Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I’m old enough to remember the assassinations of JFK and RFK. While I don’t believe Ted Kennedy comes close to having the same stature of his brothers, when news of the brain tumor hit, you put politics aside. You must feel great empathy, especially given the tremendous grief and suffering the Kennedy family has had to endure.
At about the very same time I heard the news about Kennedy, I learned that one of my cousins, just a few years older than me, who had suffered a major stroke was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor is treatable, but not curable. He has less than a month to live.
This Memorial Day weekend, I went to the VA to see him. Past the veterans in wheelchairs, I made my way to the 8th floor, the “waiting to die” floor as it’s called at the VA.
There are swirls of emotions you feel as you look at a once healthy, stocky, happy-go-lucky guy who is now helpless.
I must admit the VA is clean and the care my cousin is receiving is top notch. There is someone in his room with him 24 hours a day to do everything, even hold his hand if necessary.
I stayed for over an hour and talked, mostly with my cousin’s wife and the medical personnel. My cousin called me by name several times and extended his hand for a handshake when I walked into the room. After that, I’m not sure he knew who I was or that I was even in the room. Finding the right words for conversation is virtually impossible.
I tried very hard not to cry, and I almost pulled it off…….until I got outside the VA and walked to my car.
Back in the early 80’s, I anchored WUWM’s live coverage of a major announcement by Wisconsin Governor Lee Dreyfus. I have blogged about this before, but it’s relevant again.
For over 25 years, a phrase Dreyfus said in his speech, for whatever reason, has remained with me.
“I am not cavalier about time,” Dreyfus said as he announced he would not run for a second term.
“I am not cavalier about time.”
No one should be.
Life can be stripped away anyplace, anytime.
Numerous clichés also come to mind. You know, ones like living each day as though it’s your last. But does anyone really do that?
And can you imagine the daunting challenge of simple everyday management, knowing you have a fraction of a calendar left?
Every Memorial Day weekend, I spend time relaxing, grilling, spending time with family and what not.
I’m not sure what’s left on my dance card, but whatever time I have, I’ll never forget my Memorial Day weekend trip to the VA.
"The backyard barbecue is where you'll see the most impact from the government's decision to subsidize the use of food to put fuel in our cars. From the ketchup to the paper plates, these are the things that are going to cost you a lot more than they used to. And this is just the beginning. Next year, it'll be even more expensive just to stay home and make burgers."
Carol Tucker-Foreman, food policy expert at the Consumer Federation of America.
Tucker-Foreman says high-fructose corn syrup can be found in most items at a backyard bbq.
Yet another reason to hate ethanol.
Do you know anyone who likes salmon?
This person eats salmon a lot.
Try five times a week.
If you know someone who loves salmon, do not buy them this book for Christmas:
Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe.
Canadian author Grescoe is wild about seafood, any and all kinds. He’s embarked on a long, world-wide mission to update the state of the seafood industry, everything from the Filet-O-Fish at McDonald’s to freshly caught and served seafood at 5-star restaurants.
Jennifer Jacquet writes in thetyee.ca, the website for Tyee Books, “Bottomfeeder investigates some of the biggest problems with fishing: corruption, overfishing of top predators, bottom trawling, illegal fishing, and the wasteful habits of bycatch and the fishmeal industry.”
The findings are not too appetizing.
Salon.com reports the bad news includes, “Oceanic dead zones that, because of pollution and overfishing, can no longer support organic life; salmon farms polluted by pesticides and disease; ruthless bottom trawlers with nets that can destroy entire ecosystems.”
“In a world of globalized seafood, following the trail from your fork back to the hook or the pond can lead to some pretty ugly places,” writes Grescoe.
Grescoe told Salon.com in an interview, “North Americans are quite conscious about their health, and fish is amazing for your health. There are theories out there right now that early hominids' brains were able to grow because they had a source of omega 3 [fatty acids] in their diet that is only possible with a shore-based diet. In North America we consume a lot of fish, but we eat the bad fish. Eating these fish disrupts the food chains in the ocean and creates a situation where there are all these strange trophic cascades. All of a sudden there are more jellyfish in the ocean, more bottom feeders. We're changing the very nature of the oceans.”
There are heavy overtones of environmental consciousness in Bottomfeeder (frankly, I never feel guilty about anything I eat), but there’s also plenty of culinary advice about what to and what not to eat when it comes to the ever-growing popularity of seafood. You be the judge if Grescoe is too alarmist.
Here’s Grescoe’s interview with Salon.com.
To read previous Culinary no-no’s, please click CULINARY NO-NO under my TAGS section.
DON'T FORGET TO VOTE IN THE 2008 BEST IN FRANKLIN-AREA DINING SURVEY
As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:
1) THE 2008 BEST IN FRANKLIN-AREA DINING SURVEY
2) I thought the governor couldn't use his veto pen like that anymore
3) It's official: Franklin bloggers are obsessed about Boomgaard
4) Yes that is an interesting piece in the Business Journal about Boomgaard
5) An example of how Wisconsin hates business