Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Too Early

Sleep. In the immortal words of Carl Spackler in Caddyshack .... "It's no big deal."

Getting excited about the Southside Boat Club Band Jam this Sunday. We play at 1:40 p.m. for about half an hour. Tons of great bands, no cover and cheap hamburgers. Can't go wrong!

Also will be working on the April 18 Elks show. This is an older crowd but one that definitely likes to have fun.

Jack is feeling better after neck surgery and will practice with us Thursday.

Also working on putting together a band for the April 27 U2 worship service at First Union United Methodist.

I went with all four No. 1 seeds in the Hart Family Challenge NCAA pool (done just for fun) and I have a chance. I was hoping Davidson would pull off the upset, it's great for college hoops and sports in general to have the underdog do well.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Washington Theater on hold

It appears our Washington Theater show in May will be put on hold, probably until September. Two of the gals I work with on the show have personal and other commitments right now and I don't want to do it until it's done right. So we'll wait, but we'll blow the place apart with a great day of music in September.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Rainy March

Rain in March .... blechhhh.

Gus is here from West Michigan, spreading his Macker love. I have my summer schedule and it's going to be gloriously busy, but the streets of downtown Springfield to the Hall of Fame love in Belding, Michigan. Applications will soon be available for the Quincy tournament on Memorial Day Weekend.

Good luck to the Drug Court Counselor and Bombshell Translator of dooms, who road trip north today. Be safe!

I have really enjoyed walking in the 'hood lately. It's great therapy. One block at a time, Steph ....

Lately I've been into losing sleep, holes in my teeth, driving with my daughter, cats and dogs living together, getting away, Jimmy John's lunches, Barry Manilow, 10cc and cravings for McDonalds. Not necessarily in that order.

Also had a fantastic time Tuesday night with Anne Cashman and her students at Ellington School. Writing is the best. Ellington School rocks and (Lynette) Rolls!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Flying From St. Louis

So I flew to Denver from St. Louis and back last week, and I have to say Lambert International Airport in St. Louis is very nice.

I know local officials are always pushing Quincy Regional Airport hard, and I’d like to see a small regional facility do well. Perhaps our airport is more designed for the business traveler and not the vacation guy.

But why should I fly out of Quincy?

Some say it’s cheaper. For me, on this particular trip, it was not. I paid $25 in gas, and I paid $48 in parking. That’s $73. Flying out of Quincy would have cost me up to $150 more.

I have flown out of Quincy before, and it always seems weather is an issue, or the planes are breaking down. One night I remember waiting in Chicago forever before we finally got going back to Quincy. (Walk or ride your bike
before you experience Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.)

Quincy airport proponents say time saved is a big reason to fly from here. However, the St. Louis airport is convenient and only two hours away if you hit traffic right, and I’ve never had a problem on I-70. The parking near the airport is good, the shuttle picks you up right away, and the terminals are easy to navigate. It took me 10 minutes to get through security in the St. Louis airport on a busy Sunday night.

An extra couple of hours is worth saving $150.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Steph's computer ....

has this blog bookmarked.

God bless her.

There is nothing in this world that a little badly-played REO Speedwagon won't cure.

Went to see the Blue Healers last night at the Club, which is a funky little bar at 10th and Chestnut. Good grief, did they sound good. Keith Franx in particular, with the guitar, keyboard, harp and vocals, was outstanding. The band includes guys from the late and great Mahoney Brothers and they were loose and right on all night.

Also had a packed house at Trinity this morning, always good to see.

Back to work Monday. Blech. Already miss the mountains, an entire afternoon to do nothing and nieces and nephews laughing.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Next Show, Sponge Bob

We've confirmed the next Funions show. It's part of the Sunday, April 6 band jam at the South Side Boat Club. We play at 1:40 p.m. for about 35 minutes. This is a free show with tons of great bands so come check us out!

Just got back from a tremendous Colorado vacation spent with family.

Did a lot of nothing, and it was beautiful.

The best part was late yesterday afternoon. I sat on the couch with Erin, 4, and Josh, 7, and watched the Sponge Bob Square Pants movie, and I sprained my spleen a couple of times laughing.

At one point Patrick and Sponge Bob get ready to rescue King Neptune's crown, and Sponge Bob unveils the hamburger car.

When Patrick points out Sponge Bob does not have a license, Sponge Bob pauses for dramatic effect, and says:

"You don't need a license to drive a sandwich!"

That, friends, has officially become The Funions motto of doom.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happiness Is ...

— Turning off the cell phone. And keeping it off.

— Colorado sun.

— Giggling nieces and nephews.

— A Jack Higgins book.

— Getting ready for March Madness.

— Altitude.

— Sleeping forever and feeling good when waking up.

— A long bike ride.

— Putting a motorcycle back together.

— Hot coffee and SportsCenter.

— The iPod Shuffle, shoes, a park not far away.

— Updating the blog ... when I get back!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

No skis

Dillon, Co., is beautiful. Just sitting in the sun staring at the mountains is a curative experience. You can actually feel the burnout slipping away ....

Tried to ski at Copper Mountain yesterday but they were out of rental skis, unheard of, according to my brother in law. So we spent the day sledding with cousins and doing absolutely nothing and enjoying every second of it.

Tomorrow we are going to Red Rocks, and if you are a U2 fan .... Under A Blood Red Sky.

Sad to hear about Irving School. Good people, lots of pain.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kids and snow

I'm in Denver and watching my nephews play. I'm drinking coffee, contemplating a day of doing not much, and it strikes me that life is good!

My brother and family are here from Phoenix. His two young kids are amazed by the snow - about three inches overnight. They are thinking about waking up mom and dad to get the borrowed snow gear on and jump around. It's the simple things to get excited about that are the best.

Heading into the Rocky Mountains later today and hopefully will do some skiing tomorrow.

Slept like a log last night, which means not thinking or worrying about anything is the cure.

Do logs sleep?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

After Math

Geesh. Where do we begin? It's like doing a math problem, overwhelming at the beginning, so let's delve in, shall we?

What a phenomenal night at Turner Hall. Great crowd, bands playing their hearts out, everybody having a good time.

Turner Hall co-owner Mark Mester was happy. "We should try to do this once every month to six weeks," he said.

Thanks to Chris Cornwell and the boys from Fielder, who lugged the sound system in at 2 yesterday afternoon. They were absolutely on fire during their set and left the crowd begging for more.

Thanks to Burt Shackelton for wailing away on the sax with The Funions and Fielder. Good Lord can that man play.

I'm proud of my guys, we are getting better and we know how to have fun. Pat Cornwell fought through feeling lousy and was top-notch on the drums.

Cheeks McGee debuted his new band and they were tremendous. As much as I enjoy his solo performances with the loop stuff, his band is way better. Of course having Keith, Big Mike and a super drummer helps too.

Way too much fun.

Back to reality and Palm Sunday, then heading to the Rocky Mountains. Will probably post something tomorrow or Wednesday. Peace!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Sink or Swim

Happiness is ... a clean sink!

Just remember when you are out and about tonight, whether it's at Turner Hall with us or celebrating in general - be safe.

It's a marathon, not a sprint!

I feel bad for Dennis Oliver and Jeff Dorsey for the rain, maybe it will clear by noon for the Y-101 St. Patrick's Day parade down Maine Street.

Rumor has it DO shrinks when he gets wet.

Getting ready for a trip to CO and a week with family, sun and snow. And maybe a lemonade.

Hopefully "The Hood" will survive ....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Early Morning Walk

Sleep is an elusive catcher. Whether by vice, choice or inability to grasp her, she drifts away and she won't come back.

So this morning I walked up Jackson Street in ethereal dark fog and it was a beautiful thing.

Walking is like many things, best when in effortless rhythm. I believe it's referred to as "The Zone," which applies to much more than just sports.

Zombie? Yes, later today. No cure foreseen, though Washington Perk will help after I get to work.

Oh .... anybody who laughs so hard they cry during the Stonehenge scene from Spinal Tap is officially a member of the The Funions Hall of Fame.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jack Recovers

Just talked to Jack Inghram, Funions sax player of doom. He had major neck surgery Wednesday at Blessing Hospital and had two verterbrae fused. He was released from the hospital this morning and just go home and says he feels weak, but OK.

Jack had some nerve issues with his right hand along with a lot of pain. Once everything wears off and he gets back on his feet he's confident he'll be blowing that horn with us again. His goal is to play April 6 at our Southside Boat Club jam show. If he's up to it, he may come to Turner Hall Saturday to watch Burt ably fill his considerable shoes.

Also a get well soon holler to the Bombshell Translator of Doom, Ms. Rachel Rivera. We'll solider on without her, but a Funions show without Rachel won't be the same, so get better dang it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 15

The Funions had a tremendous practice last night and we're ready for our show Saturday night at Turner Hall.

This is the fourth week in a row we've practiced and I'm very curious to see how we play Saturday. Many times good practices lead to good shows, but sometimes they don't. The Funions are used to cobbling together a set list and hurriedly preparing, and it's been nice to actually take some time, learn a bunch of new songs and feel prepared.

8 p.m., $3 at the door or $5 a couple, and we are calling it R Ya Irish in honor of St. Patrick's Day weekend.

Cheeks McGee plays at 9:30 and Fielder at about 11.

Get out today and enjoy the sun!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Singing For Supper

Nothing wrong with singing for you supper.

Heading to Colorado one week from today for some family time and spring skiing.

Big show Friday night at Turner Hall with Mike Breckenkamp's bands. Mike has moved back to Quincy after spending some time in the California sun.

Had a blast at The Grove last night with Slick Woody. It was packed and they had 'em dancing on chairs and tables.

In a Chariots of Fire Theme Song moment, Tookie said hello to a public official he's often taken shots at in the past and they actually were civil to each other. Tookie doesn't want you to think he cares, just so you know, and this bs about him not posting anymore is rubbish. He won't be able to stay away, promise.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Burt plays with Funions

Dr. Brei and I have decided eating Funyons after a meal at the Elks is ... overrated.

Burt Schackleton, musician extraordinaire, is playing sax with us at the March 15 show. Burt sings and plays sax, keyboards and guitar in the Quincy band Cheeseburgers and was featured on the Funions song "Let's Dance" from the Is this Appropriate CD. We are lucky to have him hang out with us!

Jack's surgery involves fusing several discs in his neck area, serious stuff. Surgery is early Wednesday and hopefully he's home by Thursday and on the mend, ready to play with us when we resume the World Parking Lot Tour in April.

The Cheeseburgers are playing tonight in Mendon, and Slick Woody is paying at The Grove tonight, so lots of good local music to check out.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Jack's Neck, Band News

Jack Inghram, sax player of doom for The Funions, is having major neck surgery March 12 and will not be able to perform with us at the huge March 15 "R Ya Irish" show at Turner Hall.

While this is a blow to the band, we are confident the show will go on and we'll sound better than ever.

We have some surprise guests lined up, including Cheeks McGee, who will be only too happy to hammer on his trumpet during Funions songs. Don't be surprised if you see another sax player and maybe even a harmonica blower, too.

So, these dates are still tentative, but our spring World Parking Lot Tour 2008 scheduled is shaping up like this ...

Saturday, March 15, 8 p.m. Turner Hall

Sunday, April 6, Southside Boat Club band jam, 2-2:30 p.m. (approx)

Friday, April 18, Elks, 7:30-10 p.m.

Saturday, May 17, Washington Theater, 6-7:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

New Links

Added a couple of links. The first one is for East End Journal, one of the better Quincy blogs.

The second is for The Herald-Whig blog site. As I've mentioned many times, I don't discuss Whig bidness at this site, but I will say we've finally entered the real Web world of blogging and it's been grand so far.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Uh Oh ... EVH is sick

Wonder if Rocky Cola is suddenly sweating AGAIN about the St. Louis show ....

From ....

The Van Halen concerts in Dallas, Cincinnati, Raleigh, and Baltimore have been postponed. According to Eddie Van Halen's physician, he is undergoing a battery of comprehensive medical tests to determine a defined diagnosis and recommended medical procedures.

The March 3rd Dallas concert at American Airlines Center has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 24, 2008; Cincinnati's March 5th concert at U.S. Bank Arena has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 22nd; Raleigh's March 7th concert at RBC Center has been rescheduled for Sunday, April 13th; and Baltimore's March 9th concert at 1st Mariner Arena has been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 15th.

Fans should retain their tickets as they will be honored at the rescheduled concerts or ticket refunds will be issued at the original point of purchase.

Monday, March 03, 2008


OK. This weather SUCKS. Bit too cold to be out walking or riding the bike or having the dog take you for a walk.

Now that I've got that out of the system ....

I've decided that between learning how to ride a motorcycle or just being a passenger .... I could just be a passenger.

Apparently Colorado has been socked with snow in the last few days, which is a very good thing.

A very sweet little girl knocked on the door the other day selling candy bars for Berrian School. I was an easy sell ....

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thaw (for real this time)

Get outside if you can.

Much fun at the Elks last night, and a very happy 40th anniversary to Bill and Ann Durst!

Hanging out tonight with my surrogate mother, the legendary Anne Mays. And Bob and kids too! Spring Lake is lovely this time of year ....