Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weekend Update

This past Memorial Day Weekend went by way too fast.  Friday night, I was suppose to go and see Nickleback at the Bradley Center with Chris, but there was a problem with the tickets.  One of Chris' friends was suppose to mail him the tickets, but as of Friday they had not arrived.  I ended up going to see the movie "The Avengers" with my friend, Kristin.   It was an OK movie.  But the last final fight scene seemed to drag on forever.  We went to the 10:30 showing and there had to be a half an hour of previews.  When we got out of the theater it was 1:09 AM.
Saturday I stopped by the Klinks  for Poppi's birthday party.  Here are a couple photos.  Melon with Poppi.
Bubs and Poppi blowing out the candle.  We used a left over baptism candle that I had laying around.
Patrick helping sing along.

 Saturday night I went to see Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.  I had never head of them before, but my friends, Mark and Suzanne, seemed to keep on the cutting edge of music.  I went to the concert with them.  And then I was a little more excited about the show when Borky send me a text and told me to go because he saw them the night before and enjoyed the show.  They were all correct. It was a fun show and I would see them again for sure.  During the last song they just started inviting everyone up on stage with them.  Here is a photo that Mark took.

Sunday my friend, Mick, had a party.  Here is a way to be a hit at any summer party, especially if you don't know to many people and if there are kids there.  Bring water balloons.  I brought a cooler of about 30 water balloons.  When I showed up I just started tossing them at people.  Some of them caught them and some didn't.  But it was so hot that it didn't matter.  Later on I had a couple left over and Mick's friend, Nuke, stopped by with his two kids.  The younger one, Ryan (4 or 5 years old), I gave a balloon first.  And when his brother, Bubba (7 or 8) saw the balloon he asked his brother where he got it from.  Ryan wouldn't say so Bubba kept walking around looking for the water balloons.  Finally I took a balloon out of the cooler and just held it in my left hand.  Bubba finally saw and snuck up behind and grabbed it out of my hand.  I knew he was there, but let him have it.  After Ryan had popped his, I again put held a balloon in my left hand.  But when Ryan came up behind me to grab it, I popped it all over him.  Ryan took a deep breath and started crying blood murder.  Being the seasoned uncle that I am, I am no longer effected by tears unless they are accompanied by blood, and it would have to be a fair amount of blood.  Ryan eventually warmed back up to me.
On Monday my cousin, Justin, stopped by to put the finishing touches on my latest home remodel.  I will say it again.  Thank you Justin, you did a great job.  I would recommend Justin to anyone in need of a carpenter, but Justin isn't looking for extra work right now.  Although he has agreed to give me a hand when I build a new garage in two years.  Monday evening I went to my brother, Dan's, to celebrate his birthday.  I again brought water balloons, but this time I gave the balloons to all of the adults who began an aerial assault on the kids while they played ball tag.  There were some family pictures that I hope to get copies of from Dan's mother in law to post here.
My mom also made it to the party.  In case you didn't know, my mom went in for a double knee replacement 2 weeks ago.  So she has new knees, was in good spirits and I thought moved around pretty well.
Normally over Memorial Day weekend, I set aside some time to watch Saving Private Ryan.  The ultimate war movie.  But this year I changed things up.  It was War Hero weekend on AMC and I recorded a number of movies.  "The Green Berets" with John Wayne, "The Dirty Dozen" and "Apocalypse Now".  I had never seen any of these movies all the way through.  "The Green Berets" was pretty bad.  In fact I turned it off with 30 minutes to go.  I just couldn't do it.  But "The Dirty Dozen" was even worse, it was so bad that I couldn't turn it off.  "Apocalypse Now" was pretty weird.  I had seen parts of about half of it in the past, but it was the first time I watched it all the way through. Quick grades on the movies on a 1 - 10 rating.  "The Green Berets" a 2.  "The Dirty Dozen" a 1.  "Apocalypse Now" a 5.
Now I am just looking forward to and preparing for my party.  I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Here is something new I thought I would try.  The daily forecast going into the Freeman party next weekend.
10 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of 72 and 10% chance of Rain.
9 days out, the forecast is Showers, High of 73 and 40% chance of Rain.
8 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of 73 and 10% chance of Rain.
7 days out, the forecast is Scattered Showers, High of 71 and 40% chance of Rain.
6 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of 70 and 10% chance of Rain.
5 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of 68 and 10% chance of Rain.
4 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of 69 and 10% chance of Rain.
3 days out, the forecast is Partly Cloudy, High of  71 and 10% chance of Rain.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Don't Go In The Basement

It is Sunday night and I just got home.  It is 9:30 and my phone rings.  It is my 82 year old neighbor, Ester, who lives three houses down from me.  She calls me up from time to time, if she has some "simple" home repair needs.  When I answer the phone she says, "Hi Rickie.  Can you do me a favor?  I hear a sound down in my basement, can you come over and check it out?"  I say, "Are you kidding me?  That is how horror movies start."  I walk over and she tells me that she hear a leaking sound like there was a leak in her plumbing.  He basement is dark, like mine used to be with the wood paneling.  I walked around down there and I thought for sure some hockey masked freak was going to come out of a dark corner to kill me.  

Friday, May 25, 2012

Remodel Part 3

More before, during and after remodel pictures.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Remodel Part 2

Here are your before, during and after pictures of the remodel.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Repair Part 1

Last weekend was the big home remodel.  Here are some pictures.  In between hauling the 2 bundles of shingles (or as The General likes to call them, bags of tile) that he carried to the roof, The General found time for some photo ops to pretend he was working.  Here instructing M.K.A. and Kevin how to nail shingles.
 Here is a better shot of M.K.A. and Kevin working.
 There was a bit of a mess.  The tear off required taking off 3 layers of shingles.  I had a hard time deciding which is the worse job.  Tearing off the shingles, or picking them up afterwards. 
 I gave Justin and Chucker a real general idea of what I wanted when it came to the front porch over hang.  They made it work and it looks great.
 The General instructing Chucker on how he would build the front porch over hang.
 Justin placing the joists on the front porch.
 The remodel wasn't without incident.  M.K.A. accidently put his foot through the roof and into the upstairs bedroom.
I also managed to lose my cell phone early in the morning.  It was recovered under a pile of shingles during the clean up hours later.  I also made a poor decision when I went with using "bagsters" to hold all of the old shingles.  "Bagsters" hold 3 cubic yards and are about $100 a pop.  I ended up needing 4 of them, where as if I had just ordered a 15 yard dumpster, it would have been cheaper.  Lesson learned.
And again, thank you to Justin, Kevin, M.K.A., Chucker, Haus, The General, Justus and Dan for their help.  Everyone worked hard, got along and did a great job.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Sorry loyal blog readers.  I have been really busy.  I have been remodeling the house yet again.  This time it is a new roof and front porch.  I had a number of people over this past weekend to help.  I can't express my gratitude enough.  Justin, Kevin, Mike, Jeff, Jon, Stegall, Justus and Dan all pitched in, thank you all again.  And I have something special in mind show you how much I appreciate your help.  It should be ready by my party.  The weather could have been better.  Now I am not complaining about the hot weather, I said I would never do that or you could throw a drink in my face.  But it would have been nice if it wasn't 90 degrees without a cloud in the sky while standing on black tar paper.  I think people would have had a little more fun.  I will get pictures up soon.

Mid Year Resolution

Yesterday, I made a mid year new year's resolution.  This one is simple.  If I am watching TV and flipping through the channels and I come across a movie that I own, I will stop and put the original in and watch that rather than the TV version.  Last night Old School was on.  And the TV version obviously isn't as good as the original.  Not only that, but without all of the commercials, I finished the movie before the TV version was done.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


As you may recall, I had a posting a while back about my new roommate, Justus.  I guess he is also an old roommate, because he and Preston both moved in with me when I first bought my house 14 years ago.  But back to the topic of this posting.  Maybe it was my fault by not making it clear the level of cleanliness I expected from a roommate.  So going back to that earlier posting, I took issue with the fact that Justus was unwilling to pick up the towel off the floor after he would take a shower.  About 2 or 3 weeks ago, I came home from work to once again see a towel on the floor.  I decided that it was time to make a point.  I got out my stop watch and I asked Justus if he had a couple of minutes.  He said sure.  We walked to the door of the bathroom and I asked him to start the watch.  He did, and I picked up the towel and put it on the rack.  I told him to stop the watch and I asked him how long that took.  He said 5 seconds.  Then I asked him to start the watch again and I put his toothpaste tube from resting on the edge of the sink and put it in the medicine cabinet.  I said stop when I was finished and asked him how long that took.  He said 3 seconds.  At this juncture it appeared that Justus was understanding where I was coming from.  But I made him continue timing me just to make sure that my point was hitting home.  I again asked him to start the watch and I put his electric razor away in the cabinet and wiped down the shelf where the razor was resting.  I told him to stop the watch and tell me how long that took.  He said 37 seconds.  I asked him to start the watch one more time.  I then walked out of the bathroom and turned around and I said "Right now I am making one quick check of the bathroom to make sure no dirty clothes are left behind.  Nope, looks all clear.  How long was that?" 10 seconds.  So that is less than a minute I am asking for you to keep the bathroom just semi clean.  "Justus, Do you think you can do that for me?"  He told me, "Yes sir.  That shouldn't be a problem."
If it wasn't a problem, why is it that I just walk through the door and this is the state that my bathroom is in?

Towel on the floor.
 Razor on the shelf.
 Razor bag sitting out.
If this behavior continues, I am going to call in sick one day.  Rent a storage locker.  Move all of his crap into that storage locker and change the locks.  Anyone interested in helping me?  And believe me I am not kidding.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Steve Winwood

Friday night I went to the Riverside Theater to see Steve Winwood.  I am a big fan of this work with Traffic, and I went for no other reason than to hear "Low Spark of the High Heeled Boys", which he did play but I didn't shoot any video.  It was hard to argue with my seats, 3rd row.
And I did get some video.  Here is "Can't Find My Way Home" from his Blind Faith years.

And one of his encore songs was "Gimme Some Lovin" from his Spencer Davis Group. 

Oh and I found the setlist:
"I'm A Man"
"At Times We Do Forget"
"Can't Find My Way Home"
"Dirty City"
"The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys"/"Empty Pages"
"Pearly Queen"
"Light Up Or Leave Me Alone"
"Higher Love"
"Dear Mr. Fantasy"
"Gimme Some Lovin'"
I have always thought that he has an unmistakable voice.  It is pretty amazing thinking that he started with the  Spencer Davis Group when he was only 14 years old.  Now he is 64.  As I was listening to "Gimme Some Lovin", I was thinking, he has been singing this song for 50 years.  Crazy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Arm Wrestling

And what is a sleepover without an Arm Wrestling Tournament.  I took pictures of all of the first round matchups.  Since there were only 7 kids, Uncle Rickie entered the tournament.  Here are the first round faceoffs.
Bone Saw and Hollywood.
 Fuss and Princess.
 Uncle Rickie and Looper.  And Looper is getting tall.  He is officially the tallest of all the kids now. 
 "E" and Boomer
 Here is the double elimination brackets.  The kids title went to Bone Saw, defeating Boomer, the two time champion.  I crowned myself the people's champion.

Friday, May 11, 2012

More of the Sleepover

Here are the kids in the backyard.  We left open spaces on either side of Princess for Crusher and Sarah as well as a space by Josh for Joey.

How about some pictures of kids jumping.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kids Sleep Over

Later in the day, Bone saw, "E" and Zach were dropped off.  I am still working on Zach's nickname.  He just became a golf caddy, so I think I am going to go with "Looper", you know a caddy, a jock. The kids started playing ball tag around the neighborhood.  I was a little worried about the kids wrecking something in one of the neighbor's yards, so I packed them up and we headed back down to the playground at Miller Park.  It was a pretty serious game of ball tag with 2 balls.  It soon evolved into everyone wanted to be "it" just to throw the ball at someone.  And at one point we needed to get "E" to simmer.
Another pictures of kids spitting off the bridge.

 We finished up the night with some blackjack and a movie (The Blues Brothers).  The next morning we had boot camp.  The kids didn't do too well at boot camp.  Then it was time to feed all of these animals.  My kitchen isn't big enough so I had to feed them in shifts.  Once everyone was done eating I sent them all outside while I cleaned up.  Just like my mom used to do with us.  The kitchen was a bit of a disaster after breakfast.
After the weekend with the kids, I have to give my parents even more credit.  I will never know how they fed and raised all of us.  It was just a cycle of cooking and cleaning up after each meal, then the cost of feeding the kids.  It is all too much for me.  A weekend with all of the kids, reinforces the fact that I do not plan on having kids.  First I don't have enough money, and second and probably more importantly, I don't have the energy to keep up with them.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Kids Sleep Over

After the ride in the limo we headed down to Miller Park to launch some rockets, fly kites and play tag on the playground.  Here is the kite caught in the lights.  Princess isn't much for kite flying.
 We stopped at another play ground and I got some pictures of the kids jumping off of the swings.  We tried to get all 4 of them jumping off at the same time, but it didn't work. 

 After the playground we headed down Honey Creek Parkway for some more pictures.  I wish I had all 10 kids because the pictures turned out pretty well. Here they are.

 One of my favorite pictures of the kids, I like to call it "Kids spitting off the bridge."

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Hi Ho, Hi Ho Part 2

I know that everyone  was gearing up for the big reroofing project this weekend.  But there has been a change in the date.  It will no longer be May 12, but May 19th.  Free food to all who attend.  Sorry, Liquid, I will not be able to make it to the Brewer game.  I talked to Nate already.
This past weekend was the annual sleep over at my house for all of my nieces and nephews.  I decided it was time to step it up a notch or two.  I have a number of sayings that I tell the kids.  Dare I say they are even life lessons.  For example, "2nd place is 1st loser."  "Life is full of choices and they only get harder the older you get." And my personal favorite which is very true, "Life is not fair."  In an effort to reinforce the fact that "Life is full of choices and they only get harder the older you get." I made next years choice of playing sports or coming to Uncle Rickie's house hard to make.  I had just 4 kids that I was picking up Saturday morning, and I thought I would do it in style this year and I rented a limo.  I picked up Boomer, Fuss, Princess and Hollywood.  The looks on their faces was worth every penny.  They really enjoyed standing up through the sunroof.  I also figured that their first limo rides should be with their uncle.  Here are some pictures.