Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wait Until Next Year

It's going to be a long offseason for the Chicago Bulls. They fought hard but in the end they just couldn't score enough buckets. Congrats to the Washington Wizards who were a much better team than I gave them credit for. Let's hope that Derrick Rose comes back strong from his knee injury.

The Humphrey Bogart Film Festival starts tomorrow in Key Largo. It's a 4 day event for Bogie lovers throughout the world. Casablanca remains my all time favorite film. Treasure of the Sierra Madre is also top notch.

The most exciting 2 minutes in sports is this Saturday with the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby. I used to be a huge race horsing enthusiast when I lived close to the Arlington International race track. Attending the Kentucky Derby is on my bucket list. The early favorite horse is California Chrome.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt believes that coal will be the biggest "technology" for the next 10 years. I'm not sure if the host on CNBC was more shocked than me as GE owns the network so he just swallowed hard. He doesn't believe it will be in the United States or Europe though. I'm flabbergasted that he thinks of coal as a tech anything. I'm equally stunned that people in the third world with no electricity and tropical temperatures have any need for coal at all. Yet, Immelt makes 22 million a year to be so out of touch!

The minimum wage bill was blocked for a vote today in the Senate. GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine believes that it would hurt corporations. So that's what we've become I guess. A country of corporations and not a country of people.

Corporations have been outsourcing good paying jobs overseas for at least 40 years. Most of them will never come back. Service type jobs are the new normal whether anyone likes it or not. Hard working Americans can't make a decent living at the current minimum wage. Most of them are middle aged men and women under 30. A very small percentage are teenagers working part time. Corporations have made record setting profits for the last 5 years. Taxpayers don't need to be paying more public assistance. Let corporate America and ass clowns like Immelt be fair. Or, at least have Congress take up a vote on it. It's called democracy for a reason. GE didn't sign the Declaration of Independence, people did!


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mount Everest Sherpas

At this rate if it keeps raining steady there will be some flood alerts fairly soon. It just won't let up but the weekend forecast is all sun. Just hold on and don't float away!

Congrats to on helping 1.5 million people improve on water and sanitation conditions. I mentioned this organization several months ago and Matt Damon was on CNBC today helping raise awareness for this wonderful organization.

Craig Ferguson will be leaving the Late Late Show at the end of this year. I saw him about 7 years ago at the Pabst Theatre. It was a great show at a legendary ornate venue.

In celebration of her 88th birthday, author Harper Lee has agreed for her novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" to be released as an e-book. It's her only completed book but it sure is a classic.

Many mountain climbers are packing up and leaving the Mount Everest base camps very disappointed with no climb attempts. Probably not quite as disappointed as the 16 Sherpas who lost their lives in the April 18th avalanche.

The Nepali Sherpas are the famous guides who go ahead and fix climbing lines then come back and transport equipment and oxygen for the so called climbers who get all the media attention. If a climber is in danger they can count on the Sherpas to save them.

The Sherpas aren't officially on strike since the avalanche. They simply just quit showing up to lead climbers to the summit. It sounds like a tough job to me. No benefits, no glory, low pay and treacherous working conditions. If anyone needed a union, it has to be the Nepali Sherpas!


Monday, April 28, 2014

The Tale of 2 Desserts

It's been a wet dreary day again. We better get used to it as the forecast is for Seattle type weather through friday.

Congrats to the Chicago Blackhawks for winning round one in their quest for another Stanley Cup Championship. The Bulls will host Washington tomorrow night in their do or die game!

Leave it to Donald Trump to defend Los Angeles Clipper owner Donald Sterling for his racist comments because he believes he was set up. Maybe it's really one bad haired idiot standing up for another bad haired idiot?

Coco had me watch "Mall Cop" with him last night starring Kevin James. I've never seen it before but it was a good movie to watch with a ten year old.

I also watched Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown" last night on CNN. This episode featured legendary Las Vegas. Most of the restaurants were off the strip which I took some notes on. His interviews with the locals were very colorful from the self proclaimed cynic.

Bourdain is known as culinary's "bad boy" as he isn't afraid to speak his mind. I admire his show as much for the travel perspective and interesting people as I do for the food.

I've actually had 2 culinary projects of my own in the last 16 hours. Our gingerbread house last night was more of a 3 Stooges episode. It didn't have a floor and our walls caved in and Coco couldn't grow an extra set of hands fast enough while I handled the frosting duties like a drunken cement worker. Eventually we finished it and ended up having 3 bites each realizing it was absolutely terrible. Coco gave me the okay this morning to toss it and it's lying outside in the garbage as I write.

This morning I decided to make an angel food cake. It turned out normal with a 4 inch dip in the middle which made Krissy laugh. Back in the day I'd fix that dip with half a can of frosting but I've had enough frosting for the week!

I am a baker extraordinaire!

The gingerbread house masterpiece!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Laughing Last

Another overcast day but we had a great time at the Coalition of Photographic Arts in Milwaukee. It's part of the Gallery Fest weekend. Krissy's mom Joanne has a couple of spectacular photos on exhibit. Jen and Ashley made the trip down from West Bend. We finished up with great mexican lunch at Bel Aire. Some photos of the photos are at the end of the blog.

The Bulls dropped another playoff game this afternoon to trail 3-1 in the series. It's win or go home for the season on tuesday night.

Congrats to George Clooney on his engagement that leaked out today.

It's clean and organize the bedroom time for Coco today. We get to make a gingerbread house tonight if he does a decent job. It's a five hour job. He finds some misplaced toys which naturally have to be played with. Then we have four hours of discussion, planning and complaining followed by the  actual thirty minutes of work. Payback can offer many ironic twists no matter how long it takes to even the slate. My mom had the same issues with me and I can almost hear her laughing from the heavens. Excuse me now while I pick up my hair that I pulled out!


Joanne and Ashley

The Celeb Photographer

Saturday, April 26, 2014

It's Gallery Weekend

What a great night! We started over at Two Bucks by North Avenue first. A great beer selection and all beers are 2 or 3 bucks everyday. Then it was onward to Hooligan's for a quick dinner on the outdoor patio. It was tolerable until the sun started going down.

We arrived at Replay in plenty of time to stake out some prime seats for the games. Both the Bulls and the Blackhawks won with both games ending about the same time as the Hawks took to another thrilling overtime win. It was quite a night for Chicago sport fans indeed!

Key West is hosting the Paddleboard Classic race next weekend May 3rd. It's a 12 mile race around the island passing such classic landmarks as Mallory Square and the Southernmost Point. It's open to paddleboards, kayaks, canoes and just about anything without an engine. What a great way to get another view of the legendary island.

Also on May 3rd, the Doobie Brothers are headlining the Keystock Music Festival at the Truman Waterfront. What a great weekend for anyone in Key West. We saw the Doobie Brothers last august at the Harley Davidson 110th celebration in Milwaukee. They put on a great show and have plenty of classic hits in their repertoire.

We're off to lunch now and heading down to the Gallery weekend. Krissy's mom is a well known photographer and is having 2 of her photographs exhibited. It's a wonderful event that happens 4 times a year in conjunction with the seasons. All of the galleries throw open their doors with special exhibits and it's a tremendous draw for all the restaurants and galleries. A lot of great artwork for sale also.


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Ass Clown Era

It's a beautiful spring day with a forecast of sunny and 66 degrees. I have such a dilemma tonight. Both the Bulls and Blackhawks start at 7pm tonight. We will have to head down to Replay as I'm sure a sports bar will have both games on.

Summerfest announced that Luke Bryan will be the headliner on Saturday June 28th. One more headliner to be announced.

The stock market continues with it's struggles as the Russian-Ukraine tensions stay heated. I wouldn't doubt if Putin is shorting the U.S. market and making some good coin on this as he yanks everyone's chain.

Two Russian intelligence ships are being monitored by U.S officials as they operate close to Cuba. Maybe Putin just needs some good Cuban cigars? It's like 1962 all over again. Russians in Cuba, drinking on Duval Street and the Cubs are still in last place!

I finally figured out the real reason that Compact Disc sales are at all time lows. It's not MP3 players, IPods or the return of vinyl records. It's quite simple actually. No one can get the damn things open as I just spent 10 minutes getting the security wrapper off my new Jimmy Buffett CD!

I can't figure out if it's the era of paranoia or the era of ass clowns? We've got newly crowned conservative folk hero Clive Bundy admitting he's a ranching welfare queen and obviously a bigot of the lowest common denominator while hating the government. Rush Limbaugh announces that he had ear surgery last week but told no one as he was afraid someone would sabotage his surgery. He hasn't been listening for years and no amount of surgeries would fix that. Then, we have always running for something Rick Santorum claiming that government is taking away freedom of religion. Last time I looked all the unguarded unchained churches had doors wide open with plenty of parishioners. No wonder Santorum keeps loosing elections. The vast majority passed up that parade and headed out to happy hour with me! 

Enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ravinia Festival

Another day and more planning for the backyard. It's still too early with iffy weather to really do anything. Painting the decks and planting some ground cover will be the first orders of business.

The Blackhawks won a thrilling game in overtime to even the series at 2-2. Patrick Kane was brilliant as he scored two goals including the game winner. I was up until almost midnight before the game concluded. Then I was too pumped up to sleep right away. Coco was a true soldier and fell asleep next to me on the couch midway through the 3rd period. His first words when he woke up was "did the Hawks win?" That put a smile on my face.

Duke Energy wants to raise their rates in North Carolina to help offset the cost of moving their coal ash waste away from waterways. Recently, they polluted two major rivers with this waste. Whatever happened to corporate responsibility? They want consumers to pick up the costs for their piss poor strategic planning. They'll probably get their wishes. The Governor of North Carolina is a former Duke Energy Executive whom the company donated to quite heavily. If you pay the cover fee you usually get to dance with the one you bought and paid for!

The good people of Jackson, WI are getting close to having a new clean drinking water source. The poor souls had their water wells contaminated by a pipeline spill in 2012. The new source should be available by the end of this summer. The cleanup cost is in the millions and the end result was even less regulations for these types of companies. Big business and campaign donations run Wisconsin as the people certainly don't.

The Ravinia Festival ( in Highland Park, Il released their music schedule today. The website actually keeps crashing right now as so many people are trying to buy tickets. It's a truly beautiful music theatre located in a ravine on the North Shore. The train even stops and lets you out there. This year such legends as James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Tony Bennett, Carrie Underwood, Hall & Oates, Joss Stone, John Mayer and the Beach Boys will be playing at this legendary gem of a theater.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Six Million Dollar Man

A sunny but brisk 44 degree day as I walked to the Italian grocer down the block today. I noticed the grass is getting greener but no leaves on the trees yet. Every week is a big difference this time of year in the Great Midwest.

The Bulls lost a tough one last night in overtime. They couldn't make baskets in the 4th quarter again. It's going to be tough to dig themselves out of a two game deficit. Hopefully the Blackhawks keep up their tremendous play.

We watched the Morning Joe show on CNBC as they broadcast live from Wrigley Field. One hundred years ago today the very first game was played at the friendly confines. The outfield wall vines won't be green and full for a few more weeks which really adds to the overall old school feel of the ballpark.

Both Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) posted extremely good first quarter earning reports after the closing bell on Wall Street today. Maybe consumer spending and advertising isn't dead after all.The doomsday parade can calm down a bit now.

The Six Million Dollar Man series premiered 40 years ago starring Lee Majors. It was based loosely on Martin Caidin's novel called Cyborg. Major's plays astronaut Steve Austin who was injured badly in a plane crash. He was rebuilt with bionic parts that cost six million dollars. Today, even adjusted for inflation it would only cost $900,000 to rebuild Steve Austin. Now if we could only get the cost of cable television to follow suit!


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Conch Republic Days

A sunny 55 degree day and the Blackhawks won last night with a 2-0 shutout. Hopefully, the Bulls can bounce back with a win tonight.

Congrats to Joakim Noah on being named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year. Obviously, the vote was taken before the first playoff game. He's my favorite player and I'm sure he'll have a better game tonight!

Another iceberg the size of Atlanta broke loose and is heading into the shipping lanes. This one is almost 600 feet thick and will take at least a year to melt. Hmmm, I wonder how this keeps happening?

Dane Eagle believes that elected officials should be held to a higher standard. Mr. Eagle is an elected republican representative from Florida who was arrested for a DUI early monday morning. Allegedly, he ran a stop light and over a curb before being arrested by authorities and charged. He's claiming innocence but hired a high priced mouthpiece so he can't explain why his standard is suddenly lower compared to other elected officials. Is that hypocrisy I smell in the Florida sea air?

It's the 32nd annual Great Conch Republic Days Celebration in Key West this week. We've been down there the past 2 years for this historical and fun event. Key West briefly seceded from the Union on April 23, 1982 to protest the border patrol stops on US 1 which was killing tourism with the traffic backups. It was a tongue in cheek move to make a point and it worked as the media descended onto the island and the border patrol ceased operations shortly afterwards.

My favorite part of the celebration is watching the bed races on a closed off Duval Street. We were at Willie T's watching the Bulls game as the festivities started. All of the racers were wearing outrageous costumes racing some juiced up beds and the crowd had a great time. Mr. Duval would have been proud.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Tiki Bar Time

A bit rainy off and on today but it hit 70 degrees. I'm still upset about the Bulls losing their playoff opener last night. They couldn't hit a bucket the last 3 minutes but I still have faith. The Hawks play game 3 of their playoff series tonight and this will be one crucial hockey game.

Congrats to Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi as he becomes the first american winner since Greg Meyer in 1983. Mebs time was a very respectable 2:08:37.

Speaking of rain, fresh water makes up only 2.5% of the water on earth. Analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research came out with a report warning that half of the world's population will be dealing with scarce water supplies by 2030. Certain parts of the world like California are dealing with it now. If you think California is a hoax or exaggeration do your own grocery shopping for a few weeks then come back and tell the analysts they are full of it. You won't because it's painfully obvious.

Water desalination plants are growing on both coasts at a rapid pace. It's a costly process to make salt water usable but the alternative of going without isn't a negotiable folly. I'm researching the best investment opportunities water desalination as I write. The heck with gold!

I went shopping 4 hours with Krissy looking at garden stuff like planters, pots, fire pits and an assortment of other items. Mostly just priced things and enhanced further ideas as this year will put the finishing touches on the backyard. I decided I will be building a tiki hut for sure. Anymore shopping will guarantee that I use it well!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

You know it's going to be a "different" day when you wake up and turn on the television and the weather girl is wearing a yellow dress and bunny ears. Jesse Ritka from TMJ4 is always festive though so I shouldn't have been surprised. We chatted with her once at County Clare.

What a busy day. First to church then to lunch out in Mequon with Krissy's family. The upside down pineapple cake turned out pretty tasty. It looked like it fell off the roof for some reason so we brought a backup desert just in case. Everything was excellent and we hit a sunny 72 degrees today. I almost had to ditch my socks even with dress shoes on. It's been a lifelong love hate relationship between socks and me. I love them in the winter and hate them in the summer with a passion!

The Justin Bieber deportation petition apparently went nowhere despite more than 200,000 people signing the petition. The White House declined saying they didn't want to get involved in a specific deportation. With conflicts in Syria and Ukraine I can see their point as they have enough on their plate.. Let's hope the menace didn't hurl some Easter eggs at his neighbors house.

The Chicago Bulls are winning their playoff opener at halftime against the Washington Wizards. I think I'll cut off of a slice of key lime pie and watch the second half in my living room. Peace.

Had my morning OJ in this cool glass made from a Red Stripe bottle. Reminds me I have a Ronco glass cutter somewhere...would be cool to find that.....

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Upside Down Pineapple Cake

So many great joints in this town and we managed to hit 5 of them last night. We started off in the neighborhood at the Roman Coin. John and Angela graciously picked us up and we headed over to Old World Third street for a cocktail at Ugly's. Then walked over to Carson's Ribs for our 6pm dinner reservation. A very nice dinner had by all. Then back down the street for beer at the Old German Beer Hall. That place is starting to grow on me. John and Angela headed home from there but Krissy dragged me into Mader's which is the most well known German joint in this town of things German. President Ford once ate dinner there back in the 70's.

Evers to Tinker to Chance. That's the famed double play combination from a different era of the Chicago Cubs. Joe Tinker's grandson sang the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field yesterday as part of their 100th anniversary celebration.

The Chicago Blackhawks have dug themselves into a hole by losing their second overtime game in a row. They now trail in the series 2-0. They've been down this road before and experience will come through for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

I have to run now. I've got an upside down pineapple cake to bake!

World's Best Bartender, Matt at OGBH

Maders serves their beers in style



Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Good Friday

Krissy made a blackened tilapia last night. It was very tasty and had a nice kick to it. I bought a mango sorbet that made the perfect desert for it. This afternoon, we'll be doing a Brady Street happy hour which is typical for a friday jaunt followed by dinner at Carson's Ribs to use a groupon. I can't wait.

The post office and most businesses are open today. Wall Street and the stock markets are closed though. Look for a nice uptrend in the markets next week with a lot of tech companies reporting some good earning reports.

The Chicago Blackhawks lost a tough playoff game to St. Louis last night in triple overtime. The Hawks scored 3 goals in the first 8 minutes then never scored again in the last 82 minutes. I attended a Hawks game once at the old Chicago Stadium and 3 goals were scored within the first minute and a half. No other goals were scored in the entire game. I missed every goal standing in a beer line with no television in site. Some luck huh?

Some people are all up in arms over the announced sequel to "Mrs. Doubtfire" starring Robin Williams who is committed to the sequel. People in general aren't fond of sequels because they usually turn out inferior to the original. I always thought it was an overrated movie myself and considered it a ripoff of "Tootsie" starring Dustin Hoffman which I thought was a vastly superior movie.

No decisions made yet on the sunday desert dilemma. I found my cookbook but most deserts were very exotic or just too much chocolate. Many people will argue that there is no such thing as too much chocolate but my palate tells me so. We'll go to the grocery story tomorrow and figure it out. I'm hoping to find some fresh raspberries and then go from there. Gotta run now. All fridays are good for a reason!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Sponge Bob Ripped Pants

Finally a great spring day. 55 degrees and sunny with basically no wind. I took a walk down to McKinley Marina and noticed there's a handful of boats already there. It usually doesn't get real busy until Memorial Day weekend.

It's the 50th anniversary for the Ford Mustang. I was more of a Camaro guy myself owning two of them. Fun cars to drive but they were terrible in the winter or even with a light rain. Congrats to Ford on the historical landmark.

The Cubs lost both games of a doubleheader yesterday to the New York Yankees. I'm not as upset that they lost both games but the fact that they didn't even score a run in either game is totally pathetic. They have a great farm system of young players and they better give a lot of them a chance pretty soon.

Coco had on the "ripped pants" episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants this morning while he was getting ready for school. It's a classic episode with Sponge Bob going around and singing then bending over and showing off his ripped pants. Coco still has his ripped pants Sponge Bob action figure. It does a little jig while singing then Sponge Bob bends over and his pants rip. He used to laugh at the top of his lungs over that when he was a toddler.

Krissy gave me a hard time for liking Sponge Bob but Sponge Bob was the only reason I could grab a quick shower when Coco was a toddler. As soon as the show would come on he would just stare at the television mesmerized. This gave me about 7 minutes to take a shower. Sponge Bob will always be a savior in my book. If only he could have helped me with baby bottles and poopy diapers!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014


It's a brisk but sun shiny day. I walked to the store to buy Coco a protractor for school. I can't even remember the last time I used a protractor let alone owned one. It had to be back in the grade school days.

The Milwaukee Bucks were sold today to a couple of hedge fund billionaires that I've never heard of. A fitting hobby for that boys club. Former Senator Kohl's only condition of the sale was that the Bucks stay in Milwaukee. I imagine the begging for the taxpayer funded new stadium starts immediately.

NHL playoff hockey starts tonight. The Chicago Blackhawks don't play until thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Playoff hockey is very intense and so much fun. Go Hawks!

My search for the perfect Easter Sunday desert continues. Well, it's more like I can't find my Key West Kitchen cookbook. It's a minor setback as I'm sure I'll find it tonight.

I caught the season finale of The Profit last night on CNBC. It stars Marquette University graduate Marcus Lemonis. It's a show where Lemonis buys a controlling interest of a faltering small business with an effort to make it profitable. The season finale featured the Key West Key Lime Pie Company. It had a positive outcome but the footage of the island sure makes me miss it. Especially the deal making segment which took place at Louie's Backyard. Jimmy Buffett used to live right next door to this legendary restaurant and Hunter S. Thompson stayed there with him one year.

Krissy diagnosed my continual foot blister problem that plagued me this winter as chilblains. I've never heard of it before. Apparently, it's a medical condition caused by exposure to cold and humidity. It causes a fluid to build up under the skin giving a painful red blister that won't go away. I've been limping on and off. The best treatment seems to be 80 degree weather and a good pair of sandals!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cheers Boston

The snow wasn't done with us after all. We woke up to a light covering of the yards and cars. It didn't melt off right away neither. The weekly forecast won't have us in shorts anytime soon I'm afraid.

Donald Trump has expressed an interest in buying the Buffalo Bills. I'm sure the NFL commissioner is just jumping for joy. The NFL wouldn't mind his cash but his mouth makes Jerry Jones look like a monk!

Matt Flynn is reported to be re-signing with the Green Bay Packers. No NFL player in history has ever benefited more from one  outstanding start than Flynn. He turned it into a mega millions deal then preceded to play for three teams last year after getting cut twice. He's made more than 90% of the players in the league over the last two years. More power to Flynn. Nobody held a gun to anybody's head to give him such a ludicrous contract and he seems like a decent guy who made the most out of his one opportunity.

The history of Patriot's Day stems from the Battles of Concord and Lexington which were the first battles of the Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. It's celebrated on the third monday of April each year. Paul Revere made a name for himself by riding through the countryside warning all patriots that the British were coming.

If this happened today, Paul Revere would be a total unknown. Why? Would he have been any less of a brave man? Certainly not. Today, he'd simply pull out his IPhone and text everyone to be ready or just send a tweet on Twitter. He'd be just another faceless techno geek doing a mundane job.

It's the one year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing. I've been to Boston twice. Once for a National Cross Country Championship race and another time for a job interview with New Balance. It's a great city with wonderful people. Boston Strong!


Monday, April 14, 2014

One Bad Conspiracy Theory

We've had heavy snow flurries on and off today. So far, it's not sticking but it has everyone in a sour mood none the less.

I usually like it when the Bears win, but not in Lake Mary, Florida where a woman was mauled by a black bear near her garage. It seems like everyone in Florida is packing heat in case the need arises to shoot unarmed teenagers except the one woman who truly needed it to protect herself from something truly dangerous.

Congrats to the Milwaukee Brewers for having the hottest start in baseball. If they can keep it up for the entire season I predict every professional team will scoop up a stray dog come next spring training.

More bad news for the Bitcoin investors. New York has indicted Bitcoin entrepreneur Charles Shrem for money laundering and he faces up to 20 years in prison. I'm pretty sure this isn't how Google started and I don't believe it's too early to order up some Bitcoin coffins.

Apparently, I misjudged Rush Limbaugh and over qualified him the other day when I suggested he's become nothing more than a caricature. I was totally wrong. The man is just a pure asshole and a leader of a small band of mindless idiots. Limbaugh has suggested that Hillary Clinton staged the shoe throwing incident in Las Vegas last week. That's right, apparently Clinton hired a woman to throw a shoe at her. The evidence for this baloney of a statement? None. Limbaugh even admits he hasn't seen a tape of the incident. What makes a human being suggest such mindless rants on another human being? Greed? Envy? Brainless? Oxycontin?


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Way To Go Bubba

Well, it didn't take too long to make Hank the mascot a moneymaker for the Brewers. I saw an elderly man walk past our house this morning in a Hank jersey with the number K9 on the back. Sports marketing at it's finest. Maybe he's the real reason for the Brewers fast start.

Cold, rainy and foggy today. There's even a flood warning for southern Wisconsin. I'll still take this over the snow. We'll have warm days soon and I'm ready as I bought some new Teva sandals yesterday.

Krissy made it back from her Lake Geneva trip and had a lot of fun. She bought me a Red Stripe beer juice glass that is basically a cut off half bottle. If I get more time, I'm going to bring out my Ronco glass cutter this summer and make a set of glasses. I've been hauling around some Malibu rum bottles for quite some time now. Maybe I'll attack that as soon as I refinish my Adirondack chairs.

I've been informed that we need to bring a desert for Easter. The pressure is on now. Maybe something tropical?  I shall have to consult the best cookbook ever. My Key West Kitchen by Norman Van Aken is truly a gem. He's the chef that trained the late Charlie Trotter.

Congrats to Bubba Watson for winning his second Masters in 3 years. Runner up Jordan Spieth is a 20 year old phenom playing in his first major tournament. Too bad the sports world over covers every sneeze that Tiger Woods makes. I like Tiger but they need to cover the younger players better. The next legend is always around the corner. Who doesn't like a guy named Bubba???


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Watch Out for the Shoe

It's a rainy dreary day so far. Krissy went to Lake Geneva to hang out with her extended family. Just women folk actually. Lake Geneva is truly a beautiful town. Bob Newhart used to spend his summers there.

Rush Limbaugh is having his regularly scheduled hissy fit I see. He's up in arms that Stephen Colbert was chosen to replace David Letterman next year. He believes it's a full scale attack on traditional American values. Basically the same argument that was used on Elvis Presley in the 1950's. Not that Colbert is anywhere in the Kings ballpark. Limbaugh is quickly becoming a sad bitter man and has become more of a caricature than a true commentator this decade.

As much as I dislike 95% of congress and politicians in general, people just can't whip a shoe at them. That's exactly what happened to Hillary Clinton at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. It's a magnificent 5 star hotel and I've stayed there about 10 times over the years.

Throwing shoes at politicians in many countries is a traditional form of protest. It also happened to President Bush in 2008 in Iraq. No charges have been filed yet by the Clark County District Attorney's office against the perpetrator. If they don't file severe charges it will set a dangerous precedent.

It's a fairly slow day today. I'm trying to finish The Lost Symbol written by Dan Brown. It's a great book so far. He's known for doing tons of research for all his bestsellers including The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. Enjoy your weekend.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Grand Budapest Hotel

What a gorgeous day! Even more important, all the snow is totally gone. Krissy took the day off so we ran a bunch of errands. DSW Shoes, Best Buy, Dollar Store, Office Depot, Menards and a great lunch at Maggiano's Little Italy. The chicken piccata is to die for. Looks like these errands would be shopping in most people's world but she did take a vacation day so who am I to argue.

Dinner last night at Tess was just as wonderful as the first time we dined there. I went with the pan seared tenderloin and Krissy ordered the wild caught jumbo grilled shrimp. Both delicious. Reservations are needed for most nights as it's a small joint.

We had some time to kill before the 10:15 show so we had cocktails at the Red Dot and Von Trier's. Everywhere we went was fairly busy last night due to the big weather break. Except for the 10:15 show which had 7 people including us.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is a very interesting and different movie. It's very Monty Pythonish meets O Brother, Where Art Thou? In other words, fast paced, zany, goofy intertwined with a very good story. Ralph Fiennes is the main star and appears in about 90% of the scenes. Ed Norton, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray round out the veteran cast. The film location is absolutely breathtaking and I highly recommend it.

a little wine with dinner 
The Oriental Theater

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Big 100

We made it over 60 degrees today and the last snow pile has been almost decimated. It should be gone tomorrow.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are tonight. I'll have to tape it as we are going to dinner at Tess tonight. Then, onto the magnificent Oriental Theater to see The Grand Hotel Budapest movie. I'll let you know how they both turn out tomorrow.

Jackson Browne will be in town July 15th performing at the Riverside Theater. He opened up for Jimmy Buffett last year at Alpine Valley. Also, I just noticed that legendary comedian Ron White will be performing two shows this saturday at the Riverside. Krissy took me to see him a couple years ago and it's a really good show.

I dropped Coco off at school this morning and noticed a teacher walking into the building wearing a matching denim skirt and jacket along with a cropped Batman t-shirt. Everybody loves Batman I guess and it was his 75th birthday recently. I imagine it was an event like this that inspired Van Halen's hit song "Hot for Teacher."

Today is my 100th blog post. So far, I haven't missed a day although I came close to totally forgetting about it this past sunday. I'd like to thank everyone for taking time to check out the blog and I've received some very nice comments. Hopefully, there was some entertainment value there for everybody. A special kudos to Krissy who is my official photo editor and design queen.

To date, I've had readers from a total of 10 countries. Besides the United States, there's Germany, Russia, United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Indonesia, Malaysia, Spain, and most recently Poland. I'm thrilled to be an "international blogger." A special danke sehr to Germany who started viewing my blog in the early stages and keeps coming back on a regular basis! I'll be sure to salute you properly at our next Octoberfest celebration. Feel free everybody to drop me an email at my contact address and remember that you are all LEGENDARY!


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I Hereby Bequeath

A beautiful day hitting a high of 57 degrees and only one snow pile left. It's the same one I stood on friday night at midnight but only about half that size now.

I caught an interview on CNBC with Paul Stanley, the co-founder of the band KISS. The way music is sold or stolen with technology today, he isn't sure that KISS would make it today as a band capable of filling stadiums. There's so few of these bands left and very few are new artists of the past decade. The body of work just isn't there for most bands. Nobody buys a whole disc or record anymore.

Congrats to the UConn women's basketball team on their NCAA championship. A lot of proud and happy fans in the great state of Connecticut.

Kudos to the Oklahoma City Zoo for attempting a life saving surgery on Kyah the giraffe. It was a 50-50 proposition but they gave the giraffe a chance instead of feeding her to the lions like the Copenhagen Zoo. Unfortunately, Kyah didn't make it but all one can ask for in this world is a fighting chance.

I just read that recently deceased actor Mickey Rooney died with a will stating assets of $18,000. Apparently being married 8 times isn't good for the pocketbook. Most of his memorabilia must have been already sold I imagine as those values would have been priceless. This reminds me that I should do a will soon. Baseball cards, beer can collection, James Bond car and sun glass collection, coin collection, plate collection and the world's greatest t-shirt collection is just part of my vast estate. I wouldn't want anyone getting hurt fighting all over this groovy stuff!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Hammerin' Hank

It must be warming up as I'm officially out of CocoWheats. I only eat them during the cold winter months and I just finished the last box. Time to get some fruit I guess and melt the very last snow pile.

Congrats to UConn on winning the NCAA national championship. Tough decisions ahead for many players on both teams. Do they try and become millionaires in the NBA this year? Or, wait for another year? Tough decisions indeed.

Nao Victoria, the Magellan replica ship made an unscheduled stop in Key West this week. Due to a rudder problem, it stopped at the Truman Waterfront for repairs.

Usher has been announced as the headliner for the final day of Summerfest. It will be his only U.S. appearance this year. Still two more headliners to be announced. Stay tuned.

Congrats to Congress as I've noticed their approval rating has crept up to 13%. Apparently the pollsters were finally able to reach some of their relatives!

On this day 40 years ago, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth's home run record. Not bad, considering the initial scouting report on Hank described him as slender with only "fair" power. He was only 18 at the time and never played high school baseball, just sand lot ball.

Hank played for the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium before the Braves relocated to Atlanta. I remember watching him play many games at Wrigley Field back in the 70's. He could do it all. He finished his career with the Milwaukee Brewers at the same County Stadium. Despite hitting 755 career home runs and amassing over 3000 hits, I think he should be more remembered for his effortless class, dignity, and respect he  showed on the field, everyday for every game. Not bad for a kid from Mobile, Alabama who hid under his bed when the Klan burned a cross in his yard!


Monday, April 7, 2014


We hit a high of 54 today and I took a slow walk around our yard to check out the grass. Squirrels are tearing it apart already looking for food. Gaping holes that will need to be fixed soon. Looks like 60's by the end of the week!

The Chicago Bulls picked up Ronnie Brewer for the stretch run. He was a member of their famous "bench mob" a couple of years ago. Only 5 more regular season games before the playoffs start.

Mickey Rooney passed away yesterday at the age of 93. He was 15 months old when he made his first appearance in his parents vaudeville act. From 1939 through 1941, Mr. Rooney was number one at the box office. WGN used to play the Andy Hardy movies on sunday afternoons in the winter and I imagine I saw them all. But he also appeared in some classic blockbusters such as National Velvet with Elizabeth, Captains Courageous and my personal favorite, Boys Town with Milwaukee native Spencer Tracy. Thanks for the memories Mickey, you were truly legendary!

Russell Crowe's new movie Noah has been banned in at least 3 countries so far with a few more likely. Apparently, some people missed the over exuberant millennium celebration which brought most of us into the 21st century. All of this censorship never ceases to amaze me. What's next? Some good old fashioned book burning down at the library.

The 6th congressional district of Wisconsin has passed a resolution urging state representatives to uphold the great state of Wisconsin's rights to secede from the union. Yes, unfortunately the mississippification of Wisconsin continues!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Capote and Harper Lee

Finally, a day that actually resembles a real spring day. Mid 50's and sunny which seems to be the trend for the upcoming week.

The Tosa Thunder finished their indoor soccer campaign with an 11-4 victory this afternoon. Coco took a pretty good shot to the side of his head but the victory made it all better.

It's official, Jimmy Buffett will be performing at Alpine Valley on August 23rd. There's much planning to do and texts are being exchanged as I write. This announcement alone just made my week.

Congrats to UConn and Kentucky for advancing to the championship game. Both games were top notch and with Florida losing I'm officially toast with my bracket.

I finally got around to watching Capote last night featuring the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman who won Best Actor for his portrayal of Truman Capote. The movie is a bit on the dark side but still a fascinating story of the classic non-fiction bestseller, In Cold Blood.
What started out as a major article for the New Yorker Magazine turned into a book after Capote became close with of the the killers after attending the trial. Capote even attended the hangings in 1965 after the death penalty appeals failed.

Ironically, Capote's research assistant for this story was childhood friend Harper Lee. She won the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for her bestseller, To Kill a Mockingbird. It would be Harper Lee's only completed novel but she is still alive today battling a myriad of health problems. Who could blame her for the one and done? Her accomplishment is the sports equivalent of getting a hole in one, on your first golf swing of your very first golf game ever. It can't get any better than that.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Low Hands High Palms

Nine Cubans made it to the beach on Key Largo yesterday. Their long boat ride from Cuba ended about a mile offshore when their boat broke down. They swam the last mile while using some foam remnants off the boat to make it. Local residents greeted them with cheers and drinking water while getting their photos taken with the brave freedom seekers.

Most people would be satisfied to make $174,000 yearly plus benefits if they only had to work 113 days a year. Especially when you factor in that your accomplishments are minimal at best. But Democrat Congressman Jim Moran from Virginia thinks he is grossly underpaid and is seeking to an increase in his salary. I can actually hear the world's smallest violin as I type.

Krissy and I had dinner at Mai Tai on Brady Street last night before heading over to the Knick to meet Angela and John. I've got a nasty blister on my left foot so I was limping all night long. Enjoyed another fine performance by 5 Card Stud last night. Krissy even dragged me onto the dance floor despite the bum foot. Naturally, I felt inclined to try out my new dance move. I called it Low Hands, High Palms. That noise you heard last night was Fred Astaire rolling over in his grave.

John and Angela dropped us off around midnight and I had my picture taken on the ugly snow pile on the end of our block. We caught a second wind so stopped at the Standard Tavern for a nightcap. We must have been entertaining because the bartender gave us a free shot of whiskey. The shot pretty much took our wind away so we called it a night!


5  Card Studs

Slowly shrinking snow piles-very slowly shrinking:(

Friday, April 4, 2014

Happy 100th Wrigley Field

We woke up to some heavy fog and rain this morning. Looks like we might head to the Knick tonight to watch Five Card Stud.

A fairly decent jobs report was announced by the Bureau of Labor this morning. January and February numbers were also revised upwards which is why I always scoff at over reactions when they are announced.

The last bridge that you cross over to get into Key West is known as the Cow Key Bridge. It's 360 feet long. This saturday is the first annual Cow Key Channel Bridge Run. A first race like no other in the world with the official race distance of 360 feet. Let's hope nobody exerts themselves too much during the race!

David Letterman announced that he will retire from his nighttime gig some time in 2015. I still remember when he debuted as Johnny Carson's janitor with Late Night. Known for his sarcastic and dry humor he's been a part of the late night talk show crowd since 1982. That's quite a run Dave.

Today is the Chicago Cubs home opener with the traditional 1:20 start. Wrigley Field is 100 years old this year. Originally it was called Weeghman Park for the Chicago Whales of the long forgotten Federal League. Over the years football games, hockey games and concerts have been added to the mix. Jimmy Buffett a devoted Cubs fan was the very first concert performer.

I've attended hundreds of games at the Friendly Confines since I was six years old. I've even been a season ticket holder. It's changed some over the years but it has remained true to history right down to the troughs in the men's room.  I once saw a young boy drop his proudly held batting practice ball into the trough. Naturally, he quickly reached down and picked it back up. That's one way to ruin a shiny white baseball!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Great Steak-Umm

Overcast and rainy today with temperatures in the mid 30's and still some snow pile remnants. It looks like the weekend will be decent though so maybe that will be the spring turning point.

The Cubs bullpen have blown their first two games of the season. At least they held on today for their first victory of the season. New Cub Emilio Bonifacio has 11 hits in his first 16 at bats. That's like a beast of a little league statistic. It's the hottest start I can recall in recent years.

Kentucky Senate candidate Matt Bevin attended a rally to make cockfighting legal again in Kentucky. I actually thought this was an Onion newspaper type joke but 700 people actually attended this event. Apparently the 21st century isn't as alive and well as I give it credit for. In addition to spending millions of his own money in the race he has been backed by the Tea Party in the race against incumbent Mitch McConnell. Good luck with that campaign strategy Mr. Bevin.

I ate the last of my steak-umm's for lunch yesterday. In high school and college I used to eat them twice a week. The thin beef sliced just right, placed on a warm roll and covered with ketchup. I remember how delicious they were and would always have two.

It took me forever to find them in a local grocery store. At the time I found that extremely odd so I bought two boxes in case there was a national shortage. Much to my surprise they totally suck now. I'll never buy them again. How did this happen? Did my taste buds change? Was I so poor back then that I tricked myself into thinking they were great? I won't lose any sleep over it as I think I'll try toasted cheese sandwiches again. They still make Velveeta, right?


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

America's Finest Whorehouse

I took Coco to school this morning after missing the  last couple days sick. He looked much better despite it being 28 degrees this morning. There's still some snow remnants and I'll let you know when it's all gone.

The world's newest and highest Ferris Wheel opened on the Vegas Strip. Built by Caesars Entertainment (CZR). the 550 foot High Roller takes a full 30 minutes to go a full revolution. Tickets are $25 bucks for a daytime ride and $35 for a nighttime ride. The original Ferris Wheel was designed by George Ferris Jr. for the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago. Ironically, I dated one of his great grand daughters 90 years later.

Sarah Palin called Paul Ryan's new budget proposal a "joke." Of course, she wasn't provided a copy before she posted her comments but low information statements seems to be her shtick. To date, America's Death Panels have not executed one single old person. Unfortunately, she was a day late for the April Fool honor but I'm going to give her a Lifetime Fool's award just for being a sad pathetic soul.

The latest Supreme Court ruling regarding election campaign donations ensures that big money will always buy elections. The Capitol Building in D.C. will remain America's largest whorehouse will total disregard for the American people unless you're willing to pay for a quickie. The will of the people be damned as long as a body of politicians with a 12% approval rating sell their ass to the highest bidder. When politicians, high rollers or PAC's spend $40-$100 million for a job that pays less than $200,000 common sense dictates that something isn't right. Today, even the good people of Denmark smell something rotten in the United States.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

My Favorite Fool

You have to love opening day fans. Krissy and I went out for a walk last night and encountered 5 very loyal Brewer fans. Not having a camera phone for this is my biggest regret of the year. They wore matching caps, jerseys, and bright canary yellow tight pants. They were feeling absolutely no pain at 8pm!

I somehow forgot to mention another John Wayne story in yesterday's blog. I have another Uncle Wayne who was a boat mechanic in San Clemente, California. He received a call in the middle of the night to drive down to the marina to repair a large yacht that was on it's way to Mexico. Sure enough, he gets down there and encounters the Duke as it was his yacht and he was in a hurry to get to Mexico.

Tiger Woods had back surgery for a pinched nerve and will miss the Masters Tournament. His first Masters was in 1995 when he was still an amateur and this will be his first time missing the legendary tournament since then. Hopefully he'll make a comeback in the summer.

The first quarter of the stock market was mostly stagnant mixed with pessimism. The second quarter has a good start so far. Historically, April has been a very good market month and has been a gainer 70% historically.

Soda sales have been on a downward trend the last couple of years. Both diet and regular soda. I can assure you that our household can not be blamed for that!

Jazz in the Park announced their 2014 lineup yesterday. Jazz as us locals call it is a thursday night free concert at Cathedral Square. Started in 1991, it's become quite a successful weekly festival. Dogs have been banned recently as was bring your own alcohol. Still, it's a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to King Solomon on July 3rd and Five Card Stud on August 14th. The full lineup can be viewed at

Ted Cruz showed up on Fox this morning sporting a fake Winston Churchill tattoo on his arm. Seems the new fool is the same as the old fool!