Saturday, March 31, 2012

March 11, 2012 Sandhill Cranes at Marquette Park

It started out as our usual walk along the beach and through the dunes.

 I took a few pictures of our shadows...just for fun.

Then I heard a familiar sound while walking back through the was the trilling trumpeting call of sandhill cranes. Soon the sky was full of them. It seemed like groups of them were converging over Marquette Park and forming even bigger flocks which then headed north along the lake shore.

I only had my pocket camera so the pictures aren't that great but the experience of witnessing their northbound migration was incredible. I sat on the dunes watching and listening for over an hour as hundreds, maybe thousands of cranes filled the sky above me. I was amazing. Of course the irony of seeing the natural wonder of the sandhill cranes flying over Gary's steel mills was not lost on me either.

March 4, 2012 Mount Baldy

Here's my day with my dogs at Mount Baldy in pictures. It was a very windy, chilly day. Winnie the Pooh might say it was a blustery day. Oslo & Roxie loved it.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

February 25, 2012 Walking The Dunes in Gary, IN

 After walking along the shoreline at Marquette Park for a couple of miles, I decided to hike back over the dunes...Roxie had to stop several times because she is old & fat...wait, maybe I had to stop too.
 Oslo being Oslo, he had to do something goofy, so here it is.
 The restoration of all the buildings at Marquette Park is ongoing but the bridges over the lagoon were open today. Beautiful day for a hike.

February 24, 2012 Road Trip To See Frank Turner

I took a road trip to Bumfuck, IL, actually it was Boomington, IL...I am pretty sure they are the same place. Why you might ask? Because one of my favorite performers, Frank Turner was playing at this sleepy college town. I drove down with Adam and his friend Rick. We spent most of the drive making fun of Adam. Unfortunately while looking for a place to eat dinner, we, meaning Adam & Rick, passed by the deli with two cute college girls working there to eat at a shitty Mexican place that was completely empty at 7pm. I was beginning to lose faith in the younger generation I was traveling with but they both were saved by the fact that their fellow Gen Nowhere crowd filled the Castle Theater for Frank Turner.  Cory Chisel was the opening act, then Frank came out and performed his magic. It was well worth driving to nowhere and back to see this show. I highly recommend both artists if you love great music.

February 20, 2012 Trakan

This is the new CD or digital download (if you prefer) from the band Trakan. Full disclosure here on my blog, Mike Trakan is a friend of mine. But those that know me know this, I am always willing to give my actual opinion of something. Sugar coating is not something I am capable of doing, even if I am mentioned in the thank yous in the liner notes. Now on to my record review of "Powder Kegs Beneath Dagger Trees".
 I saw the band tonight at their CD release party held at The Webster Wine Bar. BTW, very good food at this place. Hey, I love good music and good food. The band sounded great. A very talented group of musicians that Mike likes to call R.O.G.U.E. - Representative of Grassroots and Underground Entertainment. This collective includes anyone interested in promoting independent art of all types. Which reminds me I took these photos from and they were taken by Gaczol. Since I heard several of the new songs live before hearing them on CD, I was really looking forward to checking out the new release. First thought, love the wide spectrum of sounds on Powder Kegs. The combination of Mike's raspy growl and Heather's angelic voice suit the songs on this record. As I said earlier, the musicians sound great on Powder Kegs which is impressive due to the songs ranging from story songs to guitar jams to country to contemplative love or lost love songs. As someone who listens to lyrics first then the music, I think Mike's song writing continues to be first rate. In my opinion, Trakan is battling some demons on this record. Demons that face most artists, being able to stay true to yourself while getting your message across to the masses are expressed on the song, The Bridge, "I'm on a bridge to integrity and leaving all the weeds behind, I'm getting ready to cross this time." We've all been there and the question to ask is whether you had the courage to cross. Trakan has crossed that bridge. The songs "Long Way From Home" & "Peter The Great" seem to be about the same artistic pursuit of happiness. "All I Need" is my favorite type of love song, the kind that describes what love really does to one minute you'll do anything for it, the next you have to get away as quickly as possible. The song that shocked me was the country song, "Walking The Plank". I never expected it but loved it right away. Since I love records when all the songs have a different sound, this was a great choice by Trakan. When friends ask what kind of music does Trakan play, I say it is rock and roll with a singer/songwriter vibe with a punk edge. I always follow that by saying just check them out, if you love music, you will love Trakan. So check them out at

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

February 19, 2012 Marquette Park

 Even though I went to bed about 2:30am after seeing Flogging Molly last night, I still got up early to take the dogs for a walk at Marquette Park. It's on the eastern edge of Gary so you know a steel mill must be in sight.
 Here's the Roxopotamus enjoying the somewhat fresh beach air.
 It was pretty windy so the lake was choppy and frozen clumps of sand were coated with ice.
 Here's Oslo after smoking his wine flavored Swisher Sweet packed with his favorite recreational drug.
I must have thought these frozen clumps of sand were interesting because I took a bunch of pictures of them.

February 18, 2012 Flogging Molly & Friends

What else can I say about Flogging Molly? There isn't a band out there I'd rather see play live. The twenty or so times I've seen them I've always left impressed. And exhausted, soaked with sweat and due to my age, very sore...but always glad I saw them. So what made tonight's show at the Aragon special...I finally got my friend Patty to quit studying for a night and see Flogging Molly with me again. She used to go with me but hasn't seen them for a few years. She too was glad I forced her to come to the show. I also had four of my hockey player friends, the three McDonnell brothers and Justin Ruzich, there to see FM for the first time. I never made it to the mosh pit but I enjoyed drinking my beers, hanging out with friends, and singing / dancing to almost every song. I love the energy created by a theater full of fans partying along with this band. Slainte!!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February 11 & 12, 2012 Centennial Park & Comiskey Park

This was a Dog Day Weekend.  No we didn't try to rob a bank to get money for Oslo's sex change operation. We spent Saturday afternoon at Munster's Centennial Park and Sunday morning near Comiskey Park at Armour Square Park. Of course I know it's Cellular Field, fuck that. Every Sox fan knows what it really should be named.

Here's Roxie on the bridge at Centennial Park waiting for Oslo to quit pissing on everything he walks by.

 Artwork along the path framing the clubhouse across the pond.
 Everyone my age knows this park was built on Mount Trashmore. That's what we called this old landfill when we were kids ditching school to sled on these snow covered hills.
 Here's Oslo howling along to the firetrucks passing us on Calumet Avenue.
 The setting sun made the strong winds feel even colder.
Here's the Rox lobster standing outside Comiskey Park after our walk through Armour Square Park on Sunday morning. Even Roxie knows it's gonna be a long season for the White Sox.