Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Afternoon At The Ironhorse

Iffy weather last night at Water Street made for a tamed down crowd at the Harley Rally.A late afternoon rain made for a late departure. Gary and Michelle stopped over while we were walking down to Water Street and Gary texted a few pictures of himself in the backyard while we were in transit. Funny stuff.

The weather held out okay today but a lot of haze and the fog is just hovering over the city. We've had more fog this month than the previous 12 years that I've lived here combined.

We spent a great afternoon with John and Angela at The Yard which is the outdoor bar at The Ironhorse-a motorcycle and pet friendly boutique hotel, next door to the Harley Davidson Museum. A fairly mediocre band played but Ronnie met us out and it turned out to be a real fun afternoon despite a so so musical band. 

Labor day cookout tomorrow and I'm the guest griller at John and Angela's. Krissy and I will make a nice rub tonight!

A very leisure Labor Day weekend. Getting ready to grill some dinner. I hope everyone else is enjoying some well deserved leisure time.

My Krissy

Gary WTF?
Water Street block party

late night snack at a local food truck-fry bread tacos!
Drinks at the Yard w/ Ronnie and John


Krissy  & Angela

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Ghost Writer

This morning was perfect weather. Then we went out to do some window shopping and before we made it a full block a quick rainstorm popped up. It's been that way the rest of the afternoon so we came home to watch a movie.

Last night North Avenue was a bit on the quiet side for a Harley event. The forecast kept a lot of people away I'm sure. It did rain briefly but nothing like the predictions which haven't been very accurate in the last week. We did walk by a house on the way there that grew some corn in their frontyard. Naturally, we stopped and took a picture!

We watched the Ghost Writer as we tried to ignore the iffy weather. I give it a big thumbs up. Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor were outstanding and the plot was excellent. The director did a wonderful job but I make it a habit of never mentioning his name as I detest him that much.

Getting ready for a quick dinner then heading down to Water Street for the Harley Rally. A little rain isn't going to stop us!

Selfie On North Avenue
North Avenue Stage
The Standard Tavern
Hotel Foster
Corn In Somebody's Front Yard

Friday, August 29, 2014

Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Rally

So far the predicted rain hasn't been bestowed on us yet. Coco had his blazer ceremony at school today for middle school. The 5th graders actually have to earn the right to wear them. Maybe casual day hasn't made it to the Lutheran schools yet.

Welcome Back Kotter has a dvd box set being released. The series premiered in 1975 and ran for 4 years. I'm not sure how many people actually remember it, let alone how many will buy it. It was a big deal for a couple years and it starred John Travolta.

Boy, was I ever wrong. When the approval rate for Congress was 13% I remember saying it really couldn't go much lower. Well, it now stands at 7% for the most incompetent Congress to ever grace this nation. 

On the Travel Channel I saw a segment about the lawn chair man. He hooked up 42 weather balloons to a lawn chair. He had a walkie talkie and a bb gun. He expected to fly up to 1000 feet and hover for a while. Well, he finally stopped at 16,000 feet and the wind took him thru Los Angeles airspace. Planes were actually calling in that they spotted a man in a lawn chair flying thru the air.

He finally shot some balloons and landed safely. He was arrested and fined $1000. The lawn chair is on display at an air museum. I'm surprised he lived. I believe someone else tried that stunt without a chair and was lost at sea.

It's the Milwaukee Rally starting today. Harley-Davidson really does these events in a first class style. North Avenue will be closed tonight with bands. Water Street will follow suit tomorrow. It's great fun for the whole city. Thanks Harley!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Let's Buy The Eiffel Tower

It seems like a lot of people are getting an early start to the holiday weekend. Rain starts here tonight and sunday looks to be the only dry day. We're just playing it by ear.

Cross Country practice this morning went well. Over 20 kids on the team and they keep showing up. The first meet is next wednesday.

The President is coming to the Milwaukee lakefront on monday for Labor Fest.

Congrats to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the quietist celebrity wedding ever.

Tonight is the final preseason games for most NFL teams. I find it very ironic that a lot of young players lose their jobs on Labor Day weekend as final cuts are made to the 53 man roster.

I saw an interesting piece on the Travel Channel. A con man by the name of Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel Tower to the highest bidder for scrap metal in 1925. The man was so embarrassed about finding out the truth that he never pressed charges.

Ludwig was considered a world class con man. He sold money making machines throughout the world. It would take 6 hours to print out a perfect 100 dollar bill. He would sell them for anywhere from $10,000-$30,000 although one gambler paid $46,000 which was huge money in the 1930's. After 3 bills printed just blank paper came out and Lustig was long gone with a 12 hour head start. Now that's legendary!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5th Annual Key West Brewfest

It turned out to be a mild 70ish degree day with a good amount of sunshine. Coco has an early dismissal on wednesday's so we went for a decent run.

Getting ready to grill out a giant center cut pork loin. Going to try this rub that we found on the internet and made. Wish me luck.

I'm making decent progress on my book. Almost 14,000 words now and I'm shooting for 80,000. Revisions and rewrites after that. No strict timeline though for a finished product.

Still no Labor Day plans. Weather looks mediocre at best.

A 9 year old girl accidentally killed her shooting instructor with an Uzi machine gun. The recoil swung the gun to the left and he was shot in the head. I'm not sure why he wasn't more careful or why she was shooting an Uzi. My son is 10 years old and I barely let that knucklehead use a steak knife. I certainly wouldn't give him the keys to my car neither. It's like the little girl who crashed a plane several years ago. She couldn't even reach the pedals. There's usually a good reason people aren't qualified or old enough to do certain things. Geez!

Mark David Chapman told his parole board that he was sorry for being an idiot the night he shot John Lennon. Well then, I guess we're all good. Not!

The 5th annual Key West Brewfest starts tomorrow and runs thru Labor Day. For those of us that love Microbrews this is just another reason to visit the southernmost point!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Jorge Soler Era Begins

The sun finally came out this afternoon. The august heat wave apparently has come and gone. We had cross country practice this morning. Coco had an excellent hill workout today and a good long run last night. We did a race walk thru this afternoon. Eight days until the first race.

We found some more Buffett concert photos. I'll post them at the end. No word yet if Krissy's phone has been found. She got a new one sunday.

The Cubs have called up their Cuban defector Jorge Soler from the minor leagues. He will make his game debut wednesday. The Cubs signed him to a 9 year, 30 million dollar contract last year. He's only 21 years old but looks like a freakish athlete. Not bad for a guy seeking freedom only a couple years ago. He probably looked over that 90 miles of ocean towards Key West many a times in his young life. Now he has 30 million smackers no matter how well he does. Welcome to America Jorge!

Mr. Music Man 
Mr. Foam Party Man
The Foam Drop
Cooking In The Rain

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy 75th Mr. Wizard

Another rainy day. Rain in the forecast for Labor Day weekend also. As usual it will start becoming fall like very quickly in less than 2 weeks. Luckily, football season is right around the corner. Sunday afternoons can be very fun in our neighborhood.

Coco should be over very soon as soon as school is out. We'll get a short run in and then it will be up early for cross country practice tomorrow.

I see the Bitcoin industry is starting a political action committee. Of course, they are starting it up with real actual cash which goes against it's main principle. If they actually think they can compete at the political level with the banking industry they will surely be disappointed.

The Wizard of Oz was officially released to the masses on this day 75 years ago. It was released early to Kenosha and Oconomowoc for testing purposes. It played well to these two small Wisconsin towns.

Judy Garland was the big star but it was originally cast with Buddy Ebsen. He would later become famous for his starring role in The Beverly Hillbillies. Ebsen played the Tin Man for 10 days before he was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. He had an allergic reaction to the aluminum powder in his makeup and he was put into an iron lung until he recovered. Ironically, he was originally picked to be the Cowardly Lion until a last minute casting change. His voice in the songs remained but his part was given to Jack Haley who was never informed about Ebsen. Worker's safety apparently didn't matter in 1939. The union "thugs" thankfully came along and changed that!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Foam Party at Buffett

I knew it would be an interesting day when the Jehovah's Witnesses cornered me in my backyard as I packing up the beer cooler. For some reason they had a strange look on their face as they gave me their literature. Yes sir Jimmy Buffett, there's a fine line between saturday night and sunday warning.

The weather people were off a bit. It rained from 2-4pm but then it cleared up nicely. Some very nice people from Minnesota let us stand under their tent for a while.

It was good to see Cindy and Joe again. My niece Deanna was working a bear booth and sold John a beer. A big kudos to John and Angela for all their kindness yesterday.

Krissy lost her I-Phone at Alpine Valley so pictures are a bit limited.

Someone brought an old yellow fire truck. As we walked by it the ladder went out and a foam party started. I'm never shocked at what you see at a Jimmy Buffett concert. The amount of work that people put into fun before the concert has taken a life of it's own.
Thank you once again Mr. Jimmy Buffett. You are LEGENDARY!


Krissy and Angela with Superman
My Goofball

John Drinking Old School Schlitz
Foam Party

More Foam

A Foamy Bird
Old School Fire Engine
Dropping the Foam

Even More Foam
Calm Before the Storm

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Meet Us In Margaritaville Tonight

Visibility is less than a quarter mile this morning. Krissy and I saw the fog roll in last night just before it got dark as we were sitting on the back deck. I woke up this morning and all the windows are fogged up. High humidity outside with the a/c on will do that.

It's going to be a sticky day today. I'm packing extra shirts for the concert. Still a chance of rain in the early afternoon but dry for the concert.

The Bears didn't play well last night. That's what preseason is for so I'm not overly concerned.

A big hearty welcome to Zimbabwe as they become the 23rd country to visit the blog. Thanks for your support.

If anyone wants to go to Jimmy Buffett tonight at the last minute don't be shy. Ticket scalpers are pretty reasonable and abundant every year for Jimmy. Half the time I go I don't have tickets beforehand. Krissy is looking for ours as we speak.

We're trying to leave before noon. John and Angela are picking us up. I still need ice. My sister Cindy will be there along with brother in-law Joe. Plus I always run into people I know. Plenty of pics on tomorrow's blog that's for sure. Gotta run now. Today,  5 O'Clock happy hour is 1pm!


Friday, August 22, 2014

The Night Before Alpine Valley

I'm so tired with the heavy humidity which we aren't used to this year. Or, maybe it's running around getting ready for Jimmy Buffett tomorrow.

The menu is looking good. I'm grilling brats, italian sausage and chicken feta sausage. I've got the small concert grill ready to go. I'll get up early for ice and we have plenty of liquid refreshments.

I've been watching the East Troy, WI hourly weather report. High 70's with 10% chance of rain at any given hour. I've checked it several times. It keeps changing a lot in the last 24 hours so I'll check it right when I get up tomorrow. It's the highlight of my summer so I'm hoping it stays dry. That hill can be hard to stand on when it's wet. This is the only concert where I always go to the lawn. It's so much fun. I'd have to have top 3 row tickets to even consider the pavilion.

The Chicago Bears play the Seahawks tonight in their third exhibition game. Just escape injury free and I'll be happy.

Have to go check my list for tomorrow now. I'll need at least 2 tie dye shirts and a colorful button up, plus a bandana and a straw hat. It's nice to have options and oh yes, some beads!


Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Graham Parsons Theft

I've been up since 5:30am and feeling fine. I had to take Krissy to her spin class then head over to St. Marcus for cross country practice. Coco held his own and it was fun to see him excited for his first organized practice. It looks like they will have a pretty decent team this year.

It started raining at noon today but cleared up later. There's a 20% chance of rain for saturday for the Jimmy Buffett concert. Keeping my fingers crossed.

I heard about the Nutella shortage today. Apparently, Turkey has about 70% of the world's hazelnut population and bad weather has hurt the hazelnut crop. Bad weather isn't limited to just us as I sometimes forget.

I saw an interesting piece on television about Graham Parsons who played in the Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers. After his accidental overdose at the Joshua Tree Inn, two men rented a hearse and stole his body from a Los Angeles facility before his stepfather could claim the body.

They drove it out to Joshua Tree and poured gasoline on it and set it ablaze. His manager later confessed to the theft and told authorities that he was just abiding by his friends last wishes to not have an ordinary funeral which this certainly wasn't. Until recently there was a plaque memorializing the spot where Parsons was cremated in the desert. Tour guides will still show people the spot if they really want to see it. Crazy stuff 41 years ago!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Another School Year

I got up and ran to St. Marcus to see Coco on his first day of 5th grade. Nerves of steel, nothing rattles that guy. Just another day. He was tucking his shirt in just as we were walking down the sidewalk.  He forgot his teacher's name so we had to stop in the office to find out so we could locate his room.

Then I had to go back there this afternoon for the fall sports meeting. Cross Country practice starts in the morning at 6:30am. I'm the volunteer assistant coach so this should be a fun fall.

There's a 40% chance of rain for saturday. Please no. Not on the Jimmy Buffett concert day. It's still early, I'll keep checking the extended forecast.

Enjoy the rest of your wednesday!


First Day 5th Grade
His Sister Simone
Tucking In The Shirt

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Finally Came To Milwaukee

I actually had to turn on the a/c today but just for a little while. The whole week is supposed to be 80's with thunderstorms off and on. Looks like we might get lucky saturday for the Jimmy Buffett concert.

We went for a walk last night and saw a college aged guy do the ice bucket challenge on the Humboldt Street bridge. Two girls were videotaping it.

Duke Energy polluted the Ohio River with yet another oil spill today. The third of the year by my count. They don't care. Taking shortcuts makes them so profitable that they easily pay the fines and still end up ahead. Besides, they make Governor's.

Don Pardo passed away this week. The original announcer for the original Jeopardy and Saturday Night Live. He was also the first announcer to break in with the Kennedy shooting in Dallas. Such an original voice.

It's still Buffett week! And Coco starts school tomorrow, yikes!!!


Still a 10 Year Old
Final Lazy Summer Day

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's Jimmy Buffett Week

It's a bit overcast today in the mid 70's. If saturday is like this I will be okay with it. The saturday forecast is for 82 degrees with a decent chance of rain. Naturally, saturday is the highlight of my summer because Jimmy Buffett is playing at Alpine Valley.

It's the highlight of my summer every year. There's nothing quite like it and difficult to explain to somebody who's never been to one. My first Jimmy experience was in 1993 and I've been going every year since.

My group gets there as early as possible to party in the parking lot. Sometimes we come via bus or just take a few suv's. Lately, garage bands are bringing in their own stages and playing free concerts.

I've brought blenders and fancy grills. Or, I've just showed up with a small cooler and a sub sandwich.

One time we lost a person in our group and he called us from a rest stop 20 miles away. Another time it was a sunday night concert and had monday off. I invited a couple girls to go boating the next day and they actually showed up. Naturally, I was too hungover to make it!

Another time I had an industrial roll of toilet paper around my forearm and went thru the crowd making mummies. I woke up the next day with a bad friction burn on my forearm.

About 15 or 16 years ago I set another human being on fire. Yes, another human being! It wasn't exactly my intention or my proudest moment. At the last minute 2 guys in grass skirts sat on my sandals and were crowding us in our hard fought lawn seats. Jokingly, I took my friends lighter and struck it by his grass skirt. I didn't think it would go up like a forest fire. Don't think bad things, it's not like I didn't jump on him to smother him out. 

You never know what to expect at a Jimmy Buffett concert. Geez, I can't wait to see what saturday brings!


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Yardbird On A Balmy August Day

Six days before the Jimmy Buffett concert and I'm a bit concerned. Nothing signifies summer more than a Buffett concert. People cooking and drinking with very little clothes on smothered in suntan lotion. Yet, I'm outside today grilling up some yardbird with longsleeves on and socks. I toughed it out wearing shorts but we're going for a walk soon and I'm putting pants on. That's so wrong in the month of August at several different levels!

I see that Baraboo, Wisconsin made it illegal to sell beer on a pedal tavern in the city. Of course, Baraboo doesn't have a single pedal tavern but lord knows they must have seen them coming and city officials had nothing better to do. Maybe ban a few books at your next city meeting and Elvis Presley records also as the fifties aren't dead yet!

I finally got around to watching the "Blair Witch Project" last night. It only took 15 years. It was ok, not sure what all the fuss was about but glad I didn't get caught up in it back in the day.

I measured our new palm tree today and it tops out at 6'10. Since it's made out of metal I think it's done growing. It looks so cool at night with the light reflecting off of it. We're going to put a solar light in front of it. Thanks again Holly!

Going for a walk now. Please warm up for next saturday. Please????


Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Holly Palm Tree

It was a perfect weather night at Irishfest and hanging out with the two Jenny's. Kudos to Jenny C. for the free tickets.

The Red Hot Chili Pipers put on a fantastic show. They were actually recording it for a live DVD/CD and the crowd was huge.

We were up fairly early running errands and hanging out at Pike Lake again since we were so close. I actually got a little sun burnt but nothing too major.

When we arrived back home a metal palm tree was fastened in our backyard. It's the coolest thing I've ever seen. Holly even put our initials on it. Thanks so much Holly, you're the best!


Metal palm tree by Holly, it's almost life size!

Even personalized with our initials

& it hides the eyesore next door!
Cute Kid at Irish Fest-
Jenny C & Jenny S with their new t-shirts "A hangover is God's way of saying you were great last night" Irish Proverb

Gratuitous selfie 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Irish Fest Tonight

A lovely almost 80 degree day today. Jen is over and we are heading to Irish Fest at the Summerfest grounds in a few minutes. Naturally, I had to find a green shirt at the last minute!

Congrats to the Chicago Bears last night for a nice come from behind victory. They were down by two touchdowns midway thru the third quarter and looked very good the second half.

I watched an episode of the Rockford Files today. A strange coincidence but Lauren Bacall was on this episode filmed back in the 70's. Then, her and James Garner die just a couple weeks apart this past month.

We have a new channel on our cable lineup called Destination America. I watched a show called Mountain Monsters. Basically, it's a phony show with a bunch of hillbillies who see Bigfoot several times on each episode. Not sure where I go to get that hour of my life back! If that's the best that channel has to offer then it won't be around much longer.

Irish Fest started last night and we shall make an appearance tonight. It's the largest Irish gathering of the summer in the United States I've heard. It's packed with people who drive up from the good state of Illinois, especially Chicago. I'm not Irish myself but I'll celebrate with them any day of the week!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Happy 45TH Woodstock

A low 70's day with plenty of sunshine. Coco and I went for a nice run on the River Trail. I have about 9 months before the Bravo Challenge next May but I'm getting ready early.

Jim has the Airstream finished and they are using it as I type. They are out at Ottawa Lake near Oconomowoc.

I went and got a haircut today. My first one in just over a year. David my stylist just got back from a 3 week trip to Greece where he was visiting family members. It was 105 degrees yesterday when he left. He said it was pretty much like that for the most part of his trip as he traveled all over Greece.

It's the 45 anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival. Many a great bands were in their early development stages when they performed at Woodstock. The billed headliner was Jimi Hendrix who performed the National Anthem at 11am but few people actually saw that famous moment.

It's strange to see how many of the performers are alive and well and still performing tours as of this year. Great music never dies. There used to be a bartender across the street named Dr. Bob who was an interesting character. I once asked him if he attended Woodstock. He said, "no, I was on my way to it but we got arrested in Michigan and never made it." I sure miss talking to the Doc!

The Airstream

A Classic

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall The Original Cover Girl

Another 70 degree day and we spent part of it at Bradford Beach. Coco and I met my Dad, Mary, Debbie, Sarah and Gabrielle down at the beach. Flew some kites and went for a walk. Then a nice lunch at Northpoint before they had to head back.

The Perseid Meteor shower occurred earlier this morning. I'm sure it was a wonderful sight for those getting up early or those getting home late. I usually fall into one of those two categories but not today so I missed it unfortunately.

Apparently, they don't have any mirrors at the Fox News television studio. I just saw a clip of some fat bald guy telling viewers that Michelle Obama needs to lose some weight.

It's no secret that Bogie and Bacall are my favorite movie stars. I watch a Bogart movie at least once a month. "Casablanca" is my all time favorite movie but the ones that they made together are just pure classics that will last the test of time.

Bacall was a cover girl while she was still in her teens. Director Howard Hawks' wife saw her on a Harper magazine cover and told him that's what a star looks like. A few months later she's playing Slim Browning opposite Humphrey Bogart in the classic "To Have or Have Not." 

The rest was history. She was so intelligent yet sassy with an aura of style that's never out of style.

A few months ago I wrote about the TCM Johnny Carson interviews and Bacall was the last legend still alive. Not quite as true today but every once in a while I have to remind myself that true legends never truly die. They leave a lot behind!


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Good Morning Vietnam

What a dreary and sad day. Rainy and 61 degrees on an August day is almost unbelievable. Losing Robin Williams is even more so. What a memorable guy. I always thought he was a very good comic and extremely funny. But I've had this discussion many times including last week. I think he was a much better actor. One of the all time greats. "Good Morning Vietnam" was a great movie with one of the great performances of all time.

Throw in the "Fisher King" " Dead Poets Society" and "Goodwill Hunting" and that's 4 great serious movies for the most part. Then, take a look at "Patch Adams" "August Rush" "The Butler" and "Awakenings" which is another awesome 4 movies. None of them masterful comedies but serious movies. He was a GREAT actor!

Krissy went to the eye doctor today. Some kind of iris infection or virus. They gave her steroids. Can't wait to see those pipes!

Steve Ballmer finally closed on the Los Angeles Clippers today. What a great hobby for a retired billionaire. I collect t-shirts myself.

Just heard that Lauren Bacall died. This day isn't right. I'll write more about her tomorrow. She was legendary!

The graveyard burglar is back at it again in Key West. He or she had been quiet since march after being quite active. Hmmm, maybe someone was in the can for a few months!


Monday, August 11, 2014

November Man Is Coming

It poured pretty good last night and it's been an overcast day for the most part. The rain seemed to be good for Coco's allergies as he's much better today.

It's primary day tomorrow in Wisconsin. It can't get here soon enough. I've been bombarded with robo calls and political mailings. My recycling bin is very full.

The Milwaukee Brewers face off against the Chicago Cubs in a new series tonight. The Brew Crew has played well all year except for one small stretch.

Pierce Brosnan has a new movie coming out. It's based on the late Bill Granger's spy series and this one is called "The November Man." It also stars Olga Kurylenko and hits theaters on August 27th. The previews looked excellent and I will try to see this one at the Oriental Theater.

Coco With Smokey the Bear

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Smokey the Bear Turns 70

It was a great afternoon at Pike Lake yesterday. Beautiful weather and it was fun watching the kids play. Plenty of tubing and paddle boarding which Coco took to pretty good.

Today is the last day of the Wisconsin State Fair. Summer seems to be flying with all this cool weather.

A lazy sunday so far. Played a little soccer with Coco and grilled out. Krissy went to church this morning with her mom.

There was a famous birthday yesterday which we celebrated by accident at the State Park. We noticed the sign afterwards but a game warden told us Smokey the Bear was turning 70 and that he would be making an appearance their complete with cake.

Sure enough he arrived with fanfare and took pictures with the kids as the game warden talked about fire prevention. Truly a legendary character and an american icon!


At Pike Lake

Dom and Coco

Coco On the Paddleboard
Paddling Without Falling
The Crowd for Smokey