HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

LIFE CAN TURN IN A MATTER OF SECONDS - JUST LIKE A BROKEN ANKLE

Okay, so last year I slipped and fell due to icy conditions once with no damage done. This winter has been a bit different.
Coming out of the office bungalow about three weeks ago, I took a header into the snow bank next to my walkway from the bottom step (there's only two). I lay there for a moment, taking pain inventory and everything seemed to be okay and it turns out that other than some bruising, it was.
Which brings me to this past saturday, January 30. I had been working furiously at the office all last week listing "stuff" on eBay and then this week making daily runs to the post office to mail out said stuff. In fact I was really having a good time of it, packaging, mailing taping, addressing, and making a daily late afternoon beeline for the post office to fill my orders for that day.

Which brings me to saturday, January 29th. I was up early, wanting to save my stove at the bungalow by leveling out the coals and adding some smaller dry wood to keep the bungalow cozy while I worked on answering eBay questions, and finishing up the second round of re-listing items that didn't sell the week before. By 11 AM I was pretty much caught up and decided to take an e mail I got from my sister-in-law on how to test someone to see if they have just had a stroke or blood clot and type it up in larger print to be posted on the refrigerator at the house.

I finished that project, slipped my pea coat on, and left via the side door to head back to the house to show Kim my handiwork. I made my way along the narrow walkway to the two steps that lead down to the ground, all the while perusing my leaflet. I started down the steps, when my right foot hit the first step down, I stepped right on a patch of ice and the next I knew I was air borne - and came down with my left ankle masquerading as a foot! As I hit the snow bank face first I was more aware of the blinding, white hot pain emanating from my ankle than the cold of the snow. I knew this was not a fall from which I would rise up and be on my way.

I lay there for a couple of minutes then called Kim on my cell phone which I luckily had in my coat pocket. It rang five times, the answer machine kicked in and half way into my first sentence of explanation Kim picked up and got the rest of my tale of woe. She told me not to move and within minutes was by my side. By now, oddly, the pain had begun to subside quite a bit. With Kim's help I got to my feet and I hobbled my way to the house with Kim at my elbow.

Getting up the three steps into the house introduced a whole new set of problems and after several futil attempts I decided that crawling on hands and knees would work best. this I did until I reached the doorway. Then I rolled my way into the house, got help from Kim to the bed room to get a look, sans pants, at the ankle. It was now swollen garishly. Most of the pain was around that bone that sticks out just above low cut shoe line - on the inside of the ankle. After "marital discussion" it was decided that Kim would drive me to urgent care for x-rays.

The doctor on call took a look at it and requested the x-rays so a nurse wheeled me down to the lab and a pleasant young man took three pictures of the offending ankle. I was then retuned to the original room where we sat for some time. The doctor came in and told me that his assistant was much more proficient at wrapping ankles so there was more waiting.

When the assistant finally came in, he first wrapped the ankle with ace bandages, then put a sort of heavy cardboard layered with cotton batting on my lower leg, bending it so the middle was under my foot and then there were two equal sides running up both sides of the leg and fortified with yet more ace bandages until he achieved what you see in the accompanying pictures.

I was given a prescription for pain pills which we filled at Walgreen's just up the street from the clinic. We also purchased what turned out to be a somewhat unusable wheel chair and went home. I have spent most of sunday in bed trying to keep my foot higher than my head and mostly failing, hoping that the swelling will have subsided enough by tomorrow morning to have a hard cast put in place.

This, of course, happened because finally I started getting some gigs! I have a 6:30 PM - 9 PM shot as a single at the Red Parrot this coming thursday, a teachers inservice in Melrose-Mindoro on February 12th, and an afternoon luncheon show for a Cooperative near Madison on February 16th. And I will not miss any of those gigs! even if I have to crawl!

As they say in show business: THE SHOW MUST GO ON! And so it shall!

____________________________________________________________________________

A teacher noticed that a little boy at the back of the class was squirming around, scratching his crotch, and not paying attention.


She went back to find out what was going on. He was quite embarrassed and whispered that he had just recently been circumcised and he was quite itchy.


The teacher told him to go down to the principal's office. He was to telephone his mother and ask her what he should do about it. He did and returned to his class. Suddenly, there was a commotion at the back of the room.


She went back to investigate only to find him sitting at his desk with his 'private part' hanging out.

'I thought I told you to call your mom!' she said.


'I did,' he said, 'and she told me that if I could stick it out till noon, she'd come and pick me up from school.

KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS!

____________________________________________________

_________________________________________________

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Here is a poster I received from my pal Robert "One Man" Johnson that he is going to be putting up on his upcoming tour to Japan. and here is what he had to say:


I am subbing today and will for the next two weeks. It is an easy way to make money for golf. I am going tonight to meet and play some music for a guy who owns a couple of music clubs in Bangkok. I would love to get a legal license to play. You need a sponsor and have to be certified by the government. I had a license in Shanghai, but here you need it even more. I will get one temporarily for the Phuket Blues Festival, but I'd like one that would allow me to play anywhere in the country. Their are some places in the south in really nice touristic areas where I could play at night when we are vacationing.

We have decided to go to Paris in April. We have some Turkish friends who we have known since 1983 and we always talked and dreamed about going to Paris. So, we are going to do it. The extra year next year of teaching for Margery and not having to pay out for health insurance will pay for it. We can only work two years in Thailand without passing a formal test in Thai language and also paying 25% income taxes so, you can be sure that next year will be the last.

I have attached a poster of my Nagoya tour starting the 5th of February. I thought you might get a kick out of it as it is bilingual. I should just about make enough money in cover charges and sales of CDs to pay for the plane ticket. It too may be my last trip to Japan. I am looking forward to it.



Best wishes to a fine musician and songwriter and even better friend!

____________________________________________________________________

LARRY WHEELS AND DEALS ON EBAY - OH, YAH!

I was a bit startled to find tahat I haven't blooged snce January 11th, but "time flies when you're having fun!"

Kim left for her Caribbean cruise with "The Getaway Girls on January 11th. I think today she is back at sea cruising after spending time in Panama yesterday. But don't quote me on that - I don't have her schedule in front of me. I have been busy in the meantime trying to solve my FIND THE CORRECT FACE MASK FOR THE JIM CARTER HELMET crusade. This is a story in itself. So let's begin at the beginning.

About six months ago I bumped into Jim Carter, former Green Bay Packer linebacker, now automobile dealership king, coming out of Menard's. I told him of my collecting Packer helmets and how I had gotten Bart Starr's autograph and would be getting Paul Hornung's in the Fall. I then asked him if I could get his autograph and he said: "Sure, although I don't know why you would want it." It seems that through all the years he played for Green Bay, the fans never forgave him for not being Ray Nitschke. (I think I covered this in an earlier blog.) Anyway, I told him that when I landed another yellow helmet I would let him know.

In the meantime, I stumbled upon an autographed 8X10 black and white of Carter in his away uniform and what caught my eye was the unusual face mask he was wearing. I began an intensive search on eBay trying to find that exact face mask so that his autograpahed helmet would be "really authentic". I went online to the "retro-sports" dealers and found two dealers who carried that face mask but at a whopping $199.99!! I also found that mask (see below on the Packer helmet) for sale on eBay several months ago and with only hours left on the bidding it was at $26.40. The seller said it would only fit a medium size helmet. I had found a large LSU yellow helmet. I quickly e mailed the guy to see if it would fit a large. He wrote back and said no - he had tried that, it only would fit a medium!!!
Then, shortly after Kim left for the cruise, I stumbled upon a site that was selling six helmets ALL WITH THAT MASK! I quickly e mailed him to ask about size - did he have a large? He wrote back that he had some with no dots, some with one dot, and a couple with two dots.

I wrote back and asked what the dots meant as that meant nothing to me. After two days he wrote to say he had done some research and talked to "a guy" who explained that no dot meant small, one dot meant medium, and two dots meant large or extra large.

I found out he had a Raiders helmet with a large mask so in order to buy the mask I had to buy the helmet also at a cost of $110 plus $15 shipping. My plan? I would switch the mask I had on the Carter helmet over to the Raiders helmet and put the "correct" mask on the Carter autographed helmet.

As you can see, the Riddell J-GNOP (official nomenclature) fit like a dream! I was a happy boy! Now if I could only sell the Raider helmet. I quickly transferred the mask you see onto the Raider helmet and listed it on eBay. Within four hours, it sold for $99.99 plus $18.00 shipping! So I got the $199,99 mask for $7.01. What a wheeler-dealer am I!

I have spent all of last week getting various and sundry items listed on eBay for sale so zi can pay down some of my massive credit card debt. Tomorrow I have some 23 NFL jerseys going on sale as well as other football related stuff and a 1960's Harmony 12 String guitar that Gordy Bischoff did a fresh neck set for me on for a mere pittance "Buy It Now" price of $250.00.

Wish me luck!

________________________________________________________________

A joke with animals as the characters. (I love animal jokes!)

A koala was sitting in a gum tree smoking a joint

when a little lizard walked past, looked up and said, 'Hey Koala!
What are you doing?'

The koala said, 'Smoking a joint, come up and have some.'


So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a joint. After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was 'dry' and that he was going to get a drink from the river.

The little lizard was so stoned that he leaned over too far and fell into the river.
A crocodile saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard, 'What's the matter with you?'
The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he had been sitting with the koala in the tree, smoking a joint, but got too stoned and fell into the river while taking a drink..

The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest, found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing a joint. The crocodile looked up and said,


'Hey you!'

So the koala looked down at him and said,

Whoa dude...
How much water did you drink!?'




___________________________________________________________

Monday, January 11, 2010

A GREAT REASON TO LET YOUR WIFE DRIVE

HERE IS THE REAL TEST TO SEE IF YOU ARE OVER FIFTY FIVE YEARS OF AGE. LET'S SAY YOU ARE SITTING IN THE CAR ON THE PASSENGER SIDE WHILE THE LITTLE WOMAN IS DRIVING. YOU LOOK OUT YOUR WINDOW AT THE CAR YOUR WIFE IS PASSING AND YOU SEE THIS ---- AND ALL YOU CAN THINK IS . . .










CONGRATULATIONS! you are now officially an old fart!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

PUTTIN' DA MOOSE TA USE DON'T-YA-KNOW

This photo of a "moose put to use" was sent to me by my pal Steve (Roy) Rogers. Here's what accompanied the photo:

" MINNESOTA CLYDESDALE"




Only in Nordern Minnesnowta! .......

This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for lumber removal and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed, grippy hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has. He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick, although, during the rut he disappears for a couple of weeks, but always comes home.... Impressive !!

________________________________________________________

PACKERS ELIMINATED - BUT PLAYED WITH A LOT OF HEART AND PRIDE

I woke up this morning with that empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that manifests itself when something traumatic happened the night before, like the time I smasked in the fender on my truck while going through the car wash and waking up the next morning to the realization that yes, it did happen and the smashed fender is still out in the garage awaiting scrutiny by the body shop guy.

But this morning's roiling in the stomach was caused by something much worse than a fender-bender. When I awoke this morning, the Packers were still defeated by the Arizona Cardinals yesterday and there will be no more Packer football until next August.

However (and I don't think this is rationalizing) it is pretty difficult to be totally bummed out in defeat! In Aaron Rodgers we have truly found a replacement for that guy who moved on to the Minnesota team. Look - Aaron set a National Football League record by accumulating over 4000 yards in his first two complete seasons at the helm of the spinach and mustard. That is nothing to sneeze at.

And yes, he didn't play his best game yesterday (he missed a wide open Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime that would have gone for a touchdown and game over), but look at what the boy did accomplish yesterday. Down almost instantly by 14 points in the opening minutes of the first quarter, he very cooly and inexorably brought his team back to eventually tie the game late in the fourth quarter.

Donald Driver inexplicably dropped a couple of passes yesterday - that's very, very rare. And for the first time in a long time, Charles Woodson did not pick off a pass. He did, however, strip the ball, turning it over to GB. Here's my post season prayer:
"Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray that Clay Matthews is a player to keep
If I should die before I wake
Please God, Ted Thompson you should take!"


I keep thinking of all the oddities that can happen with a ball that has points on both ends - it sure can bounce funny! And the game lends itself to the fates, again and again.

Examples: Rackers misses a farily short field goal to send the game into over time. Charles Woodson calls tails -- AND WINS THE TOSS! Green Bay attempts an onside kick and succeeds!

So we'll see how the Cards deport themselves against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints.

Aaron Rodgers is one cool customer. The Packer nation has much to look forward to in the coming years.

Yesterday's game was the first of the playoff games that was truly nail-biting entertainment. The rest of the games were real yawners!

_______________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 10, 2010

LOOK OUT SARAH'S ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!
I REALLY SHOULD STOP PICKING ON OLD BRETT BUT HEY, IT'S JUST FOR FUN. Looking forward to seeing how he handles the Dallas Cowpies this next week. Wonder if old Dubbya will be sitting with Jerry Jones and Emmitt Smith.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A JACKET FIT FOR WISCONSIN WINTER AND A PRIZE POSSESSION

This is my Avirex B-3 flyer's jacket that I purchased a whole lot of years ago and I am happy to say that because I have diligently rubbed it down every Fall with a high quality mink oil, it is still very serviceable during the long cold winters of Wisconsin. Originally designed for the crews of both B-17 and B-24 four engine bombers that flew at altitudes of 25,000 feet and temperatures of 40 below zero, it certainly comes in handy facing unloading sound equipment in the face of biting winds in January.

For some reason, recently complete strangers will stop to compliment me on the look of the jacket. I find that one of the unexpected bonuses of owning such a jcket is that it entices old men in their late 80's to tell me how they wore the exact same jacket while serving in WWII, flying missions out of England.
I wanted to sew an authentic battle group patch on the jacket. After doing much research on the computer, I stumbled upon the patch shown, which I had sewn on the jacket.

Here's the weird and wonderful part. It is the patch of the 398th BG which now has a fully restored B-17 Flying Fortress at the Eagle Hangar in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The patch leads me to another great story. I was wearing this jacket on a trip out to New York City to visit with my sons Jon and David. I stopped at one of the many bodegas in the city to pick up some brandy. When I went up to the counter to pay for it, the young black girl behind the counter stared at the patch on my jacket and asked: "What gang is that?" I just smiled and replied: "It's a gang of old white guys that bombed the hell out of the Nazis in World War II."
She looked at me like I was from another planet.

_______________________________________________________________

This morning I received an e mail from my good friend Robert "One Man" Johnson who is overseas accompanying his wife Margie while she teaches. Recently they took a short vacation in Viet Nam. Hee's bob's report:

"I haven't had a barber cut my hair since 1983 in Turkey. That was a pretty bad experience. It was our second week in the country and I didn't have any language but thought I could handle it with a small Turkish/English dictionary. Well, I got the word order wrong and instead of taking a little off, he only left a little. It was military style.

So, I'm walking down the street in the beautiful little town of Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Margery is off shopping somewhere and I have some time to kill. I pass by this tiny little streetside place and the guy says, "Haircut! Two Dollah!" So, for some reason, I go in. I did need a haircut and Margery has been too busy lately. I have been hacking away at it in the mirror for the past few weeks and it looks pretty scrufty. So, I sit down in the single chair and begin to give directions in English to the guy. Turns out the only thing he does know in English is "Haircut! Two Dollah!"

He takes out a pair of thinning shears, which is anachronistic as my hair is already thin, but, Hey! Who wants fat hair? He snips away wildly for a minute or so with the thinning shears and then shifts to the real scissors. I am a bit nervous, but I can see in the mirror that he is doing a pretty good job, so I begin to relax. In less than three minutes, the hair cut is finished.

He sweeps off the grey hair on to the floor to mix with the dyed black hair of everyone else in the city and then grabs what looks like a medical scalpel. He slides a new blade in it and then dry shaves the back of my neck and around my ears. Still OK.

Then, he pulls my shirt back and starts to shave down my back. Hell, I don't have any hair on my back! Then he lays the chair back and starts to shave my face. No lather! He does deep inside my ears and then shaves my forehead! Inside my nose, my cheekbones, outside my nose, in between my eyebrows, my eyelids! What kind of hair could be growing on your eyelids? He dribbles some aftershave on my face and commences to lightly slapping the hell out of it. Biff! Baff! Biff! It doesn't hurt, but somehow seems undignified. Next, he puts a cold damp cloth on my whole face and begins to vigorously rub everything, including my eye sockets.

He takes the cold wash cloth off and swiftly pulls out a long thin tool with a little scoop on the end. He puts on a light, like a miner's light, on his head and, before I can say anything, he is deep inside my ear canals scraping away. I feel like I am going to throw up, but I don't dare move for fear he will do some damage! Then he takes a small brush and spins it around in my ears, I guess to clean out the debris.

That finished, he puts some drops in my eyes and again, before I can say anything, he cleans out my tearducts with a needle. I sure hope I don't get an infection...

Sweeping the cloth off my body like a toreador, he turns to the street and yells out, "Hair cut! Two dollah!"

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1961 FEDERALLY FUNDED CAMPING AND HUNTING TRIP


Yesterday I started reading Patrick McManus' book "A Fine and Pleasant Misery" in which he puts forth observations on camping in the wild. This morning as I trudged through the darkness and searing cold of Wisconsin January, the time of year when the sound of boots on snow sounds like the tearing of styrofoam, my mind suddenly wandered back to 1961 and my own ultimate "camping trip", the call up of the Wisconsin National Guard to active duty at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Nikita Kruschev had ordered the building of a substantial concrete wall dividing East and West Berlin putting an exclamation point on the Potsdam Agreement. For reasons I have yet to fathom some 40 odd years later, then President John F. Kennedy used this as an excuse to activate the "citizen soldiers" of Wisconsin, the 32nd Red Arrow Division.

Shortly after we arrived at Fort Lewis, we were shuffled through supply and issued jungle boots. This, coupled with my observing 4th Division regular army troops loading onto C 130 transport planes at nearby McChord Air Base with steel pots, full packs and slung M-14's, led me to believe that our destination was not Germany but something a bit further east that starts with a Viet and ends with a Nam.

Having a much keener sense of humor at age 19, upon receiving my jungle boots I turned to the soldier behind me (well, he wasn't really a soldier - he ran a TV repair shop in Menomonie) and I said: "Gee. There must be some mighty big weeds growing up along that Berlin wall!"

That was the beginning of 10 months of rigorous training as "anti-guerilla guerillas". No shit. That's the title the regular army gave us!

It wasn't long before we were trucked out to the Olympic National Rain Forest for two weeks of "camping" and "hunting". Our mission was to capture United States Army Green Berets who had just returned from that place that starts with Viet and ends with Nam where they had been sent as advisors to the South Vietnamese Army.

Needless to say, these guys knew their way around a jungle - or even a rain forest, and for two weeks they would move stealthily into our bivouac under the cover of darkness and open fire with semi automatic weapons. Fortunately for the farm boys of Wisconsin (and TV repair man), they were only firing blank ammunition.

The first couple nights I would leap from the warmth of my sleeping bag, stumbling over bodies of my fellow guardsmen, fumbling in the dark for my own blank-loaded weapon, all the while listening to the sounds of rapid fire and the blood curdling screams of the Green Berets.

As quickly as they appeared they would then disappear into the night. The next day our officers, red-faced with embarrassment, would assign quadrants to the troops and we would go out and feebly try to find the "enemy". Never saw any of them. However we always got the feeling that eyes were following our every move. It was creepy.

After three or four nights of this, I grew tired of playing "killed in action" and when the shooting started I would just hunker down deeper in the bag.

Also after three or four days of eating C and K rations out of olive drab cans, the Badger boys hungered for real meat and somehow live 30.06 rounds of ammunition suddenly appeared and my cohorts did the kind of hunting at which they had a high measure of skill and the evening meals became gourmet feasts of elk stew.

And let's not forget fresh salmon. That's where I helped contribute. I had been assigned as assistant radio man to (you guessed it, Mr. TV Repair) and by day when we were supposed to be out hunting for Green Berets, another assistant (Ted Schroeder - a really crazy kid!) and I would pack the PRC-10 radio onto our backs and slip out of camp right after morning roll call. We would find one of the many beautiful mountain spring-fed creeks running through the rain forest, scout out the deepest hole, slip on polaroid sun glasses and pinpoint the biggest of the salmon lying in that hole. We would then find a pine sapling of about eight foot length, strip it of any branches, then attach two commo wires - one to the negative post, one to the positive post, then wrap the wires around the sapling until we had the two wires protruding out of the far end, about 10 inches apart.

Then Mr. -er- Private Schroeder would slowly and carefully lower the device down into the fish's lair until the wires were on either side of the salmon's unsuspecting head. Then came the whispered command: "CRANK!" and I would crank the PRC-10's handles at a rapid rate. Within seconds the stiffened salmon would rise to the surface, ready to be pan fried!

One of my most vivid memories of our "camping trip" to the Olympic Rain Forest was waking up to a six inch snowfall! That is truly an experience not to be forgotten. Soldiers always had "roomies" because we slept in "pup tents", very small canvas tents that are made up of two shelter halves. Every soldier carried a shelter half in his pack and you buddied up with someone who had the same MOS (that's military for "job"). so Private Ted and I were roomies who kept our tent warm with cans of sterno and gas expelled from eating C rations.

That morning, I awoke first. I think it was the chattering of teeth that woke me. It felt much colder than usual and there was an eerie glow outside the canvas. Then I unbuttoned the tent flap and even though it was before sun up, I found myself squinting into the vast winter wonderland before me.

When you sleep in that small an area, all you take off before you climbing into the sack are your combat boots. Ordinarily, when you arise in the morning, you go outside to slip your boots on, but in six inches of snow?? First inclination is to try to put them on inside the tent. But after bloodying your partner's lower lip with an errant elbow, it's outside (with bare feet), boog-a-loo'ing from one frozen foot to the other in a vain attempt to get your GI socks on without getting them soaking wet.

No, we may not have been the best combat soldiers. Hell, after ten months the regular army decided that we were not even fit to be cannon fodder and sent us home.

No, we did not impress the regular army brass with our field of battle savvy. We did, however, gain their respect as "moonlight requisitioners". An infantry unit carries with it, in addition to troop carrying deuce and a halfs, jeeps that pull a two wheeled trailer known as an "ammunition trailer".

Somehow, word had gotten back to one of our state congressional politicians (his name escapes me) that the 32nd Division was being treated as second class soldiers, given old abandoned rickety barracks and poorly maintained weaponry. This politician saw an opportunity to endear himself with the Wisconsin voter. Consequently, when we went out into the field on bivouc, the ammunition trailers were filled with another form of really welcomed ammunition: Leinenkugel's Beer.

After enough of that ammunition, putting on your socks in snow is the least of your worries.

__________________________________________________________________

What is Celibacy?

Celibacy can be a choice in life, or a condition imposed by
Circumstances.

While attending a Marriage Weekend, Walter and his wife,
Ann, listened to
The instructor declare, 'It is essential that husbands
And wives know the
Things that are important to each other.."

He then addressed the men,
'Can you name and describe your wife's favorite
Flower?'

Walter leaned over, touched Ann's arm gently, and
Whispered,

'Gold Medal-All-Purpose, isn't it?'

And thus began Walter's life of celibacy..........

__________________________________________________________

Monday, January 4, 2010

DON'T LOOK FOR PRINCE AT HALF TIME OF THE SUPER BOWL

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!
You saw it here first ladies and gentlemen!

Do you think that Mr. Favre sat around idle during the time he first told coach Brad Childress that he had decided to retire for good this year? No, no, my naive little football fans! The Brettster had a couple of really good reasons to make that announcement. first of all, it is well known by those who worked in the inner sanctum of Lambeau's offices that Mr. Favre hates pre-season practices. He would rather dress in women's clothing and cavort than have to do two-a-days in the hot sun of August.

So instead, since Deanna had signed up to take belly dancing lessons this past August, Brett, in his loving husbandly way, accompanied Deanna to the comfort of the air conditioned dance studio.

Yes, at first he meant only to come along to keep her company, fully aware that he would want to spend as much time with her as possible before the pre-season had concluded and he would then do his flip-flop and report in time for the regular season. But as he watched Deanna and all the other lovely Bohemian Green Bay ladies work out, he found himself curiously aroused not only by this style of dance but by the costuming as well.

So while they were driving home after dance practice one day, Brett announced that he would really like to give belly dancing a try -- and (look out, here comes the second reason) it made perfect sense that he learn the dance of the magic carpet as he would be dancing all of his regular season games on the magic carpet of Mr. Ziggy's accursed Humphrey dome.

The result? After only a week's study, they made this video! At great expense a top notch crew (the kind that produces Rock videos) came in with an entire semi load of special effects including a green screen and what you see when you click on the accompanying video is the result! So sit back and enjoy!

Even now there are serious negotiations to purchase the rights to the video so that it might be shown at half time of the Super Bowl this year! Buzz Cook, however, says the parties are no where near settling on a contract. The final figure is rumored to be well over $20 million.

_________________________________________________

THE TRUE DEFINITION OF CHUTZPAH

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance; it's Yiddish and, as Leo Rosten writes, no other word, and no other language, can do it justice. This example is better than a thousand words...


A little old lady sold pretzels on a street corner for 25 cents each. Every day a young man would leave his office building at lunch time and as he passed the pretzel stand he would leave her a quarter, but never take a pretzel.

And this went on for more than 3 years. The two of them never spoke. One day as the young man passed the old lady's stand and left his quarter as usual, the pretzel lady spoke to him.

Without blinking an eye she said:

"They're 35 cents now."

******************************************************

WOODSON, MATTHEWS, RODGERS, AND YES, EVEN MASON CROSBY, COOL IN THE DESERT

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"If Sunday was any indication, the matchup to watch next Sunday when the Green Bay Packers and Arizona Cardinals meet in the playoffs is cornerback Charles Woodson vs. receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

In the Packers' 33-7 victory at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Woodson spent a good deal of time on Fitzgerald and in a classic one-on-one moment, beat him to the ball for an interception that he returned 45 yards for a touchdown.

It was classic Woodson. He anticipated an in-route and then bumped Fitzgerald a second before the ball arrived, gaining enough position to reach up and snare the ball with both hands. His nose for the end zone did the rest.

"I'm sure there are a lot of excellent candidates out there for the defensive MVP, but I don't know how he does not win the award," coach Mike McCarthy said. "His teammates are chanting MVP every day at practice, and he goes out and does it every Sunday. He played at a high level again today."

To control the Cardinals, you have to find a way to keep the physically imposing, monstrously talented Fitzgerald from breaking loose. He practically took over Super Bowl XLIII all by himself and remains a threat to dismantle any defense.

There's a good chance Woodson won't be totally himself Sunday because he aggravated a shoulder injury that has been bothering him for six weeks. He hurt himself reaching out to make a tackle, came out of the game and didn't return, standing on the sideline with an ice bag on his right shoulder.

McCarthy said he thought Woodson would have been able to continue playing if it were a playoff game, and Woodson, who didn't say much after the game, indicated that he would be fine. But the injury is something he's going to have to deal with against the physical Fitzgerald.

Asked whether he would have to devote Woodson to covering Fitzgerald all game long next week, defensive coordinator Dom Capers said, "We're going to have to take a good look at it. He certainly played well today."

Both teams didn't show their hands much on either side of the ball, so it remains to be seen what the Cardinals do Sunday to get Fitzgerald free. The one thing they do know is that they're facing a dangerous guy in Woodson."

After watching the Green Bay Packers absolutely demolish the Arizona Cardinals in yesterday's meaningless finale of the regular season, I don't know what to think except that Mr. Charles Woodson should hands down win the Most Valuable defensive Player of the Year Award. He has tied legendary Herb Adderley's record of seven interceptions returned for a touchdown in one season and yesterday he shut down Larry Fitzgerald which is a magnificent feat in itself.

But the fact that he is now nursing a very sore shoulder which he re-injured late in the game makes me wonder if it was wise to play the starters past the first half. I understand Coach McCarthy's reasoning that the team is hot right now and he worries that if there is a let up in intensity, if we don't continue to play "balls to the wall", the team may show up flat for the first round of the playoffs.

But my concern is that when you run up the score it tends to piss off that opponent and the sting of that defeat will fester all week and make the Cardinals very much in need of revenge this week.

I also want to mention the magnificent play of our quarterback - not just yesterday but for the entire season! Aaron Rodgers is making me say "Brett Who?"

One question. What is that celebratory move of his???? It looks more than vaguely obscene - like he has unzipped his fly and has something to show us. I watched the game with my friend Doug Cox yesterday - he has TIVO - I made him re-run that move again and again - laughed myself to tears!

So congratulations to the 11-5 Packers. I would never have predicted we wold win that many games this season the way the offensive line did not block early in the season. Kudos to Mark Tauscher on his return to the trenches. And man I gotta hand it to TT (even though I don't much care for him) - Rookie Clay Matthew is nothing less than OUTSTANDING!

And a big hand for all the Packer backers that showed up yesterday and made it sound like a home game. Towards the end of the game it was: GO, PACK, GO! GO, PACK, GO! all over the stadium. And the cameras would pan the crowd and I would see Cardinal fans sitting glumly, trying to figure out how they had suddenly ended up at Lambeau West.

GO, PACK, GO, INDEED!

So this week I shall worry a lot about the re-match and every night I shall get down on my knees and say a little prayer for Mr. Woodson's power of healing.

________________________________________________________

Sunday, January 3, 2010

THE LEGEND OF VINCE LOMBARDI LIVES ON

I am currently re-reading a wonderful book simply entitled: "Lombardi" which was put out by the National football League in 1971, publisher: David Boss, Editor: John Wiebusch, Research: Steve Taylor and all photographs (in black and white) by the great Green Bay Packer photographer: Vernon Biever. All proceeds from the book go to the Vincent T. Lombardi Cancer Research Fund of Georgetown University.

I had forgotten what an in-depth portrait of the man this book really is. While I am still a long way from finishing, this morning while I was reading of his exploits as one of the "seven blocks of granite" at Fordham University, it got me to thinking that there is an excellent movie script in the life of one of American football's greatest legends.

so I went online and guess what! ESPN is already planning the venture! Here is an excerpt from a blog:

Mark your calendars now for the last weekend of January 2011. That's when ESPN, NFL Films and Andell Entertainment are planning to release a "Lombardi," a feature-length film about the former Green Bay coach.

If all goes according to plan, the movie will debut during the bye weekend between the conference championships and Super Bowl XLV in Arlington, Texas. Read the full story here from "Variety." (note: of course now they have set up the Pro Bowl in that slot - LRH)

The film will focus on the week leading up to the 1967 "Ice Bowl" game between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys. It's based partially on Jerry Kramer's memoir "Instant Replay." Kramer and Vince Lombardi Jr. are on board as consultants.


"Lombardi" is full of great stories from individuals who knew or worked with Vince over the years. Here is an example from Tex Maule:

"Whenever they'd get to a new city Vinnie would read off the list of bars and restaurants that were off-limits. Well, they'd get to Chicago on a saturday and of course the list was a long one. Once Lombardi read what must have been a list of 200 bars and when he got through he was furious, just because it had taken up so much time to read them. So Max McGee says, "Jeez, Coach, you don't expect me to make all those places in one night, do you? Next year let's come down on a friday at least.

Vinnie darn near split a gut!"

Another quick example:

Boyd Dowler: "His big word was 'horseshit'. When he'd get mad he'd steam and his face would get colored and he'd say, 'Mister, that was horseshit.'
Oh, that word, he knew how to use it. He would call me Boyd when I'd done something well, Dowler when I'd done something fairly well and when I'd do something badly, well ... he'd use my full name. He'd say, 'Boyd Dowler, that was horseshit!"

Upon re-reading the story of the movie in progress in the Green Bay Gazette, I found there was a segment for fans to write comments. Most were very complimentary but there were a few (from Viking fans would be my guess) that were very derogatory. things like: "Lombardi was a greasy Whop" and when the question who should play the part of Lombardi was posed:

Sasha Baron Cohen
Denzel Washington
Drew Barrymore

And to those idiots I would say I guess we know who to cast as assholes in the crowd if there is a scene of a Packer/Viking game at Metropolitan Stadium.

(another note: While attending a Brewers/Twins game in the dome, I noticed that Robin Yount was not on the playing field. I turned to the total stranger sitting next to me and asked: "why isn't Yount playing today?" His answer: "He's got AIDS!"

Classy.

Excuse me - I digress into ugly.

The point I wanted to make is that if you get a chance to buy this book, don't pass it up as it is a treasure trove of Lombardi knowledge.

______________________________________________________

Saturday, January 2, 2010

HERE COMES THE COLD STUFF - TIME FOR THE HEAVY LONG JOHNS!

January second and the year's first cold snap is upon us with temperatures expected to bottom out at ten below zero tonight which always makes me nervous about the bungalow as I have visions of water pipes bursting somewhere in the dark hours illuminated only by the full moon. I must remember to crack the cold water faucet to a trickle before I close down shop here tonight. for some reason that's supposed to help.

Today was one of those days that no matter how much wood I stuffed into the stove, I could not take the chill off the place. Earlier this evening I thought I had best crank up the thermostat and let the furnace run a bit - just to be certain that it is in fact throwing warm air.

I just came back over from the house to check on the state of things and it appears that the furnace is working as it should be. No I can replenish the stove and hope for the best overnight. thought I would print this picture of the exterior of the bungalow after the first snow fall. see the tall piles of fire wood under the tarps? Well, sad to say, the stack on the right is now entirely used up with the last load I just brought in. this means I have used up two thirds of my original load of firewood with some of the coldest weather yet to come.

I hate to think about having to buy more wood before spring! but ---

We went out to lunch today. tried a new Mexican restaurant located on the north end of London road, Tequila Azul. Great food at very reasonable prices. Kim had a huge bowl of chicken soup with rice and plenty of diced white meat, freshly cut avacado and lots and lots of fresh cilantro. I opted for the huevos rancheros which was very good also. We will certainly return!

Kim is leaving next week with "The Get-Away-Girls" on a Caribbean cruise for over a week. Me? I will be holding down the fort and taking care of the little kitties.

Hammy is a stinker! He gets into everything! Recently he discovered that our tub is a whirl pool and he has figured out how to pry loose the panel that allows a repair person to get at the guts of the machinery if necessary. it is only held on by vellcro tabs. Well, that was the case until today. We made a trip to Menard's and bought four spring loaded tabs that I super glued into position and the door is now closed and the room is off limits until the glue sets up.

Too bad he's just so damn cute! What can you do???

_______________________________________________________

Friday, January 1, 2010

KIM WILSON IS TRULY MY SHELTER IN THE STORM AND A WONDERFUL LIFE'S PARTNER

"When I look into her eyes, it's then I realize, she understands me like nobody can. she is my lover and my best friend and she will be 'til the end, she's my rock when I am nothing more than sand"

Today marks our thirty third wedding anniversary and I am very proud to say that these are the thirty three happiest years of my life because of Kim Wilson. Kim is my center, my core. Without her strength I am afraid that long ago I would have been committed to a home for the insane. I have always felt that when we married I got the better part of the bargain and on this auspicious day I will list some reasons why.
Kim is the most optimistic person in the world, a trait that she exhibits every day of her life and in so doing somehow manages to pull me up with her.

Kim always sees the best in people. She absolutely refuses to speak ill of anybody she knows. She truly lives by the axiom: "If you can't say something nice about a person, don't say anything at all."

Kim has the greatest ability to truly communicate - better than anyone else that I know of in this world where it seems nobody can really get others to understand what they are trying to say. I supposedly make my living as a communicator but I stand deep in the shadow of my partner when it comes to communication.

As our relationship has matured, I find that if there are matters to be handled by telephone that need a level head, void of emotion, I ask her to please make the call as I know that if I do it I will end up yelling and screaming. So instead I plead with her a bit and then marvel as she communicates and gets what we need accomplished without even raising her voice.

Kim and I have both gone through the painful steps of losing our parents. Again, Kim was my rock all through the process. Towards the end of my mother's life, Kim was always right there with me, attending to Alice's needs and comfort.

Kim is the most patient person I know. Even though she protects her privacy at great lengths, when she is called upon to be involved in an activity that is primarily mine, she puts herself whole heartedly into the task. She is never self centered. I would never use the word "selfish" in conjunction with her personality.

Kim truly loves animals of all kinds. One of the reasons she wanted to move out into the country was to be able to once in a while get a glimpse of white tailed deer. Because we live right on the valley bank of Otter Creek, we see a lot of animal activity - particularly deer. Kim becomes very excited when she can watch deer slowly cross in front of the house. In addition to deer, she has encountered (up close and personal) black bear and wood chuck.

One time, while I was busy traveling hundreds of miles away, she had a black bear make his way up onto the deck and peer at her through the glass of the sliding doors. While I was on that same distant trip working a comedy club circuit, when I called her after the show she told me of how she had rescued a wood chuck from drowning in an uncovered garbage can filled with rain water. she had to get down on the ground, lay on her back, and push the can over with both legs to accomplish the rescue.

Kim has always allowed me to be myself. I cannot begin to tell you how important that is and how much I appreciate her for it. She has always supported my career as a performer and is one of my biggest fans. In fact, the first thing that drew me to her was her incredible laugh. She has the BEST laugh in the entire world!

She is never jealous of any success I may have achieved but instead rejoices at any small victory I have attained. Most recently, with the terrible economic down turn, she has once again come to my emotional rescue by pounding into my head the fact that we are a team and that I should not worry about a lack of work.

Over the last months she has actually talked me into accepting my situation.

All of this and look how beautiful she is! She takes such good care of herself and as she ages she becomes more and more attractive. I am truly fortunate to have found Kim Wilson. She turned my life around.

Every year, on the first of the year, I ask her if i can renew my contract or another year. Fortunately for me she said "yes" again today.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, KIM!

____________________________________________________________________