The new millennium was a great 20 years for me as well. My writing biz ended in 1999 and by then advertising production was going at full speed since I began as a lowly PA in 1991 and started producing in 1993. I always tell people that it takes time to establish your own biz, and it took until the late ’90s before advertising production really began to make some serious money.
On the social side, things were fun as always–Lots of friends and family in lots of places, and I tried to keep up with them all! As I said in my opening post, I’ve always been so lucky to have the proverbial “good problem” of having too many friends. And regardless of my health situation, my “good problem” remains unchanged thanks to all of you! The most frustrating part for me is not being able to socialize and engage with everyone because of my severe physical limitations. I can barely speak, text or type now, so I’m pacing myself the best I can and trying to communicate as much as I can through the blog so I can reach everyone at once. And since a picture is worth a thousand words (or at least a hundred hopefully!), I can communicate as much as possible with as few keystrokes as possible (for good or for ill–Hahaha!) That said, please feel free to reach out to me with comments or directly at my email address: email@example.com. The pics are in no particular order, so pop a cold one and scroll away!
My sister Kristin and I in about 2016 I think. Love you, Sis!
My brother-in-law Jeff and I. Thanks for taking such good care of my Sis–You guys are a great couple, and I love you guys!
My niece Melissa and nephews Brad and Alec in the early 2000s. Teaching Melissa and Brad a few things on the guitar…
Melissa’s high school “beauty shot.” Every girl needs one–Hahahaha!!!
Melissa, I, Sandy and Kristin & Jeff at Mom & Dad’s for the holidays.
Sandy & I on our neighbor’s horses at the New Mexico ranch. It was beautiful out there…
But here’s an animal we loved a lot more than any horse! We got Scruffy at Thanksgiving of 2005, and we’re still grateful that he’s alive and kicking! Got him at the pound for the princely sum of $52, which means he cost $2 more than my cheap bastard ass at the Catholic adoption agency–Hahaha!!! But he was a lot less trouble…
The Scruffs in the backyard when we had our own chickens. The eggs were delicious!
Yes, I was actually that much of a workaholic that I would take calls in the shower rather than risk losing a job. And I never lost a cell phone due to water damage–Hahaha!!!
Sandy & I actually produced a Taylor Made golf shoot at the famous Pinehurst Country Club where they have the Masters tournament. I had to buy some wardrobe for myself because they had a strict dress code and wouldn’t allow us on the property in shorts or jeans, which was all I owned at the time!
I wasn’t too involved in music after age 40 because production was so busy and profitable, but The Cartridge Family was a really fun political parody band that lasted about 15 years. There’s a separate blog story about the band complete with music if you’re interested…
Eric, Alan and Bob “Cartridge.” Bob is actually a Tombstone Sheriff’s Deputy. Good thing he believes we should have our guns–Hahaha!!!
Sandy, Kevin and Drew at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame recently. Kevin actually plays in a real band and Drew is a singer in theater musicals. Actually, I think Kevin does that occasionally too. Sandy is not so musical, but she has amazing taste in music for a chick. (wink!)
Me with two Sandys…
K-Man with the Scruffs.
Drew when she was about 3 or 4 I think. I brought The Scruffs out for a visit to their place in Mass on this trip, and Drew never forgot The Scruffs. They waited 10 years, but Drew finally got her wish and they got 95-pound Nala, a Golden Doodle who is still growing!
A Christmas card from Kevin’s parents Pat & Mike. They had a place out in Sun City, AZ so I would see them most years. It was great reminiscing about old times with my bro K’s parents. They were kind of like an extra aunt and uncle to me.
Brian, Kevin, Steve & I jamming at one of my surprise 50th birthday parties. We actually played pretty well considering the decades that had elapsed, and a great time was had by all.
Kevin & Sandy and I at a party in Milwaukee in 2013 I believe. Getting old…
Skinitches Brian, Bob, Steve “The Pin” and I at the same party in 2013. We were in Flashback together when we were kids, and those guys organized a reunion of sorts. Even our singer Jeff Dettstein showed up but he split before we could get a photo with him. Party pooper!!! (I honestly think he just didn’t want to be seen with us old rogues–Hahahaha!!!)
Scooter and I at the party. Yet another friend I’ve known for more than 40 years…
Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!
With Tim and Kathy at Lambeau Field. Sandy couldn’t believe everyone (including me of course!) was drinking ice-cold beer in 25-degree weather. I told her this was actually quite a warm November day and proceeded to take my coat off. Seriously. A couple of shirts, a sweatshirt, a scarf and a hat was more than enough winter clothing in the balmy 20s!
Sandy and I visiting Patti my Rasta friend in Milwaukee one summer. Patti and I met in the Brave New Groove days back in Milwaukee. She would do the dance floor solo just like me. We are kindred spirits for sure!!!
My bros Brian and Steve in Arizona in 2016.
Dano, Cece, and baby Ries around 2000 or so in a visit by us to Chicago.
Dick and Cookie, my favorite aunt and uncle and I honestly couldn’t tell you what event this was almost 20 years ago!
Me with my older cousins Kathy and Chris about 15 years ago. Kathy is giving our excessive alcohol consumption away in this pic!
My youngest cousin Missy with her husband Eric and their four boys Alec, Connor, Dylan and Braedon. And don’t forget Stout the awesome Chocolate Lab!
Stout was embarrassed and hid behind the chair for this pic–Hahahaha!!!
An older version of the boys with more “attitude” about having their pictures taken. They didn’t know it but the age of cell phone cameras was right around the corner!
Cousin Missy brought Aunt Cookie out for her last visit to AZ in 2018. In hindsight, I’m extra grateful they came because I was limping around in the beginning stages of ALS, although I didn’t know what it was at the time.
Sandy’s brother Michael and his family in Ft. Lee, New Jersey.
Sandy’s sister Grace and her husband Evan outside Mom’s house in Queens.
A very rare backyard BBQ party at Sandy’s mom’s house in Queens. Theirs was not a wild party culture like mine was in Milwaukee, and I had some adjustments to make. I actually hid my beers a lot of the time while I was there because Sandy’s mom thought that if you drank one every day (not to mention more than one!), that you had a problem. Not that she was necessarily wrong about that, but we grew up in a different culture where “cocktail hour” was something that happened every day, and it usually lasted more than an hour–Hahaha!
Sandy’s friend Dwight and I smokin’ and strollin’ the streets of New York. Dwight was definitely a party guy and we saw some cool music and other stuff together. He ended up marrying a very talented singer named Ingrid Lucia from New Orleans who sounded like a young Billie Holliday. Seriously. She was that good.
Enjoying the streets of New York and remembering the time I channeled the spirit of Jimi back in 1981. You can read about that in “1981 Overture.”
The iconic “Flatiron” building…
Enjoying delicious Chinese food at one of the dozens of Chinese restaurants over the years. There may have been some cultural differences this white boy had to adjust to, but enjoying Chinese food was definitely NOT one of them!
Sandy’s really nice Aunt Alice, Uncle Harry, and nephew Andrew. A sweeter, kinder family does not exist anywhere on Planet Earth, imho. We visited them when we went to the Bay Area for one of Sandy’s cousin’s weddings I think. A really sad thing happened about 1o years later when Alice suddenly died of a stroke in her house when she was about 50. Her death was instantaneous and her son Andrew was there to witness it. It really makes you wonder why death happens to people the way it does, and I wish I had the answer…
Visiting with the Lams in the SF Bay Area.
My old high school friend Tom with his wife Barb and son Taylor. Tom is in one of the old stories about psychedelic high school… 🙂
Here’s an old one of me and our friend Gary who’s nickname was “Bababooey” like the Howard Stern radio character. I can’t remember where he got the nickname–I think because he kind of looks like the real Bababooey! I wasn’t in shape then, so Gary probably won the arm wrestling bout!
Some buffalo we were getting ready to shoot…
No REALLY SHOOT–With a gun, not a camera as you might have expected from me. That’s me in the green jumpsuit being schooled on how to dress down a 1,000-pound buffalo.
And the guy in the bandanna is none other than crazy Steve Wagner. He and I split the buffalo meat and the other guy is the rancher.
Chilling with my good friends Peter and Deb over the summer. They took me out on their pontoon boat for my last awesome sunset ride at Canyon Lake. Thanks and Love you guys!
Deb’s driving and taking pics… And she made the food!
My friends Matt & Kitty and their daughter Ena took me on my only mountain bike ride in my entire life in 2017, which turned out to be just in time! I’m very grateful for it and the timing was perfect. The other cool thing was that our ride was about 3 hours and 17 miles long with Ena leading the way, so I really got to do it right. It’s tough to keep up with a college girl in good shape and I found muscles I hadn’t used before even in the gym and on my own rather lengthy trail runs!
It was very peaceful out on the trail…
My good friend Robert with Kitty and Matt’s son Asel.
A gang of my libertarian friends at Donna and Ernie’s house. The Hancocks have been harassing the statists for many decades and have the internet radio show and website “Declare Your Independence.”
More libertarian friends Dave and Lori at Marc’s party house.
Me at my friend Marc’s 50th birthday party last year. I could still limp and drive back in December 2018.
Yet another one of Marc’s birthday parties, and it was at The Duce, a converted warehouse downtown and one of my favorite places. We actually shoot there quite regularly. And I love the sentiment expressed in the pillow sign and the look on my friend Sam’s face–Hahaha!
Returning from a trip to Rocky Point with Marc and company in about 2015 I think. We were on the Mexican side of the border and I absolutely loved their snarky sign mocking the hassle American citizens will receive from US Customs and Immigration–Hahahaha!!! Getting into Mexico takes about 2 minutes, and getting back into our own country can take 2 hours on a busy Sunday. In this case, we were actually hauled out of Marc’s car and locked in a room for 20 minutes while ICE searched Marc’s car, our luggage, you name it. I didn’t have anything I shouldn’t (I’m not that stupid in this day and age!), but I was nervous as hell because ICE had an issue with Marc (that I won’t go into here), and I was honestly concerned that ICE might try to plant drugs on us or something else very bad. Fortunately they didn’t and we made it home in one piece…
In Flagstaff with Andy, a cool attorney (I know that seems like an oxymoron, but they do exist–Hahahaha!) who works at my friend Marc’s firm. Andy is a musician too, so that’s really what makes him cool–lol!
Fun with guns. I was never really interested in guns until the mid-1990s when the Blue Teamers started talking about banning “evil assault rifles.” Of course that got my attention and I had to get a few before it was too late–Hahaha! Funny how talking about banning something is a really great form of marketing… And I did take a training class a few years later at Frontsight in Nevada.
KABA stands for “Keep and Bear Arms” and my friend Bob and I just couldn’t resist posing for a photo with this sign on our way home from a firearms training class at Frontsight in Nevada.
Uh, no those aren’t mine! Our neighbors Paul and Melissa moved up in the world and rented their house on our street to some shady characters. A couple people actually had deadly ODs in there, and when they (finally!!!) got around to evicting the tenants Melissa and I found this on the kitchen counter! She got all OCD and started cleaning up the hovel right away and accidentally stabbed herself with a similar needle hidden under a TV set in the bedroom! I told her not to rush the clean up, but she wouldn’t listen to me! Thankfully, she didn’t catch anything…
My friend Sandra’s son Daniel with Eric the Cat. Yes, Daniel actually named his cat after me, and a more heartfelt and loving homage could not possibly exist. Thanks, Daniel!!