Monday, August 31, 2009

Buckle up that Chin Strap

Football is here. Sure I think I can say that. Thursday night is the first "real" football game, with the start of the college season. My fantasy football draft is this coming Wednesday. All teams are equal and start out 0-0-0. Fans are looking at their team's schedule and deciding on what games will be won or lost. So it is time for me to make my picks. But I will also give you a chance to make a prediction and the opportunity to have a gyro with me. As I recall, in the last two years no one has guessed the Packers final record correctly. Leave a comment on my blog with your prediction for the Packers, and if you are right, you get a Oakland Gyro.

Week 1. Home against the Bears. Culter has no one to throw the ball to and gets picked three times, one for a TD. Packers win. (1-0)


Week 2. Home against the Bengals. Chad Johnson has two touchdowns, but one of his celebrations after the go ahead score late in the game draws an unsportsmanlike penalty, the kickoff is moved back and the Packers return the kickoff for a touchdown. (2-0)


Week 3. Away against the Rams. Stephen Jackson racks up 200 yards rushing and the Pack lose. (2-1)


Week 4. Away against the Vikings. This will be Favre's last game. He throws three first half picks, and after a chorus of hometown fans booing, he is benched in the second half. But by that point it doesn't matter, the game is out of hand. Pack win. (3-1)


Week 5. Packer Bye week. Some how the Packers lose this game. I don't know how but they do.

Week 6. Home against the Lions. The Lions are the Lions and they just plain suck. (4-1)


Week 7. Away against the Browns. No this is not the year that the Browns go to the Super Bowl. But some how the Pack blow this game with costly penalties and everyone wonders what happened to that team that just beat the Lions 45 -6. Pack should have won but lose. (4-2)


Week 8. As you recall Favre was benched in week 4. Since that time he was released from the team, but when Tavaris Jackson gets hurt in week 7, Favre is once again signed, we have all seen this movie before. Favre throws four picks and blames the loss on his bad shoulder. This is for sure his last game....until next year. Pack win (5-2)


Week 9. I can't believe my Buccaneers, and neither can their fans. I still don't know who their coach is, and neither do their players. Half of Wisconsin travels down for the game and it feels like Lambeau in September. Pack win on a last second field goal. (6-2)


Week 10. The Cowboys come to town and put a beat down on the Packers. Romo throw five TDs. But the Cowboys still don't get out of the first round of the playoffs. (6-3)



Week 11. The 49ers come to town, but without a quarterback they are forced to count on Frank Gore for all of their offense. The Pack load up the box, force thee turnovers yet only win by 3 points. (7-3)


Week 12. A Thanksgiving Day Special. The Lions have improved since their first meeting. But not enough, they come into this game with a record of 0-10. You fall asleep and miss a spectacular Packers' drive with 2 minutes to go to seal the victory. (8-3)


Week 13. The Ravens come to town and hold the Packers to just 4 field goals, but the only points the Ravens score is on a defensive touchdown. The Pack win an ugly game 12-7. (9-3)


Week 14. The Packers at Chicago. Lovie Smith's team loses their teams "Super Bowl" twice this year. (10-3)

Week 15. At Pittsburgh, the Packers miss 3 field goals and lose by 7. (10-4)

Week 16. Seattle at home. It is a replay of the "Snow Globe" game. 4 inches of snow fall on the field, and the Pack win by 14 points. (11-4)

Week 17. At Arizona, it is 20 degrees that weekend in Wisconsin, so everyone leaves and travels to Arizona. With the crowd behind them the pack win a squeaker and earn a first round bye in the playoffs.

Playoffs. The Pack will their first home playoff game verses the Cowboys, but go on to lose in the Conference Championship game to Philadelphia. And the Super Bowl is won by New England who only drop two games all year.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Pearl Jam

Monday night I went to Pearl Jam in Chicago. I would like to thank my friend, Sunny, for hooking me up with the tickets. I had great seats, two sections down from the front of the stage and 16 rows back. I have to do some research, but I think this was my 9th Pearl Jam show. The band just celebrated their 20th year together, and they came out with as much energy and fury as any other concert of their's that I have been to. Eddie came out sporting shorts. Mike McCready at times seemed like a caged animal, walking in circles and at the end of the show, he was running circles around the entire stage. Here is the set list:
Hard To Imagine
Corduroy
In My Tree (a great song, the first time they played it this leg of the tour, one of my favorites but a very underrated song)
Last Exit
All Night
Nothingman (another surprise song, that I was happy to hear)
video
The Fixer
Even Flow (during the guitar solos Eddie made his way over to the side for a smoke and some wine)
Present Tense
Whipping
Not For You(Modern Girl)
Daughter(Another Brick In The Wall)
First Encore
Second Encore
Wasted Reprise
Better Man(Save it for Later) (the version at Summerfest a couple years ago was better)
video
Crazy Mary
State Of Love And Trust
Fuckin' Up
Yellow Ledbetter(The Star-Spangled Banner) (the first time I have heard them play with the Star Spangled Banner)

It was a great show, but not the greatest set list. I was really hoping for them to open with Release. Maybe next time.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Wisconsin Street Bridge

After the concert last Thursday, I detoured myself over to the bridge I worked on for about half the year last year. I was always curious what it looked like at night. And my readers know I like taking photos at night. Here are some pictures I took.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Three Dog Night

Last Thursday after work I headed to Oshkosh. My friends, Mark and Suzanne, usually go to Oshkosh during the summer for the concerts they put on there. Last year I was going to go with them to see the BoDeans, but it got rained out. This past week I met them to see Three Dog Night. The plan was to give them a text once I got inside the amphitheater. But as it turned out, we all walked up to the entrance at the same time. As for the concert, it was surprisingly good. They played everything I wanted to hear. Shambala, One, Joy to the World, Old Fashion Love Song, Celebrate, Never Been to Spain, Mama Told Me Not To Come, etc. Pretty much the greatest hits. I would consider Three Dog Night to be a mid level rock / pop band of the 70s. As I stood there watching these guys, I was thinking "I have quite a few good stories, but each and every one of the guys must have much better stories than me."

Seriously a rock band in the 70's, they have seen it all. So thanks to Mark and Suzanne for inviting me along. This week, I might head back to see Dennis DeYoung of Styx.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Weekend Review

I know one is going to feel sorry for me, but I have been extremely busy this past week. My latest project started on Monday. That would be a resurfacing project from Kewaskum to Eden along USH 45. We are doing some work on a bridge and there is a detour. But most people are using one of the local roads, which is much shorter than the detour. I have spent half of my days this past week dealing with the local municipalities and local residents, which doesn't give much time to do the work I need on the project. Not to mention I was given no advance notice on the start date of the project, so I haven't been able to prepare any of the paper work in advance. All of this led to a lot of long days. It was easily a 65 hour week for me.

But let's get to something a little more fun, the weekend. Friday night, I worked until 7. It is an hour drive home. I went straight to Crawdaddys and got the Crawdaddys caserole. At least that is what I call it. An order of crawtails, house rice and carrots. I mix it all up in a bowl. Fantastic. That with a rootbeer float. There isn't a better meal. I stayed home Friday night. Saturday I worked out, got in a bike ride and then tended the house. I cleaned a little and cut the grass. In the afternoon, I was at my brother's, who helped me change the oil on my truck. Then it was Ethan's brithday. I proved my speed domaniance over my nephews, in a 40 yard dash, but it is getting closer and closer. Plus I thought I was going to pull a hammy at the 10 yard marker. We had some great food, ka-bobs, corn on the cob and a ton of desserts. I got in a little sheepshead, then played some ghost in the graveyard. After the first lap around the house I thought I was going to die. I needed oxygen. The fact that there was no moon, you couldn't see anything, but it was fun.

Sunday slept in, then got in what is suppose to be my "daily" pushups and situps, that I ignored all last week, and a quick bike ride. I now have a place in Eden, because even though the drive is only a hour. Driving two hours a day just seems like too much of a waste of time for me. Plus the amount I get paid in milage will more than pay for the place. But wait until you see the place. I have nothing there. I am literally just taking my bed there. I did some grocery shopping for the week. Prepared that food for all week, because I don't intend on cooking much in Eden. Afterwards, I put some hours in doing computer work for my job. Then I loaded up the toyota and went up to Eden.

Monday, August 24, 2009

3rd Time is a Charm...I Hope

I think I have my basement carpeted for the last time. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Steve Jende for getting me the carpet for free. You remember Steve from Summerfest when we were hanging out with the band all day. As you may know, I have had a lot of issues with my basement carpeting. I dropped a can of paint all over it one time. Then I had a pipe burst while I was living in Minnesota and that ruined the carpet. But I have made one last stab at having carpeting down there. Here are some photos.
Before.

After.I haven't figured out what I am going to do about the foot rest by the chairs. I think I am going to tile them one day. When I have time and energy.Oh I almost forgot, and tonight I am going to see Pearl Jam in Chicago. Thank you Sunny for the hook up. I will get those photos up real soon.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Jody's Beer Bong

I spoke with my sister in law, Jody, this past weekend and she asked my why I never posted the video of her attempting to do a beer bong at the 4th of July party. Well here is it.

video

It is a little hard to see. And it is pretty loud. I would like to point out two things from the video. First, you can hear someone say, "You can do it Jody." That was Pocahontas. Second, someone snapped a picture just as Jody is spitting out the beer. If that person is out there, I would really like a copy of that video. It has been a while since I have had a poll up. There is another video that I have shot of a beer bong attempt which went equally as bad. That was when Tree's cousin, TJ, attempted a 6 beer beer bong. Here it is.

So my question is, which was the more pathetic attempt?


Who had the more pathetic beer bong attempt?
Drunk Jody
TJ
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Stu on Stu

This past weekend was the Stu on Stu Tournament. That is a play on words, it is a 2 on 2 backetball tournament that is played at Stu's house. I tried to play last year and that didn't work out too well. I have health issues that prevented me from participating this year or any year to come. It is frustrating but there isn't anything I can do about it. Although I like to show up and make an appearance. I think this was the 8th Stu on Stu. I won the tournament 3 or 4 years ago with Jon the Electrican, so I am in the club. I am a legacy.
This year it came down to two teams. Tree and Kyle, both who have won this tournament and they were the favorites going into the tournament. They were the two tallest guys that played. But they lost to Stu and Joe. From my recollection, this was Stu's second championship, and I believe it is Joe's fourth or fifth. Before I get to the pictures, I would like to call out Tree, who in the past has made many comments about me posting pictures of myself with my shirt off. Please note Tree is shirtless in many of the pictures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Work Work Work

It is widely believed that I don't work much at all. The end of this past week was contrary to that popular belief. Thursday, I was working in the office from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. After work I drove up to Appleton, there I worked on what I hope will be the file issue to straighten out to complete the project. That work took place from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Friday morning. Later Friday morning, I held a Pre Construction Meeting for my next project in Fond du Lac. It was at this meeting that I learned that the project is going to start on Monday morning. Yesterday. Normally there are 10 -14 days between this meeting and the start of the project. Unfortunately for me, I had to go straight back to our office in Milwaukee to prepare for the job, i.e. prepare our work schedule and arrange for personnel on the job and get a number of forms together. That kept me at the office until 5:00 p.m. I was invited to the Brewer Game Friday night. In a 40 hour span from Thursday morning into early Saturday morning, I got 1.5 hours of sleep. Here are some project pictures I took Thursday night / Friday morning.
We had the bridge open like this for about 5 hours. The last two times I was on the project finishing up change order issues, I have been operating the bridge. And I have done a number of openings and closings. I think it is safe to say that I have operated this bridge more than anyone else, since the bridge was rehabilitated.I had two iron workers on site Thrusday night / Friday morning. It took them about an hour and half to do the welding on each side of the bridge. While I was waiting for them to finish, I walked over to the train swing bridge and took some pictures.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Minnesconsin

Two weekends ago I was in Minnesota. I had a free weekend and I decided to fly up to Minnesota for a couple of days. This is how lazy I have become, I will not drive up to Minnesota any more. If round trip tickets are $120, I am flying. Friday night I stayed with Borky, we got in some beer pong, although I was looking forward to playing regular ping pong. Saturday we didn't get an early start, it could have been because we were up until 3 in the morning watching the Big Lewbowski. Saturday afternoon, Borky, Mrs. Borky and myself went out for lunch and then saw the movie "Funny People". I will give you my 5 line review of the movie. It was 2.5 hours long. Only 1/3 of the movie was actually funny, still some good lines, but not what I was expecting. I will give a 4 out of 10. I think I am off of Seth Rogan movies. Everything has been a let down since Superbad. Saturday night I stayed with K.O. and Trooper. We had a dinner party at their place with Krum, Melissa, Young and Flo. This is the second time I have been to one of their dinner parties, and the conversation was much less high brow. Our hot button topic of the evening was if you could make a business out of taking people's ashes and launching them into the air in a firework. I was proven wrong by Krum and we later found out that such businesses already exists. Sunday afternoon, I had lunch with Kaker and that was the extent of my trip.
Krum picked me up from the airport, but before we could go to Borky's, I had to help Krum jump his car that he was selling the next morning, at 5:30 in the morning. Weird.
Krum and I were a team at beer pong.I will be honest, Krum made all but one of our shots.But we still beat K-Mart and Borky.Look at these two losers, literally.The dinner party at K.O.'s and Troopers.This is Young. Young has the most talented corn on the cob eater I have ever seen. He can eat a single row of corn with his teeth. Try it next time, it is hard to do. And here is Krum, the fro is back.Thanks to everyone who made the weekend what it was. I will be back in October for the Gopher - Badger game.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Jumping Over Kids

I learned at Linda's funeral reception that I had a number of new readers of my blog. Or at least they were interested in what I had to say about Linda. I was surprised at the number of people that I had never met before, that came up to me, introduced themselves and thanked me for what I wrote. I appreciated them thanking me, but if you knew Linda, it was so easy to write those things about her. But what these new readers don't know, is that often hide my true emotions with jokes and humor. So if these new readers are still coming back for more, get ready because here is a sample of the stupid stuff that you will find on my blog 95% of the time.

I think it was two or three years ago that I first attempted to jump one of my nephews. Every summer I have to make at least one attempt at it. But as these kids get taller and I get older it is harder and harder to do. Here I am at attempt number one over Ethan. After Ethan bails and while still in the air you can hear me say, "oh you little"

video

But the second time Ethan didn't chicken out.

video

I then attempted going over Tony's son, Matt. He is a little taller than Ethan and it was close.

video

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pookie's Wedding

Before the wedding, I was at my brother's for some pool volleyball. Here is Ethan less than happy after I threw him into the pool with his clothes on.
Here is Jake with a cannonball. On to the wedding. Here is the head table. I have to thank Vanessa for the table assignment. I was at table 4 front and center.
Here are Kelly and Ryan, where else could they be but the bar.Vanessa and Butch with the father daughter dance.Luke with his flowers.Trinity and Harper.T.R. half way through the reception. He opted to lose the shirt and just go with the tie and vest. I thought he looked like the love child of Chris Farley and Patrick Swayze from that Chippendales skit on Saturday Night Live.I had a lot of fun at Vanessa and Al's wedding. But I did have one issue, and that was all of the speeches. Al's son, who is 14, was the best man. He gave the best speech of all of them. The second speech was by Angela, the maid of honor, which was OK, for a speech that wasn't prepared. From there things went off course a bit, Al's brother gave a speech which included 4 separate stories. I knew we were in trouble when he stopped and said, I have only 2 more stories. After Al's brother, his sister gave a speech. The last speech before we could eat was by one of Al's best friends, who gave more of a roast than a speech, which I thought was pretty brutal to sit through and by the end it most of the crowd was visibly uncomfortable. Here is Al's brother's second story. Note how this story has nothing to do with Vanessa. And allow me to quote "I do have to tell a couple quick stories", this one story is nearly 3 minutes. To think I thought listening to Nate was bad.

video

I have been to many weddings, and I have given a number of speeches. Here are what I believe are the two key things to remember about giving a speech at a wedding. Keep it under 2 minutes, after that you start to lose your audience. Secondly, have what you are going to say memorized. If you can't memorize it, it probably isn't that important. Worst speech ever was at my cousin, Megan's, wedding. I think it was her husband's uncle who had 4 pages of internet jokes to go through.

I wasn't planning on grabbing the microphone while at the reception. But the rule of the reception was to get the new couple to kiss you had to sing a song with the words love or kiss in it. I waited until towards the end of the dinner to step up to the microphone. A lot of people raised their hand and the DJ held the microphone in front of them. Not me, I grabbed the mic and belted out "Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show". I worked that room, walking from one end to the other and then back to the middle. Of course, I didn't belt out just one verse but two (which netted me a free drink from the bartender later in the evening). I will be the first person to tell you that I can not sing. It is true, I can't, but I can entertain and there isn't much question about that.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friday Night Wedding

Two weeks ago, I had a wedding weekend, one on Friday and one Saturday. Friday night was a wedding for a co-worker. It was at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in Franklin. It was a very nice setting. Here is the one thing I like about outdoor weddings, they are always short. I don't recall one that went over 20 minutes. After the service was a one hour cocktail hour which was fine. Then they corralled everyone into the reception hall for the dinner. The problem here, the entire wedding party was out among the grounds having pictures taken, and for some reason they cut off the alcohol until dinner was served. This had everyone sitting at their tables with water for 45 minutes until the wedding party returned. Once they got back, they began serving the meal and the bar was opened. But as I quickly learned once I reached the front of the line, the bar was only open to the wedding party. What? I don't need alcohol to have a good time, but it helps. 2 hours had gone passed until the time that the guests were allowed to get a drink from the bar. I was at a table with a number of my co-workers, and by 10:00 I had decided to call it a night.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Life Goes On

I just wanted to put some closure on this last week before I get back to my normal topics of my blog. Sunday was the wake for Linda. I was unable to make it as my flight home from Minnesota got delayed and then was put into a holding pattern before landing due to the weather in Milwaukee. Yesterday was the funeral. Just a few quick comments on the funeral. First, I was appalled to hear not one, not two, but three cell phones go off during the service at the church. You have got to be kidding me. Extremely disrespectful.
When I first got to the church, two of Linda's kids, Nathan and Kyle came running up to me right away. It was good to see them, and they brought a smile to my face. I do hope that from time to time in the future, I do get to see the boys.
The toughest part of the day was at the cemetery. Seeing Linda's parents holding hands and starring at the casket in front of them. The other tough part was as everyone lined up to bless the casket, and I saw Michel crying as she approached the casket.
After the service at the cemetery there was a balloon release which left things on a positive note. As I walked to my vehicle to leave the cemetery, I saw a number of the kids present laughing, running around and playing the grass and I thought Linda was probably looking down and smiling.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Linda Peterson

I know that my readers expect entertaining topics on my blog usually leaning to the humorous side. But it is with an extremely heavy heart that I make this posting. After four and a half years of courageously battling breast cancer, my good friend, Linda, lost to the disease and passed away Sunday afternoon. Linda was a beautiful person both inside and out. Her smile could light up a room, and as far as I am concerned, it always did. I first got to know Linda around the time that Nate and Michel got married. When you first meet Linda, her striking looks and warm personality make it impossible not to instantly take a liking to her. Linda and Michel (Nate's wife) were best friends in college. I stood up with Linda in Nate and Michel's wedding. ( I will have to bother Michel to get me copies of the pictures of her and I) Then a couple years ago, a group of us went down to Florida for Andy and Julie’s son’s baptism. Linda came along with her three sons. I won’t go into detail on what a piece of garbage the father of her children is. But while in Florida and I got the opportunity to spend a lot of time with Linda and her kids, Nathan (age 9), Kyle (age 7) and Jake (age 4), and enjoyed every minute of it.
In the four and half years since she was diagnosed with this disease, I always found it amazing how incredible Linda looked every time I saw her. She was always very positive and never looked sick. Despite all of the treatments she had to endure, the countless sessions of chemotherapy, you never heard her complain. And the last thing she wanted was for you to feel sorry for her. She went with me to Eric’s wedding this past April and when she walked through the door, she looked absolutely stunning. And she even surprised me with her moves on the dance floor.
Two weeks before she died, Nate, Tim and I went to her house to help her out with some painting in her house, fixing the kids swing set and staining the deck. She wasn’t home when we got there, she was at the hospital getting a spinal tap done. Towards the end of the day, after she got home, her and I were sitting in the kitchen, and asked her how she was doing. As always she downplayed her condition and said she was doing fine. I asked her about what she had done at the hospital. She went on to describe it as the worse pain she ever endured. 20 minutes of having a needle driven into her spine while she was screaming and writhing in pain on the table. She quickly changed the topic to ask how I was doing with my back. I know I didn’t offend her, but I still felt like such an ass. And there was no way I was going to complain about my health problems to a person who is dying. I felt guilty just saying that I was feeling good.
I went to visit Linda in the hospital only a couple days before she died. It was absolutely heart breaking to see her. The disease had drained all of the energy out of her. She was but a hollow shell of what she once was. The smile was gone, her eyes were barely open, and it seemed that she barely had the strength to feed herself. Not surprisingly there were a lot of people there to see her. But in the time I did get to be with her, the first thing out of her mouth, in a voice that was barely above a whisper “Thanks for your help. The deck looks beautiful.” In the following days her condition continued to decline, eventually getting to the point where her doctors flat out told her there is nothing more they could do, but make her as comfortable and pain free as possible. It was at that time she asked to be alone with her sons and she had to tell them that she was going to die. My God, how do you have that conversation with your children? It is hard to believe that she is gone. Linda was kind, thoughtful and caring. I am thankful that I got the opportunity in life to have known Linda. I will forever admire her courage and strength. Sadly the world is a worse place today without her in it. I grieve with her many friends and family today. She will be missed and forever loved by many.