Vacation with the Northside…..


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After a week away on vacation I am here sitting at my desk wondering where the heck the time went? It feels like just yesterday I was on my way to Yankton to go visit the family and spend a few fun drunk days at the Meridian Bridge RV Resort with my Northside Bitches . Now here I am sitting in a fog all clueless and dazed. Did I really ever leave here? I set my “out of office” notice on my emails. My desk was cleaned off. All my work was caught up. Yet, I feel like a fucking mess and am buried in work. Was all this just a dream? Happy post-vacation! I feel as if I need a vacation from my vacation. I’m already tired. Like I just had a forced enema. I need my bed and a few more days off. Ugh!

This is so ever true. The first day back at work is a day to drink coffee. Tell your coworkers where you were at and what you did. Check up on Facebook to get all caught up on your friends drama. Surf the net. Take a long lunch. Actually leave on time and go home to collapse. I thought a vacation was supposed to re-energize us?

How can one possibly have so many emails sitting in the in-box? My “out of office” said to contact “so and so” on any questions or requests. I am now only half way through the 247 emails that I need to follow-up on! Also, half of them are system down messages. WTF?  Oh, I love the ones that want a response and need it asap, like four days ago, and sent three follow up emails asking why I have not responded. Did you not read my out of the fucking office message?

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This is pretty much how I felt while off for the week. Except the red bar started on Sunday night with me. I think we might be a little work stressed over here in the good old USA!

Now that I have had about five cups of coffee it’s all coming back to me. I do remember a bit of what I do around here. Still not ready to pick up the phone yet and speak to anyone. Just communicate by email for the first few days back. Oh fuck, I just received a message that my email in-box is full and running out of memory space. I better start hitting that delete button.

Ok, I do have to admit that I am such a big kid that I still get a kick out of going down the highway and getting picked up by the po po (thank you for the courtesy warning Mr Cedar County Deputy). You can get pulled over for having friends in the back of your pickup and 38ish people in the cab.  You have to love the fine state of Nebraska.  Ever notice that as we get older our we tend to act like bratty children?

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Thank all things holy for Meridian Bridge RV Resort ! You can drink here! You can get drunk all around the park! While we were here it was Apple Crown and Blue Can week, which also features a very ill Toad. Oh yeah, we were pretty rocked by the time we left after drinking all night Friday! So many different beverages to try.  You would have swore we were at the EPCOT in Florida.  EPCOT for us boozers is – Every Person Carried Out Toasted!

Why does everyone think I am supposed to be all cheery rainbows and riding unicorns across the sky while throwing candy blue cans at everyone? I don’t know about you but coming back to work after a week with the Northside Bitches is stressful enough as it is. Don’t talk to me for a few days, and don’t ask me to go to lunch. Unless it’s a liquid lunch. And you stay silent. One word about work and you will end up on a milk carton!

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Probably one of the better reasons to come home from vacation. There is still nothing better than sleeping in your own bed and shitting in your own crapper!  Admit it – we all feel this way!

PS.  This blog post WAS NOT done on work time.

Hairball – They Are That Good!


Now that I am feeling a bit better (been sick most of the week) I will describe my thoughts of Hairball the band.  My Northside Bitch friends (from the campground) convinced us to go to a Hairball concert during Yankton’s Ribfest.  I am glad they did!

We (Rick, Tracy, Lee, Kristi, Brendon, Sydney, Craig, Shelli, Dawn and myself) loaded up Nick’s Party Bus and headed off to Ribfest to jam with Hairball!

KISS, Van Halen, Queen, Motley Crue, Aerosmith,   David Lee RothAxl Rose, Freddy Mercury and AC/DC to name a few.   How fortunate was I when I realized that I have been missing out over the years.   It was an amazing Saturday night at the NFA Easton Archery Center in Yankton, SD and each of those singers were there in spirit and image because of the band Hairball!

What is Hairball you ask?  Hairball is not something from a cat, nor is it something one may find in the dryer lint of an old “cat lady”.  Hairball is the single best band that can meld all of the best bands from the “Generation of Hair“.  I refuse to call the band a “tribute band”, they are so far from that and such a description of the band is plain wrong.

What I love about this band is the fact that they have as much talent as every person and band that they are emulating.  I think the word “emulating” is a great word to describe Hairball.  For those not knowing what the band does is perform those songs from the “Generation of Hair” in a unique way.  The band looks like any band really, they each look like a typical band except for the incredibly talented lead vocalists.  Each singer (there are multiple singers, three to be exact) comes out looking like the singer of the band they are playing as.  That is where the names I mentioned earlier came from, each of them appeared on the stage in effigy (not effigy, rather in accurate detail).  When a man comes onto the stage looking like, acting like and sounding like Ozzy Osbourne, its definitely not in effigy.  Trust me, you could have convinced me Ozzy was on the stage  – that is how well Joe plays the role.

I’m sincere when I tell you the man on stage passed for Ozzy, as did those appearing as Steve Perry … I’m not naming all of them, its too vast (and I’m lazy).  I promise you their interpretation of these singers is amazing.  With the menagerie that is their stable of bands they portray and the costume changes, makeup applications and in some cases instruments they play would be terribly hard to accomplish, but they pull it off like they are the original artists.

Watching some complex artists be replicated so well is amazing.  As an example the same lead vocalist performed as Steve Perry and then (later in the show) Freddy Mercury, how easy would that be?  Both performers are similar in importance to music, both are larger than life characters and both are completely different.  As Kris comes onto stage as Steve Perry, he comes out costumed and hit notes like something you would see at a Journey show.

Lest we forget the aforementioned Freddy Mercury complete with the yellow leather coat with buckles and white pants and after a brief interlude (a piece from “Bohemian Rhapsody“) a full out assault (and wardrobe change) with the ’80’s styled Freddy Mercury and “We Will Rock You” beating our ears into submission.  Wait, before I forget please accept my apology for talking about Mercury and Steve Perry in the same sentence.  What Kris does with all of the characters he is emulating is really fun and really good!

I’ve never seen Hairball so when Bob appears on stage as Bret Michaels and performs like Michaels (right down to the hand gestures) its expected (I’ve seen “Michaels” before), as well as Brian Johnson (AC/DC).

For the third member of the lead vocal onslaught, we find ourselves in the presence of one Mr. Joe Dandy.  Joe has firmly set his sights on several ’80’s rock headcases and legends all at the same time.  Tackling David Lee Roth (Van Halen), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Axl Rose (Guns ‘n Roses) and Ozzy Osbourne would probably put a lesser performer in ICU somewhere (there’s enough mental illness between those performers to kill Freud).  Its controlled insanity and Mr. Dandy you did it like a pro!

Obviously there is so much more to this band then just three lead vocalists, there is the rest of the band (duh).  It should come as no surprise that the band is every bit as excellent as the vocalists but they are great!  From the insane Happy (guitar) to Colt Python (drums) and Freaky (bass) is the quintessential band with FEW rivals (I love these names of the Hairball ensemble).

What I really find extraordinary is the fact that Happy plays all of these songs as if he wrote them originally.  This man has Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhodes and Angus Young channeling through his fingers while he plays, he truly is incredible.  He has that feeling of greatness in the notes coming forth from the guitar.  Happy trust me you ARE that great!

What does one get when you find a bass player and a drummer that is so intensely good that it feels like they have been playing together for thirty years?  You get the backbone of Hairball (Colt and Freaky) what else?  These two are the driving force of the band that takes us back into the ’80’s.  The driving bass and drums that were prevalent in that era live once again, great job!

Hairball has an interesting effect on those watching them perform.  You can see the man with the bald spot of a monk act like that mullet he used to sport has grown back.  You can see the calm, demure woman pop back into the girls in the video for “Girl School“.  The years that passed seem a blur and we are transported back to those days.  For any band to be successful they must be the best at whatever it is they are trying to accomplish.  Hairball has set their sights on being the best representation of the music of the “Generation of Hair” and they have succeeded.

While I struggle to remember what I did last Monday, its incredible that Hairball made all of those “hair memories” and Groveland Park flood back.  Music can do that if we let it, and maybe we should.  Yes, bygone memories usually seem much better than they did as they happened but who cares?  Music and memories are intertwined into the fabric of each of us, regardless of age.  Reflecting back on Saturday night,  wasn’t that strange.  If anything that remembrance may have been a microcosm of a time past, one where music can trigger those emotions from so long ago.  I loved every moment of reflection that came back that night and perhaps one day I will think back at Hairball with the same smile and happy memories.  Great job guys!!  Rick, Tracy, Lee and Kristi – thanks for the invite it was amazing!   Many thanks to Shelli’s son Nick for driving us “old head bangers” to the grounds.  To quote Sydney, “It’s official, I’m on a party bus … with my parents.”

Dolphins 2017 Draft Score – C+


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The 2017 NFL Draft is over, and the undrafted free agent frenzy is underway. The Miami Dolphins selected seven players during the three-day Draft, and, reportedly, will sign 14 undrafted free agents.  I give the Dolphins a C+.  What did I learn from the Dolphins during this year’s draft? I see five things that stand out.

1. The Dolphins were willing to wait out the board.

Last year’s draft and the history of Mike Tannenbaum with the New York Jets all pointed to the Dolphins being active traders throughout the draft. This year, despite a record number of trades made across the league, the Dolphins seemed content to sit back and wait for the board to come to them. They did make a trade up in the fifth round, but even then, it was a two spot trade, and they did not lose a pick, only dropping a fifth round pick back into a sixth round pick as compensation. Miami’s other trade was a trade back in the seventh round, while adding a seventh round pick in next year’s draft. The Dolphins were patient this year.

Miami Dolphins 2017 Draft Class
Round 1 – Pick 22 – Charles Harris, DE, Missouri
Round 2 – Pick 54 – Raekwon McMillan, LB, Ohio State
Round 3 – Pick 97 – Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson
Round 5 – Pick 164 – Isaac Asiata, G, Utah
Round 5 – Pick 178 – Davon Godchaux, DT, LSU
Round 6 – Pick 194 – Vincent Taylor, DT, Oklahoma State
Round 7 – Pick 237 – Isaiah Ford, WR, Virginia Tech

2. Miami was well aware of their visits.

The Dolphins admitted after their first-round pick of Missouri defensive end Charles Harris that they deliberately did not visit with him after an initial meeting at the NFL Scouting Combine. The team conducted an interview with Harris there, but then did not hold any other meetings or invite him to the team facilities for a private workout. Armando Salguero pointed out during the draft that Miami only met with one of their first three picks, Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, prior to the draft. The Dolphins seemed aware that they met with most of their draft picks in 2016, so they flipped it in 2017 in order to make it less obvious who they were targeting.

3. The Dolphins knew their needs and made sure to address them.

Prior to the draft, everyone knew the Dolphins were looking to upgrade their defense, and their needs were fairly obvious. The team needed a linebacker, guard, cornerback, defensive end, defensive tackle, and safety. By the end of the three rounds, Miami had added all of those except safety – but they did it in a way to make sure they were not “reaching” for a player and that they were still picking some of the best players available. It was an effective method, with Harris filling the defensive end need in the first round, Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan filling that need in the second round, Tankersley filling the cornerback need in the third round, Utah’s Isaac Asiata filling the guard need in the fifth round, and a double down at defensive tackle with LSU’s Davon Godchaux in the fifth and Oklahoma State’s Vincent Taylor in the sixth round.

4. Miami is planning for the future as much as they are worried about 2017.

The Dolphins are going to be looking toward some of these new rookies to step into starting roles immediately, but they are probably set up well in case the rookies cannot beat out some of the other players on the roster already. Harris will likely start the season behind Cameron Wake and Andre Branch at defensive end. McMillan should be able to find a starting role, probably as a strong-side linebacker, but he could find himself behind a healthy Koa Misi, with McMillan developing to be a middle linebacker whenever Lawrence Timmons is no longer with the team. Tankersley is probably behind Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard on the depth chart, but should see plenty of playing time throughout the season. Asiata will likely compete for the starting left guard position, and he probably can win that through Ted Larsen, Kraig Urbik, and Anthony Steen will all be in play as well. Godchaux and Taylor are rotational defensive ends behind Ndamukong Suh and Jordan Phillips, while seventh-round pick, Virginia Tech wide receiver Isaiah Ford, will be a depth option behind Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker, and Kenny Stills. The Dolphins drafted players who have talent, but also could use time to develop that talent at the NFL level. Miami wants to see the rookie find their role on the depth chart, but none of them appear to be destined to make-or-break the Dolphins this year.

5. Matt Burke is in position to put his stamp on the Dolphins.

The Miami Dolphins promoted Matt Burke from linebackers coach to defensive coordinator this offseason, replacing Vance Joseph who was hired as the Denver Broncos’ head coach after one season as Miami’s defensive coordinator. Dolphins Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum joked after the conclusion of the seventh round that Burke had become a permanent member of the front office, and, with the five defensive selections in seven picks, it can be seen why the joke made sense. The Dolphins, for the first time in their franchise history, used their first three picks to fill spots on the defense, and they were the last team to make an offensive pick this season, adding Asiata in the fifth round. Burke moves into his first year as a defensive coordinator with a ton of new talent coming to the roster. How he develops and uses it could go a long way to determining his success in his new role.