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

Monday, May 31, 2010

Recovery after Gus

That's me and the legendary Scott (Gus Macker) McNeal at Saturday morning's opening ceremonies. Gus made his 20th consecutive trip to Quincy this weekend, the longest running Gus Macker tournament in the country to my knowledge, and it was a blast as usual.

Scott got the keys to the city from Mayor John Spring and was genuinely humbled. He is one of the most fascinating, high energy and downright positive men I have ever met. He's like a windup toy that never runs out of the juice, an incredible human being.

You are always going to hear the stories about mad parents, kids who misbehave, etc. I saw very little of it and I was all over the place Sunday afternoon after a great two days on Dream Court. Thanks to Don O'Brien and Bill Shuler for helping with announcing games, and SheyFey for being an awesome Dream Court Rally Monkey.

On Sunday afternoon I jumped right into the fray and officiated the championship game on Red A, the youngest division, and these little guys flinging up jumpers on the 8-foot basket were tremendous. It was chaos and actually the biggest issue was an older brother of one of the players who thought he was Bobby Knight. Bobby and I had a little chat near the end of the game. Bobby sat down and didn't say much after that.

On Dream Court the only issue we had was a Quincy High vs. Quincy Notre Dame matchup of macho freshmen and sophomores. You know, you really don't impress me by talking smack after making a basket, or whacking wildly as your man blows past you for a layup. It's the first time I can remember having to come off the stage while doing play by play to officiate and calm things down.

I know they are good kids, but they watch a little too much And 1.

But after that all I saw was great effort and people having a blast. I went down to a 11-12 boys court near the end of the day and officiated a few games and they were a joy to watch and hang out with.

Gus, you were great, as usual. We go to Traverse City this weekend, first time I've been back there since my Alpena News days, and it will be awesome again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The other guys

It's funny when a guy who claims he doesn't care what the competition does then says with authority what he thinks about the competition.

Nuff said.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gus Is Just Around The Corner

Don't think we'll need the jackets and sweatshirts this weekend when Gus rolls in for the 20th anniversary of being in Quincy.

Having the Macker crew over in Calftown on Saturday night for staff dinner. It's forced us to clean the house and yard. Which is a good thing.

Come hang out with us this weekend at Fifth and Maine's Dream Court. It's .... dreamy.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Firing Range Fun

To celebrate The Might One's promotion, we had a party for 60 or so of our closest friends at the old firing range on South 12th Saturday night.


Last night was about the most fun you could have. Playing music should be about having a good time and connecting with your audience no matter what the setting.

You know it's been a good gig when ...

— You bust a guitar string and give it to TMO's grandmother-in-law and she says she's going to start a line of Funions jewelry.

— You can't get out of bed a few hours after you get home. Stupid bleeping back .... Shawn Irvine, here I come Monday morning.

— Officer RosenYates threatens to use handcuffs if you don't participate in bombing the country of Yager. As in, Yager Meiser. I believe it's an island in the Bahamas somewhere.

— You get a request to play "Wipeout" and try to figure it out and then forget to play it anyway.

— You look at all the stuff you have to put away after the gig and suddenly realize, "Wait! We can come back tomorrow!"

— SheyFey and Dirk Jr. are still up at 2 a.m.

— The Queen of Aldo Blvd., Gor Jus MB, sings "Knocking On Heaven's Door" with the band (see the photo up top) and the place comes unglued.

— The amazing Jack Inghram blows everybody away with his sax and TMO's arms threaten to fall off after the last set.

— The gal who just sang "Brown Eyed Girl" with the band looks at you and says "What? You are the neighbor guy? The one WITH THE DOGS?"

— CK just wants to rock and roll all night and it's HUGE!

— TMO sings "Faithfully" and there isn't a dry eye in the place. Well. Maybe that was from some of Quincy's finest and flying debris in the bar area. Just a rumor.

Good grief, what a great time.

Of course this morning I'm trying to clear the cobwebs when reality strikes hard and reminds us it's a big cruel world out there ... click here.

The Funions will be off for a while to regroup. We are thinking about doing a Pub Crawl in July, will keep you posted.

Where's that tube of Ben Gay, anyway?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Let's Go

Summer is starting up, though you'd never know it with all the Calftown people building arks because of the rain ....

Big party tomorrow night for TMO, who adds a stripe and is large and in charge. Congrats Might One!

One week away from Gus Macker in Quincy, one of my favorite weekends of the year. Other cities on the tour this year for Dirk Jr Dream Court are Traverse City, Sheyboygan Wis., Racine Wis. and Lafayette, Ind.

I have no time for a screwed up back. NONE.

Did anybody go see the Kentucky Headhunters last night?

SheyFey's things to do Facebook page continues to rock ....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Things To Do In Quincy

SheyFey got mad there were only a few people at Can Jam Sunday at Turner Hall.

So she decided to do something about it.

She has started a Facebook site called Things To Do In Quincy. What's she found is that there are a lot of things to do, and apparently a lot of people interested in things to do.

Two days after starting it, she has more than 130 people in the group.

Attta girl!

And NEVER say there's nothing to do. You just have to know where to look.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Balance At The Pig

Local band The Balance played last night at the Blind Pig.

Love the Blind Pig. It's cozy, for sure. In fact, that's the posted limit on number of people you can have in the main room. It's a good thing nobody called the fire department last night because they might have had a few more than 80.

Some of you probably caught the irony in that last sentence. It's great that the guys took over the building and are steadily building a successful business, and I wish them nothing but the best of luck. I would love it if The Funions could play a show there.

The Balance is a really good classic rock cover band. Steve Buckman is the keyboard player and is the bomb. I like the fact they didn't play at ear-splitting volume, a sign of seasoned musicians in the band. Some of the songs they played were awesome (Spooky, Feels Like The First Time, Life In The Fast Lane). Of course they stole a bunch of Funions songs but we will forgive them for that.

It was packed at 8 p.m. when they started and the crowd was their age (experienced, not old!). There were a couple of birthday and anniversary parties so everybody was in a good mood and they were starting to move by the time we left around 9:30.

Speaking of The Funions, we are celebrating TMO's promotion with a little bash this Saturday. We are also working on a couple of really cool ideas for the summer, and may be playing at a wedding reception in July.

And .... congrats to Emily CSI and Steve on their engagement, and The Funions will be in the house in June 2011 for sure!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rodent and Squirrel Control

So this afternoon after another day of chronicling misery, I take the girls to Woodland for a long walk.

We park at the main entrance, go south to the Mausoleum, head behind the Civil War monument, walk up the path from the City Vault, head to the far north end.

Bella and Lucy then get excited by the Sarah Denman grave. They corner a squirrel, and it momentarily escapes by jumping on top of a big tree stump.

Then, inexplicably, it makes a run for a nearby tree, and doesn't make it.

Bella and Lucy, of course, have a ball playing with the petrified animal, tossing it in the air and shaking it in their mouths.

The poor thing gets away and starts climing up a tree, gets about four feet up, then freezes and does the classic horse ARRRRUMPH from Animal House.

And it drops dead on the spot, landing on the ground with a thud.

Yesterday they caught a mole at Woodland and really, that's a good thing, because moles rip up the ground and are disgusting animals.

I feel a little bit worse about the squirrel. Bella and Lucy are gentle and friendly around people, but get them around those small furry creatures and they go crazy.

Maybe we'll call the caretaker and ask him if he wants to hire Bella and Lucy as squirrel and rodent control officers.

P.S. no stuffed animals were harmed in the photo on top. Well, that's a lie. The stuffing was ripped out and strewn all over the place. But nature is cruel and that's the way it is.

Monday, May 10, 2010

International Monty Python Day

Today is International Monty Python Day. I've been putting Monty Python lines on my Facebook status to celebrate.

When I got a job in the Grand Canyon some 100 years ago, my friend Curtis sent me a tape of two Monty Python albums. I laughed until I cried listening to that tape a million times.

"I'd like to have an argument please."

No you don't ....

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Let sleeping dogs lay, er, lie, er, just leave them alone

This is a SheyFey cell phone photo of Bella passed out on the couch this afternoon. She was snoring loudly and enjoying a peaceful Calftown Saturday.

I would make fun of her but I was snoring even louder and likely drooling on the other living room couch. As this is a family-friendly blog, no photos will be shown or small children might start crying.

Ahhhh .... quiet Saturday afternoons. HUGE.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Dam! Big Film

Ahhhhh .... Friday night in the Q-town after a loooonnnngggg work week.

Little happy hour in the hot tub, some Hy-Vee pizza, the Big Dam Film Festival tonight.

Bella did NOT climb up the counter to devour the pizza.

Life is good ....

Monday, May 03, 2010

Miss ya mom ....

It's amazing how you can remember where you were and what you were doing during significant events.

I was interviewing a meth addict in the Adams County Probation Department five years ago today when my mom died. I was in a courtroom covering the sentencing when Phil Carlson of The Whig walked into the courtroom with a message from my brother in Arizona.

I called him from the State's Attorney's office. He told me. I fell on my knees.

I remember walking down Jail Alley and blubbering like a fool. I wrote a horrible story about a bad person. And I went home, and I don't remember much more.

I miss my mother. Every day. She had a great ride for 65 years, but she was retiring from teaching school and looked forward to traveling and spending more time with her grandkids.

My mother was always so dang happy, even when life smacked her upside the head and was really cruel to her.

I can still hear her voice, sing-songing hello on the phone.

I miss her so much. But today I was determined to be happy, for her.

For the most part, it was a good day.

Miss you mom. You are in a better place. I will see you there some day, with any luck.