night at 11pm ET / 10pm  CT only on Showtime! Take a listen to the interview and find out the special, his work on The Daily Show and LOTS more!


www.TheLarryWilmore.com
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An adventure w the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs.
I had the honor of going up with the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs as they kicked off Milwaukee Air & Water Show over the weekend. It was an amazing experience that I'll never ever forget! Check out the footage from inside the C-130 Military Aircraft, see how the Navy Seals get ready for their jump and take a nice relaxing ride from 4.500 feet above Milwaukee all the way down to Bradford Beach!

A very big THANK YOU to the U.S. Air Force Reserve 440th Airlift Wing, the Wisconsin National Guard's 128th Refueling Wing, the 95th Airlift Squadron Flying Badgers and the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs.
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Baked Potato Eating Contest 2012 Wisconsin State Fair
Here we are again!

Another year of the Baked Potato Eating Contest at the great Wisconsin State Fair and we have you covered with the highlights!

I had the honor of hosting and competing again this year but what about that WIN?

Check out highlights from both the Celebrity and Fairgoer competition's below and find out who gets the bragging rights this year!

Join me Thursday, August 9th for the Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Contest | 11:45am | Cousins Subs Amphitheater | www.WiStateFair.com
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Milwaukee Brewers 2012 Grand Slam Golden Mixer Highlights
On Sunday, July 29th I had the chance to hang with some of the Milwaukee Brewers for the Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation's 2nd Annual Grand Slam Golden Mixer at StoneFire Pizza Company in New Berlin, WI.

The event was put on by the Brewers Wives and all proceeds went to the Foundation For Children With Caner.

The fun, family friendly event gave fans the opportunity to interact with Brewers players, coaches and their families.

The experience included various food buffets, beverages, endless complimentary game play, a photo booth, silent auction, the opportunity to meet your favorite Brewer players and a chance to play games along side with them. 

A very big THANK YOU to eveyone that came out!
Check out the pictures and video below and be sure to join us next year!
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So far, SO GREAT!
3 & 1/2 months and counting since my family and I packed up our stuff in NJ and made the trek to Milwaukee! Anytime you leave what you've "known" for years and years, you always worry that: It won't work It's not a great fit It'll take a LONG time to FIT IN Well, I'm here to say that all of those answers couldn't be farther from the truth! From DAY 1, my radio family here at The Mix has welcomed my family and I with OPEN ARMS (My favorite JOURNEY song btw) and it's like we've known each other forever! At the same time, my new family of radio listeners (ALL OF YOU reading this right now) have also made me so incredibly comfortable and happy and as stated above, it's like I've known you well, longer than the 3.5 months I've been here! You've helped my family and I find a place to live, great restaurants (my family and I love to eat), great places to visit to entertain my kids, a travel baseball team for my oldest son Anthony and of course, great karaoke so I can get my sing on! I will continue to ask for your advice on different things along the way and I know WITHOUT A DOUBT, you'll be there to answer whatever questions my family and I have! For that, I'm very grateful! Just wanted to take a few minutes to say THANK YOU for welcoming Me, my wife Sarah, and children Anthony and Benjamin with such warmth and kindness! We look forward to being a part of the community for a long time to come! Thank you for listening to 99.1 The Mix! I'm havin' a BLAST! Hope YOU are too! Sincerely, Mark Summers
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Grow Potatoes in the Garden or Container
What is white, red or yellow, can be eaten fresh, fried or even raw and is one of the most important staples of the human diet? If you guessed potato, you are right. Grow your own in the garden, planting bag or containers. You can plant small potatoes or pieces of larger potatoes to start new plants. These contain "eyes" that grow into potato plants. You may have seen this happen on potatoes stored in the pantry. Buy certified seed potatoes at garden centers or from garden catalogues. Cut whole or large seed potatoes into smaller pieces containing at least one good "eye". Plant them in a 2-3 inch deep furrow, 10 to 12 inches apart, leaving 24 to 36 inches between the plants. As the plants begin to grow, mound the nearby soil over the tubers until the rows are 4 to 6 inches high. Keep the planting weeded and wait for the harvest. A bit more information: Save space and have some fun by growing your potatoes in a planting bag. Fill the bottom few inches of the bag with potting mix. Set the potato pieces on the mix. Cover with several inches of soil. As the potatoes grow, continue adding a couple of inches of soil at a time until the bag is full. Harvest by dumping the bag and lifting out your potatoes. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Brown Needles and Leaves on Evergreens
A walk through your garden this spring may reveal browning on both needled and broadleaf evergreen trees and shrubs. Winter winds and sun, exposure to deicing salt and record low temperatures are likely the cause. Evergreens continue to lose moisture through their leaves and needles throughout the winter. The winter sun and wind increase moisture loss. Those gardening in areas with frozen soil are likely to see the most damage. But even those in warmer regions may see winter scorch on newly planted or exposed evergreen plants. We can't turn the needles and leaves green, but we can provide proper care to speed recovery. If the branches are pliable and buds plump you should see new growth this spring. Broadleaf evergreens will replace the brown leaves with fresh new growth. Brown needles will eventually drop and the new growth this spring may mask the damage. Wait for warmer weather to see what if any new growth appears. A bit more information: Once plants have started to show signs of new growth, you have a decision to make. Is the plant healthy and attractive enough to nurture and keep? Or, would you be better off starting with a new plant and one better suited to the growing conditions. A difficult decision, but one that can save you time, money and frustration in the long run. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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A Multi-Season Beauty – The Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Add seasonal interest and bird appeal to your landscape with the white fringetree (Chionanthus virginicus). This slow growing small-scale tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and wide. The slightly fragrant white flowers cover the plant in spring. The male plants produce slightly larger and showier flowers, but the female plants produce an abundance of blue fruit in late summer. Though the fruit is somewhat hidden by the leaves, the birds seem to have no problem finding and devouring it. But don't worry however as they won't leave behind a mess. The fall color can vary from a good yellow to a yellowish green. And the smooth gray bark become ridged and furrowed with age. Fringetree is hardy in zones 4 to 9, grows well in full sun to part shade and though it prefers moist fertile soil, it is adaptable to a much wider range of conditions. It can be found in nature growing along stream banks and the woodland edge. A bit more information: Use fringetree as a small tree or large shrub, as a specimen plant, near buildings, or in mixed borders as an understory. And be patient in spring as it is late to leaf out. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Daisy – the April Birth Flower
Celebrate April birthdays with a bouquet of daisies. This April birth flower symbolizes childhood innocence or according to the Farmer's Almanac they were given between friends to keep a secret. Many flowers share the common name daisy. It comes from the English name "days eye" referring to the fact many daisy flowers open during the day and close as the sun sets. Bellis perennis, known as English daisy, is most often designated as the April birth flower. It is hardy in zones 4 to 8, grows about 6 inches tall and flowers from spring through mid summer. You will find this plant listed as an attractive perennial or nasty weed. In the south the plants often burn out after flowering during the heat of summer. In cooler climates they are often dug after flowering to maximize enjoyment and minimize spread. The young leaves can be eaten in salads or cooked. A bit more information: Sweet peas are also considered the April birth flower. This is especially true in April. This flower represents modesty and simplicity. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Garden Longer with Less Aches and Pains – It’s National Garden Week
Avoid sore and strained muscles that often arise after a long day in the garden. A few simple changes in your gardening habits can keep you gardening longer and with fewer aches, pains and strains. Use long-handled tools to extend your reach and minimize bending and stooping. And if you need to get a bit closer to the ground, try placing only one knee on the ground or using a stool and keep your back straight. Keep your tools handy by wearing a carpenter's apron with lots of pockets or using a tool caddy. An old wagon, wheeled golf bag or trash can make moving long-handled tools a breeze. Use foam or wrap your tool handles with tape to enlarge the grip and reduce hand fatigue. Or better yet, invest in ergonomically designed tools with larger cushioned grips. They are designed to position your body in a less stressful position, allowing you to work longer. A bit more information: Further extend your energy by taking frequent breaks. Use sunscreen, wear a hat and drink lots of water. For more ideas, check out my 10 Pain-free Gardening tips. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Dandelion Day – It’s not just a weed
Stop, don't pull those pesky yellow flowered dandelions popping up in the lawn and garden. These beautiful flowers have not only been used as bouquets for mom and crowns for children, but have a long medicinal and edible history. On April 5th, Dandelion Day, celebrate the benefits and beauty of this perennial plant many consider a weed. You'll find this adaptable plant growing in a wide variety of locations. The name dandelion comes from the French "dent de lion" meaning lion's tooth. This refers to the leaves with their jagged tooth-like edges. Dandelions are high in Vitamins A, B, C and D and were used by Native Americans for kidney disease, swelling and skin problems. Harvest the young leaves in spring and add them to a salad or sauté with onions. Brighten up a salad with just the yellow portion of the flowers or ferment them into wine. A bit more information: Dandelions are also known as 'wet-the-bed'. This refers to the old belief that just touching a dandelion can cause bed-wetting. This may be tied to the fact that dandelions have been used as a diuretic. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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Celebrate National Celery Month - Grow Your Own Celery Indoors or Out
Celery, an unassuming vegetable has long been used as a flavorful ingredient in soups, stews and casseroles. You'll also find it fresh on a relish tray or as a crunchy low calorie snack. Its value is being recognized and celebrated during April, National Celery Month. This long season vegetable is difficult to grow in many areas. The plants are slow to germinate and the young transplants will bolt if subject to cool periods. Grow celery in full sun with moist organic soil. Provide ample moisture and mulch to keep the soil moist throughout the season. Wrap or cover the stalks two weeks before harvest to blanch the stems for a milder flavor. Or have a bit of fun and grow some celery from kitchen discards. Next time you chop up a bunch of celery for soup or stew, save the base and grow a new plant. A bit more information: It's easy to grow your own celery from kitchen discards. Save the base of the celery in a shallow dish of water or bury the bottom half in a well-drained potting mix to root. Set in a bright location. Keep water in the saucer or the soil mix moist until new growth appears. Pot up and move to a sunny location. For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
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It's that time...
It's that time of year...ALLERGIES! This morning I walked my dog only to experience ichy watery eyes... So off to Walgreens I went to pick up Visine A eye drops...We are teaming up with Visine A eye drops to help me get some relief! Just a drop in each eye and aaaahhhh relief. So, if YOU experience allergies and want to get back to feeling normal...I recommend Visine A eye drops and get back outside and enjoy the things you like to do without looking like you're sick! NICE!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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Definitely Gonna Miss This Guy!
It's definitley time for David Letterman to retire, especially with Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel doing so well! But after I heard his announcement, I have to admit, I was a little sad, I'm a HUGE fan! Below is a picture of me in New York visiting my friend Shelby who was one of his writing interns this past year!
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