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Friday, September 30, 2011

Day 273, Sept. 30: Eagles

 My Top 10 Favorite
Songs by The Eagles
This will be a tough one; they've had so many great hits (not as tough as Fleetwood Mac or the Moody Blues, though). Still, it will be fun looking them over and making my list. 
1. Peaceful Easy Feeling
2. Take It Easy
3. New Kid in Town
4. Already Gone
5. Hotel California
6. Lyin Eyes
7. Witchy Woman
*8. Guilty of the Crime
9. Try and Love Again
10. I Can't Tell You Why
Honorable mention: One of These Nights, Best of My Love. 
(At least five others barely missed the cut.)
*From the 2007 double-CD "Long Road Out of Eden." All the rest from the 1970s or '80s.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day 272, Sept. 29: Favorite Hotels

My Top 10
Most Memorable Hotels
I'm not exactly a world traveler, but I have stayed in some pretty interesting places over the years. Here are my 10 most memorable.
1. Hilton Hotels & Resort, Boston: Shawn and I stayed here during a trip to a Red Sox game just three years ago. The view of the city from our room was unbelievable.
2. Palmer House, Chicago: Kris and I spent a weekend here last year. It's a classic old hotel in downtown Chicago 
with lots of charm and character.
3. Doubletree Hotel, Tucson, Ariz.: Jay, Shawn and I stayed here during a trip to Spring Training. An awesome outdoor area of pools 
and saunas matched the cool rooms.
4. Madison Hotel, Memphis: The most expensive and fancy hotel I've ever been in, Kris and I spent a night there 
this past week during our trip South.
5. Best Western Plus, Virginia Beach: One of our family trips when the boys were young. Our room overlooked the Atlantic Ocean. 
6. The Hyatt Regency, Atlanta: I stayed here in Dec. 1988 while covering the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Peach Bowl. Its lobby was open all the way up 22 floors with rooms opening up to the view. Would have ranked higher had I not been alone.
7. Westin Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego: Another nice hotel our young family stayed in. It was probably the most expensive one we could afford as a family.
8. The Stratosphere, Las Vegas: Kris and I stayed at this neat place at the far end of the strip. 
9. The Edgewater, Madison: Another old classic hotel on the banks of Lake Mendota, Kris and I spent a night there 
during a quick trip away.
10. The Sioux Motel, Murdo, S.D.: I spent a night here in January on my way to my newspaper job in Gillette, Wyo. It was not planned; the U-Haul I had hitched to my car broke down. I'll never forget it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Day 271, Sept. 28: Murray Movies

 My Top 10 Favorite
Bill Murray Movies
All of these are comedies, though some of his more recent ones 
were less silly than his earlier ones. Some real classics here.
1. Groundhog Day
2. What About Bob?
3. Caddyshack
4. Ghost Busters
5. Lost in Translation
6. Get Low
7. Stripes
8. The Man Who Knew Too Little
9. Ghost Busters II
10. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Day 270, Sept. 27: The Rich (A Taste)

Kris took this photo of me in front 
of BB King's Blues Club.
 
 10 Things I Like
About a Fancy Hotel
Kris and I splurged for one night of our vacation. We're at the Madison Hotel in downtown Memphis. It's quite amazing. I wonder what it would be like to be able to afford hotels like this on a regular basis. I guess I believe I'd lose my perspective on the real world. So, I'm glad I just get a "taste" of the rich life once in awhile. Here are 10 reasons:
1. Valet service: We drove around the block three times before realizing we could just pull up and have a valet guy park our car. And, he brought up all of our bags.
2. The lobby: Spacious and filled with character. No two old, rich hotel lobbies are the same.
3. Location: These expensive downtown hotels are wonderfully located. Kris and I walked down to Beale Street and ate at BB King's Blues Club. Great BBQ ribs!
4. The Room Part I: It smelled unbelievably good, a cross between flowers and a newly built home. And, they had chocolates 
for us on the bed!
5. The Room Part II: Very big, with a large flat-screen television. A mammoth shower head that really covers you up.
6. The Room Part III: Several fancy bottles of body items, but no shampoo. Instead, there was "Molton Brown: 
Radiant Lili-Pill Hair Wash."
7. Rooftop view: You can see the Mississippi River, over to Arkansas. There are tables if you want to take up a drink.
8. The lounge: Haven't seen it yet - Kris is taking me out for a nightcap soon - but they're always cool.
9. The treatment: They not only help you out at the desk, they open the front door for you as you arrive after stepping out. 
10. The price: It's high enough to brag about to other middle class people who just can't afford to do this very often ($250/night!)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Day 269, Sept. 26: 10 From Tennessee

10 Observations So Far
From Trip to Tennessee
We're on our second night in Nashville, and the trip has provided the usual ups, downs and surprises that any road trip will provide.
* The highways have been a pleasant surprise. Not only do they seem to be an extra lane wider than necessary in most places, 
they're very well kept and up to date.
* The drawls are mixed. Some are easier to understand than others. One guy at a gas station was not only impossible to make out, he also had a big zit or boil on his lip just below his nostrils. Very distracting!
* The scenery has been good, but not great. Wish we could have gone farther east toward the Smokies.
* Ryman Auditorium was classic. We saw Elvis Costello give a revival-like performance in a former church. The original wooden pews serve as seating. It's intimate 
and has an old-fashioned wooden smell to it.
* Andrew Jackscon's Hermitage Mansion was fascinating. Most of the house is original, and the grounds have great historic stories to tell.
* Tennesse people seem very friendly, though a guide at Stones River National Battlefield poked fun at us when he saw 
my Wisconsin Badgers T-shirt.
* Stones River was solid, but still ranks behind most of the other more famous sites I've seen. A highlight: Walking on rocks that served as protection for Union soldiers in Hell's Half Acre. 
(Couldn't find a bullet :-(
* The Tennessee Titans are VERY popular hear. Their game against Denver Sunday was on a dozen radio stations and all the papers had them on the front page in some form or fashion.
* A major mall, called the Opry Mills Mall, was obviously an abandoned one. But workers seemed to be on hand. We later found out it was a major victim of the Nashville Flood of May 2010 and isn't fixed up yet.
* The biscuits at a nearby Cracker Barrel Restaurant filled up both Kris and I during our dinner meal tonight. Very good, too.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Day 268, Sept. 25: Movie Cars & Trucks

 My Top 10 
Cars & Trucks
In the Movies
I heard a pubic radio podcast Kris likes to listen to on movies and these guys picked their favorite "vehicles" not counting hot cars. This is a different version of that podcast.
1. The DeLorean in "Back to the Future." I know it's turn into a space vehicle, but it's a car, too.
2. The car in "Planes, Trains & Automobiles." (Or what's left of it after the trip on the interstate!)
3. Herbie the Love Bug. I liked his movies a lot it as a kid.
4. The semi in the Steven Spielberg-directed "Duel."
5. The ambulance truck in "The Dirty Dozen," when the cons capture headquarters in their war game.
6. The car(s) in "Bonnie & Clyde." There are some great chase scenes in this one.
7. The tow truck in the animated film "Cars." He was pretty funny, at least in the original.
8. The Pontiac Trans Am in "Smokey & the Bandit." I actually got to drive one of these when I lived in Missouri.
9. The 1956 Thunderbird in "American Graffiti." Suzanne Somers was the passenger!
10. The truck in "Raiders of the Lost Ark." It was quite a fight scene as Indiana Jones had to ride along under it for a while.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Day 267, Sept. 24: Getting My Kicks

 My All-Time
Favorite Kickers
1. Chester Marcol, Packers: Ranks among the Top 5 all-time for the Packers, but also is known for his strange TD run off a blocked field goal that beat the Bears in 1980.
2. Jan Stenerud, Chiefs/Packers: Hall of Famer, he played four years with the Pack near the end of his career. 
Great Scandanavian kicker!
3. George Blanda, Raiders: He seemed to play forever (1949-75), and was also a great quarterback.
4. Jim Bakken, Cardinals: Went to Madison West High School and is another Scandanavian (not too many at major NFL positions).
5. Ryan Longwell, Packers: Moving up quickly on this list, he's become a very dependable kicker for a Super Bowl champion.
6. Don Chandler, Packers: Was the kicker during the 1960s Glory Days and always seemed to come through.
7. Brett Swenson, Spartans: He was a great kicker at Michigan State but went undrafted last year. Still, not counting Iditarod champion Rick Swenson, there aren't many elite Swenson athletes out there.
8. Tom Dempsey, Saints: Still tied for the record-long 63-yard field goal (1970), he also kicked with a foot that had no toes.
9. Jason Elam, Broncos: These last two spots were tough to fill as nobody else really stood out. I like the Broncos, though.
10. Morten Anderson, Saints: He's the all-time leading scorer, so that's good enough to make him No. 10 for me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Day 266, Sept. 23: 1-hits of the 1990s

 My Top 10 Favorite
1-Hit Wonders of the '90s
There were more that I liked than I thought from this decade, 
my least favorite for music of the past 60 years.
1. "Lovefool," The Cardigans
2. "Your Woman," White Town
3. "Mambo No. 5," Lou Bega
4. "Crush," Jennifer Paige
5. "How Bizarre," OMC
6. "Tubthumping," Chambawamba
7. "Closing Time," Semisonic
8. "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)," The Proclaimers
9. "Steal My Sunshine," Len
10. "Would I Lie To You," Charles & Eddie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Day 265, Sept. 22: 1-Hit Wonders, 1980s

 My Top 10 Favorite
1-Hit Songs of the 1980s
This decade had some doozies, but this list is full of great songs 
and some that are just plain fun.
1. "867-5309 (Jenny, Jenny)," Tommy Tutone
2. "Maniac," Michael Sembello
3. "Come on Eileen," Dexys Midnight Runners
4. "Steal Away," Robbie Dupree
5. "Whip It," Devo
6. "Puttin on the Ritz," Taco
7. "Tainted Love," Soft Cell
8. "Easy Lover," Phillip Bailey (with Phil Collins)
9. "Electric Avenue," Eddy Grant
10. "Cars," Gary Numan

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Day 264, Sept. 21: 1-Hit Wonders Women

My Top 10 Favorite
1-Hit Songs by Women
As I researched this, I wasn't surprised to find the 1970s well represented, but I was surprised that several were from the disco era.
1. Thunder & Lightning, Chi Coltrane (1972)
2. Ring My Bell, Anita Ward (1979)
3. Let Me Go Lover, Joan Weber (1955)
4. Mickey, Toni Basil (1982)
5. I'm Not Lisa, Jessi Colter (1975)
6. Knock on Wood, Amii Stewart (1979)
7. Johnny Get Angry, Joanne Sommers (1962)
8. Lovin You, Minnie Ripperton (1975)
9. Nothing Compares 2U, Sinead O'Connor (1990)
10. Poetry Man, Phoebe Snow (1975)
Honorable mention: Rose Garden, Lynn Anderson (1971), Turn the Beat Around, Vickie Sue Robinson (1976)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Day 263, Sept. 20: 1-Hit Wonders (1972-75)

Note: TH colleague Sandye Voight is doing a feature on 1-hit wonders. It runs Sunday. For the next few days, I am doing some of my favorites - broken down in my own special way.
My Favorite 1-Hit Wonders
From High School Days
I started breaking down my favorite 1-hit wonders into decades, but as I got to the 1970s, I had to stop. Not only are there dozens of them, many from just this three-year span would rank among my all-time overall favorites. This list could not be kept to 10. But believe me, it was whittled down from a larger group. (* My "very" favorites from among these favorites!)
1972
Bang a Gong, T. Rex
Beautiful Sunday, Daniel Boone
Crazy Mama, J.J. Cale
Day by Day, Godspell
Eres Tu, by Mocedades
* Goodtime Charlie's Got the Blues
How Do You Do, by Mouth & McNeil
Popcorn, by Hot Butter
* Run, Run, Run, by Jo Jo Gunne
Thunder & Lightning, by Chi Coltrane
1973
Back When My Hair Was Short, Gunhill Road
Daisy a Day, Jud Strunk
* Dancin in the Moonlight, King Harvest
Hocus Pocus, by Focus
* I'm Doin Fine Now, New York City
My Maria, B.W. Stevenson
* Oh Babe, What Would You Say? by Hurricane Smith
Painted Ladies, Ian Thomas
* Playground in My Mind, Clint Holmes
Right Place, Wrong Time, by Dr. John
1974
* Beach Baby, by First Class
I Can Help, by Billy Swan
Jim Dandy, by Black Oak Arkansas
Kung Fu Fighting, Carl Douglas
My Sweet Lady, by Cliff DeYoung
Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo, by Rick Derringer
Seasons in the Sun, Terry Jacks
The Lord's Prayer, Sister Janet Mead
The Night Chicago Died, Paper Lace
* TSOP, by MFSB
1975
Chevy Van, Sammy Johns
Feelings, Morris Albert
How Long?, Ace
I'm Not Lisa, Jessi Colter
* Lovin You, Minnie Ripperton
Magic, Pilot
* The Last Farewell, Roger Whittaker
Third Rate Romance, Amazing Rhythm Aces

Monday, September 19, 2011

Day 262, Sept. 19: Going South

10 Things I Want to Do
When We Go on Vacation
Kris and I are taking a long-awaited vacation starting Saturday. We are staying in Louisville (1 night), Nashville (2 nights), Memphis (1 night) and probably St. Louis or Springfield, Ill. Here are 10 things I hope we/I can do on the trip.
Visit downtown Louisville: We should get there in time to see it during daylight hours.
Do a run in Kentucky: I've taken at least a 2-mile run in about 15 states. It's a minor goal of mine to run in as many states as possible.
Visit Mammoth Caves National Park: It's on our agenda. Hope it's not a real long walk if I run earlier that morning!
Stop at a historic marker in Kentucky: I hope we're not in too much of a hurry to not do this somewhere.
See the Opryland area of Nashville: It's supposed to be pretty close to our hotel.
Visit Stones River Civil War site: It's in Murfreesboro, just a few miles outside of Nashville.
Do a run in Tennessee: It should work out that I'd do one on Tuesday morning.
See Shiloh Civil War site again: I saw this about 20 years ago and am eager to see it again. So is Kris!
See Graceland again: I saw it (in a tradeoff for seeing Shiloh) on that same trip two decades ago. Kris has never seen it, but is curious - as long as we're in Memphis.
Eat some barbecue ribs in Memphis: I've heard they have some of the best.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Day 261, Sept. 18: Defensive backs


 This 1967 set of football cards was the first one I ever started collecting.
My Top 10 Favorite
Defensive Backs
There have been a lot of great ones, many with the Packers. So don't be surprised if several make this list, as they did with the other positions.
1. Charles Woodson, Packers: He just seems to get better as he ages; or at least doesn't lose much. He can be a game-changer 
in many ways.
2. Herb Adderley, Packers: From the Glory Days, he teamed with Willie Wood and others behind their great linebackers.
3. Lem Barney, Lions: An amazing player back in the 1960s and 70s; was tough for Bart Starr and the Packers to throw against.
4. Rod Woodson, Steelers: This Hall of Famer also played for three other teams and was a thorn in every QB's arm.
5. Deion Sanders, Cowboys: I didn't care for his "charismatic" ways while he played, but you couldn't deny his talent. And he seems funny looking back now.
6. Willie Wood, Packers: Was a close call with Adderley, but I just liked Herb a little better.
7. Darren Sharper, Packers: Some rate him better than Woodson, which is possible since I haven't studied it much. All I know is Sharper is a great player on my favorite team.
8. Ronnie Lott, 49ers: The intensity was as strong as anyone on this list and he was easily as good. Just had tough competition to rank higher on my personal list.
9. John Lynch, Buccaneers: A very hard-hitter, he may not have had the natural abilities of the others on this list, but he made up for it with heart and determination.
10. Larry Wilson, Cardinals: Another guy who played better than he looked at first glance - something that was said about me on the athletic field/court.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Day 260, Sept. 17: Decemberists

My Top 10 Favorite
Decemberists Songs
Another contemporary indie group that has a very distinctive 1970s sound and style. Along with Death Cab and Spoon, its probably my favorite 2000s group.
1. Yankee Bayonet (this is my No. 1 song of the 2000s)
2. The Perfect Crime
3. O'Valencia
4. The Crane Wife 3
5. 16 Military Wives
6. Valerie Plame
7. O New England
8. Summer Song
9. Days of Elaine
10. Don't Carry It All

Friday, September 16, 2011

Day 259, Sept. 16: Projects Update

10 Projects For 2011
How They're Going
Back in early February, I set some goals. I've updated them once on my blog, but haven't in several months. Here's how I'm doing. 
10. Doing a daily blog for one year: So far, so good 
(with a few glitches here and there)
9. Doing 100-200 situps daily: I am up to about 35,000, 
which averages out to 167/day.
8. Lifting weights every other day: So far, so good 
(a few misses here and there).
7. Running every other day: I'm up to about 320 miles, 
despite having some bad back and butt problems.
6. Helping Kris find a dresser we can share: 
We accomplished this in May and I really like it.
5. Watching my new DVDs: As I predicted, this has been tough. Along with the 60s-70s TV comedies, I recently added Night Gallery.
4. Going through my entire Billboard Top 40 book: To add to my iTunes. I'm up to Leo Sayer and Boz Scaggs - 
which I added some tonight.
3. Reading the entire Bible: I'm up to Esther, page 698 out of 1,800.
2. Finishing my second book: It's finished! The manuscript is in to the publisher and I'm preparing to promote it.
1. Working on being a better husband: I could do better yet. 
I'll never give up or quit on this one.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Day 258, Sept. 15: Sniff Sniff

10 of My
Favorite Smells 
Pine forest
Burning leaves
Cinabar perfume
A baseball glove
Chocolate chip cookies baking
A cool, fresh morning
Steak on the grill
Mowed grass
Kris' hair
Lilacs

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Day 257, Sept. 14: Sweatshirt Weather

10 Things I Love
About Autumn
It's cold today and could set some record lows tonight (near 32 degrees). I'm not worried; we'll still have more autumn weather before winter sets in. I'm sitting here typing in my house with a sweatshirt on - it's wonderful!
I don't sweat just walking around
I can take a warm shower.
I can wear a sweatshirt outside to work in the yard.
The leaves on the ground while on a run.
Football games.
Shooting baskets in the backyard.
The colors in the trees (not quite yet, though)
The World Series (almost into winter these days)
Raking
Summer is over.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 256, Sept. 13: Linebackers

 My Top 10 Favorite
NFL Linebackers
Before I even start, I'm sure this will again be dominated by Packers. 
But it's my favorite team, what can I say?
1. Ray Nitschke, Packers: Toothless and ruthless, this guy was a maniac on the field; glad he was on my side. My father-in-law, John, used to give his kids a playful forearm he called "The Nitschke."
2. Mike Singletary, Bears: I know, our rival, but this guy left an indelible impression on me during the years I covered the Bears' training camp in Platteville. Class act, awesome athlete.
3. Lawrence Taylor, Giants: Everybody's top pick, almost, I always admired him and gained even more respect on his life after reading an article on him during a vacation to Virginia Beach, Va.
4. Clay Matthews, Packers: Before this young stallion's career is over, he might end up as my No. 1 pick. Still impressive to make No. 4 after only two-plus years in the league.
5. Junior Seau, Chargers: A consistent thread in my favorites is class and style - and he had both in abundance along with fabulous skills.
6. Dave Robinson, Packers: He played alongside Nitchske and was almost quietly efficient next to the maniac.
7. Dick Butkus, Bears: Another one of those guys I had to tip my hat to as a fierce and talented competitor.
8. John Anderson, Packers: I would have forgotten about this 1980s guy because the team was so bad during his era. But he is the all-time team leader in tackles.
9. A. J. Hawk, Packers: May end up being to Matthews what Robinson was to Nitschke. Solid.
10. Ray Lewis, Ravens: I truly admire this guy's intensity, even as he ages.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Day 255, Sept. 12: Death Cab

 My Top 10 Favorite
Death Cab for Cutie Songs
One of my favorite contemporary rock groups, its music is similar to the kind of music I liked in the 1970s - my favorite decade of music.
1. I Will Follow You into the Dark
2. No Sunlight
3. Your Heart is an Empty Room
4. Little Bribes
5. President of What
6. I Will Possess Your Heart (8:37 song!)
7. What Sarah Said
8. My Mirror Speaks
9. Title and Registration
10.A Movie Script Ending

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 254, Sept. 11: Cat Stuff

10 Things I love Doing
With Our Cats
Leah and Woody have added a lot of fun to Kris and my life. Although all four of us are battling a case of fleas (on them, not us), it's been a fun few months.
* Fighting hand-to-cat. Usually I have to wear a glove for protection, but I've got scratches to prove I'm dumb enough 
to do it without them sometimes.
* Making them purr. It's not automatic, no matter how good I pet them.
* Creating hideouts. It's as easy as bringing in a new box to the house.
 Patting them on both sides or the top of the butt real fast.
* Giving them attention when they wake me or Kris up 
in the middle of the night.
* Running after them, or being chased, around the house.
* Letting Leah lay on my stomach (and purr!) as I recline on the couch.
* Letting Woody drink out of the faucet 
(no other cat I ever owned did this).
* Making them chase one of their favorite toys Kris has bought them.
* Sneaking them a tiny treat at night when they look up at me so cute.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 253, Sept. 10: Artists

My Top 10 
Favorite Artists
Kris and I went to an art opening down in the Dubuque warehouse district tonight. I know I'm a jock and not a real art expert and probably can't appreciate all types of it. But I know what I like, and this is it.
Paul C├ęzanne
Salvador Dali
Michelangelo
Claude Monet
Jean Renoir Henri Rousseau
Georges Seuret
Vincent Van Gogh
Andy Warhol
Grant Wood

Friday, September 9, 2011

Day 252, Sept. 9: Up front

 My Top 10 Favorite
Offensive Linemen
I had to do a little research on this one, although many of these were players I would have thought of without looking online.
1. Forrest Gregg, Packers: Maybe the best GB offensive lineman ever, he also coached the Packers - but not as well.
2. Mike Webster, Steelers: A Wisconsin graduate, he is commonly ranked among the best centers ever.
3. Lou Groza, Browns: Not only a great offensive tackle, he also was the team's kicker!
4. Dan Dierdorf, Cardinals: He always seemed to open the holes, and I really liked him on MNF.
5. Chad Clifton, Packers: My favorite current era offensive lineman, he's been very steady.
6. Fuzzy Thurston, Packers: Played with Gregg, was another awesome lineman - and love that nickname.
7. Chuck Bednarik, Eagles: Played from 1949-62, but I heard so much about how tough he was, he makes my list. He also played center on offense!
8. Jerry Kramer, Packers: Played with Gregg and Thurston - that 1960s/early 1970s team was one of the best ever.
9. Scott Wells, Packers: Another current player, he has a lot of durability at the center spot.
10. Anthony Munoz, Bengals: Very charismatic and powerful offensive tackle.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 251, Sept. 8: Dustin Hoffman

My Top 10 Favorite
Dustin Hoffman Movies
I really, really liked his early stuff. Recent movies, not so much.
1. "Little Big Man." It combines some great historic western satire with comedy and great acting.
2. "Papillon." Unbelievable premise based on a true story. Steve McQueen was just as good as Hoffman.
3. "The Graduate." The perfect coming-of-age film for its era, plus the excellent soundtrack.
4. "Rain Man." He was a great choice for the main role. I'm very good at imitating the "I'm a good driver" line.
5. "Tootsie." Very funny and very touching. 
6. "Stranger Than Fiction." He played a small part, a professor, but I really liked the movie a lot.
7. "Kramer vs. Kramer." I should see this again, now that I've raised some kids in a functional family. It probably would hurt me a lot.
8. "All The President's Men." Another one I should see again because I remember being a little confused walking out of the theater.
9. "Hook." A pretty harmless, fun film for the whole family.
10. "Meet the Fockers." The opposite of No. 8, I thought it was funny. But one Focker was enough for me.
Note: Films like "Midnight Cowboy" and "Lenny" were just too depressing for me.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 250, Sept. 7: CCR

 My Top 10 Favorite
Credence Clearwater Revival songs
I had forgotten how much I like this 1960s rock group until I expanded my iTunes song list.
1. Sweet Hitchhiker
2. Susie Q
3. Hey Tonight
4. Someday Never Comes (one of my life theme songs, 
it seems, as sometimes I just can't be satisfied)
5. I Heard it Through the Grapevine
6. Up Around the Bend
7. Bad Moon Arising
8. Run Through the Jungle
9. Green River
10. Commotion

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Day 249, Sept. 6: My fantasies

10 Reasons Why I Love
to Play Fantasy Sports
So, you were thinking something else? 
Maybe my last post ever ...
1. It's Not Real: I have a tendency to handle things in life that aren't real, better than the other way around.
2. The stats: I really can't get enough of them. 
3. The action: I can watch the Packers AND switch to other channels to see how my players are doing.
4. The camaraderie: Tonight, we drafted in my family fantasy football league. My two sons, my wife and I plus several relatives on my first wife's side of the family. Precious.
5. The unknown: You never know how the team you drafted will do. It's fun to find out.
6. Competition: Though I've never played for high stakes ($65 is the most I've EVER spent in one league), I enjoy trying to win.
7. Low stakes: Because I don't spend much ($10 in the family league), losing never hurts the billfold.
8. Trash talk: I'm not too good at it, but I enjoy others who are when they post or talk trash.
9. Pulling for the underdog: Since I've won at least once in all of my leagues, I enjoy it when someone new wins - as long as I get second!
10. There's always next season: Unlike professionals, we fantasy players can play on and on and on ...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Day 248, Sept. 5: Go Long!

 My Top 10 Favorite
Wide Receivers
I loved playing football when I was young (even up to my early 30s, actually). And my favorite position was receiver. It's not surprising that I also liked watching NFL receivers make great catches.
1. Carroll Dale, Packers: Most younger fans won't even recognize this guy, but this 1960s WR left a lasting impression on a young boy from Stoughton.
2. Jerry Rice, 49ers: He was just too good to not admire.
3. Donald Driver, Packers: His upbeat attitude matches his intensity and longevity. All are good things.
4. Don Hutson, Packers: This guy played in the 1930s and pioneered a lot of the pass routes common today. He's compared to Rice by some experts.
5. Steve Largent, Seahawks: A devout Christian, Largent held most wide receiver records when he retired in 1989, most of which were broken by Rice.
6. Lynn Swann, Steelers: He was just so smooth and a class act.
7. Boyd Dowler, Packers: A teammate of Dale's, I'd imagine being one or the other when playing football with Ron Vesterdahl (who was Bart Starr).
8. Bob Hayes, Cowboys: Known in the 1960s as "the world's fastest man," after the Olympics, Hayes also was an above average receiver, who was fun to watch.
9. Paul Warfield, Browns: Also played with the Dolphins, was a great receiver with a great name.
10. Greg Jennings, Packers: Still young enough to add some nice numbers to an already strong stat sheet.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Day 247, Sept. 4: Late Night

10 Memories 
of Late-Night 
Adventures
It's getting kind of late to do my blog, but not the latest ever. It got me to thinking about my younger days and some of the late-night adventures and memories.
(Some weren't that long ago!)
1974: On New Year's Eve as a soon-to-be 17-year-old, I stayed up until midnight writing down Casey Kasem's Top 100 countdown of the year. Pretty wild, huh?
1975: My friends Don, Gary, Lyn and I spent all night playing cards - without gambling or drinking alcohol - and laughed until we cried.
1977: I believe it was New Year's Eve when I was in Disney World and watched the fireworks around midnight lying next to a girl I fell for during a college spring break trip.
1983: My friend, Danimal, and I spent some late nights in Idaho Falls, a mostly Mormon town that had limited places for wild guys like us to go to after midnight.
1985-95: Working in the TH sports dept on weekends often meant heading out after midnight to wind down, sometimes "heading East" after 2 a.m. (rarely)
1986: I spent a wonderful (and innocent) late night with my future wife, Jane, at her apartment. It was daylight savings time, so we got an extra hour, too.
1988: Jane and I joined my brother Jeff and his wife on a trip to Hilton Head, S.C. On our last night, we closed down a piano bar and I couldn't drive the first shift the next morning :-(
1997: I believe it was this year that our family went to a Brewers game and had our car broken into in the parking lot. After going to the police department, I drove home from Milwaukee - starting at 1 a.m.
2003: We brothers-in-law spent a long, fun but emotional night out (until 4 a.m.!) on the day after Thanksgiving, the year Jane died of breast cancer. It was a release for all of us who had mourned the loss.
2006: Kris and I were out on the town and learned of a birthday party down in the warehouse district. We went, saw a great band called the Bent Scepters and stayed out pretty darn late.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Day 246, Sept. 3: The Carpenters

 My Top 10 Favorite
Carpenters songs
Yes, I like more than 10 of their songs - 
and have more than that on my iPod.
1. Goodbye to Love
2. (They Long to Be) Close to You
3. Hurting Each Other
4. Top of the World
5. Superstar
6. We've Only Just Begun
7. Yesterday Once More
8. Sing
9. Merry Christmas Darling
10. Rainy Days and Mondays

Friday, September 2, 2011

Day 245, Sept. 2: Tom Hanks

 My Top 10 Favorite 
Tom Hanks' films
The film "Big" came up in conversation at work today and one of my colleagues couldn't remember if she had seen it. You don't forget "Big" if you've seen it. And, if you haven't, do so asap. Hanks has been in many of my all-time favorite films. He just knows how to pick 'em.
1. Big: It's heart-warming, funny and has a great message. I tear up at the end every time.
2. Forrest Gump: Very creative in its use of historic film footage, it also boasts one of the most memorable main characters in film history.
3. A League of Their Own: A great sports movie where Hanks gets to really show his crude side turn into jello.
4. Saving Private Ryan: Unlike most people, I loved the gritty first 40 minutes or so, as well as Hanks' performance throughout.
5. Apollo 13: I've never understood how a movie where you know exactly what's going to happen can be so suspenseful.
6. Catch Me If You Can: Based on a true story, Hanks' pairing with Leonardo DiCaprio is priceless.
7. The Green Mile: A bit too gruesome for me to rank higher, I nonetheless liked it enough to make my Top 10.
8. That Thing You Do: Just a fun, throwback type of movie.
9. Cast Away: He and the volleyball were pretty much the whole intriguing film.
10. You've Got Mail: Just beat out Sleepless in Seattle as my favorite Hanks' chick flick (unless you count A League of Their Own a chick flick.)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 244, Sept. 1: Up the Middle

My All-Time Favorite
Running backs
1. Gayle Sayers, Bears: Sacreligous? Maybe, since I'm a Packers' fan, but this guy was incredible. The way he could weave in and out of defenses ... and besides, the Bears didn't beat GB much back then.
2. Paul Hornung, Packers: A character as well as a versatile athlete, the Golden Boy epitomized the Glory Days.
3. Bo Jackson, Raiders: Not only is he my third favorite RB, I also believe he is one of the Top 10 athletes in history.
4. Jim Taylor, Packers: In the same backfield with Hornung; no wonder they were so good.
5. Walter Payton, Bears: One of the classiest and coolest athletes I've ever had the privilege of being near as a sports writer in the day.
6. O.J. Simpson, Bills: Bad dude, but boy could he run.
7. Jimmy Brown, Browns: I'm too young to remember him play, but I believe he's probably the best NFL back ever.
8. Earl Campbell, Oilers: How could a guy so big be so fast and quick? I'll never forget his greatest Monday Night Football game in 1978 as a rookie - 199 yards and 4 TDs.
9. Donny Anderson, Packers: Filled the cleats of Taylor, but not quite as good. Still very solid.
10. Bronko Nagurski, Bears: Played a little bit before my time (1930s), he was huge for his day (6-2, 235). But he also could move, and I love the name.