Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 29 Fly Away

It's been a tough few weeks for me. Today I did some work at Dollar Rent A Car at O'Hare Airport. I parked right in line with the landing strip in use from the east. As planes flew over me I just kept thinking of Lenny Kravitz's "Fly Away" & Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner". Hey it's just how my brain works sometimes.

"Fly Away"
I wish that I could fly
Into the sky
So very high
Just like a dragonfly

I'd fly above the trees
Over the seas in all degrees
To anywhere I please

Oh I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

Oh I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

Let's go and see the stars
The milky way or even Mars
Where it could just be ours

Let's fade into the sun
Let your spirit fly
Where we are one
Just for a little fun
Oh oh oh yeah !

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah yeah yeah

I got to get away
Feel I got to get away
Oh oh oh yeah

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah with you yeah yeah
Oh Yeah !

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah with you yeah yeah
I got to get away

I want to get away X4
I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah with you yeah yeah
I got to get away

I want to get away X4

I want to get away
I want to fly away
Yeah with you
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah

"Jet Airliner"
Leavin' home, out on the road
I've been down before
Ridin' along in this big ol' jet plane
I've been thinkin' about my home
But my love light seems so far away
And I feel like it's all been done
Somebody's tryin' to make me stay
You know I've got to be movin' on

Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay

Goodbye to all my friends at home
Goodbye to people I've trusted
I've got to go out and make my way
I might get rich you know I might get busted
But my heart keeps calling me backwards
As I get on the 707
Ridin' high I got tears in my eyes
You know you got to go through hell
Before you get to heaven

Big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay

Touchin' down in New England town
Feel the heat comin' down
I've got to keep on keepin' on
You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin' around
And I'm goin' with some hesitation
You know that I can surely see
That I don't want to get caught up in any of that
Funky kicks goin' down in the city

Big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay
Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah

Big ol' jet airliner
Don't carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's here that I've got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Carry me to my home
Oh, Oh big ol' jet airliner
Cause it's there that I belong

September 28 Sunrise

Oslo woke me up about 4:30am so I could let him outside to pee. Well it turns out I had to pee too. Since the days are getting shorter, it was still dark enough for me to pee in the yard without the neighbors being able to see. Oslo & I shared a special moment there in the cool dark morning. I sat out there with him as the sun came up. A nice relaxing way to start the work week. It turned out to be a very colorful sunrise. So I decided to share it with you.Here's hoping everyone has a good week.

Monday, September 28, 2009

September 27 Fall, Football & Friends

It started out as a beautiful fall day here in Chicago. I took the dogs on a walk along a new trail through the woods that I found while walking on the paved path. I should have stayed on the path. After about 20 minutes I was going to turn around and head back but the trail appeared to loop back to the path so I continued onward. The trail just kind of ended but I could see a clearing just ahead so I bushwacked through the brush with the dogs. Fluffy came out covered from head to toe with burrs also known as stickers. Oslo had a bunch also. I spent two hours trying to remove all the stickers from them. Then Walter showed up with his dogs, Roxie & Lex. We watched the Bears game as Lex & Oslo play fought with each other for the entire first half. Even though Oslo has 100 pounds on the French Bulldog puppy. Lex kicked his ass. Then my former neighbor, Ryan stopped by to watch the second half of the game. Kimmie stopped by, fresh from dislocating her shoulder while riding her bike today, to eat the king crab legs I bought last night and steamed with garlic & sea salt. MMMMM, very tasty. The night ended with ESA warnings on my television about immediately seeking shelter from tornadoes spotted over the south suburbs of Chicago. No sooner had the scrolling message finished when my town's tornado siren went off. I went outside but never saw any funnel clouds. So no cool storm pictures, you get a nice picture of a red leaf I took today. Summer is gone, it's officially fall now.

September 26 Single Guy On Saturday Night

A week with the wife out of's Saturday night... let's PAR-TAY. So what did I do, I went grocery shopping at 9:30pm. I did grab a couple of melons (in the produce section) and checked out the red snapper (at the seafood counter) but I ended up with crabs (Alaskan King Crab legs). That was the extent of my Saturday night partying. The picture is $147 of groceries. I put away the groceries, put on a pair of depends and went to bed with a warm glass of milk, my reading glasses and a good book. Getting old really sucks, why are the last years of your life called the golden years? The real golden years are from 20 to 35. As Denis Leary once said about the last years of your life, "those are the wheelchair, adult diaper, kidney dialysis fucking years, you can have those years."

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 25 Badlands Pictures

I am slowly going through my pictures from last years trip to Yellowstone National Park. We stopped at Badlands National Park on the way out to Wyoming. I just posted the pictures from the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Devil's Tower on Shutterfly. Click here to see them.
Don't forget to watch the Ken Burn's series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea". The first episode is this Sunday night on PBS.

September 24 What My World Needs Now... Raw Dog Comedy on Sirius satellite radio. There is so much crap going on in this country that it makes me crazy at times. I use the comedy channel to relieve the building pressure so I don't go on a killing rampage against ignorant people, stupid people and hypocrites. I heard this song and it made me smile. It's nice to know that there are some Americans that still think for themselves. I know a few and I can add Stephen Lynch to that list.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

September 23 Rest In Peace Mr. D

Last night I found out that Phil Delgado, called Mr. D by me for as long as I can remember, had passed away. I knew his condition was deteriorating, but once I heard the words my heart was heavy. I have proudly said he was like a father to me for years. He has treated me as family, like a son, for over 30 years. His love of life, his big smile, his hearty laugh, his voice on the phone saying, "Gregg, it's Mr. D" are just some of the irreplaceable things about him I will miss for the rest of my life. All the things I learned from him, either implicitly or explicitly, I will thankfully carry with me the rest of my life. Last year when Mr. D was first told he had a failing liver, his daughter Kathy created a blog to keep everyone updated on his progress recuperating. She asked everyone to write a little something for her father. I wrote the following that I thought I would post here to help explain how important he was to me & why I loved this man so much. It turns out that everyone had a similar story and the same love for Uncle Phil. He spent an entire lifetime improving the lives of everyone he had met. That my friends, is the textbook definition of a life well spent. I have no doubt that when he passed through the Pearly Gates, God was standing there with his hand extended saying it's my pleasure to finally meet you. If the world was a perfect place, everyone would have an Uncle Phil. So if you could use one spend some time at "They Call Me Uncle Phil".

Mr. D,
The opportunity to tell someone how special they are to you, instead of just hoping they know it. This is truly a special gift. How perfect that this gift comes from you. The man that showed a punk kid from the neighborhood (that was just learning to live on his own) how a life should be lived. You welcomed me into your home (usually uninvited) to spend a day sitting in the backyard, a night sitting at the kitchen table or time spent in the garage/woodshop (where there was never any room to sit). You taught me about life’s simple pleasures, good company, laughter, great food, music, that it was ok to grow up and still have a child’s innocent heart and that enjoying these things with friends and family would lead to a fulfilling life. These lessons were not formal but over the years I have learned to appreciate how valuable they are to me. Con todo mi corazón, les doy las gracias. My most treasured gift from you is that you always treated me like family, maybe even better because I think I got to drink the good tequila at least once, maybe twice. You always have and always will make me smile. I always called you Mr. D, but I could just as easily called you Uncle Phil. Love always, Gregg

Here is Chrissy's letter to Mr. D.

Mr.D, if it wasn't for Gregg I wouldn't of had the chance to have you be a special part of my life. You & Mrs.D treated me like family right from the start over 23 years ago(WOW-am I old). We've shared good food, drinks & conversations at Café Borgia & your homes. You joined us in NYC so Gregg could show you the city he LOVES & see a fella only wearing "chaps" on the subway. You also followed us to Tucson to keep Gregg company, while I attended a Bear Conference and joined us for a lovely evening of food, drink & entertainment(the Doo-Wop band & the kid dancers) at the Reid Park Zoo. Speaking of zoos, you came to Brookfield so I can show you all my babies up close. Yeah, they're lions,tigers & bears but,how many people can say they fed an ice cream cone to a polar bear. Now you understand why I love these majestic creatures. I'll always cherish the beautiful hand crafted plate rack that's in our kitchen-you are so talented. I do want to bring up one little thing that you & Mrs.D still owe Gregg & I; a trip to Mexico so you can be our tour guides. I only took German in school so I need a translator & I'm not counting on Gregg's Spanish; I would end up coming back to the states alone. So let us know when you're ready for a road trip!! Love ya, Christy

September 22 Kathy & Mrs. D

This is a picture of my friends, Kathy & her mom, Mrs. D. I love these two women. Kathy and I have been friends since both our families moved into the Northgate subdivision in Dyer, IN sometime around 1978. They lived across the street from the baseball field in Northgate Park. Mrs. D has been like my second mom ever since she made the mistake of offering us kids lemonade instead of water from the garden hose during one of our baseball games. These two have what I consider to be a very rare combination of traits. They both possess an unparalleled inner strength and an amazing ability to be the most loving people I know. Today I received phone calls from both of them. Sometimes reality can leave you at a loss for words. Today that was the case. Kathy called me this afternoon to let me know her father was admitted to the ICU today. Mr. D has been battling liver disease for the past year. I talked to him in the past 10 days, as usual he said he was doing fine. There was something in Kathy's voice that warned me this wasn't a typical hospital visit. I knew this call would come someday, but it stunned me today for some reason. The phone rang at 11:30pm. I knew this couldn't be good. It was Mrs. D with the news that her husband has passed away around 7pm. There was a very strong calmness to Mrs. D's voice as she recounted the details of his last day. I really needed to hear that to keep me from falling apart on the phone. I agreed when Mrs. D said "Phil had lived a good life. He was loved by many and he loved many." I was relieved to know that both Mrs. D & Kathy's wish that he not suffer was granted by the grace of God. If there is such a thing as a good way to die, this was it. Live your life to the fullest, with a huge smile for everyone you meet, then give loved ones a chance to say goodbye and finally pass quickly surrounded by those who loved you the most.

Monday, September 21, 2009

September 21 My Afternoon With Megan Fox

After work today, I spent an exhilarating 2 hours at the DMV renewing my driving license. Before you begin to think my life is so pathetic that an entire afternoon spent at the DMV could be a highlight of my day, let me assure you the DMV had nothing to do with it. I brought along my copy of the latest Rolling Stone with Megan Fox on the cover. To be honest, I had never heard of her. But she was hotter than anyone at the DMV and I would have guessed way smarter. But after looking at the pictures, I made the mistake of reading the interview. I'm not sure she's qualified to work at the DMV. I did mention she was hot, oh yes I did. Anyway, I just about shit when they told me I had to take the written test again. What the hell do I know about the real rules of the road? After driving for 28 years, I believe the law requires you to lay on your horn and scream obscenities at anyone that impedes your progress toward your destination. When I turned it in, I asked if I could get my old license back if I failed. Surprisingly, you can. I passed and only had to wait 45 minutes to have my picture taken for my new license. Thank God Megan was willing to stay with me. For that she is my new girl of the day.

September 20 My Favorite Girl

Since I had to work last night, my sleep was all fucked up. So I spent the day running errands, making sauce with tomatoes from our garden, watching football and getting some long overdue jobs done around the house. So Fluffy decided it was her day to spend with me. Wherever I went, she followed. Since she is my favorite girl, I really didn't mind. But she really needs a bath... she stinks. I put it on my list of stuff that must get done, but by the time I tried to get her up for a bath. These pictures pretty much tell the story. But Fluff is still my new girl of the day, actually she's my old girl and my favorite girl.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

September 19 Bleeding Heart Bakery

I got up at 5am to take Chrissy to the airport. She is off to Seattle for some hiking and an AAZK (American Association of Zoo Keepers) conference. So for the next 11 days I need some new women in my life. Today's choice is Michelle Garcia from The Bleeding Heart Bakery. She is into punk music and creates the most amazing baked goods & cakes I have ever seen. A little moshing and a little noshing, she could be my soul mate. Trust me on this, click the link and check out the cakes. Their website has tons of photos. If you have a sweet tooth like mine, it is as arousing as looking at porn.

September 18 Highbridge Park

I read about a group of mountain bikers that convinced New York City to allow them to create mountain bike single track trails in Highbridge Park on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The long neglected park was a haven for junkies and prostitutes. Even after two years of trail building and bike riding, the park still has junkies shooting up in the woods along the trails. The story centers on Jamie Bogner and Mike Vitti who are the ones most responsible for the creation of mountain bike trails in Manhattan. You can read the story here. I mention it today because I want everyone to understand that I believe you can accomplish anything if you go about it correctly. This country is dysfunctional in many ways but these guys decided they wanted some single track mountain bike trails in Manhattan and they got them. Nice work guys.

Highbridge Hustle & Flow Team Relay Race 2008 from Jason Morgan on Vimeo.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17 It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia

Tonight is the season premiere of one of my favorite shows. I can't even try to explain it to you. Basically, it is about four friends that own a bar. Danny Devito plays the father of two of them. After that it can't be described except to say that you will laugh your ass off at the crazy shit they dream up for the show. It began 5 years ago, when they won an internet contest and got their show on FX. It has gotten more out of control each season. Definitely worth 30 minutes of your life each week.

September 16 First To arrive

That is my hockey bag, sticks and the team's water bottles all alone in the locker room. I usually arrive early or first like tonight because I need time to get this old fucking body ready to play hockey. Even though I'm the first one to arrive, I'm usually one of the last to actually get on the ice for warm-ups. I don't know why this happens. I know I dress slow. I know I bullshit with the guys a lot. I also know I need as much time to stretch and warm up as anyone on the team. But somehow knowing all this, I still don't arrive early enough to get on the ice first. Anyway after losing 6-1 last week, we evened our record at 1-1 with a 8-0 win tonight. I got credit for 2 assists but I really only had one on Reg's goal that made it 4-0. Reg, Patty-O and new defenseman Justin had 2 goals each, Vinnie & Walt also scored. Jim McD had 3 assists. It was nice to win easily for a change. We haven't done that much lately. This fall league has some stacked teams, it should be fun.

September 15 Some Girls

Back in my youth, 1978 to be exact, I won a call in contest on the most popular radio station at that time. It was 97.9 FM, better known as The Loop. The station is still called the Loop and it pretty much plays classic rock from the late 70's era. But this blog isn't about radio stations, it is about winning an album, an actual vinyl album the kind that spun at 33 and 1/3 RPM. My mom was in the kitchen and heard that I won. I was given a choice of several albums and I chose 'Some Girls' by the Rolling Stones. My mom said no immediately. So I chose 'Jazz' by Queen. My mom said the Stones' song 'Some Girls' was offensive that is why she didn't want me to have that album. What the fuck did I know about girls or offensive songs? I was only 13 years old that summer. I thought Queen was a cool name for a band. At the time, I had no idea it was a reference to the lead singer's sexual preferences. I do remember the Rolling Stones taking some shit in the media about that song but I don't think it was ever a popular song. I am not sure I ever heard the song or if I had, I didn't listen closely to the lyrics. So today, I decided to listen to the song while running errands. I know 30 years have passed but I didn't find the lyrics to be offensive. I'll admit I don't typically get offended by lyrics to a song. I'll also admit I still know don't much about girls but I do know that Freddie Mercury was a queen. I also know I still love music and the Some Girls album is still very good. It seems like a musical love letter to a then decaying New York City. Give it a listen and let me know if you agree.

Some Girls by The Rolling Stones

Some girls give me money
Some girls buy me clothes
Some girls give me jewelry
That I never thought I'd own

Some girls give me diamonds
Some girls, heart attacks
Some girls I give all my bread to
I don't ever want it back

Some girls give me jewelry
Others buy me clothes
Some girls give me children
I never asked them for

So give me all your money
Give me all your gold
I'll buy you a house back in Zuma beach
And give you half of what I own

Some girls take my money
Some girls take my clothes
Some girls get the shirt off my back
And leave me with a lethal dose

French girls they want Cartier
Italian girls want cars
American girls want everything in the world
You can possibly imagine

English girls they're so prissy
I can't stand them on the telephone
Sometimes I take the receiver off the hook
I don't want them to ever call at all

White girls they're pretty funny
Sometimes they drive me mad
Black girls just wanna get fucked all night
I just don't have that much jam

Chinese girls are so gentle
They're really such a tease
You never know quite what they're cookin'
Inside those silky sleeves

Give me all you money
Give me all your gold
I'll buy you a house back in Zuma beach
And give you half of what I own

Some girls they're so pure
Some girls so corrupt
Some girls give me children
I only made love to her once

Give me half your money
Give me half your car
Give me half of everything
I'll make you world's biggest star

So gimme all your money
Give me all your gold
Let's go back to Zuma beach
I'll give you half of everything I own

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 14 Santa's Village

I drove past what's left of Santa's Village in Dundee, IL today. I didn't grow up in Chicago so I never actually visited Santa's Village. I still felt the strange feeling of a loss. The loss of a simpler time, which always includes a loss of innocence in my mind. This place closed in 2006. It lasted longer than most of the local, family owned amusement parks. It was replaced by the huge corporate parks that bombard everyone with advertising for their latest movies, toys or video games. How could Santa's Village survive? Children lost interest in Santa. Hell, do kids even believe in Santa past the age of three anymore. They could probably google 'Santa'...wait I just did. Googling just the word santa brings up on the suggestion list..Santa Monica, Santa Cruz...etc. Of the 10 listed Santa Claus is not an option. Google 'Santa C' and Claus shows up 8th on the suggestion list. Even Wikipedia says Santa Claus is mythical in it's first sentence. So kids just didn't want to visit an amusement park with giant candy canes out front, reindeer in a petting zoo and a fat man in a red suit. Even in my saddened state, I guess I can't blame them.

September 13 Praying Mantis

I went bike riding today. It was one of the most perfect days we have had all summer long. Kimmie & I took the dogs to Bronnell Woods early in the morning. Then we biked for three and a half hours. We took the paved bike path to the single track trails on the south side of Jurgenson Woods. Then found this praying mantis on the sign at Sweet Woods. I rarely see this insect, so I snapped some shots as he climbed the sign. This creature is prehistoric looking. It made my day to see a praying mantis. The horse trail at Sweet Woods was closed for construction but since it was Sunday & no workers were around; we took the horse trail to the train tracks. Then we rode the single track trails through Brownell Woods, rode the streets to the north end of Jurgensen Woods and rode the horse trail back home. It was a great ride but I was very sore. I spent the afternoon doing a little praying myself.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 12 Zac & Erin

I DJ'd a wedding in down in Beecher last night. Zac & Erin are the youngest couple I have ever DJ'd for at a wedding. Zac is in the service and he is about to be deployed to Iraq so they had to move up the wedding date. I was a bit nervous about how the night would go, but just like the wedding I did a few weeks ago the dance floor was packed most of the night. It was a great group of kids and family. Most of the bridal party was under 21, so you had to go to the bar in the next room for an alcoholic drink. It was a simple family run affair at the VFW hall and I had a great time working the party. The bride's father had passed away a few years ago. At one point in the night, I was sitting with one of his best friends. He was telling me about him. How he loved music and sports. He had thousands of records and CD's. I had to admit I wished he was there, I am sure we would have gotten along great. The picture of the little boy & girl was taken during "Shout". They both tried to follow along with the dance and almost got knocked around like pinballs. My 'Grinch Heart' must be growing because I got a kick out of these two all night. I also want to wish Zac & Erin nothing but the best and a thank you to Zac for serving his country.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11 Never Forget

September 10 Who's That Girl?

Do you recognize these girls? Do you know what they have in common? Of course you recognize Pam Anderson. I'll save you the trouble of googling "Blue Zone Girl". It is Pam Anderson from about 1989. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

September 9 Douchebag Of The Week

This one shouldn't be a surprise to anyone, it's Joe Wilson, Congressman from South Carolina. The surprise might be why. I could care less that he yelled out "You lie" during the President's speech to Congress. He did belittle himself in the eyes of anyone watching that has a functioning brain and most of the Republicans demanded he apologize immediately after the speech. The rest probably lack the previously mentioned functioning brain. He is a douchebag in my eyes because like most politicians, he didn't stand by his own actions or convictions. If he truly believes Obama isn't telling us the truth, then he should back up his statement with proof. After apologizing, tell us how Mr. Obama is lying. Since he did not prove his statement then I have to assume Joe Wilson is a liar. The President flat out asked Congress to quit spreading lies and bring him ideas for real healthcare reform. And 'You Lie' is all Joe Wilson can offer, for that he is my douchebag of the week.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

September 8 Always Remember

I had just heard about soldiers killed in Afghanistan on the radio when I stopped at the light at the Lansing Airport. I quickly got my camera out and took this picture. I just wanted to say that you don't need a holiday to remember those who served this country. Remember them everyday.

September 7 This Is How You Do It

I read this amazing article about a pizzeria called Great Lake in Chicago. It started out as a labor of love for the couple that own it. They, like me, think most Chicago pizzas suck. So they opened a small artisan pizzeria. Then GQ magazine names it America's best pizza. There are now two hour waits for their pizzas. Instead of cashing in by expanding or franchising, the owners stay true to their original idea of creating a small, top quality, local pizzeria. I salute them and will have to break my dining out rule of not waiting more than one hour to eat. Read the article from the Chicago Tribune here. This picture of the owners was taken from the Chicago Tribune website. You can read the GQ article here. I've got a few pizzerias to try now.

September 6 Bungle In The Jungle

My sister in law Kimmie has ridden the bike paths religiously all summer long. I wish I had the same determination. So when she asked at 9am, I decided to go even though my bones creaked and muscles ached as soon as I got up. I decided I wanted to ride the paved paths to the dirt trails then ride the single track trails. I am an idiot. But I forced myself to do it. I suffered the rest of the day but I did it. My nephew Kyle went along because Kimmie was punishing him for something he did yesterday. That's him swinging over the creek. I rode the next day and the punishment I endured today paid off. I felt pretty good on Monday's ride which was mostly dirt trails.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 5 Good Times With Four Legged Friends & Old Friends

Chrissy & I took the dogs to the Green City Market in Lincoln Park this morning. The dogs loved it and Oslo was surprisingly well behaved in the crowded market. Fluffy made some friends who actually offered to watch her while we shopped.

There was some live entertainment too.
Of course the main attraction is the locally grown food. This is the best farmer's market I have found in Chicagoland. It runs year round but it is held outside until October 31st. I encourage everyone to shop here as often as possible. You can meet the people who either grew the food or handmade the cheeses, pies or pasta. We left with 3 types of eggplants, a raspberry-blueberry pie, some peaches and apples, mixed greens for a salad, goats milk soaps, a 7 year aged cheddar cheese block and some fresh blueberries & raspberries. I almost forgot the Crimini Mushroom Tagliatelle and the Seasonal Garlic Capellini we bought from the Pasta Puttana. We also got something for the dogs, elk bones. Our strange weather continues as summer comes to an end. We had a full week of sunshine but also had record lows at night, down to 42 degrees one night. This morning a strange fog rolled in off the lake, it covered the Hancock building but stopped about 2 blocks into the city, west of Michigan Ave was in sunshine. There is no telling what kind of winter we are to expect this year.

After unpacking the food, it was a quick turnaround back to the city with Jimmy Drescher, another one of my best friends that I haven't seen all summer. Every year Jim, a Red Sox fan, goes with me to a White Sox -Red Sox game. I even let him wear his Red Sox jersey because we have been friends since 1978 and he has been a Red Sox fan that long. He got hassled by White Sox fans as soon as we got out of the car, being the good friend that I am, I quickly stated that I was a White Sox fan. The Cubs -White Sox rivalry is well known to Chicagoans, but I believe the Yankees - Red Sox rivalry is more than a rivalry, it is pure hatred. I saw a bumper sticker that said "I don't brake for Yankees fans". I made this guy turn around so I could get a picture of this classic t-shirt.

Jim & I got to the game early to just relax, enjoy the sunshine and have a hot dog while sitting in the outfield hoping to catch a batting practice home run. (Just for the record, we didn't bring our mitts)
While sitting in right field, I could see our seats behind third base were empty. Since Debbie & George were meeting us at the game, I called Deb to let her know we were sitting in right field. It's a good thing I made that call because Deb was about to go golfing. She thought the tickets were for tomorrow's game. She quickly got off the phone to change and head toward Sox Park. When Jimmy heard this he said, "I see Debbie hasn't changed". I laughed because the fun loving teenage girl I first met over 30 years ago was still there, she just became the successful, caring, charitable, fun loving woman I love like the sister I never had. I had a great afternoon with friends and the White Sox won, what could be better. Sorry Jimmy.

Friday, September 4, 2009

September 4 New Shoes

Maybe I wasn't as excited as Paolo Nutini was about a pair of new shoes but I was thinking about this song when I bought these shoes. For those very observant people, yes that is a map of the New York subway in the background.

Woke up cold one tuesday,
i'm looking tired and feeling quite sick,
i felt like there was something missing in my day to day life,
so i quickly opened the wardrobe,
pulled out some jeans and a T-Shirt that seemed clean,
topped it off with a pair of old shoes,
that were ripped around the seams,
and i thought these shoes just don't suit me.

Hey, I put some new shoes on,
and suddenly everything is right,
I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling,
it so inviting,
Oh, short on money,
but long on time,
slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine,
and i'm running late,
and i don't need an excuse,
'cause i'm wearing my brand new shoes.

Woke up late one thursday,
and i'm seeing stars as i'm rubbing my eyes,
and i felt like there were two days missing,
as i focused on the time,
and i made my way to the kitchen,
but i had to stop from the shock of what i found,
a room full of all my friends dancing round and round,
and i thought hello new shoes,
byebye them blues.


Take me wondering through these streets,
where bright lights and angels meet,
stone to stone they take me on,
im walking to the break of dawn. (x2)


Take me wondering through these streets

September 3 Dinner With Friends

If you are anything like me, there are a bunch of things on your to do list, tonight I finally got to one of them. Dinner with one of my best friends, Todd and the girl I'd spend a night with anytime, his wife, Vickie. The story is probably very familiar to you, years ago we lived near each other and we used to get together all the time. Now it happens rarely, but it is always a good time when we do find time to catch up. So tonight it was a bottle of wine and some very good Italian food at Francesca's in Frankfurt. This dinner was on Todd, a payback for me DJing his parents 50th Anniversary party back in May. (See the May 16th Blog). Yes it took that long to finally find a date that worked for all four of us. As the night came to an end, we promised each other to try to do this once every month or two. Here's hoping we stick to that because sometimes you forget how much you enjoy something until it happens again.

September 2 What I See When I Poop

You just couldn't resist that headline, could you? Yes this is the view from my toilet. It is our shower curtain that has the New York subway map on it. So while I'm grunting one out and hoping I do not die like Elvis did, I am looking at the subway map of my favorite city. I usually look at the stations I'm most familiar with, but sometimes I try to map out trips. Like which is the fastest route from Middle Village to Coney Island, so I check which lines run through Brooklyn and which routes take me through Manhattan, then I determine how many transfers each route requires and finally if it is a local or an express train for part of the trip. So there you have a little slice of my day. Aren't you glad you took the time to read this blog?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September 1 A Friend Needs Help

I know the economy still sucks. I know everyone is just barely getting by. That is why I didn't complain when I couldn't reach my goal of $200 for the Friends Of The Park charity. A big thank you to those who did donate. Now I'm asking for money again. Not for me or one of my causes. Though I did donate $200 to this cause because it really does something good. My friend Mike Trakan, who also happens to be an excellent musician, is part of a Tutor/Mentoring program in the city of Chicago. This program finds kids in poverty stricken neighborhoods and tries to give them a chance for a better life. Most charities ask for money instead of time because more people are willing to give money than time. This charity could always use both, but they will run out of grant money soon and need money to continue. If you have the time to donate, great you can sign up to tutor/mentor. If you have a few dollars, please help them out. You always read crime stories about kids from the city's poor neighborhoods in the newspapers, here's your chance to turn around the life of a kid or two. Trust me you'll feel good about yourself at least for one day and this is a tax deductible donation. You can also read about Mike on my March 28th blog. Click here to read about this program and donate.

August 31 Finally Back on my Bike

I really can't remember the last time I got to ride the single track trails. It's been a hectic month. My sister in law Kimmie rides the paved trail to Sweet Woods everyday. Tonight I tagged along. So did both of my nephews, Kyle & Kennedy. We rode the paved trail to Sweet Woods, then took the horse trail to the train tracks. The kids & I rode the single track loops for awhile. It felt real good to be back on my bike. It was just about dark by the time we got home. We spent over 2 hours riding. This is the only picture because the batteries died on me after this one.

August 30 Fluff in Cuffs

I finally found some time this morning to take my dogs to Sweet Woods for a walk down the horse trail and back along the single track mountain bike trails. I did today what I usually do with Fluffy. Once we are in the woods, I take her leash off because she is slow and she will listen to me. I know the signs say you must leash your dog, but the old girl can't keep up with Oslo. She usually meanders between 20 to 100 feet behind us. Then I tell Oslo to wait for Fluffy and he stops, turns around and watches her. Once she catches up, he takes off again. This morning on the trail I saw someone on a bike coming at us. I pulled Oslo off the trail and called Fluff off the trail. The guy started yelling "are those dogs on leashes". I told him the old one was harmless, come on through. He kept yelling about the leash so I put it on. It turns out he was a forest preserve cop on a mountain bike. He read me the riot act about fines and/or taking my dog or arresting me for not having my dog on a leash. It needs to be said I have respect for all officers of the law, even forest preserve police. But I have no respect for assholes. So I was torn. Should I tear into him about the old queens who cruise the parking lot at Sweet Woods looking for 10 minutes of love and drop the used condoms out their car windows, or how about the local kids who party at night in the woods (which really doesn't bother me) and leave the beer cans and other garbage in the forest (which does bother me). But I kept quiet at first, then asked if the forest preserve was ever going to empty the overflowing garbage can on the trail? I was told that's not my department that's maintenance. Typical bureaucrat!