Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Maxwell Street Days

"So many will be the blessings and so short will the time,

I'll stay with you.

But I'll play for you, I love you yes I do.

You can say that I'm your friend,

You can see my life begin and end.

I'll always play for you. "

Seals and Crofts

Maxwell St Days was a big success for us. Thw weather forecasts were for nothing but rain all weekend and we got not a drop. We sold all sorts of stuff but just a ton of sunglasses. We had 3 outdoor booths as well as the store and all and all no complaints.

Some of my employees working hard for the money :)

Here's the mighty Sunshine Daydream volleyball team. I know we don't look like much, colorful sure, but we have kicked ass all year. And I am a different player than I have been the past few years.

I am scheduled to report to Fitness Ridge on Sunday, August 24th. I am looking forward to it. It should be a much different experience this trip without the trepidation that accompanies anything new. Very excited to meet new people and catch up with the wonderful staff there. Damn ready to attack the mountain better. I had another successful weigh in last week bu
t only -1.8 bringing the summer total to 38 lbs. It's gotten a little tougher these last couple weeks, not the exercise part I'm happy with what I am doing there, but a few old friends have snuck in briefly and I really find myself enjoying the taste of these. It's a summer beer that combines beer and lemonade. I certainly wont see any of those in Utah.

I have seen plenty of local music the last couple weeks, we are vending next week at the Madison Roots festival which feature GLove and Tristan Prettyman, which should be fun and hopefully profitable. Jacky is headed to Florida for 4 days on monday to see my parents and their new house in Venice Beach. I'll be home doing what I do, playing volleyball. Enjoy the last couple days of July. Football starts August 3rd!!!!!!! Peace and Love, Jim

Monday, July 14, 2008

mid-july in Madison

"Weve been through some things together
With trunks of memories still to come
We found things to do in stormy weather
Long may you run."
Neil Young
We are getting ready this week for our busiest weekend of the year here in Madison. It's a street festival that takes place on our street called "Maxwell Street Days" named after the famous bazaar in Chicago. We have been very fortunate to have great weather the last few years. The forecast for this weekend is dicey at best so if you're bored please do a "no rain" dance for us.
Volleyball is still going well. 1st place in two of the three leagues and second place in the other.
Speaking of volleyball, we had a little summer cookout drinking party and one sure way to tell that Jim has been drinking is you see him on a dance floor.

Same night, different bar; my good friend Alex poses with some unknown girl in the parking lot who didn't want to take the ten steps into the bar to use the bathroom.

One really cool thing I have been able to do a couple times this summer is use the box at Arlington Racetrack in western Chicago that belongs to Paul's Neighborhood Bar in Madison. I got to spend last friday and saturday enjoying the horses and even made a few dollers for my time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

420 anyone?

"I can change the world

With my own two hands

Make it a better place

With my own two hands

Make it a kinder place

With my own two hands"

Ben Harper

Hi People~

So I got on the scale today and it was a good number down 4.4 pounds, 36.2 for the summer and no I weigh less than 420 thats not why it's up there :) I just wanted to share my pre-weigh in ritual with you guys. I work out hard before I get on the scale, usually wednesday mornings. This was succesful in pushing the scale the first week but now obviously I have to repeat those seriously excrutiating workouts to have confidence on the scales. So I had my last meal yesterday around four pm( one four oz. hamburger patty, one sliced tomatoe, 2 ozs. of roasted new potatoes, 20 baby carrots and a few dill pickles.) Walked a couple miles last night at 9pm, swatted a few dozen mosquitoes, had a 10:10pm volleyball match that lasted around an hour. Woke up this morning at 6:45 am, did another 2 mile hike, drove to swimwest for an hour of circuit training. I had lifted weights the day before so during the weight section of the circuit I grabbed a 10lb medicine ball and did situps. 20 sets of 25 sit-ups and one set of 20 for a grand total of 420. I may have ab's of steel they are just hiding under a stomach of jello. Got on the scale at 10 am and then, of course, raced home to eat some food :)
Happy Independance Day to everyone, enjoys some fireworks, grilling and what not. And
of course a Happy 420 to everyone in every conceivable manner. Peace, Jim

No political commentary, just a picture of the best selling sticker from June :)

A picture of the UW union terrace. It wins the award for the favorite place in the city every year. Probably because you can buy cheap beer and brats, hang out and watch different music every night, and people watch on the lake to your heart's content.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy July

"Music is a world within itself

With a language we all understand

With an equal opportunity

For all to sing, dance and clap their hands"

Stevie Wonder

Here's the Wisconsin state capitol building as pictured from directly in front of our store. It's three blocks up the street to the capitol and three blocks down the street to the University of Wisconsin. And although we are right on State St. it not really a street because it is closed to general traffic. The six blocks have a vast array of shops, bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It is as cool a street is there is in the country. However not as cool as it used to be before the national chains like The Gap, Starbucks, Taco Bell etc. arrived. Now the street is probably close to 50% chains, but the heart of the street is still the locally owned stores you can't find anywhere else.

Well it is now onto July and a mere seven weeks until I step foot on the grounds of Fitness Ridge again for six more weeks. I remember easily the fun I had there, the great people I met, and the success I felt leaving. Its a little tougher for me to remember the pain, the hunger, the nighttime boredom, and that damn stop sign hike but I'm sure as I get closer to the day all those feelings will come back.

I was able to keep my one streak going of seeing lots and lots of live music this past week. My weight loss streak now has an asterisk, much like the tainted home run record of the cheating Barry Bonds. I could not get the home scale to budge under the needed number for me to get on the scale last week so I did what any weight watcher long time vet would do. Skipped the meeting :) I will be back on the scale tomorrow unlike in years past where one missed week would turn into never going back. It should be an okay, but not stellar number. I have two workouts and a volleyball game before the ten am weigh in tomorrow so that'll help as well.

I'd like to lay much of the blame on the birthday dinner pictured here but truth is there was a couple other detours on the road to negative numbers. I have really not seen many movies this summer because I am powerless against popcorn. I'd like to think I could conquer this but there is no way. It's hard to explain but it goes something like this. I try to go without it I think about it all the time in the movie. I get some, I aimlessly pound away at the bucket until its gone and then I am sad cause it's gone.

I saw three great acoustic female songwriters Friday night. It is really a genre I love. The opener, who wasn't on the bill actually stole the show. An Amazing voice and great lyrics. She is from Prince Edward Island, Canada and is named Rose Cousins. Also saw Pete Francis from a band named Dispatch. They played a sold out show at Madison Square Garden not too long ago. Probably more exciting to him then the 40 people that showed up at the local bar to see him solo. Also saw two bands at the UW Union terrace. The terrace is an outdoor area that backs up to the lake. It is full every night because there is no better place in the city to hang out. It also sells a ton of draft beer and has a perpetual cookout going on. Last night was a Beatle cover band followed by a screening of the movie Hard Day's Night. Didn't stay for the flick because I had to kick some Volleyball butt. Tonite's volleyball is at 10:10pm :(

I am heading to St Louis on Sunday for two days. I get to see my brother Jay, hang out in his pool and pick up some merchandise for our big summer street festival coming up in two weeks. Also hope to get down to Arlington Park for a day or two of races. I have a couple 4th of July parties coming up this week as well. Should be fun times. Peace, Jim