Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Redundant is not enough

Well...I am still in computer hell at work. My backup solutions were almost useless except for some heroics by Mikey my computer hero. It seems my little firewire backup drive decided to die just when it was needed for the first time. It seemed to be running a little hot. We took the little backup appliance apart to take the hard drive out, detached the firmware and hooked it up to a computer. Then magic Mikey took an air can and blew it on the overheating drive and it decided to cooperate. When I left he was dumping all of the data on another drive so that I can work with it. Now all I have to do is get another computer.

I am not buying that desktop brand again. This is the 3rd box that just sorta crapped out on me to one degree or another. It was not viruses, spyware or malware. I am too careful and prepared for that. This is flat out hardware failure. My love affair with computers is being severely tested this week.

Don't ever get a cortisone shot in your finger. It felt like it was going to blow up. Aging is the only alternative but I wish it were a bit more subtle at times. I have something called trigger finger
Oh boy! The finger feels a bit better today but who knows if the shot will do the trick.

I will get back to my music posts soon. I need to get through the holidays and the computer demons and get refocused...soon.

We have a new Christmas tree...chunky Charley...its a long story...which I will share when I get a picture of this chunker.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

My computer at work croaked yesterday. It was a very bad start to my day. I hope all the backup precautions I took allow me to recover some of the things I would hate to lose. I am still not fully operational but I'll get there. Crashing computers are one of my least favorite things in the world. I guess that goes to how important they have become in my life. That's a pretty nice picture of me over there...

I saw this on my daughter K's blog and thought it would be a good excuse to change the subject. So here goes the holiday meme...

  1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate. Egg Nog is wrong. Thick rich icky. I get a little queasy thinking about it.
  2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wrapped. I figure Santa has stock in a paper company somewhere.
  3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? I like color.
  4. Do you hang mistletoe? We don't have any but I did mention to M that we should do it prior to our party. We never did.
  5. When do you put your decorations up? We put them up before Thanksgiving this year because of our schedule. The outdoor decorations went up quickly during a little spell of nice weather.
  6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Turkey. I don't eat turkey as often as I would like.
  7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Spending Christmas Eves at my grandparents. The food was always good and my grandpa always got a drunken Santa to show up.
  8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I'm not sure but this was almost as devastating as finding out that Superman didn't exist.
  9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? If I get the opportunity, yes.
  10. What kind of cookies does Santa get set out for him? Santa needs to lay off the cookies.
  11. Snow! Love it or dread it? It's beautiful but I really hate it.I did a short but not sweet post on this subject a short while ago.
  12. Can you ice skate? Yes. I used to love to skate. One of my high school jobs was working for the park district at one of the outdoor ice rinks. I played a lot of hockey while working that job. I had the kids trained to keep an eye out for the park district van. When it was coming I would drop my hockey gloves and stick and skate over to the non hockey rink.
  13. Do you remember your favorite gift? The best was a new bike I got when I was about 10.
  14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Helping the less fortunate. I'm trying to be better at this every year. I also love the chance to spend time with the kids.
  15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Really good pumpkin pie.
  16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Playing cash station
  17. What tops your tree? A star
  18. Which do you prefer Giving or Receiving? Gifts are fun to get but giving is much more rewarding
  19. What is your favorite Christmas Carol? When I was a kid it was Angels We Have Heard On High. I liked singing it. Now its anything from A Charlie Brown Christmas by the Vince Guaraldi Trio
  20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yum! Yum.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Thanks Mick

The holidays are approaching and it seems everyone is in a shopping frenzy. I can help relieve the shopping frenzy blues. There is no greater gift at the holidays than giving to those in need. And I'm not talking in need of that new iPod or 3 wood. I'm talking about those in the community that truly need help.

This website is really useful in finding effective charities. Find someone or something that you want to help and give whatever you can. I'll also donate to the first 5 four star charities that any of you out there donate to. I don't want to know how much you gave I just want you to recognize that giving is a really good thing to do.

Talk about something that feels right...

Special thanks go out to Mick Jagger who was in one of my crazy dreams last night talking to me about the importance of giving. Why Mick Jagger? Who knows? I said it was a crazy dream.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Second and Maybe Last Annual Christmas Open House

Even before our party Saturday, we were debating over whether to take next year off. We are taking next year off! It is a lot of work, quite expensive and now it has become frustrating.

This year we had approximately 115 people show up. That's not the frustrating part. The frustration comes from the 62 people that were no shows. No regrets, nothing. We paid at least $1500 for these mannerless people to not come.

Here's frustration part II. Last year we had tons of food left over. We use the same "caterer" and this year there were no desserts at all, 12 shrimp, 10, chicken satays and a few other odds and ends. The point is...with that many no shows we should have had an incredible amount of left overs. The chef had to take the kind of sucks. Either that or had the no shows actually showed we would have had some incredible struggles for the last bits of food. No way... they took it. We paid for it and at least we could have helped soothe our minor hangovers and bad feelings for our inconsiderate associates with all kinds of good food.

I do think we will scale the party down and invite our family and some close friends and have our own fun little party. Not that I don't appreciate seeing everyone, but two years of hard work and mega expense and more than a dash of frustration is enough to change the thing from fun to funk.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Too Much

I need to backtrack on my Rock N Roll alphabet a bit to take care of some obvious omissions.

I don't know how I could forget Dave Matthews in the M category. I've been to three DMB concerts and actually saw the band twice. My favorite concert was the one time I didn't see him cuz it was my first and my lovely daughters planned the outing. It was an experience. We got to see lots of puking punks and punkettes. I saw a young punkette pee right in the row behind me and then almost roll around in it. I'm sure she doesn't remember much of the show. It was the first time I was at a concert where there were as many women in the mens bathroom as there were men. Different world. Dave concerts attract more than their share of young morons that are looking for an excuse to get inebriated and act like idiots. All concerts have these morons, unfortunately there seem to be a higher concentration of them at Dave shows. The real shame is that the DMB is excellent in concert and these dopes miss that and if you are not careful they can interfere with your enjoyment quotient.

More backtracking in the coming days.

Snow Sucks

I was just outside shoveling this "beautiful" shit call snow. You can keep it. It's heavy, cold and wet and an all around pain in the ass. I'm tired of shoveling and I want my summer back.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Day Number Last

Even if I don't post anything else today, I did it. 30 days in a row. And while I was not part of the "official" competition, I really don't care. One thing I learned is how difficult it must be to have to write everyday for a living and I gained a new respect for the talent it must take to continually write effectively. Journalists rock!

I liked Jeff Jarvis spin on blogging in this article...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair

But Gollum, and the evil one crept up
And slipped away with her.

That is one of a few references to J.R.R. Tolkiens work found in some of Robert Plant's lyrics. One of their songs is considered an even more obvious reference than this. I know what it is but I'm gonna let you try to figure it out.

Today is indeed Led Zeppelin Day here at Just Wondering

Arguably the greatest Rock and Roll band ever. It is still one of my favorite concert memories. I saw them in Milwaukee on July 10th 1973. I went with my best friend from high school (Neal) and my best friend from college (Spider). I'm pretty sure this concert spawned the word awesome because it was. The arena was thick with sweet smoke and great rock and roll. Believe it or not here is the playlist from the show:

Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 10, 1973

1. Rock And Roll
2. Celebration Day
3. Bring It On Home (intro) / Black Dog
4. Over The Hills And Far Away
5. Misty Mountain Hop
6. Since I've Been Loving You
7. No Quarter
8. The Song Remains the Same
9. The Rain Song
10. Dazed And Confused (inc. San Francisco)
11. Stairway To Heaven
12. Moby Dick
13. Heartbreaker
14. Whole Lotta Love (inc. The Crunge - Boogie Chillun - I'm Going Down)
15. Communication Breakdown

Here are some photos from the 73 tour.

Man they were good and thanks to the magic of recordings they are still good. I think I'll go listen to a little Len Zemple right now.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Shapes of things before my eyes

Holy crap...I looked up from party prep central and it was 11:00 P.M. Yikes! So, here is my Tuesday, I'm tired and out of time post.

We are having our second annual Holiday Open House party this coming Saturday. We'll end up with a 100+ people before the night is through. We did such a great job last year that a lot of the no shows are turning into shows. That's the idea. If you are going to have a party have a goddam good one. Last year my friends and family drank over 70 bottles of wine, 5 cases of beer and countless mixed drinks. Needless to say there was a lot of loud talking beginning halfway through the evening on through about 4 AM.

One of the most valuable things I learned in college was how to do good parties. I was elected Social Chairman of my fraternity my junior year of college. My senior year they didn't hold an election...they said I had no choice. I was the Social Chairman and that was that. Pretty flattering getting the #1 job in a social organization by unanimous edict. One of the secrets to my success my junior year was convincing the band (Farm) that lived next door to play for us with no guarantee of making any money. I let them use our basement for practice in return and being that it was the early 70's I think some of my brothers helped the band keep their buzz going between sets. Win Win. We would buy countless half barrels for $10 a piece. Invite the entire college, 1200+ students, charge them $1 for all the beer they could drink and live music. Any money that was left went to the band. "Farm" parties were legendary and landed the fraternity on probation more than once. We survived the probation and went on planning the next one. I have some more of these old social chairman stories but I need to wrap this up and get some sleep.

My reverse alphabetic musical tribute (revalmust or etlacites for short) will be delayed one day while I think of the superlatives that I am going to heap on the band that almost named themselves the "The New Yardbirds"

Monday, November 27, 2006


Back home again in Chicago. Air travel is wonderful for all the ground you can cover in a day but actually going through the process is a pain in the ass. Getting loaded into a pressurized steel tube and hurdling through the sky is not comfortable. I'm glad we're back and I'm glad we're done with the travel part.

I need to add a couple of honorable mentions to my O and P selections. As manogirl noted, Oasis is worth a shout. Roy Orbison is also an O that has a real place in Rock history. I loved his late work with the Traveling Wilburys. It's also impossible to ignore Tom Petty (another Wilbury). The list of great music created and performed by Tom is considerable.

Now for M. It's Sir Paul McCartney. I have been fortunate to see him in concert a bunch of times and at times it was magical. His body of solo work obviously stands on its own. Band on the Run is a classic album. McCartney, his first solo, is one of my favorites. Thank you Sir Paul for all the music.

Lots of possible M's out there so I will mention some of them. Van Morrison...just plain cool Melencamp...Indiana rocker...lots of good 3 chord specials Moody Blues...some great work in the late 60's early 70's...OK who did I forget?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Come as you are

Man, am I glad I live in the wonderful United States of America. Is this country perfect? Far from it. Our problems are real and some are critical but they pale in comparison to the problems other citizens of the world are facing. The good old USA is simply one of the best places to live in our world. Now if we could just get some leadership that was able to learn from and draw on the power of the millions of good Americans.

I was inspired to write this after reading a story titled "Iran Hard Line Regime Cracks Down on Blogs". I think web logging is an exercise of freedom. It's obvious that the Iranian government doesn't have any room for that freedom stuff. My heart goes out to the millions of good Iranians that find themselves under the thumb of yet another oppressive government. I hope the Iranian people can find their way out of it. Here are samples of some Iranian blog postings.

Much like O ban selections, there are not a lot for choices for the N band. It has to be Nirvana. They made a big impact on the music scene in a relatively short period of time. Unfortunately, the tortured soul that was the driving force of Nirvana left the planet too soon. I never get tired of Smells Like Teen Spirit or the song that is in the title bar.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Some People Gotta Have It

We're down in Florida for a few days and getting a little golf and relaxation in. We had a quiet but very delicious Thanksgiving. We brined the turkey and the flavor was killer good and the turkey nice and moist. I have been sampling leftover turkey ever since. I'm having a good time with J & M...wish more of the kids were here with us.

We are on our way out to dinner soon so I wanted to get something out in cyberspace in case it gets late.

My musical letter of the day is boring today. In reality, there is no life changing "O" band for me. The O'Jays deserve mention for the songs For the Love of Money and Backstabbers. The Coors folks have overplayed the crap out of Love Train. The only other O band I can think of is the Ohio Players. Fire was a period piece but not one of the great songs of all time.

If I ever put together my dream band I think I will come up with an O name so we can occupy this space. Anybody know where I can buy a whole lot more musical talent?

Friday, November 24, 2006

Remember when you were young

Another stolen idea...I needed something to get my brain in gear...I fear it's no gonna work.

1. Yourself: insurance, computer, music, golf geek
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: my wife
3. Your hair: gone
4. Your mother: whoa!!!!
5. Your father: always with me
6. Your favorite item: iPod
7. Your dream last night: forgettable...had to be I forgot what it was
8. Your favorite drink: water
9. Your dream car: I have it
10. The room you are in: kitchen in Florida
11. Your ex: is a nice person
12. Your fear: fear itself
13. What you want to be in 10 years: smiling
14. Who you hung out with last night: M & J
15. What you're not: frugal
16. Muffins: I'll take two. Blueberry and Cinnamon sound good
17: One of your wish list items: good things for everyone?
18: Time: 7:58 P.M.
19. The last thing you did: ripped off this meme from K
20. What you are wearing: shorts and a tee shirt
21. Your favorite weather: warm
22. Your favorite book: Prince of Tides
23. The last thing you ate: A great dinner of Greek style skirt steaks and a bunch of great side dishes
24. Your life: a great ride
25. Your mood: kind of tired and overfed...leading to a minor food coma
26. Your best friend (s): is / are wonderful
27. What are you thinking about right now: This goddamn meme
28. Your car: a rocket
29. What are you doing at the moment: finishing this so I can watch a movie
30. Your summer: short but sweet
31. Your relationship status: healthy
32. What is on your tv: drivel
33. What is the weather like: perfect
34. When is the last time you laughed: on the way to the store this afternoon...on Black Friday.

Today is P band day and I must go with Pink Floyd. The impact of Dark Side of the Moon is well chronicled. Other tunes I can't resist are Wish You Were Here, Shine on Your Crazy Diamond, The Wall, and Comfortably Numb. Note to S: It was impossible to not consider Pearl Jam but Pink Floyd has been with me for 30+ years.

One other thing I saw at Fresh Market was Christmas Stollen. If you buy it, is it no longer stollen? I couldn't resist that cheesy observation. It's an obvious indicator of my brainlessness right now.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Things I am thankful for in no particular order at all…

Our children…We have great kids. period. end of story.

The overall health of everyone in our family

The music of the Beatles


My parents…they did the best they could. My Dad was my best friend and a sweet guy. I am thankful for the time I had with him. My Mom is…well…my Mom is an interesting study but she was spontaneous when we were growing up and she could really be funny. Kinda like Lucy Ricardo funny...

My wife, business partner, best friend…that’s a lot of bases to cover and she’s got it down.

Being born in the United States of America

Friends, past and present

The talents that were bestowed upon me

My sister Sooz for all that she is doing to help our mom.

My other siblings

Americans that are willing to serve in our military in order to preserve the American way

My nieces and nephews

My wonderful staff

My sense of humor

My overall good fortune... I am more than blessed

My golf swing

Being able to see Michael Jordan play for the Bulls. He was fun to watch. It was a great run.

The people that love me for who I am

My iPod

My guitars

Great red wine

Personal computers

Casual business wear at work


The ability to travel to “summer” when it’s not summer in Chicago

HD Television

Good football

Not going hungry...especially today

In the spirit of the coming holidays I implore anyone that reads this to figure out how to do something for those that are less fortunate than you are. That's what it's all about. Any gesture of generosity and kindness comes with a sense of satisfaction that money cannot buy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


My daughter A declared today Anti-Thanksgiving. I like the idea so I am going to list some of the things I am not thankful for.


greedy people (see above)

sand baggers

mean people

racists, sexists, ageists and any other heinous ists

my digestive system

religious zealots

terrorists (see above)

cold weather

lousy service at restaurants, airports, retail stores...anywhere

not being able to talk to a human on the phone when calling a company

not being able to talk to an American on the phone when calling an American company for assistance

people that don't take responsibility for their lot in life and blame everything that 's wrong on somebody else

companies that don't provide health benefits for their employees

my short stubby fingers

I put off my Q band yesterday so today I declare that band as Queen...the band that never realized that they would be responsible for so many sports anthems. I only wish that Freddy Mercury would have lived long enough to sing We Will Rock You or We are the Champions at the Super Bowl. It would have happened and it would have been very cool.The song Fat Bottomed Girl is one that I hate to hear because its one of those songs that gets wedged in my head for the day. Bohemian Rhapsody is a masterpiece aside from the fact that for about 10 years it seemed that everybody tried to copy Wayne and Garth's automobile rendition.

One other thing, I saw something yesterday that I still can't reconcile. "Free Range Chicken Broth" Where is this broth ranging and I need to see it with my own eyes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Its So Fine Its Sunshine Its The Word Love

The Beatles Love CD was released today and despite my family wanting me to leave this one for a good Christmas present...there was no way. It is playing now and I am here to tell you that I had goosebumps the first time through. Bravo George and Giles Martin! Oh yeah and John, Paul, George and Ringo you passed the audition again. In deference to this sneak peek at my obvious B band, I will put off announcing the Q band until tomorrow. No it won't be Queensryche...

When I first discovered the Beatles I was 9 years old and they transformed my life. I had always been exposed to music through my mother and my one aunt who loved music. But for the first time, this was to become my music. One glimpse at them on the Ed Sullivan show and I was done. My aunt took me to the store the next day and asked me if I wanted a Beatles record. She bought me She Loves You and so it began. I would wait for each new Beatles 45 to come out...for those who need to know a 45 was a single record that spun at 45 rpm as opposed to an entire album (LP) of songs which spins at 33 and a third. I would ride my bike to the local Ben Franklin and plunk my 98 cents down and start to wear the grooves off of the thing. I still have most of the 45's stashed away somewhere and the LP's as well.

I remember one incident with my Beatles albums that will not fade from my fading memory. My sisters had taken the record player and my albums on to the patio one hot summer afternoon. When they were done listening and dancing with their friends, they neglected to bring the records back in to the house. The albums basically melted...ruined. I was crushed. My mother passed this one off to my dad and when I went crying to my Dad about what happened his lesson of the day was the need to share. He was telling me that I needed to share with my sisters. I didn't know share and destroy were partners. I set about replacing them one at a time with money earned in dribs and drabs from a paper route and the share and destroy lesson was lost on me at that point in time.

I want to thank the Beatles for opening me to music, my music. It's still my music but my Dad would be proud to know that I did share it with everyone that would listen. Most importantly, I shared my music with my children and I am happy to know that it opened them to their music.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here comes my 19th nervous breakdown or can't you see I'll always be a music man

It's the night before an early morning airplane and it seems the clock is moving faster than usual. I have a lot to do before I sleep and not enough time to sleep before I have to get up. OK...I'll try a few deep breaths and speed writing.

The R band has to be the Rolling Stones. Too much history and too many great songs to go any other way. They were never among my favorite musicians or performers. Mick doesn't do anything for me and watching Keith Richards wander about on stage is amusing but not a great moment in music. However, collectively their contribution to Rock and Roll is not debatable. The combination of the scores of fans who do love to watch them perform and the number of great songs they've done over the decades solidifies their position as one of the legendary acts to come along in my lifetime.

I have some honorable mentions...REM, too good too leave out...REO Speedwagon...Illinois band makes good, saw them at my high school and in bars before they went big venue. A high school buddy was promoting the REO concert at the high school. I got to work the "stage door" at the fieldhouse. At one point Gary Richrath, the lead guitar player from REO comes to the door with a young lady on his arm and they have no credentials. So, I tell him they can't get in without credentials. He says, "OK fuck it, we're not playing then" and storms away. I figured I had just created a riot and figured I might have had the shortest stage door security career in history. Within 5 minutes he returned, with credentials, and apologized for going off. He thanked me for protecting them and shook my hand. OK, I am good at this security thing! I saved the band! OK maybe not...

One more...Roxy Music...Brian Eno did some great stuff. I love Avalon.

I love music.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Still crazy after all these years

I am taking a page out of K's book by taking this meme from her site. She is K the daughter in my list of blogs.


Can I trade in my current second home for one in either Scottsdale, AZ or Palm Springs, CA?


Fleece sweats in the winter and a variety of t shirts. I like my Tommy B cargo shorts in the summer.


The new Who CD, Endless Wire


Between 6 and 7


It would have to be the coffeemaker.


I dabble with my guitars but I would love to be able to play the piano.


Is black a color?


Yes? Well, no motorcycles for me. I love my sports car/SUV.


Why? Do you know something? I don't think it matters what I believe. What will happen will happen and it is totally beyond my control. Those that think they know are making shit up.


Goodnight Moon...I read it a lot when my kids were small.




No tattoo and there will be no tattoo. Not into pain and ink under my skin.


I would be invincible. Then I could go take care of the villains of the world.


Priorities, but that's about it.


My dad


Carpeting and the floor


Every day


Burger...not a contest for me.


My daughters


K the daughter


Bird of Paradise. Very cool looking.


Rack of Lamb at home with mashed potatoes and asparagus. Pasta of any Italian variety is in 2nd though 50th place.


I don't have any PJ's


I love a couple of eggs some bacon, hash browns and some fresh toast. I eat it once in a blue moon.


I love my job.


I have it.


ASAP...probably in the next 3 to 5 years but who knows...I love my job.


At work back in about 1980. If you would have told me we would end up together I would have had you checked into rehab.


Take a cruise to Alaska or go to China

The title of this journalistic masterpiece is a clue on my S selection. Paul Simon gets the nod by a nose over the Boss. And this is my list...Springsteen is a legend and I equate him with concert legends. See a Springsteen show back in the day and you were hooked. Obviously a big part of that legend is the music that powered the concerts.

I chose Paul Simon because of his longevity and the variety of things that he has accomplished musically. I saw the Paul at the Chicago Opera House on the Graceland tour way back when. It was a fabulous I will never forget. The blending of World music with his own was daring and ended up being very successful. In addition to Graceland I love the Still Crazy... album.

Happy Sunday night all!

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Warning..forced post ahead! I am fighting a food coma...

Went out to dinner with M, Jen, E, S & A. Outstanding food at a fine local restaurant named Niche. Killer good tonight. I think everyone enjoyed their choice of entree and it was fun. I do feel like I ate a bowling ball. I obviously ate too much.

T is for Taylor; as in James Taylor. JT has written and performed some great music over the span of his lengthy career. I think I've seen him perform 5 or 6 times. Most recently I saw him the last month here in Chicago. The show was just him accompanied by a piano player. At times I felt we were in his living room because he spent a great deal of time showing slides and talking about what he was showing us. He talked about where some of his music came from; the events, the places, the people involved. JT, in addition to his musical abilities, is a pretty funny dude. It made for a great evening.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For

My U band is should not be a surprise. No, it's not Uriah Heep although I went through a period in college where I actually listened to them.

It's U2. I was never a rabid fan but I truly like a lot of their music. Sunday, Bloody Sunday is a fabulous song about a horrific incident. If you haven't seen the movie, get on it. It's made in the style of a documentary which is interesting. You will see the events that inspired this song. You will also learn a bunch about the problems in Ireland

J is home from U of I and she brought home something special. Pink Eye!

I think I'll stay away from her until Christmas break.

Let's Go Blue

My first Friday Random 10...

1. Midnight Stroll - Robert Cray
2. Okayalright - moe.
3. Harvest Moon - Neil Young
4. Cry On My Shoulder - Bonnie Raitt
5. Nothingman - Pearl Jam
6. Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
7. Crazy Love - The Allman Brothers
8. Make Me Smile - Chicago
9. Too Broke to Spend the Night - Buddy Guy
10. God - John Lennon

Sad news today in the world of college football; Bo Schembechler passed away at age 77. It happened on the eve of of the 103rd meeting between the University of Michigan and Ohio State University. Its the 3rd time both teams come in undefeated and the 1st time it features the number 1 rated team against number 2. A respected man in the world of sports, Bo ran a solid program and was loved and revered by many.

I did get to meet Bo once many years ago at a meeting of the American Football Coaches Assn. As a former college player and avid football fan, I was awed to be in the room with him and many of the other guys in that room. I did not attend the U of M but they were one of my favorites as a kid and I still have great respect for their place in college football.

Two thoughts came to mind...

Bo would do anything to help get the Wolverines fired up for this game. Damn, what an athletic director!

If his God is a college football fan, God decided that he needed to watch this one with Bo in the next seat. Do you think Woody Hayes will be there too?

There is no better way to celebrate and honor this good this man's life other than to tune in to watch his beloved Wolverines take on their biggest rival. The team that gets closer to playing with the passion that Bo had for the game will walk out champions.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tune low, play hard, and floor it. That's technical talk.

The above is a picture of a print by Ron Wood (yes, that Ron Wood) of Stevie Ray Vaughn that we are fortunate enough to own. I love the piece and I love the subject. SRV was unbelievable. Eric Clapton first heard him on the radio while he was driving and said he had to pull over to listen and essentially said to himself "Wow, who is this guy". SRV was that good. He was admired by just about every blues player you have ever heard of.

Try Texas Flood...that's not two guitar players or one player over dubbed that's Stevie Ray. The live session CD with Albert King is very cool. I hafta mention Pride and Joy and Crossfire. His versions of Little Wing and Voodoo Child (slight return) would have made Jimi pull over. If you don't own any SRV, I suggest the In Step CD. After you fall in love with that, buy them all.

About a year before his tragic death, Stevie Ray showed up in Chicago to help his friend Buddy Guy launch his nightclub. On the night of the crash, Buddy actually joined Stevie at Alpine Valley for his closing song. What nobody knew was that it was the last song SRV would ever perform. Buddy, who had known Stevie for a number of years was quoted as saying "Stevie is the best friend I've ever had, the best guitarist I ever heard and the best person anyone will ever want to know. He will be missed a lot." We all got cheated Buddy.

I never saw him live and it's one of the gaping holes on my concert resume. My fault. I had just discovered him at the time of his death. I like scores of others, wish he was still making new music. However, the beauty of recorded music is that Stevie, like others that have passed on, will always be with us. This guy was just plain outta here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

It's only teenage wasteland

I don't know how much longer I can live with the "burning X of love". It's kinda freakin me out.

I am on my way out to a wine dinner at a local restaurant and I thought I would start my post pre-wine and finish post vino. I don't think I will drink to excess but I am planning on sampling the goods.

Today is W day and this is my first big dilemma. The obvious choice for me is The Who. I have only seen them once, about a month ago, and even though there were only 2 of the original guys, the show was great. They have made a lot of great music over the years...songs that I love hearing everytime they come on. Baba O'Riley comes to mind, The Seeker, My Generation, Won't Get Fooled Again, Tommy, Who Are You. I think Who's Next is a great listen start to finish.

In position 1a in the world of W has to be Joe Walsh. He has always been a favorite of mine. The guy is a great player and he's funny as hell. I have been fortunate to see Joe a number of times with and without the Eagles. Joe flat out makes me smile both with his playing and his antics. The Bomber is one of my favorite songs of all time. The guitar duet on Hotel California is only bad because it doesn't go on for another 15 minutes. Hey Joe, how ya doin?

That brings us to 1b. Stevie Wonder. He has written some songs that make me get goosebumps. However, it is still the worst concert I ever saw. I had decent seats and I can honestly tell you that I don't remember seeing Stevie and I never heard a word he sung. The production was horrible. Even so, he's Stevie Wonder. A musical treasure if there ever was one. I forgive him for that disappointing evening at the always disappointing Rosemont Horizon.

Just arrived home from the wine dinner. 4 hours!! Way too slow. The food was great and the wine very nice but man...I felt like a captive after 2 and half hours. I am full of food and extremely tired of sitting. Now I must concentrate on quick digestion, whatever the hell that is, and get to bed.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's only castles burning. Just find someone who's turning and you will come around

I've been reviewing my Y & Z bands and need to add a few things.

Honorable mention goes out to Warren Zevon. He was a very interesting character and wrote some great songs.

In the Y category, I'm not sure how I overlooked Neil Young. If you have ever enjoyed any of his work, I implore you to see "Heart of Gold". My wife, who was never much of a fan, "got it" after seeing this film. Neil touched us both and I don't ever remember welling up watching any other concert movie. So I have two Y choices...

Now for X. There are not many choices here. My choice is the band X. Their song "Los Angeles" is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of 500 songs that influenced Rock and Roll. This band was as influential on the west coast punk scene as the Ramones were to the east coast scene. If you like punk at all, you really need to give X a try.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Long Distance Runaround

Today is an exciting day for a music lover like me. I got a new car a couple of weeks ago and it did not come equipped with a connection for my iPod. The dealer referred me to some audio guys that will put in a connection today. They did inform me that I would lose the use of the CD changer. If I can have just about all of my music with me on the iPod, the loss of the changer is a no-brainer. I can't wait!

Update...the install was cancelled because they don't have the proper kit. I'm still waiting on 11/16/2006. I'm not good at waiting.

My Y band is Yes. This is one band that I would love to see live. I did catch a performance a number of years ago on PBS and they were as good as I thought they would be. Anderson and Wakeman are touring in England right now so there is hope that they will come to the states. An honorable mention goes out to the Yardbirds. All you need to know is Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton & Jimmy Page.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Cheap Sunglasses

My list for Sunday night when I am preoccupied with watching Da Bears.

I don't know what the football announcers get paid for doing what they do but it is entirely too much.

The Who are packaging each of the live shows from their current tour on dvd and cd. I saw the Chicago show and now I bought it. I think it's a really cool idea. The other thing that's cool about it is that all proceeds go to charity. Nicely done guys.

I could go for a cone from Dairy Queen. Not gonna happen...

I'm tired of cold weather already. C'mon Thanksgiving. Ft. Myers here we come!

I'm gonna name a band or entertainer for each letter of the alphabet. I'm gonna start with Z. It's easier for me to agree on a Z band. It's gotta be Z Z Top. Saw them at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas a couple summers ago and Billy Gibbons can flat out play that thing. They were having fun and the crowd ate it up. Add your Z band and tell me something about them.

That's all...halftime is over...gotta go get emotional over my football team.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I want to thank you fa lettin me be myself

It's Veterans Day. I would like to say thank you to all veterans and current military personnel for all that you do for us. The courage to risk your life for our country is something that all Americans should appreciate. You will always have my support and best wishes.

My father was a veteran of the Korean War and he paid a high personal price. The horrors of what he endured haunted him his entire life. He paid such a high price that sometime after the Viet Nam conflict had passed and it was clear that I would not have to serve, he told me that had I been drafted he would have helped me go to Canada to avoid the horrors he lived. I was shocked! I had never considered Canada because I felt it would dishonor my Dad. I am grateful that I never had to face that decision.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss

Ben Stein was the speaker today at the closing session of the convention I attended. At one point he said, " hey how about those elections?". Then he used the line I used for my title. His timing was impeccable and he elicited a pretty good laugh. Who knew the who would know?

Happy to be home...I don't envy folks that have to do convention after convention. They are a pain in the ass.

My list for tonight

I'm really kinda sleepy
Sports analysts are the new weather men. No need to be right just say something. Blah blah blah
Portillos chocolate cake is evil
As the dad I am unable to engage in the underwear discussion my daughters are having
41 degrees and rainy sucks
Our dogs have new names "fat baby" and "rat baby". Don't let their peaceful demeanor fool you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Random Acts of Journalism

I am surrounded by insurance geeks and lawyers...I need a change of scenery.

Today there was actually an educational session on blogging. There are over 58 million bloggers out there and more coming on. 150 new blogs every 2 seconds.

The insurance angle is something I never thought about. Lawsuits against bloggers for libel...defamation. Homeowners coverage will cover some of the claims unless you are making money on your blog. I didn't know that. I wonder if the people that entice you to make money with your blog tell you that?

I will be able to get the session materials online within the next couple of weeks and I will blog about some of the things I found most interesting.

One funny definition of blogging was "something written by people with nothing to say to be read by people with nothing to do". Funny...but what makes it funny is that it is so far from the truth. Some first amendment scholars believe that the ability of all people to be able to publish will help further the democracy. That's kinda cool.

Blogging lets me exercise my precious right of free speech. I like that. I agree wholeheartedly that there is a lot of power in people having a forum to publish their thoughts.

Hey, guess what, I just committed another random act of journalism.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dateline: Hyatt Regency Chicago

I am on the road at a convention...woo frickin these posts are coming from the inside of the poster child for convention hotels. Huge. Stark. Clean and nicely done for what it is though.

Well it seems as if the Hawaii idea has started a dialogue as to who can go when. This will be a tricky situation but we'll give it a go. This idea may end up in the "no good deed goes unpunished" pile.

Went to see Barbra Streisand last night. It was a lot cooler than I thought. She is a legend in the biz and she is still very good at it. The Il Divo backup guys should stay home. Operatic noise that was stomping on Barbra. Whatever it is they do, I don't like it at all. There is more to singing than power and that's all these guys showed. Yuk.

Rumsfeld gone. He seems like he would be a mean grandpa. I hope it's progress. Now we'll see if we have a reason for hope.

Off to schmooze insurance geeks...equal amounts of pain and pleasure.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A splendid time is guaranteed for all

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Between M (me lovely wife) & I we have over 1,000,000 frequent flier miles. I think we need to go to Hawaii again and soon. This group had some fun last time. Who wants to go? Sorry but this offer is limited to family. I'm not sure when but June might be good again or July or August. I don't care. I just want to use some miles and go to Hawaii.

First come, first served. New islands, new hotels, new beaches, new restaurants, a live volcano, new golf courses, Lanai, ATV adventures, absolutely no rubber raft boat ride to the Na Pali coast.

Monday, November 06, 2006

It may be quite simple but now that it's done

OK...I posted a picture earlier today but I'm not sure it technically qualifies as a post. So I'll ramble a bit here.

I just listed my first ever item for sale on Ebay. I have miscellaneous stuff that is perfect for selling on Ebay so I hope this experience turns out ok. We shall see what we shall see.

Tomorrow is election day and I will exercise my right as always. Lots of bad choices surrounded by a few no choices. I wish the best for my country and my community. I am also happy that I will stop getting the "personalized" political phone calls that clutter my answering machine. I know I'm cynical about politics but look at our government. I have a lot of ammunition for an argument.

Several random thoughts

I love my kids
I can't wait until baseball season (spring means summer is coming)
I wish I was in Florida
I am one of the luckiest people in the world
I couldn't live without music
Pro football players are tough and just a bit crazy
I ate too much tonight
Nothing relaxes me more than playing a guitar
I wish I was better at playing the guitar
I will always miss my dad
Love like there is no tomorrow...because tomorrow is a promise that will too soon be broken.

Does this count as a post?

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I'm not sure I know any actually...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation

The Chicago Bears went down to defeat today. Unfortunately my daughter A was excited to go see her first Bear game and she saw a clunker. Sorry A but that's football. Were the pigeons on the field?

Rex Grossman was miserable and the rest of the offense was offensive. As an avid football fan, former player and student of the game it seems he gets "happy feet". It happened in the Arizona debacle and it happened today. For all intents and purposes he is dropping back, bailing out and throwing off his back foot. The Bears are likely to make the playoffs this year. If the happy feet don't get fixed, I don't expect that they will go very far. C'mon Rex! I know you've been hurt in the past but if you can't look down field and forget that huge men are trying to flatten you, find another career. He played like a rookie again. Ugly dude, very ugly.

I think there is some good in the loss though...better to get that undefeated crap behind them for the second half of the season. 7-1 first half record...I'll take it. Same number of wins the Cubs got in the first half of their season this year I think.

I tried to install a wireless print server today to no avail. Every computer project I take on never goes smoothly; you know point A to point B. I seem to visit every letter in the alphabet along the way. What a royal pain in the arse and I have no printer at this point. Very frustrating.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

I Saw a Dead Head Sticker on a Cadillac

Today was clean the garage day...It was getting tight in there. Lots of crap laying around...gone. Not a fun thing but it had to be done before it gets too much colder around here. The cars will fit comfortably now.

I miss being able to play golf. It's more fun than garage cleaning.

Also worked on the guest list for our upcoming Christmas Open House. The party was fun even if it got a little nutso late in the evening. We are paring the list of those that didn't respond last year. Some of you may be surprised to know that all of my invitable relatives are making the cut again. Relatives have more leeway on the "you drank how much?" scale than others...That's all I'll say about that.

I miss playing golf. It's more fun than working on an invitation list or writing a blog entry for that matter.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Matty told Hattie

Better late than never...had a wonderful dinner tonight with my kids at Tuscany in Little Italy. Excellent Italian cuisine if I do say so. Tried to get reservations at a few other spots but at the last minute is was impossible. Tuscany turned out to be just what the doctor ordered.

After dinner some of the less fortunate ones went to see the Bulls home opener. It was disappointing as they blew the game with less than a minute to go. The refs must have called a billion fouls on both teams. Boring!!! Watching the Bulls leaves me with one thought.

Go Bears!!!!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Ramble on

I'm off to a rough start with this NaBloPoMo thingy. My first post nightmares can be found in yesterdays post. Today I was just about done with post #2 and my computer locked up. What fun!

I now have the NaBloPoMo Yoda graphic on my site thanks to my birthday girl computer geekette. Hooray for Kt!!! I like it. I also like having blog specialists like my daughters as a resource.

Negative campaign ads are clogging the airwaves. A word of advice to the politicians out there, save your money for your trial. No credibility exists in any political ads whatsoever and if some does it's a waste. I might use a Quija board to pick a candidate in some of these races. Maybe I'll just vote for the one most likely to go to jail first. That sounds a whole lot easier than picking one that will actually do some good for we the people.

I miss golf.

A huge thank you goes out to my sister Sooz for everything she is doing to help our mother. I will include an adjective that describes our mom somewhere in each of the next several posts. Your job is to figure it out. It won't be


An adjective for my sister is awesome.

Name that band...still among the best shows I have ever seen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Antivirus program plays keep away with my word document for the last time

I wrote the following last night using Word in anticipation of posting it at 5:00 A.M. this morning. Well, my Norton Antivirus program would not let me open it this morning because I needed to renew. I removed Norton Antivirus. Screw you. Who do you think you are? Microsoft? I will buy another antivirus program after I post this. Symantec you pushed me too far this time. It was a long day but the sales call went well.

Blog month starts off with me having to catch a plane to Indianapolis at 7:00 A.M. I’m returning later in the afternoon so it’s just a long ass commute. But I have to get up at an ungodly hour to get the plane, fly to Indy, rent a car, flawlessly schmooze a potential new client (falling asleep or yawning is not an option), return the car, get on the plane and return home. I’m really glad I don’t have to commute like this every day. My regular daily commute has been reduced to 5 to 7 minutes.

I did however spend the better part of 12 years using up 3 hours a day getting to work and back. I did it because I had to but it mostly sucked. Most of those years were spent on a commuter train which is much better, safer and less expensive than being stuck in your car. I did have a lot of time to unwind and read on the train and I met some nice people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. One of them works with me now and has for many years. So like everything there were some benefits.

My all time record driving commute was 3 and a half hours to get to work and 4 hours to get home. I believe that was the day that male pattern baldness started to become a bigger part of my life.

Commuting does play a big part in the lives of many of us. Here’s a modern blessing or toast for all of you. “I wish all of you the commute of your dreams.”

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

National Blog Posting Month

This is something that my lovely daughters happened upon and if they're going to do it, I'm going to do it. A blog a day for the entire month of November. I have no idea what will come out of this short of my daughters saying something about the fact that I did real well for the two days that I actually posted something. Maybe I should have saved this for tomorrow...damn!

I will post something every day in November.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Kicking politicians through the uprights

It's that time of the year! Unfortunately I am not talking about football season...

American politics and our political leaders are an embarrassment to us all. Discuss.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Pathetic Cup

Warning: If you are not a golfer you may get lost in this rant or your eyes may glaze over.

At my local golf club there is an annual event that is modeled after the Ryder Cup. Two teams playing against one another. Individuals qualify for the team based on their tournament performance over the course of the season. For the sake of argument, lets call it the Harry Cup.

Now that it'’s over, here is my real take on the frickin'’ Harry Cup. My opinion is that the winning or losing of the Harry cup competition won'’t hold any true value unless there is some revelation and the cheaters (aka sandbaggers) disappear. Sandbaggers manipulate their handicaps to give themselves an advantage.Will Barry Bonds home run record ever have value? Will he ever be respected? Baseball is a game that was not founded primarily on the principle of honor. Golf is. If there is one life lesson to take from this game it'’s that you are the only one looking over your shoulder and you should do so with honor. Cheating on one'’s handicap is dishonorable and disrespectful to the game and to your fellow golfers.Hey bagger boy, you are missing the entire frickin point!

I know the sandbaggers won'’t disappear but I don'’t have to respect their actions or stoop to their level for the sake of claiming a victory in a meaningless local tournament or any tournament. What I set out to do was have fun playing the game, challenging myself and getting to know some very nice people.It'’s really the only reason I would ever play in this thing in the first place. The reward is in the process. Mission accomplished. I had a great time.I am not pointing fingers at anyone or asserting that sandbagging has been confined to one team or the other. I am not saying we lost or won because of sandbagging. I'’m saying that win or lose I would have felt the same way about the tainted value of a victory.

It's a goddam shame. There is no better reward than prevailing in a fair competition. There is no better feeling than playing on a level playing field and giving it your best; even if your best isn't good enough on any given day. The cheaters are stealing that from all the competitors.

Is it just me or does the idea of cheating to beat your “friends” in anything, let alone a golf tournament, seem pathetic? I'’m sorry but it pathetic. Make it a capital P Pathetic.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This whole same sex marriage fiasco makes me want to puke. Freedom in America should not be subject to religious interpretation. Same sex marriage is not harmful or dangerous to anyone and the government has no justifiable basis to deny this freedom. None. Nada. Zippo. While I really don't see this ruling affecting my personal life directly (I have always been an opposite sex marriage kind of guy), the denial of freedom in the "Land of the Free" absolutely affects all of us. Mr. Bush and the rest of you self righteous religious fanatics, what part of freedom are you failing to grasp? You are free to express your opinion on this matter but you are not free to make your opinion a law that eats away at every American's basic right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Wake up!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Memory Meme

1. Who was your first prom date? My high school sweetheart who I eventually married.
2. Who was your first roommate(s)? It was a socially maladjusted guy that was obviously perfectly matched to me. No, strike that...he once said this while crying "my mommy told me I had to be a big boy when I went to college." I asked the college to find me another room after that incident.
3. What alcoholic beverage did you drink the first time you got drunk? I don't know for sure but I think it was bourbon.
4. What was your first job? I worked for a little company that did inventory of liquor stores. I never got to count the liquor but I was great on the beer nuts and swizzle sticks.
5. What was your first car? It was a turquoise 1967 Ford Galaxy 500. It was quick, it had a 390 horsepower engine. I loved that car...we called it the Peacemobile. Ah, the 60"s.
6. When did you go to your first funeral? My grandpa. Funerals suck.
7. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown? It had to be when I left EGV for college. It was scary because I didn't know anyone there but it became my new "home" pretty quickly.
8. Who was your first grade teacher? ? I think her name was Sister Terese.
9. Where did you go on your first ride on an airplane? I flew to St. Louis from Milwaukee and then on to Dallas. I was a junior in college.
10. When did you sneak out of your house for the first time, who was it with? I never did.
11. Who was your first Best Friend and are you still friends with them? I think Dan Martin and yes we still keep in touch.
12. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents’ house? I lived in a dorm at college. My room was known as the club 402 so my room number will never fade from my memory. The name of the dorm is gone from my brain.
13. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day? ? I try not to have bad days. My best friend and partner Michelle is usually helpful with that.
14. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid/groomsman? My uncle Mickey's. I was about 15 or so. I stood up with one of the bride's sisters. Her husband threatened me and told me not to try anything with his wife. I was hopelessly hetero at this point in my life but my honest response to him had he not been a huge neanderthal of a guy that might hurt me would have been..."you are kidding aren't you?"
15. What is the first thing you do in the morning? Make coffee.
16. What was the first concert you ever went to? It was R.E.O. Speedwagon and Styx at my high school.
17. First tattoo or piercing? No
18. First celebrity crush? Candace Bergen...I still think she's an attractive package.
19. Age of first kiss? The first one that I want to remember was when I was in 6th grade. Amy....I liked it. The next time I went to confession I confessed it to the priest. He asked me if I did anything else and I had no clue what he was asking.
20. First crush? Gigi in first grade. We moved away when I was in 3rd grade but her family moved to EGV when I was a senior in high school so I got to know her again. That was pretty cool.
21. First time you did drugs? I went to college in the early 70's. Pot was a given and it was relatively cheap. Never messed with anything else recreationally.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Miracle Cure or Say No to Drugs

Well, it has been a while but I had to get this out there. For the last 3 years of my life I have been feeling kind of lousy. I had a myriad of bothersome muscular pain, occasional dizziness, muscle cramps, shortness of breath and last but not least, escalating anxiety. In the process of trying to figure out what was going on here, I was told I should have my gall bladder removed a couple of years ago. OK, you're the doctor. I thought this would solve the problem. Well, I did feel slightly better but not good.

This all started because somehow I was convinced I needed to get a physical when I turned 50. I entered the doctors office feeling great and came out and felt like crap for the last 3 years. Thanks for that!

I was trying to convince myself that this malaise was just part of the aging process and I would have to deal with it. Fortunately, I was wrong.

I've never been a big medication fan and until my 50th never really took anything outside of some advil, tylenol or aspirin. Well, my doc suggested that I take Prilosec OTC every day for treatment of my heartburn and GERD. I had been taking it for about....3 years. You see where this is going? It didn't occur to me that this drug (with the safe sounding OTC (over the counter) in its name) might have such serious and debilitating side effects. The packaging didn't give me any clues as to what this medication could do.

On a lark, I decided about 8 days ago to stop taking the Prilosec. I was grasping at anything at this point to try to feel better. Within 24 hours every symptom was gone. I felt as if I came out of a haze. I felt like me again for the first time in over 3 years. I still haven't come close to having any of the negative symptoms that I listed above. I have three words to say here "What the FUCK!"

I went up to the internet to research side effects as soon as I realized I was cured of the 3 year curse. I feel like a fool for doing this so late in the game but late is soooooooooooo much better than never. I visited this sight named and any others I could find. I discovered on askapatient that my side effects were not unique. Son of a bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb. God damn it! I cannot believe I suffered through this and the info was a few clicks away. While I am frustrated that it took me so long to figure out, I am ecstatic about the way I feel. Pissed and giddy at the same time...

This "Say no to Drugs" thing has a whole new meaning for me. The crap the drug industry peddles seems far more dangerous than the one I used occasionally in college which had me frantically looking for a Oreo cookies. My advice, be careful what you put in your body. Just because your doctor tells you to take something, don't give up your absolute right to decide what you do with your own body. The info is out smart.