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The author with Mean Gene.
The author with Mean Gene.

Meeting Mean Gene

I won’t lie to you: I know nothing about the current state of professional wrestling. But from 1983 to 1989, from about age 9 to 15, I was a huge fan. So big, in fact, that I wrote a fan letter to WWF announcer "Mean" Gene Okerlund.

He never replied, and today, I had the chance to ask him why. Okerlund is in town this weekend for the SuperFriends Fan Fest at the Days Inn & Suites Airport location.

Mean Gene and I sat down before the event to chat. Here’s how it went down:

Featuring modified lyrics ...
Featuring modified lyrics ...

#tbt: Five Card Studs cover "Hello Milwaukee"

As today’s the wonderfully-made up "414 Day," or "Milwaukee Day," depending on who you talk to – it’s a sexy day to look back at this excellent video from 2014 by the Five Card Studs.

I love these guys, both in person and in character – they played my wedding in 2004, and I’m pretty sure you won’t regret spending two minutes and 11 seconds of time to watch this.

Here’s their modified lounge-y take on the 1977 "Hello Milwaukee" theme from Channel 12.

This one’s for the ladies …

Ready for a loooooong season?
Ready for a loooooong season? (Photo: David Bernacchi)

Dear Brewers, we need to take a little break

I’m sitting here on Opening Day, in the first row of the press box at Miller Park, and it’s quiet. Too quiet.

I mean, I can hear the fans in the ventilation over the sound of stands in this not-sold-out stadium. Apparently, other people here are rolling their eyes in the fifth inning (or they’re passed out).

But let me back up. I didn’t go to Arizona to cover the Brewers' Spring Training / get tan on the berm, for the first time in 18 years. When the front office blew up this team last year, I didn’t take it well. Partially because it came a year late and partially because they came across desperate to dump everyone at any cost.

Understand that I’ve been following the Brewers closely since 1993. I sat through horrendous teams in the 1990s and early 2000s, still supporting them at games where fewer than 6,000 fans would be on hand with me. Back when you could heckle and the players would hear you.

Then, the Brewers got kinda good, and everyone was a fan again. Doug Melvin drained the farm system and give his teams a shot. They came so close in 2011. But it didn’t work out, and we wound up with a bloated team of guys who didn’t really want to be in Milwaukee.

So here we are. An astounding 12 guys out of the 25-man roster are brand new. And, because I barely paid attention to the Brewers this spring, I have no idea who they are.

I’m not really taking the season off. Nothing is finer than the sweet sounds of Bob Uecker on the radio on a hot summer day, or a late-night West Coast game on TV long after you should’ve gone to bed. Or right now, sitting in the best seat in the house … "working."

But I will be a little more hands-off this season. I probably won’t live or die with the wins and losses, the latter of which will be ample. People tell me to be excited about this rebuild. I remain skeptically open to the possibility that they might be right.

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What's missing from the quirky Milwaukee list? Organ Piper Pizza? Koz's?
What's missing from the quirky Milwaukee list? Organ Piper Pizza? Koz's? (Photo: WikiCommons)

Atlas Obscura looks at quirky Milwaukee

I’m a big fan of Atlas Obscura, a website that calls itself "the definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places." And it does a good job.

Yesterday, it took a look at Milwaukee and its 12 quirky treasures.

Of course, it began with the requisite beer and bowling talk ("Wisconsin's largest city is brewing a lot more than beer"), but then got pretty detailed.

I especially like its recognition of the Kingdom of Talossa and the Stemper Co. nod. I haven’t even heard of their number 7 except for Bobby's article, the Chudnow Museum of Yesteryear.

The Bronze Fonz and Safe House mentions were a little obvious, but overall, I think this is a good list. You?

Here are couple more of my favorites (includes some a bit outside city limits) to get you thinking:

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

Best Halloween display in Milwaukee? #bayview #zombies #halloween

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

I'm telling you: the authorities should be looking for the escaped prison guys at this barn in Oostburg.

A video posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

Hello, old friend.

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

I mean, I'm a fun guy, but ...

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

I'm just here for the gummies. And maybe some cheese.

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

Should I stop and check?

A photo posted by Andy Tarnoff (@andytarnoff) on

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