Friday, September 30, 2005

FootBlogging Week #3 (NFL Wk #4)

The only thing in my favor, as I sit 1-5 to Foot’s 5-1 is that it is early. Thank God we post simultaneously or all Foot would have to do is match my picks the rest of the year and win with his 4 ticks already on the board.

The King has picked three more killers, not so much in who is going to win, but the large point spreads. Blowouts are hard to come by in the NFL. It will be tough to pick any favorite and leave the points on the table, especially when it is a touchdown or more.

With that, here goes my attempt to make up some ground:

1. at (-5)

Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
New England is king of the NFL. Until someone can knock this giant off the hill, I will be hard pressed to bet against them, even with 5 points on the table. Take the Pats, leave the points. UPDATE: The Pats take a drubbing from the Bolts, 41 - 17. I don't think many people saw that coming.

2. at (-7.5)

Monday, 9 p.m. on ABC
Packers suck, plain and simple. But they aren’t a club that gives up very easy, especially with Favré at the helm. It takes an awfully bad team in this world of NFL parity to go 0 - 4, and even though the Pack will probably do just that, they won’t go down without a fight. The Panther’s are a suspect club simply because they are at 1-2 themselves. Both clubs are facing must win situations, and my gut says the Packers will come up short, but not shorter then 7. Pick the Pack, and take the points, all 7.5 of them! UPDATE: The Pack falls short, but well within the 7.5

3. (-7) at

Sunday, 1 p.m. on CBS
Seven Points! That magic number that any line better shudders at. Like I mentioned already, one must deliberate long and hard before leaving those kind of points on the table. But the Dolts (sic) are as solid of an NFL club as any out there, and have one of the best (if not THE best) coaching staffs in the league. I need to make up some ground, and that means taking risks. So I am picking the Colts and leaving the points, simply because i don’t think Freddie the 'Foot' has the guts to do it! UPDATE: The Colts offense finally lights up and easily covers the 7, 31 - 10. YEAH!! I got one right!

Now I am going to worship before the kegerator in preparation for this weekend’s tilts and hope I can make up a game or two.


UPDATE: Foot posts, and after picking opposite that last two weeks, this week's picks match. Looks like another week in the cellar. I'll catch him eventually!

Hoof 'N Mouth Disease

Bill, Bill, Bill *shaking head*:
"If you wanted to reduce crime, you could -- if that were your sole purpose -- you could abort every black baby in this country and your crime rate would go down.
In fairness, he did follow it up with a disclaimer:
"That would be an impossibly ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down," he said.
I see the Right wing fringe taking the same approach they did with Robertson's assassination gaff a few weeks ago. 'He shouldn't have said it, even though it's true'. Items like that come from the morally bankrupt. And the scary part is, they are the ones running the country.


Roberts Confirmed

Roberts is in:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- John G. Roberts Jr. was sworn in Thursday as the 17th chief justice of the United States after winning Senate approval with a solid majority (78 - 22).

Roberts, 50, was given the oath of office by the senior associate justice, John Paul Stevens, at a ceremony in the White House's East Room.
I said my piece on Roberts not that long ago:
I'm not a big Roberts fan, but respect the right of the President to chose a nominee that best fits his ideology
But Mr Sponge at Clever Peasantry did a better job of echoing my position:

Ladies and gentlemen, Judge Roberts is undoubtedly a competent jurist. As liberal Democrats, we would like him to agree with us 110% of the time. However, until folks like us start winning presidential elections, we don't possess the luxury of getting all up in his face. In the meantime, all we can and should do is be on the look-out for incompetent nominees. Judge Roberts is not incompetent by any stretch of the imagination.
The Right has won the right to select jurists that mirror their ideology. If you don't like it, then bust your ass electing officials that will change the course. But left of Wellstone whiners spending their time crying about stolen elections and our of touch nominees are just spinning their wheels and being counter productive. Quit yer beefin' and get to work. You have an opportunity in a year to retake the Senate, and then you can have a say on who the President picks. Until then, shut yer yaps and get to work!

But that's just me!


Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Is the first domino falling.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Tom DeLay said Wednesday he will step aside as House majority leader following his indictment by a Texas grand jury on conspiracy charges.

DeLay attorney Steve Brittain said DeLay was accused of a criminal conspiracy along with two associates, John Colyandro, former executive director of a Texas political action committee formed by DeLay, and Jim Ellis, who heads DeLay's national political committee.
I wonder how many more chips will fall in the process, be it related to DeLay's actions or other corruption within the administration.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Knew It Wouldn't Last

The high road was a short one at that. The Bush administration is back to playing their favorite grade school game 'It's Not My Fault':

'Brownie' blames local officials

In testimony this AM, Brownie states:
. . . Mississippi and Alabama had evacuated properly, but said New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco were reluctant to order an evacuation.

"My mistake was in recognizing that for whatever reasons ... Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco were reticent to order a mandatory evacuation," he said.
Objective members of the panel were not amused:
"I find it absolutely stunning that this hearing would start out with you, Mr. Brown, laying the blame for FEMA's failings at the feet of the governor of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans," Jefferson said.

"I think it's fair to say that perhaps mistakes (were) made all around, but I don't think the response of the federal government can be explained on the basis of, as you have said here, you could not persuade the governor and the mayor to sit down and coordinate a response."
Also, it is common knowledge that BEFORE Katrina hit:
Jefferson noted that the governor had requested a disaster declaration from the federal government three days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, which was approved by President Bush two days before the storm hit.
I though President GDub had turned the corner on his pass the buck presidency, but it is still clear that he is presenting his minions to the public to try and spin his way out of this failure of leadership!


Monday, September 26, 2005

Would you believe ... ?

Don Adams, aka Maxwell Smart died today at the age of 82.


Sen. Bill 'Martha Stewart' Frist

Sen. Frist is in trouble. The big questions is, what did he know, and when did he know that which he isn't suppose to know.
Frist, R-Tennessee, received regular updates of transfers of assets to his blind trusts and sales of assets. He also was able to initiate a stock sale of a hospital chain founded by his family with perfect timing. Shortly after the sale this summer, the stock price dived.
OH, but that isn't what he has said in the past.
Another political problem for Frist: His own statements suggest he had no knowledge of his blind trust investments.

Asked in a television interview in January 2003 whether he should sell his HCA stock, responded, "Well, I think really for our viewers it should be understood that I put this into a blind trust. So as far as I know, I own no HCA stock"

Frist, referring to his trust and those of his family, also said in the interview, "I have no control. It is illegal right now for me to know what the composition of those trusts are. So I have no idea."
What's that, "It is illegal right now for me (Frist) to know what the composition of those trusts are.".

I have to think that the Senator would be awfully careful of these types of transactions, especially considering his Presidential aspirations. His spokesman confirms:
Frist spokesman Bob Stevenson said the senator received approval from the Senate Ethics Committee before he initiated the stock sale. All the information Frist received complied with federal law and Senate ethics rules, Stevenson added.
Considering how the justice department zeroed in on Martha Stewart and convicted her regardless of her ignorance of the transaction, what kind of pressure will they put on Frist. Frist may be in a similar situation, and a fading political future may become the least of his worries.

O'fer or the Big Goose Egg

My prognosticating prowess took a big credibility hit this weekend. I missed all three games giving Foot an early lead in out season long battle. I can't even blame it on the spreads, as I it wouldn't have mattered.

I am prepared to take my lumps this week, knowing that there are better days ahead, and much football to be played.

At least the Queenies figured out how to play football. Maybe as the Packers continue to fade, the OPG (Obnoxious Packer Guy) will be unable to assist Freddie the Foot in future picks. I could only hope!


UPDATE: The Foot sings his own praises:
Sung to the tune of Yesterday, by the Beatles:

LaDanian took our breath away
And the Bears played like they were gay
Oh, and New England won yesterday

The Flash found himself Oh-and-three
Now LearnedFoot looks quite mighty
My victory came suddenly
Click through to sing the rest! Oh it's going to be a loooong week!

Friday, September 23, 2005

FootBlogging Week#2 (NFL Week#3) - MY PICKS

The King has posted this week's tilts.

Be sure to click through and read his take on these gridiron match-ups.

My take:

1. New England @ Pittsburgh (-3).

Here we have a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game which the Pats dominated. But this years Pat club is starting too look like the shadow of it’s former self. If Cowher was able to beat New England last year during the regular season, this years contest may even be a blowout. Well. maybe not a blowout, but anyone would be hard pressed to bet against the Steelers at home, even when playing the Patriots. Pittsburgh easily covers and takes the rematch!

2. NY Giants @ San Diego (-5.5).

I had to double check this one and am still confused why SD would be favored, let alone by almost a touchdown. This one seems like taking candy from a baby, but my sure things haven’t been panning out all that well lately (See Oakland game last week). I’d pick the Giants without the points, but as long as they are there, I’ll take ‘em.

3. Cincinnati (-3) @ Chicago.

Not many would have had the Bungles at 2-0 right now, but then not many would have predicted a complete collapse of the Queenies by week 2 either. But daBears defense has shown that they can be stingy when it comes to points, while the offense scored at will last weekend. I’m not ready to hop on the Carson Palmer bandwagon yet. Watch the Bears play with continued vigor as they continue to lead the NFC Norris division after this weekend games are complete. Take the points and Pick BEARS.

Foot's are here, and once again, we are on opposite ends, so I'll either makeup lost ground, or fall deeper in the hole. Let's hope for the former!


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Jet Blue Analogy

Mitch tried to be cute today:
Yesterday, in an Alternate Universe

"Hello, this is your pilot, Kathleen Blanco."

"The nose wheel on our landing gear is jammed ninety degrees in the wrong direction."

"Each of you is now responsible for getting yourself safely to the ground. If it doesn't work...blame the Feds for not having a plan to get you out of a crippled airplane".

"So long, and thanks for flying Jet Blue"
Fecke couldn't let that pass, so offered this:
"Hello, this is your pilot, George W. Bush."

"The nose wheel on our landing gear is jammed ninety degrees in the wrong direction."

"I'll be getting around to taking a look at the problem sometime in the next four to six days. Hey, nobody could've predicted that there might be a problem with the landing gear, anyhow."

"At any rate, I'd like to thank the Senior Vice President in charge of Repairs, Michael Brown, for his fine work in preparing us. You're doing a heckuva job, Brownie."

"So long, and thanks for flying Jet Blue"
Two perceptions, one admittedly from an alternate universe, the other from the Reality based community. One based in fantasy, the other based on fact.


Bush is Kicking Ass . . . For Now!

I overheard a comment made yesterday regarding the latest storm heading towards the Gulf coast of Texas. ‘I suppose Bush is doing nothing again’. I quickly responded, ‘Actually, he is kicking ass right now’

See, the mark of a true leader is being able to recognize your mistakes, make the necessary adjustments, and guide your subordinates down a path of success. With Katrina, all levels of government were caught with their britches in a bunch. The Feds were ill prepared and had faulty plans, the state failed to communicate effectively their needs to the federal level. The local municipalities were too busy pointing fingers and dropped the ball on several occasions.

The President won’t let that happen again. He has acknowledged his mistakes, and has made adjustments to protect as many individuals as possible as Rite steamrolls it’s way through the Gulf. Over 300,00 troops are staged and poised at the ready (compared to 10,000 set for Katrina). An open line of communication exists at all levels of government so that response times will be minimal. The goal here is to protect lives, and preserve lifestyles. Politics seems removed from the formula as the hatches are battened down while Rita approaches.

Which makes me wonder why Bush hasn’t done this sooner on other issues. I have been a supporter of the Iraq war since the beginning, albeit not for the same reasons as this administration. SoDamn Who’s Insane was a bad guy and needed to be dealt with. He had multiple second chances and refused to conform to the expectations of the international community. We didn’t need to make up stories of WMD’s and mobile chemical factories which only rocked our credibility with our allies once the truth was discovered. Bush should have and could have sold this war based on the truth and the credible facts available.

As we approach the 2,000 death mark of American troops in this battle against extremism, I wonder why the President hasn’t taken the same approach as he has with the Hurricane double shot. At least as many mistakes have been made regarding the Iraq war as were made with Katrina. Why wouldn’t it be prudent to reevaluate the failures and trump up the successes as the administration reformulates and readjusts our strategy there.

With his approvals knocking on the 30’s, the President has an opportunity to prove to those of us in the center, and center left, that he is committed to what is best for the country, and not necessarily what is best for him and his ilk’s political future. I hope he realizes how eager the American people are to see a True leader, one that is determined to do their job, listen to everyone as the plan or plans pan out, and readjust as necessary. If he refuses, and falls back into the trap he set for himself, refusing to recognize mistakes and adjust accordingly, he will entrench himself as a lame duck who can’t get anything down, while the remaining leaders of his party battle for power and control, instead of battling for what is best for their constituencies.

But that’s just me!


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Doran to run for Governor?!?

MDE had the scoop, the STRIB has the story.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Kelly Doran is dropping out of the Minnesota Senate race to run for governor, a high-ranking Democrat told the Associated Press on Tuesday.

Doran, a DFLer, planned a news conference in St. Paul today. The campaign would only say that he planned "an announcement regarding the future of his campaign for Minnesota." Spokeswoman Tonya Tennessen declined to comment Tuesday.
So that leaves Amy, Patty and Ford in the front row. The Bench has been updated.


Monday, September 19, 2005

Bloomberg Bails on Roberts

The Mayor of New York, in a tact only a spin doctor could love, bails on his party to play to the middle in an attempt to resurrect his fledgling re-election campaign:
Breaking with his party, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he's against President Bush's pick for Chief Justice.

In a statement Friday, Bloomberg said he's unconvinced John Roberts accepts the Roe vs. Wade decision as settled law.
I'm not a big Roberts fan, but respect the right of the President to chose a nominee that best fits his ideology. Bloomberg knows this to, and deep down is as elated as the rest of the Right with this choice. But it would destroy what little hope is left in his campaign to speak his true mind.

Bloomberg is a political read shirt, phasers on stun.


Friday, September 16, 2005

FootBlogging Week #2 - My Picks (Updated 9/19/05)

OK, here goes. I’ve been pretty successful in the past, picking games outright, but I have never played the spreads before, so I may be at a disadvantage. But considering who my opponent is, all smack no tact Freddie the (Learned) Foot I don't see why I won't be able to hold my own. In fact, he just posted his take and we are on opposite ends of the spectrum. As it should be I guess, since now there will be no pushes and a clear winner for the week!

1. Kansas City (-1) @ Oakland

I can’t believe Kansas City is favored in this game. Randy Mawsome will light up the field on a suspect Chef (sic) secondary and come out blazing after his somewhat stealthy performance (at least for him) last week. Oakland big. UPDATE: Randy wasn't Mawsome. Foot wins the rubber game of Week two with a Chefs victory.

2. Miami @ NYJets (-6)

The Jets are a better team then Miami, but it didn’t look that way in their bumbling defeat last week. But a strong club like the Jets will recover from those mistakes and show the home town crowd they are capable of putting together a consistently executed game plan. The Fish are no slough team themselves, but I have a strong hunch that the Jets will keep them in check. Jets win, but fail to cover the 6 points. UPDATE: The Jets cover, and win by 10

3. Buffalo @ Tampa Bay (-2.5)

I was one of the few in week 1 that was prepared for a ViQueen defeat. Gruden is arguably one of the best coaches in the league, and a well coached team is hard to beat. Tampa Bay will win, and easily cover this week. UPDATE: As predicted, Tampa wins handily and covers the 2.5. TB 19 - BUF 3


The Flash!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Deal Breaker

When Randy Kelly backed President George Bush, he stated that he was fed up with the negativity and pointed out an 'I Hate Bush' bumper triggered the endorsement:
"The common good will be better served on the path we're on than with an abrupt change of direction, especially one paved in part with political hatred," he told the state in an announcement from his backyard. The mayor cited an "I Hate Bush" bumper sticker he'd recently seen as evidence of this political hatred.
Now we have this in this AM's STRIB:
That is only one sign that Republicans are aligning themselves with Kelly, a lifelong DFLer who broke from his party to endorse Bush in 2004. A political action committee called Campaign for St. Paul's Future was launched last month by Joe Weber, a well-known Republican activist in Minnesota and brother of former Republican U.S. Rep. Vin Weber.

The group has hired Michael Brodkorb, a former state Republican spokesman, and paid him $4,000 so far to do issues research, according to campaign documents filed this month. The group's first $5,000 donation came from a Kelly backer Bruce A. Larson, who contributed $500 to the mayor in January.

Coleman said Wednesday that Brodkorb and Weber are Kelly's Republican "surrogates and they're clearly gearing up to run a negative campaign" even though the mayor has pledged to stay positive.

Kelly disavowed any connection with the group Wednesday
Kelly went on to talk about how he has signed a 'clean campaign pledge' to contain himself from his surrogates.

Randy is conforming to a GOP Rovian campaign. It looks like he will try to stay high road, and let the surrogates do the dirty work. I am wise enough to know how this process works. If Kelly chooses to go negative, alla Rove, SmearBoaters, and wolves in the woods, my vote in November becomes a no brainer. Kelly has enough he can tout to prove his worthiness to continue as mayor, but if he chooses to go negative, or allow those around him to do the same, it tells me he isn't very sure of himself.

I so desperately want to vote FOR someone in November, and Kelly is making it more and more difficult each day, as he aligns himself with the far Right failures, and a machine whose only goal is winning, not necessarily what is best for the city.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

FootBlogging Week #2

King has posted this weeks games. The theme for his choices, former Vikings:

1. Kansas City (-1) @ Oakland

2. Miami @ NYJets (-6)

3. Buffalo @ Tampa Bay (-2.5)

Interesting match-ups for the first sparring. Remember, we are picking against the spread, not just a winner.

I'll have my breakdowns on Friday.


I voted for Randy

It was hard, but Coleman hasn't sold me yet. I don't think I'll ever forgive Randy for the stunt he pulled during the Presidential election, but that wasn't enough to just arbitrarily write him off. Apparently, it was for many others. Kelly almost didn't make it past the Primary:
With 104 of 104 precincts reporting, Coleman had a nearly 2-to-1 lead in votes cast over incumbent Mayor Randy Kelly, despite a strong showing by Green Party contender Elizabeth Dickinson, who sought to succeed Coleman and narrowly missed getting into the general election in 2003.
Final results:

104 of 104 precincts reporting

13,041 - Chris Coleman
6,740 - Randy C. Kelly
4,905 - Elizabeth Dickinson
216 - Sharon Anderson
135 - Nick Tschida
59 - Bill Dahn
40 - Glen Mansfield
36 - Jacob Perasso
25,172 - TOTAL VOTES
The general election is a couple months away. Coleman still has some time to close the sale, but I WON'T vote for him just cause I'm pissed at Randy. He has to show me he is the best candidate to move St. Paul forward.

Monday, September 12, 2005


Brown resigns.

It will take me awhile to get over the shock of a member of this administration accepting responsibility for their actions (or inaction in this case) Could this be the beginning of a honest and open Presidency. No, I didn't think so either. But stranger things have happened.


Friday, September 09, 2005


The gauntlet has been tossed, and appropriately retrieved. Seems good ole LearnedFoot wants some more butt kicking.

Throughout the NFL season, the King will select 3 games for us to predict the outcome based on the point spreads. This is no wussy contest, spreads will matter, no gravy train parlay card here!

A running tally will be kept until the end of the year, where the loser will respectfully honor the victor with beverages of their choice.



PS: I'll be heading to Racine in a bit, to say goodbye to a close friend. Blogging will resume Monday (What's that you say, the FEMA director has been recalled to Washington. Can you say 'Red Shirt!'!)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Predicting the Future

From the STRIB:
Brown's reward

President Bush's next photo op will be presenting FEMA Director Michael Brown with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Norma I. Naegele, Minnetonka.
Simply brilliant!


A Kiltie Tribute

JC has posted his review of the weekend.

The Legend that is Lothar - DCA 2005

It was nice to read that Lothar had me in his thoughts during that weekend.
By 11:45, the brave bus riding contingent was back on the bus heading to our rehearsal field. We arrived to find a field full of Govies. Since we like those guys, we let them have the field until 1:30 while we stretched and warmed up. Lothar, who had a joke for every occasion, said he wanted to rumble for the field.

"Just leave me Flash." he said. "He stole my gum on the Blue Star bus back in 1980",

and then he let out one of his famous high decibel belly laughs.
Services are Saturday morning in Racine. I'll be there, to say goodbye.


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Forced Evacuations Begin

From CNN:
New Orleans' mayor has ordered law enforcement agencies to remove everyone from the city who is not involved in cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina, whether they want to go or not.
Earlier in the week, Hastert made this comment:
It makes no sense to spend billions of dollars to rebuild a city that's seven feet under sea level, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said of federal assistance for hurricane-devastated New Orleans.
I am not going to debate the validity (or lack thereof) of the statement, just the insensitivity of it.

As I pile through the stack of newspapers collected during my 6 days away from home, I am watching the travesty in New Orleans unfold in a fast forward mode. I still have a few more to go, and much more to say!


Monday, September 05, 2005

The Chops Were Just Too Much

Congratulations to Chops. Inc. The newly crowned DCA Class A champions. The Govenaires held on to their 2nd place position from prelims. We had a MUCH better performance in finals, but that Chops, Inc. corps put on a hell of a show as well. The title would have been nice, but we had no regrets coming off the field after our performance.

I just got home, so need to hit the hay, but I'll have more tomorrow and will soon be back in the swing of things butting heads with my brethren from the other side of the aisle.


79.100 Chops, Inc.
78.088 Govenaires
77.450 Alliance

In memoriam

From the Kiltie website:
Kiltie mellophone player Joel "Lothar" Magnuson, collapsed in the early moments of the prelims performance at the DCA Senior Drum and Bugle Corps Championships in Scranton, Penn., on Saturday evening, September 3, 2005. He was taken by ambulance from the stadium.

The Kilties reluctantly re-started their performance, this time - "for Lothar." Afterwards, as the Kilties left the group-photo bleachers, they were told that Joel had passed away. Outside the stadium, Joel's horn was placed at the center of a circle of all the members, and the corps song, "Auld Lang Syne" was played for his memory.

At DCA Finals Sunday night, the stadium included banners in memory of the fallen Kiltie, and members of many finalist corps performed with either plaid armbands or plaid ribbons on their uniforms.

Joel was a founding member of the senior edition of the Kiltie Drum & Bugle Corps, marching every season from 1993 to 2005. He also marched in the junior Kilties and Blue Stars as a youth.

We will remember Joel "Lothar" Magnuson for his heart of gold, thunderous laugh, soaring playing, love for his fellow Kiltie brothers and sisters, and all things good in life.
Arrangements are still pending. I still can't even begin to think of a Drum Corps season without the jovial and much loved 'Lothar' out on the field.


UPDATE: I am getting many hits via search engines looking for more information on Lothar, so here are some links to other discussion forums remembering this great Drum Corps icon.

Drum Corps Planet: The passing of a Kiltie
Drum Corps Planet: ....on behalf of The Kilties.
Blue Stars Discussion Forum: Blue Star Alum And Kiltie Member, passed away tonight

A post from one of these forums remembers :
There was a conversation about the merits of British Brass Bands and a particular piece of music the corps was playing that year. The pro BBB guy kept going on the British this, the British that.

Lothar's response:
"Yeah, well, ya know, It's also well known that 10 million Englishmen think Slim Whittman was a musical genius"

End of debate, game set, and match to Lothar.
I miss him already!

UPDATE II:From the Kiltie Corps Director:
The Kilties are setting up a Joel Magnuson Memorial Fund. Knowing Joel's determination and dream to help the less potentially advantaged youth in experiencing drum corps, musicianship and performing on a local level, carrying his dream forth is a priority.

Joel desired local youngsters, no matter of race, creed or financial challenges to experience the activity. This would be an age group not normally eligible to yet perform in any division.

With that in mind, any contributions would begin to get his dream off the ground, and can be submitted through our general PayPal account located HERE, or by forwarding something via US mail to:

Kilties/Joel Magnuson Memorial Fund
PO Box 085235
Racine, WI 53408.
Joel H. "Lothar" Magnuson

RACINE - Joel H. 'Lothar' Magnuson, 44, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, September 3, 2005, while performing with the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps in Scranton, Pa. Joel was born in Racine May 12, 1961, son of Howard J. and Charlotte A. (nee: Bubloni) Magnuson. Joel was a graduate of Lake Geneva High School "Class of 1979" and the University of Wisconsin-Stout. He was a proud charter member of the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Senior Corps. Joel also was instrumental in instructing the Racine Junior Scout Drum and Bugle Corps. He was last employed as Chef and Kitchen Manager at Amelia's in Milwaukee for many years. Joel will be deeply missed for his kindness and good nature.

Survivors include his father, Howard J. Magnuson of Boca Raton, Fla.; his sister, Jennifer (Jorma) Louko of Nottingham, England; his brother, Christopher Magnuson of Milwaukee; his grandmother, Violet Lindholm of Loretto, Mich.; his uncle and aunt, Don and Vicki Magnuson of Racine; other relatives and dear friends including his Kiltie family and his cat, Attitude. He was preceded in death by his mother, Charlotte in 1998; and his grandparents, Iver and Elsie Magnuson and George Bubloni.

Funeral services will be held at the funeral home on Saturday, September 10, 2005, 11:30 a.m. with Rev. Richard Molter officiating. Interment will be held in Norway, Mich. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps have been suggested.

803 Main Street 634-7888

Published in the Racine Journal Times on 9/7/2005.
UPDATE IV: JC's review post.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

2nd in Prelims!

The Govenaires get a do-over.

1 75.425 Chops, Inc.
2 75.038 Govenaires
3 74.625 Alliance
^^ Finalists^^
4 73.525 Music City Legend
5 71.288 Heat Wave
6 68.738 White Sabers
7 64.950 Lakeshoremen
8 64.738 Gulf Coast Sound
9 56.800 Shenandoah Sound
10 53.563 Mon Valley Express

It wasn't our best show, so with all three finalists corps witin 8 tenths of a point, it will be a shoot out. We have a shot at the title, but that is not why many of us do this gig. It is about entertaining the crowd!

However the evening was bitter sweet. A member of the Kilties Drum and Bugle Corps collapsed on the field during their performance of an apparent heart attack. The corps moved off the field while EMTs tried to revive him. Although they were able to stabilize him, he would not make it. This individual was a VERY good friend of mine. He marched in the Lacrosse Blue Stars with me in 1980, and was my seatmate on the tour bus while we traveled the country all summer long. It is like losing a brother. The last time I saw him was in St. Peter in Mid July and we had a hell of a time reminiscing our Drum Corps past. The Govies, and some of the other Midwest corps will be sporting black and yellow plaid armbands.

His name was Joel Magnuson, known as Lothar in the drum corps community. I believe he was 46 (ed- He was 44, born May 1961) Although I don't believe he had any prior Heart issues, he was a very large man, pushing well over 300 lbs, if not closer to 400.

My performance tonight will be dedicated to his honor. God I'll miss him.

I'll have more Tuesday Morning, including the results of Finals

Friday, September 02, 2005

The Corps Has Landed

Live from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania.

I (and the rest of the Govenaires) have arrived. We are staying at the beautiful Days Inn in Wilkes-Barre, about 15 minutes away from the stadium. We have a 10:00 - 2:00 rehearsal block Friday, with a Mini-Corps performance later in the evening.

Preliminary competition is Saturday, and God willing, a final performance of the year on Sunday night at World Championship finals. I don't want to jinx myself, but the Govies are currently ranked #1 in our class and have a legitimate shot at the title. But it is not about the competition. It is about entertaining the crowd, and having the best performance of our lives. This is the culmination of a season that began in the subzero weather of a Minnesota Winter back in January, and in a few days, it will all be over. A group of individuals who have grown together as friends and comrades will NEVER be together again. The corps will persevere, but the exact same group of people will have their final performance together this weekend.

But don't think I am unaware of the tragedy in the South. Katrina has wreaked havoc on a integral part of the nation, and it is with heavy heart that I will be participating in my passion. Although my head will be in this weekends obligations, my heart will be with those struggling to rebuild their lives and show the true spirit of being and American, be helping out our brothers and sisterz effected by this devastation. You can to your part to help here.

I'll try to post an update of my experiences here in Scranton this weekend, but you can check on your own at the DCA website. More information is on my Sidebar. Scores would be posted Saturday night LIVE as they happen, Finals scores won' post until the conclusions of the show, sometime close to midnight.

Time to hit the hay, after 25 hours on a bus, I can use some quality shut-eye!