Wednesday, April 25, 2007

State Fair Entertainment, Drummer Needed?

My cousin Brent, who pretty much introduced me to a lot of the "great" music I listened to in Jr. High and High School as a result of riding in the back of his light blue Citation on the way to school, posted a reply to LivingOnLiquid yesterday informing me that Ted Nugent is coming to the South Dakota State Fair. Now of course this isn't 1979 Ted Nugent it's 2007 Ted Nugent, but hey, it's the Motor City Madman in HURON???

For those who don't know, when I moved to Huron as a youngster my father was the State Fair manager, and since then the Fair has had a special place in our family's heart. My sister still gets giddy at the mention of the ride known as the "Scrambler" and she is still addicted to cotton candy, my mom and Aunt Glo were nurses at the first aid trailer for years, and I enjoyed the benefits of being the manager's son, with free reign over all the Midway rides, and shuttle buses at my front door when ever I needed them...OK, so our house was on the regular route...but it was a fun place to grow up, and the week of the fair was like a big party on our yard, as we lived right on the fairgrounds.

Even after he resigned, the Fair hired my dad as the Entertainment Stage Manager. This also turned into the family business of "fair week". Eric, Mari, Aaron, Sally, Mom, Scooter and countless other "friends of Bob" would "work" the catering trailer or "runner" duties for the week of the fair, or for just the night of the show they wanted to attend. All in search of the "backstage pass".

I have a few backstage passes, guitar picks and mementos in a scrapbook somewhere, and have had the chance to rub elbows with, drive around, and watch eat the likes of...REO Speedwagon, Rick Springfield, a bunch of WWF superstars, New Kids on the Block, George Strait, Garth Brooks, Chris LeDoux, Loverboy, Barbara Mandrell, Charlie Daniels Band, Tiffany, Vanilla Ice, Color Me Badd, The Beach Boys, John Waite, Tiny Tim, Charlie Pride, John Denver...and the list goes on. As I look back it was pretty big time stuff to be involved on the inside of that operation.

As a drummer I would always figure out who the drummer of the group, or better yet who the drum technician was and I would hang around them, trying to pick up anything, hints, pointers, drumsticks, or drumheads. In fact, I once got a full set of Remo LiquidHeads from the drum tech for some country group. They were worn out for him, but to this day they are still on the set I used to play, that somehow ended up, and still is, in the back room at Bethel Church. My dream was every year, that the drummer for a group would come up sick or missing and they would need someone to sit in for the concert...I was confident I could have played for anybody back then. To the benifet of each artist that dream never came true.

I did sit in for Kyle Evans and the Company Cowboys for a few songs one night, and also played for his son Dustin Evans before he became the regional act he is now. My other night of drumming stardom was at my cousin Kent's wedding dance...he sang and I ripped the drums with the band, doing Garth Brooks' "Friends in Low Places". My cousin Jon and I also tried to jam in my parents basement one time...him on the trumpet and me on the trap set, but there wasn't much music we could play with a 2 person "pep band".

Now I play in church, on the steering wheel, on my desk and occasionally on Maxim's tummy full of milk...but if Ted Nugent shows up to Huron without a drummer...I am ready. Ted it's up to you???

Monday, April 23, 2007

Star Wars Kid

Maxim is completely obsessed with all things Star Wars...I can't blame him, I still find my wallet caught in a "tractor beam" anytime I see something Star Wars related.

I was online looking for a Stormtrooper Pirate Flag for the flag pole by the boat house, and/or attached to the roof of Maxim and Brecken's swing set...that's another story...anyway, I ran across probably the most famous piece of video ever, on the Al Gore invention that we now call the Internet.
"Star Wars Kid" I am pretty sure this is one of the first videos I ever saw on the Internet...and might be one of the funniest as well. Turns out this portly little soul was teased beyond belief for his unwelcome Internet fame.

Some things you didn't know about him, that I find interesting...Ghyslain Raza is his name, he's from Canada, and his "light sabre" is a golf ball retriever! He cut the video at his high school video department and left the tape...a few months later some classmates found it and posted it on rest is history. His parents helped him sue the 4 kids responsible and late last year they were awarded around $300,000 Canadian.

Not bad money for a little humilition in front of the world...but then again that's only about $267,000 American...take out $95,950 for lawyer fees...and about half in taxes, and the kid has enough for about 2 years of college!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Motor City Madman.

In the wake of VT's campus shootings, rock-n-roll and hunting legend Ted Nugent opened his mouth, or his computer keyboard and this is the result. (click on the word "this" in the last's called a hyperlink)

The Motor City Madman knows how to kill a buck from 50 yards with his Oneida Eagle bow, how to rip classic rock and roll with a scream, and how to completely tick off every gun control proponent in the nation.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Brecken's Birthday Weekend.

Brecken turned one last Friday. We had a little party at the lake house for him. A few relatives, and some grilled pork loin, and cappuccinos. It was super fun to host the party.

I remember when Maxim was turning one, my job was to get the garage in Sioux Falls sheet rocked so we could have the party outside...I finished it 1 day before the party. I also built him a big toy box made out of hockey sticks.

So I wanted to do something special for Brecken as well for his number 1, something I built. So I finished the plumbing in the kitchen :20 seconds before the first guests arrived for the party. I stood up from the cabinet turned on the water, Steph welcomed Jim and Patty. I said, "Welcome to our home we have running water in the kitchen, and now I'm going to take a shower." Steph was happy. So was my mom...she was so happy that she and Patty did the first round of dishes in the sink. (I haven't hooked up the dishwasher yet...that will happen this week.)

I still felt the need to build/create something with my hands for Brecken's 1st birthday, so on Sunday, we drove to Mitchell, and bought a swing set...I think that is Saturday's project. It is actually a pretty good present for both of the boys.

Maxim also got fishing stuff...some lures and bobbers...Grandpa Roger already got him a graphite pole...I guess that's pretty cool to have at this age.

I don't know much about fishing, so when I got to Cabela's I asked this fishing department dude what I needed to catch fish, he started throwing lingo at me, and I was like...timeout...I don't know anything about fishing, so he got us some stuff, and then the best thing he did, was give me a couple of little handout guides on how to tie lures on to the line...Steph and I just knot them on, but there is a special way to tie them, and now I know how.

He asked where we would be fishing, and we explained that we live on Lake Byron, etc...and he said, "but you don't fish?". Yeah, we get that a lot.

Sunday night around 10:30 p.m. Maxim comes out of his bedroom...I told him to go back to bed, but just then Kent Hrbek's Outdoors TV show comes on. Maxim says, "I want to watch the fishing channel with you, dad."

How do you turn that down? For the record I hate most fishing shows...some redneck in a boat and his shaky Uncle Willy running the camera, The Outdoor Channel is full of programs like this.

Kent Hrbek's Outdoors on the other hand is a good program, it's not always about fishing, Hrby has a great personality, and is such a larger than life figure anyway...I love how every time he ties a lure on, they get a close up of his World Series ring.

So we are watching Hrbek fish with some MLPS guru of fishing, the Grizz or something like that, and Maxim says, "Dad, when you get home from work, we'll go to the backyard and go fishing right?"

I couldn't help but smile...and we were going to, but it was way to windy last night...I even bought my license! First fishing license I've bought since I was in Alaska.

Crazy...My 4 year old has me excited to sit on our dock, and let life pass by one cast at a time...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Before & After

It might be a little early for "Before & After" pictures, but I couldn't resist.

This picture is from one of our visit to the house prior to purchasing.

This is from the same time...this is the whole kitchen back then.

This is the construction process...that's Roger in the picture.

This is the finished...well, almost finished project.

Brecken's 1st birthday party is tonight in the kitchen, and the rest of the house.

Let the parties begin!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


This was Steph last night!

I'm pretty sure she was excited. We cleaned the basement, another 10 or so boxes of stuff was unpacked, and we rolled up the temporary carpet in the sitting area so the guys could lay the carpet this morning, which Steph says looks awesome.

We are waiting on the plumber, who was supposed to be there yesterday, still isn't there today???

As you can see in the picture, Steph's crazy 8' wreath of dead trees is in place, and Maxim's Trek is in the foreground...I told him when the kitchen was finished no more driving your bike in the house. Last night, Steph took his bike out of the kitchen. Poor little guy, now he's going to have to drive outside like all the other kids in the world...if the snow would ever go away.

Monday, April 09, 2007

$58 Surround Sound System?

We had a fun weekend.

Easter activities, church, family, seeing new born calves bucking in the field, sub-10 degree temps, ice re-forming on the lake in could feel spring in the air...or at least until you went outside.

Easter weekend...the weekend we are reminded of Christ's death and Resurrection...I went through a sort of death and new life in the last few days. About 2 weeks ago I was "sick to DEATH" of working on the kitchen, and just wanted to quit. This weekend was Resurrection Weekend in a couple of ways.

We moved out of the "kitchenette" and into the somewhat fully-functional kitchen.

Steph unpacked about 20 or so boxes of cups, plates, pans, cookie sheets, kitchen utensils and the decor that defines her kitchen and "coffee house" sitting area. She felt the new life of an almost finished project.

I did the important things like, hooking up the dining table light, the electric to the main panel, and placing some speaker wire on top of the cabinets to put our speakers and kitchen sound system up. We both felt some energy about the project.

Except the sound situation in the kitchen.

I'm not a speaker-Nazi like some, but I do like my music to sound rich and full, and the JVC speakers that we have had for years do the trick...until now. "They are just to big and ugly," said my loving wife.

So I pulled them, and last night we picked up a full surround sound system with CD/DVD player for the bargain price of $58. My initial thoughts were...for 58 bad could it sound, I mean it has a sub-woofer. I hooked it up last night, and my thoughts changed could they make it sound that bad?

I'm going to try to sneak the old JVC speakers back up there...think she'll notice

Maxim and Brecken might have just inherited a surround sound system for their play room.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good News

So the MRI came back "negative".

Which is ironic, because in all reality "negative" is "positive"...they don't think I need to have surgery.

They couldn't see any damage to the ACL, the Othropod Doc hadn't looked at it yet, but they thought the whole thing could be remedied with a little PT.

I am supposed to lift legs a little more, quit running for a few weeks and only use an elliptical machine or bike for cardio.

I am guilty of not lifting legs (if you have seen me in shorts you know this to be true...I have Grandpa Walt's Chicken Legs) most I do legs once a week. Wednesday is legs day, and a lot of times I skip out of the gym after running.

Oh yeah the other "solution" they gave me is Aleve Liquid Gels once a day. The surprising thing is, the last 2 days I have taken Aleve LG's the knee has felt pretty good, or not felt...however you look at it.

Last night I saw a commercial for Aleve Liquid Gels, and it has this guy kayaking, a lady rock climbing and one other guy doing some other sport. They all could do their sport after taking the wonder drug Aleve LG's...I might be starting to think the ad is correct.

Well, hope everyone has a good Good Friday and happy Easter.

Actually we've got a nice little weekend planned. Eat at grandma and grandpa's, then we're going to Home Depot to pick out some wallpaper, then maybe we'll hit Bed Bath and Beyond... I don't know! I don't know if we'll have enough time! (Will Farrell in Old School)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

ACL, what happened to you???

So for the past 3 weeks, after running, my right knee has felt, for lack of a better word, sloppy. It feels like at anytime it could fall apart.

It is stiff and I feel a ton of pain when climbing steps or first thought was I must have tweaked it a little bit when I got leveled reffing hockey a few weeks ago, and the pain will pass.

It hasn't.

I had a buddy of mine who is a PT guy look at it 2 weeks ago and he said there was a lot of movement on my ACL, but nothing felt real bad to him.

So I let it roll, cause I'm a dude, right?

Well, when your knee is in pain while sitting down, you start to question your "dudeness", and "mama's boy" starts to kick in. I broke down and went to an orthopedic specialist on Tuesday...Wednesday morning I was inside a tiny tube getting an MRI on my knee to see what my ACL was doing.

I'm still waiting to hear the results of the MRI...

The doc told me the ACL is not tore, but if left alone it could develop into "junk you don't want"...that's how he put it. They must teach you that at Med School.

So for the last 48 hours all I can think about is, great I'll probably have to get my knee scoped, right before wakeboard, soccer, golf, mountain bike and climbing season, not to mention all the work around the house we have planned.

If he tells me I need surgery, I'll make him do it that instant...I've been waiting for summer to roll around again since it ended early in August last year, and I can't fathom not being able to go all-out doing whatever, because my knee won't keep up.

I sound like a whiner today, a bed-wetting mama's boy, I guess I am.

For 34 years, my body has been pretty healthy...a few jacked up ribs, jaw, chipped bones in my elbows, crooked nose, broke little toe...dislocated shoulder which keeps me out of softball, but I can live with that. I understand I'm getting old, but I am trying to do it better than most guys my age. I dropped 26 pounds since last March. (I could drop another 20)

I think it's my fault, I always used to say, I have never had knee problems, back problems and only sprained my ankle one time. Now the knee thing is going to be taken out of the list.

I'm getting old.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Taking Shape.

Thanks Skipper.

All I can say is Uncle Skip got a hug and kiss from Steph this weekend. I'm glad she did, So I didn't have to. The Great One from Garden City was all about kicking out the kitchen cabinets. The end result was level, flush, great looking cabinets. The old boy still surprises me.

The only thing I am worried about, is now that he drove 12 hours to do something super nice...the next time back will he do something...Skipperish.

The boys had fun with a bunch of family in town, the house stayed pretty busy through out the weekend with visitors, and relatives. Steph says I get a little over anxious with the house tours...I guess I didn't know almost everyone has a "flush toilet" in their homes now. I don't' think I was that over the top, but I guess showing all 4 of our master bedroom/bathroom closets is a bit over-zealous. I'll try to tone it down.

Back to the boys, Grandpa Bob is happy his older brother is gone, because, Brecken couldn't tell them apart. He kept running away from Grandpa to go to Skipper. Of course, Skipper ate that up...along with the hug and kiss from Steph and didn't let dad forget he was around!

Mom and dad brought out Godfather's last night for the First Supper, we had some pizza around the island. Eric and Jim stopped over to close the night off with some good laughs.

The weather may be cold, but our house sure felt like summer this weekend...just without the water recreation.