Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Too Close...Almost

Friday night I had nothing planned. I was just going to sit in my backyard and watch the Brewer Game. As I was watching the game, they mentioned that they would be having fireworks after the game. I considered going down to see the display, mainly because it is all of a 10 minute bike ride to get to the stadium. Plus I had nothing else planned for the remainder of the evening. After a big 7th inning by the Brewers, it appeared that they had the game under control and I prepared to head down to the stadium. I did a little riding around the parking lots and identified where they were lighting the fireworks off from. As you might be able to see from the map. The fireworks were set up in the west corner of the Uecker Lot. I was originally sitting in the grassy area between the Uecker and Yount lots. Then I remembered about the Hank Arron bike trail. It follows the river and goes under the bridge right by where they were to light off the fireworks. I jumped on my bike, hit the trail and had the best viewing location of anyone in the place.I took this shot of Miller Park from my vantage point.Then the fireworks started. I was so close that I couldn't get the whole firework in any of the pictures I took. Not only that, but I was directly under them. In fact after 5 minutes my neck got sore from looking straight up. So I just layed down on the bike trial.As you can see from this video, you see how close I am to the place where they set up.

video

I know that video doesn't do this display justice. But trust me it was loud. And when the grand finale started, I could feel my chest vibrating as the explosions continued. Fireworks are like a concert, the closer you are to them, the better they are. These were incredible.

video



I know this invitation will fall on deaf ears, but you should come with me next year, if they do the fireworks again.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue 32, Blue 32..Hut...Hut...Hike!!!

The football season is upon us. As always I will be having a Oakland Gyro contest. Anyone who predicts the Packer's end of season record correctly will win an Oakland Gyro, extra pita and large rootbeer. Here are my predictions for the upcoming Packer Season.

Week 1, at Philadelphia (Sunday 3:15 on FOX)
Remember 4th and 26? I do. This year it goes the other way and the Packers pick off a pass as the Eagles attempt a last minute comeback. Pack win. 1-0.

Week 2, Buffalo (Sunday 12:00 on CBS)
Buffalo still has a team? I thought they moved to Toronto? Game isn't even close. Pack win. 2-0.

Week 3, at Chicago (Monday 7:30 ESPN)
This one is a battle of interceptions. Rodgers with 2 but what's his name has 3. Pack win. 3-0.

Week 4, Detroit (Sunday 12:00 FOX)
The Lions are improving (really there is no where to go but up) but they don't have the experience to win. Pack win. 4-0.

Week 5, at Washington (Sunday 12:00 FOX)
The Pack isn't going to undefeated this year, but I see a lot of wins. This is their first loss on a last second field goal. Pack lose. 4-1.

Week 6, Miami (Sunday 12:00 CBS)
Rodgers throws for 4 touchdowns and 350 yards. Pack win. 5-1.

Week 7, Minnesota (Sunday 7:20 NBC)
Favre winning again against the Packers....not going to happen. In fact he won't even be in the staring lineup come week 7. He will be on the Injured Reserved List. The Pack win an ugly game 14-13. Record goes to 6-1.

Week 8, at New York Jets (Sunday 12:00 FOX)
It is Halloween and the only scary thing out there is the New York Jets defense. A bad day for the offense with 4 turnovers. The Pack lose 28-10. 6-2.

Week 9, Dallas (Sunday 7:20 NBC)
A prime time game and the Pack show up. The game is over by halftime. The game is a laugher. The Pack win 38-10. The Pack goes into the bye with a 7-2 record and a two game lead on the rest of the division.

Week 10, Bye week

Week 11, at Minnesota (Sunday 12:00 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
The Packers complete the sweep on the Vikings and throw the first shovel of dirt on Brett Favre. Pack win, 24-17. 8-2.

Week 12, at Atlanta (Sunday 12:00 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
This game is like the St. Louis game the year the Pack won the Super Bowl. A defensive touchdown turns this game around. 9-2.

Week 13, San Francisco (Sunday 12:00 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
The running game goes wild with over 200 yards on the ground. Pack win by 2 touchdowns 21-7. 10-2.

Week 14, at Detroit (Sunday 12:00 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
The Lions are looking for their 4th win, but they won't get it this week. Pack win. 11-2.

Week 15, at New England (Sunday 7:20 NBC, but subject to possible time change)
This prime time game is a shootout and the last team with the ball wins. Pack win on a field goal. 12-2.

Week 16, New York Giants (Sunday 3:15 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
The Packers cruise at home. Eli Manning gets another cut on his forehead. Pack win. 13-2.

Week 17, Chicago (Sunday 12:00 FOX, but subject to possible time change)
The Packers are on the way to the Super Bowl and spoil the Bears Super Bowl even with half the starters pulled after the 1st quarter. And Stegall(seen here on the right) gets tickets to this game as well. Pack win. 14-2.

Playoffs. With a bye in the first round and home field throughout, the Packers cruise through the playoffs, including a 3rd win over the Vikings who have long forgotten about #4 and Sage is leading the offense. Eventually the Pack will face the Colts in the Super Bowl. Rodgers matches Manning, pass for pass, but it is the Packers defense that rises to the occasion. The Lombardi trophy comes back home. Packers win, 31 - 21.

Final Prediction, no one gets the correct record for the Packers and on the Monday after the Super Bowl I head to Oakland Gyros to eat a gyro by myself.

Lyric of the Day:
I've paid my dues,
Time after time,
I've done my sentence,
But committed no crime,
And bad mistakes,
I've made a few,
And I've had my share of sand kicked in my face,
But I've come through,
And I need to go on and on and on and on.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Used Car Salesman

Wednesday evening, I had just settled into my couch to watch some TV when my phone rang. It was my brother, Jeff(a.k.a. Chucker). He said that he was with a group down at Miller Park tailgating for the Brewer game and invited me down. I think it was last year, that I said I would accept any and all reasonable offers when someone invited me somewhere or to do something. I told him to give me 20 minutes and I would be down there. So down to the parking lot I went. And I don't think I was even a minute over 20 minutes, in fact I might have been there quicker. When I arrived, the cocktails were getting poured, and pizza brats were headed for the grill. His group even had an extra ticket which I was happy to take off their hands. It was a club level seat, which is fine, but I would rather be in the bleachers with the common folk. Here is my dad explaining to Tom that his youngest son is quite the head boner.Here is a view from our seats.Here is Tim giving Chucker a hard time about something, which is weird to see because normally Tim would be asleep by this time of the evening. Here is also something of a shocker, Tim said he has never tailgated with hard alcohol before. Plenty of times with beer, but never booze. How did we ever let him into the family? Look at how happy these two are.
As you may know, on Tuesday they unveiled the new statue of Bud Selig. I am not going to say that I was the first person to get my picture taken with the statue. As you can see Bud, Rollie Fingers and Hank Arron beat me to that.But I very well could have been the first person to climb up and get my picture taken with my arm around the statue.

Bubs, after the picture was taken, I was talking to the guy who took the picture for me. I told him about my picture doing a pull up on the bat of the Robin Yount statue. And I was trying to explain the meaning of "attractive nuisance", but unfortunately it was lost on him. I don't think he went to Marquette Law.

Sorry I have been slacking on the Lyric of the Day:

People say I'm the life of the party.

Cause I tell a joke or two.

Although I might be laughing loud and hearty.

Deep inside I'm blue.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Death Day / Birthday

Today is significant for two reasons. I guess I will do them in chronological order. August 26th 1997 was the date of the murder at my house. If you want to read the article, here is a link. It is the story on the top of the front page. This is also a file photo of my house. I was too lazy to walk outside and take a picture. The bushes are now gone and replaced with burnt up sod.2 years later on the very same day was the birth of my nephew, Ethan. Happy Birthday "E". That is really all that I have for you today.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Review

This past weekend, my friends, Kristin and Patrick, were in town and stayed with me. Friday night we went to the Brewer Game.We tailgated through the rain.I built lifesize Jenga a while back, but this was the first time I brought it tailgating. It was a big hit. Nearly every one that walked by stopped to take a look. Here is our friend, Kim playing. Check out the fuzz in the background. They came by a number of times to watch.These girls walked by and I invited them to play. They weren't very good, or very smart.Kristin and Patrick's friends, Kim and Jon came to meet us in the parking lot. Here is something of a team photo prior to going into the game.As always, Nate hooked us up with some great seats in the club level.We were able to talk Nate into hanging out with us for the game. Just like last year when Kristin and Patrick were in town, we had Nate give us something of a behind the scenes tour. Here we are at Friday's.After the game we headed down to the field level.Here we are in the Air Tran Airways Landing Zone.We went up to Nate's office to get Kristin and Patrick some bobbleheads. Here is Nate with, I think it was Craig Counsel's batting helmet.I had to try the helmet on too.As we were walking out of the lower level of Miller Park to Nate's truck, we saw Trevor Hoffman walking out at the same time. I don't know too many, if any professional athletes, but Hoffman seems like a great person. He even initiated the conversation with us as we were walking out and wished us a good evening. Then he signed autographs for all of the kids waiting outside that wanted one. His pitching may be in decline, but as a person he appears to be nothing but class. Before Kristin and Patrick came into town I sent them an email with things we could do while they were in town. You may remember a post I had a while ago that was from an article on Onmilwuakee.com with 100 things to do in Milwaukee. I highlighted a couple of these things in the email I sent them. After the game we drove over to the Iron Horse Hotel for a drink. At bar time we then went up to the East side to finish the night off at Oakland Gyros.Saturday we had lunch with a co-worker of Kristin's that lives in Milwaukee. Then we headed down to the Pabst Mansion for a tour.I had always wanted to do the Pabst Mansion tour. It was pretty cool. The woodwork in the building was just amazing. I would recommend going. After the tour we got a picture with our tour guide, Dan.Kristin had mentioned to me a while ago about the bar, The Safe House. We headed there for a drink and some appetizers. It had been a number of years since I had been there. It is a pretty cool bar, and if you have never been there, you really should go there at least once.We then headed up to the eastside again to see the boat house. Saturday night I took them to my favorite restaurant, Crawdaddy's. It was a pretty action packed weekend.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Trebuchet

Here is just one of many reasons as to why I am not married. My trebuchet. I dare any married man out there to come home one day with a bundle of 2x4s and start sawing them up. Then when your wife comes out and asks you what you are doing, simply say, "I am building a trebuchet. Isn't it great honey? And I am going to store it in the garage so there is even less room to park your car." I dare any married women to say that she wouldn't have a problem with it? You can say it, but you would be lying. An 18 foot long by 25 foot tall monstrosity, built for the sole purpose of pelting barges cruising up and down the Mississippi with water balloons. What a waste of time, money and materials. I doubt that there are many married men out there that could get away with it. And there isn't a single married man out there would could build a lifesize trebuchet and not have it come back to haunt them. "Oh you can spend $150 a your stupid trebuchet, but do I ever see any flowers anymore.......Nooooooo. Make your own dinner."
I have been talking about building this for a couple years now. About a week ago, Nate sent out the invite for the Mississippi camping trip. I sent him back an email telling him when I would get to the boat launch, but that "I didn't think the trebuchet would happen this year." Nate's two word response, "I figured." was all the encouragement I needed to draw up plans that afternoon and head to Home Depot that weekend.

I was down at Miller Park Sunday night for a test launch. Eric gave me a hand with it. I am not going to say that it performed perfectly. First there is a major lateral bracing issue which needs to be resolved. Secondly preparing the trebuchet for launch and getting the counterweight into position, when it is fully loaded, isn't the easiest thing in the world. I still have a couple weeks for some fine tuning. I am still hopeful that I will be able to hit a barge on the camping trip.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Chill On The Hill

Tuesday night there was a celebration for Anna's birthday. 5 Card Stud was playing at "Chill On The Hill" in Bayview. I rode my bike down there and watched the concert with them.
Here is Anna after she blew out the candles because I couldn't find my camera quick enough.
The Stage.The after glow of the sunset.The little league field at Miller Park was all lit up and I stopped to grab a picture.This is the walking bridge at 72nd street over I94.Traffic on I94.Lyric of the Day:
Showed your photograph to some old gray bearded men sitting on a bench outside a general store.
They said yes, she's been here, but their memory wasn't clear.
Was it yesterday. No wait the day before

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Stone Temple Pilots

I went to see The Stone Temple Pilots with Liz and Stacey Monday night. Liz calls me in the afternoon and says that she will meet me at my house at around 7:00. They show up around 7:15 or so. We have a couple drinks and are talking in the basement. We decide to leave around 8:30ish. I get into her car and as we leave, Liz tells me that her brakes are shot. As the car begins to roll ahead all you can here are the brakes grinding. And that grinding was loud, to the point where you really need to turn up the radio. I got emailed free vouchers to get into the show through The Rave's website. Liz informs me that a friend of her's has some free tickets for us, and originally over the phone she told me his house was on the way. She also said that she thought these were VIP tickets. We continue driving and we are now in the heart of West Allis, far from on the way between my house and the The Rave. I am in the backseat with the following things going through my mind, #1. Where the hell are we? #2. Am I going to die in a car accident because the brakes don't work. #3. Am I going to die in a car accident because Liz is currently doing all of the following: driving the car, fixing her hair in the mirror, talking on the phone, changing the radio station, also talking to Stacey and looking for a ring that fell off her finger. We end up driving to 51st and Howard. I ask Liz "Why didn't you pick these tickets up on the way to my house?" She says "I thought you would be mad if I was late." I tried to explain to her the error in her reasoning, you know that by delaying picking up the tickets is only going to make us more late later on in the evening, but she didn't seem to understand what I was saying. Liz gets the tickets and hands me one. They are vendor tickets, general admission with a ticket value of $0.00. I then tried to explain to her, that we were just as far ahead if we had just drove straight down to The Rave. Then she tells me that maybe we can sell them. I tried to explain to her that it is pretty hard to sell tickets that have a face value of $0.00 for much more than $0.00. We now have our tickets and are headed to the show and Stacey says that she is hungry. Liz imediately says "I am hungry too!" We end up going to Rocky's for pizza. Rocky's doesn't have a rather extensive drive through menu, and these girls are trying to buy a regular slice with toppings that are not available and never were available on the regular slices. Now you can add eating to the list of things that Liz is doing while driving. We get down to The Rave and Liz is looking for a parking spot. The opening band came on stage at 8:00, it is now 9:15 and Liz is looking for parking on the streets that are on the same block that the venue is on. There isn't much chance of Rockstar parking at this time of the night but she somehow thinks she is going to find one. Again an idea that I mentioned to Liz that she didn't seem to fully grasp. We finally found a spot 4 blocks away. We get around the corner and Stacey says "Why didn't we park right here under the light?" Stacey who is wearing 4 inch heals is starting complaining about the walk and her feet hurting. We finally get into The Rave, grab a drink and actually worked our way pretty close to the stage but right in front of the left speakers. When The Stone Temple Pilots came on stage it got pretty loud. I got a little separated from Liz and Stacey and was about 3 or 4 people behind them. My ears were ringing and it was only the second song. A mosh pit breaks out just to my right. Seeing the opportunity to upgrade my seats, I darted through the most pit to the other side and I was then much closer to the middle of the stage. I just stayed about 3 people to the left of the mosh pit for the rest of the concert. But for the entire concert that mosh pit kept following me. By the end of the show I was in the same location right in front of the speakers but now on the right side of the stage. It was a decent show. Here is one thing I found somewhat puzzling about the show. It was after the third or fourth song, Scott Weiland (the lead singer) was talking to the drummer over the microphone and made mention of Jon Bonham from Led Zeppelin. I thought, great they are going to do a Led Zeppelin cover, but then they just went into another one of their songs. Later on in the show they did cover "Dancing Days". I just found it odd that they didn't play that right after talking about Led Zeppelin. I found the girls after the show and we made our way back to the car. As we walked by the parking spot where Stacey said we should have parked, I noticed that that car had one window busted out and the owners were on the phone with the police. We get into Liz's car and head toward my house with the brakes just grinding away, it made me laugh. I will say this for Liz, going anywhere with her is an adventure.

Lyric of the Day:
Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
Why did you throw the Jack of Hearts away?
It was the only card in the deck that I had left to play.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Concerts and More Concerts

This past weekend I got my fill of concerts, or at least you would think.

Friday night I had VIP seats for the Black Crowes at The Riverside. I took my camera and took some pictures and video, but do you really want to see a bad picture or listen to some distorted video? I didn't think so. The Black Crowes were good. Apparently this is their 20th anniversary tour. I really don't know much of their music other than the first two albums. It was a decent show and I had fun. I knew I was going to be drinking at the show, so in preparation for that, I put my bike in my truck and biked home after the show. The VIP seats were actually the first 5 rows of seats pulled out and all the VIPs in there as general admission. The first set I was pretty close to the left side speakers. For the second set I moved more front and center. Halfway through the second set, this little guy who was a full head and a half shorter than me came walking through saying excuse me to everyone. When he got to me, he said excuse me, but then when he was in front of me he just stopped. I thought fine if he wants to stand there whatever. But then after a minute or so, he backed up into me. So I took a half a step back. As I moved back so did he. Then this happened again. Obviously the further back he was from the person in front of him the better he could see. But he was all over my personal space. He eventually left after a couple of songs.

Saturday I went to see Phish at Alpine Valley. I haven't seen Phish in about 15 years. My friend, Suzanne, who is married to my college roommate, Mark, asked me a while back if I wanted to go to the show. I told her if she couldn't find someone to take her other ticket, that I would. Mark's brother, Eric, and Eric's girlfriend also went to the show. We had a VIP Parking pass so we parked right up front. After we cooked some food up on the grill we went for a walk the parking lot. I learned that it is way more fun in the general parking than the VIP. I won't make that mistake again. Once we got into the show, we were able to make our way down in the first section about 30 rows back. Really good seats. I had forgotten how good Phish was in concert. The night before the Black Crowes were good. But Phish was 10 times better than the Black Crowes. Midway through the show I had to go to the bathroom which is all the way at the top of the amphitheater. But I love when you have good seats and you walk back down into them. The closer you get, the more the concert intensifies. You walk out of the bathroom and you can hear the band but there is a lot of outside noise from the people around your. Then as you get about halfway down the hill, you get a smile on your face as the music begins to settle into you, and you walk closer. You get down to the entrance to the reserve seating and you begin to dance a little to the beat of the music. By the time you get down to the 30th row you are literally jumping up and down. Like I said it was a great show, and I nearly went back down to Alpine Sunday night for the second show. I would have to put this Phish show in my top one or two for concerts that I have seen this year.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Million Dollar Idea

This idea came to while I was at the Phish concert Saturday night. It is a phone and a phone application called "Phone Tag".
Basically the phone would have a port on the side of it that would pull out and have both a male and female connectors. When you meet someone with the same phone, if both phones have the ports pulled out, you turn one phone over and connect the two phones. Then you would push a button on each phone and it would quickly exchange whatever information you would want that person to have, i.e. your name, phone number, email address, facebook account, etc. And it would literally take only seconds to transfer this information. Unless this is out there, does anyone know if something like this has already been invented.

What do you think, is "Phone Tag" a good idea?
Yes, You will be a millionare.
No, How much did you drink at the Phish show anyhow?
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Camping on the Mighty Miss....Deep River

Well it is nearly that time of the year again. The time for the greatest camping trip of the year will soon be upon us. September 9th to September 12th. This isn't the official invite (I think Nate sends that one out), but it is my open invite to any male readers out there who wish to join, and I will let Nate know your intentions to attend.
We boat out to an island in the middle of the Mississippi, near the town of Trempealeau, and call that island home for three days.
We normally have a fair share of fireworks.If there is extra gas, then there is the ring of fire.Unfortunately we always end up with one or two Vikings fans showing up. Oh and we drink some beer.A full cache of potato guns and potatoes.I have received official confirmation that Chaka will be there again.And if you are really lucky, maybe Borky will cook some beef-a-rino without venting the can and it will land on your head.I think this will be my 5 or 6th year. It is always a great time, and since the first year I made the trip, I refuse to miss it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ho Hum

I really have nothing to report. I have said it a number of times before, but the life of a healthy person is quite boring. Here is my recap of the first couple days of the week.
Monday:
Worked until 5:00 p.m.
Worked out: pushups, situps, bike ride and a run.
Watched the Brewer Game and fell asleep by 10:00 p.m.

Tuesday:
Worked until 5:00 p.m.
Worked out: pushups, situps, bike ride, and a run.
Watched the Brewer Game and fell asleep by 10:00 p.m.

Wednesday:
Worked until 5:00 p.m.
Here is where I switched things up, went grocery shopping
Worked out: pushups, situps, bike ride, and a run.
Switched back and forth between watching the Brewers Game and Rocky then fell asleep by 11:00 p.m.

But things should pick up this week. Friday is the Black Crows concert and Saturday is Phish at Alpine Valley.

Lyric of the Day:
Indians scattered on dawn's highway bleeding.
Ghosts crowd the young child's fragile eggshell mind.
Blood in the streets in the town of New Haven.
Blood stains the roofs and the palm trees of Venice.
Blood in my love in the terrible summer.
Bloody red sun of Phantastic L.A.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kirk's Band

Saturday night I went to see Kirk's band play at Olympia. I was only there for an hour because I was instructed to get back to my brother's for some more pool volleyball. But here are some pictures from the night.
Aunt LanaHere is the band up on stage. I have to apologize that I don't even know the name of the band.Angela trying to get out of the way of a picture.The Bahr girls, Angela, Vanessa and Rebecca.Enter Kim.Angela, Kirk, Vanessa, Kim, Rebecca and Kyle.And later in the evening I was back for some night time volleyball.Lyric of the day from a song that was performed that night:
Rocky had come equipped with a gun,
To shoot off the legs of his rival,
His rival it seems had broken his dreams,
By stealing the girl of his fancy.
Her name was Magil and she called herself Lil,
But everyone knew her as Nancy.
Now she and her man who called himself Dan,
Were in the next room at the hoedown,
Rocky burst in and grinning a grin,
He said Danny boy this is a showdown,
But Daniel was hot-he drew first and shot,
And Rocky collapsed in the corner.