Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wildlife Pictures

I enjoy photography as well as watching wildlife. It makes perfect sense to try a hand in wildlife photography. It's not easy as it may sound. Certainly can't get a wild animal to pose for a picture. By the time the camera gets focused, they're gone. However, I've managed a few pics, but nothing like a National Geographic...

A prairie dog at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota

A California Rail at the Upper Newport Bay Reserve by Newport Beach, California

Sea Lions off the coast of California at Dana Point

A Ringed Neck Pheasant by a storage shed in Shawano, Wisconsin

A Praying Mantis on a gas pump here in Racine, Wisconsin

A Red Tailed Hawk at River Band Nature Reserve in Racine, Wisconsin

A Striped Skunk on the side of the road near UW-Parkside in Kenosha, Wisconsin

An Opossum wandering in my backyard

Thursday, January 26, 2012

In Stereo...

So far, so neighbors haven't complained, yet.

I've been enjoying a wall of sound surrounding me as I'm typing away at my computer in my little corner of my apartment. After downsizing my storage, transferring books to new bookshelves and rearranging furniture to make room for more crap, my stereo finally found a new home-in my bedroom. Now that everything is closer to me, it's kind of nice to hear my vinyl and cassettes on a regular basis.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, I don't own an I-Pod. Most of my music that I have are channeled at 150 watts through 11 inch woofers of a pair of Pioneer CS-K531 speakers. The rest through factory installed car stereo and computer speakers. You just can't get the ambient, vibrant feeling through a 2 x 4 inch thin box full of disposable downloaded songs with headphones. I need something surreal, something to look at and to appreciate. That's were my stereo comes in.

Considered the state of art back in '84, my folks got me this system as a graduation gift. Since then, it has been my baby.

(from top to bottom)

Sony CDP 291 compact disc player
Sherwood TD-2010 CP AM/FM Digital Synthesizer Tuner
Sherwood AD 2210 CP Integrated Amplifier
Sony TC-WE825S Dual Cassette Player
Sherwood ST-870 Belt Drive Semi Automatic Turntable
Pioneer CS-K531 Speakers with 11" woofers, 5'' mid range and 3" tweeters
KLH Speakers with 7" woofers, "4" mid range and 2" tweeters

Now, all the Sherwood systems are original as I got them in '84, working great with no issues. The CD player I got back in the '90's for $15o from a friend is now on it's last leg. (I still can slap a disc in the computer). Working on getting a new one. I've gone through three tape decks already. The motors that run the cassettes have worn down and died from repeated recording over the years. I've had a Sherwood to start with before I killed a Magnavox and a Yamaha along the way. The Sony that I'm using, I bought at a rummage sale for five bucks, is serving me just perfectly. Hell, I've got a Little Feat tape rollin' right now.

So where are you channeling your tunage on?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Big Chill

Over the weekend, we a festival here in downtown Racine called the Big Chill. Among the attractions were the Door County Sled Dogs and a snow sculpting contest. I didn't go (I'm not much of a fan of the cold weather), but I took these pictures as I passed through downtown. Had to hurry up to take the pictures, rain was coming in as it was slowly was dissolving the artwork.

Hello from the Big Chill.

Magnum Tractors built in Racine at J.I Case

I don't think that is Clarence Clemons

I'm not sure what that is, but it looks cool...

A vision of paradise on a tropic island....

Mice fighting over cheese?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA and PIPA

Please watch this video, this could concern all Internet users out there.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What I'm Watching....

With winter here and being cold outside with nowhere to go, I tend to stay indoors and watch a little more tube than usual... Here are some of the shows I find myself watching.

NCIS- The abbrevion for Naval Criminal Investigative Service. A well written murder mystery show the revolves around an exceptional cast of characters. In its ninth season now, I love the individuality of each character ranging from the Gothic forensic scientist to the mysterious father figure team leader Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

Mythbusters- This is a man's show. Explosives, firearms and controlled mayhem in the name of science. Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman and their motley crew of "builders" take popular and Hollywood myths and test them with their own unique ways to see if a myth was plausible or not. I was cackling like a crazed lunatic watching pieces of a bulldozer fall from the sky after being blown up by 250 lbs of ANFO.

Law and Order Special Victims Unit- A well written crime mystery set on the streets of New York. Based on stories "ripped from the headlines", the show revolves around Detectives Elliot Stabler and Olivia Benson solving crimes sexual in nature. Whats more is the victim take a spotlight on the episodes.

Naruto Shippuden- The kid in me will watch animation forever. I've always loved the superhero and Star Wars cartoons, especially when the illustrations are well done. Japanese anime fascinates me as well, especially Naruto. Naruto was created by Misashi Kishimoto for Japan's weekly Shonen Jump magazine, later translated to English by Viz Media. Televised versions of the manga began to appear om Cartoon Network back in 2005. I began to get into it a couple of years later. The story basically is about a young ninja who through series of battles, tries to rid of hatred and tries to bring peace to the ninja community. I watch it weekly on Hulu.

That '70's Show- A comedy show that reminds me of my younger days. Set in the fictional Point Place, Wisconsin, this show takes the comic version of the '70's, hence the name. The jokes and references to various of my favorite bands are mentioned here and well as of my home state. Then there is the 'circle'... (Sounds familiar? It did to me..) Hell, my girlfriend thinks I'm a lot like Hyde.

I also to like to watch movies (I'm quite fond of "The Lord of the Rings" type movies) nature programs and dinosaur documentaries. What are you watching on TV?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Packers NFC Divisional Playoff

The Green Bay Packers season ended today with a loss the New York Giants 37-20 today at Lambeau Field.

Here are my thoughts of the game...

Early in the game the Giants made it clear that it was their time to shine, scoring first.

The Packers wouldn't give up especially Aaron Rodgers, who ran for yardage quite a bit.

The strong defense of the Giants forced the the Packers to turnover the ball four times during the game.

Dropped passes, blown coverages and missed tackles did it in for the Pack.

The Giants' QB Eli Manning was hot. He went 21 0f 33 for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a "Hail Mary"of the end of the first half.

More on the game here.

All in all it was an excellent season for the Packers. They only lost two games total... Better luck next year!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So, What's Been Going On These Days?

I just seem haven't to have that much time to write lately....So here what's been going on.

This morning I pulled off another eight hour shift starting at 4 AM, making my tally up to 56 hours worked this week. I'm tired, I'm beat and had enough of machinery for awhile. Getting up early and working ten hour shifts does take a toll on you, especially when you suffer midnight leg cramps from overexerting yourself. The paychecks are great, but sleeping in does sound nice.

Winter finally came roaring in last Thursday after an extremely mild season so far, dumping 6-7 inches of the white crap. The snow lovers might like this shit, but I don't. If the slippin' and slidin', trying to navigate a leased Chevy HHR through town isn't nerve wrecking itself, it's the other idiots on the road that I have to watch for. I once saw a car with only a small porthole of the windshield cleared of snow going down the road! Unreal... I have no clue to how he saw anything... I still say, I can live without ever seeing another snowflake again.

A funeral was held this afternoon for (one of) my ex-wife's boyfriends. Didn't go and don't even care. O.k., I may sound like a cynical asshole, but I really don't like this guy. Not only this subnormal Neanderthal has cheated and beat my ex-wife numerous times, he even brags about it. Not only that, his rap sheet is a novel. This jobless wonder's convictions range mostly from failure to pay child support, resisting arrest to DUI. My ex-wife basically left me for crack headed winners like these. Am I jealous? No. Just scratching my head to why? If he was a better fuck than me, big deal. If she would have remarried to a loving doctor or a lawyer, I would be happier. Oh well....

Oh yeah, he died of a heart attack. He was in his '50s. My guess crack had something to do with it.

The good news is, my girlfriend is a hell a lot better she ever was. I have been thinking of future plans with her that includes the possibility of marriage....

During the first week of the new year, Cheri and I spent time reorganizing our apartment. With her daughter gone visiting her brother, we cleared away the storage to make room more things. My stereo finally came into the bedroom where the computer is. So great to hear vinyl on a regular basis again.... Right now, I'm kicking it out with the Pretenders.

Speaking of music, while shopping for a dresser at a thrift store I picked up some interesting albums. Some of the them seemly rare vinyl. Among them are the Beach Boys Wow! A Great Concert! (Pickwick), the Beach Boys Surfin' Safari (Capitol), Grand Funk We're an American Band (Yes, with the transparent yellow vinyl and stickers), the Guess Who American Woman, the Guess Who The Best of the Guess Who (Poster included) and Bill Hailey & the Comets Rock & Roll.

So what you been up to, lately?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Carnival of Lights

Here's a blog post that I forgotten to write since the New Year...

On New Years' Day, my girlfriend and I went out the the Carnival of Lights... Located at a Jellystone Campground a few minutes from my house, a $15 a car trip around the campsite proved to be a nice getaway after a dinner at a Wild Buffalo Wings in Oak Creek. Talk about an impressive display of Christmas lights....

The beginning of the road...

Lights, lights everywhere!

Somewhere in the middle.

Santa's house...

Yep, that how money lights were there....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Doors and Van Halen Tunes

As heard in the news lately, the David Lee Roth fronted Van Halen will tour this year to support their new album (the first since 1984) titled, A Different Kind of Truth. The album is to be released February 7. Here is a newly released video from the new album called "Tattoo" The song is alright. Could have easily came off from the Diver Down album with a twist of Roth's solo work. Eddie's guitar solo kicks ass. Missing here are Micheal Anthony's backing vocals. With a few more listens I'd be able to appreciate it a little more....

Thought they have cleared the vault. Next is the yet to be released song from the upcoming release of the 40th Anniversary Edition of the Doors' L.A. Woman. This song is a sure fire killer! To me, it's up there with "Riders on the Storm", "L.A. Woman", and "Love Her Madly" off of the album. The song is a rollicking blues number with smokin' piano solo from Ray Manzarek and jangling guitars from Robbie Kreiger as well as some repetitive poetry from the Lizard King as well...

What do you think?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Star Wars Burger

An interesting read from an article I read in the Huffington Post...

"A Belgian fast food chain Quick recently announced that its French outposts will serve the Star Wars–inspired burgers through early March. There are three themed varieties to choose from, each with its own unique connection to the movie.

Of the three promotional burgers, the one getting the most buzz is the one that's gone over to the dark side — literally. It's named the "Dark Vador Burger" (it's unclear why the reference to Darth Vader is spelled incorrectly — rights issues, perhaps?) and comes complete with a black bun. We're not talking any natural color derived from dark-hued grains — the bun is actually a deep black, presumably artificial color, which matches perfectly with the outer-space background in the Quick advertisement.

The other two burgers, the "Dark Burger" and the "Jedi Burger," seem relatively normal compared to the black bun of the "Dark Vador." The "Dark Burger," which is inspired by Darth Maul, looks as though it has a dark seasoning like poppy seeds or black sesame seeds on the bun, but otherwise appears pretty standard. The "Jedi Burger" (positioned next to Yoda in the advertisement), however, has a strange white topping that could be cheese."

I don't about people these days-anything for a buck I guess... Which one would you try?

Friday, January 6, 2012

Rock and Roll Predictions for 2012

Rock and roll always have been hard to predict thought I'd give a try...

Bruce Springsteen will run for governor of New Jersey, after all he's the Boss.

Justin Beiber would be invited to tour with the reunited Black Sabbath for the so the sole purpose of chopping him up and tossing his parts to a rabid audience. His management says no. Despondent over the decision, Beiber overdoses on Skittles.

Ozzy Osbourne will quit midway though the tour. Replacing him James Durbin.

A mob of angry fans storm the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and take Jann Wanner hostage. Their demands-Rush being inducted into RRHoF.

Later that evening, the Red Hot Chili Peppers take the stage, playing "Fire". Another riot ensues.

Axl Rose arrives two hours late for his induction.

Don Henley and Glen Frey from the Eagles join forces with Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley from KISS to form a new band called the Ego's KI$$. They release an album for $50 a pop, only sold at Walmart.

Not to outdone by Micheal Jackson, Gene Simmons will set himself on fire in a Dr. Pepper commercial.

Scientists will finally figure out what came first, Lady Gaga or the egg.

Madonna will have a "wardrobe malfunction" at the Superbowl Halftime Show.

The Britteny Spears marriage will be over in less time the Kardishians.

Rapper 50 Cent will have an illegitimate child, naming him Quarter.

Rapper Eminem will be the spokesman for M&M candy.

David Lee Roth will split his pants doing a kick on stage during the Van Halen tour.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Packers Week #17

The Green Bay Packer beat the Detroit Lions 45-41 in the last regular season game this afternoon at Lambeau Field.

Here are my thoughts of the game...

With nothing at stake in this game, the Packers rested up some key players like all star QB Aaron Rodgers, DB Matthew Clay, S Charles Woodsen and WR Greg Jennings.

It appeared early in the game that the Lions were going to take advantage of the Packers' second string by taking the lead.

Enter the Packers' backup QB, Matt Flynn who set franchise records with with 480 yards passing and six touchdowns., proving himself a very reliable back up to Rodgers.

It became a shoot out of a game, both teams exchanging leads throughout the game.

The Lions' QB Matthew Stafford, who threw for 520 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions was exceptional.

The Packers have ended their regular season with a 15-1 record. The have a first round playoff bye.

More on the game here.