Monday, August 31, 2015

Wes Craven

Horror movie master Wes Craven passed away. Truly the legend of the horror genre. Nightmare on Elm Street and Scream will be forever famous as well as the franchise that developed from them.

Congrats to Jake Arrietta on his no-hitter last night for the Cubs. He's having a great year and his performance in August was near perfect. He has a decent chance of winning the Cy Young Award.

The President changed the name of Mt. McKinley to Mt. Denali in Alaska which is what the people of Alaska wanted including the Republicans there. Naturally, some of the rest complained. President McKinley never visited Alaska and it was always called Denali by the locals. Some gold prospector started calling it Mt. McKinley after he was shot while in office. It never made sense. He was from Ohio and never showed any affection for mountains or Alaska. I guess all that local governing talk is just that, all talk as it's obvious nobody really means it!

Governor Walker is on the record that we should consider putting up a wall on the Canadian border. If it would keep Justin Bieber out I would be in favor but it's too late. Besides, we love Neil Young and Rush. If anything, it would keep the Canadians safe from the crazy Americans. If this wasn't a pathetic idea that someone might take seriously I might scream Wes Craven style!


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Always Use Later

Well, I'll shorten this up a bit as it was an emotional week. Coco, my dad and I got up early to go for breakfast and a little basketball at the park before he left to go back home. The dampness from the rain wasn't going to stop us. It was fun for me, from a personal standpoint, to see the old coach in my dad running around on the court shouting instructions to Coco. Time had changed but the instructions and advice has not. Play hard and don't take any crap from anyone. It worked for me 40 years ago and it still plays true today.

It was a bit sad for us as he walked onto the train. Krissy made him a wonderful lunch for the trip home.

Then it was onto the store to get ice for John and Angela's moving away party. A great turnout with great food for some truly wonderful friends. They have been such a large part of our lives and we will sure miss them. My only consolation is that I have to go to their house tomorrow to pick up some periodicals to store for John. I'll leave it at that!

For many of you that have followed this blog since inception, you've noticed that I never use the word 'goodbye.' I only say that at funerals. Today wasn't a funeral, so I use later. For anyone who's ever seen Oceans 13,"I'll see you when I see you!"


Angela, John and the puggles- we will miss you guys!

Saying goodbye at  the tiki bar with John's dad, Buzz, and Tom. 

An aunt's bad influence 

Pam and Rowan (no, she's not on a leash)

Ashley doing what she does best, being cool. 

Dad on a hog

Cole wishful thinking 

"Cole Knievel"

Sunday morning breakfast 

Saturday night monopoly 

Buck Bradley's fish fry Friday 

More strange figurines at Buck Bradley's 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Harley Davidson Museum

Wow, a very rainy day. We pushed back John and Angela's party to Sunday when it's supposed to dry out. My dad and I hung a few outdoor lights and fixed my barber chair. It looks a lot better. It's an antique Emil Pradar chair in my living room that needed a few repairs.

Jenny and Joe came over this evening for dinner. I cooked some decent yardbird on the grill and they got to meet my dad. Krissy did the excellent prep work once again.

Coco I  headed to the Harley Davidson museum with my dad. It's really a nice museum. Even if you don't own a Harley the history is so rich and interesting. A top notch museum.

We saw some famous bikes including the first bike owned by Mr. Elvis Presley. He paid $903 for it in 1954 just before he became famous. He actually financed it and traded in another brand. Probably the last time he financed anything.

My favorite part besides Number One which is the first motorcycle they ever made in 1903 was the Tsunami bike. In the Japan Tsunami a tractor trailer with a Harley in the back was washed out to sea. Thirteen months later in British Columbia at the Graham Islands this trailer with the Harley washed ashore. It landed on the beach and was corroded very badly but it was traced back to its owner who donated it to the museum corrosion and all. The spirit of Harley Davidson motorcycles just can't be beat!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Chocolate Thunder

Darryl Dawkins gave himself the titled post nickname so please no comments. He was a giant kid in a man's body who went directly from high school to the NBA. I always believed that if he went to a major college program for 2-3 years he would have been the best center to ever play the game. His skills were raw and they don't teach fundamentals in the NBA. Darryl passed away this week and in a way so did the innocence of the 1970's. Such a nice man.

My dad came up on the train today. We hit Buck Bradley's for dinner with Krissy's parents then hit the world famous Wolski's for an after dinner cocktail.

The forecast is rainy for tomorrow for John and Angela's party. We have an outdoor tent just in case. Somehow, the pork has to be cooked on the grill as it's just not the same in an oven. It might take a couple holding umbrellas over me and the grills but the pork must go on!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Stevie Ray Vaughn

It's been exactly 25 years since Stevie Ray Vaughn died in a helicopter crash at Alpine Valley after a concert with Eric Clapton. It was a foggy night and the pilot basically ran into the ski hill. There wasn't an explosion nor a fireball so it wasn't until 7am the next morning before the crash was discovered. I've been to Alpine Valley many times in 30 years and always thought that odd.

I was working the next morning and the first rumors were that it was Eric Clapton himself when in reality it was his manager that was also on board. A truly great guitarist was lost that night.

The Cubs lost another game today to the Giants. That's two in a row. Better luck tomorrow.

My dad is coming in town tomorrow on the train to spend the weekend. Wait till he sees that Coco chopped off his long locks!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Born To Run Is 40

It's not hard to put Bruce Springsteen as one of the top songwriters of all time. The Boss has had a stellar career and it's hard to believe that his 'Born to Run' album is now 40 years old. It's stood the test of time and it will still be going strong 40 more years from now. I've seen him in concert 6 or 7 times and the man plays for his fans second to none.Thanks for all the albums Bruce!

We're getting ready for John and Angela's going away party this Saturday at our place. Which means I'm cleaning a lot!

I passed a store today which is already hiring and getting ready for Halloween. It's quickly become an adult holiday and it now lasts the entire month of October!

Stock Island is part of Key West. It used to be where they kept all the livestock to feed Key West. It's basically connects just North. Anyway, they have decided to make some affordable housing over there. It's tough on the service people who now live so far away to make ends meet. Better late than never I guess.

A 108 year old bottle with a message washed ashore in Germany last week. It was part of an experiment in England to test deep ocean currents. Apparently it worked.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cubs Make The Cover

The Cubs are on this week's Sports Illustrated cover. They still aren't getting a lot of national respect but they are on pace to win about 93 games and make the playoffs. Going to be a fun last 39 games!

Krissy is going to the Public Market downtown to take a shrimp cooking class with her mother. It's a magnificent place that is always packed and could easily fill up if it was twice the size. I can't wait to taste what she learns!

Legendary Chicago weatherman Harry Volkman passed away over the weekend. He was 89 years old and did the weather for 54 years starting in 1950 before they used radar. He was a real meteorologist who issued the very first tornado warning. He actually spoke at my grade school when I was in first grade. Truly a genuine nice guy who will be missed!

A 12 year old boy in Taiwan actually tripped at a museum and fell into a painting worth 1.5 million bucks. He put a decent size hole in it but the insurance company feels like the restoration will be successful. We go to a lot of museum exhibits and I'm always amazed at how close we can get to these masterpieces.

It looks like Joe Biden might run for President and make Elizabeth Warren as his running mate. If the Cubs can have a great year why can't Joe? Run Joe Run!!!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Back To The Fall

Wow it's cold for August. The Buffett concert ends and the temperature dropped right away. Tonight's low will be 50 degrees. The forecast is just 70's all week. I'm not ready to let summer go!

It's been a really quiet Monday in Milwaukee. Nobody around here seems overly concerned about the stock market despite Trish Regan on Fox trying her hardest to make it seem like the end of the world today. Maybe the worst reporting that I've ever seen in my life.

The Cubs won again today after Kris Bryant hit a game winning homerun in the bottom of the 9th inning with 2 outs. They are 20-4 in the last month.

A speedy get well to Jordy Nelson of the Packers. He's out for the reason. A great guy and a great receiver. Impossible to replace him despite what many say. He's a big play guy that's for sure.

Krissy and I are watching a show about the top ten hurricanes of all time. Not exactly what one should be watching when you want to move to Key West!


Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Great Buffett Weekend

What a great Jimmy Buffett weekend with Steve and Holly. The weather was perfect until it rained slightly Sunday morning.

On Friday we hung around the Snug Harbor campsite with a ton of other Buffett fans. The concert itself was stellar I thought.

The tailgate party before the show is so hard to put into words. So, we took a lot of photos. I left out the R rated photos and there was a lot of them!

I didn't even get a chance to sneak a beer into the venue like I always do for fun. We drank it all.

On our way back home this morning we stopped at Alpine Valley so I could take a photo with the sign. As I looked up the venue road I could see two guys walking down the road carrying blankets over their shoulders looking pretty wore out. I have no idea who they are. It looked like they found a place to sleep after losing track of their party or something. I'm sure there is a great story behind it. I could only smile and wonder "what would Jimmy Buffett think?" Probably a night very well done guys. Kudos to both of you!


Front Gate Day After

Tiki Bar



Just Off The Bus

Foam Party
Costume Shot

Imported Sand

Another Wow

Mr. Glitter

Parking Lot

Snug Harbor Bar
Calm Before The Storm

Friday, August 21, 2015

Parrot On

Finally, the concert is tomorrow and we are almost set to take off for the campsite. No blog tomorrow but I'll be back on Sunday to recap the big event. Every March people in the Midwest start checking the Buffett sites to see when he is coming to their area. It's the highlight of every summer for me. This will make my 22nd Buffett concert.

There's nothing like the carnival atmosphere and I'm talking about the Carnival in Brazil, not some local type. Last year we ran into a big foam party. This year, who knows!

Already went to Otto's Beverage Center and now packing the Jeep up. We have a 90 minute ride ahead of us and plenty of Margaritaville to listen to on the satellite radio. Parrot on!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Nazi Ghost Train

Supposedly, there was a Nazi Train full of gold and treasures that disappeared into some mountain tunnels in Poland. This was in May of 1945 and now two men claim that they found it. Time will tell if they did. It's only been 70 years and I'm surprised that the Monument Men wouldn't have found it at some point but maybe it's true.

A cool day with a high of 66. It's supposed to jump back into the 80's tomorrow and Saturday and remain dry. We're busy now getting stuff ready for our Buffett camping trip.

There's a petition to get John Stewart to moderate an upcoming debate. He would probably do a much better job than the last moderators and not pick favorites.

There's a tropical storm named Danny out in the Atlantic heading towards Puerto Rico. It wouldn't get there until Monday and a lot can happen in the mean time but something for the coastal states to keep an eye on.

I'll blog early tomorrow then off to Buffett. We can't wait!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Goodbye Batgirl

Yvonne Craig passed away. She was the original Batgirl on the television series of Batman in the 60's. She was a dancer by trade who became an actress doing her own stunts. A classic character for a classic show. She will be missed.

A tornado went close to our future campsite last night. We leave Friday morning for the big Buffett concert weekend. I met a couple people today who are taking a bus up there with a bunch of people. Those are a lot of fun!

Garth Brooks is playing 2 nights in Milwaukee next month. It's a pretty late notice and ticket prices are high. I'm not sure if they will sell out or not.

A long day and I have to get up early for cross country practice tomorrow. The Cubs look to be making a comeback so I'll watch the rest in bed!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Fly Me To Cuba

It appears air flight restrictions will be lifted and flights to Cuba will be available by years end. Long overdue. I'm not a believer in governments telling people where they can and can't go!

The Cubs resume today against the Detroit Tigers. Joe Maddon has to be Manager of the Year if they Cubs make the playoffs!

Someone commented to me yesterday that I might be a Floridian. They couldn't tell if it was because of my hat or the tropical music I was listening to or a combination of both. No, not yet anyway. I still have a few more winters to suffer through.

Two Japanese mountain climbers were recently found in the Swiss Alps. They went missing in 1970. A recent glacier melt exposed their remains and some climbing equipment. 

Politics is driving me nuts lately. Trump, Walker and Rubio want to do away with the 14th amendment. Ironically, Rubio is a United States citizen due to the 14th amendment.

Coco starts school tomorrow. Where did the summer go!


Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Jimmy Buffett Week

Finally, the highlight of my summer is here. JB will be playing at Alpine Valley on Saturday. We leave Friday morning to get to our campsite. Steve and Holly will meet us there sometime Friday. Steve has never seen Jimmy before or experienced the carnival atmosphere. It will be fun.

No Cubs game today but everybody is talking about the surprise team of the year. I'm not surprised at all. Four rookies who can play ball sure make it fun.

Julian Bond passed away over the weekend. He founded the Southern Poverty Law Center and was elected to the Georgia Senate who refused to seat him despite winning the election. An admirable man.

It's raining again and we do need it. But I'm hoping for a dry weekend that's for sure. I've seen Jimmy in the rain before and once was enough. Much more enjoyable in the sunshine. This will be my 22nd JB concert. I can't wait!


Sunday, August 16, 2015

A Busy Week

A nice warm day at the lakefront today. Krissy and I went for lunch and then walked back home after two hours of trivia at the Vintage bar. Our walks always take an unplanned diversion. Here's a few pics.


Block party

Who Knows

With Ronnie and John

With Coco

Krissy and Julie

Mayor Barrett

Krissy and Julie


Clare and Krissy

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tsunami At Irishfest

It was a huge storm last night at IrishFest. We got home so late that I forgot to blog. Coco and I went down after the rest of the party and made it inside just as it started to rain. We were stuck in a men's room for about 30 minutes with about half the crowd girls.

The Cubs beat the Sox making it 14 wins out of their last 15 games. Truly a special run.

Kevin White, the Bears first round pick is having shin surgery before ever playing in a game. Surprisingly, they beat the Dolphins Thursday night.

Going to John and Angela's in a few minutes then onwards to a block party to see Five Card Stud. Hope I make it fairly late. Coco beat me up in the humidity playing basketball. It's going to take a huge Red Stripe to hydrate myself!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pre-Season Football

Hard to believe the first pre-season games start tonight. It's close to 90 degrees and it will be very hot in those pads. The Bears play Miami and the Packers play the Patriots.

The Cubs came up with another huge win against the Brewers. Next up is the crosstown rival, White Sox. Beating up on them would certainly make my weekend!

Best wishes to Jimmy Carter in his fight against cancer. He just turned 90 and certainly of the nicest guys around.

John Kerry will be in Cuba tomorrow to raise the American flag at the new U.S Embassy. It's long overdue.

I noticed gas prices increased yesterday about 70 cents within minutes of when I gassed up. It seems like a refinery had some issues in Michigan and might be down for a while. This gave every two bit station an excuse to jack prices up despite that having nothing to do with the gas already on the premises. They will eventually go down just more slowly. A bunch of sharks is all they are. Gas should be under 2 bucks a gallon as oil prices are at a 6 year low. It's almost as bad as the NFL charging regular season prices for a meaningless pre-season game!


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Extra Innings

Nothing is easy today. The Cubs bullpen blew a 1 run lead and now we're in extra innings. I'm too tired tonight but I will just have to hold my eyelids open.

State Fair is still going strong. The crowds look strong and the weather has been cooperating except for one day.

I have a new writing project coming up for some business websites. The start date has been pushed back a bit because of technical issues.

My legs are still sore from working out with Coco this week. I know he was hurting a bit also.

Irish Fest this weekend. It will be huge. We'll probably be down there Friday.

Krissy still fighting her illness. If she doesn't get better soon I'll have to put her down. Kidding!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Wallenda Makes It At State Fair

What a remarkable feat Coco and I saw at State Fair. Nik Wallenda set a world record for the longest high wire walk. He started promptly at 7pm and it took just under a half hour from start to finish. I taped the whole thing on my IPhone. Nik talked to the crowd on a microphone and answered questions the whole walk.

I saw his grandfather walk twice on television and Nik once before as he crossed the Grand Canyon. Truly an inspiration. He's not an athletic looking type but has great confidence and a positive attitude with obvious great balance.

He's the 7th generation of Wallenda's to walk the wire and they've been doing it for 200 years. I'm trying to figure out if the family has some gene with great balance or if anybody can learn that type of balance.

As a kid, my friends and I would bike to the train tracks and see how far we could walk on a rail. I was always the first to fall off, balance was never my thing.

Anyway, we had a great time at the fair. Krissy was still sick and she was better off not going anyway. She hates suspense and walking 1576 feet on a wire is suspenseful.

We followed it up with some ice cream and drinks followed by 3 rides. Truly a great night. The rides aren't my thing but heck, if Wallenda can walk that far without falling, I can go on some rides without puking I told myself. Truly an inspiration. Thanks Nik Wallenda!


Monday, August 10, 2015

The Day Of Thunderstorms

It's been more like Seattle today than Milwaukee. Three different huge thunderstorms rolled thru town then the sun comes out and dries everything up.

Bug ate my leftover steak today. She crawled up on the counter when nobody was looking and took it. Even the world's best dog can't resist my grilling! 

No Cubs game today. It's hard to have no game when they are playing so well.

Coco and I worked out today. A hard cross training workout in high humidity but we survived. We have another planned for tomorrow!

Famed NASCAR legend Buddy Baker passed away this week. I always rooted for him at Daytona when I was a kid. I just liked his name but it turns out he was a great guy also. A true legend!

Nik Wallenda tomorrow night at the State Fair. No rain in the forecast for tomorrow's historic tightrope walk over the Milwaukee Speedway. Hopefully our new workout regiment won't make us too tired to root Nik on. If the weather cooperates, we won't miss it!


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Bridge Of Spies

I just commented the other day that I haven't seen Tom Hanks in a movie for quite a while. Then, I see a commercial for 'Bridge of Spies' starring Tom Hanks. The previews looked great. Comes out in October I believe. Definitely a must see for the Oriental Theatre.

[Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford passed away today at the age of 84. I really enjoyed his Monday Night Football broadcasts.

We went grocery shopping at the new Meijer store today. Very crowded. Krissy also bought a new air mattress for camping as it was a great price. Eighteen inches deep. That should help the old back some.

The Cubs completed their 4 game sweep of the Giants today. Man, something special is starting to happen at Addison and Clark this summer!

My best job at grilling perhaps ever today. A couple steaks, baked potato, bone-in chicken and boneless chicken. Every single piece came out great. Now I'm stuffed!

Have a great start to your week!


Saturday, August 8, 2015

Tropics At The State Fair

It's cloudy but warm all day. The rain held off and the State Fair was fun. We walked to Karma and took their shuttle bus both ways. It worked out great and was easy to find on the way home.

King Solomon played at Tropics and the food was great. The service was so-so. It gets so busy but they do their best. It used to be such a well kept secret but the word got out!

We did bring back a half pound of salt water taffy. That will be a great breakfast with coffee tomorrow. Don't knock it till you try it!

Hey Hey the Cubs won again against the Giants. That's almost as sweet as Kristin!

Going to bed, have a great night my friends!


Friday, August 7, 2015

Reagan Drinking Game

A lot of people watched the debate last night including us. A lot of laughs, more than most movies and it was free. There were people playing a drinking game on twitter while watching the debate. Every time someone invoked the name of Ronald Reagan, they had to do a shot. They must have got plastered last night! Nobody ever mentions Nixon for some reason. 

I didn't really care for the debate format. Fox News picked their candidates and took it easy on Walker and Ted Cruz. They went hard after Trump and Rand Paul. Paul should have kept his mouth shut. I never really noticed but Jeb Bush is a terrible speaker just like his brother. Their father was so good, how did the apple far so far from the tree in that family.

Carly Fiorina seems to be this weeks flavor of the week. Wall Street will never support her with a dime.  A lot of people lost big money as she took Hewlett Packard down the drain with small minded thinking. She has no vision, just talk.

John Kasich did very well I thought. He should be the nominee if they want to win but they will send him packing I think. That's too bad.

The Cubs beat the Giants again to pull ahead in the wild card race. I'm starting to get a good feeling.

Starting to feel a bit better today as I slept most of the afternoon. Hitting the new La Mesa restaurant down the street for dinner with John and Angela. I'll let you know how it is.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Ronald Raven

Yes, I made myself watch the Happy Hour debate with the bottom 7 candidates for the GOP debating. Rick Perry actually said "Ronald Raven." After I stopped laughing, I watched the rest of it which was pretty uneventful and nobody would answer the question asked, just more talking points. At least get some new ones as I've heard them all before. There's a reason those 7 are in the bottom rung. Lack of imagination and deep thinking!

I drove by the State Fair grounds today on opening day. Traffic was a pure mess in the middle of the day.

The Milwaukee Lion has been spotted again. Yesterday afternoon in Grafton which is about 20 miles north of the city. Looks like he/she had enough of city life.

I heard an interesting discussion about coal on the radio today. It seems all these new regulations and solar are putting the coal industry out of business. For the record, about 80,000 people are in the coal industry. Certain people think there's a war on coal. No, there's a war against century's old technology. Coal is going the way of the pager. What did the pager worker's do? They moved on to cell phones and tablets. Coal workers will do that also. Life is progressive. Either move with it or just curl up and die. I believe that last sentence can be attributed to Ronald Raven!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

City of Angels

I was listening some news radio today and hear about a Mexican family speaking privately among themselves at a restaurant table eating a meal. The were accosted by a white woman chastising them at the top of her lungs comparing them to Nazi's and Russians. Naturally, someone caught it on tape with their IPhone. The elderly mom was upset but the son kept his composure which is more than I would have done. Interesting that it happened in Los Angeles which in of itself is a Spanish word as it was settled by the Spanish.

I'm still fighting some illness. Dry throat and stuffy nose. Hopefully it goes away soon.

There's been no sightings of the Milwaukee mountain lion in the last week. A game camera caught sight of a mountain lion in early July in Northern Wisconsin but the owners only checked the camera recently.

The Wisconsin State Fair starts tomorrow. Next Tuesday I'm taking Coco to see Nik Wallenda walk the tightrope over the Milwaukee Mile Speedway. Krissy and I will find a night to go also.

Enjoy your evening.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Custom Forms For Everyone

I read an interesting article about Buzz Aldrin and was surprised that he, along with fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins had to fill out a customs form when they returned from the moon. It's not like they could pick up some cheap cigars and booze on their trip!

I'm feeling under the weather a bit today. Possibly allergies I'm told. I was fine for 4 days in the middle of the woods but get sick with allergies as soon as I return to the city. Yikes!

A big welcome to Portugal and Hungary as they become the 39th and 49th countries to visit the blog. Thank you so much.

The Cubs were rained out last night in their quest for a playoff berth. They are shutting out the Pirates late in the game as I type.

I watched "The Legend of Mick Dodge" today on cable. It's about some man who lives in the woods and dropped out of society 25 years ago. Kind of a boring show although I was impressed that he could walk so well in the forest without shoes. Today's episode he was kind of boring as he looked for his lost dog. I probably won't watch it again although I did notice he seemed to be allergy free in the middle of the woods just like me!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Devil's Lake and Parfrey's Glen

 What a great camping trip. We escaped rain twice for excellent weather and had a great time.

Friday was great to meet up with everybody. Saturday morning we trekked up Parfrey's Glen. It's almost a mile long uphill, thru a bunch of ravines and a waterfall. Due to recent floods, the trails and bridges of the last century are completely gone.

Devil's Lake itself is the largest state park in Wisconsin. Such a beautiful area. It's my second time there with Krissy and Coco's first. We shall return. I'm studying the history of the lake itself for our next trip.

The weather was warm Sunday but the wind was strong. Never the less, we just remember a few January days and it didn't seem that bad.

We made it to the beach again this morning before heading back. We took the long way and came back over the Merrimac Ferry. Wisconsin is truly a beauty of a state!

The only downside was my Cubs swept the Brewers and I was out of town to rub it in to a few select people!



Parfrey's Glen

Parfrey's Glen
Parfrey's Glen

Dom and Cole

The Glen
The Glen

The Glen

Scootering Around Glen

Hammocks In The Woods

Michelle, Holly and Amy

The Teepee

Me and Coco
Coco and I

With Krissy and Coco

Beau and Coco At Devil's Lake

Devil's Lake

Ice cream on the ferry home