Friday, July 31, 2009

From The Archieves

I was driving somewhere the other day, I forget where I was going, but as I was driving I noticed a car broke down on the side of the road and it reminded me of this story. I believe it was New Years Eve my freshman year of college. We had a large group, 10 people, heading to Madison to go to a New Years Eve party. I think we had 3 cars going. I was in Trisha Bishop's car with Sugar Lips and The General. It was around 7:00 p.m. and we were about half way to Madison when Trisha's car broke down on I-94. We pulled over to the side of the road and one of the other cars that were going with us stopped to pick us up. But their car was already full and only Trisha left with them. That left me, Sugar Lips and The General alone in the car while they went to find a service station on New Years Eve that could tow the car. It had to be around 45 minute to an hour before we actually got the car towed to a service station. I know it is hard to believe that a place was open that late on New Years Eve. Again this was New Years Eve and I don't think the temperatures were much over freezing if that. The conversations the three of us had in that car were priceless. It couldn't have been 5 minutes after they left, and I was freezing and also hungry. I was just staring out the window looking at all of the cars passing us on the interstate. And as each car drove past I was say "That's not them. That's not them. That's not them. That's not them. That's not them." This was right around the time that the movie "Alive" came out about the rugby team that crashed in the mountains and had to eat each other to stay alive. The General and I quickly came to the conclusion that if we have to eat someone to stay alive, that we would have to sacrifice Sugar Lips. The entire time we were stuck stranded on the side of the road, whenever we had a lull in the conversation, I reverted back to saying "That's not them. That's not them. That's not them. That's not them." As I mentioned we actually got the car towed and fixed that night. Somewhere there is a picture of our entire group inside the service station sitting on the tow truck. Maybe you had to be there, but it was funny.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Road Kill

This isn't a very good story, but this is the most exciting thing that has happened this week. I try to get some exercise in every day. Monday after work I went to for a bike ride, which I normally do every day after work. It is nothing special, I ride down the Honeycreek Parkway near my house down through Tosa down to Hawley Road and back. It is right around 7 miles. Anyhow Monday I was finishing up the ride and was about a block from my house when I popped the front tire. No, I didn't flip over the handle bars or anything. Tuesday after work I ran some errands including buying a new tube for my bike tire. It wasn't until 8:00 that I was able to get in a ride and test out the new tire. I always wear sunglasses when I bike along the parkway just because it is so wooded and there can be a lot of bugs which I don't want flying in my eyes. As I was coming down a long hill on the parkway I was cruising along probably going somewhere between 15 and 20 miles an hour. As I looked ahead I could see two kids dressed all in brown in the middle of the road. I figured they would move as I got closer, but as I got closer they weren't moving. It wasn't until I was nearly on top of them that I realized that they weren't kids, they were deer. I was able to hit the brakes a little to slow down and swerve to miss hitting one of them. I came within two feet of hitting the one deer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looking Ahead

It is Wednesday, so I think it is safe for me to look forward to the weekend. It has been a while since a wedding, so why not go to two. Friday night I have a wedding for a co-worker. This will be only my second Friday wedding, but I do like them. I feel that people are still blowing off steam from the work day, plus they have 2 days to recover, therefore in most cases I find that people party a little harder on a Friday night. However, I am skeptical about the crowd at this wedding. As mentioned it is a co-worker, and he is actually marrying my boss' niece. Everyone in my department is invited, I think it wouldn't be the best option for my career to get out of control as I normally would at a wedding. And based on the bachelor party, which I briefly attended, I don't think these people party quite as hard as my friends and family. I plan on sitting in the back during the service. I will most likely be sitting with co-workers at dinner. Then I will send out the vibe from the bar for an hour or so and see if there are any takers, if not, I will slip quietly into the night and get out of there.
Saturday has some water volleyball scheduled, which will bring out the Gaylord Focker lines. Always an exciting and fun day. But I will have to leave early for my friend, Vanessa's wedding. There is no way that I am going to make it to the service, but I will be there for the dinner and reception. I am expecting this to be a replay of the shrimp boil, but with everyone dressed up and no horse shoes. It promises to be a fun wedding.
And with this weekend, it brings to a close the month of July. Is it just me or is this summer flying by?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Butch's Shrimp Boil / Horse Shoe Tournament

Saturday was Butch's Shrimp Boil / Horse Shoe Tournament / 60th Birthday Party. A lot of stuff going on. It really has been a fun summer for me. It seems every weekend I have something going on that I look forward to all year. First it was the Freeman Party, Tom Brady's wedding, the 4th of July, the Wiffleball Tournament, Dave Matthews, and this past weekend the Shrimp Boil. As soon as I get there and I smell that shrimp boiling, I get all excited. As you can see from the picture, the shrimp get cooked up and dumped out on the table. Dig in. Angela and Kelly with the classic 16 candles pose. Never gets old.For the last 3 or 4 years I have been put in charge of the horse shoe tournament. Well sort of, I make up the brackets and figure out who plays who. But Angela helps me collect the money and set up the big board, although Angela will have you believe that I am her assistant. Then I let Martha take over and she makes sure that the correct people are up and playing. There is no way the tournament gets done without Angela or Martha.Rebecca and Butch (the Silver Fox) with his ice cream cake. I saw Adam take down two pieces right after it was cut. But a couple minutes later when I went looking for a piece it was all gone, so I went and had some more shrimp.Me and Angela.Angela and Denise with the big board.As mentioned it was Butch's 60th birthday. Here is Butch opening his presents. Here are a good portion of the Bahr cousins.Kirk got out his guitar at the end of the night.The horse shoe tournament started around 3 or so and went deep into the night. Butch and Chuck were the favorites going into the tournament and breezed through the winners side of the double elimination tournament. But they apparently got iced in waiting so long for the losers side and consolation bracket to finish up to see who they played in the finals. Adam and Chris then went on to beat them twice and win the whole thing. It was close to 10:00 by the time the tournament finished.Thanks for the party Butch and Happy Birthday.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Camping on the Mississippi

The camping trip is less than 2 months away. A couple a weeks ago when I was down in Chicago with Nate, Eric, Borky, Doug and Tim, the core members of the Mississippi camping trip, the decision was made for the date of this year's camping trip. It will be the third weekend of September. September 18th, 19th and 20th. I invite all male loyal blog readers to join in the festivities. Sorry ladies, but this is a guys only weekend.

Here is the island from the water. I like to call it a little slice of paradise.The weekend consists of drinking all day as we follow the shade of that one tree, seen in the background here. I like to dig a hole and stand in it, also seen here. I might bring a shovel this year.There is also plenty of Boone's Farm to go around. Between Borky and myself we have 10-12 bottles. And usually some vodka to make it a Sneaky Pete.We have an arsenal of potato guns to shoot at barges.If we can't hit the barges with a potato we try with a golf ball.A couple years ago, I was in my Mr. Fitness stage and I swam across the river. But when I got to the other side, I experienced some lower intestinal pressure that needed to be released. So I did that on the other island. It has since become a ritual that I swim the river and take a dump on the other side.
The nights are filled with setting fire to any hornet nets that may be found in our shade tree.Saturday night is the highlight of the trip. We cook up some steaks over the fire. Every year we say we are going to start the dinner early, but we never do. We always end up eating around 9:30 at night, but it is well worth the wait.After dinner we get a little crazy with the fireworks.The Ring of Fire has been known to happen.As everyone is packing up Sunday morning to head home, a game of Foot in the Cooler sometimes breaks out. Last year Borky won.

This is a rain or shine trip. We have endured scorching heat, sideways rain and one year hurricane force winds that did not relent all weekend, so you might want to bring a kite. You can simply inform me that you are coming my leaving a comment on my blog. I will make sure that all parties are aware of your intention to attend.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tonight Tonight

There is nothing on the schedule for this evening. I think I am just going to pull the TV out and watch the Brewer Game in the back yard. Maybe even have a fire. It is your typical crazy night for a guy like me.
Saturday is the Shrimp Boil / Horse Shoe Tournament at Butch's house. Last year it was moved to Chris and Rebecca's house, but now it is back at Butch's. It is a great party. Everyone brings some shrimp and the just boil them all up and dump them on a table and it is a free for all. So much good food. There is always some corn on the cob. So corn and shrimp, that is one way to clean out a digestive system. Then there is the horse shoe tournament going on as well. Three years ago I showed up and the tournament was all screwed up, but I quickly straighten things out and since I have been placed in charge of running the double elimination tournament. But I always call on Angela and Martha to give me a hand. Angela is the money collector and Martha is my muscle that yells at everyone for me.
Sunday I am leaning towards heading to the Dousman Derby Days parade. I have been to the beer tent before, but never the parade on Sunday morning. So that is my exciting weekend.

Dave Matthews Night Two

Night two of Dave Matthews wasn't quite as crazy as night one, at least as far as tailgating goes. It was only The General and myself tailgating. We happened to be parked next to a car load of "kids" in the 18 - 20 years old category. The General and I were just minding our own business, having a couple of drinks and playing cribbage then 2 handed sheepshead. Then this girl, Elisha, who was with the group next to us, asked us if we wanted to play "Ring Of Fire". We said sure and she explained to us, which sounded a lot like she made up the rules as the game went on. Once the first game was over, things quickly degenerated into everyone doing beer bongs. Elisha said that she had only done one beer bong before in her life. When The General and I left to meet my friend, Sunny, in one of the other parking lots, Elisha had just finished her fourth beer bong and had thrown up 2 times. She was a pretty big puddle and I really don't think she made it into the concert. Here is Elisha before she became a puddle.We met up with Sunny for about a half an hour then headed into the show. We found some decent seats in the reserve section and were there for about the first third of the concert. Then The General wanted to move closer. I told him not to push our luck with our "upgrade" tickets. But like an idiot, The General walked down to about the third row, acted like he had no idea where we were going, and he got his "upgrade" ticket taken away. Nice work. Such a rookie. Once kicked out of the reserved seats area, we got back in and I found us some just OK seats about 50 rows back. Here is the setlist:
Proudest Monkey
Pig (One of my favorite songs, and the one song I really wanted to hear)
Shake Me Like A Monkey
You Never Know
Crash Into Me
The Dreaming Tree
You and Me (A new song that is really growing on me)
Funny The Way It Is
Grave Digger
Alligator Pie
Out Of My Hands (A pretty deep cut, they played it last year, and I thought there is no way they would play it again this year, but they did. In my opinion, the best slow song they have)
#41 (They extended this song out to about 20 minutes, best version I have ever heard)
Rhyme and Reason
Dive In
Jimi Thing
Time Bomb (Of all the new songs, this is the one I wanted to hear live)
Two Step (another song that they extended on for about 20 minutes, also the best version I have ever heard of this song)
That was the end of the 1st set. They could have just walked off stage and not come back and it would have been one of the best concerts I have been to.
Last year at the Sunday show, they ended with covering a Sly and the Family Stone song, "Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself Again". During the time between the final song of the first set and the encore, the crowd started singing this song. It was pretty cool, it started on the left hand side of the stage and grew in volume until the entire place was singing. Then the band walked back out on stage and started in with that song. I see that song being a encore staple for the Sunday show every year from here on out. After that song, they finished with Halloween. Saturday was a great concert, and Sunday was by far much much better.
As far as our friend, Elisha, by the time we got back to my truck, that group was long gone.
Here is some video of the end of "Time Bomb" live.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Sunday morning I was early on my way to a family reunion so I stopped at my brother's. His son, Zack, asked me to take some pictures of him jumping his scooter. Here they are.Here is Joey, less than impressed by both Zack and myself.

Dave Matthews Night One

Dave Matthews is just a great weekend. I was suppose to meet The General at my brother's house. I was playing wiffleball before hand and was 20 minutes late. And because I was late, The General, who didn't know how to get to Alpine Valley from my brother's house, decided to meet me there. I am still confused on his thought process. I was late so he decided to drive somewhere but didn't know how to get there. It makes no sense to me, but then again, The General has never struck me as the smartest of my friends. Through some phone tag, I met The General at this gas station in Eagle Springs. We left his car there and then headed to the show. Once in the Alpine Parking lot, we met up with Doug, Liquid, Eric, Anna and Myra. Tailgating at Alpine is always a great time. The General and I had reserve seats, but really didn't sit in them, we moved around a couple times before we found a spot about 30 rows back. Here is the view from our first seats.
And here is a shot from our final seats. I thought Saturday's show was great. Here is the set list:
Funny The Way It Is (We missed this song)
You Might Die Trying (We were finally in the reserve seats by the time this song ended)
Corn Bread
Dancing Nancies
Shake Me Like A Monkey
Smooth Rider
Lying In The Hands Of God
The Stone (Not my favorite song, but was the highlight of the show)
Alligator Pie (Not a favorite of the studio version, but is great live)
So Damn Lucky
Why I Am
Louisiana Bayou
Grey Street
Encore: Pantala Naga Pampa - Rapunzel and Ants Marching
After the show is actually where things got interesting for me. The General and I hung out in the parking lot for a while after the show. Mainly because I didn't want to fight the traffic getting out of there and two to give me a little more time to sober up. We tailgated pretty hard, and then I only had one beer during the show. I will openly admit that I should not have been driving, but The General was in a hurry to get back home to his wife and kid. I drove to the Gas Station where we left The General's car. He left, and I went to sleep in my truck. I was out cold and had planned to just drive home in the morning. But that didn't happen. I awoke an hour later to a knock on my window. It was a Waukesha County cop. He went through a couple of questions. Cop: "What are you going here?"
Me: "Sleeping."
Cop: "Where were you this evening?"
Me: "Alpine."
Cop: "Have you been drinking?"
Me: "Yes."
Cop: "When was your last drink?"
Me: "9:00"
Cop: "Do you know the people who own this gas station?"
Me: "Nope."
Cop: "Are you aware that you are trespassing?"
Me: "Nope."
Cop: "Would you mind stepping out of the vehicle?"
Thankfully, I was smart enough to take the keys out of the ignition.
I got out of my truck and he informed me that he wanted to give me a breath-a-lizer.
Me: "I don't want to take a breath-a-lizer."
Cop: "You have two choices here. Take the breath-a-lizer and see if you are fit to drive or I can arrest you for trespassing."
Me: "If I take this breath-a-lizer you can't nail me for drunk driving or driving while intoxicated, you can't get me for anything other than trespassing?"
Cop: "That is correct."
I ended up blowing a .10.
Cop: "Do you have any one who can come and pick you up?"
Me: "Give me a minute to make some phone calls."
I called my brother, Jeff, because he was the closest. He didn't answer. I got a hold of my brother, Dan, and he said he was on his way. I went back into my truck and went back to sleep. All the while the cop sat and waited for my brother to show up. I woke up about an hour later with the cop again knocking on my window to tell me that my ride was here. I jumped in Dan's car and he gave me a ride to my brother, Jon's house, where I was staying for the weekend while they were out of town. So it got a little exciting at the end of the night. And yes I was rather lucky.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

4th of July Zapruder Film

This video was shot on the 4th of July. It is the grand finale of the fireworks display that I put on for the family. I had Borky shoot this video, and up until today I had misplaced it. So for those that were not present here is what you missed out on. Enjoy.

Wiffle Ball

For the last 3 years, my high school friend, Mike Braun, has been holding a wiffleball game at his parent's house every summer. I look forward to this day every year. It is a day when you feel and act like a kid again. The day begins by going to the baseball cemetery. When they were kids, after Thurman Munson died, they buried his baseball card in the woods behind the house. We go back to the cemetery to pay tribute to those plays who have died. Each year it gets a bit more elaborate. This year they placed a head stone for Mark Fidrych, who died this past year.
Here is the view around Kluessendorf Memorial Stadium from left field around to right. It is 97 feet down the left field line.100 feet to straight away to center. Any ball hitting the pine trees is an automatic home run.The short porch is 88 feet to right field.Some how I got appointed to be captain. Based on past players performance, I was able to assemble a rather formidable team. Here is Paul Braun at the plate. Here is Jon Gehred at the plate.Here is Mike Braun in the field. Mike and I had horrible days at the plate. I was 1 for 10 to start out the day. Here is Bill Braun at the plate. After three games, Bill was the top home run hitter. My team rode a 10 run 1st inning scoring spree to winning the first game. We also took the second game 17-15. My first home run of the day ended up being the game winner, we were up 15-8 before I stepped to the plate.Here is Bob Gehred on base. Mike Mankowski pitching.I pitched game 3 for our team. We managed to hold the other team to only 3 runs going into the final inning. It is amazing how if you groove a pitch right down the middle of the plate, it is in the trees. Low and away or high and inside is the only way you can survive as a pitcher. I think we were up 13-3 in the last inning and I told Mike Braun, who was on the other team, every pitch will be right down the middle until they the score was 13-10. They didn't get to 10 runs, but they did hit 5 home runs. And my team finished the three game sweep winning the final game 13-8.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Festa Fireworks

Friday night I biked back down to the Lake Front for the Festa Itailana Fireworks. But this time I came a bit more prepared. That afternoon, I bought a mini tripod. Plus I had a better idea where the fireworks we being released from. You might be sick of looking at firework pictures. But too bad, these turned out much better than Thursday night pictures.