Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Day

Here I am, on the edge of 2009, alone with my kid watching The Three Stooges reruns. In retrospect, this is often my loneliest day of the year. Yeah, I have my son, but it's not the same. I often miss the companionship and comrade of friends and family on this day. Somebody to bring in the New Year with. Kinda sucks...

It's been a roller coaster of a ride this year for me. It started off like any other year for me. Basically doing the day by day grind. In March, I got hurt on the job by getting my finger crunched in the press that I was working on. I was put on light duty for awhile until I healed.

Also, In March I met a blogger on Facebook. After spending hours every night chatting online, we developed an attraction for each other. We met on my birthday in June. What followed was the most beautiful relationship I have ever known. I was on cloud nine. We criss-crossed the country seeing each other. We made plans for our future.

All this came crashing down in October when the relationship ended. I fell into a deep depression over my loss. All areas of my life was affected. My job, my son, and myself fell into self neglect. It was a low point in my life. I began to wonder where am I at this point. If it wasn't for some close friends and family I'm not sure where would I'd be now. So. I decided to make some changes.

Starting the beginning next year, I'm going to be going through therapy to put a handle on my emotions and clear my head. After that I'm going be making some major choices in my life. Hopefully I'll find the true happiness that I'm looking for.

You know, it's funny how things change and sometimes they come a full circle.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

By a Thread

One of the Christmas presents that I got for myself this year was Gov't Mule's By a Thread CD. The hardest working man in rock and roll has done it again! Allman Brothers Band guitarist Warren Haynes and his band put out another put another album of great materiel. This album is awesome! I have only listened to this album twice and it has me blown completely away.

I haven't really gotten a chance to really pick apart this album yet, but tunes like Steppin' Lightly, Broke Down on the Brazos, and Any Open Window light me up with some killer guitar solos! Bluesy numbers like Railroad Boy and Outside Woman Blues move me. There is not track on this album that that I don't like.

For an excellent review on this album, Mike from From Redlands to Maplewood did an excellent job!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Packers Week #17

The Packers just massacred the Seattle Seahawks 48-1o today in the confines of Lambeau Field. Seattle looked very helpless on the field. Their quarterback Matt Hassleback got picked off four times while the Packer's running three running backs tore up the griddion.

It gets better-the Packers are in the playoffs! YES! They clinched the spot with win over Seattle and New York Giants loss to the Carolina Panthers. More on the game here.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Rush Frankfurt, Germany 1979

Each week I'm going to try post a review of one of my bootlegs that is in my collection. This week's boot is Rush from Frankfurt, Germany in 1979.

Before I start rambling on about this show, I'm going to explain about my bootlegs. They are unauthorized recordings of bands in concert. I obtained them in many different ways. I got them off of the TV, radio broadcasts, the internet, other people's recordings and however I get them. 90% percent of these recordings are on my cassette tapes, stuffed away in a dresser. To me these recordings are priceless. You just can't get them anywhere.

I love listening to live music. It gives me a whole new perspective on any bands sound. In the studio, you can splice, add, edit and make any changes to create the perfect sound. In concert, you got only one chance to get it "right" To me, it's the imperfections and and the improvisations that give the bands their character.

Well, enough with my ramblings and on with the show! This concert was recorded live during their 1979 Hemispheres Tour. Rush was stunning their audiences with their epic 20 minute pieces like 2112 and Hemispheres. Not only they showcased these songs, they blazed through tunes like Xanadu, By-Tor and the Snow Dog, La Villa Strangiato and Closer to the Heart. A very impressive set list if you ask me!

Here is a video if my favorite Rush song, La Villa Strangiato, recorded live during that tour.

Here is the set list on my tape.
A Passage to Bangkok
By-Tor and the Snow Dog
Something for Nothing
The Trees
Cygnus X-1
Closer to the Heart
A Farewell to the Kings
La Villa Strangiato
Working Man
Bastille Day
In the Mood

Friday, December 25, 2009


While many of us are at homes with our families, celebrating the birth of Christ, I'm celebrating my rebirth. As some of you may aware, I have been struggling with forces deep inside of me for awhile now. I'm seeking help from the outside to help me to look inside of myself. So many mixed emotions inside of me has caused me a great amount of confusion within me. I hate being this way.

As result, I'm looking forward to get rid of this confusion. To get a clear head. I'm seeking answers to the questions that I have. I hope to find the answers so that I have the confidence to be a better man than I ever was before.

From that point on, I may be taking on some radical changes in my life. I don't know what, yet. All I know is, all options in my life will be open. My goal is to find my true happiness... Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of my family, friends,and all those that read here a very Merry Christmas! May your holiday be a special one!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

At Last!

At last! I'm done! My four day weekend is here! After working my butt off doing ten hour shifts, I'm finally going to get some well deserved rest. Sleeping in is my main goal.

I'm not too sure of my holiday plans, yet. They keep changing. Going up north to visit my folks seem unlikely at this point, seeing there may be a major storm rolling in. I wouldn't recommend traveling far in Wisconsin snowstorms, especially to the northern parts. So I may be staying home, celebrating with friends this year.

So how is everybody celebrating this year?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunset at San Clemete

I posted these pictures some time ago at the JTI. I don't why I didn't post them here. Oh well. I took these pictures during my last trip to California. I really liked how these pictures turned out. I took them with my SonyDSC-H2 12x Cyber-Shot Camera (yeah, it's an expensive toy) Hope you like them!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Blind Faith

I remember as a teenager, walking down the street listening to this album on my Walkman, thinking music doesn't get much better than this. The truth is-it doesn't. The one and only Blind Faith album remains among the best albums in my collection.

Born out of the ashes of the broken up bands Cream and Traffic, this album consists of Cream's guitar god, Eric Clapton and drummer extraordinaire Ginger Baker. The soulful voice of Traffic's keyboardist/vocalist Steve Winwood sends shivers down my spine! Family's Rick Grech fills the spot of the bassist perfectly. What a supergroup line up this is!

There is not is wasted note on this record! The guitar solos on Had to Cry Today blows my mind! The rollicking piano solo on Well All Right has gotten me dazzled! Tunes like Can't Find My Way Home and Sea of Joy gives me the chills!

The band only lasted a year, only to record this album and do a tour in 1969. A damn shame. I kind of wonder what music they would have created if this band stayed together.

Packers Week # 15

It was nail biter of a game today when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged out the Packers 37-36. It was the final play of the game when Pittsburgh's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw a touchdown to wide receiver Mike Wallace with no time on the clock. Ugh! The Packers shoulda won! It was a great game though. More on the game here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Aerosmith:Woodstock 1994

For the hell of it, I decided to throw in my Aerosmith-Live from Woodstock 1994 bootleg tape into my tape deck and let it rip! What an awesome show! Probably the highlight of Woodstock 1994. I remember watching this show on pay for view TV. Cost me $ 5o, but it well worth it! Got a T-shirt and a lifetime of memories of an excellent show! I remember working all my electronics in overdrive by videotaping and audio taping this entire show.

The Aerosmith show was awesome! They played at their top form that night. Steven Tyler came on stage wearing some flambouant outfit and a tophat and proceeded to the stage by storm! They ran though numbers like Toys in the Attic, Draw the Line, and Sweet Emotion (complete with guitar solos from Dazed and Confused and Peter Gunn) Words could not descibe how awesome this show was!

Wish I could show the WHOLE thing!

The setlist:

Intro/Eat the Rich
Toys in the Attic
Draw the Line/F.I.N.E.
Rag Doll
Monkey on My Back
Mama Kin
Morning's Coming
Shut Up and Dance
Stop Messin' Around
Walk On Down
Janine's Got a Gun
Love in the Elevator
Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Sweet Emotion (with Dazed and Confused and Peter Gunn)
Come Together
Dream On
Living On the Edge
Walk This Way

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Lastest on Becker

Last January, our then mayor of my wonderful city was arrested on charges of attempted sexual assault on a minor and possession of child pornography. Since then has resigned as mayor, gotten divorced by his wife, sought "treatment" in Pennsylvania, and worked on houses in Racine. Whatever.... To me, mostly what has he done is brought disgrace to this city.

I remember meeting the the mayor before this all began. (I'm still washing my hands) I was horrified and shocked how delusional he was! At that point the crime rate in my city was sky high and all he was worried about getting art projects developed. I asked him if he ever walked in the ghetto areas of my town at night, (which I have) all he had to say that he rode shotgun in a police car during the day! Yeah right, find crime that way.... It's like finding cockroaches in the light.

After hearing about this sex scandal, it was a relief to to city to be rid of him! I feel sorry for his daughters, who are about the same age as the alleged accused. The transcriptions he wrote to "her" makes me what to puke. I can not fathom to what he has done to his family.

Now, he may getting off with a slap on the wrist.....Bullshit....

More of the stories are here and here. Please dig deep to understand all of this.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Man's Best Friend

Thump, thump, thump! I hear this every time I put my keys into the lock of my door. Behind it, is a happy dog that is glad to see me after a long day of work. As I'm walking in, Harley is dancing away and wagging her tail so hard that she is knocking things off the coffee table. Immediately, I walk over to my computer to check my e-mails and the dog is following me. As I'm looking through my blogs, Harley is nudging me with her nose wanting attention. Scratching her on top of her head, I'll say "Hello Harley!" and she'll end up trying climb up into lap trying to lick my face. So, I let her outside so she can do her "business." This is kinda routine for me. Yet, it amazes me.

How does it amaze me? The loyalty. the love, and the dependency that she has for me. Is as if she worships me. Unconditionally. I kinda feel blessed by it.

One thing that comes to mind as thinking of this, what if we worshiped God like that? Loved God unconditionally like that? I mean, we are free thinking people here. Sentient beings. Would the world be a better place if we thought this why? I know, it's some crazy thoughts, but I couldn't help from wondering..

I got Harley almost almost eight years ago, when she was a puppy. Small enough to fit into the palm of my hand. I remember reading an add in my local newspaper about Golden Retriever puppies for sale. Did a little research. I found it would be compatible to have a Golden for a pet and we traveled to Green Bay to this spectacle. It was love at first sight. My son named her after the motorcycles that went though my alley behind house when he was a little boy. Since then, Harley has been a faithful companion to me.

Tonight, I know she is going to lay down in bed beside me and bring me comfort in knowing that somebody loves me, for who I am unconditionally.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Wheary Lights

A long running tradition here in Racine, is to see the Wheary Lights at the zoo. I remember seeing these lights (the waterfall) when I was a kid. My folks use to drive my sister and I to the north side (where I live now) to see this spectacular display of lights. Back then, they were displayed at George Wheary's place in a residential area. 25 years ago, the lights where donated to zoo. Since then the zoo added on some pieces to to the display.

The waterfall stands 24 feet tall and uses over 2,000 bulbs.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Manic Nirvana

Well, Every week I'm going to try to post up a record review. Something random from my album collection and see how that goes. This week's pleasure goes to Robert Plant's fifth solo album Manic Nirvana. Everybody that knows me knows that I'm a die hard Zeppelin freak. I live, breathe, and eat Zeppelin. So, it's fitting that I get all the post Zep stuff.

This album here, in my opinion, one of the better solo releases. It's more hard rocking with a Zeppelin "feel" to it. Remember this, prior to his 1988's release of Now and Zen Robert Plant has been trying to get away from the Zeppelin legacy and make it on his own as a true musician in his own right. He has made some good results-especially NOW. More on that in a later blog.

The album starts off with the rousing Hurting Kind (I've Got My Eyes on You) and never lets up. Tunes like Nirvana completely rock! "Liar's Dance" reminds me of "Going to California." "Your Mama Said You Cried in Your Sleep Last Night" has lyrics taken from "Black Dog."
Anniversary has a killer guitar solo! To me, it's wonder why this album turned up in the cut out bins years later.

I saw Robert Plant at Alpine Valley for the second time during this tour. Not only did he play his solo stuff, he pulled out six Zeppelin tunes! What a show! Yes, I do have this concert on tape!

This video here is a showcase of my favorite song off the album, "Tie Dye On the Highway" from Knebworth 1990. Yes, I got that show bootlegged well.

Packers Week# 14

The Chicago Bears were taken down by the rival Packers 21-14 today at Soldier Field. It appeared at the end of the first half, the Pack was going to run away with this game. Chicago nearly came back, but the Packers defense held up and saved the day. More on the game here.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Music Collection

It all started out in 1977/78 with a copy of Kiss "Love Gun." The seed of it what is it today. A twelve year old boy, eyes wide open with wonder to a whole new world. A world of full of music and the mystery behind it. Yep, that's me, the twelve year old. It was the first notes of tunes like "Calling Dr. Love" by Kiss, "Carry On Wayward Son" by Kansas, and "Rock and Me" by Steve Miller Band that got me interested. It changed my life. It became an obsession. I HAD to discover and explore music.

In my younger days, I remember hanging out at a friend's house playing cards, smoking weed, and listening to rock and roll. This guy had a HUGE music collection. This guy had everything! He turned me on to SO much music, it was unbelievable! I said to myself, I'm going to beat this guy in music collecting. Since then, I scoured thrift shops, rummage sales, recorded off friends and the radio, bought albums left and right-anyway I can obtain music.

Since then, I obtained a MASS of music-with some incredible finds! Like the original copy of The Beatles "Second Album" and the Rolling Stones "Let it Bleed" with a poster still in it-for a quarter each! My music collection grew to over 2, 000 different titles. That's eight crates of vinyl, over 400 CD's, a dresser full of cassette tapes (many of them bootlegs) , not to mention computer downloads.... I don't own an I Pod and I can't use it for a medical reason. (to be explained later on this blog)

The funny thing is, I never grew up listening to rock and roll. My folks listened to Oliva Newton-John, John Denver, Marty Robbins, and other country classics. I never really heard the Beatles till I was a teenager!

So what is your music collection like? How did you get started?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not Much Here!

Monday, the National Weather Service announced winter storm warnings for my area, saying that we could get 9 to 12 inches of snow! Now that's a lot of snow-enough to shut down the city! So I ran around town to get the supplies I need to wait out a possible two day storm, waiting in long lines to get things like groceries and gas. Man were those lines long!

So, I woke up this morning early expecting to be hammered with all this snow. Instead, we got about an inch or two. (I'm thinking the lake had something to do with this.) The surrounding communities got slammed! Madison got 16 inches of snow! WOW! Thank God, it didn't any worse than it is around here!

Now we waiting for the arctic freeze that will plummet temperature to the single digits. I hate winter. If it's not one thing, it's another...

Packers Week #13

Sorry so late in posting this, I went to bed immediately following the game. Then, I forgot about it. I've been so absent minded these days. What I do remember is that the Packers played a hell of a good game-especially in the first half. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers looked sharp on the field!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


One album I've been listening a lot of lately is Pearl Jams' sophomore effert Vs. While it may not be well known as Ten, but it holds it's ground pretty good. This album is a solid, raw, and aggressive piece of work. The energy it feeds leaves you standing on your feet with your fist pumped in the air. Tunes like Animal and Go gets me going crazy. The delicate moments like Daughter and Elderly Woman leave me breathless. There is not a wasted track on this album!

The one tune that gets to me is "Rearviewmirror" To me, the song is about the people that used and abused you. It's about once you have it figured it and left that person behind (like my ex-wife) That when I give the finger and tell them off.

Sorry that my rage is showing, it's that a couple of people have been ticking me off lately....

Friday, December 4, 2009

My 100th Post!

Wow! This my 100th post! When I started this site, I had no idea how long this site would last. I'm happy making it this far. I remember starting blogging about two years ago at my local newspaper out of boredom. It turned out to be a lot of fun! I made a few friends. Soon some of us became disenchanted with the site and formed the JT Irregulars. That's when I got to meet some bloggers. Since then, I branched out and explored other sites. I' ve made many more friends and even found love. After getting support and encouragement from a"special" friend, I started the site. It's been an adventure so far....

I want to take the time to THANK my family, my friends, and ALL of the people who read and commented my site. I could have never done it without your gracious love and support. YOU GUYS ROCK!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Moms are the Best!

My mom sent this to me via e-mail yesterday. This brought tears to my eyes.

The Most Beautiful Rainbow
As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that
wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You
will have your heart broken probably more than once and
it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so
remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight
with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things
an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast,
and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too
many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've
been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset
is a minute of happiness you'll never get back. Don't be
afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin.
God bless you Mom!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wonderous Stories

I think I'm going to lay off the heartbreak love songs songs for awhile and keep on working on a more positive attitude. I'm gonna need it to get me through the holidays. That's when my depression hits me the worst. So today, I'll introduce "Wonderous Stories" by Yes.

Taken from their 1977 release, Going for the One, Wonderous Stories is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The tunes may be shorter than the stuff that were on the previous albums, but they are all good. Songs like Going for the One features guitarist, Steve Howe, on the slide and vocalist Jon Anderson on the harp on the tune Awaken. This album also marks the return of keyboard extraordinaire, Rick Wakeman into the fold, who blew me away on the church organ on Parellels.

With this tune, I can imagine myself at a campfire, listening to a wizard telling me stories and fables of the ancient. Sorta like the Lord of the Rings thing. Tunes like The Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin, The Wizard by Uriah Heep, and Kings and Queens from Aerosmith come to my mind...