Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate Fest 2011

Ever wonder where your Nestle's Crunch Bars, Butterfingers and 100 Grand Bars come from? One of those places is Burlington, Wisconsin. Burlington is a small community with a population of 10,000 located about 30 miles west of Racine. Affectionately nicknamed "Chocolate City, U.S.A." after the Nestle's plant was built here in 1966, ChocolateFest has been a regular attraction for Burlington for 25 years on the Memorial Day weekend.

Over the weekend, I took my girlfriend (whom never been there) and my son to visit this spectacle. Even though the skies were cloudy with a few raindrops, the temperatures were in the upper '60's. We had fun, anyways.

The centerpiece of the festival

The midway were rides, games, vendors and delicious food are sold.

Kids digging through chocolate looking for hidden treasures

Dresses made from candy wrappers.
(They actually had a fashion show with these!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Springtime in Racine

Spring has come rather slowly this year. Though we have had a couple of 70 degree days, temperatures has been rather cool lately. That didn't stop me from embracing the coming of the season after a long, cold winter. Here's a couple of pics from a drive around town...

Some apple blossoms on Main Street, downtown Racine.

A para-skier cruising along on Lake Michigan at North Beach.

A family of geese along the lake shore drive
(taken from a cell phone)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Concerts I've Been To

This is kinda neat!

On my last blog on Saturday Night Videos, I came across a video of a concert that I've been to. Davy Knowles and Back Door Slam from Summerfest in Milwaukee back in '09. This intrigued me to look for some more. Guess what? I found some!

The video above is from the Guns n' Roses show I saw at Alpine Valley on 5/25/1991. Yeah, I remember seeing Axl Rose in that umpire outfit that he is wearing, thinking WTF? My only guess it for protection from flying sod at the show. People from the lawn seats were chucking sod into the reserved seats where I was sitting. Not my kind of fun. The music was great, but the audience was behaving poorly. To top it off, Axl encouraged this kind of behavior.

The next video is from the Heart show I saw on The M&I Stage at Summerfest on 6/30/2009. Went the show with a companion and met up with a mutual friend of ours there. Ann Wilson sure can belt out her vocals after all these years. I believe you can see the back of me at 2:53 in the video. (I remember talking to the dude in the cowboy hat)

This video is from the Yes concert I saw last year's Summerfest on the M&I Stage. Went there with my girlfriend and my son. Even though it wasn't the "classic" lineup of Yes, they put out a great show! I blogged about this show last July.

And finally, Rush! Saw them inside the Marcus Amphitheater at Summerfest on 7/3/2010. My girlfriend and I attended this one as well. Perhaps the best show I've seen in ages! Blogged about this one as well...

Thank God for YouTube! So many treasures one can find there...Just wondering if anybody can find a show they went on YouTube...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday Night Videos

As I was on my way off to to attended my girlfriend's youngest daughter's graduation party in Elkhorn, I found myself listening to Back Door Slam's first album, Roll Away. As I was explaining my girlfriend about what a phenomenal guitar player Davy Knowles was, I finding myself molding into that blues/jam band frame of mind. Yet, I wanted to do Davy Knowles justice with his live music. Now, I don't have any Back Door Slam live materiel in my collection, just recollection of seeing him in concert back in the summer of '09 at Summerfest.

After I returned home, I dug through YouTube on a search for some excellent live Knowles. Guess what I found? The very show I saw at Summerfest almost two years ago! Reeling back memories and getting stoked here, I was totally amazed to even FIND a show that I've been to. As I was watching the video, I noticed whomever was recording this show was sitting behind me and off to the right. (We were in the first row on the left) So, I didn't myself nor my companion in the vid, yet I did some familiar faces.

We DID get to meet Davy Knowles and his manager after show, thanks to our friend, Joe Heuer, the Rock and Roll Guru. Davy Knowles seems like a very humble young kid, unaffected by his recent fame. Really pleasant to hang with. My companion and I were thinking of staying to see Buddy Guy, who playing after wards, but we had to leave early to catch an early flight to California.

On the way home, I was in the mood for some Rolling Stones. This time, something off their mysterious classic Exile on Main Street. The Stone's most druggist and creative effort ever! Recorded in a dirty basement in France and smacked up on heroin, the Stones pulled off an album that was considered among the best in rock and roll per say.

As I was sifting through videos, I came across a local band I used to get into back in the '90's-Zoot Suit Boogie. Their guitarist Robert Allen Jr, held me captivate with his impressive hollowed bodied Eliphone guitar flowing through a tiny Fender amp playing the blues....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

You Can't Kill Rock and Roll

Lately I've been stressing out over work and money issues. It seems that no matter how hard I work or how many hours I put in it never seems to be enough. More work, more rules and not enough time for me...SIGH...

At the end of the day, it is so refreshing to summon up the remaining energy and rage I have to crank this tune FULL BLAST! Kinda reflects how I feel about certain things....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


As I was cooking out my grill not so long ago, I threw this in my boom box to give it a good listen. It was one of those albums that I've listened to a couple of times then later shelved. Why?

ZZ Top, although a great band, for the past 40 years has basically kept the same formula. Intro, verse, chorus, second verse, chorus, guitar solo, third verse, chorus and last guitar solo. A simple, yet tired and true formula. It works for ZZ Top. And they pull it off their 14th studio release, Mescalaro.

The album starts off with the chugging bass thump of the title cut. Familiarity settles in... As I was swigging my beer, I was thinking, "OK, this is not so bad..." It still has that Texas larger than life blues boogie. Billy Gibbons still has that fiery blues guitar attack. The rhythm section of bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard still have that tight punch. What's new in the this song, the lyrics are in Spanish! I'm tripping out here.

As the album moves along here, I'm noticing the familiar fuzzbox Rockman crunch reminiscent of the Recycler album. It's like they are taking a couple of steps back to move forward. Nothing here really new. It doesn't suck, but there is nothing new to the table. "AlleyGator" has got some ferocious guitar solos on it. Tunes like "Buck Nekkid" and "Me So Stupid" displays some of their off the wall sexual humor that the band is famous for.

Why fix something that isn't broken? Sure ZZ Top will continue to slug out their "That Little Ol' Band from Texas" trademark sound as long as the fans are loving it. As redundant as it may sound, I do like this album...

video link

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wisconsin Jokes

Have heard of a site called the Uncyclopedia? If you haven't, check it out. Its satire is rather hysterical... Here's a sample of their entry for Wisconsin.

If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 38 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you're proud that your region makes the national news 96 nights each year because Park Falls is the coldest spot in the nation, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have ever refused to buy something because it's "too pricey," you might live in Wisconsin.

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from November through March, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you instinctively walk like a penguin for five months out of the year, you might live in Wisconsin.

If someone in a store offers you assistance, and they don't work there, you might live in Wisconsin.

If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you may not have actually eaten it, but you have heard of Head Cheese, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have either a pet or a child named "Brett," you might live in Wisconsin.

If your town has an equal number of bars and churches, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you think California is dumb jest because of their milk production, you might live in Wisconsin.

If you know how to say Ashwaubenon, Eau Claire, Waupaca, Shawano, Suamico, Oconomowoc, Waukesha. Wautoma, Menominee & Manitowoc, you might live in Wisconsin.

If every time you see moonlight on a lake, you think of a dancing bear, and you sing gently, "From the land of sky-blue waters," might live in Wisconsin.


1. Your idea of a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor on the highway.

2. "Vacation" means going up north past Hwy 8 for the weekend.

3. You measure distance in hours.

4. You know several people who have hit deer more than once.

5. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and back again.

6. Your whole family wears Packer Green to church on Sunday.

7 . You can drive 65 mph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard at night, without flinching.

8. You see people wearing camouflage at social events (including weddings and funerals).

9. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

10. You think of the major food groups as beer, bratwurst, and cheese.

11. You carry jumper cables in your car and your wife or girlfriend knows how to use them.

12. There are 7 empty cars running in the parking lot at Mill's Fleet Farm at any given time.

13. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

14. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.

15. You refer to the Packers as "we."

16. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction.

17. You can identify a southern or eastern accent.

18. You have no problem pronouncing Lac Du Flambeau.

19. You consider Minneapolis exotic.

20. You know how to polka.

21. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce.

22. You were unaware that there is a legal drinking age.

23. Down South to you means Illinois.

24. A brat is something you eat.

25. Your neighbor throws a party to celebrate his new pole shed.

26. You go out to fish fry every Friday.

27. Your 4th of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost.

28. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car.

29. You find minus twenty degrees "a little chilly."

30. Attend a High-School with less than 500 students, in the entire district.

Gotta admit some it is true...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger Down

The last couple of days have been harrowing indeed! Never mind the fact that today is Friday the 13th when the good luck ends. Blogger has been down since Thursday morning into mid day today. I could read the blogs, but I couldn't post any comments, sign in, nor much of anything else-just read... Any click of the the mouse directed me to an error message and/or Blogger not available page. Thinking the problem my be at my end, I had cleaned my computer out, taking viral scans. No change.

I'm aware of Blogger shutting down for maintenance issues from time to time, but NEVER for this long. As the hours passed, I began to wonder if my computer was really starting to freak out. Just to be sure if anyone else was having this issue, I called my good friend Lizardmom of the JTI to ask her if she was having any problems. Sure enough, she was... At least my computer was fine.

As sat vigil over the computer waiting for Blogger to fix their problem, I began to notice the situation was getting worse. Blogs posts and comments were starting disappear-like a virus spending throughout the system. I began to worry if this was the end for Blogger. My mind raced-what will happen to the JTI? How I be able to recover my blog? All those years of hard work gone!

That ray of hope shown through mid day today when Blogger was finally restored. As I surveyed the damage, I noticed that the blog posts that had disappeared, returned. I had lost some unfinished blog posts that I had planned. Many comments remained missing.

Blogger never gave a logical reason to what the problem was, but issued a statement. Hopefully, they'll be able to finish the loose ends of this madness up soon.

At least I can breathe again...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Saturday Night Videos

I tend to stay up late on Saturday nights, chilling out after a long weeks of work with a couple of beers and listen to some great music. Nothing is more soothing to the soul than some great music. Here's where I can kick up my feet and relax. Anyways, this sharing my thoughts and introducing the music that I listen to could become a regular thing....

My first pick of the night is "The End" by the Doors from there debut album released in 1967. Jim Morrison's amazing poetry and baritone vocals always have given me the chills. His lyrics can become deep and meaningless, yet the provoke the mind. The tune starts off slow then it cascades to an apocalyptic Oedipal ending with shocking lyrics. I was stunned the first time I heard this tune...

If that didn't shock you. the next tune will..

Some of you maybe ready to break out your lava lamps and black velvet posters. The Rolling Stones went through their psychedelic/golden years in the late '60's and early '70's with albums like Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. There wasn't much that could be wasted here, even the deep cuts were something to behold... "Jigsaw Puzzle" off of their Beggars Banquet album (released in 1968) set a tone further beyond the Beatles' bad boy imagine-with a huge amount of talent! No disrespect towards the Beatles-I love 'em! The Stones pushed the envelope of censorship, shocking shocking people with their creativity... Yes, "Sympathy for the Devil" is on the same album.

I've been working on my DrewTube blog lately. It's a documentation of my album collection. Just started a couple of months ago. It's project in the works and will take years to finish...So far, I've gotten to Allmam Brothers Band. Yep, I've got that many albums and bootlegs. Here is the latest entry....Live from Austin City Limits...Unfortunately, I can't embedded from that show, but I'll leave you with "Ramblin' Man" from the House of Blues in 1995.


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Rock and Roll Trivia

Since the the first Rock and Roll Trivia was successful, I'd thought I'd give it a run....

1) What famous musician named his guitar Blackie?

2) What was the first album to be released on Led Zeppelin's Swan Song label?

3) What bands (or musicians) can you name came from Canada?

4) Who was the loudest band in concert?

Monday, May 2, 2011

Locks of Love

My good friend, Brandie who will 46 years later this mouth, suffers from cancer. She has two lovely children ages 12 and 10. I can not begin to describe to what she going through. One thing though, her free spirit and her will to live absolutely amazes me! Anyways, she sent me an email about a worthy cause...

A Mother’s Day Wish
By Brandie

As mother’s day is rapidly approaching, many moms and mommy-to-be hope and pray that their children will grow healthy and happy.

But some moms like me are battling cancer and very grateful that they can spend another mother’s day with their children and loved ones. So as I prepare to celebrate this wonderful holiday with my children and family, I ask and pray that people will remember and be thankful for their caring and healthy mom.

My mother’s day wish is that people will take a minute and think about that some moms who are battling an illness and yet staying strong and fighting to spend more time with their children. So now you are asking what can I do to help these moms with their fight? There are many things a person can do to lift their spirits.

I am not asking people to donate money for a cause. I understand that with today economy many families are struggling. But there are ways to help. The biggest thing is take some time and donate blood/platelets. Many cancer patients rely on donators for live saving blood to help battle their cancer.

The other way to help is to donate hair to Locks of Love. This is the simplest and painless way to help. For locks of Love there are no age restrictions, hair type, or color. The only thing is to have at least 8-10 inches of hair that can be cut. It takes 10 people to donate their hair to make one wig. As a wig wearer myself, due to the chemo treatments stripping me of my curly locks, I found that I feel healthy, strong and yet most of all beautiful. Every mothers dream.

I know in south eastern Wisconsin that Great Clips will cut the hair for free as long you are donating it to Locks of Love, plus they will ship the cut hair to the processing plant in Atlanta Georgia. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a Great Clip, then call your favorite stylist/salon and they may be able to point you in the right direction.

Please take the time and help a mom enjoy another Mother’s Day.

I would like to wish all moms and mommy to be a very happy and many more Mother’s Day.

I want to thank Brandie for bringing this cause to my attention, hopefully others will find out it. Maybe I should get a haircut...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Summerfest Takes Shape

It's that time of the year, when line-up for Summerfest to fill up. After browsing through their site, I've seen few acts that I might be interested to see.

Wednesday, June 29 2011
Peter Gabriel at the Marcus Amphitheater
Buddy Guy at the Harley Davidson Roadhouse
Meatloaf at the Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard

Thursday, June 30 2011
Reo Speedwagon at the M&I Classic Rock Stage

Friday, July 1 2011
Los Lonely Boys at the Harley Davidson Roadhouse
Styx at the M&I Classic Rock Stage
Third Eye Blind at the Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard

Saturday, July 2 2011
Maroon 5 at the Miller Lite Oasis

Sunday, July 3 2011
Blue Oyster Cult at the M&I Classic Rock Stage
Jayhawks at the Briggs and Stratton Big Backyard
Don Felder at the Potawatomi Bingo Pavilion

Tuesday, July 5 2011
Def Leppard with Heart at the Marcus Amphitheater
Paul Rodgers at the Miller Lite Oasis
Cinderella at the M&I Classic Rock Stage
Indigenous at the Potawatomi Bingo Pavilion

Wednesday, July 6 2011
Black Keys at the Marcus Amphitheater
Peter Frampton at the M&I Classic Rock Stage

Thursday, July 7 2011
Kansas at the M&I Classic Rock Stage

Friday, July 8 2011
Goo Goo Dolls at the Miller Lite Oasis

Saturday, July 9 2011
Meat Puppets at the U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

Sunday, July 10 2011
Todd Rundgren at the Potawatomi Bingo Pavilion

Impressive line up! With the exception of Def Leppard, nothing really jumps out on grabs me like Rush and Yes did last year. With the economy the way it is right now, I'm not sure that I want to pay $70 or more for tickets to go see Def Leppard. I've seen Kansas, Blue Oyster Cult and Heart before. My biggest bet is on July 1 to see Los Lonely Boys and Styx since they are playing at different times.