Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jared's Game

Game #2 on Saturday was Jared's game. Here is Jared on the sidelines waiting to get into the game.I have never played organized football so maybe I don't know what I am talking about, but I seriously doubt it. Jared is without a doubt one of the bigger kids out on the field. He plays on the offensive line and sometimes nose tackle on the defensive line. At first I yelled to Jared to knock someone to the ground, then I pleaded with him to please knock someone down. Take a look at this picture below. Does it really look like Jared is trying to push this kid down? You should never be standing straight up and down while blocking. Pictures don't lie. I did not see Jared do anything more than play Paddy Cake Paddy Cake with the person across the line from him. Without a doubt Jerad hits his sisters harder than he does his opponent. There isn't much passing at this level of football, so on 95% of the plays, Jared just needs to run block. Come out of your stance, get your hands on his numbers and drive him as far backwards as you can. I saw none of that. If I am wrong please tell me.I am going to have to call out my brother-in-law Tim. Before Jared's game he was unhappy to hear other parents tell the kids on Waukesha North that played before Jared's game, that the kids had a good game when they got handily defeated by Waukesha West. He thinks that that attitude of accepting a loss breeds a losing mentality. But then when Jared's Waukesha North team was able to make it through the 1st quarter still tied with Waukesha West, Tim called just remaining tied as a victory for Waukesha North. Please someone else agree with me that Tim is contracting himself.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Zack

This past Saturday I had a line up of 2 football games and 1 soccer game that my nephews were playing in. It was not a good day for any of them. Zack lost 8-0, Jared lost 35-0 and Nick lost in soccer 14-0. I don't recall ever losing by double digits in outdoor soccer.
Here are some pictures from Zack's game. He is #52. I don't think he is in first picture.
This is a pretty cool picture, the teams lined up just before the snap, with the scoreboard and flag in the background. Oh and also in the background is Zack's coach who doesn't give equal playing time to all of the players. Stay classy.I was not only watching games all day but also around parents all day. I am so glad that I do not have to get involved with all of the politics that go along with kids playing sports today. Things are much different then in my day. My parents had always told me and my brothers that if we wanted to play sports, not to expect them to be at every game. And we were at times not to expect rides to games and practices. As a kid I can recall walking to many practices and games from my parent's house to the high school. My parents didn't have time for all of that, they were too busy working to put a roof over our heads and food on the table. While it sucked at the time, it helped to define who I have grown up to become and appreciate all that I now have.

One final note for day. Happy Birthday to my nephew, Zack. If my memory serves me correct, Zack is 12 years old today. Don't be in a rush to grow up, enjoy these days now, because things get complicated in a hurry.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fish Quiz Answers

I just thought I would finish up on the Fish Quiz. I am sure a number of people were disappointed that their answers were not considered correct. And maybe in their minds there was a misunderstanding with the naming of each species of fish. Sugar Lips, Julie and Mr. Nevermann of Nevey's Guide Service got all but one correct. Well if you have an issue, you can take it up with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. If you can get them to update their website to reflect your answers, I will grant you your gyro. But see for yourself. Here are the official answers. Issues came up with the pumpkinseed and the bullhead. Also I am still waiting to hear from the gutless turd who is taking shots at me without leaving their name. Show yourself coward.

Jackson Browne

Friday night I wanted to go and scalp a ticket to the Jackson Browne concert. I ended up getting a ticket rather easily. My seat was in the middle of the second level at The Riverside. A $55 ticket for $25, so that wasn't so bad. I didn't notice this until the concert was half over, but all of Jackson Browne's songs sound the same. Some notable omissions from the concert, that I not only wanted to hear, but expected to hear: "Lawyers in Love", "Somebody's Baby" and most notably missing, "Loud Out / Stay". I thought for sure he would close with that. However, the last two songs of the show were, "Take It Easy" (you would think that was an Eagles cover, but I learned at the concert that Jackson Browne co-wrote that song) and then "I Am A Patriot" which is a cover of a Little Steven song. I am a big fan of that song and it was a pleasant surprise.
I had some video from this concert, but I have been having some problems uploaded to my blog site. I will try in the future.

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I value the opinion of my loyal blog readers. Even though in the past I think we have not always seen things the exact same way. But on this particular issue, I would really like to hear your input.

About a month or so a go, this guy I know, we will call him, Bob. Bob was having some issues with his car and needed to take it in to get fixed. Bob took his bike and packed it into his car, drove to Brookfield, dropped off his car and then biked back home. A couple days later, his car was fixed, and Bob asked me if I would give him a ride to pick up his car. At the time he asked me, I was entertaining some company at my house, namely my old college roommates, Kevin, Mark and Suzanne. I would say that we get together maybe once a year, so it was a fairly rare occasion. I asked Bob "Why don't you just ride you bike back to pick your car up?" Bob replied "Well my bike just barely fits into my car and I don't want to ride on Bluemound road all the way to Brookfield, because it is unsafe." I was reluctant to leave my friends, but being the good guy that I am, gave Bob a ride to pick up his car.

A week or so ago, Bob broke his bike and it needed to be taken into the bike shop. Bob again somehow managed to get his bike barely into his car and drove to the bike shop to drop it off. A couple days ago, Bob asked me if I would give him a ride to go and pick up his bike. I asked him why he doesn't just pick it up with his car, because as history shows, he has twice gotten his bike into his car. He explained to me that his bike doesn't fit or rather just barely fits into his car. I told Bob that I would give him a ride to get his bike. But then the more I thought about it, I realized that on general principle I can't. Now if he had told me that he needed a ride because he was too lazy to take the front wheel off, or he was worried about getting greasy/oil in his car (which can be remedied with a towel) then I could see giving him a ride. But his reasoning is that his bike doesn't fit in his car. When if you look at the past history, he has twice been able to get his bike into his car. The only way I can accept his reasoning that he needs a ride to pick up his bike because it doesn't fit in his car, is if when he took it into the bike shop, they made his bike bigger. Right? This isn't about being a good guy, this is about principle.

My parents raised me to believe in right and wrong. I went to college and studied engineering, where answers are black and white there are no grays. The bike either fits in the car or it doesn't. The bike has fit in the car twice before, it doesn't matter that it just barely fits or not. If a=b once, and then a=b a second time, don't tell me that "a" doesn't equal "b" a third time.

Let me use this analogy, suppose there is a hole in a fence and your friend sticks his head through this hole. He gets his head stuck and yells for you to come and help him get his head out of the hole. You walk over and help him get his head out. Then your friend turns around and sticks his head right back into the hole and gets it stuck again. I am not going to help him get his head out. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

So please vote in the poll, I am really interested in how people vote.
This isn't about being a good guy or not, this is about princple. Should I have given Bob a ride to pick up his bike?
Yes, because he said his bike doesn't fit in his car even though it does. What?
No. If the bike fits in the car, then it fits in the car. He can pick it up himself.
Free polls from

Monday, September 27, 2010


I know it is still a month away. But I am sweating out a costume for Halloween. I have already decided that I will be up in Minneapolis of Halloween weekend. I already have my plane ticket bought. But I am drawing a blank on a costume. Borky and I were talking about doing a combination costume. There were thoughts of Harry Dunn and Lloyd Christmas or Vincent Vega and Jules Winfield. If anyone has any ideas, please send them this way.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Axel's, The More Things Change....

....the more they stay the same. Thursday night I headed up to Whitefish Bay. My old college roommate, Bob, lives up there. Obviously Bob and Angie are doing very well for themselves. He has made it a point to get a monthly night of ping pong together in his garage. When I got the email invite earlier this week, I responded back in less than 5 minutes. I love good pong. The last time he had ping pong night, I was kicking myself for not stopping at Oakland Gyros. Thursday night I wasn't going to make that same mistake. And I planned it out just right. I showed up in just enough time to order up some food, then walk through the "secret" hallway over to Axel's and eat my gyro, have a beer and watch Thursday night football just as the game kicked off. I was a pig in mud.Axel's was dead. But of the patrons that were there, I noticed nearly all had a pitcher of beer. I figured I had an hour to kill before I needed to get to Bob's, I should be able to finish off a pitcher. I was feeling a bit nostalgic so I went with the same thing that I always ordered when I was in college, Busch Light (or beer flavored water). "$3 please." $3!!!! For a pitcher of beer!!!! I don't care how crappy the beer is, I dare anyone to find another bar that has the same deal. Show it to me and I will meet you there. Sure, Axel's is a dive bar, but it is my dive bar. It has been about 15 years since I first set foot in Axel's, give or take a year or two. And in that time, the beer has changed from Olympia to Busch Light and the price for a pitcher has gone from $2.75 to $3. $0.25, so much for inflation.As you know from posts earlier this week, I was in Chicago last weekend. What a big difference the two cities are. I love visiting Chicago, but it is so expensive and a major pain to get to and get around in. Milwaukee on the other hand is quite the opposite. Seriously, I can make it from my house on the far west side of the city to the lake in less than 10 minutes. I know at times I give Milwaukee a bad rap, but it really is a pretty cool city.

Back to the ping pong. Bob put together a pretty good group of guys to play ping pong. They are all good guys and decent pong players. It was doubles all night, and the last game finished up with a final score of 29-27. So thanks Bob for setting it up and I am down every time for some pong.

Final note of the evening, I have been going to Oakland Gyros since my sophomore year of college. (Freshman year I was too lazy to walk that far from the dorms.) Well if you have been there, you know that a gyro, while delicious gives off a rather strong aroma. And they give you so much that you can't possibly eat the whole thing if you plan on doing anything more active than falling into a food coma for the hours following the meal. So last night I actually brought tupperware with me to put my leftovers in, so it wouldn't smell up my car. I am officially old. Another must after Oakland Gyros, is gum. I know I have warned the Jendes about the dragon breath you can suffer from during the morning make out sessions after a late night at Oakland Gyros.

DMB in Chicago Final Note

I got this article emailed to me. It turns out that the DMB concert was a blast, and almost literally. We were actually at the bar, Sluggers before the show, but we walked out due to the lack of service. You should have seen how irritated Myra was getting.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Weekend Ahead

I think I can safely look ahead to the weekend. Mine starts Friday afternoon as I only have to work a half day. That is a good thing. But I have nothing planned for this weekend. Saturday I am headed to back to back football games for my nephews, Zack and Jared. And that wraps up my weekend. Good times. If anything else is going on, please let me know. Then again, I am fine with a weekend of lounging around the house.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DMB Back to Back

Yep I was down in Chicago this past weekend for the Dave Matthews Band concerts at Wrigley Field. I went to the shows with my friends, Liquid and Myra. Maybe I am getting old, but the two girls came out the gate much harder than me on the first night. I will say one thing for Liquid and Myra, they can party.
According to my records, these were shows 29 and 30 for me. I often get asked why I go to both shows. "Don't they play the same songs?" Nope. Here are the two setlists
Friday Night
One Sweet World
Pantala Naga Pampa
Funny The Way It Is
Lying In The Hands Of God
Burning Down The House (Talking Heads Cover)
Proudest Monkey
Shake Me Like A Monkey
Write A Song
Dancing Nancies
Why I Am
You and Me
Don't Drink The Water
Ants Marching

Needle and the Damage Done (Neil Young Cover)
Watchtower (with Stairway to Heaven)

Saturday Night
You Might Die Trying
Stay or Leave
Crash Into Me
Tripping Billies
Digging A Ditch
Can't Stop
Grey Street
Jimi Thing
Time Bomb
Two Step

Christmas Song
Corn Bread
Last Stop

As you can see, they didn't repeat one song.

I have been to a number of shows in Chicago. But Wrigley was pretty cool to be at. I actually didn't have very good seats. I was actually suppose to be in the upper deck for both shows. However due to my shifty ways I managed to get myself in the field general admission seats. What can I say, it is a gift. I now have the Chicago sports arena hat trick. I have set foot on Soldier Field around the 30 yard line, mid court of the United Center and now in center field of Wrigley Field. I even made a point of touching the ivy on my way out of the stadium.
I was reasonably close the second night. I took a couple of pictures. Then I saw a guy next to me with a much better camera who was getting better pictures. I gave him my business card and asked him to send me some pictures. I haven't received them yet. But I also didn't see my business card on the ground after the show.
Highlights of the shows: The first night was the encore. A Neil Young cover (maybe he will play that at Farm Aid in two weeks) And then Watchtower, which halfway through the song they went into Stairway to Heaven and then back into Watchtower. That was something special that I have never seen before. Although I was able to find it on Youtube played before.
The second night highlight was easily, Jimi Thing into Time Bomb into Two Step. In fact I have some video of Two Step..

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Camping Part 4

Here is the trebuchet getting loaded.Bob, Steve and Tim the Hults brothers.One of the barges headed up stream. There weren't nearly as many as barges as there has been in the past. Maybe 7 or 8 all weekend.A barge headed down stream in the middle of the night.Tim came up with the great idea of making a slip and slide. I think next year we will head to a different island for the slip and slide that has a steeper hill. We are also planning on bringing a pump.Here I am headed down the slip and slide.
As I said earlier, do not duplicate our behavior. We eventually put a 1/4 stick of dynamite in the trebuchet.

KISS Part 10

Alright, I am sure you are all sick of the KISS pictures and video. I am sure you all feel like you were at the show. This is the final installment. Here I am with Ed at the show.This is the last song, "Rock and Roll All Nite, Party Everyday". I remember looking at the stage as members were levitating up into the air and thinking, "Big deal, they are standing on a scissors lift, you can rent those for $50 a day."I also remember thinking to myself, if I had brought one of my nephews to the show, they would have thought this was the greatest band to ever exist. Maybe not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Henrik Alan Louis Kempen

On the drive home Sunday afternoon I stopped off in Madison to see Jay and Shelly's son. He was born July 16th. Here is Jay and Henry.
Based on the sounds I hear and the present Jay found in his diaper, this is indeed Henry's grumpy face. Of course I had to get the Heisman pose in.

Camping Part 3

Here is Chaka, the picture of perfect health.A view of the island. A little slice of paradise on earth.Bob went out fishing on Saturday. I don't know, what is this a musky, northern, walleye? One of those.We enjoyed a team shotgun of beer. This is as close we got to a team picture.
We made some homemade 1/4 sticks of dynamite with black powder. We found a grill on the island that someone else had left behind. We thought it would be a great idea to put a stick of dynamite in the grill. Here is what happened.
This is the aftermath of putting dynamite in a grill.

Here is Borky doing a beer bong.

KISS Part 9

As Ed and I settled into our seats we listened to the first song, after which I looked over to my left and I saw these four guys dressed up like the band. Everytime I looked over at them I started laughing. But who is laughing now. By the end of the show, I couldn't contain myself, I had to walk over and get a picture with them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Camping Part 2

Jay made it out Friday and stayed until Saturday afternoon.Friday night we had some rain and put a picnic table into a tent and played some cards.It wasn't the warmest trip to the island. And the river water was as cold as I can remember. In fact I didn't do my annual swim across the river. I spent a total of about 10 minutes in the water for the 2 showers I took. Here is Nate #2 getting ready to take the jet ski out while wearing a hoodie. But that is better than on Saturday when all he wore was a towel and just a towel all day. We all hoped he would fall but he didn't.The trebuchet cocked and loaded. One issue was that the bottom of the counterweight started to rip out. I never even got the bucket half full of sand. Meaning more weight could be added which would result in the projectile going further. The counterweight has already been mentally redesigned. I plan on getting a launch in at my parents house this winter when I can use snow to fill the counterweight.Here is Nate with his new camping toilet. He didn't use it right there, but went further to the woods.Here is a Milk Gallon with water in it. The trebuchet was calibrated from something a bit lighter and therefore the jug went straight up in the air. You can see Nate predicts that he will go back into the woods.

You can't see the projectile, but you can hear the reaction of my fellow campers.

Football Part 6

Here is Tim moving his team down field.

KISS Part 8

Here is Paul Stanley out on the high wire. He was out on a stage in the middle of the crowd. They Played "I Was Made For Lovign You" while he was out there and you could hear piped in crowd noise coming from the stage.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Camping Part 1

Before I begin on my recap of the camping trip from this past weekend I would like to post a disclaimer. May years ago an employer of mine once told me, "Do you know what the difference between a stupid person and an idiot is? A stupid person can get smart, but an idiot is always an idiot. You are an idiot." Since that time, that employer has spent time at the gray bar hotel and has lost the legal right to carry arms and vote. But maybe that statement is still true. I am not going to say that we were on our best behavior on the island. And I don't think anyone should attempt to recreate or reenact any of what you see here.
Here is my truck loaded up and ready to go Friday evening.I have been working on my trebuchet for a while now. And it is not perfect. The current version we are on, is version 2.0. Going into the trip the furthest I was able to launch anything was maybe 50 feet. I knew going into the trip that the most important aspect of the trebuchet was the sling and getting that to work correctly. The one brainstorm I had was to cut an old basketball into quarters and use that as the sling. It worked great. My goal going into the weekend was to hit a barge with a golf ball. That didn't happen but the trebuchet was a success. My prediction, in 2 years we will be launching people. Not smart, but it will probably happen. After the first couple of launches, a crack appeared at the pivot point. It was bandaged with duct tape and held the remainder of the weekend. I foresaw this crack possibly happening, and made 3 of these wooden plates, but I left the 2 spares in my garage.Here is Borky doing a beer bong.Nate in his $25 swing he bought on A very comfortable chair. I may get one.Here is a launch. It is hard to see, but as I said, projectiles were making it to halfway across the river.
Somehow Nate got his hands on the radio and started playing Christmas songs. Here is some blurry video of fireworks and Christmas songs.