Sunday, October 31, 2010

Packers Week #8

The Packers shut out the New York Jets 9-0 at the Meadowlands today...

Here are my thoughts of the game...

This was a highly defensive game. There were no touchdowns.
NY Jet's Mark Sanchez spent most of the day on the run.
I dozed on and off during the game and missed a few plays.
The Packers are now 5-3 surprisingly

More on the game here.

Happy Halloween!

I saw this video on Fred Dooley's Real Debate Wisconsin. I'm not a big Micheal Jackson fan, but I thought this be quite entertaining...

Have a Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tornado Hits Racine!

A strong October storm ripped through the area this morning bringing an F-2 tornado to the southwest side of Racine. (I live on the the north side) From what I heard, the tornado came and went very quickly. Without warning, the twister ripped the roof off the Holland Case factory on Highway 11, leveled a barn off its foundations and downed trees and power lines. Many motorists were trapped in their vehicles because of the power lines.

Only minor injuries were reported.

I was at work when this happened....

I did not take these pictures. Got them off of my local newspaper. I was too tired from work to be chasing around taking pics.

More on the story in the The Journal Times.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Planet Earth

I'll admit to be a wildlife nut. I could easily spend hours out in the woods hoping to get glimpses of deer, identify birds, or maybe if I'm lucky, see a bear or a wolf. Blame it on my upbringing, spending much of my youth out in the boondocks in Northern Wisconsin. My love for nature grew from being up there.

Anyways, that love brings me to this post. I spent some time over the weekend watching the Discovery Channel series The Planet Earth. I've seen it before, but it's always a pleasure to see it again. This 11 part documentary covers wildlife all over the globe! Using 71 camera men and women, filming took place in 204 locations in 62 countries in all seven continents. It took four years to complete filming!

The series features great cinematography and breath taking visuals! Also a first for many species to be filmed...

If you like wildlife and nature programs, I'd recommend to check this out...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Packers Week #7

The Packers beat division rivals Minnesota Vikings 28-24 tonight at Lambeau Field. Very interesting game!

Here are my thoughts of the game...

The Pack probably played the best football of all season in this game-making few mistakes...
Aaron Rodgers threw for more than 300 yards.
Brett Farve got picked off three times-once for a touchdown.
The Packers running game definitely improved this week.
The Vikings' Adrian Peterson rushed for more than 100 yards.

More on the game here.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


It has been a long and crazy past couple of weeks working overtime. I've been putting in ten hour days and coming home tired and exhausted.

Yet there were plenty of surprises! First, an offer to work at my position on second shift. I know that sounds like a crazy idea. For the longest time, I was trying to get away from the insanity of first shift. More or less, I've been trying get a good quality day's work without having to kill myself to achieve my goals.

Lately, things are getting better as teamwork goes. Things are going more smoothly. So, I declined the offer.

Being there for my family had a lot to with my decision.

The biggest shocker came the other day after I came home from work. I was greeted by two gentlemen looking like cops looking for ME! I don't know how they found me, but these guys are representatives of a union. I was floored! I've been working here for 23 years without a union, so therefore I really don't have a clue to what is like to work with a union. So WHY now?

As we talked for a half an hour outside on my porch, these guys were selling me their punchline. They were talking about employee protection, increase in wages, seniority fairness, and so forth.
I admit, they've got my interest...

Why? My company may be rather small, but we generated three million dollars last month in profits. Where the money goes, I don't know... My pay after 23 years there is same as the starting wage as similar area companies. Plus there are issues about favoritism, benefits, and sick pay....

Yet, I'm skeptical...Why? I've heard of stories of companies packing up and leaving because of unions. Plus, I'm not sure how the management is going to react to all this... Guess I'm going to have to wait and see how this going to work out...

Monday, October 18, 2010


Over the weekend, feeling a Yes mood coming on, I found myself listening to Yes' seventh studio album-Relayer. Coming off heels of the highly ambitious double concept album, Tales from Topographic Oceans, this album was recorded and released in 1974. This is the only album to feature Patrick Moraz on the keyboards. His processor, Rick Wakeman had left to pursue a solo album, only to return in the 1977 follow up Going for the One.

This album was done as the same format as 1972's classic, Close to the Edge. One 22 minute track on the first side with two 9 minute pieces on the second side. Unlike Close the Edge, this album is darker and more aggressive.

The first track, "The Gates of Delirium" is one of my personal favorite tunes ever. I just love the atmosphere of this song. This tune employs J.R. R. Tolkien like imagery, creating a lyrical story about the futility of war and a lengthy instrumental section. This instrumental battlefield has got some killer galloping rhythms, martial melodies, dissonant harmonies, and clashing sound effects. It just climaxes to a swirling whirlwind of Steve Howe's guitars and Moraz's keyboards! I can literally close my eyes and see a war between good and evil!

But wait-there's more! This epic abruptly changes pace to a soothing prayer for peace, the aftermath of war. Jon Anderson, here, belts out the finest vocals I've ever heard him sing! Listening to this section gives me the goosebumps...

Flip the record over and there are the other two tracks. "Sound Chaser" is an mostly instrumental piece that experiments with jazz fusion. There's a mind blowing synth solo that compliments the rhythmic fury of bassist Chris Squire and drummer Alan White. "To be Over' is the gentlest piece on the record. It features complex guitar and electric sitar overtones. While these two tracks doesn't match the the strength TGOD, they're worthy in the Yes repertoire.

This album ranks as one of my better Yes albums. It may not a classic like Close to the Edge or Fragile, it certainly among ones to get...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Packers Week #6

A case of deja 'vu... The Packers lost tp the Miami Dolphins 23-20 in overtime....

Here are my thoughts of the game...

Aaron Rodgers started the game and played brilliantly thought out
Greg Jennings 86 yard TD catch was spectacular!
At that point, it looked as if the Pack should win the game.
Sad to say, The Pack still doesn't have a running game.
Miami routed the Packers secondary.

Packers are now 3-3. I don't know about making the playoffs, yet.

More on the game here.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Led Zeppelin Reunion Controversy

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day over the possibility of a full fledged Led Zeppelin reunion. We both agreed that we would like to see the mighty Zep in concert. Hell, I'd give up most anything to see Zeppelin. Let's face the facts. It isn't gonna happen anytime soon.

Why not? Singer Robert Plant doesn't seem to want one right now.

Ever since the death of drummer John "Bonzo" Bonham and the demise of Led Zeppelin in 1980, reunion rumors have been circulating. Yes, Zeppelin has reunited for a few occasions. There was the torrid Live-Aid performance in 1985. Not even the trans-Atlantic drummer Phil Collins save that one. The 25th Anniversary of Atlantic Records performance was botched. The jam fest with Neil Young, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wasn't any better.

Then came the Ahmet Ertegun Education Fund Concert on December 10, 2007 at the O2 Arena in London.....

This two and a half hour 14 song concert was the first full length show the band played since 1980. Backed by "Bonzo's" son, Jason on the skins, Zeppelin sounded just as great as their heyday. The band proved that they had it in them. Reunion rumors of a tour persisted.

Why not? Zep fans, like me, would go insane over this. They could have easily sold out stadiums all over the globe. Millions of dollars would have easily stuffed their pockets. This would have a historical event!

Why did Robert Plant turn all of this down? Good question. For starters, Plant is having a successful solo career. His solo album with Allison Krauss, Raising Sand, is a critically acclaimed piece of work. Plant has reached out and broaden his horizons beyond the Zeppelin spectrum-without losing his integrity.

Another good reason, Plant doesn't want to be just another nostalgic act on the road. Think about it, how many bands out there that are touring that just shells of their former line ups? Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Styx...It's not they are not any good any more, it's just they are way past their prime. Plus the pressure to live up the expectations.

Given these reasons, I think Plant has some valid points. I did see Page/Plant in concert. I really dig Plant's solo career. John Paul Jones has a good thing going in Them Crooked Vultures. Jason Bonham is solid in Black Country Communion. I guess I can wait for a Zep reunion, but's on my bucket list....

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Packers Week #5

On this beautiful Sunday afternoon, the Packers lost to the Washington Redskins 16-13. The game had gone into overtime.

Here are my thoughts of the game:

The 'Skins and the Pack seemed evenly matched through out the game-both sides playing good football.
Injuries plagued the Packers-Clay Matthews, Aaron Rodgers, Donald Lee, Jermicheal Finley, and others all went down.
Aaron Rodgers suffered a concussion, but played through out the game.
Donovan McNabb shows no sign of aging...
The Packers are now 3-2.

More on the game here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Petrifying Spring Pictures

Indian Summer is here in Wisconsin. Days of blue skies, autumn harvest and warm temperatures. Perfect weather for a walk in the park! Petrifying Springs Park nearby Kenosha that is. The kaleidoscope of amber, burgundy and sunburst orange filled the trees!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Alpine Valley

During one of my road trips, towards Elkhorn, I made a stop at the Alpine Valley Music Theatre to snap some photos. I haven't been there in awhile. As I was sneaking in through the cracks in the chained up fence, memories of some great concerts I've seen here flooded my mind. Yes, Deep Purple/Blackfoot, Rush, Robert Plant, Aerosmith/Black Crowes, Boston, Guns n' Roses/Skid Row, and Eagles/Melissa Etheridge were some the artists that I saw there.

God, I remember sitting in the seventh row for Aerosmith/Black Crowes (1990). So close that I feel the breath of Steven Tyler! The laser light show for Rush (1990) was hallucinating! Getting hammered by flying sod at Guns n' Roses/Skid Row (1991) show was not fun. Someone sneaked in a keg of beer for Deep Purple/Blackfoot (1985). The best vibes were at the Eagles/Melissa Etheridge concert.

This 37,000 seat amphitheater, built in 1977, was the largest of its kind till 1993 when the San Manuel Amphitheater was built in San Bernardino, CA. Along with a ski resort in the back, Alpine Valley is located in East Troy, WI. This about 35 miles to the west of me, about 40 miles southwest of Milwaukee and 87 miles northwest of Chicago. It is a favorite stop for many bands passing through.

I have noticed since the completion of the 25,000 seat Marcus Amphitheater, on the Summerfest grounds in Milwaukee, fewer bands have been playing at Alpine Valley. It was built in 1987. I'm not sure the reason for this, but my guesses would be: A-the rental is too expensive and/or B-it's too far away and remote from the metropolitan Milwaukee/Chicago area.

Anyways, here's some notes about the place:

Blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan died here in a helicopter crash, slamming into a ski hill after a show in 1990.

Boz Scaggs headlined the venue's inaugural event on June 30, 1977.

Boston had a four night stand here from August 6–9, 1987 as part of their Third Stage World Tour, the band's first since 1979. (I was there)

The Black Crowes filmed their "Hard to Handle" video here. (I was there)

The Grateful Dead played at Alpine Valley 20 times from 1980 through 1989. Their album, Dick's Picks Volume 32, was recorded here in 1982, and their concert performance video, Downhill From Here, documents concerts from 1989.

Mötley Crüe filmed their video for "Same Ol' Situation" at a concert here in 1990.

Below are more pictures of Alpine Valley. I did not take these, lest the fear of getting busted skulking around taking pics. (Maybe another time)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Packers Week# 4

Sorry for a such a late post...My internet connection has been down since my last post. To top it off, Blogger has been acting funny....Never fear, somehow, someway-I'll prevail!

Anyways, the Packers did beat the Detroit Lions 28-26 yesterday.

Here are my thoughts of the game:

The Packers played a sloppy game, committing four turnovers. including two interceptions.
The Lions didn't look that bad on offense. Their quarterback threw for 331 yards.
The Lions did manage 13 penalties.
The Pack needs to get a running game going. Braden Jackson just isn't cutting it.
The good side is...the Packers are 3-1

More on the game here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Party on the Pavement

Yesterday, I went to one of Racine's biggest festivals, the Party on the Pavement. Although the weather was a balmy 57 degrees chilled by strong northern winds, thousands of revelers crowded the streets of downtown. Donning on a jacket to stay warm, I wandered the closed off streets aimlessly, soaking in the sights. Stores were open to customers. The taverns were full. Merchants sold brats and beer on the streets. Several bands played out there in the cold. Vendors showed off their art. I had a great time! Ran into some old friends.

The top story of the event was the Ferris wheel getting stuck. It took firefighters over two hours to get everyone down. I felt sorry for those who got stuck up there.

Getting rescued on the Ferris wheel

Revelers crowd Main Street

Clock sculptures on display

AD/DC tribute band, Razor's Edge, plays at the Monument Square

A rainbow to end a wonderful day!

For more photos and stories of the Party on the Pavement, check out the Racine Post.