Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Christmas Cards Part 2

Christmas Cards Part 2. Away we go.
Here is Leon. I worked with Leon back in my days at Merge.The Ehrgotts. I went to school with Brian and also played soccer with him. But I know him almost more because he is Borky's brother in law than being a former classmate.K.O. and Trooper. Two more people that I met through Krum. I played some soccer with Trooper with I was living up in Minnesota. I mean I guess you could call what I was doing soccer. Trooper is a much better player than I ever was or would be. And I am headed to the U2 concert with K.O. at Gopher Stadium in June.The Beiers. I knew Matt and Lana both in high school. Matt was a year younger than me, and I think Lana was two years younger. I do know one thing, never challenge Matt to a foot race after a night at Summerfest. I lost. Bad.The Josephs. Truz was my roommate along with Nate. I have had a lot of roommates over the years, but when Nate, Truz and I all lived together, well, that was our Camelot.Amy and Cesar I met through Nate's wife, Michel. The Kakers. I met Matt through Krum back in high school. I played soccer with Kaker way back in the day. And I was a weekly figure visiting him up at Oshkosh in college. I was up there so often that one time I was at a party with Kaker and a girl came up to me and was asking me where I lived, she thought I was going to school at Oshkosh.I threw this in here too. It is Kaker's birth announcement of his son, Quincy. I am predicting Medical Doctor.Errin and Pretzel. I met Pretzel through Joe. I did a couple of triathlons with Pretzel. And I have done a couple 5Ks with both of them. My favorite is the Blarney Run and Leffs afterwards. I would have done it again this year, but I didn't have my doctor's clearance.That is installment #2.
Lyric of the day:
She said a good day,
ain't got no rain.
She said a bad day is when I lie in bed
and think of things that might have been

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Christmas Cards Part 1

Christmas Cards? Really? It is almost April and you are breaking out Christmas Cards? Yes I am. I think that many of my readers either know or have heard of all of these people and maybe they weren't good enough this year to receive a card. So I am posting, at least the ones with pictures, enabling you to see them. That are in random order. And this is the 1st of 4 installments.
Here is TTs family. I met TT through Preston. TT has procreated. Isn't that one of the signs of the apocalypse?

This is Elly. She is the daughter of my college roommate, Mark. They live up in Appleton and I go together with the regularly when I was living up there. I recall one night we went out for dinner. At the time Elly was just 2 weeks old. Mark, Suzanne and I ordered up a couple appetizers and had a couple drinks. Next thing you know we had polished off four of five rounds and we had Elly sleeping in her car seat on the table. Mind you this wasn't a bar, more of a bar/restaurant. Someone call social services.Rob and Melissa. I met Rob through Joe. Here are the Jende kids. The Jendes are close friends of my brother Jon. Steve was the one who went back stage with me at Summerfest.The Knueppels. Heidi is my cousin.Here is Jack. When I first opened up this card I couldn't figure out who this came from. It took me a while. It is from my friend, Paul Gibson, who I met through Joe. But in all the time I have known Paul, no one has ever called him Paul. It was always Gibby. It reminds me of college. I had a number of college friends who I never knew what there real name was for a long time. Both Storch and Spider come to mind.The Eggeners. Brian, Nancy (my Godwife), Lauren and Jake. Nancy is my sister in law, Julie's, sister.Doreen and Browny. I met Browny through Krum. I have known him since my freshman year in college. There is only one Browny.Russ and Amanda. Russ is another friend that I met through Krum. Or as Krum will tell you, a friend that I stole from him. Russ lives in Colorado, soon to be moving to Utah. But when I go skiing out west it is with Russ.Lyric of the Day:

Don't cry.

Don’t raise your eye.

It's only teenage wasteland.

9 Inning Challenge

You may remember back to the Gallon of Milk challenge. Nate had made the proclamation that he could drink a gallon of milk in 20 minutes. Even thinking about it now, it seems impossible. If I had not seen it with my own eyes, I won't have believed it. To this day one of the most impressive feats I have ever witnessed.

I touched on this latest challenge last year, but I never got it all pulled together. The 9 Inning Challenge is to eat a hotdog and drink a beer for each inning of a baseball game. My roommate, M.K.A. said that he would be up for the challenge. I am going to wait until the weather gets a little better. But I figured I would pull the big screen out into the yard and do it on a Friday or Saturday night. Although I have a couple stipulations, I get to pick the hotdogs, buns and the beer. And you can't go to the bathroom until the game is over.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Come See What's Brewin'

Is it possible? Could it be? Yes, I think it is. Brewers season is almost here. One week until the first regular season game. With that game on the horizon, I think it is time to put together another reader Oakland Gyro contest. Besides, what do I care if you win or not. To date I don't think anyone has claimed their prize for any contest won. If I am wrong please correct me. My prediction for the Brewers is .500 baseball 81-81. If you know anything about baseball, it all comes down to pitching. And I don't think we have the pitchers to get to the playoffs. Here are some side predictions. Hoffman gets 35 saves. Doug Davis will lead the team in wins with 13. Braun and Fielder will both be all-stars and will combine for 85 home runs. But they are going to need to have some runners on base when they come to the plate. They also need someone to emerge that is a reliable if not a dangerous hitter batting 5th to protect them. The Brewers will go 7-8 against the Cubs. Sorry Borky and K-mart but the Brewers win 4 out of 6 against you clowns including stealing 2 in your new ballpark. Mauer has an atypical off year after signing his enormous contract. If you post a comment with your prediction and get the exact record for the Brewers this season, you win an Oakland Gyro, extra pita and large rootbeer.
Today's lyric:
If you could only see me.
I know exactly where I am.
You wouldn't want to be me.
Oh I can assure you of that.
I'm not the guy to run with.
Cause I'll throw you off the line.
I'll break you and destroy you.
Given time.

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Top Ten Albums Of All Time

As mentioned in yesterday's post, "Are You Experienced?" is one of my top ten albums of all time. Greatest Hits do not count. Here are the other nine in no particular order:
Abbey Road - The Beatles
Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd
Joshua Tree - U2
Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones
Thriller - Micheal Jackson
Ten - Pearl Jam
Zeppelin Four - Led Zeppelin
Purple Rain - Prince
Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen
Maybe I am missing one, but I would be happy to debate it. I also reserve the right to adjust my list at any time for any reason.

Lyric of the Day:
Now you've listened to my story.
Here's the point that I have made.
Cats were born to give chicks fever.
Be it Fahrenheit or Centigrade.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happy Birthday

Hey real quick I wanted to wish my nephew, Jared, a happy birthday.Your normal birthday present has been deposited for future savings which you will have access to when you turn 18.
An additional lyric for you:
Up town, down town
Little Willy, Willy drives them wild with his run-around style
Inside, outside
Willy sends them silly with his star-shine shimmy shuffle smile
Mama done chase Willy down through the hall
But laugh, Willy laugh, he don't care at all

Jimi Hendrix

Sunday after depositing all of the kids back with their parents, I stopped by the Eggeners. It was Gordy's birthday. I am kicking myself for not getting a picture of the birthday boy. While the group was sitting in the living room we were talking about Lauren's foot attire, apparently someone who scored 25 of her ACTs is still unable not match her socks. For the record, I got 23 on my ACTs. The conversation quickly turned from Lauren's socks to her room and Nancy (Lauren's mom) mentioned that I should go look in her bedroom. As Nancy made that comment, Brian (Lauren's dad) walked through the room and made the matter of fact comment "Don't go in there, you will burn your eyes." Zing. Boom. It was a George Costanza hit the high note and leave them wanting more type of comment. If I had said that, I would have stood up, thanked the crowd and left. Maybe it was the way he said it, maybe you had to be there, but it was the funniest thing I heard all night.

Oh and here is something you don't hear everyday. While I was over with the Eggeners, we had something of a reverse intervention. I was told that I seemed to be more crabby and was less entertaining when I don't drink. You can start preparing to be entertained, because I broke my non-drinking New Years Resolution with Nate last Wednesday night. I am back to normal.

Alright, as I had mentioned in my weekend pre-view, I had entertained thoughts of scalping tickets to the NCAA tournament. Well that was quickly logistically impossible to make, so I set my sights on going to the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Riverside Theater. On the internet it stated that the show would start promptly at 8:00. I got down to the Riverside at about 7:45. The marque stated that it was a sold out show. That should mean that it is a seller's market. Not the case. The scalpers all laughed at me when I said I wasn't paying face value when I first started talking to them. A Sunday night concert with majority of those in attendance males in their 40s or 50s. Most everyone there already had a ticket. This didn't leave too many of us out there looking for tickets. I ran into an old buddy, Josh, from college and I talked to him for a couple minutes. In that time, the crowd outside the theater all but vanished to the inside. It took little effort to talk the scalpers down from $60 (face value) for a ticket to $28.

Side note: Hey Borky, I ran into U2 Bob at the bar just before the concert started. He told me he was just telling story about the beefarino you burned to the top on his head while camping.

Well I finally got to my seats. I had about a minute to talk to the guys next to me before the show started. They told me that they had sold my ticket to that scalper for $25. A ticket for less than half the face value plus I got into my seats with beer in hand before the show even started. That is the sort of things that dreams are made of. The seat was to the left side on the second level 10 rows back. Actually great view of the stage as the pictures will show.

Here is a little background on the show. It is a Jimi Hendrix tribute show with the following performers: Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Brad Whitford (of Aerosmith), Doyle Bramhall II, Ernie Isley, Living Colour, Double Trouble's Chris Layton, along with bassist Billy Cox, who played with Jimi Hendrix.

I took a lot more video just because the pictures weren't turning out so well. If you are a Hendrix Fan, you should enjoy the videos. Sadly the video pales in comparison to actually being there. Jimi had so many great guitar riffs. "Voodoo Child" is just crazy, watch the scene in "Almost Famous" when they switch from touring on the bus to on a plane.

This is Ernie Isley and Billy Cox.I dawned on me during the second song of the show, that I would be hearing pretty much the whole "Are You Experienced" Album. If you don't have it, I highly recommend it. It is up there on the list of must have albums (sounds like a new list). This is probably as close as you can get to seeing Jimi Hendrix alive. I am so glad I decided to go. Living Colour came out and pumped a bunch of energy into the crowd with Crosstown Traffic. I have been to a lot of concerts. Easily over 100. And I have seen a lot of things. And a lot of bands will have their lead singer come out into the crowd and towards the back of the theater/arena. Bono, Eddie Vedder, Rivers (from Weezer), I even saw Paul Stanley (Kiss) fly out to a stage in the crowd on a trapeze. But nothing like Corey Glover of Living Colour. He started on the stage. Climbed two sets of speakers, Then jumped into the box seats, then jumped up to the second level, walked right by me, shown here.If I had been on the isle I would have ran down and slapped him a high five. He then went up the top walkway of the Riverside, across to the other side, then proceeded to climb back down to the stage on the other side. He had no security with him. That was pretty cool. Here is some video:

I thought for a moment he was going to abort the mission when he went from the second level to the box seats.
I have heard a lot about Jonny Lang but I have never seen him. I am glad I finally got a chance to see him. Pretty amazing stuff.Here is some video of Jonny Lang, "Fire".

Here is more video, Eric Johnson, "Are You Experienced?"

So I go to the bathroom about half way through the show. I had to walk by the women's bathroom to get to the men's. No line there. I get to the men's bathroom and the line was out the door. I felt like I was like in one of those Enlarged Prostate commercials.

Jonny Lang "The Wind Cries Mary"

Noah Hunt and Kenny Wayne Shepard "Voodoo Child"

Joe Satriani "Third Stone From The Sun"

Living Colour and Satriani "Foxey Lady"
Here is a photo of all of the performers. I didn't get the kid's name, but he is the one in the picture with the white and blue guitar, he is only 14. Just like Steve Winwood.

It was a great show. The only thing I was slightly disappointed with was that they didn't play "Little Wing", other than that, no complaints.

And the Riverside is another great place to see a concert. Honestly it is beautiful inside. I am starting to think I would rather be in the first couple rows of the second level, than halfway back on the lower level.

I also came up with a new idea for my blog. I am sure by now or at least by reading this blog that I am big music fan. I am going to start posting daily lyrics from my favorite songs. But I am not going to tell you the song or artist. If you ask me, I will tell you. However, this is not a contest, no gyros will be awarded for correct answers. This idea came to me while listening to this song, here is your first of many lyrics.
"Outside in the cold distance,
A wild cat did growl.
Two riders were approaching,
And the wind began to howl"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Kids Sleepover

Once a year, I offer up my home to house my nieces and nephews. This year 8 of the 10 made the trip. We started off with a stop at the Majestic to see "Alice in Wonderland" in 3D. Yes, I am hooked on 3D movies. Only 4 of the kids could make it to the movie, which was probably a good thing because it was $63. I had food ready for them when they got to my house, cookies and candy. The corner stone of any nutritious diet.Erin and I played a game of lifesize Jenga in the garage.Later we got in some arm wrestling matches.Lindsey was the undisputed champion. She even beat her brother.Here is Ethan making a strong attempt, but look at Lindsey, she isn't even struggling.After feeding them pizza for dinner. They all got ice cream sundaes.I made an error in judgement allowing the kids to set up the race track. All they really managed to do was put together a track that didn't connect at the end and in the process broke a number of sections of track. To the rescue I came to make a track that actually worked.8 kids in my house leaves me in a constant state of motion. It was an endless cycle of getting them food, cleaning up dishes, fixing the video game, settling sharing disputes, figuring out who is going to sleep where, etc. I had Erin sleep in one of the closets. The first time there was an argument about sharing the race track, I made them line up in front of me and we worked out. They could either figure out a solution or I could put the racetrack away. Actually all of the kids are well behaved, at least around me. Maybe because I am not afraid to yell at them. You should have heard how quite the house got when an unnamed child threw a toy at my TV. It was the only time the house was quiet. I give credit to their parents for raising such good kids.
But those kids have more energy than me. By 10:45 I was ready to sleep. I left the four boys were in the living room playing video games and the four girls in the Lincoln Bedroom watching a movie. I was disturbed from my dead sleep at 1:30 in the morning by the laughter of kids playing video games. That is when I told them to turn off the TVs and go to bed. Of course they all were up much earlier than me. I finally crawled out of bed at 8 in the morning.
Here are the kids I had: Lindsey Rose, a.k.a. BoomerAbbigail Diane, a.k.a. Little Princess
Jody, you let your daughter watch "The Hangover"? That is what I was told. Really?Ethan August, a.k.a. Auggie or "E"Joshua William, a.k.a. JWErin Emma, a.k.a. Fuss
Erin was constantly helping. Anything that I was cooking she wanted to help out with.Sarah Elizabeth, a.k.a. SarahahaJared James, a.k.a. Crusher.Zackary Richard, a.k.a. "Z"Here I am with all of these rug rats.Sunday's activities included an hour an a half of making breakfast for 8 kids who did not want to eat all the same thing. Cereal, waffles, eggs and smoothies. I then took them all bowling. Here is Joey who came to go bowling.I finished up with the kids by going to McDonalds. I had a lot of fun with the kids. And I am sure they had a good time too. I just like to have all of the kids over so that when I hear someone complaining about the energy it takes to watch there kids, I can say "Try watching 8 at a time." Not a problem. But I am glad that it will be another year before they all come over again.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Hurt Locker

As I had said, Friday night I went to see "The Hurt Locker". I had heard a little about it, but once it won the Oscar for Best Movie, I decided to make it a top priority. The movie is based in Baghdad, 2004. It follows the lives of a E.O.D. team. E.O.D. is Explosive Ordnance Disposal, i.e. bomb squad. The leader of this team is William James. His character is eerily similar to Martin Riggs (Lethal Weapon) or Captain Benjamin Willard (Apocalypse Now). A renegade veteran in combat who spits in the face of proper protocol, but still goes above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. He does the right thing, the wrong way. This along with the hostile environment keeps the movie in an unpredictable direction. The dangerous lifestyle eventually becomes all that he knows and that which comforts him. A good movie, I give it a 7 out of 10. I think I went into it with higher expectations because of the accolades that it has received. To sum the movie up in two words: Slightly unsettling.

Monday, March 22, 2010

100 Things To Do In Milwaukee has a list of 100 things to do in Milwaukee. Here is a link to the list.
I thought I would go through them to check off the things I have done or want to do.
Here are the 25 I have done.
1 Cheer on the Brewers at Miller Park ... (DONE IT)
2 ... and be sure to tailgate before the game (DONE IT)
4 Explore Milwaukee's spy bar, The Safe House (DONE IT)
10 Close Wolski's and get a bumper sticker to prove it (DONE IT)
19 Marvel at the beauty of the Milwaukee Art Museum (DONE IT)
21 Smell the flowers at Boerner Botanical Gardens (DONE IT)
23 Skate a few laps on the Olympic Oval at the Pettit National Ice Center (DONE IT)
31 Eat like a king at 4th Base (DONE IT)
38 Cheer like a maniac with the Bucks' "Squad 6" (DONE IT)
42 Crack up at ComedySportz (DONE IT)
44 Sunbathe at Bradford Beach or South Shore Beach (DONE IT)
48 Eat a bowl of Real Chili (DONE IT)
49 See an Admirals game (DONE IT)
50 Sled down the North Avenue hill (DONE IT)
51 Watch kids playing soccer at Uihlein Park (DONE IT)
54 Stroll back in time on the Streets of Old Milwaukee at the Milwaukee Public Museum (DONE IT)
63 Hike the Hank Aaron State Trail (DONE IT)
66 Grab a meal at Friday's Front Row Grill to enjoy Miller Park in winter (DONE IT)
67 Experience a real Milwaukee Friday night fish fry at Lakefront Brewery's Palm Garden (DONE IT)
69 Enjoy a beer in a smoke-free Von Trier (or have a smoke out on the patio) (DONE IT)
70 Eat a butter burger at Kopp's (DONE IT)
76 Watch people play lawn bowling at Lake Park (DONE IT)
89 Enjoy outdoor movies in summer at Discovery World, Pere Marquette Park, Miller Park and State Fair (DONE IT)
92 Take a picture of the boat house at Cambridge & Hampshire (DONE IT)
93 Quickly order a drink at the world's shortest happy hour at The Nomad World Pub (DONE IT)

Here are the 30 that I still want to do. Maybe I will add this to my list of summer activities, and if I have nothing going on some weekend, I will work on adding these to my done list.
3 Check out the lights and live music at the Domes (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
7 Wind your way along Grant Park's Seven Bridges Trail (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
9 Climb Holy Hill in Hubertus (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
11 Bike the Oak Leaf Trail as far as you can muster (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
12 Buy a wax Samson at the Milwaukee County Zoo and tell the kids about the famous gorilla (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
16 Take the Lakefront, Sprecher and MillerCoors brewery tours in one day (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
17 Experience Jim's Time Out, the Downtown "towny" bar (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
20 Take a Milwaukee Ghosts tour and learn local haunted history (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
27 Catch the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Monday nights at Alterra on the Lake (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
30 Have a drink in The Yard at the Iron Horse Hotel (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
33 Interact with nature at the Schlitz Audubon Center (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
36 Tour the Pabst Mansion (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
39 Experience intimate theater at Boulevard Theatre (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
40 Bowl a few lines on America's oldest lanes at Holler House (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
41 Tour the Harley-Davidson Museum (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
43 Say "Ayy" to the Bronze Fonz (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
46 Wander around the Bong Recreation Area (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
52 Visit the Beulah Brinton House in Bay View (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
56 Bask in the beauty of the Basilica of St. Josaphat on 6th & Lincoln (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
59 Get saucy at a Brew City Burlesque show (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
60 Find the city's Frank Lloyd Wright architecture (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
61 Visit the North Point Lighthouse (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
73 Find Milwaukee's smallest park, Kaszube's Park, on Jones Island (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
74 Rock out at Verge -- the Lakefront rock fest (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
77 Take a picture at the intersection of "Keefe" and "Richards" (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
78 Ride the mechanical chili pepper at La Perla (or have a margarita on the roof) (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
79 See the statues in Doctor's Park (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
91 See if the security guard at the Midwest Airlines Center is real (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
97 Tour Bolzano Meats in Riverwest (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)
99 Cheer on the all-girl roller derby, the Brew City Bruisers (IT IS ON MY TO DO LIST)

Borky I know you will be down with some of the things on the "TO DO LIST", make a note of them for the next time you are in town. We can knock out 3 or 4 of them on a weekend.

And for any other readers out there, see if you can do more of these than me this summer.