Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blizzard Time

Well, the weather guys say 6-8 inches are coming. It won't start until around 11pm or so. We shall see. We haven't been hit hard yet this year so it's not unexpected. This isn't really even a huge snowstorm when you consider what happened out east.

I picked Coco up last night and he and his friends stayed up all night until 8am. It's been a while since I've done that and it will be a while since I do that again. I only do that in Las Vegas where the atmosphere and excitement keeps one awake. Either by winning money at the tables or trying to get your money back!

I ended up working on my book for a while today. I'm going to shift into overdrive to get the first draft done by my birthday in February.

Speaking of birthdays we have a party to go to tonight for one of Kristin's childhood friends. We'll probably be driving back when the snow starts. Stay safe!


Friday, January 30, 2015

The Koala Bear Healed

Last month a koala bear was rescued in Australia with some burned paws but he's been released fully healed. I had an opportunity down under to pet a koala bear. It was about as close to a stuffed bear as one could be while being alive. It just stared straight ahead without being fazed by anything. Quite different than most animals.

We went grocery shopping this afternoon. For the second week in a row some great meat sales. Not sure if it has anything to do with less expensive  transportation  costs or not. We went thru another one of those stupid self serve scanners. It takes longer because you have to keep calling someone over to fix it. I'm done with those things. Nothing but real workers from now on!

Hall of Fame Chicago Blackhawk Stan Mikita has been diagnosed with dementia. A true Chicago legend who has been a great Ambassador for hockey!

Coco's 24 hour birthday celebration is still going strong. They boys will be going home shortly but some pics are at the bottom. 

Mitt Romney called a press conference today to announce that he wasn't running for President. I'm thinking about following suit. Seriously, why the need for a press conference? A wise decision though. At best he could only get 53% of the vote and that wasn't going to happen!

The B-Day Crew

Video Games
He Was Afraid Of The Dog
Popcorn and Candy Bar

Thursday, January 29, 2015

First Headliner At Summerfest

Keith Urban was announced as a headliner for this Summerfest 2015. People are predicting a very warm summer based on our warm winter. Last year it stayed cool by Lake Michigan because it took so long for the water temperature to raise after that tundra we had last year.

TransCanada is very busy serving eminent domain papers to many households in Nebraska. They are in the planned route of the Keystone Pipeline. It must be nice getting kicked in the teeth by a foreign country and your own country won't lift a hand to help you. Oh well, you get what you vote for in Nebraska.

Famed silent film actress Gloria Swanson grew up in Key West for some of her childhood I read today. Apparently her father lived in the Army base and she remember the Conch Republic fondly. She's long forgotten to most people but at one time she was the most famous actress on the planet!

I'm off for Coco's party. I have to bring his dog Chloe back to my place for the night. Apparently one of his friends is afraid of dogs. Happy Birthday Cole, I couldn't have hand picked a better son!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dewey, Cheatem & Howe

What a great evening. Coco comes over tonight before his birthday with a gift. A magnificent metal 3 Stooges picture. We have a decent collection of Stooge memorabilia and this is a fine addition.

I can't believe he is turning 11 years old tomorrow. He was born on the coldest day of the year in 2004. When I picked him up from the hospital it was still bitterly cold. So, I left the car on outside the hospital with the doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. It was a really nice car also. Not a person outside if they didn't have to be and the car was there when we came back twenty minutes later.

There's a new concert movie coming out February 19th featuring Hall and Oates. I'm a big fan of the Philly area duo. They ruled the 70's and early 80's as good as anyone out there. This concert was filmed live in Dublin at the Olympia Theatre. I can't wait to see it!


The Stooges Picture

Simone and Coco B-Day Sombreros

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More Billionaire Breaks

Wisconsin announces that they are cutting the UWM education system 13% or about 300 million bucks. Then, the very next day they find some non-existent cash to chip in 200 million to help out the new Milwaukee Bucks owners build a stadium. No wonder they remain billionaires, once you get that rich every clown governor in the land won't let you spend a dime. What a mixed up priority! Governor's might as well replace those nifty flag lapels with a I'm for Sale" button. Don't worry though, you keep fooling 50% of the people so to hell with the middle class.

They say it will come from tax revenue of the NBA players. They already pay those taxes and have been for years. What a total lie with this shell game. Crooks!

Russia had a credit downgrade today to the "junk" level. Between sanctions, oil prices declining and the ruble jumping off the cliff it's the worst economic outlook for them since 2004. 

St. Marcus 6th graders improved their record to 4-0 this season. Since they started playing organized ball last year they are 16-0 lifetime.

I finished season 1 of Sons of Anarchy. Only season 2-4 to go. It's interesting to see the characters from the very beginning after I watched the last 3 seasons. Thirty nine more episodes and I'm done!


Monday, January 26, 2015

East Coast Blues

It looks like the east coast is going to get hammered with a huge blizzard. We had a bit of flurries here this afternoon to make it messy but nothing like the possible 3 feet they might get. Many flights cancelled already.

The Sundance Film Festival is this week. Normally, I have no desire to visit a snow filled city but I would like to go to this festival someday. Robert Redford has been the big promoter of this event and it looks like a lot of fun.

I've been making steady progress on my book. It's still a work in progress but the first draft is coming along fairly well this last week.

Krissy is making a beef tenderloin for dinner that smells delicious. She needed a bit of red wine for the recipe so naturally we're drinking the leftover residual that the recipe didn't require. Not a bad monday!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Inherent Vice A Fun Movie

We saw Inherent Vice yesterday at the world famous Oriental Theater. It's a solid 2 1/2 hours so if you have a weak attention span or a small bladder you might want to pass on seeing this at a theater. It has a lot of characters in the movie and it's hard to keep things straight at times. But it's an interesting plot and the cast is superb. Especially Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon and Katherine Waterston. It really is an excellent reprisal of Southern California in the seventies and it makes me want to go out and buy the book.

We followed the matinee with drinks at Two Bucks and Rascals. Then dinner at Hooligan's. Friday night's dinner at Tess was excellent as usual.

An oil pipeline next to the Yellowstone River leaked 40,000 gallons of oil into the river. Locals were without drinking water for 5 days. There's hardly been any media coverage of this spill with the Keystone Pipeline nearing a vote. Why do they always build these things near water?

The few inches of snow we were supposed to get overnight turned into a very light dusting. We're back to mid twenties with some big winds. Yesterday was 41 degrees. It seemed like everybody was out yesterday thinking spring was around the corner. I think that corner might be a couple months long!

At Tess

At Hooligans

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ernie Banks More Than A Legend

It's a sad morning for me as the very first thing I read was the passing of Ernie Banks. Yes, I shed a few tears this morning for Mr. Cub. He was more than a great baseball player to me. He was my childhood idol.

I raced home from school every spring and fall day to catch the final innings of the Cubs game on Channel 9. Most of you know it as WGN but it was always channel 9 to us locals. I'd check the score then ask my mom how Ernie did. My whole family were big time Cubs fan. My grandmother never missed a game and saw Babe Ruth play once.

My first Cubs game was against the Mets and it was a doubleheader. I went with my parents and grandparents. In the middle of the game a drunk fan ran out on the field and finished up by going to first base to say hi to Ernie. Ernie just gave the man a big smile as security led him away.

Ernie came up thru the Negro Leagues and always appreciated the ability to make a living playing a game. He was the first big shortstop. Most of them were small defensive guys but not Ernie. He won back to back MVP's. A knee injury at the age of 30 shifted him over to first base. For the next 40 years, he still was the all time leader for home runs for shortstops.

It wasn't real fashionable for a little white kid to idolize a black athlete in those days. I certainly didn't give a crap then much as I don't now. When I was ten my parents took me to a car dealership to meet Ernie. I still have the autograph and photos. He spent over two hours talking to a group of about twenty of us. We missed our dinner and none of us bought a car. Ernie seemed so happy just to hang around with us and talk about baseball. I'll always cherish those two plus hours.

From making seven bucks a day in the Negro Leagues to being the highest paid athlete in Chicago he was awfully humble. He was all about promoting the Cubs and Chicago and became baseball's greatest Ambassador along the way. When he hit his 500th home run I danced and hollered in my living room!

To say he was a mere legend would be an understatement. RIP Ernie.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Three Stooges Visit Cairo

Judging by the damage to the King Tut funeral mask the restoration project could only have been done by Moe, Larry and Curly. Apparently the beard fell off the 3300 year old mask somehow. Instead of having it properly restored they used some epoxy and now there's a gap of yellow glue between the mask and the beard. They scratched it badly trying to scrape off the epoxy. The epoxy is permanently bonded and experts say it can't be fixed. It's such a tourist attraction at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo that they didn't really want to keep it off display. Please keep these clowns away from the Mona Lisa!

SkyMall filed for bankruptcy today. I love their magazines and all the unique pricey stuff they carry. Come to think of it, I never once bought any of that unique pricey stuff.

Another day that I didn't have to button my coat. It's been like two weeks since I've worn a hat. I could manage winters like this every year.

I took a couple more picks of the construction project at 833 E. Michigan Avenue. I took a couple pics of the crane moving a large tractor like a piece of popcorn. Unfortunately I couldn't get my camera phone out quick enough for the moving port-a-potties. Maybe another time.

Getting ready for Boswell Books as I have a coupon I want to use. Then dinner at Tess. Be safe tonight!

Flying Tractor
Look At That Crane

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Trickle Down Doesn't Work

I'm so tired of this trickle down argument that I'll show you just two examples announced today that it doesn't. EBAY just announced that profits are up 10%. They also announced they are laying off 7% of their workforce. Same with American Express, profits up 11%. laying off 7%. It is voodoo economics and it's why wages remain stagnant. Theoretically, I can understand why a lot of people think giving corporate welfare to all these businesses and lower taxes would boost the economy. But the top guys keep giving themselves mega bonuses and stock options at the expense of the working man doing the work. It's called GREED and that's why it doesn't work!

The St. Marcus 6th grade basketball team won another game to go 3-0 for the season. They are 15-0 lifetime, they've never been beat.

A lot of people want the Keystone pipeline because it provides a very short burst of jobs. But why are Republicans voting against the USA getting any of the oil or requiring them to use American made steel? Oh that's right, they've already been bought and paid for.

My new Schlitz glass came. It isn't quite the same size as the one Krissy broke but a lovely gesture. It's going to hit 41degrees on saturday and the next week looks great. The next 5 weeks is the last tough part of winter. I can almost smell spring!

A Fine Pair

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reservation Time

If you're out for Valentine's Day it's best to make your reservation now. I waited too long last year but luckily fell into a last minute table at Bosley's which we go to every year. This year it's on a saturday which might help if you like eating late.

Casino night in Jackson is February 7th this year. It's a casino night fundraiser which starts at our friends house, Holly and Steves. Every year it's bitterly cold for this event so I'm hoping for a change.

Jim and Joanne had a bit of an accident in Kansas. Apparently the Airstream started rolling when they were outside of their vehicle. Nothing too serious but they did have to visit the emergency room. I can't wait to hear the whole story!

We have a reservation for Tess friday night. I can't wait, their food is wonderful and it's a quaint little place not far away.

Sarah Palin is back in the news bad mouthing anyone who didn't like the movie American Sniper. It's not a crime to have different tastes in films as far as I know. Apparently Alaska's village idiot thought it was a documentary!


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

State Of The Union Night

Snow missed Milwaukee today but hit some western suburbs. I don't remember seeing this much grass in January in a long long time. The next week's forecast looks pretty decent with some possibility of snow. I still think we'll get hid with a real blizzard sometime though.

It's the State of the Union speech tonight. Then come the various naysayers with their Debbie Downer speeches.

If you want early tickets to the Grateful Dead they started accepting them via mail today. It's just like the old days. Internet sales won't be for a couple more weeks.

I woke up this morning seeing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood speaking from the Southernmost Point Buoy. He was wearing a light sweater but I would have traded places with him in a second. He was talking about how our infrastructure is falling apart. Bridges and roads need rebuilds or repairs but nobody wants to pay for them. Whatever happened to investing in ourselves?


Monday, January 19, 2015

Quantum Key West 2015

If it gets much warmer they can move the Key West sailboat races up to Lake Michigan. That might be a slight exaggeration but I can get used to the 40 degree january temps quite easily.

It's a big time in Key West right now with 115 sailboats racing in 10 classes. It's the 28th annual event at my favorite place in the whole world.

Happy MLK day to everyone. It seemed like an extremely quiet day today for some reason. I ran into many a Packer fan still extremely upset over yesterday's loss. Making it to the NFL Championship game is a nice achievement but one does get a feeling that Aaron Rodger's prime career years are being a bit wasted.

Lucy the neighbors dog has a bandaged foot and has it wrapped. The snow salt is terrible on a dog's paw to start with.

Krissy is making some awesome chicken legs as a light snow starts to fall. I think we'll hang inside tonight and watch some Sons of Anarchy reruns from the first 4 seasons. I'm down to 49 to go!

Lucy Bandaged Up

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Belle Isle

We saw a really good movie last night in Magic of Belle Isle. It starred Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen with Rob Reiner directing. I never heard of it before. Coco actually picked it out from our new Roku toy.

I forgot to recap friday night. We had tacos at BelAir then stopped for one at Wolski's. We were on our way home when we stopped in the Standard for one more which turned into 3 hours I believe.

It was a gorgeous winter day with temps over 40 again. I started out with laundry this morning. My sock drawer is jammed once again full of the socks that I truly hate. 

Then off to the premiere event, a football party for the NFL Championship game. For 56 minutes the Packers manhandled the Seahawks. Yet, somehow lost the game in overtime. I've never seen a house clear out that fast. The streets were nearly empty on the drive home.

Truly a baffling loss. Russell Wilson threw 4 interceptions and played terrible until overtime. I missed the final play as I was in the bathroom!

At Wolski's
Ben and Malea
Steve At The Standard

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Anybody Lose A Winchester Rifle

Jimmy Buffett is in Hawaii filming his third reprisal of helicopter pilot Frank Bama. It was also a characters name in his wonderful book, Where Is Joe Merchant.

We just missed hitting 40 again today. I'll take that any day in January.

The requirements for going to Cuba is now basically an honor system. You have to fit into one of twelve categories to visit Cuba. However, there's no paperwork to fill out anymore so it's more of a wink, smile and shoulder shrug. They can even accept American credit cards now. The hard part is finding flights as the one from Key West quit running. It's only a matter of time before that is rectified!

I love a good mystery and the people in Eastern Nevada have a good one. They found a 1882 Winchester rifle leaning against a tree in a very remote area. It was rusted and the handle was cracked but the serial number was still visible. So far they have come up with only one possibility. Someone set it down there and either forgot it or became lost. The rifle was expensive in those days, about fifty bucks. They think it's likely that the rifle was leaning against that tree for over a 100 years. If true, that's truly incredible!


Friday, January 16, 2015

The Grateful Dead Are Back

Well, at least for 3 shows during the 4th of July holiday. It's a Fare Thee Well celebrating 50 years of the Grateful Dead. They say it's the last time they will ever play. I can only imagine what this will be like as they play 3 sold out shows at Soldier Field. I'm going to start working on a couple tickets now for Krissy and I.

I'm betting my good friend Jamie will make the trek up from Florida to see his band. He followed them on tour and has seen dozens  of Dead shows. He even attended Jerry Garcia's funeral! 

The Bears surprised me by hiring John Fox to be their new coach. Maybe the new GM has some gumption after all.

Krissy is on her way home now. Looks like an early happy hour at Bel Air's for tequila and tacos!

Jimmy Buffett just announced that he's making a return to the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 26th. No word on an Alpine Valley date yet. Hopefully the announcement comes soon. I have a summer to plan for you know!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Spirit Of St.Louis

Another warm mid-january day barely missing 40 degrees. I stopped at the Swinging Door for one while waiting for Krissy. Then, we had dinner at Jack's Pub. You get a free pizza with a pitcher purchase and it's pretty good pizza.

We're home now feeling a bit tired. I took a look at the Oscar nominations. I haven't seen most of the movies except for the Grand Budapest Hotel which I liked a lot. Hopefully I'll do some catching up. The Oscar's happen to be on my birthday this year. I don't recall that ever happening in my lifetime.

The Spirit of St. Louis has been brought down from the rafters of the Smithsonian for the first time in 22 years. They are doing some maintenance on the fabric that covers the plane which is the material they used in those days.

Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic Ocean in that small plane carrying 451 gallons of fuel. Most of it was positioned in the nose so he used side mirrors and a periscope to see ahead of him. It had to be a very scary flight back in 1927.

Lindbergh flew the plane on a victory tour thru the United States and Central America before donating the plane to the Smithsonian in 1928. It's on my bucket list to see it. Several years before this Lindbergh crashed a mail plane in central Illinois not far from my grandparent's farm. He parachuted to safety after he bailed out but the plane went into a spiral and almost hit him before it crashed. Lucky Lindy indeed!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Dawn Wall

It's mid-january and were doing pretty good all things considering. No major snowstorm yet and no prolonged sub-zero temps. Yes, in the Midwest that's the definition of a good winter!

No word yet from Coco on how the ice skating went. If there's no emergency room phone call I'm considering it a success.

Ocean's 13 is on in the background as I type. I've seen all three of them multiple times and never get bored with them. I was hoping for one more in the series but it probably won't happen with the passing of Bernie Mac.

Still no news on the Bear's coaching search. John Fox interviewed today and I'm hoping they hire him. He turns teams around quickly and he's a no nonsense defensive guy.

Congrats to the two Yosemite climbers who were the first to free climb the Dawn Wall. It was filmed for a documentary which I eagerly awake. These guys slept in a tent attached to the vertical wall. They probably slept better than me!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ice Skating Time

It's warming up but I'll never go ice skating. I can barely rollerblade and I'm tired of falling. Skating is just not my sport but Coco is pretty decent at it. He's going tomorrow with his teacher for doing well at school. They are going to the Pettit Center where a lot of Olympians train.

Key West is having their annual half marathon and 5k this weekend the 18th. Wish I was there for that race.

Still no Bears coach yet. They are interviewing former Bronco coach John Fox this week but I think they will go for someone else.

Some things never change. Mike Huckabee is getting set to run for President and the very first thing he does is attack the Obama daughters for listening to Beyonce. Yep, let's attack some young kids Mike. You're just a tired old southern man who's ready for the pasture. The world changed for the better and left you behind to become a bitter person.

I read a sad story of a 12 year old British boy who contracted meningitis and went into a vegetative state for another 12 years. After 2 years he was fully aware of everything around him but couldn't communicate so nobody ever knew. He's 39 now and living a good life. I can't think of anyone more deserving.


Monday, January 12, 2015

It's Roku Time

An average January day but temps warming up this week. I still need to check Coco's basketball schedule as it's going to be crowded with these makeup games.

Congrats to former NFL player Rob Konrad. He fell off a boat 9 miles offshore but swam 16 hours to make it back alive. A helicopter missed him in the water and a recreational boat was within 50 yards of him but nobody saw him.

Right wing hero George Zimmerman was arrested again. Apparently, he allegedly threw a wine bottle at someone. Luckily the person dodged the bottle and didn't react. Otherwise, Zimmerman would have got his ass kicked once again then pulled out a gun and shot them in self defense. I can't wait until he runs into the wrong person someday.

Two lifelong friends in Los Angeles passed away last week on the same day at the age of 91. They were Tuskegee Airmen who survived World War II together. They even enlisted together as they were childhood friends. A job well done gentleman and you're truly legendary.

In an effort to cut down on our massive cable bill Krissy bought a Roku system. So far it's awesome. It has the first four seasons of Sons of Anarchy on it which I've never seen. 52 episodes in all. One down and 51 to go!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Stock Picks 2015

It's funny how a non-windy day around 25 degrees seems balmy in January bit today is one of those days. We went to Gary and Michelle's to watch the Green Bay game. They won on a very controversial play at the end when Dallas had a big catch reversed. Ouch!

It was harder this year to find some solid picks as a majority of stocks did well last year. Some of my picks are solid stocks hoping to have another solid year. I'm predicting the DOW will hit 19,500 which might seem a bit ambitious but if oil prices stay down I believe I'm spot on like I was with the 18,000 prediction last year. In no particular order:

1) X is currently under 25 but I'm predicting US Steel will hit at least 40.
2) MGM is under 21 but I can see it easily hitting 28 if we can get some cheap flights back in Vegas again.
3) FSLR is under 45 but I predict the solar giant will hit 60 again.
4) YELP is under 56 but it will go back to 70 at least
5) FB is under 78 but they always figure out ways to make money so I see it hitting 85.
6) CAT is under 88 but any kind of second half pickup gets it back to 100.
7) COP is under 65 but this oil giant get back to 72 with the amount of cash they always have.
8) NKE is under 96 but I've seen firsthand how many shoes they sell out the door. 105 at least!
9)MTW is under 20 but this crane company hits 25.
10) MU had a solid year and was a pick last year and now sits under 34. It still has room to hit 38.

I'm officially on the record now so we shall see.


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kemp's Old Fashioned Malt

It's warming up a bit but still a slow weekend. A decent brunch at the Upper 90 followed by cocktails at the Roman Coin.

Tomorrow is a busy day with grocery shopping in the morning then to Gary and Michelle's.

So, we ventured over to Jack's Pub to have some wings and discuss how busy the day would be tomorrow.

We watched the Ravens-Patriots first half and decided to move on to Jamos.

We watched the second half of the game at Jamos with our bartender friend Anna and now we're home.

Tough options for dinner. Chips or ice cream. We're tired and have a busy day tomorrow. Kemp's old fashioned chocolate malt ice cream it is!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Breaking Out The Buffett

Listening to a little Jimmy Buffett while thinking of summer. It's warmed up a bit and the worse seems to be over. Krissy is making a little chicken parm for dinner. Coco's basketball was officially cancelled and will be played at a later date.

We have a brunch groupon for tomorrow at Upper 90 which we're looking forward to. It's near Old World Third Street so we'll probably hang out there for a while tomorrow.

Sunday is reserved for the Packer's playoff game against the Cowboys at Gary and Michelle's house.

Unemployment dropped down to 5.6%. We've had the best year of hiring in 15 years. The next two years should be even better. Wages will start catching up once competition heats up a bit for employees. Hopefully Congress won't screw it up but that is what they are really good at.

Stay safe tonight!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Schlitz And Snow

Or did the snow come first? Another rough day with the car not starting again despite a brand new battery. Something seems to be draining it and the minus 20 wind chill factor seems happy to help it along.

A big thanks to Coco's principal for coming and picking him up for school. They might have been the only school open today and most have already phoned it in for tomorrow. Tonight's basketball game was already rescheduled but so far we still have one tomorrow.

The Bears hired Ryan Pace from the New Orleans Saints organization to be their General Manager. He'll be the youngest GM in the NFL and I have absolutely no idea if he will be any good. So comforting!

Happy Birthday Elvis. You're still the King 38 years after your untimely death! An undisputable fact that I'll argue until I'm out of breath.

I waited downtown for Krissy to pick me up. At the Swinging Door Saloon which is one of our winter hangouts. It's old school about 100 years old. The Schlitz was cold as I waited out the traffic on the sloppy roads. The snow is steady and not a plow or salt truck in site. Always good to end the day better than the way it started!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Time Capsule Opened

They finally opened the Massachusetts State House time capsule from 1795. Amongst the items were 5 newspapers, 24 coins and a silver plate probably made by Paul Revere himself. The items were in fantastic condition. Hopefully they will start a new one for a future generation.

It was around 20 below wind chill this morning when we woke up. It makes for a tough day when you start out in those conditions. Coco was so bundled up he could hardly move. Even the construction workers took the day off today. Tomorrow is more of the same.

I still have a stubborn cough that just won't go away. It might be till Summerfest before I get better.

Spring training starts February 19th for the Cubs. It's been a while since I've looked forward to a baseball season. Then again, I look out the window and have a hard time imagining green grass in about 3 months time. Stay warm!


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

And The New Bieber Is

Another weekend and another alcohol fueled altercation for Johnny Manziel. He's become the Justin Bieber of the NFL. He hardly played this year and he didn't look that good when he did. He wouldn't be the first guy out of the league by the time he reaches 25.

A couple more inches of snow last night but at least the Ford started right up with a new battery.

Congrats to new baseball Hall of Famers, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. All four certainly well deserving.

Coco made the High Honor Roll for the second consecutive time. He's on a roll.

I'm making dinner now and Coco and I are watching the Sting. One of the best movies ever, filmed in 1973 with Robert Redford and Paul Newman. It was their second and last film they did together but they remained lifelong friends.

Redford once told of a practical joke he made on Newman in the 70's while Newman was racing cars. He bought a beat up sports car and had it delivered to him anonymously on the east coast. Newman didn't bat an eye and had the car crushed as junk and deposited on Redford's living room floor in Utah when he was out of town. Neither man ever mentioned it to the other one but they both knew who did what. Redford said he spent a small fortune replacing his floor!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Minus 6 Killed The Battery

Nothing much good comes from temps below zero and today was no exception. The car wouldn't turn over and I had to take Coco to school then make an 8am appointment. Krissy grabbed a cab for Coco and I hoofed it on foot for twenty minutes. Considering I was flat on my back last monday as guess this should be considered some kind of victory.

Krissy ended up getting a new battery. It's always something lately.

The midwest is tough this time of year. It's more expensive when you consider all the warm clothes you have to buy and shovels and salt. Especially when I'm such a flip flop sandal guy at heart who truly hates socks!

We remain here for family reasons. For some reason our ancestors settled here instead of pushing farther west until they hit the Pacific Ocean. I'm heading south at the first feasible moment and starting a new family trend in Key West!

I shouldn't complain too much. The construction workers were outside doing work on the new high rises. They didn't look cold at all.

I had to find a pleasant distraction today. So, I started looking at Jimmy Buffett tour dates. I can't wait Jimmy!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Back To Normal

January has become the typical January as we knew it would and tomorrow starts a normal week. We received about 4 inches of snow so far, not too bad but I could still see my grass 48 hours ago.

We went to the grocery story this morning and loaded up. It was fairly empty for a change.

I received some comments on Pizza Man with people wanting to know if the pizza was as good. I believe it is and I heard they kept the same recipes. It's a lot bigger than the old one for sure with 2 full size bars and a lovely second story. The don't have the millions of wine by the glass anymore which I was always surprised that they could do that without a lot of waste. They do serve wine out of a barrel though and that went over well. All in all I would recommend it.

Coco and I played Stratego again. I love that game and he's getting better.

Getting ready to make a pot of coffee and start doing some work on my book. I'm about three-fifths of the way done with the first draft and I'd like to have the first draft completed by my birthday!


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hound Dog For Sale

Snow finally arrived today making it a normal January. It's only an inch of snow but we could get some more tomorrow before the temps drop!

Coco is over today and looking a lot better. We've all been sick on and off for the past two weeks and it's getting old. He goes back to school monday.

Donna Douglas who played Elly May Clampett on the Beverly Hillbillies passed away this week. It's hard to believe that the show lasted 9 full seasons. The CBS executive who greenlighted the show only saw the first episode. He disliked the show that much but it had good ratings so he gave the people what they wanted.

Playoff football on television today but I didn't watch any of it. I don't really care for most of the teams and I'm actually more concerned who will be the next Bears coach. If they get this one wrong again we could be like the Raiders.

The Hound Dog II and the Lisa Marie will be going up for auction very soon. They were two of Elvis Presley's airplanes. I've been in both of them when I did a Graceland tour. A private party actually owns the planes which aren't serviceable. They are expected to fetch between 10-15 million bucks. I wouldn't be surprised if they go for a bit more. Everybody still loves the King!


Friday, January 2, 2015

My Key West Kitchen

For some reason I just can't get 100% healthy. I feel like I have a spring cold now. I've been sick since the 21st of last month. The temps drop big time on monday according to the forecast. That's when I'll finally get healthy just in time to avoid taking advantage of the mild winter temps we've had so far.

I was watching Anthony Bourdain's show last night and Norman Van Aiken was on it. He's the author of My Key West Kitchen. I only own two cookbook's and this is one of them. I highly recommend it. It's more of a story involving Key West and Cuban food and you can make most of the recipes.

We're going to Pizza Man tonight with John and Angela. This is the new location. The old one burned down 5-6 years ago and I actually walked down there and watched it go up in flames.

It was a local institution and many people were sad to see it go. Now it's re-opened on Downer Avenue. I'm starving so I'm loading up on some good ole Italian!


Thursday, January 1, 2015

NHL Winter Classic

It was a tough loss for the Blackhawks today but the Winter Classic is quickly becoming a New Year's Day tradition for me. The game was tied 2-2 until Washington scored with 12 seconds left.

I'm still doing research on my 2015 stock picks. I'll post them this week as I'm feeling the pressure to do a bit better.

We had a great steak dinner last night. It's amazing what one can do with a nice piece of red meat and a cast iron skillet.

We finally got around to watching Jersey Boys last night. Everything Clint Eastwood directs has been really good and this is no exception. A very interesting movie about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

Back when I was in the insurance industry I had a claim in Key West with Bob Grimm who ended up as a guitarist in the Four Seasons back in the 70's. He struck me as a real nice guy.

Gas is under 2 bucks in Wisconsin now. I'm not sure if it can get much lower than this but I've been saying that for a while now.

The 126th Tournament of Roses parade was today in Pasadena. My grandmother saw that parade once or twice in the 70's and it was one of the highlights of her life. She passed away before she could make it to Hawaii which was one of her other dreams. I still feel bad about that. Do things while you're young, there's no guarantees on how long each of us will be around!

Coco is sick again today. It just keeps going round and round. Not a good way to start of the New Year. Just remember, it's how you finish that counts!