Thursday, June 29, 2006

Safety Tips

  • The power went out this afternoon at Summerfest, shortly after the gates opened for the first day of the festival. Overplayed quotes on the news from the power outage - "The day the music died" - "The quietest music festival in the world" - The worlds largest acoustic music festival". I'm sure the bands that were supposed to perform that afternoon were just thrilled with the four hours it took to get the power back on. As were the food vendors that lost all refridigeration for that time period. But hey, the tappers still worked.
  • We got SO poured on in practice on Wednesday. And we almost got hit by lightning. Good times. I've never seen some big men move that fast as when lightning seemed to hit the field next to us. Good thing Nort wasn't with us - or we might have had a direct strike.
  • After the shortened practice, a few hours later, I got a text message from Lids that said: "I still have prune feet." Dude, somethings just need to be left unsaid.
  • So I wasn't going to put this next item up, and then I got the aforementioned text message - so here goes... Willy, Nort and I were at the bar following the f*cking loss on Sunday, and they were recanting some of their Vegas stories from their recent trip. One of the stories involved a midget, and Will commented on just how small this midget was. So to try to put it in perspective, I asked "if the midget was like the Lids of midgets", which was received with a resounding "YES!", and a good laugh after that.
  • Lesson of the Day = Don't send me messages about your feet.
  • The clusterf*ck that is downtown Milwaukee, got more bad news today when it was announced that the State St. bridge won't be done until next spring, instead of the fall opening that was supposed to happen. There is a MAJOR interchange downtown that is being torn down and rebuilt, and they're rebuilding bridges and tearing up streets downtown. Getting into, or out of downtown is almost impossible, as they've torn up just about every east/west artery - with no end in sight. I'm not a civil engineer, but I refuse to believe that there wasn't a better system available for construction schedules.
  • Bill Simmons of jumped the shark a little while ago, but at times, he still slips in a few good one-liners. His analysis isn't why I still read him, but more for gems like this one that he did during his Draft Day Diary:
    10:20 -- The Mavs take Maurice Ager at No. 28. He puts his head in his hands and starts sobbing hysterically as his entourage congratulates him. It's about time we had some emotion tonight, dammit. Ager walks up to the stage in a triple-breasted, oversized beige suit, goes to shake hands with Stern and immediately gets whistled for a foul on Dwyane Wade.
    • Stats were recently posted for a certain football team ( NOT the Hitmen - let's just say a team I used to play for ) - and the quarterback stats looked like the following after two games: QB A: 7 of 19 for 82 yards ( 27% ), 4 sacks, 1TD, and 3INTs....... QB B: 5 of 18 for 125 yards ( 36% ), 3 sacks, 1TD, 4INTs, and 2 fumbles......... QB C: 1 of 13 for 45 yards ( 7% ), 0TD, 1 fumble. Looks like they're playing exactly as they're coached. And up next for them is a game against a team from Illinois. If I didn't have a game that same time, I'd gladly donate the 5bucks just to watch them get smoked.

    That's it for now, I'm off to try to watch the fireworks.

    Momma Said Knock You Out

    Summerfest starts today.


    Nothing to get a city all wound up better than $12 bucks to get in, and $6 bucks for a 12oz cup of beer. Woo hoo.

    And there's nothing like hanging out with 100,000 of your closest friends for a whole day. ( said sarcastically ) But it's really quite a concept, and something that everyone should go to once in their lives. I realize most people that come across this blog are local, but if you're not, some summer, plan a trip to Summerfest. Tons of free concerts, and if you plan ahead, you can really see some great acts for free. Plus, they have two great firework shows. One to kick off Summerfest - and the city of Milwaukee puts on the 4th of July fireworks show on the evening of the 3rd ( as to not conflict will all the smaller suburban shows on the 4th ). It's been estimated that some half a million people work their way down to the lakefront for the firework shows. I say it's worth it, but I LOVE me some fireworks. One of my favorite things on this here earf.

    But something Summerfest related came to my attention that I wanted to vent about. My least favorite writer for the Journal/Sentinel found something else to bitch about. Eugene Kane is lamenting about the lack of hip-hop artists that are performing at Summerfest this year. I generally avoid commenting on Kane because, well, I think he's too over the top. I fully acknowledge that race is one of the most important issues in our culture, but not EVERYTHING is about race. Many times, he does make a valid point about race issues that I might not have thought of. But often times, he goes looking for a fight where there's no fight to be had - or will interject race into a situation where it's not called for.

    This is one of these times.

    Race is not the reason there's not a lot of hip-hop acts performing at Summerfest. Alot of it has to do with business decisions, and alot of it has to do with the fact that there's 100 available non-hip-hop acts out there for every available hip-hop act.

    Milwaukee has a very large African-American segment. But you wouldn't know that if you're from out of town, and just came to visit Summerfest. The majority - hell - just about everybody that goes to Summerfest is white. In the photo gallery on, there's 168 photos. In any of the shots, there's no black patrons.

    But it's not that hip-hop isn't invited to Summerfest, and I'm not saying that white people don't like hip-hop. Two years ago, I went to go see LL Cool J perform at a free stage. And again, at least 90% of the audience was white. And maybe it's just me, or maybe it was just that performance, but I wasn't all that impressed. I like LL Cool J, but I didn't think the music translated all that well to a live performance. A few years back, a Tribe Called Quest performed on a free stage. The Temptations ( the freakin' Temptations! ) are performing this year. Mary J. Blige is going to perform there. Those are some huge names in the music industry. I'm sure there have been others, but I haven't paid enough attention to Summerfest to notice - and not just the hip-hop acts, but I haven't even looked much at the rock and roll acts.

    Hip-hop acts don't go on tour that much compared to the other music types. The Marcus Amphitheater hosts plenty of shows during non-Summerfest times. This year, ZERO hip-hop acts are performing there.

    I love music, and if I had more time and energy, I'd prolly make an effort to go down and catch a couple of free shows. But even for my music tastes, there's not many acts worth the effort this year. Although, Digital Underground is going to be there this year. Maybe I'll drop Eugene Kane an email, and see if he wants to go see the Freaks of the Industry with me.

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    When It Rains, It Pours

    With my football career in an absolute state of disarray ( and it sure didn't get any better after a phone call tonight ) - some network exec thought it would be a good idea to show the movie "Rudy" tonight.

    That's in the pantheon of movies I can't turn off. So like an idiot, I sat and watched it.

    A swift kick in the shins might be an upgrade at the moment.

    Off On the Wrong Foot

    The start to the regular season didn't go as planned for anyone involved with the Hitmen organization. My situation is even less clear than before, but as a whole, there's more fish to fry. The Hitmen proved the old adage on Sunday, "That's why they don't play the games on paper"- as we fell to the Venom.

    It was two big plays that did us in - a blocked punt, and one long pass. But that's the kinda thing we should have been able to overcome, but we didn't. Hopefully, this will light some fires, and we'll get things moving in the right direction.

    How much I'll be able to contribute (if at all) to that is still left to be decided.

    But on a positive note, Bob got some GREAT shots from the game. Some of his best work I've seen.

    Miick tries to turn the corner.

    The offense looks to get it going early in the game.


    Monday, June 26, 2006

    This Really Sucks....


    This really sucks.

    Saturday, June 24, 2006

    Worst. Slideshow. Ever.

    So I know the Urinal-Sentinel isn't on the cutting edge of reporting, but sometimes they just plain crack me up. They ran a story about the State of Michigan losing a bunch of trees to a bug that came over from Asia.

    Interesting and all, but apparently, someone was too bored with that, and thought that the story needed a slideshow to go along with it. The link to click on the slideshow says, "View the damage caused by emerald ash borer in Michigan". I envisioned pictures of half missing forests, grotesque trees with holes in the middle of them... that sort of thing.

    Instead, the slide show is of a very suburban area, and pictures of stumps from trees that have been cut down - one tree with no leaves, and a patch of ground where a tree USED to be.

    Someone has way too much time on their hands. But that's only part of the reason I'm sharing this with you. Enjoy the slideshow - it's less than a minute long. Especially enjoy the second to last picture, the one with about ten seconds left in the show.

    You're welcome.


    Friday, June 23, 2006

    This Is My Neighborhood

    I live in a suburb of Milwaukee. This is the same town that can't hire any more police officers at the Chief's request because there's no money for them.

    This is the same town that approved plans to build a $300 million dollar light rail system.

    And the same town that is going through on plans to build a city wide Wi-Fi system for free internet use for it's citizens.

    Good call on those plans.

    I wonder how current companies that offer internet service feel about taxpayers funding a project to offer a free service to compete with their livelihood.

    Only in Milwaukee.

    Thursday, June 22, 2006

    This Sucks

    This has been floating around in my head for a couple of days now, and I hadn't gone into detail yet, as I was hoping that I might see things a little differently after a little while.

    Well, I don't. I'm still pissed.

    This is the kinda thing where writing about it isn't going to help either. But I can't take much more of my brain running in circles about it, so here goes. **I have a feeling this may be one of my longer posts.**

    I got passed over for a job. One that I worked very hard for. One that I know I could do very well. And this is where the writing about it doesn't help.... despite being passed over, I'm still expected to put teamwork first, and not look at the situation from a selfish perspective.

    It's not likely that someone other than Will that's directly related to the situation will read this (but it is entirely possible) , and I'm sure this post may come off as selfish. But while I'm man enough to do what else is asked of me, and do whatever at 100%... I'm still pissed. I am proud of the fact that I am able to be upset, but still accomplish whatever else is asked of me.

    But when I'm done with whatever it was that was asked of me, I'm still haunted by the fact that I was asked to do it, because I was passed over in the first place. And I SOOOOOO wish I was talking about a real job. Sadly, I'm not. My hobby is what is the cause for all this consternation.

    The coaching staff on my football team decided to go with someone else for the QB job this year. I respect their decision, but I strongly disagree with it. There were three of us that were in the running for it, and the staff waited until the absolute last possible day to make their decision. We didn't make it easy on them, as we all had different strengths. What I really thought I had going for me was my consistency. Not once did I feel like I had a bad practice, and early on, I really capitalized on the limited snaps we got in practice.

    I've had a year in the system, which is one more than the guy they gave the proverbial keys to, and have played at the semi-pro/minor league level for as many years as the other two combined. I know the other ten guys in the huddle would play for me, I try to lead by example, and am pretty durable when it comes to taking hits. ( five years of playing behind the Traveling Circus line will do that to you ).

    I'm sure the other two guys think they should have had the job as well, and they could list off their strengths just as easily. And we shouldn't be quarterbacks if we didn't want the ball. But for the first time in a long time, I thought I had it, free and clear. I thought it was mine. Not by much - but I really did think I had beat them out by a neck.

    But when I got the call, everything kinda got turned upside down. When Coach told me that they had decided to go with someone else, I really expected him to say the other guy, not the one they chose. When pressed about who Coach would use as a number two, he declined to answer, citing "one tough decision at a time". Ugh. The phone call went from stomach punch, to kick in the testicles in about three minutes. To be totally honest, I wasn't really happy with any of the answers I got from that call. They had made their decision, and I respect it, but none of the answers made me any more convinced that I should feel better about the decision.

    And it didn't take long to start to look forward from here. My mind even started racing on that subject before I had hung up the phone that night. The most immediate unsettling thought was that however well the starter does, I'll go to sleep that night feeling that I would have done that well, if not better. We're pretty loaded on talent on the offensive side of the ball ( would be a nice change of pace from 5 years with the Circus ). We as QBs talked about whoever got the job, that person was going to have alot of fun this year. Which leads to the worst scenario - the new starter playing well.

    Even if he performs well - and by well, I mean NOT great, but doesn't stink the joint up - they're gonna leave him in there. And before you know it, it'll be the end of the year, and when next year rolls around, there won't be a competition for the job. It'll be his. I'm by far the oldest of the three, and figured I only had maybe another 5 years left at most. I'm not okay with the next five years as a backup.

    And there's no way that doesn't sound selfish, I know that. But I'm just not okay with that. I'm not okay with working that hard, and not having it be good enough. I posted recently about the harsh realities that sports can bring you, and I am terrified that this may be another one of those kicks to the head. What if I gave it a good shot, and that shot is really not good enough to start? It would be a little easier to accept if I flat out sucked. But after getting away from all the bullshit of years past, and just being able to focus on playing, it felt good. There was a big difference this time around. Before, I always wanted to do well. Now, I KNEW I could do well.

    But it wasn't good enough. And now I don't know what to do. If it's really not good enough, I'm not okay with just being a backup. Maybe if I was younger, I might look at it differently. I'm terrified of what that means for here on out. I'm not sure I can handle hanging up the cleats, switching teams again, or staying in the position I'm in. F*ck.

    The WORST thing about this long ass post, is that the whole thing is just plain stupid. We don't get paid for this. I'm not under contract to be there. I chose to play there, and got Will to come with me. It's in freakin Muskego. It's what I said it was earlier.... a hobby. I'm supposed to do this for fun. It's not supposed to make me salty on Wednesdays. It's really spectacular how silly/stupid this all is.

    And I want to emphasize that I'm not taking anything away from the other two guys. They are both very capable athletes, and both of them should be expected to succeed if put in the position. But I don't think I'm crazy for thinking it should have been me.

    This sucks.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    I Know It's Not Right....

    .... but I sure wish they'd cancel practice tonight.

    Monday, June 19, 2006

    Where Have You Been All My Life??

    Despite the quiet naggings from Nort, I finally picked up a DVR box yesterday. The old cable box was having a few hiccups, so after an unexpectedly pleasant call to Time Warner technical support, the last option was to replace the box. I could either set up a time to have a guy come out, or take it in myself. I chose the latter, and on my way there, figured that I should just swap it out for a DVR box.

    After plugging it in, and having it walk me through the setup - I was ready to start enjoying the benefits of having a DVR. Or so I thought I was ready.

    me: "Please record the "Family Guy" episode tonight."

    DVR: "Sure. No problem. Would you like me to record the whole series for you?"

    me: "Oh my God yes. That would be fantastic!"

    DVR: "My pleasure. While we're at it, would you like me to record just the new episodes, or should I record any repeat episodes as well?"

    me: **after a loud crash noise** - "Oh, excuse me, I seem to have fallen out of the chair.... I'm sorry, did you ask me if you want to record all the episodes???"

    DVR: "Yes, I did. Here, let me help you back into the recliner. And here's a blanket for you. While I'm up, can I get you a beer? No, please don't protest - I'm happy to do it. Oh, and lastly, is it okay if I record the episodes on all the channels that it might air, or do you just want me to record them on this particular channel?"

    me: "........................................"

    DVR: "I'll take that as a 'yes'. Oh, and don't forget, the basketball game starts at eight pm tonight."

    me: "I love you."

    Tuesday, June 13, 2006

    THE New Number One Is....

    Not me.


    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Safety Tips

    Yeah, so that's been some time now since I've posted. Sorry bout that. But there's been lots going on around here, so lets get right down to business...

    • Farkin ESPN the other day, showed every single pitch that Roger Clemens made in his minor league assignment the other day. They did so during SportsCenter, but instead of just admitting that they were showing the Lexington Class A game, they still called it "SportsCenter". First off.... who gives a flying fuck?????? Roger's a jackass for holding the Astros hostage the last 3 months, and don't even get me started on the contract provisions. You play on the team, you should travel with the team. You play on the team, you should be required to show up at the park, even when you're not scheduled to pitch. Way to be a teammate there Roger. ANYWAY - all was almost forgiven when some kid on the other team JACKED a Clemens breaking ball over the right field wall. As pissed as I was that I had to watch highlights of a future hall of famer pitch against kids that are one year out of high school - I couldn't get enough of the clip of the homer. Story of the kid here. Don't get too sucked into the positive spin they put on Clemens in the story either. That's a whole 'nother post sometime.
    • Willy and Nort are currently in Vegas, living the good life. Will is out celebrating the Mavs in the finals ( and I can only imagine his blood alcohol level after tonight's woodshed treatment of the Heat ) - and Nort's there, well, cuz it's Vegas. Sigh.
    • Hitmen are now two weeks away from the regular season. QB job is still up in the air, but we're coming along really well as a team so far. We had a scrimmage on Sunday with the Maniacs, and well, to say we kicked their asses would be an understatement. Should be another fun season.
    • Got a new job offer - more on that as it develops.
    • Gas prices rose after Al-Zarquarwi was killed. Any MBA's wanna sit me down and explain that one?
    • So there's this story going around about this cat that chased a bear up a tree. There's even a picture of it, and I was going to show you that one. But instead, I came across this picture on Fark - which might quite possibly be the funniest picture I've ever seen. Photoshopped or not, still a great pic.

    • That might qualify for a "PWNED!" caption.

    Alright, so that wasn't all that long... but we'll be back on track this week. Later peeps.