Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another One from the Archives

I am in the office today and I just got back from the bathroom. While I was washing my hands I spilt some water on my pants and that made me think of this story. I will say that this happened back in 2000 or so when I was down visiting the General while he was living in Texas. We were had stopped at some mall and we both had to go to the bathroom, and while we were both washing our hands, I cupped my hands together and managed to pool up an astonishing amount of water from the faucet. I then proceeded to throw this water at the General’s crotch area. When we both emerged from the bathroom, it appeared from any passerby’s point of view, that the General had not made it to the bathroom in time. I do have to give myself some credit, because he wasn’t just a little wet, but soaked. To make matters worse anyone that we passed as we walked, especially any attractive females, I would say loud enough for all to hear, “My God, you have no self control at all.” Or “I told you not to drink all of those Cokes.” Or “Which one of these stores has those rubber sheets mom told us to buy for you?” A couple weeks after this episode, Nate, Jay and I were meeting some people out who were having dinner at a fairly nice restaurant in downtown Milwaukee. I attempted the same trick on Jay, but he foiled my attempt to get him wet, I only managed to soak the surrounding walls. But this did end up with the two of us wrestling on the bathroom floor for at least a couple minutes. Pretty mature.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

Hello kids, I haven't had much of an exciting Memorial Day weekend. I have for the most part been getting things ready for the big Antonio Freeman Party. I was able to put a screen door on the side door, but the front door had to be ordered so it won't be ready for the party. I finished off all of the game props and made some barricades to block off the street. I ran out of time, otherwise I would have registered for a permit to block the street. Looks like I won't have a permit again this year. Like that is going to stop me. Today is Memorial Day. I have a tradition of watching "Saving Private Ryan" every Memorial Day. I feel it gives me a sense of what our forefathers went through in order to preserve our freedom to allow us to live the way we do. It helps me to appreciate what I have. I think too often we take these freedoms that other fought so hard for granted. If my friend and communist, the General, is reading this. I hope that one day he watches that movie. I know that the General used to be in the Army. General please note the courage and strength that the people portrayed in the movie exhibit. That courage and strength is what allow you the freedom to live you life the way you do. Even though I do not argee with your beliefs on freedom of speech, thousands of men died to give you the right to believe the way you do. I hope you appreciate it. Enough of me railing on the General. Well let me get in some old pictures.

Here I am at Red Rock is Denver with Tree, Russ and Krum.

This is me with my God son Josh the day after he was born. See Jodi, I do post pictures of your kids. Oh and if you are reading this, I am going over to Jon and Julie's today, so consider this your heads up.

Friday, May 26, 2006


Good evening and what can I tell you. This is a recurring theme, here, that is me not getting daily postings up. As my loyal readers, I am afraid that you are going to have to accept that I am not going to get in as many postings as I would like. Sorry but I guess that is what is going to happen when the weather gets nice. When I last left you, I had finished up a weekend with the Brewers and Borky. But I wasn't done with Borky, oh no. I ended up staying at his place most of the week. Monday night I went to Borky's wiffle ball game. Yes wiffle ball. It looked like a lot of fun, and I am sure if there was a league here in Milwaukee, I would be all over it. As I may have mentioned, I was up in Minnesota for work. Actually my project is in Prescott, Wisconsin. I am the lead project engineer on the movable bridge that crosses the St. Croix River that divides Minnesota from Wisconsin. I needed to go up there to supervise some plumbing that was taking place. And even though I planned the work to take place this week, the plumber had different ideas. My plumbing contractor really didn't work at all the entire week. So each day, I would drive the half hour from Minneapolis to Prescott, check the job site, then track down the plumber just to have him say that he wasn't going to work on it that day. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday I was on site for a total of an hour and a half all three days combined. This left me an abundance of time on my hands. Monday afternoon I did some apartment hunting for when I move up there. I also checked out some places on Tuesday. Monday afternoon I also checked out Spyeglass world headquarters. Spyeglass is Krum's business. Tuesday afternoon I went back to Borky's place and installed some new lights into his garage. Borky had a ping pong table in his garage and the lighting wasn't all that great, but I fixed that. And then Tuesday night I put a ping pong thumping on Borky, taking about 20 games in a row from him. Wednesday after finishing work, if you want to call it that, and I am guessing that you wouldn't, I went to Krum's house, even though no one was home there, and watched a couple of movies. Wednesday night was a little party at Borky's because Borky's wife had been out of town all week. So we grilled out and played some ping pong. Thursday I had scheduled an on site meeting with all of my sub contractors for the bridge project, this was actually the main reason I was up there. The meeting went well but long, 3 hours long. My electrical engineer from my company flew in for the meeting from Chicago, and afterwards he asked me if I wanted to have lunch. I was planning to leave right away, because I was suppose to help my brother pour concrete that afternoon and then I had a kickball game that night at 6:00. But since I know that problems are going to pop up on this job, and this engineer is going to bail me out of crap over the course of the project, if he wanted to have lunch then I was going to buy him lunch. I didn't leave Prescott until after 1:00. In my hurry to get home, driving along Highway 10, I got pulled over by a State Trooper for speeding. He had me clocked at 72, I said that I was going 70, but that didn't matter since it was in a 55 mph zone. He said he gave me a break and gave me a ticket for 15 over. Although this time I didn't thank him when he gave me the ticket. That is my new rule, I do no thank the police when I am issued a ticket. Not that it happens all that often. Then when I coming through Madison, I was going about 12 over, and I had another State Trooper pull out and follow me for about 10 miles. That would have really made my day if I had been issued a second speeding ticket in the same day. I ended up missing my kickball game. And by the time I got to my brother's, they had all of the concrete down so I just watched them finish it and make a couple smart ass remarks. I realize that none of this is all that exciting but this is my life and what I have been up to. Just wait until I actually move up to Minnesota and I have plenty of time to make daily postings. Here is a sample of what you may recieve.
"Well it is mid November and it snowed another 8 inches last night."
Or something like that. Here are some pictures.

This is my bridge.

Krum, running the show at Spyglass HQ.
Gordy, supervising the work at my brother's place. I thought that was my job.
Jeff and Jon hard at work.
Not that you wouldn't believe me, but here is a copy of my speeding ticket.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Pearl Jam Pics


I know that I am always issueing apologies on my blog because I am not keeping up with it. And here is another one. I think this trend will most likely continue through the summer. But let me give you a run down of my last week. Sunday and Monday nights I played soccer. Tuesday night I went with my old roommate, Suzanne, to the Pearl Jam concert in Chicago. Wednesday I headed back down to Chicago again for the second show. This time I went with Jay, and we met up wtih Krum. Tuesday had a better set list. But Wednesday was a better concert. The seats were better. Sorry Suzanne, I took you to the wrong show. Wednesday instead of being on the floor, we were 10 rows up on the side. And Wednesday the band seemed to have more energy. Plus I drank a little more Wednesday. Which leads me to my poll question. Please vote below. Thursday I had kickball. We were up 6-3 going into the 9th inning and ended up losing. Although I am happy to announce that I did have an unassisted double play. Friday my friend Borky came into town. I went to the Brewer game with him Friday night and Saturday night. While the Brewers lost both games I did have fun. And I always love to tailgate. Today (Sunday) I am headed up to Minnesota. I have to go to my bridge for work. So I will probably be staying with Borky. I will try to get a posting in up there, but I won't be back to Milwaukee until Thursday. Talk to you all later. Enjoy the pictures and don't forget to vote.

Borky singing Kayoke Friday night. Borky and I did a Pearl Jam song, and had requests to do an encore. My second greatest Kayoke moment, behind the contest I won on a cruise ship. I have the trophy and video tape to prove it.Cowboy Nate singing.Nate, not double fisting, but triple fisting.
Which is the better concert experience?
Remembering the show, but not having that good of a time.
Not remembering the show, but knowing you had a great time.
Free polls from

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Pearl Jam

It is my lunch hour at work and in my mind I am already gone. Tonight and tomorrow night I am headed down to Chicago for the Pearl Jam concerts. I can say this, I won't be good for much at work pretty much the rest of the week. Although that probably doesn't surprise many of you. I basically just wanted to brag to all of you that I will be at these shows. Pictures to come. And if you have ever heard my CD of me singing with Eddie Vedder, I am hoping to make that happen again.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend Update

I had my cousin, Justin’s, wedding to attend this weekend. Friday night, I watched the Brewers on TV and that pretty much was the extent of my weekend. Saturday morning, my brother, Jon, called me up and invited me to ride along with them to the wedding so that I wouldn’t be driving as well, and I was also told I could sleep at his place. When we got to the church service my aunt asked me if I would video tape the wedding for them. I told them that I would be happy to tape if for them, but I would need all access and the freedom to move around during the service. They told me whatever you want to do. So when everyone standing up in the wedding started walking down the isle, I was in the first pew right at the front of the church. I am pretty sure that I wasn’t making the “professional” photographer too happy because I know I was in a couple of his shots, but he is a professional and should be able to crop me out. But I didn’t have a tripod and after 45 minutes of holding a video camera I was cramping up a little bit. And I also added a little commentary here and there, so the end product was a cross between the “Blair Witch Project”, and “Wedding Crashers”. The highlight of the service for me was during the prayers. At one point they had a portion of the prayer where we prayed for all of the single people out there. I was sitting off to the side by myself video taping the wedding, but upon hearing this I turned to look at my entire family looking at me. They might as well have just inserted my name in place of all single people. After the service the Davies siblings along with their respective spouses headed to a bar. I started a tab on my credit card. As we were getting ready to leave everyone started offering me money to help pay for the bill. I told them it wasn’t a big deal and that I got it. They kept insisting, and then I finally said to them “You have no idea how much money I make, do you?” That got them to stop. I thought it was pretty funny. We get the reception and it was assigned seating for dinner. I went to the table to get my little table card. And as I was reviewing the other cards, I noticed that all of my brothers, sister and in laws were all at table 5 and I was at table 12. Honestly it wasn’t a big deal, but I made a big deal about it. And as is the normal tradition, I did what I could to make table 12 the loudest table at the dinner. The rest of the reception was a great time. I think the pictures will express that. Although I do have two favorite moments of the reception I would like to share. First back in 1977 when my Uncle Dave and Aunt Marilyn got married during their reception some of my uncle’s friends put a ball and chain on his ankle. Since that time, Dave has been instrumental in the creation and the application of putting a ball and chain on each of my brothers when they got married. Dave and Marilyn by the way are Justin’s parents. But for this wedding, Dave wasn’t planning on making another ball and chain. A couple days before the wedding, a received a phone call from my aunt asking me if I knew where any of the ball and chains that my brother’s had were. I made a phone call or two and learned that my brother Dan still had his. The long and short of it is that 29 years later, Justin got the same treatment his father got. And oddly enough it was entirely my aunt’s idea. My other favorite part was when the DJ played “Ina Godda Davita”. Now this isn’t your traditional wedding song. Every Fourth of July my aunt and uncle throw one of my favorite parties of the year. Somehow over the last 4 or 5 years it has become tradition that at midnight we play that song. And by midnight there are only a small handful of people still left at the party. And those were all the same people on the dance floor. I found if pretty funny that there were about 12 or 15 people on the dance floor and another 190 – 200 people over by the bar looking at these people thinking “What are they doing?” Maybe you had to be there. At the end of the night back at my brother’s place I slammed three big glasses of water before going to bed. I was hoping to wake up and be somewhat functional the next day. I slept in my nephew’s bed since he wasn’t there this night. I woke up I the middle of the night having to go to the bathroom really bad. No real shock there. But when I woke up I didn’t know where I was and also my sister-in-law had put up some really dark curtains, so I couldn’t see anything. Essentially I was lost in a 12’ by 12’ room and couldn’t get out or find the light switch plus I was about to spring a leak. If I had a nickel every time this has happened to me. Anyhow, enjoy the pictures. And to all of the moms out there I wish you a belated happy Mother’s Day. I got my matching hedgehog lawn ornaments.

The Davies siblings and spouces at the bar after the wedding. Left to Right: Jon, Julie, Tim, Deb, Jeff, Sue, Jodi,me, and Dan.

This is my brother-in-law Tim, or as people at camp used to call him "Coonen".Jon sporting the Tom Jones look with the black shirt, Tim, my cousin Kim, and Julie.Dan and Jodi.My dad with my future cousin in law, Katie.The Davies boys.This is my dad. He was on the dance floor. I don't know why he was dancing on his knees, but I think he was trying to show us how many Jagerbombs he had.The happy couple Justin and Katie. I feel a little bad, because this is the best picture I got of just the two of them, or at least the best of the two of them without Justin's head up Katie's dress.Father and son with the ball and chain.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Picture of the Day

This picture was taken February 9th 2004, in my family room in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shortly after my ski trip. I had some used carpeting installed in my family room. I thought I would get a picture of the hardwood floors.
This picture was taken January 16th, 2004, at Copper Mountain, Colorado. This guy came up to me while I was getting ready in the parking lot. He thought the gorilla suit was great and he gave me a free T-shirt. This is about 1 hour before my shoulder snapped.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Picture of the Day

This picture was taken March 22, 2003 in Madison, Wisconsin. This was at Jay's wedding this is at the end of the night after I helped Jay get everyone situated in the hotel, then I went out to the bars to meet up with Nate and Andy while Jay went on to concemate the marriage.
Speaking of Jay's wedding, this picture was taken December 21, 2002 down on Water Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On this Night Jay asked Justus and I to stand up in his wedding. And this is us toasting to being in Jay's wedding.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Taxi Cab Stories

I was listening to the radio this morning and they were talking about taxi cab stories. This triggered me to recall my favorite cab stories. First let me give you some free advice. If you are like me and enjoy talking to the cab drivers, never get in a cab with Jay Kempen. Normally when I get in a cab, it is after I have been drinking. At which point I am usually in a good mood and rather chatty. So I like to talk to the cab driver. However if Jay is with you, no matter where the cab driver says he is from, Jay will talk to the cabby in Spanish about religious beliefs. Even if the cabby doesn’t speak Spanish, Jay will still continue. And if I am also talking to the cabby, like giving him important information like where we are going, Jay will continue to talk louder and louder until he is the only one that the cabby is listening to, or Jay will flat out tell me to shut up. So that is my advice, take it for what it is worth.
Alright my first cab story takes place 3 or 4 years ago in the winter time. A group of us were downtown and got a cab back to my place. And I think it was even snowing this night. I told the cabby to cut through the Pius High School across the street from my house. As we were going through the parking lot, I asked the cabby if he ever did any doughnuts in a parking lot with a fare. He said no and that he wasn’t allowed to do such a thing. At which point, I told him that there was $10 in it for him if he did. We did have a car full of people and with the combination of the money and peer pressure, the cabby was easily persuaded to do about 6 or 7 doughnuts in the empty parking lot. I think the cabby was even laughing along with us. Easily the best cab ride I have ever had.
My second cab story takes place the night before Matt Kaker’s wedding down in Arizona. After the rehearsal, we all went out for some drinks. At bar time, the group was narrowed down to just Krum, Spider and I. We took a bike rickshaw to Denny’s for a late night / early morning breakfast. Three guys in a rickshaw, I know it was a little tight. After eating, it was about 3 in the morning and there weren’t too many cabs driving by. The three of us began walking back to the hotel. But this was only a couple days after I had blown out my knee so I was a bit hobbled. It wasn’t long before I had fallen back behind Krum and Spider. And then after a while they were so far ahead of me that I couldn’t see them. I continued walking in what was the direction that I thought the hotel was in. After a while I got to the next major intersection and I realized that I had no idea where the hotel was. I was highly dejected, my knee was killing me from all the walking and I was lost, I ended up just sitting down on the curb. I finally was able to flag down a cab. I got in the cab and I told him, “Take me to 2354 West Scottsdale Road.” The cabby looked at me kind of funny, and then proceeded up the street half a block, took a right, then pulled into the first driveway. I had been sitting on the street for well over a half an hour with the hotel directly behind me. Nice work. I literally could have turned around and thrown a rock at our hotel room window. Not to sound like a total dumb ass I would like to say that there was an 8 foot high fence that surrounded the hotel and obstructed my view from the street curb. I think I gave the cabby $5 for a $1.50 fare that lasted all of 30 seconds.
And for Stegall, even though no one else will get this, "Cab 5211. Gutsiest move I ever saw."

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Picture of the Day

Hello everyone, it is your favorite blogger. News flash, my toe still hurts. Well let me start you off with a DOT story. I haven't had one of those up here in an while.

July 17, 2005
I was driving down the project one day and I happened to notice that there was a flume on the high end of one of the curb and gutters. For those that don't know a flume is a runoff point for the water that would be collected in the gutter. In this case, if there was a flume on the high end of the curb and gutter, there would be no water to runoff because nothing would be draining to it. Obviously seeing this was a red flag to me that something wasn't right. I looked at the plan and sure enough, it wasn’t suppose to be there. So I went to my inspector Sue and I asked her "When you measure something up in the field, do you look at the plan to get the location?" Because when you post any item they ask for a location. She said "Yes, Why?" I said "Well I noticed that there is a flume that isn’t on the plan but it is on the project. I assume you measured it up, but why didn’t a red flag go off in your head and why didn’t you ask me why it was there but not in the plan." She said "I saw you talking to the contractor and I assumed that you told him to put it there." I knew right away that this was BS but I left her off and I said "Next time they place something and it isn’t in the plan please ask me." I told her that I would take care of taking that posting out of the system. Let me interject the story. At this point in the story I am under the thinking that she just screwed up and paid the contractor for work that he did but wasn't suppose to. And I was going to subtract out the amount of the item that she had apparently paid the contractor in our Field Manger program, this is the program that is used to record all of the contractor's work and generates the estimates which pays the contractor. Here is where it really gets good. I went to take the posting out of Field Manager and the Spreadsheets, and you know what, that flume wasn’t there. So I asked her about it. She just said "I must have missed it." I tried to explain to her that this is a big deal that we missed it, even though in this case we weren’t going to pay the contractor for putting in something that we don’t need. In this particular case it worked out but normally if it was something that was suppose to be there, we would have short changed the contractor about $500. So in a brief summary of the story, she not only watched them incorrectly do the work without saying a word, but then didn't pay for them to do the work. Oddly enough in this case, two wrongs do make a right. And that is exactly the way that she saw it. Unbelieveable.

Alright here are some pictures for you.
This picture was taken July 8th 2001, at my house down in the basement. Nate Andy and I the night of the Bon Jovi Concert at Summerfest.This picture was taken the same night but after the concert, Nate and I wrestling in the kitchen. Believe it or not we had been drinking.

32 Going On 45

My birthday is less than a month away. And no I don't want any presents, remember I said if I were to pass my P.E. exam, I would give up all of my Christmas and birthday presents for 5 years. By the way I appreciate everyone's interest in how I did on the exam, but I won't get the results until June. Anyhow, I will soon be turning 33 years old. I am having a hard time believing that my body is going to continue to be on the decline in the coming years. Sunday night I played in a co-ed soccer league. It was the first game I have played in about a month. I went to bed that night with a heating pad on my back and a ice pack on my ankle. Then I played soccer again last night. After a collision with the other team's goalie, the scab that was on my knee from a previous kickball game, ripped completely off. Plus my big toe, Sergeant Hulka, is incredibly sore. I don't think I broke it, but I also know that it doesn't tickle. And I again slept with a heating pad on my back. Am I the only 32 year old who has a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? Would it help if I was in better shape? Am I in the bad of shape to begin with? All I know, is that if your body continues to deteriorate as you get older, at the rate I am going at, I honestly can't see me and my body coexisting for more than another 10 years max. And this is only scratching the surface, I have two shoulders that are in need of surgical repair. Each would require an estimated 8 months of rehab. So let's just round that up to 2 years to get my shoulders fixed. Try working that into your schedule.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Picture of the Day

I had been promising my nieces and nephews that I would launch some rockets with them for a while now, but everytime I planned it the weather didn't cooperate. Yesterday I was heading out to Madison for my old roommate, Joe's, house warming party. And since it was a nice day, I decided to leave early and take some of my nieces and nephews for the day. We went to the high school and launched some rockets and then to the park for a little while. We stopped for some ice cream. And then I was dropping them off at my parent's house. When we got to my parent's house, I was time for a little baseball in the front yard. I nearly pitched a no hitter. Of course I was also there pitching with a beer in my hand. A little slice of Americana. Here are some pictures.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Picture of the Day

This picture was taken August 13th, 2000 in Minnesota. It was the day after Mike Braun's Wedding. That is Paul Krumrich's, uncle's or cousin's Porsche. Krum let me take it out for a spin. The funny part of the story was, that about 5 minutes after I left the hotel with the car, Krum heard a cop car go screaming past the hotel with it's sirens going. Krum thought for sure that it was me getting pulled over. But it wasn't. It was a very nice car anyhow. I had a good time driving it.

Ethical Dilemma

A funny thing happened to me yesterday. I got home from Platteville, as you know, it was horrible. As I walked through my yard I was amazed on how tall the grass was. That fertilizer really helps. I figured I have better cut it while I had the time. Not that I am a lawn Nazi or anything. But I do try to keep my yard looking nice. I will have to say that without bragging too much here, that I probably have the nicest yard on my block. As I was cutting my front yard, I couldn’t help but notice how bad my neighbor’s yard looked. The grass had to be close to a foot high in some places. After a quick internal debate with myself, I decided screw it, I am cutting her front yard too. I was making passes across both of our lawns and I was about half done when I looked up and noticed that my neighbor was two houses down and cutter their lawn. What the heck is going on here? You can’t cut your own lawn but you are cutting someone else’s? Now I am feeling like a real idiot for cutting her yard. A couple of passes later I made eye contact with her again and waved at her. She seemed happy and waved back. As I was finishing up my yard she had made her way back to her yard and was cutting what was left of what I had not cut. I walked up to her and apologized for cutting her yard. But she was more than happy that I did it. She explained to me that her lawn mower broke last week and that she struck up a deal with the neighbor, that she could use her mower if she mowed both yards. Great deal. In the end, it wasn’t a big deal. On a different topic, I am happy to say that I finally got my first home run of the kickball season last night. It took my 5 games but I finally did it. Now I know how Barry Bonds was feeling at the beginning of the season. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Platteville Sucks

Did you guys miss me while I was gone? I didn't think so. This was my third trip to Platteville for training. I think I have gotten all I can out of the experience. I would like to officially go on the record and say that Platteville sucks. Don't ever go there. The class I was taking, Aggregate Testing, is required to be 32 hours. In reality it could be done in 12 maybe 10 hours. I think we spent 5 hours of class on learning how to generate random numbers. Maybe in a future posting I will teach you how to do it in a paragraph or two, because it really is that simple of a concept. Hilt, if you are reading this, you would know. So what were the highlights of my four days in Platteville. The instructor of the course was sort of a leaker and made bad jokes. On Monday, first thing he went over was the course schedule and then safety procedures which took maybe 20 minutes. In transitioning to another topic he asked "After what section did I say the first break was?" I raised my hand and said "I think you said right after the safety section?" I don't know if you know any engineers other than me, but normally they don't have fantastic sense of humor. Not surprisingly no one laughed. Actually I don't know what I was doing in this class, since it was geared toward engineering technicians. I think I was the only one in the class with a four year engineering degree. I was also one of the youngest ones in the class. Later in that first day, we were covering the procedure for retrieving a sample of aggregate from a stockpile. For instance a big pile of gravel that a front end loader is loading into dump trucks. To demonstrate how to do this, they had a pile of sand and a little tonka truck front end loader. The instructor was going over the procedure of making the front end loader operator make three piles and back dragging them in order to get a sample. And he was showing how this would be done with the pile of sand and the toy end loader. When he finished he asked if there were any questions, I raised my hand and asked "Can you do that again but this time with sound effects?" Again no one laughed. As far as other highlights of the trip, Tuesday I took a dump so big that I plugged the toilet. I have never known anyone who plugged a hotel toilet. I know it is gross, what is more gross is that I nearly took a picture and posted it here. But I didn't. The final highlight of my trip, and this just goes to further demostrate how boring Platteville is, yesterday we got out of class early and I actually went and washed my truck. The movie theater didn't have a single movie playing that was remotely interesting. The place just plain sucks. Don't go there. Here are a couple of pictures.

And here I am washing my truck. You didn't believe me did you? Check out that form.