Monday, December 31, 2007

Drugs Suck or Just Say No

I have been away for over a month...let's call it a sabbatical. It sounds better than "being a lazy ass". I had lots going on with some travel, craziness at work and the holidays. All of those added up to what seemed like a lock of an excuse. It is an excuse...

I've been thinking about sharing the info below for some time...so here goes the ramble...

I had been feeling lousy off and on for the better part of 4 years. It all started with a visit to the doctor for a physical when I was about to turn 50. I was a picture of health until that visit to the doctor. Physical good; doctor bad. The first thing he did was put me on heartburn meds and a statin drug for reducing my cholesterol. What transpired after that is a horror story of sorts. I began to feel pains everywhere. I was getting nauseous, lightheaded, having nightmares and then I started having muscle cramps. Well, I stopped taking the statin and some of the problems went away. In the meantime, the doctors were looking for reason for the remaining issues and decided my gall bladder was not functioning properly and they convinced me to have it removed. Once gone, the problems they attributed to the gall bladder did not go away. Oops! Can I have my gallbladder back? Man!

Anyway the problems continued. Over the course of this journey, I had a bout with pancreatitis and generally felt horrible if I even had the slightest hint of an alcoholic drink. It sucked. I was seriously concerned that I had something really serious. Oh yeah, one other symptom that kept building was anxiety. I had never experienced it before and I really thought I was losing it altogether. And feeling like that was not me.

For some reason I decided to finally quit taking the heartburn medication (Zantac 150 twice a day) in November. Why I had never considered it before is beyond me. Within a couple of days all the symptoms were gone. I mean gone! No anxiety. No pains all over. No problem after a glass of wine. Me, I am me! OK I'll deal with the heartburn with Tums and Gaviscon...things that don't hurt me more than the problem! All of these symptoms turn out to "rare" side effects. Not rare enough.

For some reason my liver struggles with processing certain types of drugs. Did the pill pushing MD's ever consider that? No, they would rather give me more pills and lop off body parts.

The lesson is this...use the internet to do exhaustive research before putting anything into your body. You know your body better than anyone. Obviously, there are medications that are wonderful and necessary. There are also meds that are capable of poisoning you. I was being poisoned and the so-called experts were without a clue. Be careful. If you think a drug will harm you, just say no. I have and I'm feeling so damn good about that!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Cool Juke Box


A friend of mine sent this to me. Its kinda cool. It's amazing how many songs I have fogotten from the early 60's. I'm thinking it's mostly because I wanted to. The same can be said for a lot of these years...


Whoever did this did a nice job.

Monday, November 26, 2007

On My Way Back Home

Tomorrow.

I enjoyed the weather today including the heavy rains we got around 4:00 P.M. The area is in desperate need of rain so I was happy to see it. It was quite relaxing to sit under the covered portion of the lanai, listening to music with the rain in the background.

One more day and then it's back to the rudeness we call Winter. Cold, gray, blustery, damp....yuk. If you say you like it, you are making the best of a bad situation. I have done it for years. I have lost the energy to pretend I like the weather, I don't. I hate it. End of discussion.

There are good things about being back up north so I will concentrate on those things. I hope I get to spend some time with my kids and get some things done at work.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Oops

Well I blew the NaBloPoMo thing Friday. It was a combination of a somewhat busy day, internet service that was kind of flaky and brain damage. We had a party in the evening and when we returned I just plain went to bed. I was bummed when I awoke and realized that I messed up so late in the game. I gave it a good try as evidenced by my schlepping my computer from place to place. I guess I like the contest because of the pressure it puts on me to write something. Oh well I'll try again next year.

I will try to keep writing a little more frequently than usual. Thanks to those that read my rantings.

Jim, Jen and Eric are heading home today. It was fun having them here with us. I wish they could stay a little longer but it's not to be. M & I are coming home Tuesday night. I will be the one that's kicking and screaming. This weather here is really easy on my body and being able to play golf is good for my psyche. I cannot tell a lie, I love the weather here.

Later.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks


Yesterday was the rant today a list of some of the things I am grateful for

I give thanks for:

the love of my children; how much I love them and the love I get from them.

the love of my wife; how much I love her and the love she returns to me.

all the people I can call friend.

the good fortune that has smiled upon me and my family.

my extended family; we have crazies and I love them anyway.

the overall health of all those in my life.

being born an American. I love this country and I think I understand how special this place is.

those that have given of themselves to preserve this country.

the talents that have been bestowed upon me.

the great turkey dinner I had today and the great turkey sandwiches I will surely eat tomorrow.

realizing my love for music. It is icing on the cake for me.

having the fortitude (read lack of brains!) that pushed me to start my own business 20 years ago. We have run our business how we wanted to run it and have developed a reputation in our business second to none.

my wonderful staff. They are my other family and I love them for all that they have done for me.

being blessed with a sense of humor and being an optimist most of the time.

I will end this as I did last year by imploring my readers to resolve to do something charitable on a regular basis. It is our responsibility to help those who need help. Not for what you expect to receive in return but because it's the right thing to do.
To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Anti-Thanksgiving

This is my second annual Anti-Thanksgiving post. My daughter A came up with this idea and I like it.

I am not thankful for:

war - The USA has been involved in too many of these damn things. I know it's considered naive to think that wars will just disappear but if we don't work toward ending them for all time, it will never happen. As John Lennon said "imagine all the people living life in peace". I like to imagine that. Instead of spending all that military money we could spend it on taking care of each other...

my digestive system - plain and simple it's broken and those that are supposed to know how to fix these things are clueless.

United Airlines - once good, my hometown airline has now crossed over into a company that has lost sight of what it is they do. From what I see now they mistreat their passengers and don't care if they do. My opinion; but I have been mistreated just about every time recently. I used to fly them a lot; United you had me and you lost me.

that people in this world are still starving - Can't we figure this out?

the stranglehold that the oil business has on the world - the guys below should be helping with this; not helping themselves. We need to kick this habit and we had better accept the challenge and get it done. I have faith in the American people; it's our politicians that are holding us back.

politicians - Do something for us; not for yourself, the special interests that own you or for your damn party. Make this country better or get the hell out. Please!

people that aren't generous with the less fortunate - Find a local reputable food bank and feed some of your neighbors. There but for the grace of god...

greedy people - see above...money is a better slave than master

terrorists - having no remorse for killing people is brutal. It's uncivilized.

mean people - relax, be nice, there's no need to be nasty

the punks that stole my guitars - I can't believe that I have never heard a peep from the local police department. They caught one of the suspected kids wearing my watch for god sakes. I have not heard from them since May.

the celebrity culture - Who really gives a damn about the personal life of Brittany, JLo, Brad, Angela, and so on and so on? Leave them alone, they're human. Would you want all your personal foibles, real and fabricated, broadcast to the world? I think not. Take all the energy given to the pursuit of this crap and turn it for something useful. Just don't get rid of the ridiculous rags that you buy in the checkout line at the grocery store. Those are comic books anyway. OK so this rant is a little mixed up.

Heather Mills - go away, leave him alone. I don't care about you one iota. You married a legend and you cannot undo any part of that. It's bigger than you and, in fact, it's bigger than him.

religious zealots - religion is like silk underwear. If you are wearing it and are comfortable, good for you. If you wear it on your sleeve, it's not going to look very good and I really don't care to see it. I'll choose my undies (or not); you choose yours.

That was kind of fun...tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I am looking forward to sharing those things I am thankful for.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Location 4

We made it down to Florida. Happy to be in the warmth. When we left Chicago this morning it was cool and dreary; arrived in Florida to sunshine and 80+ degrees. I like it.

Unfortunately, the pool is not working right. The heat pump is not pumping heat so the water is a chilly 73 degrees. That will not do it. Hopefully I can get the service people out here tomorrow so that we can use the pool this weekend.

My body clock is our of kilter. From Vegas to here in the matter of a couple of days is tough. I feel incredibly tired. Getting this post in is a major effort. Hence, the drivel...

I did write down every tune that came up on my iPod while listening on the flight but I'm too tired to list them. I will do that; just not now. I need to lay my head down and slip through sleep's dark and silent gate. Soon. Very Soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Can't Trust That Day

Five questions for a Monday


1. Are there any songs that you dread hearing because it will get stuck in your head and you can't shake it?


2. Can you share a favorite Christmas memory or two?


3. This is a quote attributed to Albert Einstein. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." This is a quote from the show Northern exposure
"Sometimes the mind, for reasons we don't necessarily understand, just decides to go to the store for a quart of milk." Which one can you relate to? Both?

4. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?

5. Do you understand the fascination that some people have with horror movies?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Homeward Bound

Today is our travel day. I am going to lose access to the internet sometime around noon and we don't get home until around midnight, so this post is coming to you pre-caffeine.

I am tired of Vegas and ready to be home. It's loud here and it's dry here.

The people watching has been enjoyable as usual. The way some of these people dress is remarkable so I will remark about it. There are a lot of women here that haven't mastered the knack of keeping their breasts inside their clothing. Some women can't seem to find dresses that actually cover their asses. One woman had less material in her clothing than on her purse. Some of it looks ok but mostly it looks cheap to me. With the men here the wackiness usually shows up in their hair. I'm really sorry that I didn't keep my full head of hair long enough to go for the spikey, dirty, ponytail mohawk look.

Well, I have to pack and get ready to check out of here and then wait around until 5ish to get back to home sweet home.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Food Glorious Food

Last night was pretty much fun. First we had dinner at Il Mulino which I will give 4 stars. I'm taking a star away because it was a bit loud in there which makes conversation a little tough when you have a table for eight. I am not very tolerant of loud restaurants anymore. As loud as Vegas is it would have been nice if this place had better acoustics. Aside from that the food was delicious. When you sit down they give each diner a delicious little chunk of Parmesan cheese, some salami and a plate of marinated zucchini that was heavily laced with garlic. Very nice start. Michelle and I split a caprese salad with some prosciutto for our first course. I ordered a special of Dover Sole which was not quite as good as this dish at Nicks in Chicago but it was still very very good. Everyone enjoyed their entrees, Michelle had Veal Marsala and two of the folks at the table had veal parmesan which was uniquely prepared. The other entree that was to die for was lobster ravioli with a really nice light tomato sauce. I was glad I didn't overstuff myself. One other note on the restaurant...$$$$$$$.

After dinner we waddled over to the Mirage to see the 10:00 P.M. showing of Love. The show was great. Great music, great staging, great acrobatics and a lot of great dancing. I would like to put the sound system in the theater on my Christmas List. It's my favorite Cirque show because I love the soundtrack (duh!). I recommend it to all Beatle fans, rock fans and those that like to leave a show with a smile on their face.

Today is Michelle's birthday so we watched her beloved Michigan Wolverines play some really ugly football. She spent the balance of the afternoon at the Spa being pampered...in fact, she went at 2:00 P.M. and hasn't returned as of 5:30. I watched some more football and gambled a bit and had some success I might add. Winning money is as fun as it is rare here in Loon Town.

We are planning to have another nice dinner for M's birthday if she ever returns. Bye for now!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 2 in Loon Town


Day two in the war zone they call Las Vegas wages on. I started the morning with a back spasm that almost put me on my knees. I'll chalk it up to a strange bed in a strange place. It's still sore so it was one hell of a spasm. Aging gracefully? I think not.

Not much luck with the gambling today so far, which I have come to expect. I rarely talk to people that win here. Looking around the casinos don't seem to be lacking funds. My advice is don't gamble with money you ever hope to see again. If you get to keep it for a little while you are ahead of the game.

I sat at a blackjack table today and a nicely dressed Asian gentleman sat down and began betting the table maximum $5000. He wagered $15,000 on one hand and the dealer made a 5 card 21 to beat him. He was at the table for about 25 minutes and lost at least $40,000. I played there for and hour and a half and broke even. All my bets combined are not close to $5,000. Some people have more money than they know what to do with.

My new blackberry has a bad habit of calling people when I sit down and have in on my belt. I am going to try the Keyboard Lock so I don't wake up my speed dial folks by mistake.

Gotta get ready for dinner. Going out to a nice Italian restaurant tonight and then going to the 10:00P.M. performance of Love. I am so looking forward to a night of high quality Beatles music. It will be a nice respite from this loony bin.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Lost Wages

We made it to Vegas without a hitch. Airplane on time, hotel reservations actually reserved...

This is kind of a transition day...two hour time change and the traveling will render me useless in an hour or so. That's about the time we have to be at dinner with our clients. They are old friends so there is not a lot of pressure but it will be interesting.

The weather is nice here and the casinos are awaiting my arrival or should I say the arrival of my hard earned money. Unfortunately for the casinos, I will not leave them much. Looking forward to seeing Love tomorrow and watching some football games here on Saturday.

Talk to you later from the great State of Nevada.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blog on the Run...Blog on the Run


One of my regular visitors gave me my first blog award. It's the "Be the Blog" award that is now located over there on the right. The award is given to "those bloggers that are showing time and time again that they are true to themselves and that they ARE their blog". Thanks, Barb. It's always fun to win something and sometimes I feel like a blog.

You know when I started this NaBloPoMo thing I forgot to check my travel schedule. I will be posting blogs from four different states over the course of this month. I have already been to DC. I am leaving for Las Vegas tomorrow, heading for Florida next Tuesday and then making a trip out to San Francisco at the end of the month. Since I got my "crackberry", I stopped traveling with my laptop. Well, my laptop and I are back on the road together. Five states in a month! Thank God for high speed Internet everywhere.

So it goes...tomorrow I will be posting from sin city. The local sport in Vegas is people watching because I don't think there is a larger collection of strange varieties of humans to be found anywhere else in the US. Oh sure, you'll see some alien like creatures just about everywhere you go but in Vegas the sheer number of rare species are staggering. It might just be the only thing besides gaming lessons that's free in Las Vegas. I swear there are hundreds of hotel rooms in the town that do not have mirrors because "people you can't really want to intentionally look like that in public, do ya?" As James Taylor so aptly put it "Is that the way you look?".

Talk to you tomorrow from Las Vegas...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Anybody seen my inspiration?

I don't know where my inspiration went tonight but I got nothin'. I am not doing a good job of making notes on the various blog ideas I come up with during the day. Now I am tired and cannot come up with a thing...

I played golf today. It was unseasonably warm here and I wanted to test out my surgically repaired hand. The test was successful. The repaired finger is actually very good; the sutures are still a little sore. I was concerned that the hand would not hold up and my concern was all for naught. Now if I could just get these stitches out...

Heading to Las Vegas Thursday for a little fun in the name of business entertainment. One of our best clients and best friends in the business loves Vegas (he's from Philly!), so we'll meet him there and do the Vegas thing. I won't lose a lot of money because I never really bet a lot of money. We'll have some fun going to see the show "Love" at the Mirage, which I have seen once, and am looking forward to again. A night of Beatles music in Vegas is settling. The place is whacko...A couple of days in Vegas is enough for us...back home Sunday.

Can't wait to go down to Florida for Thanksgiving for the weather. I wish all my kids could be there with us but some things are hard to work out these days. Hopefully, we can get together and eat another turkey sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more

Monday, November 12, 2007

What do the Boomtown Rats know anyway?


Five questions for a Monday
1. Do you have an iPod (or other mp3 player)? If yes, how many songs do you have and how would you describe the music in there?


2. What TV show from your childhood do you remember and why?


3. What is your best quality? worst?


4. The Beatles or the Stones?


5. Are you looking forward to anything that you have planned for this week? month?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

We Must Never Forget


This is not about agreeing with war. This is about honoring those that have given of themselves to serve our country. One of those that gave was my Dad. While he was lucky to come back from the Korean war alive, he really didn't survive it. It haunted him his entire life. I'm felt and saw his pain first hand. No, it's not about war; it's about humanity and compassion for the veterans and their loved ones.

Thanks to all that have served and those that serve for us now. We have much to be thankful for.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

That's what we need


Last night I said I would provide some more details on the talk I sat in with General Colin Powell. Okay here are some details...



- He comes across as brilliant

- He grew up in Harlem and rose to the Office of Secretary of State of the United States of America. Great American success story. Don't tell me it can't be done.

- He was quite funny at times

- He tried to talk G.W. Bush into not going to war with Iraq. His words were "You break it. You own it. We broke it and expected it to just come together. No way this would work. I'm convinced that the whole Iraq thing left a really bad taste in his mouth and he was happy to depart the Bush administration.

- He recounted his initial meeting with Gorbachov when President Reagan asked him to go to Moscow for the first time. This was the beginning of the end of the cold war and not only was it interesting, he made it funny. I think the humor would be lost if I tried to write it out, so I will spare you the pain.

- He believes that while America has it's challenges, we are still in a good place. He did say that some of our worldly relationships need some TLC...which I believe was a little shot at GWB and his gang of neocons.

- He believes that partisan politics is a good thing when it works. He said he knows the American public is sick of the system right now because it's not working. The art of compromise has been lost. He said only the voters can get this changed. Seems like a tall order to me.

- His optimism is contagious. That's one of the virtues that contribute to his leadership skills.

- Someone asked him if he would ever run for president. He politely said he has no hunger for politics. I took it to mean that he is a man of integrity and does not like the compromises that must be made to get your butt elected. He's too good a man to run. That's one of the problems with the office of President. If you are smart enough to do the job, you're smart enough to know that you don't want the damn job.

I told you he was brilliant.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Technicality!!

Traveled back home from DC tonight. I feel as if I walked home. I have already been asleep once and as I was giving in to calling it a night I remembered. I DIDN'T POST TODAY. Since that is not acceptable and this cheesy technicality of a post will do...I am getting the post in. That was so close. I got a chance to sit through a talk by Colin Powell today...I will provide details tomorrow. He was quite entertaining and fascinating.

I did it. I'm in. I'm half asleep and I am going to find the other half. Goodnight all.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This Hotel is a Dump

Had a full day of convention duty. Surrounded by insurance geeks. My peeps...wow that's a sobering thought. Good day of business capped off with a fine meal at a restaurant in DC by the name of Palette. Excellent food. We saw Bob Woodward dining in the restaurant. The biz was all good...the rest of it....not so much.

This mornings room service saga has salted away dubbing this hotel, the Marriott at Wardman Park, the worst I have ever stayed at. We used the little door hanger breakfast menu to be safe or so we thought. We had a meeting at 8:00 so we indicated that we wanted breakfast delivered between 7 and 7:15. We called them at 7:20 and they said it would be right up. We're talking cold cereal here. It arrived at 7:50. We had to leave it and go to our meeting. Hungry. Agitated. As we were waiting in the lobby to meet our 8 o'clock we saw a Marriott Sales Mgr. I told her that this was the worst hotel I had ever stayed at and explained. I think she got the point and comped the breakfast. Weird side note...when we returned in the late afternoon our room service cart was in the hall and it was obvious the maid had drunk the oj, ate a muffin and pinched the cereal boxes. I'm figurin' she gets these uneaten breakfasts a lot at this dump. I'm pleased that at least someone enjoyed our breakfast.

Apparently one of the towers in the hotel had no hot water this morning. There seemed to be a lot of edgy people this morning. I think a nice cold shower has a way of doing that to your outlook on the day. Another gentleman told me he arranged a breakfast meeting in his suite this morning...it took over 2 hours to get the food. They offered to comp his breakfast; at which point he indicated they were going to comp all 6. Nice work...this hotel is not capable of handling guests. A minor problem, don't you think.

I can't wait to get home.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Now this is a Library!


The business portion of the convention has begun. This morning we did have some free time so we took in a few more sights. That is, after we decided to give up on our room service breakfast. It never arrived; after many calls and waiting patiently for over an hour and a half; no breakfast. I will have to let the hotel know that they are confused about room service. One thing I can help them with...hint...it's supposed to actually come to your room. What a frustrating waste of time.

One of the places we visited was the Library of Congress. It is the mother of all libraries. The picture is of the main reading room. Wow. Our government sure got fancy with our tax dollars. We did get to see a "perfect" version of the Gutenberg Bible. One of the 4 that exist. The library receives 22,000 submissions, books and other items seeking a copyright, every day. They keep about 10,000 per day. Holy moley...that's a lot of mail. It explains why they have their own zip code. Another interesting tidbit; books published in English only account for 30% of the books in the library. Smallest book, one twenty fifth of an inch...it simply says Old King Cole was a Merry Old Soul...they had to read it with a microscope. Largest book, weighs 135 pounds, 5 feet by 7 feet and its a pictorial study of Bhutan. I wonder what the paperback version would weigh?

Here are some other amazing facts about the Library of Congress for the year 2006. I didn't have any idea about the magnitude of this institution. Wow.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where Have All the Flowers Gone


It's that time of year...the dreaded annual convention. This time we're in Washington D.C holed up in the usual small overpriced convention hotel room. The geek fest really doesn't start until tomorrow so I still have time before my brain starts to melt. You gotta do what you gotta do.

M & I took in some of the basic D.C. sites by visiting the Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Roosevelt Memorials followed by the Viet Nam, World War II and Korean War Memorials. The war memorials were sobering. We Americans have had too many wars in our short history. Millions have fought and died; the survivors forever scarred due to the horrors of war. When will we ever learn? My dad was forever scarred by his experiences in the Korean War. Seeing the memorial today was somewhat of a moving experience. The pictures are from the Korean Memorial. The Viet Nam memorial immediately drove me to reverent silence. The World War II memorial was mind blowing to think that 400,000 Americans perished in that war and that's only a fraction of the people that died in that war!

I know "Freedom isn't free" but as a species we somehow need to remember that "War is Hell". We need to teach all the people of the world, from the moment they come into this world that we hate war. I hate the idea of war.

When will we ever learn?

Monday, November 05, 2007

This could get gory

I really want to believe that global warming is a huge problem. I just wish that Mr. I invented the Internet wasn't the main spokesperson. Al doesn't just want to be our cyberspace hero, he is now going to save the earth. I cannot stand his act. He's just another mind numbing politician looking for face time. That's my opinion and I am entitled to that.

I don't know if all the hoopla about global warming is fitting or not. It has a kind of "the sky is falling" feel to it. Combine that with Mr. G and well, I'm looking for other opinions. However, whether its a true catastrophe or not and whether one believes all the stuff that's flying about I can't help but feel that trying our best to take care of the orbiting rock we call home is a pretty good idea.

Everyone in this country should be using CFL's instead of regular light bulbs. Everywhere we went in Italy, CFL's were in use. Damn smart those Italians (need proof? one word....gelato). CFL's are more expensive to purchase but last a lot longer than regular bulbs and they use less energy. I read somewhere that a CFL can save over $30 in energy costs over its lifetime. We have replaced all of our regular bulbs and feel pretty good about it. I also try to keep lights off as much as possible. It's not much but it's something....If everyone did a little something it would add up to a big something.

Next on our "green" agenda is looking for a more efficient car or hybrid to cut back on our fuel consumption. We found an electric car we love but holy crap is it expensive. Hopefully, Tesla will use what they learn on this project to create more affordable electric vehicles.

We will try to be vigilant in "going green". As long as I don't have to say it's Al's idea, I think I can handle it.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Are you ready for some football and more football and more football....


I spent my surgical recovery weekend watching football which is somewhat normal for me. Since my recreational options were limited I am sure I vegged a bit more than usual.


I played football for 9 years and football was something my father really loved. It was something I got to share with my dad. He knew the game better than anyone I knew. On weekends like this when football is on from noon to bedtime, I've often thought about how much my dad would have loved having game after game to choose from. I will never stop wishing he was here to enjoy it with me. I will always enjoy watching football as a small reminder and connection to him.


Last nights dinner went well. I did have a difficult time trying to keep my bandage out of the olive oil when I was trying to dip my bread. I ended up ordering soup (cauliflower, cumin and pear) as an appetizer and handled the spoon without incident. It may sound like a weird combination of ingredients for soup but it was delicious. For a main course, I opted for lamb which this particular restaurant really prepares well. It did take me a little longer than usual to eat the lamb but it was worth the labored knife work. The company at dinner was excellent.


Therapy starts tomorrow and the pain in my hand is easing up so I am looking forward to even less discomfort when I wake up tomorrow. Maybe a clear head will make writing these posts a little easier as well.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fog Dog



Hand is still quite sore but it does seem to be improving. The painkillers are making it very difficult for me to be creative. I'm in just a bit of a fog.

We have a "business" dinner tonight which should be interesting. I hope I don't start drooling or play with my nostrils. As you can see my hand is bandaged pretty well so I'm not sure I can use a knife either. Maybe I'll just order soup...I may have to just eat with my good hand. Probably not good form....

I will try to do a post after dinner and let you know how I did.

Friday, November 02, 2007

The Vicodin Report


I had the finger surgery this morning and the procedure went well. The local is wearing off so the pain is mounting. Hello Vicodin! Yikes; one handed keyboard work and less than half a brain.

I watched a lot of the Live Aid DVD this afternoon, mostly because being one handed limits my recreational options. Man, there were some great performances at that event.

Observations....



Bono was sporting quite the mullet.


Its amazing how different (read old) most of the performers look today given the 22 years of aging. The jump from 20 to 42 aint to bad. From 42 to 64....whoa!

The 80's clothing and hair styles were interesting to say the least. Actually it was laughable. The styles didn't age well either.

The Who were phenomenal


I loved seeing Dire Straits


It was nice to catch a glimpse of Queen.


George Michael. No. Not then. Not ever.


The idea of using music to help feed the world is really cool. We shouldn't forget that there is a lot of suffering out there. Give. It is estimated that this cause raised about 150 million pounds.


Props to Bob Geldof and Midge Ure.
Happy Birthday KT!
To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.



Thursday, November 01, 2007

NoBloPoMoFo

This is the first official post of a solid month of posting everyday. Right off the bat tomorrow is going to be interesting. I am having some minor surgery on my hand (left ring finger to be exact) at 7:30 A.M. tomorrow. For future reference if somebody other than you is having surgery, it's minor. Unfortunately, it me this time. I'm looking forward to getting it over because my hand is semi-useless and the pain is not any fun.

I'm sure that tomorrow my keyboard skills are going to be further limited and the pain meds might alter my mind a bit. So, let me say right now that i am not responsible for anything I publish tomorrow.

I am planning on some regular pieces this month but you'll have to tune in to catch them.

To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Van Halen Post #1





Two photos of David Lee Roth....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Concertmania


Copy this list; leave in the bands/artists you've seen perform live; delete the ones you haven't, and add new ones that you have seen until you reach 25. An asterisk means the previous person had it on their list. Two asterisks means the last two people who did this before you had that band on their list. I ripped this from my daughter A and she found this at frogblog.


Dave Matthews Band*
REM*
Pearl Jam*
Barbra Streisand*
Paul McCartney*
Eric Clapton*
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young*
Roger Waters*
The Police*
Led Zeppelin
The Who
The Rolling Stones
The Eagles
Badfinger
Stevie Wonder
Temptations
John Mayer
Jethro Tull
Chicago
Billy Joel
Elton John
James Taylor
Buddy Guy
B.B. King
Ben Folds

These are others that I've seen that did not make this list...

REO Speedwagon
Styx
Allman Brothers
Moe
Seals & Crofts
Stephen Stills and Manassas
Robert Cray
Firefall
Jackson Browne
Koko Taylor
Steve Winwood
Joe Walsh
Santana
ZZ Top
John McLaughlin
Jeff Beck
J.J. Cale
Jonny Lang
Allison Krauss & Union Station
Johnny Winters
Los Lobos
Beach Boys
Doobie Brothers
Tony Bennett
Kool & the Gang
The Drifters
The Four Tops
Elvis Costello
Loggins & Messina
Kenny Loggins
Sheryl Crow
Billy Preston
The O'Jays
Rev. Al Green
Stevie Vai
Vince Gill
Hubert Sumlin
Sonny Landreth
The Derek Trucks Band
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Bon Jovi
Albert Lee
Willie Nelson
Robbie Robertson
Pat Metheny
Eric Johnson
Genesis

Soon to be added: Bruce Springsteen and Van Halen

I you have any questions about any of these shows I would be happy to share. It took some courage for me to admit to some of these...

To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Monday, October 01, 2007

All in all its just another...


Have you read about Apple "bricking" (making them useless) iPhones with a firmware update? Apple has said there is nothing they can do You will need to buy a new iPhone. Would I be upset about that!!! If you added any kind of third part application, BRICK! If you tried to free your phone so that you wouldn't have to pay uncompetitive phone rates, BRICK! I have less of a problem with the latter but this type of ploy solidifies my position on the iBrick. "Please turn your mind off sir, Mr. Jobs will tell you what you need." Style over substance...a truly sad American legacy. NFW...give me substance AND style and you have me; instantly. Give me just style and you insult my intelligence. I think the American auto industry has been paying for this lesson for a long long time. Apple too is paying...
To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I can't Imagine



I wonder what John Lennon would say or sing about the world today? What would be his spin on terrorism? Just wondering....
To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Monday, September 24, 2007

In a New York Minute

I ended up doing something on Sunday that I never anticipated. I went to a funeral service up in Wisconsin for a fraternity brother that was killed in a tragic motor vehicle accident. The accident occurred at 7:00 A.M. and Don was apparently on his way to work. Eyewitnesses said he appeared to be reaching for something on the floor or seat and swerved into an oncoming semi; small mistake with a tragic outcome. Cell phone would be a good guess. I've done it myself and on the way up to the service I saw a woman in a mini van do the same thing right in front of me. Fortunately for me and the driver yesterday there wasn't any oncoming traffic when we went into the other lane.

I hadn't seen Don for about 4 years. My lasting memories include how smart I thought Don was; how funny he was and how, after drinking as much alcohol in college than I will probably drink in a lifetime, once out of college he never touched another drop. That takes fortitude. I loved the guy and I am sorry I hadn't seen him more recently. He was, by all accounts, a dedicated family man; a good man, a good friend, a good co-worker. The service was packed with people that Don had touched at some point in his life including his lovely family. His is a legacy of showing love and being loved. He definitely died too young at age 55 but he had it down.

The following is an excerpt from Don Henley's "New York Minute"

In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute
Things can get pretty strange
In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute

Lying here in the darkness
I hear the sirens wail
Somebody going to emergency
Somebody's going to jail
If you find somebody to love in this world
You better hang on tooth and nail
The wolf is always at the door

In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute
Things can get a little strange
In a New York Minute
Everything can change
In a New York Minute

And in these days
When darkness falls early
And people rush home
To the ones they love
You better take a fool's advice
And take care of your own
One day they're here;
Next day they're gone


I know this to be true...that is the way it is. Tell the ones you love that you love them at every opportunity. Appreciate the time you have with them...it's borrowed. Every angry moment is poorly spent. I know I have written this before but these life changing events have a way of hammering these points home.

To all my friends and loved ones, I love you more.

Thanks Don.




Friday, September 21, 2007

Physician, Heal Thyself

I have a pediatrician friend (Dr. JS) that is struggling. First of all, the responsibility that comes with being a pediatrician is difficult for me to imagine. By all accounts, he is a dedicated, fabulous doctor. I know for a fact that he's brilliant. Yet, despite that, he can't seem to help himself from his own personal hell.

I won't go into all details as to why I say he is struggling but suffice it to say I am extremely worried that he will just have the "grabber" and we'll lose him. In the meantime, he is so miserable that those that call him friend find it easier to just stay clear of him. This, of course, leads him to lament his lack of friends. Note to JS...you are driving them away.

He hates his job and has for quite a while. The medical profession is not as lucrative as it once was. Still, I know he earns more money than most Americans ever dream of making. He hates his life. He works way too hard. He takes pride in telling me that he sees more patients than anyone in the sizable clinic group that he is part of. If I'm not mistaken this is a choice he has made. He points to that fact that he needs the money, which is bullshit. All I ever get from him is "negative, negative, negative", "poor me, poor me, poor me". It's hard to take. To quote a line from Jackson Browne "It's whatever it is you see that life will become". He has created his own personal hell and unfortunately his family and friends have to endure the heat to have contact with him. Ahhh...no thanks. Life is too damn short. Note to JS...think about that Jackson Browne line. The mind is a powerful thing....

My belief that there are basically two ways to look at your life and that only one of these ways is healthy.

1. Be grateful and appreciative for that which you have. (Mostly positive)
2. Always be disappointed because of things that you don't have. (Never positive)

JS is a #2. We were playing golf a while back at one of the most beautiful courses in the US and while we were playing he was lamenting the fact that he doesn't get to play much golf. Huh? Could you at least enjoy the golf you ARE playing and bitch after we're done. That is whacked but shows that he is unable to enjoy anything. Ugly.

I think that I am a #1 all the way. When I didn't have $10 to my name, I can't remember feeling any different than when I had a bank full of money. I guess I choose to get to content no matter what. I am grateful that my makeup allows me to make that choice. I realize it's not that easy for many people, my friend Dr. JS included. Broke and happy ain't that bad. Rich and unhappy has to suck as much as poor and unhappy. Money and things just don't get it done. If you think they do, you need a new road map.

If you think you are a #2, figure out a way to turn it around. Perspective can be a wonderful thing.

I realize this is a very complicated situation but I needed to vent a little. I have no tolerance for self defeating behavior. At the same time, I love my friend and his suffering wife and would love for him to begin to enjoy his family and the rest of his blessings. I have purchased a couple of self help books that I am going to give him for his birthday. I don't care if he gets angry with me or sloughs off my attempt to wake him up. I feel I need to do something. Note to JS...you have many that love you. If you don't turn things around you will continue to be lost to them.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I got the music in me

I have been thinking about this idea for some time but it wasn't until Layla, one of my favorite reads, did a post on song lyrics that I kicked it in gear. Thanks Barb.

Music is a major part of my being and I am proud of that. One of the rewards has been music that has touched me or made me think. The first lyrics I am going to bring in here contains the line that I always write on wedding cards and really sums up what any kind of love should be about. I'm not going to identify the name of the song in this post, the artist or the line I mentioned . I'll leave that for you experts out there. No googling!! Either you know it or you don't. If you must google, don't make a guess until we have an honest answer.

I love this...and I have many more

Boy of mine
As your fortune comes to carry you down the line
And you watch as the changes unfold
And you sort among the stories you've been told
If some pieces of the picture are hard to find
And the answers to your questions are hard to hold

Take good care of your mother
When you're making up your mind
Should one thing or another take you from behind
Though the world may make you hard and wild
And determine how your life is styled
When you've come to feel that you're the only child
Take good care of your brother

Let the disappointments pass
Let the laughter fill your glass
Let your illusions last until they shatter
Whatever you might hope to find
Among the thoughts that crowd your mind
There won't be many that ever really matter

But take good care of your mother
And remember to be kind
When the pain of another will serve you to remind
That there are those who feel themselves exiled
On whom the fortune never smiled
And upon whose life the heartache has been piled
They're just looking for another
Lonely child

And when you've found another soul
Who sees into your own
Take good care of each other


Monday, September 10, 2007

WHAT????


The last concert we attended was an event I was really looking forward to. I had never seen the Allman Brothers and now I finally had tickets to see them at the Rosemont Theater. Ooooooo...should be good in a smaller theater style venue. The current band features a couple of great guitar players in Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks so this promised to be especially tasty.

Well, I have now seen the Allman Brothers but I'm not sure I still have ever heard them play. The sound was horrid. We were 5 rows away so maybe we were too close. I walked all around the venue. Nope. The sound sucked throughout. Not even my special concert ear protection helped at all. I could see the guys playing but could only catch faint pieces of the audio. A loud muddy mess. We tried to gut it out but sitting in the mind numbing din became too much. We walked out. We were not alone. We saw many diappointed patrons heading to the doors early.

I have been fortunate to see many concerts. Prior to this I had never left one early (although I would have left Liza Minelli had it not been a business function). I should have left the only Stevie Wonder concert I ever went to for the same reason I left this one. We could not even make out a single one of Stevie's songs.

Oh well...great musicians, lousy technicians...who knew?

What concert or show surprised you by being awful? Which was much better than you thought?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Irony of Stolen Police Tickets


In one of my previous posts I made mention of seeing The Police at Wrigley Field. I would have to say it was the best concert "surprise" of the summer. I don't know what I expected but it exceeded my expectations and it was cool sitting in the outfield but the events leading up to the concert proved to be more interesting than I had hoped.

I had purchased some extra tickets for my kids and my one niece. The day before show I went to the place where I put the tickets for my niece and they were gone. It was immediately obvious to me that they were stolen in the great guitar heist. Bastards! Now what? Well, I found the online receipt for the tickets and my wife decided to call, Live Nation, the promoter. Let me say this, the customer support at Live Nation was awesome. They could see that I had purchased the tickets and offered to void the originals and leave valid tickets at will call. Excellent!!

My wife thought that we should call the local police (the man, not a local knock off band) and let them know about the tickets because maybe they would be interested to meet the folks that showed up with the now invalid tickets. Sounded logical to me...Once again, we were totally underwhelmed with how indifferent they reacted. They could not have cared less. WTF. Are these the same public servants that get nuts over whether or not your license plate sticker has expired? Am I wrong to be disappointed as to how my local law enforcement dollars are being spent?

My only wish at that point is that the thief and his girlfriend showed up at the show only to be turned away. I will probably never know if he sold them or tried to use them but somebody got turned away. Small pleasure for me.

After all of that, my wife and I, the kids and my niece all enjoyed the show. Big pleasure for all of us.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rededication

I have been flogging myself for not writing...so I am going to rededicate myself to my amateur journalism activity. I really do enjoy it. Running around a lot this summer made for a convenient excuse but that's all it was, an excuse. I am going to plug my blog into my life for a while and see what kinds of drivel I can come up with for all you welcome visitors.

It's raining like mad here lately. Some rain is tolerable...lots of rain is not. The flowers and the grass look as if they might disagree with me on that.

Somebody finally got ahold of my credit card numbers and started with all kinds of random charges. Really wierd. I caught it early. Card is done...shredder time. I dislike crooks.

Never got the guitars back...never heard from the local police. The last time I called them, the officer was perturbed that I called. Hey Kojak...you work for me. Be polite. Is that too much to ask? I guess so...

Teaser warning!!!

Tomorrows story...the case of the missing "Police" concert tickets...

Now I must get back to the self flagellation...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A welcome overdose of guitars


Yesterday we went to the Crossroads Guitar Festival which was held near Chicago.

What a long, wonderful day. Here's a local review and another and yet one more.

The gates opened at 9:00 A.M.; the first act went on at noon and the last song ended at 11:00 P.M. The breaks between artists were minimized by a turntable type stage. While the players were playing out front the roadies were roading out back. Next act...flip the switch...lets go. I would say we didn't wait more than 5 - 10 minutes for any of the changes. Here's a quick report card on the day...

Venue - B

I'd never been to a concert at this new soccer stadium before. It's new. The parking was good, the Bridgeview police handled the traffic in and out fairly well which is always a plus. Plenty of concession stands. However, someone badly miscalulated how much water and food would get consumed by all day rockers. They did eventually get some water in there but it was scarce for a while. True to form, the venue did not run out of $6 beers and I would bet there were 4 beers swilled down for every bottle of $4 water. I drank one beer because there was no water and got an immediate headache. I don't really drink at concerts as my beer intake here indicates.

The food was above average. They added some food stands in the guitar village. Among other vendors, a famous Chicago Rib Joint (Robinsons) was there and it was killer good. Food stands were eaten out of house and home at around 6:00 P.M. They once again recovered by bringing in some additional food a little later. Overall, a nice recovery.

I loved the seats we had. At the first Crossroads show in Dallas, the seats are bleachers...not good for the back. This was a modern plastic molded seat with a back! Deluxe.

The staff in the concessions, guest services and security all should be commended. Those concessionaires worked their butts off.

Sound - C

Overall very disappointing. I walked around the venue to check the sound at different locations and there was not a great improvement anywhere. Loud. Yes. Ear protection at times proved very comfortable. I woulda thought with this kind of lineup that the production techs might have done better. Outdoor venues are tough so maybe cutting them a little slack is in order.



Artists - A++ and a gold star

Wow. Virtuosos in all shapes, sizes, genders, races, ages, genres...wow. Bill Murray was really good as the emcee. Pretty good shtick.

Blew me away - Jeff Beck with his 16 year old daughter playing bass. No, not just playing the bass, shredding it like dear old dad does on his Strat. Beck's closing number was a take on the Beatles "A Day in the Life" and I wanted him to play it again immediately. I can't wait to get the DVD so I can see and hear that again.

Derek Trucks and his lovely wife Susan Tedeschi. Derek is virtuoso and Susan is right there. They need to start breeding virtuoso children now!

B.B. King is 81 years old. I have had the pleasure of enjoying BB a number of times. He did great for a guy his age and the crowd had a love fest with this legend. I ate it up knowing that B.B. is getting up there in age and we are lucky to have him at this point.

Albert Lee is just plain fast on those frets. Whoa! The whole "country" set with Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Allison Krauss and Union Stations Jerry Douglas was excellent. EC jumped in on the finale with "Tulsa Time".

Steve Winwood was a treat. I have seen EC many times and the tunes that they did together for the show were highlight material for me. I never knew Winwood could handle a guitar so well. His work on "Dear Mr. Fantasy" glued me to my seat (with the back!). EC was EC and that's always a treat.

Others of note...Robert Randolph...I've seen him do better. The sound sucked for his set. Johnny Winter looks frail. He rocked it though. Sonny Landreth...knows his way around the neck. John Mayer...the real deal...the kid can play.

If you like guitar players, playing or music at all...wait for the DVD and snap it up. If you haven't seen the original Crossroads DVD get that one as well. You won't be sorry. Put on your favorite band or concert t shirt, pretend you paid $4 for a bottle of water and have a good time.

The Great T Shirt Game
My wife, M, and I decided to make a list of all the "band" T shirts we saw throughout the day. Holy crap! Concert goers love dem T's. The list is below. Unbelievable amount of T's

AC/DC
Aerosmith
Alabama
Alice Cooper
Allman Brothers
B.B. King
Beatles
Black Crows
Black Sabbath
Blues Brothers
Bob Dylan
Bob Marley
Buddy Guy
Counting Crows
Cream
CSNY
Dave Mathews Band
Dicky Betts
Doors
Doyle Bramhall
Eric Clapton
FogHat
Frank Sinatra
Frank Zappa
Godsmack
Gov't Mule
Grateful Dead
Green Day
Guns N' Roses
Hound Dog Taylor
James Gang
Jeff Beck
Jerry Garcia Band
Jimi Hendrix
Jimmy Buffett
John Lee Hooker
John Lennon
John Mayer
John Prine
Johnny Winters
Jonny Lang
Keith Richards
Kiss
Led Zeppelin
Les Claypool
Little Charlie and Night Cats
Los Lobos
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Madonna
MegaDeath
Metalica
Moby Grape
Motley Crue
Neil Young
Nirvana
Page & Plant
Paul McCartney
Pearl Jam
Phil Lesh
Phish
Pink Floyd
Prince
Robert Cray
Robert Johnson
Robert Plant
Roger Waters
Rolling Stones
Santana
Sonny Landreth
Steve Earle
Steve Miller
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Stevie Vai
Stone Temple Pilots
Stray Cats
Sublime
Supertramp
System of A Down
The Band
The Benders
The Blasters
The Clash
The Police
The Who
Tom Petty
Trailer Park Boys
Umphreys McGee
Van Halen
Willie Nelson
Z Z Top

90 of them and there had to be more.

Frank Sinatra?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

This made me smile

I saw this as a signature on an e-mail I received this morning.

Politicians & Diapers.
Both Need To Be Changed,
And For The Same Reason.

I couldn't agree more.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Taking a few minutes from my crazy schedule to check in...running in all directions and enjoying the trip...cool picture huh?

All is well here...no guitars, no kids in custody, oh well...I've moved on...loving my new guitar and scoping out others to rebuild the collection. It will be nice of my insurance carrier to help fund this project. I suppose it would help if I actually made a formal claim. I'll get to it.

I've been playing lots of golf. The weather here has been great. Golf is an excellent "meeting" device. I get the opportunity to be outdoors with family, friends or colleagues in a social situation and I have to admit I love chasing that stupid little ball around.

Seeing the Police at Wrigley Field was cool. The concert started out very slowly. I was thinking that it might not ever "move" me but it did after 3 or 4 tunes. My final review would have to include the word "excellent". This is one great rock trio. Sting's voice held up, Andy's guitar playing is unique and very cool and Copeland is one of the best around. I'm really glad I got to see them.


Doesn't matter....
Barry Bonds...shut up about him already. I don't care. It just doesn't matter.

This matters....
BP has gotten a permit from the state of Indiana to increase the amount of pollutants they can put into Lake Michigan. What? You have to be kidding me. Unless they change their mind and do not do it, I will never knowingly purchase one of their products again. (Note to Indiana - Did you ask your neighbors if you could pollute the lake we all share? WTF is wrong with you? Answer my second question first so I have an understanding of what kind of malfunction we're dealing with here.) Please sign the petition here to let these folks know that we value our natural resources.

I am sorry about the long absences between posts. I am resolving to be more diligent...Who knew that writing a blog would come with its own brand of guilt?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hello It's Me


No word on the missing guitars. The police said they will let me know when they get a break. Hell, they know who did it; they caught an accomplice; bust 'em and get my stuff back! At the speed this is not moving This would be a very long and boring mini series on Law and Order.

J's Summer Concert Series

Went to Northerly Island on the lakefront in Chicago and saw a Ben Folds and John Mayer concert. Nice outdoor venue...Excellent show. I know there are a lot of Mayer detractors out there but he was personable and he can play the guitar. The show was well produced and his band quite competent. I had a hard time not moving...always a good sign. Ben Folds was very entertaining as well. He's a pretty funny dude and the music was right on.

Going to see the Police at Wrigley Field on Thursday. It should be an interesting show. I've never been to a concert at Wrigley.

Next on the calendar...Crossroads Festival at Toyota Park on July 28th. Allman Brothers and Robert Randolph at the end of August...

Not a bad little run...unfortunately I will not be in town when Lollapalooza is in Chicago. My kids are lined up to go, so at least I will get first hand reviews anyway.

America

Happy Independence Day. I love the USA. My wish for all the people of the world is based on peace and founded on freedom. Special thanks go out to all those that have served or are now serving our country. Your sacrifices strengthen this land. Your "leaders"...that's another story.

The above thanks do not extend to the politicians of this country that are lining their pockets on the backs of their constituents. Nor do thanks go to politicians completely devoid of ethics and those that believe they are above the law. America is great despite your handiwork. As a citizen of this great country, I am embarrassed by the vast majority of our national representation. You should be too. Let's figure out how to get this back on track.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Random Acts of Journalism


- The best Fathers Day gift I received was just being with my children for more than a few minutes...although the salami gift was right in there.


- I am convinced I will always miss my father. Fathers day brings that home to me every year. Those of you out there that still have beloved parents or any of your love ones...I want you to know how lucky you are and hope that you don't squander your time with them. This is not intended as a personal plug but if it has that effect it's ok with me.


- I love summer in the Midwest but only as opposed to winter in the Midwest. I actually love summer all year long but if you are in the Midwest you have to leave to find summer for a good part of the year. I hope I continue to get the opportunity to leave.


- I am learning that the police department is not very communicative about the status of their investigation into my stolen guitars. They know who did it. Why can't they just get it done and let me know that my guitars are coming back to me? Arrest him already.


- Who is your favorite poetic songwriter? I can think of a bunch but there was a time when Jackson Browne wrote some beautiful poetry put to music. Neil Young? Bob Dylan? Ben Folds? James Taylor? Joni Mitchell? Bruce Springstein? Ted Nugent? (Just kidding on Ted)


That's all for now...just needed to check in

Monday, June 11, 2007

Something good


Life is full of surprises...some good...some not so good

Surprise!!!
Five of your guitars were stolen.
Surprise!!! The punks who stole the guitars were the ones you identified as prime suspects
Surprise!!! That microwaved chicken recipe was awesome.
Surprise!!! The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox are trying to "out stink" each other this season. It's neck and neck...
Surprise!!! The local police have still not recovered my guitars even though they apprehended one of the thieves.
Surprise!!! Oil companies are making record profits
Surprise!!! G.W. Bush is an oilman.
Surprise!!! Has anyone heard from my son? I know he calls people because I pay for his cell phone.
Surprise!!! I am really learning to love the game of golf.

Here is the coolest of my surprises today...I purchased a new guitar to replace one that was taken. It is a Fender "Eric Clapton" signature "Blackie". WOW!!! Do I love It! I didn't have this particular model and I find it to be near perfect. Great feel. Great sustain and it's beautifully made. So...being burglarized led me, albeit in a non preferred way, to something that I might have otherwise missed. Amazing.

Life is whacked. That's no surprise...

Monday, June 04, 2007

No News

I was hoping that I would hear something from the good guys this weekend. Nothing...

I put a call in to the detective this morning and he is out until Wednesday. I don't know that he would tell me anything anyway.

I still remain hopeful that my stuff will be returned...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thank you Tommy B


There is someone in custody. To my knowledge they have not located the guitars yet. The person that they arrested was not at the ill fated party but it is someone I identified as an accomplice based on information I gathered from some of the kids at the party. This person was known to the kids as someone that the prime suspect might call to help him with this kind of robbery. Why is he in custody?

The police went to question him on another matter and the kid took off. They caught him and noticed that he was wearing an unusual watch. I didn't know the watch was missing until the police asked me if I was missing a watch. I checked my most valuable watches and other jewelry and nothing was missing. I don't think they ever entered the rooms where this stuff is kept because the dogs were locked in that room. What I failed to think about is that I left a Tommy Bahama watch in the kitchen in a little chest that I use to put loose change and other miscellaneous things. The watch turns out to be distinctive because it has an inscription on the back. It was a gift at an industry golf outing. I described the watch to the police including the inscription and, bingo, the kid was wearing my watch. I have to go ID the watch tomorrow. This is an unbelievable twist...my "inscribed" watch on the wrist of someone that, to the best of my knowledge, was not ever in my kitchen. I know and the police know that this kid knows who took the stuff and hopefully they will get him to tell them who gave him the watch and where the rest of my stuff is located. I am 99% certain who that other person is and the good news is I think the police know it too.

I spoke to the mystery suspect myself a couple of days after the event. He categorically denied knowing anything about it. But, of all the kids I talked to, he was the only one that I caught in a lie. If you are indeed innocent of a serious crime why is lying necessary? If you are not innocent, lying comes easy.

I gave these kids every opportunity to bring back the stuff, no questions asked. Amnesty. Nope, these punks thought they were smart. Well, it looks as though they are not so smart; they are stupid beyond reason. Chances are good that they will now pay the price for their actions and I believe they begged for that to happen.

Stolen Xbox - $499
Stolen Guitars - $10,000+
Stolen Tommy Bahama Watch - $250
The police finding your stolen Tommy Bahama watch on some idiots wrist - Priceless

I think we got em!

I will provide details as they become available but it looks like the thieves are cornered. The only question now is whether they still have the guitars or not. My detective skills were good but not as good as a professional. The police are now involved and it looks as if they are going to be able to solve the crime.

C'mon law and order...

Friday, May 25, 2007

I have me



















I am becoming resigned to the fact that my guitars are gone for good. Man this has been a lot harder than I ever could have imagined.

I have replaced one of the guitars I thought I might have trouble finding. It's the one in the picture. Its the 50th Anniversary Fender Stratocaster. It's coming Monday and I am going to play the frets off it when it arrives.

For all you guitarists, keep all your paperwork for your babies together, take their picture and most of all, safeguard them.

To the jerk that stole my guitars...you are scum. You will always be scum. You took my stuff but I have integrity, pride and the respect of those who know me. You are trash. You are worthless. Civilization marches forward despite you. I lost stuff. Somewhere along the line you lost you. I win.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Be on the Lookout for Walking Guitars!

Well it's official. My guitars were not stolen. They apparently ran away from home. All these 19 and 20 year olds that always seem to know everything don't know a thing about what happened Friday night. Selective stupidity is kind of convenient.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We know who stole the guitars


I'm pretty sure we know who took them. Now we have to get our stuff back. The suspected kid is nothing but trouble. If we can't convince him to give them back without consequences we are going to have to do whatever it takes. We may have to contact the authorities and deal with the issues that come along with that. Or we may have to get more convincing with this idiot and hope that this kid can see the light before it's too late for him. If the authorities get their hands on him he's going away for a long long time.

Did a lot of talking to a lot of the kids that were at the house. It was an ugly scene. And the loss of our stuff was just what was needed to have it leave an indelible mark on us.

We are not a happy campers. We obviously suck at being victims. And all of those involved are victims...thanks to the sleazebag(s) that did this. We need to do a 180 on who gets to be the victim here.

That is not my actual Gibson 335 up there. Mine is left handed and had gold hardware...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I can't believe this


Hello out there...sorry I've been away so long but my life has been speeding by but the travels are over for a while. Phew...

Here's whats going on in our little house today. I am totally stunned.

My wife and I were in Florida for the weekend catching some sun with some friends and closing up our house there. We had a wonderful time. We came home late last night. I am really bummed.

What Happened

We come home to find out that 19 year old daughter decided that a party Friday night would be a good idea. 21 year old son left town to see a buddy so he was gone. We have told the kids over and over (i think a million times is a conservative estimate) that there is no underage drinking at our home and no parties while we are gone. The consequences are too severe and we don't want any part of it. We were not ambiguous on this point. You guessed it...a million reminders is not enough...there was a party and apparently some drinking. We lock up our booze but the kids obviously brought their own.

We found this out because 19 year old daughter came clean today because there was an altercation with one of our neighbors. It seems one of the party attendees attempted to get in his front door at 4:00 A.M. and left peacefully after being told to get the fuck out of there by our neighbor. Another neighbor had CD's and DVD's stolen out of his car on the driveway. Daughter figured we would hear about this. She was right. I am really freaked out.

19 year old daughter is a little freaked out herself...I think her desire to host parties is gone. Hard way to see what it was your parental units were trying to lay out for you...Her mother has grounded her for an eternity I think.

Why I am freaked out

I came home from work today to find that 5 of my guitars had been stolen. You heard me 5 of my guitars. I am numb. They left 3 guitars...Nice of the bastards.

They stole my Melancon custom which was one of my favorites and the one in the picture, the Gibson 335 custom that I got for my 50th birthday, my Fender 50th Anniversary Strat, my other Fender Custom Strat and my Les Paul Custom. Fuck you whoever you are. I will find you and you will not be happy about that. You stole my music...these were my instruments...I cherished them.

Whose kids are these that steal from people they know? What kind of garbage did you foist on us?

Why not call the police?

We can't call the police because we will get cited for the underage drinking party that was happening at our house while we were away. Well, isn't that special? We get robbed and if we report it we go from victim to victimized. There is there something wrong with that.

We will have to try to find the worms ourselves and get our stuff back.

I am heartbroken...just this side of devastated. I am angry. I am disappointed.

I just want em back...