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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014

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Hi: 56
Lo: 46
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Hi: 64
Lo: 46
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Alexander Hamilton can kiss my ass

I was recently enraptured by HBO's latest mini series, "John Adams." It smacked of historical truth and a sincere attempt to present an honest portrayal. The well-thought out details about oral health, timing of revolutionary events and primitive interior design were all interesting and genuine interpretations.

However, I do realize that history itself is just a glorified game of "telephone," and time skews fact. But, HBO was conveniently serving up American history each Sunday night at eight, so I went with it.

Paul Giamatti's performance was solid, and I believe he did Mr. Adams -- albeit not a very likeable character at times -- justice. But the role I liked the LEAST was that of our first secretary of the treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Not only was he a major-league jerk, he seemed quite twisted politically: supporting enemies over much larger enemies, challenging more than one to a "duel at dawn" and generally being as over-zealous as your garden variety 1930s Nazi.

And that's why I'm hoping -- nay, PRAYING -- you'll join my protest against our $10 bill. Since it's the only manifestation we have of the man, I choose IT to be the bearer of my disdain. "Boooo!" I say to the promissory note featuring the evil Mr. Hamilton. I've decided to trade them all in for a five and five ones, or perhaps 10 ones.

Hell, I'd even carry 40 quarters around just to avoid the infestation of that backbiting Federalist within the confines of my righteous wallet. Along with the aforementioned West Indian bastard, I'm even considering a personal ban on the actor Rufus Sewell. I dare HBO to air one of his other films -- for I will gladly avoid it!

Yes, Home Box Office, you have opened mine eyes to the truth of our storied past. And I long for more -- perhaps an Aaron Burr mini-series culminating with the infamous duel itself. Any more fodder to feed the furnace of my federalist fury would surely be welcome, good sirs.

Until then, I bid you good day! …

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Know your local crackhead

I'm a landlord. And, currently, a friend and I are also fixing up a home to "flip." Most people -- including myself -- would consider this home to be in a pretty sketchy neighborhood. I can't say where exactly, but my wife won't let me work there alone.

Several months ago, we started getting vandalized. A few rocks through some windows and some graffiti -- nothing too big. More irritating though, we got our WE Energies meter pulled off the house, and the copper wire providing power was stolen.

This means calling WE Energies technicians, calling a professional electrician, paying out about $150 and waiting about three days until it's fixed. The first time we were hit, we decided to put some lights on -- timers to make it seem like someone was home. This security measure held up for a couple weeks, until we were hit again. Another $150 down the tubes. We then had lights on and off, and added the porch light and started visiting the house more often. Soon after, we were hit again. Ditto on the $150. (Now, remember, the crackhead stealing the copper to pay for a fix only gets about $10 for his trouble.)

I then thought, "Hmmm, who is my audience and how best can I communicate to them?"

After thinking about leaving a $10 bill in the box for them or mounting a surveillance camera to catch them in the act, I decided to appeal to a basic fear. Fear is the universal motivator applied by millions of advertisers over hundreds of years. I employed my graphic skills, a few well-chosen words, the right placement and I got the message directly to my audience. Specifically, I made a sticker that straddled the meter box itself.

It read: WARNING: BOX ARMED WITH NEW "HOT SHOCK" THEFT TECHNOLOGY. DISCONNECT AT POLE BEFORE ENTERING METER!

A nice big WE Energies logo, some orange and black stripes, and voila! It's been months now and other homes have been "hit," but we've remained secure.

My "focus group" taught me that getting fried isn't worth $10…

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