Passion = Truth? How Jeffrey James Francis Ircink Sees The World? I love when people are passionate about something. That surging of emotion is the one honest measure of what truth is. It's a truthful display of how a person really feels about something or someone at that particular moment. That passion IS truth.

About me...

My photo
Greendale, Wisconsin, United States
Ex-producer of THE REALLY FUNNY HORNY GOAT INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, playwright, actor, singer, outdoorsman, blogger, amateur photog, observer & bitcher, Beach Boys groupie, Brett Favre fanatic, lover of everything Celtic and forever a member in the Tribe of HAIR. Spent most of my life in the Village of Waterford, a small town just outside of the Milwaukee suburbs. After 12 years in North Hollywood, Bel Air and Culver City, Cali, I moved back to Wisconsin in September 2009. No regrets - of moving to LA OR moving back to WI. Have traveled to Belfast, Ireland, Dayton (OH), Manhattan, Seattle, Cedar Rapids, New York, Miami and Sydney, Australia with my plays. Moved back into the Village of Greendale where I was born. Life is good.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Kazar men.

My best friend from college, Tom - and his sons, Joe, 16 (top) and Jacob, 19. a kick-ass photo.

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TGIF! presents..."Oscar, Oscar, Oscar...". So long, Mr. Klugman.

Jack Klugman passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 90. "The Odd Couple" TV series was one of my favorites. So many great episodes...enjoy this scene from the classic "Password" episode. Klugman plays Oscar Madison, sitting on your left.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from the Ircink's!

Not the most perfectly crafted family portrait. But then again, you should've been there when I was trying to take it. Patience = virtue, remember? I couldn't tell you the last time we sat for a family portrait. Decades. Certainly not with Brother Jason's dogs (they won't sit still). Left to right:  Jason with Molly, Dee, me and Jim with Zol.

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Nollaig shona dhuit!

"Merry Christmas" in Gaelic. A very Merry Christmas & God's blessings from Glen Mar and all the Ircink's.

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world....and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!

- from Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol".

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Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "The Andy Williams Christmas Album" (1963) and "Merry Christmas, Andy Williams" (1965).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

"The Andy Williams Christmas Album" (1963) and "Merry Christmas, Andy Williams" (1965). They both have some different songs I love that aren't on the other. So they both go in. Andy passed away this past September so it's bittersweet that I close with him. You can listen to The Andy Williams Christmas Album here and Merry Christmas, Andy Williams here.

That's it! My 10 favorite Christmas albums. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945), "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958), "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998), "Winter Wonderland" by Bert Kaempfert (1963), "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965) and "The Andy Williams Christmas Album" (1963) and "Merry Christmas, Andy Williams" (1965).

Merry Christmas! This was fun.

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Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.
"A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965). It's Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang. 'Nuff said. Classic. The Vince Guaraldi Trio knocks it out of the ballpark. Listen here.

Count is 9 down and 1 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945), "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958), "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998), "Winter Wonderland" by Bert Kaempfert (1963) and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965).

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Jeff Fav Christmas Albums. "Christmas Wonderland" by Bert Kaempfert (1963).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

"Winter Wonderland" by Bert Kaempfert (1963) . Yet another album my parents had and I grew up listening to. Originally released as "Christmastide with Kaempfert", it's Bert's only Christmas album.
I don't have a Spotify link to listen to the entire album, but you can sample the album here and YouTube has many of the songs, including this one, "Jingo Jango".

Count is 7 down and 3 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945), "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958), "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998) and "Winter Wonderland" by Bert Kaempfert (1963).

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.
I love any Celtic music and there's a zillion Celtic Christmas albums out there to listen to. "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998) is one of those generic albums, like you might find at Starbucks. I don't remember where I got this - the Dayton-Hudson Corporation put it out. You can find it online but that's about it. I couldn't find it on Spotify, but there are some songs on YouTube, including my favorite off the album, "A Merry Christmas" - listen here.

Count is 7 down and 3 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945), "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958) and "Christmas Celtic by Dirk Freymuth" (1998).

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

"Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958). The album charted on Billboard's Top 40 five consecutive years from 1957-1961, peaking at #3 in 1958. One source says this album (original album cover pictured) was initially released in 1954.  Listen here.

Count is 6 down and 4 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945) and "Mantovani Christmas Carols" (1958).

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "Merry Christmas" by Bing Crosby.

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

"Merry Christmas" by Bing Crosby. Bing. I think we can just leave it at that. Bing. Fine - it's the 2nd best-selling Christmas album all- time.

Listen. By the way, the reissue in 1995 was renamed "White Christmas". I have no clue why.

Count is 5 down and 5 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984), "Merry Christmas", by Bing Crosby (1945).

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012


My Aunt Ruthie (Ircink) always refers to me as "Geoff" or "Geoffrey" (pronounced "Jah-free"). I've always wished my name were spelled that way.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. Mannhiem Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" & "Christmas".

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.


Next up:  Mannheim Steamrollers' Fresh Aire and Christmas. Can't pick between the two so they both go up. "Greensleeves" on Fresh Aire and "Silent Night" on Christmas are probably my favorites.

Listen to "Christmas" here and "Fresh Aire" here.

Count is 4 down and 6 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" by Terry McDade & the McDades (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963), Mannheim Steamroller's "Fresh Aire" (1988) and "Christmas" (1984).

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First snow.

First snow in Greendale. December 18, 2012.

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Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "The Little Drummer Boy", Harry Simeone Chorale (1963).

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums - one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

"The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963). I'm guessing it's the most famous version of this song. This album was first issued under another name in 1958. The song was originally titled "Carol of the Drum", written by Katherine Kennicott Davis and was published as based upon a traditional Czech carol. Harry Simeone made some small changes to the song and retitled it "The Little Drummer Boy". Classic. Check out the album here.

Where are we on our count? 3 down, 7 to go. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), "Midwinter" (2001), "The Little Drummer Boy, a Christmas festival, the Harry Simeone Chorale" (1963).

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ken Koepsel: In Memorium.

Wonderful memorial ceremony at Buck Rub Outfitters in Pewaukee today for our dear friend and mentor, Kenny "Kahuna" Koepsel, who passed away this past November at the age of 84. Thanks to Scott Antczak - winner of 3 Indoor Worlds, 2 Traditional Worlds and 1 open World Championship (all in the Recurve Unaided Division) - who organized the tribute...a beautiful afternoon of speakers, eats, fiddle music and camaraderie. Also thanks to Gregory Kazmierski, owner of Buck Rub and WI Natural Resources board member, for hosting the event, as well as everyone who attended.

Pictured left to right: me, Uncle Fran Ircink, Shelley (one of Ken's daughters) & Mike Silber (tall guy), Brother Jason and Cousin Gerry Kraus.

I asked Scott if I could say a few words as he wanted someone to talk who knew Kenny well. It was emotional but I held my own and made it through my speech. Shelley brought me some of Ken's ashes as I requested. Our immediate group of hunters will distribute them during our own memorial for Ken sometime this next year.

You can visit my other blog links on Kenny - my tribute in words and pics, and our 3rd Annual Kahuna Rendezvous!

The Kahuna will live in our hearts forever....

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Friday, December 14, 2012

TGIF! presents....Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?"!

A flood of memories from when I was attending college at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 28 years later, the message - and cause - hasn't changed. It hasn't gotten stale or boring. Do something this holiday season for someone in need. You may not have to look very far.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Josh Groban makes me want to puke.

I can listen to Michael Bublé. Or Harry Connick, Jr. James Blunt, for that matter. But - I can not listen to Josh Groban massacre Christmas carols. Or any other song, for that matter. Ever.

Cool your jets, Groban groupies. I didn't say he can't sing. I just don't like his voice. There's no fluctuation. There's no character. It's not distinct. The timbre is timbre-less. His voice is like fish with no tartar sauce, a brat sans mustard or waffles without our homemade maple syrup (or any syrup, for that matter). Bland. Period.

Fine. You judge. Here's Groban's "O Holy Night" and here's Johnny Mathis' rendition. Who's voice is better?

There are probably thousands of singers in professional choirs all over the world whose voices sound just like Groban's. Big deal. What sickens me even more is that Grobad dated this hottie for three years. Here's to a Grobad-less Christmas - and a Grobad-less year!

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Dale Carnegie would be ashamed.

Written by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the first best-selling self-help books ever published.

Oh, look! This is fun...

Pretty sure this wasn't a chapter in his book. Now, regardless of how you feel about unions, I believe it's safe to say no one would encourage this form of behavior to help get your point across. Maybe. But wait - I though it was the Republicans/conservatives/"anti-unionists" who were the Neanderthals? Right?

I would love to send a copy of Carnegie's book to the two Michigan pro-union baffoons featured in the 2nd video who committed bodily assault on the reporter/interviewer.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Jeff's Fav Christmas Albums. "Midwinter - Terry McDade with the McDades".

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums, one at a time. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

Canadian Terry McDade and his children combine harp, flute, fiddle, guitar and pipes to present a Celtic, earthy, soulful blend for the holidays. Midwinter (2001) is tough to find anywhere but online. I can't even point you to a place to hear the album. I can, however, let you sample the album here. And - my favorite tune from this album, "The Huron Carol", can be heard in its entirety here.

Albums thus far:  Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis (1958), Midwinter (2001).

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Tagliabu = pussy.

In his official mediation, former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue ruled that, though the New Orleans Saints coaching staff is to be held accountable for the illegal bounties (Google it) and confirmed the Saints players cooperated in the scheme, all the players were doing was following orders. Thus, the four players suspended - Jpnathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith - will have their suspensions wiped clean.
I don't even know what that means. They were involved - but just following orders. Are there little children now playing in the NFL? They can be fined but not suspended. I still don't know what that means. "Following orders"? What does that remind you of in history? Think WWII.
From now on, the word "pussy" in my vocabulary will be replaced with "tagliabue . Or "taggy".

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My brother's testimony before the Wisconsin DNR.

You can reference the previous blog post for background information on my brother's testimony. I could not have written a better speech.

The Brotherhood of the Arrow
A fraternity of archers bound by the legacy of Kenny Koepsel

We, The Brotherhood of the Arrow, stand opposed to the amendment of Section 9 Chapter 29.08 and the creation of Section 10 Chapter 29.08 of ACT 168. We hope that the addition of this amendment to AB 311, after the public session of AB 311, was simply an oversight on the part of our trusted Representatives and not intentional. We feel that the policy of "closed till open" has worked and forcing the DNR and the NRB to accommodate this new policy of "opened till closed" was not a wise decision. After all, 36 of 54 State Parks already have some hunting as a result of the "closed till open" policy under the recommendation of those qualified to do so. Many, if not all, with little public opposition. Now, by treating the parks as a whole instead of individually, the law has created an issue between hunters and non-hunters. An issue that could have been avoided by sticking with the old policy. If it was the intention of legislatures, as some have publicly stated, to create more opportunity for small game and waterfowl hunting, we wish they would have done so under the old law to avoid public outcry. If more deer hunting was wanted then this could have also been added with the input of the people that manage the parks on a daily basis. We are not opposed to hunting in state parks; we are just opposed to the way it was handled.

The Brotherhood of the Arrow is a fraternity of archers bonded by the legacy of Kenny Koepsel. It is upon his encouragement before his recent passing that we are here.

Buckhorn State Park is only open to archery deer hunting. It has been this way since its beginning. The park is a peninsula jutting out into the Castle Rock Flowage. At one point in the history of the peninsula before it became a State Park it is said that during the gun deer season the locals lined up on Hwy G and pushed the entire peninsula south to the flowage. The flowage was ice. The ensuing carnage that occurred is believed to be the main reason why the park was open to archery only. The Wisconsin Bowhunters Association also lobbied for an archery only season and I suspect that Necedah being at one time The Bowhunting Capital of the World played a part in it.

The park grew immensely after Joe Stecker- Kochanski took over as park manager. Acquiring lands north and east of the original park boundaries, these lands were also set aside as archery only. Joe thought that since these power company lands were originally open to gun deer hunting it should stay that way. He didn't want to people to lose hunting areas. One year later he had it back open for gun hunting. The original park remained as archery deer only. Joe could have changed that, he didn't, probably for the same reason. It is a place for archers. Lands were also acquired north of the Buckhorn Bridge and became known as the Yellow River Wildlife Area. This area is open to archery deer, gun deer, small game, turkey and waterfowl hunting. Joe also had the park opened to a limited number of turkey permits and the Buckhorn Wildlife Area offers archery, small game and waterfowl hunting.

We feel that gun deer hunting would destroy the quality archery deer hunt that has existed at the Buckhorn for 40 years. We fear that history would repeat itself if guns are allowed back on the peninsula to hunt deer. Bowhunters have kept deer numbers in check throughout the years along with the Learn To Hunt Weekend. Our plea to you is, in the spirit of tradition and the fact that there are few places unique to archery only, that the park remain as is. We ask that all state park areas in the original boundaries including the parcels west of 19th street and south of hwy G remain as archery deer only. Therefore the suggested season opening would not have to be October 15 and could remain the traditional September start. The point of Act 168 is to gain not to lose. Archers would lose 30 days of hunting in a park that has had no conflict of interest in 40 years. If small game and waterfowl hunting are to be permitted they could open October 15.

The wildlife areas along with the park areas West of Hwy G and North of 31st street currently offer 3831 acres of small game, waterfowl and trapping opportunities and 3390 acres of gun deer hunting. The addition of the 1200 acres West of Hwy G and North of 31st street would bring the total for small game and trapping to 5031 acres.

We hope you can see that the Buckhorn Peninsula already has ample hunting and trapping opportunities. Opportunities that exist without any implementation of the new Act 168. Opportunities that exist through the diligence of knowledgeable people that knew what was best for the park they managed.

Please consider continuing this great tradition of archery at Buckhorn State Park for the archers of today and those yet to be.

The Brotherhood of the Arrow.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

My brother...the activist.

Brother Jason is headed to Madison tomorrow to speak at the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board hearing on Assembly Bill 311 (later becoming Act 168), often referred to as the "Sporting Heritage Bill". The bill, introduced by Representative Jim Steineke (R-Kaukana), establishes a bipartisan sporting recruitment and retention task force, creates incentives to hunt, fish and trap, among other things.

I'm very proud of my brother, whose passion for the outdoors is matched by his tenacity to try to right a wrong. He'll be speaking for our group of hunters - The Brotherhood of the Arrow, "a fraternity of archers bound by the legacy of Kenny 'Kahuna' Koepsel" - our dear friend and leader who passed away in November. You can read about Kahuna here - we lost a good man.

I'm not going to get into any more specifics of the bill - it's already been passed (taking effect January 1, 2013) and you can read it later (you know, like what Nancy Pelosi stated regarding the Obamacare bill). The DNR is making its recommendations for implementation, as the DNR finds a number of issues with the bill. Of the 2,000 letters, phone calls and emails from concerned citizens (hunters and non-hunters), only 85 were in favor of passage.

Here's my main grievance:

After Bill 311 was introduced, a public hearing was held. The outcry was overwhelming. Shortly after that - 9 days later - Congressman Jeffrey Mursau (R-Crivitz) introduced an amendment to Bill 311 (Amendment 4/AB 311) that read, "...hunting, fishing, and trapping in state parks;...". No public hearing was held after Mursau added this and the bill was eventually signed by Governor Scott Walker.

Basically, this means that public park hunting land that was once reserved for archers may now be open to gun hunters. Mursau did what many politicians do - slip bits of verbiage that no one knows about into on-going legislation and that's that.

And the nail in the coffin is that the Buckhorn State Park in Necedah where we've hunted for decades is most effected by Act 168. 3,831 additional acres will now be available to gun hunters of the 6,990 total acreage. But hey, according to bill co-sponsor Representative Al Ott (R-Forest Junction), it's all in a day's work.

"I suppose you want to throw stones at us." Ott went on to state that sometimes the Legislature does not do enough homework upfront and that this was one of those times.

Which makes it all the more easier to just pass shit without the public knowing about it, right, Alvin? Aside from the fact that you could already gun hunt in certain areas of 36 of the 54 state parks (rough figures) and this piece of legislation just opened up a can of worms. Why add more? This is not a condemnation of methods to improve Wisconsin's hunting heritage nor of gun hunters. It IS a condemnation of the sneaky tactics ALL politicians utilize to get their names attached to legislation. If you held one hearing on a bill and changes are made to said bill, you can hold another hearing outlining the changes. It's very simple.

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I dislike Jamie Foxx.

Jamie Foxx hosted SNL this past weekend. I've always disliked Jamie Foxx. His monologue had a "how black is that?" theme. I've always disliked Jamie Foxx. He promoted his movie, "Django". I've always disliked Jamie Foxx. This is what he said about the film:

“I got a new movie coming out, Django, check it out…Django Unchained, I play a slave. How black is that? In the movie, I have to wear chains. How whack is that? But don’t be worried about it, because I get out [of] the chains, I save my wife, and I kill all the white people in the movie. How great is that? And how black is that?

I've always disliked Jamie Foxx.

If I were promoting a play I had written and said, "All the black people in the play - they all get murdered by a white guy. How white is that?", do you think I'd get the laughs Jamie Foxx got? Huh. Can he say that...because he's black? Is he being ironic? Is he helping to perpetuate black stereotypes? Shouldn't he do more to extinguish those black stereotypes, considering his notoriety? Am I missing something here? Am I overreacting. Huh. How fucked up is Jamie Foxx?

I've always disliked Jamie Foxx. That's MY running theme. I don't think he's funny. I won't see this film. Now I dislike him even more. Watch the clip here.

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Glen Mar Arts & Craft Shoppe is OPEN!

I don't gorge my Christmas tree with ornaments. A few special ones to "fill" the tree and that's it. Mostly rustic, primitive, outdoorsy babbles. Same with lights. Always white - though I added two strands of blue this year.
So as I'm decorating today and I'm thinking I need some filler ornaments. I have a shitload of pine cones so...

Pine cones = FREE. Ribbon = salvaged from last Christmas. Twine = in junk drawer. Hangers = spares. Paint = FREE (it's my mom's, but she left it here. So, FREE)

Couple hours latter and, "BAM!" Ornaments. Cool. My cousin's on Dad's side (Cheryl, Linda, Terri - Greg was still a sperm then) will appreciate my creativity. Our mothers - and Aunt Evelyn Ircink - used to make pine cone art with Grama Ircink in the basement of the Muskego house. Miss you, Grama & Aunt Mary Jane's to you!

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Thanks, Susan Lombardi!


From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (rag), Dec. 8, 2012, Susan Lombardi, daughter of NFL legend Vince Lombardi, touched on a number of subjects during a two-hour interview at her home in De Pere. The highlight:

On what her father, Vince Lombardi, would have thought of Brett Favre:
"Brett would have been my father's favorite quarterback."

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MH400 Watt.

That's a big ass light bulb. Picked it. Now I have to figure out what to do with it.

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Jeff's Fav Xmas Albums. "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis".

I love Christmas and I love Christmas songs. So - here are my favorite 10 Christmas albums. No particular order so I didn't number them - just the album title.

Let's start with "Merry Christmas, Johnny Mathis" (1958), produced by Mitch Miller. You'll notice some of these albums are dated - that's because I listened to them every Christmas season with my parents and Brother Jas growing up. I'll try to include a Spotify link, or you can peruse the Internet and find it on your own.

Johnny Mathis – Merry Christmas

Notice this is an ALBUM list - not a SONG list. Some of my favorite tunes are omitted as they don't appear on any of these albums. I'll give you an a few examples:

Anything by Dean Martin, including "Marshmellow World".
Anything by Frank Sinatra, including, "Have Yourself A Merry Christmas".
"The Christmas Song", Nat King Cole
"Do They Know It's Christmas", Band Aid
"You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch", How the Grinch Stole Christmas
"Happy Xmas (War is Over)", John Lennon & Yoko Ono
"Blue Christmas", Elvis
"Merry Christmas, Everybody", Slade
"I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day", Wizzard
"Wonderful Christmas Time", Paul McCartney
"Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", Gene Autry
"Holly Jolly Christmas", Burl Ives
"Little Saint Nick", The Beach Boys
"I Believe in Father Christmas", Greg Lake
"Sleigh Ride", Leroy Anderson
"Ring Christmas Bells", Ray Conniff & The Ray Conniff Singer

All songs - not albums. As I progress through the list, I'll recap the previous albums. Oh - I know you have your favorites as well. These are mine. Season's Greetings!

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TGIF! presents...Thank you, Mr. Brubeck

Jazz legend/pianist/composer Dave Brubeck passed away Wednesday - a day shy of his 92nd birthday. His most famous piece, "Take 5", written by writing partner/saxophonist Paul Desmond in 1959 (Desmond was a member of The Dave Brubeck Quartet), is considered a jazz standard - my favorite jazz tune and still fucking radical.

Take a listen.


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dennis!

The only surfer in The Beach Boys, Dennis Wilson (brother to Carl and Brian) banged the drums harder than anyone, according to legendary session drummer Hal Blaine. Hard to believe Denny would've been 68 today. Many consider him the heart and soul of The Beach Boys, lost at the early age of 39. He's my favorite of the "Boys...we never met but I have met two of his sons and one ex-wife (Barbara) on a couple occasions and I knew another ex-wife, model/actress Karen Lamm the last year of her life (she passed in 2001 at the age of 49).

A film about Dennis' life is in pre-production starring Aaron Eckert. What a ride that will be for Mr. Eckert. I miss Dennis every day. He was quite the writer/producer, evident in his solo albums, Pacific Ocean Blue and Bamboo). Here's one of Denny's most popular solo efforts, "River Song", featuring behind-the-scenes recording and other vid shots.

"They say I live a fast life. Maybe I just like a fast life. I wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world. It won’t last forever, either. But the memories will."

Surf's always up with you, Denny. Peace - and Happy Birthday, brotha.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

3rd Annual Kahuna Rendezvous!

In late October, we had our 3rd Annual Kahuna Rendezvous camping trip at the Buckhorn State Park in Necedah, WI (near Mauston). We've bow hunted this area for decades so it wasn't much of a stretch to camp here.
We renamed the Rendezvous, the "Kahuna Rendezvous", after our dear friend and bow hunting leader, Kenny Koepsel. His nickname has always been "The Big Kahuna". He was diagnosed with terminal leukemia late summer, early fall and, unfortunately, wasn't feeling well enough to make the camping trip this year.
Kenny passed on to that big hunting grounds in the sky two weeks ago this morning. You can read more about the Kahuna here. Still can't believe he's gone, but we will continue to hunt and camp in his honor.

Top:  Me and Brother Jason. Bottom:  Uncle Fran Ircink and Dad. If you'd to see more pictures, click on READ MORE!

Tiki torches...for the Kahuna. 

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"The Atheist".

I'll be starring in this short film by Milwaukee filmmaker Anthony Presti. Small role, actually. We're doing an Indiegogo fundraiser after January 1 which will feature a promo trailer. Stay tuned.

I'm the guy with the dark glasses and hat...

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Congrats, Wisconsin Badgers & Montee Ball!

Rose Bowl-bound! 3rd straight year. And 3rd straight Big 10 Champion! Wisconsin snuffed #12 Nebraska last night, 70-31 for a trip to Pasadena. Montee Ball picked up three more TD's to bring his season total to 82, adding to his NCAA record for career TD's (set last weekend against Penn St.) and was named Big 10 Champ MVP.

For more on Ball, read here. For highlights of the Big 10 Championship rout, read here.

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Ingrid E. Newkirk. "Get a life!"

I hate it when people use the phrase, "get a life" (or the phrases, "lighten up" and "you have way too much time on your hands", for that matter). However, in the case of PETA president Ingrid E. Newkirk, the phrase fits.

Our own Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was the receipient of PETA's 2012 Bad Dad award for taking his daughter deer hunting with him.


So, and your organization are behind many great causes which I support. Which begs the questions:  Why don't you limit your activities to areas where you at least have a chance to effect change (which is what your organization is all about) instead of fumbling uselessly over some misguided publicity stunt to get your organization in the news? All you're accomplishing is the risk of alienating potential supporters AND running the risk of being considered "crackpots". Paul Ryan is not going to stop hunting with his daughter. If his daughter loses interest, then she loses interest. But it won't be because of a "bad dad" award.

It's like years ago when PETA petitioned the Green Bay Packers to change their name (Packers) as it referenced the meat packing industry which first sponsored the team. I mean, if God came down to earth and asked the Packers to change their name they wouldn't. again. Why makes such useless, innane demands that will NEVER be met? Idiocy.

Newkirk writes, “I live only for [animals], because if I didn’t have them I would have killed myself a long time ago.”

Hmmm...I would think a PETA person would even frown upon that, Ingrid.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fair thee well, Kahuna.

The "Kahuna" under the light of a Coleman lantern.
Our dear friend, Kenny Koepsel - The "Kahuna", for he organized and lead us on our bowhunting trips - has passed peacefully on to that great hunting ground in the sky. Kenny lost his battle with leukemia a week ago tomorrow after having just celebrated his 84th birthday on Saturday. If he looks familiar to you, Kenny bartended at Ray & Dot's - "The Legion" (Ray was his brother) since the late 1950's (retiring in the late 1990's) - a Greendale watering hole known well by the Ircink family, extended family and many of Kenny's hunting buddies. My father began hunting with Ken when Dad was 15 and those who hunted with the Kahuna have shared decades of wonderful moments with him. He was a husband, father, grandfather, a teacher, an outdoorsman, a hunter and unselfish every step of the way. I, like so many others, learned much from Kenny and loved him deeply. Thank God I was lucky to see him in perfect spirits just three weeks ago.
We - the guys in our immediate group of bow hunters - were all asked to write a few words about Kenny (by his three daughters). My words are what follows:

"Farewell, my friend,
my beautiful friend,
You take the high road,
I’ll take the low road,
and we’ll meet again…”
– from Dennis Wilson’s “Farewell My Friend”, 1977

I had just shot my first deer the fall of my senior year in high school. The hunters gathered around to hear my story and give chase. Enter the Kahuna – who quickly settled me down (as well as the anxious bow hunters) and set into motion a plan to track and surround the deer so it wouldn’t venture too far into the woods. Once a small group of hunters had encircled the deer – it hadn’t run more than a hundred yards or so – they were to wait for Kenny’s command to move in. I took up my position and Kenny walked up, kneeling down beside me. He started asking me questions – where did I think I hit the deer, how far a shot was it, was it doe or a buck. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and gently said, “I want you to know the deer is not suffering, Jeffrey. We’ll just give it a few minutes and see what happens, OK?” A tender moment…which gave me more insight into the man behind “the Kahuna”.

Over the years I’ve learned much about hunting from my father, brother, Uncle Fran, Cousin Gerry, Dave, Bruce, Gary, Rick, other hunters in our party – and, of course, Kenny. My time with him was spent not only pursuing deer with bow and arrow – we laughed, joked, broke bread, swapped stories, talked about life and my interests outside of hunting. Once we got back to the actual hunt, Kenny switched into “Kahuna-mode”, receiving the respect which he was so deserving of. For above all, Kenny was a teacher. A taskmaster when it came to the hunt, but one of the kindest, gentlest souls I’ve ever met and unselfish to the core. I have the deepest respect for many of the men I hunt with and I am fortunate to know many great men. But the mold was broken with Kenny. Though he has passed from this life, in truth – Kenny will always be with us. From the smell of the earth beneath our feet, to the sound of an arrow whizzing through the air, or the cry of a hunter as a deer is spotted, Though he will not be seen – Kenny’s presence will be felt. The camaraderie we share during future hunts – and within our daily lives – will continue and most certainly reflect Ken’s lasting influence. On Thanksgiving Day, as I was saying goodbye to my family, my father – a man of few words – yelled after me, “Say a prayer for Kenny.” And, of course, I did.

“…I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.”

– excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “To A Stranger”, Leaves of Grass

What an honor it has been to be your friend and share so many moments in Nature with you, Kenny. I wish you Godspeed. You have my deepest admiration and love. May every arrow I launch fly true, and be in your memory, Kahuna.

Love, Jeffrey

(Above:  Brother Jason, Ken and me. Mid 1990's.) For more picture of Kenny and the men who loved him dearly, click on READ MORE!

Mauston Bow Hunt - 2006. Left to right: Kenny, Bill Dudi, Bill Prouka, Greg Pilot, Cousin Gerry Kraus, Brother Jason, Dad in foreground.

Mauston Bow Hunt 2006. Dad & Kenny.

Mauston Bow Hunt. December 1985. Left to right: Gary Schmidt (kneeling), me, Cousin Gerry Krause, Kenny, Jason, Big Jerry Graham, Uncle Fran Ircink.

Mauston Bow Hunt - 1988. Left to right: Daryl (Kenny's brother-in-law), Kenny, Ken's grandson Andy, Dave Hranicka, Dad.

Mauston Bow Hunt. Ken with Brother Jas. 1990, plus or minus?

The Kahuna telling a bowhunt story at the Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2010.

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2010. Uncle Fran and Kenny.

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2010. Kenny and Uncle Fran.

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2010. Kenny's van. If you know Kenny, need I say more? ;)

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2010. Dad and Kenny.

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2011. Left to right: Kenny, Ted Witorek & wife, Bill Dudi, Dad and Brother Jas.

Rendevous camping trip in Mauston, October 2011. Brother Jason and Kenny.

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