Have we seen the last of this scene for the season?
Have we seen the last of this scene for the season?

Is it time to put the snowblower away for the year?

Like many of my neighbors, I tried to maximize my outdoor activity this weekend. It was rough, considering the slate of exciting basketball games on the TV, but I managed to run a bunch of errands, walk the dog and rake a few flower beds and even cook some hamburgers on the backyard grill, all while wearing a light jacket.

At some point during the festivities, I spotted a gas can in the garage and wondered -- is it time to winterize that snowblower?

There is an unwritten rule in baseball that you don't talk about a no-hitter in the dugout. It's supposed to be a jinx.

Would it anger the weather gods if I ran a little gas through the snowblower and put it away? We all remember monstrous snowstorms hitting in April -- often around the time of the Brewers' home opener.

At the risk of putting a hex on us, spring is off to a pleasant start in these parts. We've had a pleasant March and the forecast for later this week looks amazing.

Still, I'm reluctant to tempt fate. Anybody else nervous that winter isn't quite over?

Jim Marshall captured some of the iconic moments in rock history.
Jim Marshall captured some of the iconic moments in rock history.

A bright light is extinguished

Chances are pretty good that you've filled out an NCAA tournament bracket, played in a fantasy football or baseball league or know somebody that has done either or all of the above.

Some of my friends participate in a variation of those pastimes known as "the celebrity death pool."

It's just like it sounds.

Once a year, they have a draft. They pick celebrities you think are going to kick the bucket and you get points if they shuffle off this mortal coil. Every time somebody in "the league" dies, they race to text or call each other with the news and update the standings.

It's morbid, I know.

That's why I can't bring myself to participate. When I hear about celebrity deaths in the sports or entertainment world, I usually think about whether I've interviewed the person of if I'd liked to have interviewed that person.

I've spoken with some notable people in my time, but my "want" list remains voluminous.

A name fell off today.

Famous rock photographer Jim Marshall, whose images of Johnny Cash (flipping the bird), Jimi Hendrix (burning his guitar) NS the Beatles' final show at Shea Stadium rank among my favorite works of art, died at the age of 74.

The cause of death was immediately unknown but he apparently died in his sleep in a New York City hotel room.

I doubt if he was "famous" enough to register in my friends' pools, but I would love to have interviewed Marshall about his life and career, but never got the opportunity.

Now, I'll have to focus on getting Hugh Hefner to consent to an OnMilwaukee.com sit-down.

Wisconsin's hockey team opens play in the NCAA tournament this week.
Wisconsin's hockey team opens play in the NCAA tournament this week.

Buck up, Badgers fans -- you've still got hockey

Wisconsin's NCAA tournament dreams aren't dead yet.

The men's basketball team was embarrassed by Cornell, 87-69, in a Second Round game Sunday afternoon in Jacksonville, Fla.

But, the hockey team is just getting started.

The Badgers (25-10-4) received an at-large bid and a No. 1 seed in the 16-team field for the NCAA hockey tournament and will face Vermont on Friday in St. Paul. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU beginning at 8 p.m.

In the other semifinal, St. Cloud State (23-13-5), which beat the Badgers in the WCHA Final Five last week, faced Northern Michigan (20-12-8).

The winners meet at 8 p.m. Saturday for a berth in the Frozen Four, which runs April 8-10 at Ford Field in Detroit.

The UW wrestling team wrapped up a successful weekend by finishing fourth at the NCAA wrestling championships in Omaha, Neb. Sophomore Andrew Howe defeated Penn State's Dan Vallimont, 9-3, to win the title at 165 pounds.

Howe is the 13th different NCAA champ in school history and the first since Donny Pritzlaff in 2000-01.

"I wasn't going to let this one get away from me," said Howe, who was a runner-up in last year's final. "I've been telling myself that for a whole year now. I've been thinking about that loss (in last year's finals) every single day for that entire year and I didn't want to go another year thinking the same thing."

Howe finishes his sophomore season as an All-American, as well as an NCAA and Big Ten champion. He compiled a 37-0 overall record, including four victories by pin, two by technical fall and 13 by major decision.

The undefeated sophomore is just the fourth Badger to go undefeated in a single season, joining Matt Demaray (42-0 in 1990-91), Andy Rein (40-0 in 1979-80) and Lee Kemp (39-0 in 1975-76).

As a team, Wisconsin finished in fourth place with 70.5 points to tie for the best finish in school history and the best under current head coach Barry Davis, who was named 2010 NWCA Coach of the …

Karl Ratzsch's is "a culinary time capsule."
Karl Ratzsch's is "a culinary time capsule." (Photo: Whitney Teska)

Rapid review: Karl Ratzsch's Restaurant

March Madness is here, and the basketball action heats up in Milwaukee this week as the Bradley Center hosts the Midwest and West regional rounds of the "big dance." With fans flocking from near and far, the editorial staff at OnMilwaukee.com thought we'd help greet our new visitors with a week's worth of features and guides to everything that makes our city a great place to visit. It's "Welcome to Milwaukee Week" at OnMilwaukee.com!

Karl Ratzsch's Restaurant
320 E. Mason St., (414) 276-2720

Milwaukee is a great restaurant town, which is good because -- as visitors can tell by our size -- people here love to eat.

While the Downtown area boasts many newer restaurants with chefs that push the culinary boundaries with delicious results, there is something to be said for the standards.

Karl Ratzsch's is a traditional, family-owned restaurant that OnMilwaukee.com dining critic Amy Schubert once called, "a culinary time capsule."

For 106 years, it has been serving food that reflects Milwaukee's German heritage. The woodwork and chairs are heavy. There are beer steins and German artwork everywhere. The servers wear vests and dirndls. And the meals are like grandma used to make -- or enjoy during a night out.

You start with a basket of light caraway rolls and dive into homemade soups (often with dumplings) and move onto entrees like liver roast duck, sauerbraten, wiener schnitzel and veal cutlets.

The portions are large. The prices are reasonable. The vibe is comfortable. A trip to Karl Ratzsch is a trip back in time, but you will enjoy the ride.