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Cat Tales: July 2012

Posted on 31 July 2012 by brett

Pearl Jam Prague Finale

Pearl Jam Prague Finale

The Pearl Jam show in Prague was so inspiring that we decided to spontaneously follow the 10 Club to Berlin for two more shows. It did help that our new PJ friends (Dave & Lauren) offered their hospitality in Istanbul if we joined the parade. And, just when things were getting exciting….. we met our favorite guitarist Mike McCready at the Prague rail station. What an amazing guy traveling like a normal dude with his friends and family.

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

Mike McCready at Praha Train Station

In hindsight, I wish I had told Mike about my friend Kevin. I vividly remember our sophomore year at the University of Maryland listening to Mike’s side project “Mad Season”. Kevin loved the “Above” album and always wanted to play it along with Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains Unplugged. Mad Season is up there with some of my favorite albums of all time. The band consisted of Layne Staley (Alice in Chains), Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees), a friend of Staley’s from drug rehab and of course Mike on lead guitar. Like Kevin, Mike had alcohol abuse issues…. but fortunately was able to turn his life around. I wish I could say the same for Kevin and think about him everyday. We badly wanted Pearl Jam to play “Release” in Kevin’s memory. Continue Reading

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Auschwitz-Birkenau German Nazi Experience

Posted on 07 July 2012 by brett

The Children of Auschwitz, Birkenau Camp

The Children of Auschwitz, Birkenau Camp

I had the chance to visit Krakow, Poland and the “Auschwitz” concentration/extermination camps in 2004. My visit to Poland was for business and I was petrified to see what happened there between 1940 and 1945 (the Soviet liberation). Our last minute trip to Berlin, Germany made it possible to reverse a past regret. On the way to Zdiar, Slovakia we spent a few days around Krakow and Auschwitz.

To summarize our experience, Auschwitz is a place everyone should see. Yes, it is unimaginably sad and gruesome….. but, at the same time a valuable reminder of how dangerous the world can be. Believe it or not, these Nazi Germany crimes happened less than 70 years ago. Operated by the Third Reich during WWII, Auschwitz was the largest death camp where 1.1 million of the 6 million European Jews were killed. Continue Reading

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