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

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


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


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


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

Thank you.