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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Haunted Practice

Happy New Year! We leave 2009 with a ghostly Funions practice story from last night ....

We practiced last night at Club Vegas and some really strange stuff happened. The practice itself was awesome and it was the first time all six of us played together since Halloween and we just had a freaking blast.

But ....

"The dead people always come out on New Years," Pat said.

We had just started when a really bad smell started drifting through the room. Normally we all own up to passing gas, especially because every toot during a loud practice qualifies as an ISBD (insidious silent but deadly) toot.

This smell wafted in and out, hovered along the floor, drifted all over the place. Nobody took credit and it was just awful, like something dead was in the room.

We were all looking at each other. Might One says, "I wasn't gonna say nothing." It was really, really, REALLY rank.

A little later we are cranking our way through "Rock and Roll All Night" when Pat's drum monitor, which wasn't turned on, suddenly comes to life and literally blows him off his drum kit.

A few minutes later, the effects on my amp died. I mean they just quit working for absolutely no reason. I turned off the amp, replugged everything in .... nothing. Then a few minutes later it comes back on, again seemingly at random.

Pat says a lot of weird things happen in the building, a former funeral home. I think a lot of this ghost hunting stuff is a bunch of hooey, but if Pat says the ghosts were out and having some fun with us last night .... who am I to disagree?




Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Slip Slidin Away

Be careful out there, Q-town.

The inch or so of wet snow can really make things slick. I'm going to my car at noon today and stepped off the curb and WHAM the next thing I know I'm down after going ass over tea kettle.

Whatever ass over tea kettle means.

You know it's a spectacular crash when the UPS driver stops the ugly brown truck and asks if you are OK.

Hey. Ever see 5-feet-19-inches crash and burn? It ain't pretty.

I think this is one of those deals that will hurt a lot more tomorrow.

Hot tub therapy and a beverage of choice might help after work. Band practice too! Gotta get somebody to carry all my crap ....

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Still hoping ....

Gonna get real cold in the Q-town .... ice by the New Year?

Jane Morris was an awesome interview a couple of weeks ago when she was in town visiting her mom. Jane owns her own theater near Los Angeles and helped start the Second City e.t.c. in Chicago years back. She is funny because she doesn't try to be funny, she just is .... Jane has been in dozens of movies and sitcoms over the years.

Now she just added me as a "friend" on Facebook. I might need to sit down for a second.

Facebook has also helped me connect with my old Alpena buddy Anthony Rothman, who was the sports anchor for WBKB in my first years up there. I miss the fellowship with my fellow media brethren, it just doesn't happen here .... Anyway, Anthony is doing great as a sports guy in Columbus, Ohio.

Might need to make a road trip, AR ....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fitness

For Christmas, Shey Fey got a three-month pass to a local fitness center.

We went this afternoon and I it will take some getting used to for her. We are used to walking the dogs in the great wide open, not walking around a track in front of a bunch of people.

It's an awesome place but it is sprawling and I can see why some people may be a bit intimidated at first. I've been there many times and it's no big deal to me.

Plus .... Rocky Cola, one of the few sane Web Warriors in this world, was there! HUUUUUGGGEEEE.

And no. I'm not playing roller hockey, Rocky .....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lotsa iPod

Rev. Dirk just headed back to the Ville after a very nice four-day visit. If he can make it down the Eighth Street hill to Ill. 57, it should be smooth sailing the rest of the way.

Shey Fey got me a 16-gig iPod Nano for Christmas. I don't know what 16 gig means, other than "it holds a lot of stuff." It also has the coolest video camera and it should be fun figuring it out.

I am working this weekend and it was a little strange last night doing a story about a new way to make meth while blasting out Trans-Siberian Orchestra in the newsroom. Some had a merrier Christmas than others ....

This morning's Dirk Jr. Kitchen Catastrophe involved not snapping down the coffee filter and flooding four drawers and the floor with caffeine. Someday Shey Fey will simply snap, I swear.

And the best news of all .... Rev. Dirk has started his prostate cancer treatments and is feeling good. He announced that a new study shows caffeine and beer are good ways to prevent and treat prostate cancer.

Maybe I have a shot against this thing, after all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Kansas For Christmas

The 6-2 freshman gave me the coolest present ever last night.

She got all the members of Kansas to sign a sheet of music. When it's framed it will hang prominently on the wall in the Man Cave of Doom!

Listening to Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Let me know if there is better Christmas music, though you will lose the argument.

Rev. Dirk made a fantastic meal last night. The 6-2 freshman says, "Man, you are so lucky." She is right as she always is.

The dogs are soaked but happy after a Woodland walk, Shey Fey slumbers peacefully in an afternoon nap, and I'm watching the Christmas Eve rain drive steadily down.

But. Snow. Is. On. The. Way. So we are told.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Rain on Christmas

Blechhh. Just give me a little bit of snow. Please?

My father is here from Louisville making a big dinner tonight. 

Merry Christmas to everybody. Even the bad lawyers out there. Really. It says so in the Bible, you know.




Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Prayers for ....

Steve Eighinger and family. His father in law passed away from a heart attack Monday.

Tom Miller and family. His sister finally found peace after a long battle with ALS. The Funions played a memorable show at her benefit last year. 



Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let it snow

Oh the weather outside is frightful ....

— Gotta love all the Facebook comments about bad driving when it snows.

— Shovel? What shovel? Do we have a shovel?

— Had fun hanging out with Dave Chastain and the Lake Trash Band at The Club last night. Dave and the boys tore it up as usual. I just wish I wasn't so dang old and could stay out later.

— Nice to see Jim Dennis and The Crossing getting things done at the old Calftown church near Ninth and Monroe. 

— Yesterday was one of those hellacious days that never seemed to end but went by quickly at the same time, if you know what I mean. I think this gal was one of the worst to come through Quincy in a long time, ranking up there with the Richard Carr's of this world.

— In much more positive and more important news, Bella The Destroyer likes the snow.

— Supposedly the dish gets set up today. 

— Bowl games start, as well. I will forget about coaches who couldn't care less about loyalty and enjoy the games.

— Be safe on this last weekend before Christmas!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comcast fired

Shey Fey fired Comcast today after yet another rate increase.

I believe we are looking at DirecTV and another Internet provider.

That means a new email address and some other changes are on the way ....

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Perfect Peace

Remembering my brother, Gregory Klaas Hart, on the seventh anniversary of his passing.

I think it was a brave thing. He found peace he'd been longing for. 

He joins his Aunt Anita Hart, who died today near Toronto after fighting cancer. The end could not come soon enough for her.

Aunt Anita and Greg are probably walking along the Georgian Bay shoreline tonight and laughing their heads off.

In tribute, the sun was out all day. Peace to them on a dark December day.

Monday, December 14, 2009

New Baby



Here she is .... the new Epiphone Les Paul Studio.

Melts my amp and purrs on the lower settings. 

More here ....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Kids In The Hall

I just watched a bunch of Kids In The Hall sketches, and it's another reason why Mike Provine's blog is the best in Quincy. No hot air, no anon web warriors, no pictures of old hockey gear .... just some really funny stuff.

Click here to see classic Kids In The Hall sketches. Kids In The Hall was a Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) creation out of Canada and several, Dave Foley especially, became well known later.

The French Canadian skit is especially funny, though you might have to be from Canada to really get the humor. Excuse me, humour ....


Friday, December 11, 2009

No loyalty

Notre Dame hired Brian Kelly to be its next football coach. Click here for more.

Rats. Now a team I despise is coached by a guy who I really liked. But that was a long time ago.

Cincinnati should have known what they were getting into when they hired him away from Central Michigan University three years ago. I was at the last game Kelly coached for the Chippewas. Scott McNeal (Gus Macker) and I high-fived him on the field after CMU beat bitter rival Western Michigan. A month or so later he was the new coach at Cincinnati.

Read the comments from his players. He tells them one thing, but does the other. Nice message sent, coach Kelly. Also, nice little PR move by the school, banning media from attending the team banquet last night.

It's a bidness, obviously. Notre Dame is getting a Catholic guy with an Irish name who has done nothing but win. Maybe he'll turn the Bighting Irish around.

Sorry, coach Kelly. I'll be rooting against you, hard. 

It's just bidness.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ready!



When it's cold like this, I say .... bring it on!

Unfortunately it's supposed to warm up into the 40s next week. The Pond is still three or four days away from having good ice ... rats.

BTW, those are my old blades in the pic, new ones being sharpened as we speak.

Had a lot of fun at Fuji last night, really cool concept and I highly recommend going. 

Also got icicles in my hair while sitting in the hot tub, a new experience.

Working on some cool Christmas carols for Sunday.

Oh, and yes, the newest member of the family will be officially unveiled soon, so stay tuned.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

ccccccccooooolllllddddd

So we got lucky Wednesday and today. Still don't like the cold

Going to do the guitar lesson thing and check out the new Fuji restaurant tonight.

Saw the legendary Jeff Rabjohns, former H-W Sports Writer, last night. Took some of his money playing cards, too, and didn't feel a bit bad about it. Hope he has enough gas money to get back to Indy ....

Bella The Destroyer ate our Christmas tree. You might read more about this in print soon. 

Wait a second. Too cold for the hot tub?

Now THAT'S cold .....



Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Waiting Out The Cold

— A few more days of this weather and there might be a phone call make to the boys on South 24th ...

— Dear Coach Kelly, please don't take the Notre Dame job. Then I will have to despise you. You are OK right now, even though you bolted on my beloved Chippewas three years ago.

— The Hart Family College Football Bowl Challenge is about to begin. New this year is the pet entry, and I'm putting my money on Bella The Destroyer.

— It's nice to have a Christmas tree in a house once again.

— Air Specialists did a good job with our furnace issues. With a tax credit and rebates, it won't hurt quite so much for a new furnace.

— And you think you had a bad Monday ... click here.



Saturday, December 05, 2009

Puppy Eyes Upstairs


Bella The Destroyer is looking at me with big puppy eyes as I sit in the Man Cave. "TAKE ME TO WOODLAND NOW DANGIT" is what she is howling.

Hang on, Destroyer. Go chew up some hot tub test strips or something for a few minutes. Wait a second, you already did that this week .... well, you know what I mean.

One of our two furnaces died Friday afternoon. Goodbye, $2,300. Hello a much more efficient furnace. And hello upstairs of house, since downstairs feels like Narnia when the Bad Witch made it winter all year long. It gets installed Monday so we'll be OK. I'll just sit in the hot tub for two days.

How About Them Chippewas? Quick, name the quarterback who has set significant NCAA records this season. I knew you could ....

We had a great Funions jam last night at Club Vegas, first time since October we've gotten together. I have a new addition to the family who I will introduce later, and she sounded glorious last night.

Finally .... it is cold outside, and I'm torn. On the one hand I am doing the Rice Crispies walk (Snap, Crackle and Pop) every time I stand up. On the other .... bring on the ice!

Be safe this weekend .... check out Warren and Jason from SevenD2 tonight at the Blind Pig if you are out and about.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Hacked

Somebody hacked into my Facebook account and sent emails claiming I had dirty pictures.

Shey Fey says it's probably not local, probably a professional dirtball who figures out passwords by keying in on specific words.

Password changed. If you did get an email via Facebook with such a message, DO NOT open. It caused at least one person I know to have a computer meltdown.

 

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Kansas, Macomb style

Great show last night in Macomb ... click here for more.

I'm proud of the 6-2 freshman!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Snow, Kansas

HOLY CRAP. First snowflakes of the season this afternoon ....

Heading to WIU to see the 6-2 freshman. She's in the starting lineup as the WIU Orchestra plays with Kansas tonight! Carry on, my wayward son ....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Burning Down The House

I about burned down my house last night.

Let's just say it involved ashes from the previous night's fire, a trash can full of yard refuse, and one big Dumb Ass who dumped ashes he thought were cold into the can.

A passerby saw the can on fire beside the house and alerted us in time. Black smoke marks on the siding, but these stout German houses can withstand bigger artillery, I'm sure.

There are Good Samaritans out there. This guy didn't have to stop. Wish I knew who he was, I'd buy him a beer or take his family out to dinner.

Of course three QFD trucks came screaming into the hood, and I'm glad they came, even though it was out. They checked the siding for heat and made sure it was OK before leaving, and I appreciate their patience and expertise.

Shey Fey gets ANOTHER medal for good conduct, valor and everything else.

Note to self: Never dump ashes into can with yard stuff. Never. NEVER. Just let em sit for a few days, then bury them in the ground or something.

I have a dunce cap on and am sitting in the corner for the rest of the day.







Saturday, November 28, 2009

What To Do

So it's a beautiful late November Saturday and I'm trying to think about outdoor stuff to do.

Golf clubs put away, more or less.

Yard work done, less than more.

Dogs walked, can do that again later.

Shopping .... SHOPPING? Uh, NO. Click here for more.

Might have to settle for a massive breakfast, leftover turkey all day and sitting on the porch. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turkey Day Timeline

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just looking into crystal ball ....

11:30 a.m. - Shey Fey's turkey is getting close and the smell is driving me crazy. To curb my hunger, I turn on the Lions.

12:30 p.m. - Sorry, Shey Fey. Can't eat turkey. Appetite ruined by watching the Lions.

12:31-4:02 - Nap.

4:03 - Raiders vs. Cowboys. What, is this national lousy football day?

4:04 - Nap.

5:35 - "We are having turkey for the next three weeks," Shey Fey says.

7:01 - Finally, football! Texas A&M vs. Texas.

9:17 - Wake up from third nap.

10:03 - Only a few hours before Black Friday. Thinking of mooing crowds makes me laugh. 

10:04 - Eat more turkey.

10:05 - Turkey makes me sleepy. What a great Thanksgiving Day!

Be safe .....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Hour At Home

So I was hoping to get out of work early today but NOOOOO .... I will reserve comment about late breaking stories and other such ... uh, stuff.

Shey Fey says .... "Sears and ShopKo just don't impress me." She is leafing through the massive Whig ads. This is the biggest paper of the day and reportedly 27 paper boys strained back muscles this morning. "Overwhelming," she says. "I'm worn out and I'm not even halfway through yet. I had to put the Kohl's catalog off to the side ... I'm going to calm down in a bit."

Alex Sanders, a Texas Funerals bass player of doom, posed an interesting question on Facebook the other day. He was wondering if there is an alternative to socializing at the bars. Well, young Alex, yes there is! I'm doing Happy Hour at home with a bottle of Goose Island and I'm quite content. Then again, I'm twice as old as you and 10 times as feeble. You don't have to socialize at a bar, Alex. Why not get some buds together and just simply hang out?

"I didn't know we had this many stores in town," Shey Fey says.

All I know is that 10 years ago, I had to do a Black Friday shopping story and I was scarred for life. NEVER again. Rumor has it I will interview Santa for a Whig column after he shops in Quincy Friday morning. We will see if he's so ho ho ho after enduring the experience ....




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Catching Egg Throwers

Somebody threw an egg against the house a couple of nights ago. It cracked and ran all over the man-cave window.

I dusted the yolk and shell fragments for fingerprints. Lo and behold, I got a pretty good print. I had some law enforcement friends run it. We have a suspect.

We are coming to get you, dirtball.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Long lost adventure



My buddy Wilx is at it again, this time reminding me of a long-lost adventure from the summer of 1986 or 87. 

My vague recollection is that we both spent the summer in GR and were getting ready to head back to school, me to Mount Pleasant and him to Ann Arbor. I said something about my crazy uncles living in Toronto and before we knew it, we had train tickets and a general plan.

I remember walking around the city and taking the subway everywhere. Wilx, an architecture student at Michigan, was amazed by the city's skyline. One night I remember I went to visit my Oma Hart while he went back downtown, still mesmerized by City Hall, the CN Tower and other buildings.

So here's the deal - the first person who can tell me what building I'm standing in, and what they are doing inside the building, wins a Funions CD. It took me a few minutes until it all came rushing back and I'm still sore from laughing so hard ....


Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Venue

Went to the Blind Pig to see Fielder last night. Logan and the boys were in fine form and there is a really good new place to play in Quincy.

The Blind Pig, formerly The Plaza, is on North 12th. They built a stage into the northwest corner that appears to be big enough for most bands. The rest of the place is not big, and by about 10:30 when we left, hoards of people were coming and jamming the room to the rafters.

This would be a perfect place for The Funions to play.

Good luck to the new owners, they have to be happy after last night.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Carded




Starting your Saturday morning with a view of the river and staring at treed squirrels is the best way to go.

So we were out and about last night with The Mighty One and The Warden and ended up eating at Pops Pizza, an awesome place. The pizza was HUGE, the service was good in a really busy place, and it's downtown in a grand old building. What more could you want?

Anyway, we met The Warden after she got off work, and she got carded. The waitress asked to see her ID and she had to go back to her vehicle to get it, quite willingly I might add. "Well, I saw the initials on your collar and I thought maybe you were a cheerleader," the waitress said.

QPD, QHS, QND .... they are all fine institutions of higher learning.

I believe we tipped our waitress quite well .... 




Thursday, November 19, 2009

This Job ....

is unpredictable.

Click here for more.

Just glad everybody is safe.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Skates



My new skates arrived last week from Hockey Monkey. Click here for more.

Generally speaking I don't like ordering stuff online but I had little choice in the matter.

It took less than a week for them to be delivered (are you listening Musicians Friend?) ....

It's been 15 years since I've bought new skates. All I know is that back in the day, every pair of skates I ever had were really tight and felt like they squeezed my feet.

These skates are huge, size 13 EE, and they are very light and comfortable.

However, I won't really know if they are any good until I get on the ice. And in Quincy, who knows how long that could be.

Still, they are here.

Kevin Murphy of The Whig is threatening to put a team together for an outdoor tournament in Wisconsin in February. I say .... LETS GO! 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wet stuff

Dear God,

When will it stop raining?

Just curious,

Dirk Jr.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

2351 Rosewood



I met Wilx when painting the garage door. It was the summer of 1980. He lived across the street and came over as I slopped paint. I do remember Abe DeVries, who lived a block over, instructing me on how to use long up and down strokes. 

I lived at 2351 Rosewood from 1980-1984, my high school years and one disastrous year at Calvin College. I did move back in the summer of 1987 to live with my dad and brothers before my last year at Central Michigan University. He sold the house in 1990, I think.

Wilx lives in the GR burbs now. He took his daughter to a swim meet Saturay at Ottawa Hills High School, which is up the street from 2351 and Wilx's old house. He snapped this picture and sent it to me, and I stared at it for a long time.

I used to walk across the street to Wilx's house and watch the strange music video channel. He had cable, a remarkable luxury, with a box where you pushed the channel buttons. It enthralled us for hours. 

When I look at the photo, I think of my late mother, who made many a Sunday meal for friends and family. 

I distinctly remember coming home from a road trip to Ann Arbor in March 1986. I was hung over and grumpy. My mother was on the floor and looking at the newspaper classified ads in the TV room, the one right behind the garage. I asked her what she was doing. "Nothing," she said, but I could tell something wasn't right.

She moved out a week later. I'm sure she saw the apartment ad in that paper.

I think of putting the basketball hoop on the roof above the garage. It was the spring of 1981, and I had an early-morning paper route. When I got done I gently shot jumpers in the first rays of sunlight, but I didn't want to make too much noise and wake people up.

Where Wilx stood to take the photo is the end of the street, and we had some massive hockey games after blizzards and snowstorms. Mark "Little Man" Hendricks would come over, we'd recruit other kids from the hood and we'd spend snow days recreating the Leafs vs. Canadiens rivalries from days gone by.

I remember walking from the house to Jolly Roger Ice Arena for practices and late-night Calvin intramural games.

It's a big house, with six rooms upstairs. I got my own room, the one on the corner above the garage. My own room! Putting in a cassette tape of Who's Next and blasting it as loud as possible from the cheap boom box, that's what I remember most.

I left in the fall of 1984 for a job in the Grand Canyon National Park. I came back six months later and lived in the basement for a few months. I used the ping pong table for a privacy wall and slept on a cot. And it was fine with me.

A few years back I walked through the old hood and behind the house. I swear I saw a face in one of the back windows, the face of my late brother Greg. I took one more look and hurried away.

Wilx says the memories are good. I agree, for the most part. And going back is never a bad thing. 

Powerful stuff, just from looking at a picture.

Thanks Wilx.




Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holy Vacuums

— Well well well .... look who is off probation. Gonna get a little Wild tonight with Emily CSI to celebrate. Might have to bring some body chalk and police tape ....

— Had an emergency jam session with The Might One. Dr. Brei and I trotted out old originals and had a blast. Just like putting instant coffee into a microwave. 

— Ignoring more big piles of leaves.

— Somebody is feeling a lot better nine days after back surgery. I think I hear a vacuum!

— Prayers for the Coffelt family in Colorado Springs. And for the family of the 4-month old who passed away in Quincy Thursday.

— Have a safe Saturday. Gotta go, my feet are about to get sucked up by the Vacuumer Of Doom ....

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New word, Vets day

Sheryl has a new word .... "Unsquoezed." As in, "I woke up this morning and it took a while for my back to feel unsquoezed." I think she means it is slowly loosening up after surgery.

Here is to our veterans today and every day. God bless you for your service. Click here for more.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Plans

The good eye doctor and I are going to catalog all the Funions songs we've played over the years.

No shows planned but stay tuned. Lots of idle chatter about recording, lining up gigs, maybe seeing if some former Funions are still around .... all dat schtuff.

Interviewed a WWII vet today and his stories were incredible.

Do leaves eventually blow away?

Looking forward to Kansas playing with the WIU orchestra in less than a month!

Backs are getting better all the time ....

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Multitalented Vets




Pics from yesterday's Veterans Parade on Maine Street ..... the top photo is of a Quincy blogger, lawyer and veteran. The second photo is of a Funion, Mighty Bad Guy Catcher and Marine veteran.

Thanks you for serving our country, all veterans! Yesterday's parade was awesome.

Click here for more.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

The Maulers

The Maulers are probably Quincy's best-known band, except for Dirk & The Perp Walkers and any band Jack Inghram played in between 1900 and 1964. Lots of Maulers stuff on Youtube, and for more click  here.

Sam Middendorf, who I think was in Maulers until nearly choking to death on an expired drummer's vomit, is featured in today's Five Times Five in The Whig, Page 3A.

When asked if he was going to see Michael Jackson's new movie (Michael Jackson has a new movie?), he said: "No, because I can either see a great movie about a great entertainer, dancer, philanthropist and weirdo, or eat a really good sandwich."

My sentiments exactly.

One other thing today, directed to somebody who knows who he is — it must be hard to be so bitter. Thanks for the gracious compliment and thank goodness you qualified it with your usual rational. We'd be worried if you didn't.



Friday, November 06, 2009

Good luck Kelly!

Sheryl is doing really well this morning after a rough few hours when she first came out of surgery at about noon yesterday. Fingers crossed she gets home today, probably tomorrow.

Saying farewell today to Herald-Whig Staff Writer Kelly Wilson, and it's really hard. Kelly is an awesome reporter and deserves a medal for putting up with me and the other two pod mates all these years.

Her last column is here.

Change is a part of life. Kelly is moving on to better things and I wish her the best - and the pod won't be the same!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Waiting Rooms

So Sheryl is under the knife as we speak, having surgery on her lower back. 

A long time ago I wrote about health and fitness for The Whig and I was in Blessing Hospital a lot. It became just another place to get stories and do interviews. I always respected the administration at Blessing and the PR folks were top-notch.

Since then I've only had to be here for personal stuff, visiting for the most part, thank goodness. 

I'm in the one-day surgery waiting room and the hostess here is very nice, keeping me updated on the surgery and progress. Apparently the rumors about Sheryl demanding to do the surgery herself were unfounded (huuuuggggeee sigh of relief ...).

There's another young couple sitting here because their son is having surgery. The guy is wearing a St. Louis Children's Hospital sweatshirt, so I suspect they've been through this more than once. They have the concerned but resigned look, veterans of the hurry up and wait routine.

Thank goodness this place has wireless. And there's always the dreaded Space Invaders game on the Blackberry ....

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Getting (uuhggg) Tested

My father was just diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fortunately it can be treated and he is weighing his options, and the overall outlook seems to be OK.

I'm celebrating the big 45 in a few weeks and now I'm literally scared, uh, bleepless. This is what my father sent to me and my brother:

Your grandfather, your father, and two uncles had/have prostate cancer. Statistically that means that sooner or later you have a 97% chance of being diagnosed with the same. I asked the doctor about that and he said, "They should get tested now, and have an annual exam from now on." Talk with your doctors about it. I would recommend you see a urologist who will have more information and experience than your family doctor. 

Damn. I hate going to the doctor .... but it will be a small price to pay.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reminder

Today is a good day to remember to chill and not get too worked up about stuff.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Whatta bash

As you can see, our Funions Halloween bash was a huge success.

That might have been as much fun as the band has ever had playing a show. Ever. In 10 years of doing this.

The crowd was into it from the start and danced to every song, even the originals.

Costume contest was huge - give it up to QPD CSI for the Funyons costume!
The American Gothic couple pictured above won the $100 Elks gift certificate and there were some awesome costumes.

Yes. It's true. The Funions were renamed Dirk & The Perp Walks, for one night only. The prison warden was, ahem, hot!

Thanks for coming out. The Funions will be taking a little break but hopefully we'll play soon.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Elks Halloween

Getting ready for our HUGE Elks Halloween show Friday night, 7:30 until whenever.

Costumes encouraged, of course. You won't believe what the band is donning, and it is appropriate .... 

This is for members and guests of the Elks. Funions fans are welcome! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hot tubs and rain UPDATED

Gonna go shuffle with the old guys and then melt in the hot tub.

Cold rain? What cold rain?

UPDATE: Went and hobbled full court, 4 on 4, shot 2 of 39 from the field, went home, had beverage, melted away ..... bad basketball is no match for a hot tub!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mr. and Mrs. Cornwell

HOLY CRAP did we have fun at the Cornwell wedding.


The Cheeseburgers are the best, Floating Otis made an appearance and the place was jumping all night long. There were even Funions with Cheeseburgers and it was HUGE.

All you Facebook fans can click here for more pics.

I'm getting too old to have this much fun. I will blame it on the evil eye doctor and his basement bar of doom for leading me down the path of destruction.

Also today Bulldog and son came over to wire the hot tub, and it is awesome.

The only bad thing? Back to work tomorrow. Bleeeccchhhhh.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Expensive lumber

One thing I forgot to mention about the failed hockey skate experience in the Loo was the price of sticks. $200, for a piece of lumber? Or graphite or aluminum or whatever they are made out of these days. GEESH.

I will have to settle for a "cheap" $40 stick, in all likelihood. 

QHS did not play well last night at Glenwood, but we'll see where the playoff road takes the Blue Devils next week. Shey Fey and I did have a lot of fun with the Farkas family and a Springfield road trip is never a bad thing. We ate at an Italian place not far from the school and it was HUGE.

We celebrate tonight with Chris and Jessica Cornwell. Congrats! The Cheeseburgers are playing at the reception and it will be a blast.

HOLY CRAP - my vacation is almost over. 

There are rumors about chainsaws being used this weekend in The Hood, and of a hot tub getting hooked up ....

Friday, October 23, 2009

Keep on tailing at the gate

—  Now this makes me proud to be a Chippewa .... FIRE UP CMU!

— Ghostly stories on ghostly roads, Q-town style, click here.

— No luck in finding hockey skates in the Loo. Even blundered into a store called Total Hockey, which had totally lame service. No better online, which might mean a lot of duck tape and super glue for the old blades this winter.

— On tap: QHS football at Springfield Chatham, wedding reception for a Funions guitarist and drummer.

— The best thing about vacation is waking up and not caring what time it is.

— Apparently something got spilled on the remote yesterday, causing widespread panic and National Guard deployment, but Shey Fey (as she always does) came to the rescue.

— Best quote from Dr. Brei during Loo road trip yesterday, on why he can't play pickup hoops: "I'm afraid something would break - or fall off."


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Staying Local

I could get used to this not working bidness really easily ....

Excellent Funions practice last night at Club Vegas. "Back in the USSR ...." Getting ready for our huge Halloween show a week from Friday at The Elks. No cover charge, costume contest, cheap and cold beverages .... NO EXCUSES for not showing up. Members and guests only, if you are a Funions fan, you can be our guest!

Buying local is a big topic. I am all for helping out our Quincy retailers, but there are certain times when it just won't work.

For instance, if I need something for my bike, I'm going to Greg Davis' shop at Eighth and State. Why? He's a good guy, he has great service and he knows his product, and I feel good giving him my business.

For most of my music needs, I'll go to Vegas Music or Smith Music in Quincy. I've dropped more than just a dime or two in both places, and will continue to do so.

However ....

I need new skates, and there simply isn't a place in Quincy to buy them. So I'm making a road trip today. May also stop at a large music outlet to try and find an item or two not available in Quincy.

Buy local if you can. If not .... do what you gotta do.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stay The Vacation Day 2

HOLY CRAP. I have a hot tub in the backyard.

I have a friend, let's just call him Dave The Bulldog, who gave us his hot tub because he got a new one. It's an incredibly generous gift and I can't thank him enough. We have been in this hot tub a time or two and it's very nice.

He loaded it up, Shey Fey took down the fence, and we rolled it off the trailer right to the spot by the rear porch steps. The the rear porch never gets used. It will now.

If you want to make an afternoon disappear, record your own songs. For the first time in months I put together a demo and it sounds like crap but hey .... it's done, which is saying something.

Gonna run my out of shape butt with the boys in the Slow Pickup Basketball League and hopefully live to tell about it.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Staycation

A very happy birthday to Bob Mays, just 88 years young! Had a great time hanging out with my Quincy mom and brothers.

Off this week and for the first time I can remember, I am doing nothing. Well, not totally true .... yard work beckons today plus some other goals. I have a feeling it will go by quickly.

First order of bidness ... a greasy breakfast in Taylor, Mo. HUGE ....


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Holy Football Playoffs, Batman

Check it out — YOUR Quincy Blue Devils are 7-1 and heading to the playoffs. That's right — the freaking PLAYOFFS!

What I love about this time is the determination and rising up in the face of adversity. D.J. Powell was unstoppable last night simply because he refused to go down. Alex McNay had a costly fumble early in the second half and ran like a man possessed in the fourth quarter, including a huge third-down run on the final scoring drive of the game. 

But the strength of this team is the defense, especially the line. Jimmy Ely is a man and the linebackers fly to the ball.

Rick Little and his coaches are to be commended for turning it around in a basketball town. If QHS can pull off another win in Chatham next Friday, we could have playoff football in Quincy at both Notre Dame and at 46th and Maine.

Huge!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Being Tall

At least I am good for something .... "I need you to be tall for me." This involves hanging curtains, so chill ....

The 6-2 freshman HAS A BOYFRIEND. I am trying not to freak out.

It appears I am unable to hang curtains correctly. So maybe I am not good for something.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Too Much Miley

I'm glad at least one major news outlet has realized the significance of this issue. Fox, CNBC, CNN ... forget it. They are clueless.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halloween recording

Much fun as always at the Sammy Fund event. At least we didn't have to worry about the beer staying cold. And we had excuses for some bad golf.

Dr. Brei burned a CD of our Elks Halloween show from last year. I hate the sound my own voice, always the singer's curse, but it is very interesting to hear almost a year later. The band seemed really on during this show and Jack in particular was on fire.

So we are doing it again Oct. 30 and it's going to be HUGE. We've already got the band costumes lined up and there could be some rioting at Second and Hampshire on Halloween's Eve.

I have been assured Elvis will again be making an appearance.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Chant, The Walk, GO BLUE

OK, repeat after me, nice and loud so everybody can hear ....

I WILL NOT MAKE FUN OF RUSH AGAIN I WILL NOT MAKE FUN OF RUSH AGAIN I WILL NOT MAKE FUN OF RUSH AGAIN ...

Great fun walking for Sammy this morning. Let's see if the creaky wheels hold up on the golf course.

Michigan at Iowa tonight in the Man Cave of Calftown Doom!


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Thursday Rain Blues



As you can see, Lucy The Queen of Calftown and Bella The Destroyer are patiently trying to wait out the rain ....

Cole Hamels can blow it out his year. What a dweeb .... play ball, moron!

— Rush Limbaugh, Rams owner? Check out this column, one of the funniest and best I've read in a long time. I am now officially a fan of this columnist.

— Sorry to hear about Jean Redington stepping down, I think she did a good job as Adams County treasurer. Her brother is a pretty good sax player, too ....

— No Funions practice this week, but the good eye doctor and I are getting together to do some jamming tonight.

— Shey Fey has Citizens Police Academy on Thursday nights and she says it's been a blast so far. One of these years ....

Sammy Fund this weekend, hope to see you there!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bloggers, blacklists

Sen. Dick Durbin's decision to blacklist a Quincy radio station is about the dumbest thing he could ever do.

Of course, the indignation from our local blogging community is, as ever, entertaining. You should really charge admission or get anger management before letting people read this stuff.

Go to this blog, then follow his link for the only rational thoughts out there on the whole deal.

I am putting All The News back on the links. I've kept him off because he doesn't blog enough.

It's pretty obvious who he is, but I'll keep my speculation to myself, and his hidden identity doesn't take away from his sharp views. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

The Old Church

The Crossing is planning to buy the old German church in the 900 block of Monroe and use the annex for a substance abuse rehabilitation home.

Many of us in The Hood have an opinion.

Make yours count.

Here is the contact info for the Ward 7 aldermen. Please contact them and let them know what you think. Click here.


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Curtis Creek




Did something this afternoon on a glorious fall Sunday I haven't done in a long, long time.

I walked down Curtis Creek from South Park to the Stone Arch Bridge along Eighth Street. This used to be a regular adventure with the now 6-2 college freshman, but it's been a long time.

Joining me were Brant Boyer, who had never been for a creek walk, and Bella The Destroyer and Lucy The Queen of Calftown, who both love water and suddenly found themselves in canine H2O paradise.

The creek looks the same, with the high towering walls to the south and the spring water dripping from the north walls.

The bridge was built 110 years ago for horses and buggies and has stood the test of time.

Simple thing, isn't it? A walk down a creek on a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Brant gave it the thumbs up and pronounced it "cool."

Doesn't get much better than that.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Sanity Restored

Playing tonight at a wedding reception in the country. Supposedly outdoors, we'll see if the weather holds.

Practiced Thursday night with Trent Vogel on the drums and the band is ready to have a blast. I'm ready to bust loose and have some fun.

Covering two murder trials in two weeks is exhausting, though it pales to what families of victims, the attorneys and key witnesses have to endure. 

I'm just glad it over and the families from from both sides are picking up the pieces. 

I was supposed to do the PA at the QHS football game last night but I had nothing left in the tank, thanks to David Adam for helping me out. How 'bout them Devils!

So - Mutt Strut this morning in South Park, college football this afternoon, lawn mowing and picking up Bella poop at some point, and rocking out tonight.

Sounds like the cure to me!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Private Parties

The Funions are playing Saturday night at a wedding reception, outdoors, in the country.

In other words, it will be a blast.

I like gigs like this because we show up with a small PA, plug in and rock. It takes a while for the crowd to warm up, but they'll be in a good mood and by the second set we usually have them going.

Pat is on vacation and Mighty One off to a family wedding thing, so we've recruited Trent Vogel to play drums with us. He has filled in for The Funions before and we'll have some fun once again.

Hopefully this whole murder trial thing will cooperate and let us practice tomorrow night!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Store Slogan

So I go tonight to a local office supply store which shall remain nameless to buy new cartridges for my HP printer/scanner.

I have four old cartridges, because somebody at this nameless office supply store forgot to tell me when I bought it a few years back it runs out of ink after about 50 copies, which is really printing a Funions set list eight or nine times.

They are $15 a pop. I bring the old ones back because I get $2.50 a piece. Not huge money, but every little bit helps, right?

Right .....

Last spring I returned cartridges and they made me fill out a form and mail it in to get the rebate. So tonight I turn in the empty cartridges, the girl looks up my name, everything is good.

And then I made the mistake of saying I needed to change my address so they'd send the check to the right place.

"Oh, we can't do that here," the girls said cheerily. "But I can give you a number and you can call and get it changed." 

By then the four cartridges have been thrown in a big box, and there are five people in line behind me, and the girls wants to know what I want to do.

This office supply company has a slogan, "That was easy." Bull. "That was a pain in the ass" should be their slogan.

Geesh. Murder trials on the brain are making me cranky.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Park Fun

A good time in Ursa Sunday ... always fun to help out a good cause. Jack and Pat literally rocked the stage!

Getting through another work week and prepping for a private party Saturday. Trent Vogel, former SevenD2 drummer, will be joining us for the gig. 

Just discovered Bella The Destroyer chewed my iPod charger to pieces. Hmmm .... time for an iPod update, maybe? I like the Shuffle, but it might be time for a Nano.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Deep Breath

After a long work week ....

— YOUR undefeated Quincy High School Blue Devils play at home tonight! See you at Flinn Stadium ....

— Working for Gus in Macomb Saturday, the last of the 2009 Mackers ....

— Playing at the Kindhart benefit Sunday at 2 p.m. in Ursa. 

Get out and enjoy a fall weekend!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Charles Coffee Shops

Drinking coffee and playing on the Internet, waiting for the third day of the David Ater murder trial in St. Charles to start. 

Love this coffee shop, called Picassos. Strange people, great music from a satellite radio station, and chest hair-inducing coffee.

I like Washington Perk next to The Whig, but usually it's just a trip over there to grab the coffee and straight back to the office.

In the corner is a woman (wearing the same clothes as yesterday) and man, older, talking about life moving slowly. In the other corner are two students working on a project. One of them just jumped up and said "I GOT IT" and there was great rejoicing.

Next to me is a young professional, salesman probably, pounding a laptop computer keyboard. Maybe he's in the financial business because he keeps dropping his head.

Another guy just showed up and he's, GASP, reading a newspaper. A newspaper? What are those? He's a younger guy, too. Doesn't he know he is supposed to be hooked up and online to read newspapers?

Oh yeah. Newspapers .....

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

No Grove

A few weeks ago we played at a benefit at The Grove out on East Broadway, and we were hired to play Halloween night.

The agreement was oral. We've never had contracts or agents or any of that crap.

Maybe we should.

Earlier this week we were informed the bar double booked on Halloween night, and we were no longer needed.

Apparently the owner had trouble getting ahold of a band which was supposed to play, so we got hired, but then they contacted the original band.

And we are out of a gig.

I'm sure it was just a misunderstanding, but it ticks us off. We schedule many weeks ahead because we all have stuff going on, and we were really looking forward to playing out there.

It reflects poorly on the bar. Hopefully we can get to play at another show that night.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

St. Charles Rocks

Down in St. Charles this week for work .... downtown St. Charles is really cool, brick paved streets, people actually walking around, and wireless internet in just about every restaurant.

Not that, oh, I don't know, these are good ideas or anything ....

Monday, September 21, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Saturday Random Thoughts


— And a very happy birthday to the 6-2 WIU freshman!
— Jeff Daniels is a Central Michigan University graduate and a great actor. He could play some people who inhabit Q-town, you know.
— Speaking of YOUR Chippewas .... let the couch lounging and football clicking begin!
— Heading to the river shortly, very cool story literally floating past Q-town.
— Camp fires in The Hood are awesome. They light up the garage sale signs, too.
— Wow. How about dem Blue Devils? In years past, if they got down 14-0, it was over. NOT ANYMORE! Let's pack Flinn Stadium next Friday!
— Another cool football story here.
— As always .... be safe this weekend!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Just An Observation ....

Angry people who are wrong are dangerous.

Lots of great CF tomorrow, so bring on the rain!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Fought The Law

Spirited Funions practice at Club Vegas last night. We spent a lot of time on the song "I Fought The Law" which is perfect for us. Many bands have covered this song but few can recreate note for note the Bobby Fuller rendition, seen here.

 So, we are getting ready for a benefit Sept. 27 in Ursa, we'll play from around 3 to 5 or so.

After a private party gig Oct. 3, we'll be gearing up for a huge Halloween weekend, more details to come.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sweater Vest

From Jim Tressel, coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes, on reading nasty e-mails (or looking at some Q-Town blog comments) ...

“When I read some of them I feel terrible for them because there’s no way

they’re happy,” he said. “They’ve got to be some of the most unhappy people

in the world, and I feel bad because we just made them less happy, and I

hate to be a part of making someone less happy. I mean, they’re already

miserable.”

Monday, September 14, 2009

U2 In Chicago



My buddy Andrew in Chicago went to the U2 show in Soldier Field last Saturday night. He snapped the above pic and gave the following report:

Overall, they delivered a great show, as usual.  The 360-degree stage (with bridges for them to walk over the crowd(!) to the circular runway was similar to what they used for the Elevation and Vertigo tours.  As with everything, it was just bigger and better than an arena show.  The other big thing was the video screen that could move up or down depending on the effect they wanted, as well as being expandable to create some nice visual effects on City of Blinding Lights and Vertigo.

The set was heavy on the latest material (All That You Can't Leave Behind forward, and a lot from the latest album of course), with only a couple of surprises (The Unforgettable Fire, Ultraviolet/Light My Way--I would've preferred The Fly or Until the End of the World from Achtung Baby).  They did play Pride, Bad and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For, which are always great, but not overly surprising ....


Tribune report here ...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

ER

Shey Fey had a back  pain episode early this morning, which meant a trip to Blessing Hospital's Emergency Department.

I hate hospitals. I don't hate the people who work in them, just the whole idea of being sick or in pain and helpless.

I will say the Blessing staff did a very good job getting things done. Glad we went early .... by late morning the place was turning into a zoo. 

I commend those who work is such settings.


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tea? No thanks

I've been asked by a lot of people if I was going to today's Tea Party in Washington Park.

Uh .... no.

Look. If this is your thing, good for you. It's just not mine. I played golf today, I'm watching Michigan play Notre Dame, I'm going to work later and hanging out at the cultural fair, and yes, I might stop by the Tea Party because it's next door to The Whig.

Not my cup of tea. If you go or you went, hope it was good for you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Flat Screens and Work

Got a big flat screen from the bass player of doom and hooked up a new DVD player .... with my Boss speakers. 

Holy crap! U2 live blasting through the screen at 11 — one louder than 10! 

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

The Throne of Doom

Another reason why I am the Luckiest Man Alive ....

Shey Fey bought and installed a new toilet seat for the upstairs bathroom.

HOOOOGE.


Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Rocky Dogs





It's hard to leave Denver. Very hard. 

But it's nice to be home. I'll blame the insomnia on the altitude change, jet lag, Bella The Destroyer, etc.

Actually, I think we are going to rename Bella "The Black Beast of AAAAAAHHHHHH." After all, she carves it in the rock.

Took in a Rockies game Sunday. The Light Rail took us right downtown and to Coors Field. I am against paying for a Major League Baseball game but it was a family outing and we were on vacation, blah blah blah, so we coughed up $10 each for third-deck tickets above third base.

Impressive. Coors Field has this open feel to it, and everything is easy — easy to walk in (you can buy cheap peanuts and water outside of the gates and take them into the game), easy to walk around the concourse, everything in front of you. The Little Cousins got to pitch and bat. Sibs got to pay $6.50 for a beer and $6 for a Rocky Dog, but if you haven't had a Rocky Dog, well, you haven't lived.

The game ended and we walked right to the Light Rail and half an hour later, boom, we were home.

I will also say this about Denver International Airport — it's far, far away from everything, but a 10-lane highway takes you right there and the check-in was painless.

So the Sibling Summit was a huge success and we are already planning on a trip to the ocean next year. We didn't solve any great crisis, didn't figure out the world, we just hung out — a beautiful thing!

It's only taken 44-plus years to say this, but I am grateful for family.




Sunday, September 06, 2009

Sibling Summit

My mother died in 2005, and it's a shame it took a death in the family to get us to wake up and reconnect.

So every Labor Day weekend since, we've gathered. The first four years it was in Phoenix, where you walk out of the airport and the heat sucks the breath from your body. Phoenix meant alternating between the pool or the AC. My brother hosted and we always had a Saturday night meeting to figure stuff out.

Those first Sibling Summits we had some great discussions and aired out a lot of thoughts and ideas. My mother's death put some serious perspective on life and we used the weekend to process.

Now we just laugh. A lot. We have Big Cousins and Little Cousins and I think about what my mom is doing and thinking right now, besides laughing her head off, of course.

This year we are in Denver at my sister's place. Just because you can walk out the door and around the corner and see the mountains in the 70-degree sunshine doesn't mean it's really all that spectacular. Pffft.

The point is to just hang out. Nobody makes big plans or trips. In Phoenix you'd find me beside the cooler and the pool. Yesterday I watched seven college football games and it was pure heaven. Thankfully we squeezed in a trip to the park for a baseball game and Uncle David's awesome grilling. 

I've also learned it's a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race. Cliches kill just about every blog post. But I don't care. Neither does my liver.

Today we are slowly waking up, listening to 6-year-old Erin happily babble in the kitchen and thinking about a 10 a.m. Bloody Mary. Then the boys are going to a Rockies game (taking the Light Rail, a beautiful thing) and the girls are going shopping (tried hiding the plastic but had no luck).

Next year we are thinking about Raleigh, N.C., where my other sister just moved. In two years, maybe little old Quincy. You never know.

It should be illegal having this much fun packing 16 people into a house!



Thursday, September 03, 2009

Denver

Great practice last night for The Funions. "I fought the law and the, law won ..."

Heading to CO Friday for the annual Hart Sibling Rebellion, which includes ....

— Lotsa college football.
— Beer.
— Uncle David's awesome food.
— Stealing Uncle Steve's Doritos.
— Beer.
— Possible trip to Rockies game at Coors Field.
— Long park walks.
— Just general happy times ....



Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Twitter

Finally gave in and started a work Twitter account ....

http://twitter.com/whigcrimeguy

So I've been tweeting. Why does it feel like I pull a groin muscle when I tweet?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Grooving at the Grove



Still scrambling to catch up after ANOTHER amazing Q-town weekend ....

— The trivia contest was once again a blast at St. Peter. My only complaint is it took too long. By 11 p.m. too many people had too much beer, and you know it's bad when they play the song, everybody sings along, and the answers are given away. But .... the questions were good, the PA was easy to hear and the Team Mrs. Rock A. Bye rolled to a fourth place finish. To the guy who came up and complained about something to the head table about halfway through — drink your beer and chill, bro! It's all fun and games until somebody puts their eye out. You'll live.

— Massive fun at the BT benefit Sunday at The Grove. Brought back a lot of memories of The Funions opening for 72 about a hundred years ago on the back patio. It was our first show in several months and we played pretty well, it was great having TMO on harp and keyboards. We picked up a huge gig at the Grove at the end of October. Get ready to do the Monster Mash on East Broadway!

— The 6-2 frosh is alive and well in Macomb. Have you ever heard an oboe and orchestra play "Point Of Know Return" with a rock band? You will in early December ....

— Getting ready for the annual Hart Family Rebellion this weekend. Gathering in the Denver suburbs this year. It's tough preparing for the first weekend of college football, Uncle David's awesome cooking, maybe even a sporting event or two.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

QHS 16, Alton 7

Nice job by the Blue Devils last night!

Dave Farkas really takes care of us in the press box. An informal poll taken by the scoreboard guys and the geeky PA guy revealed "chicken on a stick" was the No. 1 concession stand item at Flinn Stadium.

Dave does a good job washing dishes, too ....

In regards to the game, it looked a lot like Alton just killed themselves with dumb penalties, and a break here and there helped QHS, but the better team definitely won.

Trying to remember the last time QU, QND and QHS all won season openers in football. Anybody?

Doing the 336 Slide today to see the 6-1 1/2 freshman .... dorm life. Remember that?


Friday, August 28, 2009

Fu Fu Friday


Finally, it's Fu Fu Fu FRIDAY .....

— Bella the Destroyer got out of her kennel this morning and did her bidness at the foot of the upstairs steps. Holy lots of lit candles, Batman. Shey Fey cleaned up runny poo and all I gotta say is better her than me ....

— Perfect Friday afternoon mood music here as the weather tries to break.

— We will see you at Flinn Stadium tonight as the Quincy Blue Devils kick off the 2009 prep football season. Follow QHS all season long right here.

— What do you think about Missouri banning texting while driving if you are 21 or younger? This guy thinks it's kinda silly ...

— Another crazy weekend in Q-Town. Football Friday night, trivia contest Saturday night, Funions gig Sunday at 3 p.m. at The Grove for the BT benefit. More info and stuff about weekend madness here.

BE SAFE!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

piano man

The addition of TMO to The Funions is huge. He's played keyboards and harmonica the past two practices and it adds a new dimension to the band. 

We are excited about playing Sunday at The Grove. Latest info is that we play from 3 to 4:30, so hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Starting Back Up

The Funions have been working on new songs and getting ready for a couple of shows.

We are playing Sunday afternoon at a benefit at The Grove Inn on East Broadway, from 4 p.m. to around 5:30 or so.

Some other stuff in the works, stay tuned!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Frosh

Hard as it is to believe .... the 6-1 freshman started college today.

She likes it. She likes it a lot .... five regular classes, weekly oboe lesson, two small groups, some other stuff. "Enough to keep me busy," she says.

She is on the 17th floor of the dorm surrounded by upperclassman. "Maybe," she said, about surviving a year in the dorms. "The food wasn't that bad, actually."

Oh .... she is actually 6-1.5 now, as well.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oompha Chicken Dance

So Saturday night we started at the Elks with an outdoor party featuring Hearsay and Raised On Radio. It was great hearing Kathy Brink singing again with Hearsay, and it was a good turnout considering how much stuff yet again was going on in Quincy.

Then we headed to South Park to hear the Heidelberg German Band at Germanfest, and yet again I was a big Chicken. Jeff Schuecking and his guys weren't about to let me get away without doing the infamous Chicken Dance. I think I have it down now. Maybe.

The Heidelberg German band is celebrating 40 years of making merry music. The think I love about them is that they are having such a good time. By the end of the night nobody is too worried about missing a note or two, if you know what I mean. 

Anyway, seeing the Funions sax player rocking away on a picnic table in South Park was worth the price of admission, which was nothing — Germanfest is one of many free Quincy traditions.

Hope Jack, Jeff and the boys can clear the cobwebs enough to make the trip over to Springfield today to play at the Illinois State Fair!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Speaken Ze Engliz

From my Uncle, Peter Hart ....


The European Commission has just announced that English will be the official language of the European Union. German, which was the other possibility, narrowly missed out.


During negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".


In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly this will make sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favor of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.


There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to

reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.


By the 4th yer pepl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".


During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.


Und after zis fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German; lik zey vunted in ze forst plas.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Practice Smells

So The Funions rocked it out pretty hard at Club Vegas last night. TMO is in the band as a keyboard and harmonica player! And backup drummer. And singer! Buh buh buh bad to the bone ....

At the end of practice, somebody cut the cheese hard. I would like to remind my fellow Funions that taking responsibility for your actions will go a long way to promoting peace and harmony in the band. 

Therefore, there will be no more eating of beans before practice by any said members of The Funions.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The need to play

Funions will be practicing this week in the first time in forever. Throwing some new stuff and members into the mix will be fun and it will be good to just get out and play.

Still working on some shows for late summer/early fall.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

K of C

Went to the Knights of Columbus BBQ Friday night. For those of you not from Quincy, the BBQ is basically a big air, with carnival rides, food, games, lives music and lots and lots of beer.

This is basically the event signifying the end of summer. It's a popular event with families and friends. It's very well run and the crowds are huge.

The Cheeseburgers played last night and were in excellent form as always. Ran into a few people I knew but not many, had a beer or two, called it good.

We parked over by Recovery  Resources, got in and out with no hassles. 

Hope things go well tonight and tomorrow.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Tight Shoes

So I'm over at the Kingsridge pool last Sunday and everything is hunky dory. Monday I'm taking the dogs for a stroll and my shoes, white New Balances, feel tight on my feet. 

I get two pairs of shoes every year working for Gus Macker. Last year I cleaned out the closet and gave some to the Salvation Army, sold a few more at garage sales and tossed the worn out ones. I've probably had six or seven pairs of New Balances, usually good shoes.

Strange, how this pair looked a little new and didn't quite fit.

Then I get a call from Mark Brei, Funions bass player extraordinaire and Sunday afternoon Kingsridge pool regular.

"Uh, dude, you have my shoes," he said. "You left your other ones at the pool and took mine by mistake."

I just looked my name up on Webster.com and beside it is the apt description: MR. OBLIVIOUS.

At least my feet aren't shrinking.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Slow

Not much going on with The Funions right now .... we may be playing a benefit at the end of the month and perhaps in September, we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Canine Quote

Quote of the day ....

"What makes a dog want to roll around IN POOP?"

Thank you.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Ferry, Gus on the beach

















In the middle of the two-week vacation, we went to Sheboygan, Wis., to work for Gus.



The tournament takes place at the Harbor Centre right beside a Lake Michigan beach. I'd rank it in the top three of Gus Mackers I've worked. The local staff was great, almost everybody behaved, Dream Court was a blast as usual. I supervised the Gus Busters and almost all of them were awesome.

The history of this place is intriguing. About 20 years ago some progressive city fathers decided to clean up the area and build the harbor. I could think of a town or two which could take a page from this book .... not that the mighty Mississippi is Lake Michigan, but our riverfront in Quincy is sorely underdeveloped.

Anyway, loads of fun. Did you know the water is wetter in Wisconsin and the waves break away from the beach?

On Monday we took the Badger ferry from Manitowoc to Ludington. It is expensive, about $200 for two people and a car, but not dealing with construction-strewn roads or driving through Chicago is worth about a million bucks. The Badger is a huge boat but it still pitched and rolled on the high Lake Michigan water, and after awhile we had to stop looking outside to keep the stomachs from getting too queasy .... when we docked in Ludington, the Badger hit the ramp too hard and knocked it off the entrance ramp, and there was about 20 minutes of panic-stricken repairs before we started unloading.

If you have four hours and don't mind spending a few extra bucks, this is the way to go to get across the lake.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Short Beach

video

This year the Lake Michigan water is very high. Unfortunately it wiped out my camping on my uncle's beach in Hollatuck (between Holland and Saugatuck). Eleven days earlier when I visited, there were only a few feet of beach.

Compare the above video shot Thursday to the one from Aug. 13, 2008. Same beach, much less sand. 

So it was off to Hoffmaster State Park near Grand Haven for a few days. We also stayed one night at Ludington State Park and it was beautiful. 

The good things about public campgrounds are the bathrooms and showers nearby and electricity. The bad things are the distances to the beaches and all the people. But .... there is something soothing about listening to a baseball game on the radio in front of a campfire, and it is nice and quiet at night.

On Thursday we spent a picture perfect day in Hollatuck. One day isn't enough, but it sufficed.


Friday, August 07, 2009

Two Week Adventure


Holy massive zig zagging across Wisconsin and Michigan, Batman.

An awesome two weeks. From Quincy to Michigan cities of:
Ann Arbor
Hudsonville
Holland
Grand Haven
Jackson
Benton Harbor
Chicago, Ill.
Sheyboygan, Wis.
Manitowoc, Wis.
Ludington
Pontiac
Holland

And finally, home.

The adventure was capped by quite possibly the best Lake Michigan beach day ever Thursday.

Highlights: An awesome Gus Macker on the other side of the lake in Sheybogan, Shey Fey missing her train stop, good family fun in Pontiac and Holland, a massive ferry going up and down in Lake Michigan, adventures in whiffle ball, a lack of beach, camping in state campgrounds, Blue Lake excellence, and way too many miles on the Oldsmobuick of doom.

Much more to come ....

Monday, July 27, 2009

So I lied ....

Quick update from lovely Hudsonville, Michigan.

Took the 6-1 frosh to Ann Arbor for the end of her Blue Lake music tour. If you want a fascinating display of diverse humanity, have lunch downtown right by the campus and people-watch.

Let's just put it this way. I saw a Frank Zappa T-shirt, a guy with no shirt wander into traffic and almost get hit by a car and laugh it off, and enough interesting people to last a lifetime.

Gotta love college towns.

Off to the Lake Michigan beach later this morning ....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday morning

Sleep. Maybe I'll find it up north.

Wouldn't this be a great show ....

Blues In The District tonight, 10-hour road trip taking the college freshman up and over tomorrow.

But ... there will be no daily newspaper. 

You might be surprised at the opinion of a veteran sports journalist over the Erin Andrews flap.

I am not a pro baseball fan. But I was for a few minutes yesterday.

But I'm over it now.

So .... no more posts for a while. No wireless where I'm headed.