Have you noticed that I look a bit different lately? I’m growing my moustache for 30 days and it’s not just a bold fashion statement. I’m doing it to raise funds for the Movember Foundation, and I need your support:

I’m supporting the Movember Foundation because they’re tackling some of the most significant health issues faced by men. Your donations will help them stop men dying too young.

There are two ways you can contribute to my Mo growing effort:
Donate online at

Or, write a check to ‘Movember’ referencing my registration ID (12702305) and mail it to: Movember, P.O. Box 1595, Culver City, CA 90232

Learn about the important work Movember is funding and the impact your donation will have:

There’s a lot riding on this moustache, so thank you. I appreciate your support.

Mo Bro Eric Stahl

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Missed the shot

A few weeks ago I was traveling through northern Arkansas for an off road event in Hot Springs Arkansas. This year, like years past, I was enamored by the cotton harvest in process and “burns” they do on the fields afterward.

The air was still… and for miles around my truck in all directions there were columns of smoke rising into the air. The hue of the sky was a orange and pink tone with the oncoming sunset. It was beautiful, in an industrial “slash and burn” kind of way.

As I was driving next to fields of cotton that were ready to be harvested… Rows of little plants with white polka dots sat dutifully waiting their eventual fate. The visual of the white speckled crop against the tinted skyline was striking, and I wanted to pull over and take some pictures.

But I didn’t! I was in a hurry to get to my destination… I was sure that I would not find a photo that would capture the moment anyway.

I wish I would have stopped and I regret that decision still. Lesson learned… Stop and take the picture if you see something interesting.

Tonight… I took this picture on Broadway near Tremont. It wasn’t quit what I wanted… moments earlier, I had a view of the tractors working the fields and thought it could be a cool against the horizon. I perfectly timed it wrong as the tractors disappeared behind the hedge row. This picture would have more ideal if you could see tractors kicking up the dust as they turn over the dry, harvested fields. I stopped and took the time to snap a few pic’s though… And I am happy I did.

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Lyrics to live by

I want to write a review of the amazing The The concert I saw this past weekend… But time is a premium right now. If I get a chance, I’ll comeback and redo this.

Of all the greatness of the show… The most beautiful moment was the last few verses of the song Lonely Planet.

I’m in love with the planet I’m standing on

I can’t stop

I can’t stop thinking of

All the people I’ve ever loved

All the people I have lost

All the people I’ll never know

All the feelings I’ve never shown.

The world’s too big. And life’s too short.

To be alone…To be alone.

The concert was a lifetime goal for me… As I have never seen Matt or the band live. Which, if you know me, seems odd that I would have missed them at all.

The song selections on the set list that led up to these final words quoted above had ripped through a bevy of emotions. Ultimately, Johnson’s wisdom and understanding of the world and the shades of light and darkness everyman carries were fully represented. While I never want a concert to end, especially this one… if it had too, I am not sure that any song could close it better.

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Obituary Writing 101

Scott’s obituary was posted at…  This is how you do it…  Blaze of glory.  Good job Scott. 

Scott Sutton Charleston – Scott Eldon Sutton, 47, of Charleston, South Carolina died, Thursday, August 23, 2018, after a short, brave battle with cancer. He was born on May 11, 1971 in Huntington, Indiana to Andrew and Nancy (Zinsmeister) Sutton. He graduated from University of Illinois (Champaign) and had a rewarding career in retail management. He described himself as a bungie jumpin, para-sailing, Harley ridin, parachutin, scuba diving, jeep driving, “going Mach 3 with my hair on fire kind of guy.” Scott is survived by his wife Jennifer, children: Andrew, Nick and Lauren; his mother, brother: Doug (Mary); sister: Allison, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was proceeded in death by his father. The family will receive friends from 2 pm to 4 pm on August 28, 2018, at McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412. The Celebration of Life will follow from 4 pm to 5 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Hospice of Charleston. Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted to www. Arrangements entrusted to McAlister-Smith Funeral and Cremation, James Island , 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412, 843-614-8494.

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Maxwell Perkins… Ya got a minute?

Maxwell Perkins.  Never heard of him?  Neither had I until I did a quick search.

I am embarrassed at some of my writing.  I sit back and write a few hundred words…  Then hit “publish”…  Only to come back a day (or hour) later and see the glaring mistakes.  It was extra painful this week when I posted the previous article “The Race” and went back later after I shared it.  Ugh.  About 10 fixes later I felt better about it being read by strangers… Worse yet… Alumni that are probably doing more with their education at PCHS than myself.  Based on my report cards…  Mrs. Ward was unimpressed with my work in her classes (multiple!), and I am sure my current work, while easier to read than my handwriting in 10th grade, (“I have some poems on restlessness in my binder, ya want to see them?”) is equally filled with cringworthy mistakes and grammar.

Thanks to ubiquitous tech… Spelling is no longer the problem.  Its the grammar.  I know the difference between There/Their/They’re… But sometimes you get carried away with the sentence and the rules are left in the dust of the moment.  Another one that gets me is Pronouns.  Writing in a passive voice always makes me feel like I am writing for a congregation…  Writing in first person makes me feel like a Penthouse forum letter.  (Shame on you if you get that)

It led me to ask…  “Did Hemingway have an editor?”  (yeah… I just did that… I loosely associated Hemingway’s craft with this blog!)  Thats where Perkins name came up.  Apparently Papa, F. Scott and many others relied on Perkins’ judgement to strip down stories to fit the space allotted.

I need that guy!  I have a 2000 word article on replacing a viscous cooling fan clutch just sitting in my google docs because I dont want to submit it before its thoroughly cleaned and made readable!  Also…It would help if I could find a video editor…  I have hours and hours of video from our trail team trips that need to be chopped and made view-able.

The gig economy offers some assistance with the bonus of being a international exchange rate value.  Last year, I paid 15 dollars on Fiverr to edit one of my articles about a Trail Team trip out west.  I think he name was Sven.  Sven reviewed the article…  Said it sounded like a fun trip…  And then ran off with my 15 bucks.  Great work Sven.  I think the adage, you get what you pay for, holds up on any format.  Digital or real-life.

I have also done some wild and crazy stuff like reading newsletters by other bloggers who write about “how to write”.  Free blogger advice.  Again, you get what you pay for???  Who knows.  I enjoy this blog by KL Wightman (see below)… But she might be a pen-name for some dude in Serbia who is just learning English.  (Exaggeration to be sure, but you never know)

Moral of the story…  For you and me…  You get what you pay for!  This is a free blog with nonsensical musings from me.  If I made you pay for it… I’d hire an editor.

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The Race

Today, I lost a fellow classmate from the Prairie Central Class of 1989… Scott Sutton. I will not pretend to tell you that we were close and his untimely death has a strong personal affect on me. Scott and I were acquaintances at best, but I remember always being friendly and sociable towards each other. I graduated from a class of 120 students… And those four years we spent together in High School along with extra-circular sports lay a lot of foundation for the rest of your life. It’s impossible to say his character or personality didn’t stick around somewhere in my head all these years later.

On May 16th of this year, Scott posted on Facebook that he had been diagnosed with Colon Cancer. I, at that time, and even today, have very little knowledge of what that diagnosis meant. I heard some people say that it’s a bad thing… But I really didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. Even yesterday when I got a message from another classmate about his hospitalization for pneumonia… I assumed it was a complication and that he would get past this battle. He’s didn’t.

Again… I didn’t know his life beyond HS. A quick online serarch showed me that he had some children.  Those kids left behind are the saddest part for me. Youth is hard enough without this handicap. Battling through school, wrestling with love and an impending adulthood are a lot easier to deal with when you have a Father to look too. I hope Scott’s kids have more family to help guide and love them as they work out the tragedy that has wreaked havoc on their lives.

The further I get into my life and away from those roots back in Fairbury it should be easier to distance myself from emotions over a lost acquaintance. You would think that anyway. It’s not the case.  They are troubling feelings.  This is not a race… Life is not a competition… But man, if it were… Its gotta be rigged or I certainly don’t understand the rules. If I were putting my money on the “horses” in the beginning of this race called “Life”, I would think the odds for a horse like Scott would have been 1:1 to have a long, full and healthy life. I don’t get it!

Rest In Peace Scott… You got a bum horse… I will be thinking about how unfair this is for a long time.

As I wrote that last bit, I thought “that sounds a little callous and it’s not sensitive to peoples feelings”. F*ck that… He was robbed. I am not ashamed to say it out loud. 47 is too young. Leaving kids to grow up without a Dad sucks. Dying within months of diagnosis is even more insult. He and everyone else who succumbs to crap like this deserve better.

God bless dude. I hope you had the time to sort everything out and come to terms with it. You deserved more of everything.

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Warren Dunes – In the water

I had to come back to Warren Dunes for a second trip this year…  This time with the family.

Here is a video of a few shorts stitched together from the Canon D10.

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Warren Dunes Sunset – 8.4.18

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Alaska Photos

This is not everything…  But its an album I started.  I have more pics and videos I will share in this directory.

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Throwin’ Wrenches

A few of you might already know this… But I figured it was anouncement worthy…

I am working with local radio celebrity, Daryl Scott, on an automotive centered podcast.  The show is called Throwin’ Wrenches and is available on iTunes and Stitcher. We have two solid episodes released and are getting ready to record a new one in the next week.  

Let me tell you a little about my co-host.  I first grew to know Daryl from hearing his velvet tones on the local NPR station in Peoria.  His voice was synonymous with that steady and relaxed style that I expect from public radio. We have also known each other through various groups around town in Peoria.  Most notably, the Peoria Craft Beer Nerds. Daryl has a fully tuned pallet that can appreciate a craft beer as much as I do. Daryl is also a regular in the Central Illinois car scene.  You will always find him at Cars & Coffee or Friday Night Lights with one or two of his classic cars. (He has more cars than me I think) The dude is like rainman when it comes to old cars.  Its crazy!

This snowball started with some joint recording experiences with Dustin over at Drunken Lullabies.  (The more frequent Tazewell County Beer Podcaster)  After a few episodes I asked Daryl if he would want to do a Car-Centric show. I was met with quick and enthusiastic “yes”.  

That gets you to up to date.  

The show is still growing and changing.  We have some segments set in place. Our Elon Musk segment has started to grow legs.  Also, we are going to improve some audio settings thanks to Daryl’s professionally attuned ear.  

I welcome everyone to check it out.  Like the Facebook page and follow along on Apple Podcasts.  (Still working on Android) Also, we would love feedback. It helps us improve the show!  It’s going to be a fun ride to see where this goes!

This is not a Beer Report related podcast.  Dan and I still have that (When we have time to record!), No one can ever replace the CHUD!  And I never want to stop doing Beer Reports!

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