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

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


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


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.


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


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


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

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.