Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas Love!

Ah yes. Steven is happy after opening his gifts!!! I am smiling, and Reggie is cleaning my ears out! What more can a guy ask for!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sprucing up the blog!/ Christmas recap

If you look to the can see that I have added a counter to see how many people actually look at this thing we call "the blog"! I have also added a list of music ( called "music of my mind") that I am currently listening to. Yes, you can either look into it and see if you might like it....or do as most.....shake your head and say...."why doesnt this guy listen to anything that I have heard of!" :-) Last but not least.....I have updated my list of links....I will be adding more to this at a later time. The new version of blogspot is very easy to use and customize. (Otherwise I wouldnt be doing all of this spucing!) Ok....enough spruce talk!

Christmas was very nice. We spent Christmas Eve at my Moms, along with My brother and his family. Most of us were "under the weather" and not 100%, but had a great time laughing and EATING! Christmas Day was pretty low key, Cherols brother and his girlfriend were there and we had a fun time watching Steven play with his new gifts! ( I had a stiff neck and walked around like Frankenstein all day!!! very attractive!)

We received snow about 3 days before Christmas. Not much, but enough to pass as a grey Christmas. So we have got that goin for us! :-)

On Christmas Eve, the priest had a very interesting sermon. The main point was to NOT try and strive to make Christmas perfect. In fact, realize that like everyday, the day will be filled with imperfections. Enjoy the day, love the moment. I loved the message. I hope that many were able to just relax and let the blessing of the day wash over them.

Just a few days left in 2006!

Sunday, December 24, 2006



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Steven does great at his piano recitial!

Seated next to Steven is his piano teacher Ms. Larson. Today Steven played a very nice version of "What child is this?" He is so fun to watch, mostly because he seems to love playing. He tells me that he doesnt get nervous at all, ahh he must have some of the old mans performing blood in em! :-)

*UPDATE* received this email this AM, from his teacher. Makes a parent proud

"Just wanted to again say that Steven played so well yesterday. One minor little glitch, but who cares! I was so impressed that he was able to play such a hard piece, but then again, he is Steven! I hope you noticed the difficulty of his piece and the others his age. He is playing well over his age level and I am proud of him."

Ok....enough bragging for now. :-)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Photo Mania!!!!

The top photo is in memory of my inflatable Santa with Reindeer and sleigh. It lasted all of one night in my front yard. It met its untimely demise because of a freak thunderstorm/overnight freeze....that fried its blower motor and created a 8 inch gash in the sleigh. But for the lucky few that witnessed this inflatable will be a night they wont forget soon! :-)

The Bottom photo is of Steven and I. We are sporting our fashionable WHO tee shirts. Yep. we look so ready for pg 15 of the Wal-Mart flyer! :-)

News from bloggerville!

I received a email from my good ol pal Jeff informing me that he has decided to dip his toe into the world of blogging!

I feel like Yoda. He cites me as his inspiration to try this goofy thing called blogging.

Here is the link to his new blog!

I have also provided a nifty link to the right (SEE!)

Also, if you long time readers (YES THAT IS YOU, MAGGIE!) notice a change in the format on this blog...its because we have had a update!!! Yes, more creativity!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Who is illin?

I had a great time Friday night ( 12/8) in St.Paul, seeing The Who! To be at the feet ( literally) of my rock hero Pete Townshend was truly a "am I really here" moment. To add to this, having my son next to me and dancing and singing right along with me...made it a night I wont forget.

The show started off with The Pretenders. As they walked out..Chrissie Hynde looked me right in the eye and smiled at Steven and I. I gave her the thumbs up and she shot it right back at me. Wow! I couldnt believe it....later on she commented to the crowd...."its great to see dads here with their sons'! Talk about personalizing the experience!

The Who show was something to remember. Roger Daltrey was sick with bronchitis and sounded pretty rough. He was coughing and spitting up between songs and looked weak. Pete also was blowing his nose between songs. They still put on a solid show, but cut it short by about 30 minutes. Pete came out without Roger for the encore and led the crowd in a rousing and unique version of My Generation and a very rarely played Naked Eye.

I was able to listen to the replay of the show on my Sirius radio the next evening. ( on the WHO channel #10). It still was a powerfull and unique show. To add to it.....I was right in front of the audience mics....and you can hear me yelling between songs!!!!!!

"Mr. Spotlight" received the ultimate spotlight! :-)

  1. I Can't Explain
  2. The Seeker
  3. Anyway, Anywhere, Anyhow
  4. Fragments
  5. Who Are You
  6. Behind Blue Eyes
  7. Sound Round
  8. Pick Up The Peace
  9. Endless Wire
  10. We Got A Hit
  11. They Made My Dreams Come True
  12. Mirror Door
  13. Baba O' Riley
  14. Eminence Front
  15. Man In The Purple Dress Black Widows Eyes
  16. Mike Post Theme
  17. You Better You Bet
  18. Won't Get Fooled Again
    Encore: (no Roger)My Generation / Cry If You WantNaked Eye

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Gov't Mule


I settled my head on my pillow at a late 2 am this morning. It was a late night, but not a long night. It was a great concert, full of music that kept me on my feet and electric feeling that only powerful music brings.

The show was opened by Donavon Frankenriter . I was very surprised at how much I liked this guy. His set was very bluesy and had a throwback 70's synth sound. His singing is pretty laid back and most of his songs are along that line. I will be checking out his 2 cd's that he has released in the last couple of years.

Best crowd line of the night " Nice Hat #$#%$^%!" credit goes to the drunk biker behind me that didn't like Donavon's floppy leather hat. I thought it looked cool, but it would look lame on me. :-) I didn't feel it was needed for me to argue with the fashion conscious biker lad.

A quick note on the venue. The O'shaughnessy is located on the Campus of St. Catherines. Its usually a place that has concerts like Joan Baez or poets like Mya Angelo. Who knows why the Mule was playing in such a nice place??? Not a stain on the carpets or seats.....ushers that looked like they were running security for a Don Ho concert....just seemed a bit weird.....but a great venue to see the show. Sound was tight and not a bad seat in the house. Sad to say...but they will have to clean the carpets..... ( I kept my area nice and tidy!)

At 9:15, Gov't Mule hit the stage.

I will post the setlist below and give some nifty comments!

Set 1
Thorazine Shuffle- A great song that went from a slow burn to an all out screamer.
Banks of the deep end-
32/20 blues-
Child of the earth- Off the new cd- love this song..
Gameface-Mountain Jam-Gameface- epic version of the song...with ABB middle
Unring the bell- another new song....was hoping they would play this....Funky with a capital F!
Endless Parade- The run of great songs continues....
Reggae Soulshine- They play the original alot....this version ( regagae) was a treat!

Set 2

Bad Man Walking-
About to Rage-
Brighter Days-
another song I was hoping to hear......loved it
Like Flies-
The End-Drums- The End- Yep, the Beatles Abbey Road classic....10 minute middle solo!
So Weak So Strong- This song really hit the lyric...have played this alot at home
Bad Little Doggie- I had the opening guitar riff in my head for a couple days before the concert
Mr. High and Mighty
Brand New Angel-
Another great song with a very emotional solo in the middle/end

All Along The Watchtower- with Donavon Frankenreiter and Eric Brigmond

After almost 3 hours of music and the clock nearing 12:30 am....this late nite Jazz/Blues verson of the Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix classic...was the perfect way to cap off a great night. It lasted about 12 minutes and seemed to go by waaaaaay to fast.

Words on a page really never capture the whole feeling of a concert. Trust me....this was a keeper!

Off to the WHO on Friday!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving I like Pumpkin Pie.... so I went a little nutty with the pic!

I love Thanksgiving. Its the one holiday that you don't have to go out and buy a gift and yet you feel close to your family. The smells of the food and the sounds of talking and laughter are what I remember about past Thanksgivings.

Of course, its a day to remember. To be thankful of what is in your life. To reflect on what has preceded and to what might be ahead.

Remember, its not what you buy or wear that makes you a success...its the people that you touch and show love that will make you a winner in this life.

Enjoy the day!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

First new WHO cd in 24 years *UPDATED REVIEW*

I was 18 the last time a WHO cd came out. In fact, the last time a who recording came out it was purchased in vinyl format! 24 years is a long time to wait for something and not be a little let down by expectations. After a few listens, I have not been letdown.

This is not "Who's Next" type who music. Yes, there are hints of the classic sound of The WHO ( Its not enough, Mike Post Theme), this is a much more understated affair. Only 2 of the original lineup is left , Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey. For 2 men in their 60's, they show a surprising amount of energy and yes, vitality.

The first 9 tracks of this CD are original Townshend songs. The last 10 comprise a Mini Opera called Wire and Glass. On first listen, this Cd seemed to be a unorganized mess. The "mini opera" really does not hold together in any real linear narrative . The "story" is about 3 young kids from different social and religious backgrounds that form a band......the story gets more convoluted from there. But as in a lot of Who songs....its the music that saves the day...and the lyrics are subject to interpretation. Highlights from the opera are

Sound round- full of energy...are these guys really 60? cant wait to hear this in concert

Mirror Door- great song about departed rockstars.....even better music....

We got a hit- pure pop...pure WHO

Of the 9 other tracks.....Easily my favorite is

Its Not Enough- This has been getting some radio play and really is the strongest song of the set. Great snarling guitar ( man, I have missed a great Pete Townshend snarling for a long time!) and angry vocal from Roger. The lyric is all about trying to please a woman and never feeling like "its enough". Like my favorite Who songs...its a song about release, self doubt and self knowledge. Great stuff.

Black Widows Eyes- This is a weird and yet beautiful song. Its about love at first sight with a woman in a train station. Eyes meet from across the station and its love. Only problem is......the woman is a terrorist, who blows up people at the station. Yes,,,, its not a song Sinatra or Celine would pull off, but a compelling listen!

This is a strong CD. My hope is that they at least take this as a great beginning for a couple of other recording projects. These guys are still on top of their game..and it would be shame to stop now.

7 out of 10 stars.

Click on the link to hear song samples

Upcoming music heaven

Music plays a big role in my life. Most people that know me for a small amount of time, pick up on this part of my personality. Its one of the few things that I can honestly say picks me up and grabs me in whatever mood I am in.

Of course its easy to see what kind of frame of mind I am in by what kind of music I am listening to. I have always been a lyrics type of person, and am prone to liking a song that reflects what I am feeling. However, "Mr. Chemical Free" will often venture into music that is very drug influenced and really enjoy that for some reason. I guess its the closest I will ever get to being "messed up" so its ok if its done "by proxy"! I also will listen to music that was recorded many years before my birth and really feel connected to that. Nothing is always logical when it comes to music. I may like a song for what I was doing when I first heard it, or it might remind me of a person or it might just be a release for something that is bugging me....or it just might be fun and stupid!

So what has these last 2 paragraphs have to do with the title of this blog entry? Two of my favorite bands are coming to town in December, in fact they are going to be here within 2 days of each other.

Gov't Mule - December 6th

This is a band that is really on my radar this year. They began as a offshoot of the Allman Brothers. Warren Haynes is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and primary songwriter. He is extremely talented and very underrated as a singer. If you love soul music ( 1960's-70's), blues, jazz that wont put you asleep, and straight ahead rock, mixed into blender for a unpredictable 3 hour show.....these guys will grab you. I have always been a fan of guitar music and Mr. Haynes is one of the best. You will never see him in a list of the 10 most handsome men in the world. But, his lyrics and ability makes this guy one of the best. Most of his songs reflect broken love, triumph over adversity, and determination in something you believe in. I have 7th row seats for this show. I am very excited to see this concert. They are showing up at a time where I am totally into them, and ready to see them live! Plus.....they record all of their concerts and you can buy a copy online ! NICE!

The Who w/The Pretenders - December 8th -

The Who have long been my favorite band. The perfect combination of lyric and aggression. Seeing them brings out a lot of emotion. You cannot go to a Who concert and just sit there. I have seen them two times previous. 1982 ( row 2 left side) and 2002(row 12 left side). Both were in my top 10 of concerts I have attended.

This show will probably be my fave of all time. I can say this because.... I have 1st row seats!!! In front of my all time favorite guitarist, Pete Townshend!!!! To top this off, I will have my son Steven standing by my side! It will be his first real rock concert! Boy has he started off on the "top of the mountain'!!!! I am so excited to share this experience with him!

Counting the days!!!!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Dads 25th Birthday

This past weekend my Dad celebrated his 25th AA "Birthday". Since 1982 he has daily battled and succeeded in defeating his addiction of alcohol. As anyone that has a addiction knows, even if you have succeeded for many years in your are always a addict.

What I am most proud of my Fathers "journey" is the fact he has not only stopped drinking, but has also gone through a deep amount of self "discovery". He has found out what makes him tick and why he decided he needed to drink. His AA group, his program, his belief in a higher power, and this knowledge of self, is what saved his life.

Today, my Dad helps others with his sobriety. He sponsors many new people to the program, and helps many others with his story. A once broken man is now a symbol of hope.

Life is journey. Not a destination.

Thanks for being you. Good and bad. I have learned lessons from both sides.

I love you.

Your son, Mike

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

pics of the trip

The Old neighborhood gang!!! man we look tough!
"cowboy mike" with pals Yvette and best bud Jeff! yeah and there is the geeky helmet!!!!
The bat that we used in the old neigborhood!
The church I attended as a child
picture of my birth home in chowchilla CA. fancy huh~~~~~!!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

California Dreamin

I am 3 days removed from a trip that I will remember forever. A trip I should have taken much sooner. A trip back to my hometown of Fresno California.

I left Fresno California in August of 1979, leaving behind friends and people I held close to my heart. At the time, I hated leaving and didn't understand it. My departure from Fresno was without fanfare. I was there one day and the next day I was gone. My Mom was getting us ( my brother and I) away from my fathers alcoholic madness, and providing us a much safer and stable place to grow up. Even though my parents had been divorced for 5 years at that time. The toll of alcoholic behavior was taking its toll on all of us. It was something that had to be done...but in the mind of a just turned 15 year made no sense. I was losing my best friend Jeff, My Father, and a very small group of people that I cared a lot about.

Years passed and my best friend Jeff visited me once. My Father came back to visit a couple of times and in a answer to my prayers, quit drinking. I found friendships, none that replaced the ones I had as a child. Found a girlfriend that I dated for 2 years and had my heart broken, just like all high school kids! Had a good job, and a car. Life was back on track. I was recovering, but I had holes in my life that needed to be filled.

I spent many of my childhood and teen years playing the "family hero". Its when you act like you are a grown up and try to bring calm to situations by being the stable one. You may be acting grown up and in control, but in reality, you are really just a scared kid trying to control life. As we all learn, life is uncontrollable.

My brother and I decided to visit California in the summer of 1986. It was a great trip, we had lots of fun. But, I was more interested in connecting with my father. I made very little attempt to look up my old friends. I found out much about my father, but I didn't see any of my peer group. It would be 20 years until I would return.

About 3 months ago I received a email from my best pals wife Yvette asking if there was anyway I could come out for a surprise visit. It was Jeffs 45th birthday and it was going to be a surprise . After 20 plus years of missing my old neighborhood pals, my best friend , and also a person that I kept in close contact through phone calls and letters and emails, I jumped at the chance to come back.

In my mind, this trip would be one of healing. A chance to see people that played a role in my early life. People that saw me when I didn't have a care in the world, and embraced its simplicity. People that wondered what happened to me after all of these years. But mainly a chance to catch up with my old pal Jeff, and my longtime corresponding friend Kristy.

Its always a little scary going back home after 20 years. Things change and people change. I hoped that I would leave with a good taste in my mouth, and I was not disappointed. My time with Jeff and his wife went by like a blink. I surprised him the morning after I landed, by showing up at a house where he was going to pick up another childhood pal of mine ( Jeffrey Y.) for a Oakland A's game. I walked out..and he looked right at me and started walking by me....then he stopped and looked stunned! It was great! It took no time and we were all carrying on like we were back in the old hood! In addition to the A's game...we had a barbq at his old house with more of the old gang back together to spend time talking and laughing. I got a chance to spend some time with David A, who played a big part in my early development as a spiritual person. It felt great to be back. I felt home. After the BBQ. It was off to Big Sur. Jeff,Yvette and myself went horseback riding. Yep, something totally new for me. we rode for about 2.5 hours and I didn't even get sore! I loved the feeling of riding through rivers, giant sequoias and the beach side. Even though I wore a helmet and looked like a was something I will never forget. The next day...we drove to Jametown and Columbia. Both towns are old west mining towns. Lots of little shops...very peaceful. I felt honored to share the time with Jeff and his wife, in a spot that held a special place for them.

I spent a fair amount of time with Kristy. We had a great time hanging out. One thing you should know about her, she likes to surprise people. She got me good this time. I thought I was going to dinner with my friend David. We were going to spend some time catching up. As I walked into the restaurant, I saw Kristy. Then I saw several friends from the past. We are talking from my elementary school past! Of course all of them commented on how I not changed a bit. ( I think they were referring to the fact I hadn't grown a inch since 6th grade!). We all laughed as we shared stories of growing up and gave little updates on what our life is now. It was a great surprise, and its one of the things that I like the most about Kristy. She knows how to get me!!!!!! :-)

I was able to spend time looking at landmarks from my childhood past. The town is much larger now. The old neighborhood is smaller, a freeway has cut away some of the memories. The houses look a little more beat up. But its my neighborhood. At one point, I was standing in my best friends garage....looked down the street and visualized my brother and I walking to school. I could see it. I looked to my left and imagined the basketball hoop that I shot baskets at. Remembering how hard I wanted to catch a girl's eye with my skill. Those memories are crystal clear. It made me feel very good.

I spent time with my Father and his Wife. Even though I didn't spend all my time with them, the time spent was important. Like the previous trip 20 years ago. This was a trip of learning. I was able to break through some barriers and extend forgiveness to my Dads wife. This was very hard for me to get to this point. But important.

Many other things occurred on this trip that were very important, but are hard to put into words. They all added up to a experience that I will never forget.

It wont be 20 years again. to follow soon

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Last weekend we decided to go see a old classic. It was a new film of a old classic Lassie. I am sure most of you are rolling your eyes and thinking, "how many more times do we have to watch Timmy fall down the well, and have Lassie rescue him with this innate abilty for a dog to decipher human moans!!!!" I know you ALL thought it! ( pretty long winded in your thoughts, arent you!

Well, I am glad to report that this is a very good update of the old warhorse!. Set in Pre WW2 Great Brittan and shot with a great eye to detail...this movie sucks you in early. Even if you are not a dog lover, I am willing to bet you will be blubbering by the midway point ( I know at least one family member!!! uh hem DAD!) and rooting for this dog to succeed.

Do yourself a favor and go see this. Its old fashoned movie making with old fashoned results....underdog ( no pun intended) triumphs over adversity and proves that determination and heart are traits that should never be undervalued! Also....if you are looking for another film of a non canine angle....but of same story line. See Invincable with Mark Walberg. Good football film about the true story of underdog 30 year old bartender Vince Palpali.

The balcony is now closed!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A pic of me on my Birthday....

Received this from my Dad today. Not the best pic of me.....but my eyes are open ( fastest lids in west!) and that is a feat in itself.

My first day alone ( my boss went on vacation for 2 days and I have to run the whole show solo) and I have survived very nicely. Like I should have ever doubted! :-)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Blog rises from the ashes!!!!!!

Well I am am back! Well errrrr I have been back for a while but its taken me a while to sit down and craft "the magic" that is my facinating blog ( Insert Krusty the clown laugh here)

We had a great time in DC. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit both the Capitol and WhiteHouse. Not a easy thing in post 9/11 times. We contacted our Senator and his office was able to arrange tours for us. If you ever head out this a couple of months in advance. We also visited all of the Memorials ( Lincoln,Jefferson,WW2,Vietnam..etc) they all are very stunning and impressive. Every day was a full day, between hitting the Smithsonian and the above places. We used the Metro subway system to get around ( a new experience but kinda cool) town. I felt very east coastish as herded the fam onto the train and kept my head on a swivel to protect them from thugs!!!

I used my digital camera quite a bit....I only included 3 out of the 200 I kept..( gotta conserve web space for my nice blog provider! First shot is of the very helpfull groundskeeper at Mount Vernon. He was so happy and he keeps a nice green lawn for George Washingtons house. :-)
2nd shot is at Arrlington Cemetary. Its kinda arty....but its of the area where they have funerals for the buried. 3rd is of the Lincoln Memorial. You really cant get a bad picture of that sculpture. The weather there was brutal. It was always around 99 degrees ( one day was 102) and high humidity. We made the best of it and sweated like tourists!!!!! We were able to see everything and created some great memories. I loved this trip because my Son will always remember this. Amusement parks are fun, but a mouse with overpriced souveniers cant provide what DC did. History is impressive and it gives you such a sense of what the USA is about. Great trip.

I have now finished 1 week of training in my new job, and I love it. Very different from my Warehouse job. But that was the point wanst it!!!! I am just so happy that I found a way to get back on track to doing something that I like. I will keep my many ( thanks to the 3 that even leave responses!) readers posted on any new news regarding my job. :-)

Its a sunny day out....I better get out of the chair and enjoy it!

Till next blog!

Friday, July 28, 2006

So much stuff going on!

Its been busy busy in the Young household!

The last week or so we have had my Dad and his wife Nancy in town for a visit. The weather has been brutal hot ( yeah I know....its been hot for the rest of you also!) and we have have had very high humidity. So.....lots of movies in the AC and very quick trips outside with the dog for "potty breaks". Also... to make the heat even more warehouse job ( yes I am counting the days to start my new job) is NOT airconditioned. Full sweat through the shirt by about 30 minutes at the job! What a nice mental image I have provided you! :-) The good news is that my new job will be airconditioned. Progress!

Tonight we are packing for our family vacation to Washington DC! Of course the heat will follow us but....we are young and tough!!!! :-) I am really looking forward to going out east for the first time in my life!

And lastly.....even though its a national holiday to some....there are a few that dont know that its my birthday. So to those poor unfortunate few!


Make sure to have your chairs out early so you get a great view at the Michael Young Birthday Parade! Ahh yes its so much fun for everyone !


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeah!!!

I feel like like leaping like Pete Townshend!

Yep! I GOT THE JOB!!!!!

For those that have not purchased my leather bound 996 page autobiography. I have been working my last 2 jobs in a warehouse. I have learned skills that I never thought I would ever be able to do. I have learned that some people that work in those enviorments break many of the stereotypes associated with those kind of jobs and I learned that a hard days work is a reward that shouldnt be undervalued.

That said. I never really loved my job. It had its perks ( I was able to use my huge music collection daily and play DJ to my coworkers) and its frustrations. I spent 7 years doing something that never really made me feel much more than "its just a paycheck". I wanted and expected more from myself, but had a hard time finding something that I wanted to stick my neck out for. I tried a couple of times for other jobs within the company that I work for. Only to find out that 1. it paid less and 2. after hearing in total what the job was wasnt for me. I truly believe that God had me experience these things for a reason. I accepted those disappointments and just kept looking for a fit. I found it .

I will be a customer service rep.

I am excited about this because. I get to use my gift of gab. I am able to use my computer skills and I am able to be in a job where I feel like a professional again.

I am proud of myself and happy to see the sun shine again. Like all of the jobs I have ever worked, I will give it my all.

Thank you to all of you that prayed for me during this period of searching and frustration. I truly felt your energy.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The job thaaaaaang the old addage goes "no news is good news". That is the case with my pending job news. As many of you know....when you are dealing with corporate companies....progress on anything moves like a glacier.

I remain very optimistic and trying to stay patient....BUT COMEON!!!!!!!!

You all will know when I do!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

4th of July!

I love the 4th of July. I have great memories of neighborhood gatherings for fireworks. Eating watermelon.....and picnics. Since I have moved out into my little corner of the world. A new tradition has grabbed the Youngs. The annual 4th of July Parade. Its full of firetrucks...candy and politicans! ( I like the first two MUCH better!).

The pics I included are of the "boat parade" on the lake at my brothers cabin.....we circled the lake in style with flags a wavin! ( thats my bro at the mom to the neph...and my son!) And the last 2 are of the fireworks we set off tonight ( july 3rd ) on the driveway....I am a BIG kid and I love to buy "a few" to set off!

I experimented with some slow shutter speeds and got some great firework shots! Did I say that I love this camera????? Yeah I did!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Alice Cooper- Taste of Minnesota.UPDATED!!!!!

10:30 PM

The family just returned from a nice little concert in downtown St.Paul.


I have been promising Steven to take him to a real rock concert...when the right act hit town. The young lad loves theatrics and makeup ( yep,,,,he loves KISS) ....since KISS is on its 65 year "farewell" tour in Japan...I knew ALICE would be the perfect fit!

I was about 12 when I first started listening to was so cool to look at my son...with his Alice shirt and makeup (his idea! Really!) dancing along with his "old" man!

Lots of colorfull characters ( which of course gravitated towards Cherol!) to watch. Cherol did this for Steven and I ....I know this isnt her "cup of tea!"

Alice put on a great show!The straightjacket, the fake decapitation....and of course all of the classic hits! I was able to take some good pics ( love this new camera!)....which I will post a few for everyones enjoyment!!!


Saturday, June 24, 2006


Day 4 with the camera and I am taking pics that are waaaay past the quality that I am used to.

This photo is of a day lilly that I bought as a gift to my wife on mothers day. It bloomed this morning and I thought I better get a snap of it for good measure!

I purchased a Uv,polarizer and diffuser filters for the I am all set for accesories. With a busy summer planned and a couple of great sightseeing trips on the schedule....I cant wait to put this camera through the paces.

In other news. I just finshed a big yardwork project. Removed several bushes and stumps in our front yard. Added a new burning bush and some wood chips.....and pretty much cut back on the amount of foilage in the front. I am going for the minimalist look.....less is more! :-)

I love this time of the year, the colors and the activity makes me feel very good!

I have some other things going on in my life that could really make my world a little brighter. Hopefully in a few days I will be sharing that news! Dont want to jinx it....but....all of your prayers for my job thaaang could be answered. ( yeah I want to blab!)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The camera has returned!!!!

After some stops and starts....the digital camera is back! The process was irritating....I had to make numerous phone calls and be pesky....but. lets just say, after the dust has settled...I made out good in the deal!

I will write more later....the above pic was the first shot I took with the new setup!


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

R.I.P. Billy Preston

Sad news in the music world. Billy Preston passed away at age 59 after a long battle with kidney failure.

One of the first Lps I bought was "the kids and me". He was a great keyboardist who played on many classic songs. Was called the 5th Beatle beacause of his work on the "let it be" album.

Oh yeah....he is responsible for the deep rumination "nothin from nothin leaves nuthin"

Chew on that for a while! :-)

back to old school!

Today the Fuji Finepix s-5100 is in a box heading back to Pittsbugh Pa. I should have a replacement back to me sometime next week.

We were like two ships that passed in the night.

I trust that "she" will return. ;-)

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The camera has arrived. In typical Mike Young fashion.......issues have
occuured. The "deluxe bag" that was included ....was so tiny you couldnt fit a camera ( any size) if you tried. The usb port to connect the camera to the PC is cracked. I have solved the usb issue for now...( card reader should do the trick while I wait for a replacement) and the bag is being worked on also.

Ahhhhh at least the thing takes very nice pictures. I will trust in good customer service and enjoy the pics !!!!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A New Purchase

Ahh yes....The wonders of Ebay! After owning a "nice" digital camera for the last 3 years, I have decided to "upgrade"to the fuji finepix s-5100!

The upgrade is a modest one. *Caution Geek Technology Rant To Follow!!!!*

I went from a 3x optical zoom to a 10x optical zoom and moved from a 2 megapixel to a 4 megapixel. Also the camera is packed with features that will indulge my inner photo artiste tendencies! Also purchased a 1gb memory card for this camera with will enable me to hold around 900-1000 pics in the camera.

The best thing about this is....The price was extremely reasonable ( hence the thank you to ebay....and some savvy bidding from yours truly) and its a very nice fathers day/birthday gift from my wife.

We are going on a nice summer vacation later in July to Washington DC ( sorry loyal daily blog entrys from me to get you through your day) hahaha . I cant wait to fill this camera with great shots of the all the stunning landmarks .

In other news....caught a very good concert last week at first avenue ( yeah the place where the little purple guy from Minny did a movie). The headliner was a group called The Drive By Truckers. I was able (since it was a general admission concert) to push my way right up front and center and be about 3 feet from the lead singer/guitarist. Very fun!

Well I made it through a post! Didn't think I had much to write about.....but one never knows what one can accomplish if he tries !

( yeah I stole that from a fortune cookie!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Mothers Day

To all of the my readers of the female persuasion that have children.


Without Moms, this world would be a much colder place. I am lucky to have a Mom that did a great job. As I grow older, and am faced with different parental situations, I understand clearer what a tough job it is to be a great parent.

You are faced with being selfless in a world that is geared at being selfish. You are trying to raise kids in a world where kids are being treated as adults at age 10. As negative as those statements sound, its important to remember that YOU ARE THE PARENT. You have the power to make a difference in your child's life. I feel its not the goal to be your kids best buddy...but rather his best parent. Its lifes most important job.

Thank you to all of you that are doing your best!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Gotta Love Hardcore Fans!

As you all have read.....

I have been inhabiting the Black Crowes Message Board. Thru that board I have been able to track down a audience recording of the concert that I attended in Oct. of 05.

The Black Crowes encourage fans to bring recording equipment to concerts. Thank goodness......this was a concert that I wont forget. Its interesting to hear it some 6 months later. Since that time, I have become a very hardcore fan of the bands and have collected several shows from the tour. I still think this one was a special show.....lots of jamming and the setlist was packed with my faves. I will attach the setlist and my comments to the end of this post.

The pic to the right is from the show.....

Below is a setlist of the show....I will give some short comments by some of the songs.-Set One-STARE IT COLD -Great song to kick start the night off.STING ME - One of my favorites...great Stones like riffsSOUL SINGING -Cd version is a nice sing along.this live verson takes you to church for 15min.SEEING THINGS -Another deep cut...another fave.GO TELL THE CONGREGATION-Geez another fave....great hammond b-3 organ DARLING OF THE UNDERGROUND PRESS - A rare electric version NEBEKANEZER -A fun little cosmic ditty :-) YOUNG MAN,OLD MAN -Nice percussion.. .LONG LONG LONG - Brother Rich Robinson does a nice verson of the George Harrison song. MY MORNING SONG -One of my favorites VIRTUE & VICE - My favorite!-

Encore-HAPPY- Nice way to end the night...nice cover of Keith Richards Stones classic.

I have another care package on the way to me.....a fellow fan is sending me 10 cds worth of material....

Dont worry...I still listen to other stuff besides the crowes..... :-)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Father and Son master arcade hook game!!!!!!!!!

Come on...admit it...there are times when you pass one of these machines and see something that looks worthy of a try!

My son sees something just about EVERY time we pass a hook game. So I usually watch him ( and give him sage advice) win something that is cool for about 10 minutes.

Yesterday.....that all changed! :-)

I saw this bear. It tugs at your author's heartstrings. Because I was a HUGE Oakland A's fan growing up as a wee little one in Fresno California.

I reached for my pocket. $3. did the math.....50 cents a try....daaaaang should have passed that higher math stuff....ummmm that makes 6 tries! first try....miss, second try won a horrible looking swan ( which was given away to a passer-by...had bigger fish to fry here!) 3rd try I had it hooked and it fell off ( did a angry fist pump on that one) 4th try....missed. 5th try....lifted up and fell off...right by the slot. sixth try....................................................


41 year old dancing! How sad!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tuesday Lunch break

Its time for another blog entry!

Here is a different angle for a post...for me at least....

Current things that are making happy!

1. the ability to go outside and absorb the sun into this somewhat pallid skin.
2. the smell of a barbq cooking and a baseball game on the radio......
3. jumping on my bicycle and riding to the health club for a good workout!
4. Black crowes message board! Lots of nice people that like to share great music over there!
5. Hearing from friends that I havent heard from in ages.

Current things that make me unhappy..
1. gas prices ( sorry...I am not unique!)
2. feeling like I am stuck in a rut

Hey! At least the happy stuff is a longer list then the negative.......certain days the list can change one way or another...... as for the negative stuff...I cant control the gas prices....but I can do something about the rut!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter!

Wishing everyone a great Easter. !
(worlds shortest post EVER!)


Monday, April 10, 2006

Steven the bell ringer!

My boy has been chosen the last 2 Sundays ( at cash under the table stuff) to ring the bells at our old country church to greet the congegation.

The bells are heavy and require me to help. Its a very nice moment for a parent to share this little gift with your child. We both had smiles as we rang them nice and loud and went waaaay past the required 12 rings! :-)

I didnt lapse into the Hunchback Of Notre Dame impression I was dying to do. ( just mumbled..."the belllllls....the belllllls" to myself)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Saturday Morning pulse check

Thank goodness I have some readers out there that give me the proverbial kick in the can to update this thing "we" call ......FROM REDLANDS TO MAPLEWOOD!

This morning I am heading over to my moms garage to clean out the crawl space that stores all sorts of mystery 'stuff'. My brother Dave and his wife Lori will be well as my sidekick Cherol. The plan is to weed out this stuff for a garage sale in the near future. Another sign that spring is almost here......The garage sale season!!! Hey single digit readers???? Are garage sales still something you stop at from time to time???? I don't hit em as much as I used to.....I will slow down if I see a cd or so....:-)

Ok....I got through a paragraph of lukewarm material....asked a bland question to the readers....what to write about now????

Baseball has started.....for the first time in ages....I am not into it. Its sad, but I think the steroid thing has really clouded my feelings about the sport. It used to be my love and passion, baseball was everything to me as a kid. I could recite to you baseball stats and history....just like I can blubber about music. When the Mcgwire/Sosa race for 60 was a nice story for baseball. Energized the fans after the strike fiasco. But now in was all juice related. I now watch the game like I watch slow pitch softball...just wait for the 17 homers a game... and yawn. (well when I am watching another team besides our banjo hitting Minnesota Twinks!) I really hope to recapture the love of the game. I am sure the tide will turn....true love doesn't usually flame out entirely! ( wow...the juices are starting to flow! Check out that illiteration!!!!) :-)

Time to hit the shower and get ready for the new day.....Still hitting the gym 5-6 times a week....have lost around 20 lbs or so.....still making progress!

Have a great weekend!

Thanks Gopman for the friendly push! I should give you a co-writers credit! :-)

I am including some shot from my fave team as a lad. The 70's Oakland A's!

Monday, March 27, 2006

You have to check out this blog!!!

I have found free music Nirvana.....This blog is great for free Mp3's of great music!

Uh....yeah....they have some great Black Crowes stuff .....but yes there is more!!! Check out the cover band FOAMFOOT! :-)

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Week In Review

With such a serious would think my week was pretty deeeern important!

Work was its typical grind.....I REALLY need to find something else to do for a living. I am a man of many talents and skills. Unfortunatly....focus and career direction has been a problem. Please drop a prayer or 2 in for me to get better in that area.

On a much more uplifting note. This week in music was a big gold star for me. I am getting a bit concerned about how deep I am getting into the Black Crowes. This band just keeps amazing me and holding my interest. I mean....with the tons of music I have around...I usually mix things up very regularly. Maybe its been the sorta up and down emotional thing I have been going through...but the crowes deliver on all of the will just be happy I have em!! :-)

Back to the gold star stuff. Black Crowes DVD came out this week. The Black Crowes "Freak and roll into the fog". First DVD for these guys and it captures the energy very well. Great sound and shot in Hi-Def. Yes you get to see the Chris Robinson "chicken dance"! ahhh what entertainment!

Picked up a great CD. Govt Mule. Debut-

I have other 'Mule' cds. This one simply blows you away. If you love gritty vocals...and 10 minute songs filled with grab your throat guitar solos. Get it! NOW! Warren Haynes is a great talent that deserves to be heard! Turn it up....clear your head!

Received a very nice email from my good friend Jeff . Its always such a good feeling to hear from him. It makes me miss my hometown. I need to go back there in the near future and see some of the people that I grew up with.

The pic I am including is a shot of Jeff and I when I was very young and tan!

Thanks to the people that read this thing......I do appreciate it!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Cd Review : Donald Fagen- Morph The Cat

For those that are not interested in wordy reviews of is the Readers Digest version. If you love Steely Dan music, BUY THIS CD! If you don't love Steely Dan need to sit down with good ol' Mike and we should talk!

Thanks for continuing on to the 2nd paragraph. Its only March...but this CD is at the top of my top 10 list for 2006. Impeccably produced, smartly written, and a sweet mixture of funk/jazz and smooth rock. Sure, this music is very polished sounding and not "edgy". But like Mr. Fagens group Steely Dan, the mix is addicting.

This is Donald Fagens 3rd solo effort. The first in 12 years. Fans of Steely Dan have always been hooked by the strange and obscure lyrics in some of the "dans" songs. This CD is a little more intimate in its nature. Not autobiographical, but a little less demanding to decipher the intent of the lyric.

Standout tracks:

What I do- A song based on a conversation with Ray Charles. The groove is funky, slow and addicting. This song will stick in your head and in a good way!

The Night Belongs to Mona: Interesting song about post 9/11 fear. Mona comes alive in her apartment when the city goes to sleep. She drops her defenses when there is no threat of human interaction. Once again... the mix of music and lyric is one that sticks in your head.

The entire CD is filled with strong moments. Do yourself a favor and give this a listen. Then put it on again and enjoy it one more time! Repeat as needed! :-)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Spring is not here.....yet!

This time last week.....I was talking about birds and think green...

Well.....its still green for a while.

10 inches of snow daily workout was replaced by snow shoveling..still a good workout!!!!

Still hear the birds though....unfortunatly....they are not singing! Probably yelling at one another for flying into this frozen state waaaaaaaaaaaaay too early!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Scary Pictures of Chris Links!

Ok....I love the Black Crowes (duh...Mike has been on a rant about em since oct.) but frontman snap a scary photo from time to time!

Exhibit #1- The glam bowie...meets raccoon eye makeup thing.....errrr not makin it!

Exhibit#2- My fave...Stoner triangle!!!! Check out the concentration as he launches into yet another 15 minute "angle" solo ( really this band isn't prone to this....TRUST ME!)

Exhibit #3- This shot is from the late 90's By your side era. One of my favorite 'Crowes' Cd's...released when I was going through a rough time.....the cd spoke to me! ( I just got ill re-reading that spoke to me stuff!) didn't sell very well, and one of the reasons why was the decision to dress the band like they were in a HERVE VILLECHEZ -TATTOO FROM FANTASY ISLAND TRIBUTE BAND!!!!!!!!

I have added some links to the right-
All music is a great reference for any type of music.....hence the name ( duh pt2)
The black crowes.....great picture and triangle reference :-)
You on videos....type in any band or musical artist....and you have some great underground videos.......there is a great Prince/Michael Jackson/James Brown jam in there....just type in Michael Jackson....should get you there. Anything else you find in there....I take no responsibility!!!! I aint your Daddy! :-)


I heard a few the other morning while taking the furry 4 legged one out. Funny how just the sound of them made my day a little better. Spring is around the corner!

Think green!

Monday, March 06, 2006


I dont usually cry over sports figures. Today I cry.

One of my sports idols has passed away. Kirby Puckett. At the young age of 45.

I had the privilige of watching many of his games in person. I never ever felt cheated of my money when I was able to watch him. He played the game the way I loved to watch it played. Hard, fearless and with passion. At 5'8 and the shape of a bowling ball...he captured the hearts of everyone that watched him. Hardcore fan or Grandmother that was attending her first game.

For those who dont know his career...he was forced to retire after glaucoma in his right eye blinded him at the age of 34. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2001.The street that runs past that wretched Metrodome is named after him.

Life after baseball was not a easy adjustment for Puck. His image became a little tarnished ...and his health was worrisome to many that saw him.

Yesterday he suffered a massive stroke. One day later he is gone. My words are hard to come by at this moment.

Thanks for sharing your love of the game with this guy that grew up with you. I hope you knew how much you were loved by all.

Monday, February 27, 2006

New Purchase....

The CD to the right is my latest addition to my small little collection of music!

Derek Trucks is a young guitarist that is currently playing with the Allman Brothers Band. His uncle Butch is a founding member of that band and one of its 2 drummer attack. This is Dereks 3rd solo release...21 years old and talent to burn.

If you love gritty slide guitar...the kind that makes the paint peel off your smooth Wes Montgomery type jazz cording....or love world music. Check this young man out. This release is more along the line of a jazz CD. But not the kind of jazz that you listen to and think "I better say this thing is cool because it makes me sound sophisticated" kind of jazz. This hybrid of jazz and blues/rock is very easy to swallow!

I found it for $4.95! Another hidden treasure dug up by your music guru!!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Bowling Update

Behold the game face pic.....had the youngsters psyched out!!!!!

Then the 192 score!!!!! :-)

We had a great time!!!! I did give the lads some pointers!!! Wasnt in total destruction mode!

Geeez 2 posts in a day!

Ok.....I have rebounded.

Whats with all the pics and the arty black and white stuff????

Anywaaaay....tomorrow I am planning on taking Reggie ( the somewhat less hairy dog) to his first agility competition.

Its a pretty low key thing ( at least that is what they say!) but should be fun for him! He just gets nutty excited to be able to run around the course.....I get a kick out of it too! It truly is a team "sport"....and fun to bond with the 4 legged beast! :-)

I am being reminded that its time to leave for the birthday party....results of the bowling will follow!!! :-) Yeah maybe some black and white photos also!


Today is Stevens big day! (Monday is the actual day...but...its a paaaaartaaay day!)

Ahhh to be 11 and in love with the rock group KISS! Hey....I only had a little to do with getting him into a group that was around at least 25 years before he was born!!! :-)

The look on his face when he picked up his cake with the KISS image on it was all worth it! How cool is it to have your favorite rock group on a cake!!! Geez....when I was a kid....blah blah old guy grumble about to occur!

Its off to the bowling alley to celebrate. 6 of Stevens good buddies will be there! Cherols job is to organize...mine???? To keep the lads entertained and to destroy them with scary high scores!!!! I will keep the fist pumping and finger pointing under control!! :-)