life Media sports

Jansky SFG Artwork


Last last summer after John Jansky completed my “Playoff Beard Art“, I asked him about doing something with my Souza Financial Group logo.  John delivered the finished product to my office today.  It is awesome!

Besides the great colors, John was able to incorporate my passions.

First and foremost in the center of it all is my family.  Next up is the Blackhawks behind the “SFG”.  Next is the Cleveland Indians.  The maroon represents my schools; DHS & SIU. The outermost ring is of course my business.

John absolutely nailed it.  The gallery below has all photos.   I will be IMG_5516hanging this in my office this week,  if you would like to stop by and see it.

To see more of John’s art, check out his Facebook page and website.









Top 25 for 2012

You guys should know the story by now. Every year I reset the song count on my iTunes, and share with you the top 25 songs that I listened to last year.

I almost cut and pasted 2011’s list and write up.  Rather than just Guster & Dispatch making the list, I added a little Jason Mraz and Mac Miller.  Wait, who? Mac Miller?

I told you my Guster & Dispatch stories last year, so let’s give you some insight to the others on the list: Jason Mraz, Mac Miller & Christina Perri.  I was also very pleased to find that Guster and Jason Mraz appeared on “Live at Daryl’s House” with Daryl Hall.

Jason Mraz

Mraz concert in IndyJason is one of the most talented artists that I know.  For me, he’s got one of the best outlooks on life and that’s reflected in his songs.  He made the comment one time that he writes songs about people in his life that he loves and are special to him.  That way when he’s performing those songs, he gets to have those people with him when he’s on the road.  I went to see him again this year in Indy.  (Christina Perri made the list as she was the opening act in Indy.)  If you doubt that he’s got some powerful songs, check out his appearance on VH1’s Storytellers.

Mac Miller
How did this song get on the list.  Well, let me tell you.  Last year the HBO had the 24/7 Show “Road to the Winter Classic” featuring the Washington Capitals & the Philadelphia Flyers.  This song was the Flyers victory song and they played it on a few episodes and it stuck in my head. So, I bought it and somewhere along the way it became a song for Truce & I.  It fell to #16 by year end, but it was number 1 for most of the year.

See you next year.

Name Artist Album
1 Never or Now Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
2 We Hold a Gun Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
3 Josaphine Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
4 Circles Around the Sun Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
5 G Major Guster Satellite
6 Flag Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
7 Feels So Good Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
8 You Fckn Did It (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
9 One Man Wrecking Machine Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
10 Keep It Together Guster Keep It Together
11 Rise & Shine Guster Satellite
12 The Woman I Love (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
13 I Never Knew You (Live) Jason Mraz Live Is a Four Letter Word – EP
14 Come to Me Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
15 Lightning Rod Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
16 Knock Knock Mac Miller Knock Knock – Single
17 Get Ready Boy Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
18 Sign of the Times Dispatch Circles Around the Sun
19 Timothy Leary Guster Satellite
20 I’m Through Guster Satellite
21 What Mama Say (Live) Jason Mraz Life is Good – EP
22 Satellite (The Astronauts Remix) Guster Satellite
23 Two Of Us (Live At KCRW) Guster Satellite
24 Satellite Guster Ganging Up On The Sun
25 Distance (w/Jason Mraz) Christina Perri Lovestrong


Media Writing

Ken Burns on Storytelling

When I was in college, the Ken Burns baseball series was on PBS.  My best friend’s mom recorded every episode for us on VHS.  Being the big baseball fan that I am, I have watched it several times.

I love a good story.  Stories are what bring us closer.  We share in ups and downs and can be moved, shocked or disgusted at the ending.  There are bad stories and great stories.  In this short video, Ken Burns talks about the art of telling stories.  Enjoy.
Media Music

Top 25 on the iTunes Playlist 2011

Every year, I try to share the top 25 songs on my iTunes. I then reset it for the next year.

I gotta tell ya, this has been a boring year for me musically. Only 2 artists made the list: Guster and Dispatch (Chadwick Stokes is a spin off from Dispatch, so I’m not counting him).

It’s not a shock that Guster has come in taking up the top 4 spots. Guster is great music for playing while at work or putting the headphones on while working on the computer. I was introduced to Guster by a friend of mine, Paul (PJ). We caught common ground when I was playing State Radio the first time we met and he bought me “Guster on Ice“. I was hooked. I have since bought the entire catalog. They remain the last of the bands that I like that I need to see live. I have a “Best of Guster” (link goes to Spotify) playlist that I made up and it’s my go-to when I don’t want to search for music. The Guster station on Pandora is also a regular play for me.

They own this year’s Top 25, taking 13 of the spots.  I think what I like best about Guster is that they don’t have one particular sound.  So while I look like I need to branch out and listen to other kinds of music, they have such a diverse sound that I feel like I’m listening to different groups.

Ahhhh, Dispatch. Taking up the other 12 spots on my Top 25 is Dispatch.  Chad, Pete & Bradigan did me the courtesy of going back out on tour together this past year.  I was able to see them in Millenium Park this past June. If you don’t know the history of Dispatch, Wikipedia tells all. Mark put me onto Dispatch a few years back, but alas, they had already broken up.  They have been Top 25 regulars for the past few years.  Great band, great harmonies, great live show.

Dispatch is one of bands that you hope will go on forever.  They can do all their solo projects, then come back together every couple of years and throw an EP or new music on us.  I’m cool with that.  They are hinting at another album for 2012, so we will see.

There you have it, the top 25 songs played in my iTunes for 2011.  The full list is below in all it’s glory.  I have reset the playlist count and 2012 is a fresh slate.  (FYI, the first other artist was Led Zepplin’s D’Yer Mak’er at #26)


Name Artist Album Count
1 Keep It Together Guster Keep It Together 67
2 Lightning Rod Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 51
3 One Man Wrecking Machine Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 51
4 Jesus & Mary Guster Easy Wonderful (Deluxe Edition) 48
5 Flying Horses Dispatch Silent Steeples 47
6 Satellite Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 47
7 Hercules Guster Easy Wonderful (Deluxe Edition) 42
8 Jesus On The Radio Guster Keep It Together 41
9 Hey, Hey Dispatch Silent Steeples 40
10 Questioned Apocalypse Dispatch Silent Steeples 40
11 Manifest Destiny Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 40
12 Broken American Dispatch Dispatch – EP 39
13 The Captain Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 37
14 New Underground Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 36
15 Two At A Time Guster Keep It Together 36
16 Con Man Dispatch Dispatch – EP 35
17 Homecoming King Guster Keep It Together 35
18 Steeples Dispatch Silent Steeples 34
19 Hang On Guster Ganging Up On The Sun 34
20 Water Stop Dispatch Silent Steeples 33
21 Mayday Dispatch Silent Steeples 33
22 Melon Bend Dispatch Dispatch – EP 32
23 Coffee and Wine (Bonus Track) Chadwick Stokes Simmerkane II (Bonus Track Version) 30
24 Past the Falls Dispatch Silent Steeples 30
25 Elias Dispatch Silent Steeples 30


Media TV

My “Lost” Journey

LostLogo_.jpgI took a different angle on the TV show “Lost” than most. I had heard for years how great Lost was and heard online of all the discussions as to what the island was (or was not). After a couple of seasons, I ordered the season 1 disks from Blockbuster. I watched the first couple of disks, thought it was great. The next set of disks was backlogged and I eventually lost interest in getting them.

Fast-forward to 2 months ago. Knowing that the show as in it’s last season, I decided to watch the entire series to get caught up before the finale. So, starting in March and through April, about every spare moment of my time was spent watching lost. It took about 6-weeks, but I got all caught up by the end of April. That was about 115 episodes (yes, I watched season 1 again). It was only about 14 hours a week, easily done when you wake up at 5am and can watch 3 episodes before going to work.

The Good & The Bad

The Good – I didn’t have to wait a week to see what was going to happen. I could just fire up the next episode. I think it was much easier to watch it this way. It was simple to track characters, know was recently happened, and reference past events.

The Bad – I was not able to participate in the discussion from week-to-week. I know that much of the fun of Lost has come from plotting out theories, developing story lines and such. I’m sad that I didn’t get to take part in all that for the past 6 years. Much of the fun for the past 6 weeks has been talking to fellow Losties about their theories.

Another “bad” was the fact that watching lost this was is a lot to take in. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of shit going on. I had a couple of weekends that I watched a marathon amount of shows and developed a headache.

So, that, my friends is how I got to be a Lostie. I will be back later with my thoughts on the show itself.