Stevenator65’s Weblog

Technology, Commentary, Opinions, Reviews and Fun Happenings.

Rush Time Machine Tour Review

ScreenShot002 The power trio, Rush, played the Chicago leg of their tour last night at Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island, a man-made peninsula along Lake Michigan, completed in 1925.  It was formerly the site of Meigs Field, a famous single strip airport featured in Microsoft’s Flight Simulator program.  In the middle of the night in 2003, Mayor Daley had it torn up purportedly in the name of Homeland Security.  This caused quite the uproar in the City of Chicago.  Nevertheless, it is now part of Museum Campus which features the Adler Planetarium, the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum.  Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears stands adjacent to the pavilion and this beautiful area, located just off downtown, set the scene for the 8000 people fortunate enough to get tickets.  How did Rush sound?

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July 6, 2010 Posted by | Opinions, Reviews, Social Events | 11 Comments

The Stanley Cup

I was minding my own business 11:30p Friday night, 6/11/10, just hanging out by the circle drive in our downtown Chicago apartment building.  Many people milled about on State and Rush Streets, visiting the many restaurants and taverns.  It’s some good people watching.  I was texting on my BlackBerry Curve when I heard police sirens.  That’s not unusual, especially on a weekend night.  The suburbanites love to come downtown, get drunk and do things they shouldn’t do.  What was unusual, however, was the fact that two police cars, sirens blaring, pulled up quickly to our circle drive.  This caught the attention of many passers-by, who wandered over to see who was getting arrested.  Odder still, two young ladies came out of the backseat of one of the cars, laughing and smiling.  Who were these important ladies that needed a police escort?

Just as suddenly, a large limo/van pulled up next to the police cars, effectively blocking off the drive for all traffic, including those wishing to park in our building.  Curiosity brought a huge throng of people over, all with cameras out and ready to photograph whatever excitement would follow.  Next thing I know, the van door opens and out pops Andrew Ladd of the Blackhawks, holding the Stanley Cup up high for all to see.





I just bought a new camera, but it was upstairs.  I had no chance to get it and was stuck taking photos w/my BlackBerry.

The Hawks stayed for about 15 minutes and allowed us all to take photos.  We cheered for them, clapped and showed them our appreciation.  They then left and went to their next destination.  They stopped at many popular hang-outs and did the same thing.

June 14, 2010 Posted by | Social Events | Leave a comment

Break’s Over

I took a break from writing.  I didn’t realize almost a year has passed.  In that year lots has changed for me, but all in a good way.  Here I am in the picture below, 31 lbs lighter, posing w/my daughter Rikki.  We are sitting in the first row watching my favorite team, The White Sox.


Below is a photo of my car.  Check out the placard on the left.  Life is good.


I don’t plan on writing every day.  In fact, I have no plan.  But when the tech mood strikes, which seems to be more often as of late, I’ll share my thoughts.  Hope you keep visiting my site.

May 14, 2010 Posted by | Social Events | Leave a comment

The Top 16 Most Popular TV Sayings

This was sent to me by my wife.  I want to give proper credit to the creators, and I think it originally came from Yahoo!  If I’m incorrect please let me know.  Anyway, enjoy this awesomely fun list!


16. “Eat my shorts!”
Who says it: Bart Simpson, “The Simpsons
Why we love it: It’s to the point, insulting, and irreverent, just like the show at its best.
15. “Book ’em, Danno.”
Who says it:
Jack Lord, “Hawaii, Five-O
Why we love it: The best procedurals produce great catchphrases (“Hill Street Blues‘” “Let’s be careful out there,” for example), and this weekly signature has entered the American lexicon. The case was never closed until you heard those famous words — it was the “Law & Order” banging gavel of its day.

14. “How rude!”
Who says it:
Stephanie Tanner, “Full House
Why we love it: This one is all about the delivery. Taken on its own, it’s little more than just another middle child whining. But with Stephanie’s pursed lips, raised eyebrows and “harumph” attitude, it becomes instantly memorable.

13. “Make it work!”
Who says it:
Tim Gunn, “Project Runway
Why we love it: Because Tim Gunn is the man, that’s why. Carry on.
12. “Son of a b—h!”
Who says it: Sawyer, “Lost
Why we love it: It’s tough to own a phrase this common, but nobody says it quite like the surly one, Hoss.
11. “That’s what she said.”
Who says it: Michael Scott, “The Office
Why we love it: Sure, the writers of “The Office” didn’t invent this versatile zinger, but we can thank them for making it OK to use it in our own office. You know, because we’re 13-year-olds at heart, just like Michael.

10. “Jane, you ignorant sl–…”
Who says it: Dan Aykroyd, “Saturday Night Live
Why we love it: Aykroyd brilliantly lampooned right-wing rhetoric 30 years before Stephen Colbert with this sexist jab.
9. “Legen- — wait for it — -dary”
Who says it: Barney Stinson, “How I Met Your Mother
Why we love it: We just can’t get enough of Barney’s awesomeness. His blustery bravado hits at a universal truth: You either know a Barney or are a Barney. Check yo’ self, people.

8. “…for me to poop on!”
Who says it: Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, “Late Night with Conan O’Brien
Why we love it: Robert Smigel’s off-color, cigar-smoking talking dog was just weird enough to work. Just when he got people to start talking to a puppet, he’d lay this gem on them — prompting hilarious shock value.

7. “Oh my God! They killed Kenny!”
Who says it: Kyle and Stan, among others, “South Park
Why we love it: In a show that satirizes our culture’s love affair with extreme violence, this catchphrase punctuates one of the show’s funniest recurring jokes: They mercilessly off Kenny in nearly every episode for the first five seasons.

6. “Let’s hug it out, b—h.”
Who says it: Ari Gold, “Entourage
Why we love it: In the venal shark tank that is Hollywood, it’s as close to touchy-feely as these macho men have gotten.

5. “Holy _____, Batman!”
Who says it: Robin, “Batman
Why we love it: The Boy Wonder’s aw-shucks exclamation dovetailed nicely with the show’s campy tone. Plus: It helps us write headlines.

4.”What’choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?”
Who says it:
Arnold Jackson, “Diff’rent Strokes
Why we love it: This giggle-inducing question underscored the white man-adopts-black-boys show’s inherent message about learning to accept differences.

3. “Yada, yada, yada”
Who says it: Multiple cast members, “Seinfeld
Why we love it: Because we all use it, but “Seinfeld” deconstructed it. “How can you ‘yada-yada’ the best part of the evening?” Jerry asks, when Elaine is less than forthcoming with a date’s juicy details. “I mentioned the bisque,” she answers tartly.

2. “Dyn-o-mite!”
Who says it: J.J. Evans, “Good Times
Why we love it: We know it’s only technically one word, but its delivery was often accompanied by J.J.’s hilarious rhyming couplets about his prowess with the lay-deez.

1. “How you doin’?”
Who says it:
Joey Tribbiani, “Friends
Why we love it: Matt Leblanc’s dirty-dirty reading of the simple line gave it life, while forging a new comic frontier for the played-out playa character. Plus, it works! Try it.

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Humor, Opinions, Social Events | 1 Comment

Reality Show Revamp

Who’s not getting tired of the reality show rut?  Every season it’s the same old same old.  The season starts out with a bunch of cocky contestants saying they’re going to win.  Every week one gets eliminated.  It was fun for a while, but it has become stale.  Below I propose some changes to some of the most popular reality TV shows.  Let me know what you think.


1. American Idol.  Now in it’s eighth season, AI consistently ranks as the top reality show.  But even they recognize the need to freshen up the show, and have added a new judge and a new rule, called the Save.  The judges can now save one contestant from elimination.  That’s a good start, but let’s go a step further.   I propose that we stop the vote.  After all, anytime I call the line is busy anyway, not to mention that it has become a popularity contest.  Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry were eliminated too early, just to name two.  So forget voting.  Let’s have the contestants nominate the bottom two contestants, then the judges can decide.  That’s right, just like they do in Hell’s Kitchen, contestants will judge each other.  This way we’ll see their true colors.  And I promise that all those kids that come off as so nice and wholesome, will show an edge and add some real excitement to each elimination.


2. Hell’s Kitchen.  This show has to be staged.  Who would subject themselves to such abuse?  Why would anyone (hello Gordon Ramsay) act like such an ass on national TV?  I say we give Mr. Ramsay a taste of his own medicine.  Let’s make him go on the losing team each week and see how he does.  We should also ban swearing.  Anyone caught swearing will be subject to elimination.  That should quiet the old boy some.  Then let’s see if he gets eliminated if that team loses the next week.  As for judging, let’s get the three judges from the Food Network’s Chopping Block to judge.  They are real chefs, and decent people.


3. Rock of Love.  Come on, Bret, you already picked two Rocks of Love, and ended up with neither.  Is this skank-a-thon ever gonna end with you settling down?  Didn’t think so.  Hence our new rule changes.  The first show will now start with 30 women.  Viewers will see them on TV, get to know them, then vote to keep the top 10.  The first show thus ends with twenty eliminations.  Every week a skank will be voted off by viewers, not Bret.  That’s because he failed so miserably with his first two and needs help.  At the conclusion of the show, he will have to marry the remaining skank.  Yes.  MARRY!  And he can’t sing “Every Rose Has its Thorn” anymore.  Please!


4. The Celebrity Apprentice.  Firstly, even if we pretend that there’s any reality to this show, what’s with the nepotism?  Donny, get rid of the kids.  No twenty something kid should judge anyone, no matter how much you donated for their education.  If you have to keep the children on the show, put one on each team and subject them to elimination if they’re on the losing side.  Let’s see what they’re really made of.  Now that that’s settled, we have to eliminate the contestants’ ability to call their friends for donations.  If they’re going to sell cupcakes, then sell them to regular people.  There’s no such thing as a $5000 cupcake!  If the cupcakes are good and the marketing plan is well thought out, then your team will outsell the other team.  Is this a contest of who has the richest friends or a contest to ferret out the best business people?


5. America’s Next Top Model.  If I have to hear the phrase, “Tyra Mail” again, I will barf.  Ditto “fierce”.  Your fierce!  That’s fierce!  You’re not fierce enough!  OVERUSED!  You would think a top model contender would be attractive, but anorexic giraffe-sized waifs do nothing for me.  The only saving grace to this show is the cat fighting.  So why not extend it?  Instead of Tyra eliminating the contestants, let’s have the contestants nominate the bottom two, then every week they can have a fashion magazine editor make the final decision. 


6. Flavor of Love.  Nobody likes a skankfest more than me.  But no self respecting skank would date a 50 something year old washed up rapper that wears a clock around his neck that is bigger than him.  I just don’t buy it.  But I do like skanks, so I’m ready for Flavor of Love 4, but with some changes.  Let’s get rid of Flavor Flav and put someone cool and current in.  Maybe Kanye West, or Justin Timberlake.  Then we move the show to HBO so there’s no censorship.  The bottom four will face elimination and have to go mud wrestling.  The top two mud wrestlers will be safe.  The bottom two move on to the wet T-shirt contest.  Sadly, the loser will go home and not get a clock.


7. Top Chef.  Love it.  But answer this:  How did Padma Lakshmi become the end all be all of judging food?  Isn’t she a model?  She replaced Katie Lee Joel, who actually is a chef, after season one, and it was thought that they wanted a more lively, less monotonic sounding host.  Ok, she wrote a cookbook.  But is she really a chef?  I say we keep her as host and drop her from judging.  When she has her judging hat on, she makes me think she’s Dominatrix Padma, so stern, and serious is she.  I fear her like I feared my mommy when she came home to find my bedroom untidy.  Speaking of judging, let’s make a switch and have Gordon Ramsay judge this show, and Tom Colichio judge Hell’s Kitchen.  And finally, can we have the contestants stop using fancy terms and just say what they are making so we can understand?  And while we’re at it, let’s de-snub a bit more.  Make the contestants cook the kind of real food you and I have at home.  Let them come in my pantry and make something out of peanut butter, white bread, macaroni and cheese, and oodles of noodles.  And one more thing, they must cook food that is actually good for you, not buttery, fatty, high cholesterol-laden decadent foods that none of us can afford.


I was going to do a more comprehensive list, but got intimidated when I saw the Outrageously long list of reality shows.  There are hundreds.  Check out the list and you’ll see.   You thought game shows were taking over TV in the late 70’s and early 80’s, but this is an epidemic.  It has infected every channel.  The Golf Channel has a reality show.  How about a Bowling reality show, staring Simon Cowell?  Tennis with John McEnroe?  We have cooking covered.  Nannies, check.  I even saw a reality show for makeup artists.  Wait, I have a novel idea.  How about a Scott Baio reality show?  What?  It’s been done?  Twice!  I’m having a reality show at home.  Each week I will eliminate one person from my family.  Whoever annoys me most, be it step-mom, cousin, sister-in-law or wife, will be eliminated.  Something tells me I’ll end up all alone.  That just leaves more time for REALITY TV!

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Opinions, Social Events | 1 Comment

Disney 2008

Featuring the music of The Mavericks: I want to know.  Enjoy the show!

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Social Events | Leave a comment

Happy Anniversary!

IMG_0712 IMG_4094

16 years ago today, my wife and I got married.  Since then we’ve had 3 beautiful kids, 2 dogs, several guinea pigs, a turtle, fish and hamsters.  Coming the day after Thanksgiving, I give thanks to my gorgeous wife for the wonderful family we have built.  We have endured some hard times, including the death of her father, but have persevered and have a very loving relationship.  She is funny, smart and a joy to spend time with.  I never dreamed things would turn out so well.  We live in a nice home in a great community and have many friends.  Life is good and I give thanks.  Love you Cheri!

November 28, 2008 Posted by | Social Events | Leave a comment

Who Ran a Better Campaign, Obama or McCain?


I just read a great article at the Huffington Post.  The premise was that if you consider how each man ran his race, you would get an idea of what kind of president they would make.  It looks at things like their VP picks.  While Obama was extremely thorough in his search, McCain made a quick pick of Palin without much investigation.  This quote sums it best:

“And what did McCain do? When the right-wing elements of his party would not let him choose Joseph Lieberman, he responded by impetuously going with Sarah Palin. He reportedly made the decision after having had only one meeting and one phone conversation with her, and with no formal vetting process. And how did that work out for McCain? Palin has been roundly criticized, by individuals with a range of political orientations, for being unfit to be vice president. And while her selection energized the base and gave McCain a much-needed jolt of excitement in the campaign, the long-term results were far less positive. Her shocking lack of knowledge and depth of thought, as exposed in her disastrous interviews with Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric and her talking-points spewing performance in the debate, ultimately caused her to become a drag on the ticket, preventing many independents from supporting McCain. And she seemed to have an endless stream of skeletons in her Nieman-Marcus-stuffed closet, from ethics violations to the secessionist party her husband belonged to.”

You don’t have to be a political junkie (I’m not), nor a fan of either candidate, to really appreciate this excellent, well thought out and written article.

November 3, 2008 Posted by | Opinions, Social Events | Leave a comment

Rick’s Golf Day 2008

Year 13 raised lots of money for the American Diabetes Association.  It was also great fun as you can see on the video slideshow below.   Email me if you want copies of the photos.  Stevenator65 at Yahoo dot com.

August 25, 2008 Posted by | Social Events, video | 1 Comment

Family Vacation Fun in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

This is the first of two slideshow videos featuring the music of the Steve Laser Experience with Cindy From singing, Steve on drums and H Allan on guitar.  The song on this vid is The Doors’ Love Her Madly.

The second slideshow vid features Come to my Window by Melissa Etheridge. 


I tried to take photos of everyone.  If I missed anyone and you have some pictures let me know.  If anyone wants and copies of the pictures I do have, let me know and I’ll email them to you.

August 17, 2008 Posted by | Social Events | Leave a comment