Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Babes Gone By . . .

When I heard Nicole Eggert was going to be on the new season of Celebrity Fit Club, I, of course, became curious. She was, after all, a Baywatch babe and pretty hot . . . in her time.

Last season on Celebrity Fit Club, I was shocked at how Erica Eliniak had grown. So, again, I was curious about Nicole.

Here's Nicole "then":

And here she is now:

Not the greatest picture, admittedly, but one can see she's lost a little "luster". Like Yasmine, she's still beautiful. But, I can understand why she'd want to shed a few ounces.

Good luck, Nicole. I'll be watching!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Silver Anniversary

The sad part about being married 25 years, is that your 25 years older than your were when you got married. But, if anniversaries perform any function at all, it's to re-live and share the memories of days gone by making you feel only days older than before.

I know why I fell in love with my wife. She was young, cute, nice, and had a great pair of . . . uh, eyes. Yeah, that's it. I married her mostly because, oddly enough, she loved me and I figured it best not to let her get away. I figured marriage would make that at least more difficult.

But, getting married is one thing . . . staying married another.

First and foremost, Jackie is my best friend. We like being together. At the same time, though, we're able to be apart. Neither one of us are "clingy". But, as a general rule, anytime we do things we like to do them together.

Many of our life philosophies are the same. We prefer to enjoy life rather than take it, or ourselves, too seriously. We're responsible, but know when to put things aside and simply enjoy what life has to offer.

Same is true about parenting . . . we think pretty much the same. We both take parenting very seriously as we both want a nice, respectful, and intelligent daughter. Yet, again, we're not so serious as to not understand the joys of being a kid . . . and having fun together. We cherish our time with our daughter.

There have been "stormy" times. And not everything is entirely perfect. But, in my opinion, there is no "perfect". WIthout sounding too cliche-ish, every relationship is a give and take. Ideally, 50-50. I truly believe we're at that ideal. We respect each other, we talk to one another, we share with one another.

There are a bunch of reasons I could go on about as to why I love my wife. Mostly, though, she makes me laugh. She's a babe. She's MY babe. And I'm gonna keep her.

Happy Anniversary, girlie. I love you. I always have, and always will.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Pieces of Eight site to remain a restaurant

To me, this is good news.

UWM drops plan to put freshwater school at lakefront site

This was one of those issues I thought few people knew about. Anyone I talked to didn't know anything about the plan. Which made it difficult to gather up opposition to the plan. No offense to UWM or the importance of the water center, but the site is a prime location for a restaurant. While a parking structure would have been very functional, that would have sucked, too. Again, considering the location.

The really good news, and an idea I had, is that according to the article, Joe Bartollota may become the new proprietor.

Drunk driving and children

I don't drink. Gave it up when my girlie was born. So, it may be easy for me to take a harder stand on drunk driving than some people. I don't think that matters much. While it's true there are probably some people who can have a few drinks and still function, the fact is, many people can't. And people die as a result.

I know there's no intent to kill someone. And that makes it hard to come down hard on those who do kill people as a result of driving drunk. Still. We're all smart people. We know drinking can impair your ability to function. And it IS against the law. For me it's another instance where we spend too much time on the lives and rights of those who break the law, and not enough on the victims, their friends, and their families who's lives have been destroyed.

But, if I have little tolerance for people who drive drunk, there's even less for those who drive drunk with kids in the car.

Several summers ago, my wife and I heard the tell tale sound of a vehicle crash. It took place on Appleton right down the street where we live. It was a single car crash. A woman hit a light post . . . one of those cement varieties and wrecked up her car pretty good. It was about 11:30 at night. My wife was one of the first on the scene. Turns out there were kids in the car. My wife spent some time consoling a girl about 9 years old. The girl was unharmed. There was also a baby in a car seat unharmed. When I came to the scene, police were already there. They were trying to get the woman to calm down. She was clearly drunk and more concerned about her car and herself than any of the kids in her car.

Including the lifeless clump of a 3 year old boy lying on the floor of the front passenger seat. The woman's car wasn't going that fast. About 40 mph. But, that was enough speed to send the boy, who wasn't buckled in, in to the dash, breaking his neck.

It's one thing to be an adult and make certain decisions in your life. Hopefully experience and the knowledge of consequence will guide one to make smart decisions. If you make a bad decision, and you get hurt, and you're the only one who gets hurt . . . well, the only one you can blame is yourself. You're responsible, you suffer the consequences. But, when innocent lives are lost as a result of the decision to drink, get drunk, then get behind the wheel of a car . . . suddenly the consequences of your actions affect the lives of innocents. People who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Without diminishing the lives of those who died as a result of drunk drivers, I think it's particularly stupid to drive drunk with kids in the car. As illustrated the 3 year old who died, an accident doesn't have to include another vehicle to turn tragic. An adult may see the situation as "iffy" and make the choice to drive home with someone else. An adult might see that a person is impaired and offer to do the driving. An adult can make the decision to fasten their seatbelt. Kids can't make those decisions. They are blissfully ignorant. They look to adults to make the right choices for them. At a young age they don't recognize when certain situations are potentially dangerous.

Right now a first DUI is a traffic citation in Wisconsin. The only state with that provision. The only state. Sen. Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) and Rep. Tony Staskunas (D-West Allis) are looking to make a first time drunk driving offense a crime when children are in the car. I think it's important they make that change in state law.

I've often said, the one way to get away with murder is to get drunk and run someone over with your car. In Wisconsin we seem to care little about innocent lives. That needs to change. If you agree, contact both representatives and voice your support:

Jim Sullivan: Sen.Sullivan@legis.wi.gov

Tony Staskunas: rep.staskunas@legis.wi.gov

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Creed 2009

Back when Creed announced they were reuniting and touring, I got pretty excited . . . and immediately bought tickets to the concert here. But, both the babemate and I were . . . cautious. After all, Scott Stapp is a well known f*ck up. Would he keep it together enough to make it through a tour? At least to Milwaukee?

Happily, and thankfully, he has and did. Creed played to a "light" crowd at the Bradley Center last night. But, by their performance you'd think they were playing to a packed stadium.

Hoobastank, some LA band, opened. Not too familiar, but Hoobastank hoobastunk. Opening in front of die hard fans of Creed can't be easy. But doing a heavy metal version of Ghostbusters to get the crowd revved up is nothing short of LAME. Their 40 minutes took forever to end.

Creed opened with Bullets. Awesome choice. Immediately one could see a huge difference, aside from crowd size, between the old and new Creed. One, gone were Scott's locks. His head closely shaved. He looked good. Fit. Trim. Happy. Confident. He tore loose with that voice of his . . . he sounded great.

The other change was the addition of a light show. During the open, a row of flames danced behind and above the performers, and in front of a huge screen playing back various images. There were the requisite screen on both sides of the stage and a new and bigger light show. It all played well with the music.

There was also an additional member on rhythm guitar and backing vocals. Not sure who he is. One review I read mentioned that he was never mentioned . . . just there. I'm pretty sure he was introduced, but at the time he was playing some introduction that had the crowd screaming so I couldn't make it out. Whatever. What was nice is that he provided background for Tremonti to play a solo every once in a while. James Hatfield has nothing on Mark Tremonti. In fact, few guitarists have anything on him. Verrrrrrry under rated. It was great to hear him shred every now and then. The other thing, let's call him, Member 5, did was provide harmonizing vocals. They sounded great.

Then there's Scott Stapp. The voice. The quintessential front man. He tends to play to the back row of a venue, but that's him. Theatrical. As I mentioned, he looked great. Wore a button up fitted black shirt with dark jeans. Nothing about his demeanor seemed "rock star". In fact, he was very humble. There was no trite and typical rock speak such as "are you feeling good tonight? Who wants to rock? Are ya having a good time?" He repeatedly thanked the crowd and gave a special nod to Milwaukee as it was the first place Creed played many years ago. The crowd, while small, ate it up and answered back. Very loudly.

He did lose his voice toward the end. Not to where he couldn't sing, but he was beginning to sound strained. He couldn't hit some of the few high notes there are in Creed music. Eh. We all have our nights. It didn't take away from an otherwise incredible show. One look at the tour schedule, and one watch of how much he puts in to every performance, and it's no wonder.

I'm not sure if this marks a new beginning for Creed or if Scott Stapp is truly serious about turning his life around. Whatever the case, they put on a great show. I'm happy I, along with my babemate, saw it.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Babes gone by . . .

Remember Yasmine Bleeth? Back in the day, she was the poster child for poster babes. Well, she's 41. Didn't see THAT comin', did ya?

Anyway, she still beautiful at 41 though not quite as bountiful. She developed a nasty heroin habit. Got busted. Went to rehab, and was never quite the same. I don't think hollywierd closed the door on her, I think she just decided to get away. Not sure which bio to trust, but one source says she lives in Arizona, another says Michigan. Both say she married the owner of a strip club. Hmm. Not sure of that's the best way to "clean up", but I haven't seen her name on the marquee . . . I mean, not that I know of.

In the heyday:

These days still gorgeous:

Let's Get Ready to Bunglllllllllllllllllllle!!

In one corner, the MPS School Board. Weighing in at . . . well, bloated. Let's just leave it at that. In the other corner, Mayor Barrett. Weighing in at . . . tall. Very tall.

I'm on the fence about the Mayor taking over the school board. On the one hand, you have the board president putting forth all sorts of initiatives to help the district save money and make the schools competitive . . . and the board votes them down.

On the other hand . . . well, that's the problem. I don't know what's in the other hand. The big issue for me is other than all the caterwauling the Mayor, and the Governor (now suddenly you're concerned about Milwaukee?) have been doing about MPS, lately, there's no mention of a plan. Not specifically, anyway.

As I have a daughter in MPS, I have a vested interest in this. I can't say as I give a rat's tail who runs the district, as long as quality education is provided in a stimulating and safe environment. It's appalling to me that the board would spend time and resources on initiatives for dental hygiene, yet allow quality teachers to be eliminated from school positions. That's screwy.

Having said that, however, the issue of accountability is important. Would a mayor be more accountable than a school board? What about accessibility? Is the mayor too busy with his/her many responsibilities to address concerns when called upon? These are just a few of the questions that need to be answered.

Lastly, MPS has some good schools. I think the bad schools tend to get much of the attention and drag down the entire system. But, let's be honest. MPS cannot provide quality education when it's forced to relieve teachers largely due to inappropriate spending and over sight by the board. I don't want this to become a "punishment" issue. But, the board seems unwilling to take even the simplest of measures to improve. Maybe it is time for change.