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This is an archive collection of entries from  my main personal blog, My Mundane Mid-Life.

This collection of entries is from July 2002.

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Wednesday, July 31, 2002

One less pitcher

Chicago White Sox
The Fire Sale continues... though I didn't see this one coming. The Chicago White Sox have acquired minor league pitchers Frankie Francisco and Byeong Hak An from Boston in exchange for right-hander Bob Howry and cash considerations. They're sending both new guys to Class A Winston-Salem. OK, I don't like this move, but boy we're sure stockpiling pitchers throughout the farm system. Thank God the trade deadline has passed (4pm ET today for players to be traded without going through the waiver process).

posted at 06:48 PM | Link | White Sox |
Dry

Another nail in the coffin: I called today to file my bi-weekly unemployment claim. The automated system didn't tell me when my next call date is - a sure sign that the benefits have run out for the last time. Crap.

posted at 01:36 PM | Link | Unemployment |
What am I going to do?

Well, I think Carol and I finally hit the wall. I've been unemployed 14 months tomorrow. Finances have now gotten "dire", and I don't have a clue on what to do. I'm starting to work with some resume writing companies to try and re-work this monster and get a bit noticed. My online job searching hasn't changed - there's still a lack of opportunities out there in my field. I know the stress of all this has gotten to Carol - she has no idea how bad it's been for me. So, what now? Change careers? To what??? Try a menial temporary job just to keep afloat? I hate this economy and what it's done to my industry - significant cutbacks and bankruptcies have flooded the market with people for a handful of jobs. This sucks, and I'm getting scared.

posted at 09:32 AM | Link | Unemployment | 3 comments |

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

The Mole 2 - Episode 12

The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal
No execution, because this is it. It's the final three: Heather, Dorothy and Bill. The group all failed the Three Questions challenge, the same game from last year. (BTW, where do they find all of these empty towns in Italy?) The final challenge was brutal, with Bill coming in all bloody as the winner of the challenge, and even adding $100,000 to the pot for not reading the Mole's dossier. Of course, I believe Bill didn't need to read it because I think he's the Mole. Heather had it the worst - frustrated at her situation, frustrated with the crew that was shooting her not talking to her or giving her any information, and then saying she was quitting. Then the crew piped-up, and wanted to understand to what extent she was "quitting the game" when all of a sudden, out of the pitch blackness of the nighttime woods, something that sounded like a wild boar charged them and they had to scramble to safety. The final pot is up to $636,000. All three took the final quiz together - 20 questions that went all the way back to day one of the game. Next week - all of the contestants come back together and the Winner and The Mole are revealed.

posted at 09:06 PM | Link | The Mole |

Monday, July 29, 2002

Missed me! Nya nya-nya nya nya!

Whew! That asteroid that I mentioned last week looks like will miss the Earth after all - but they're not sure about February 1, 2060 yet.

posted at 09:54 PM | Link | Space |
One less catcher

Chicago White Sox
Can you say "Fire Sale!!!"??? Thursday, the White Sox traded away Ray Durham to Oakland. Yesterday, they traded away Kenny Lofton to the Giants. Today, the Sox are in Cooperstown to play in the Hall of Fame exhibition game against the Rockies. So, while they were there, they traded Sandy Alomar Jr. to the Rockies for minor league pitcher Enemencio Pacheco. Let's see... three veterans for: RHP Jon Adkins Class Triple-A Sacramento, LHP Ryan Meaux Class A Hagerstown, RHP Felix Diaz Class AA Shreveport, RHP Enemencio Pacheco Class A Salem. We get 2 Class A's, a Class AA, and a Class AAA. Jeez. I heard that Joe Crede is getting called-up, which may mean that they may be trying to move Jose Valentin or Royce Clayton. Great. Josh Paul gets called-up to take Sandy's place.

posted at 03:38 PM | Link | White Sox |
Big Brother 3 - Day 23

Big Brother 3
Let's see, what can I tell you about what's going on in the house... Eric won Power of Veto and didn't use it, Marcellas won the America's Choice Private Dinner, which was held in the Diary Room, and he invited and Amy as his guest. Lisa was bitten on her ass by a spider, and now Eric is worried because she was nauseous and may have been seeing things last night, and may be delirious. She saw the doctor, said it was a bite, and that she may get a fever and it should swell a bit for a couple of days. Hew drew some blood for testing anyway. One piece that I saw Saturday night that will NEVER be broadcast on CBS: the girls sitting out in the backyard at a seminar being held by Lisa. Topic? Her guaranteed method of oral stimulation of a man's... well, I don't want to say exactly here because I don't wont a ton of hits from Google from people looking for Porn! The next night, a piece that probably will be aired - Lisa, Danielle, and Chiara on the hammock being all giggly about the bodies of Roddy and Eric as they were throwing around Marcellas's rubber ducks (using the International rules for Championship Duck Tossing...). Oh, there were quite a few people with bad dreams and nightmares last night, including Lisa who dreamt that Eric was throwing her through the walls of their bedroom.

posted at 01:26 PM | Link | Reality TV |

Sunday, July 28, 2002

White Sox 4 - Royals 2

Chicago White Sox Kansas City Royals Today's promotion: Carton Fisk bobblehead dolls sponsored by Dominick's and Pepsi Something Sox fans don't see - long lines two hours before the game Janie poses with her Pudge bobblehead Keeping cool in the Stadium Club
It was going to be a hot one today, and it's back to Comiskey. I mean hot, like reports of a heat index around 105. We have to get to Comiskey early today, because of the giveaway - Carlton Fisk Bobblehead Dolls. Bobbleheads always draw fans to the park and sure enough today was no exception. Two hours before the game the parking lots are almost full and there are lines all around the outside of the park. We had called Janie and had her meet us outside the Stadium Club entrance - we were not going to kill ourselves sitting outside, so it was definitely a day to stay cool in the Club. The disadvantage of being there is that it's hard to keep track of the game - it's noisy, smokey and you just feel "disconnected". After the game, I looked up at the scoreboard and saw a graphic that I don't ever remember seeing - animation of a broom sweeping. Yes, the Sox had swept the series against the Royals 4-2. Nothing really special happened during the game. Sometime after the game, the Sox traded Kenny Lofton to the Giants for minor league pitchers Felix Diaz and Ryan Meaux. So, the fire sale continues...

posted at 09:42 PM | Link | White Sox | 2 comments |

Saturday, July 27, 2002

White Sox 9 - Royals 1

Chicago White Sox Kansas City Royals The happy couple George and Becky The bridal party taking pictures at the top of the section Congratulations on the scoreboard A hot night at the ballpark Tonight's promotion: Fireworks sponsored by Miller Lite
Driving to Comiskey today was rough - there was a ton of traffic because of Venetian Night at the lakefront. It was a hot night - game time temperature was 90, but the official box score said 84. After the bottom of the first inning, we're sitting in our seats and we head this hearing and applause coming from the top of the next section over. We turn around to see... a bride and groom walking down the aisle! Their whole bridal party was there, parents, everybody. The bride still had her bouquet, but even though the groom was in his tux, it was topped-off with a Sox baseball cap. Then, in true baseball fan form, the groom sat down next to someone in the next section so that he could fill out his scorecard for the plays he missed in the first inning!!! The game wound-up being a blowout - the Sox won 9-1 over the Royals. Magglio Ordonez had 2 homeruns, Tony Graffanino and Aaron Rowand each had a homerun, and Carlos Lee had 2 doubles. It was our first time seeing Willie Harris. He didn't do much tonight (1 for 4 and an error). But ever since he joined the team, they're doing well (they won 10-2 last night). Coincidence?

posted at 11:41 PM | Link | White Sox |
Carol's 70th (not that Carol)

Carol's Brthday Cake Donated toys for Toys For Tots (minus the keyboard) Carol's daughter-in-law Patty, husband John, and son Terry
This morning, we went to a 70th birthday party of our "Penalty Box Police" buddy, Carol. It was held at a banquet hall in Des Plaines, and the bar opened at 11 am. We didn't know what to expect, but we hooked-up with some of our other Chicago Wolves buddies and we had a great time. Carol asked that, in lieu of presents, to bring donations for Toys for Tots. By the time everybody showed-up, there was a mound of toys, including 2 bikes. The lunch was good, and afterward, Carol's son entertained with music and singing. Actually, it was weird because he was singing a bunch of songs from the 60's and 70's and I knew the lyrics to every single song. It's amazing that the human brain can store that crap for such a long period of time only to be able to spew it out accurately decades later. After the entrainment, Carol & I had to make tracks out of there to go home, change, and get on the road to Comiskey.

posted at 11:37 PM | Link | Friends |
Does your weblog own you?
31.25 %

My weblog owns 31.25 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?
posted at 10:54 PM | Link | Stupid Quizzes |
They're alive!!!

Oh my God...
I'll tell you about my day at another time, but I'm watching CNN and Reuters is reporting all 9 miners trapped in the mine in Pennsylvania since Wednesday ARE ALIVE!!! How cool is this!!!

posted at 10:27 PM | Link | Current Events |

Friday, July 26, 2002

Big Brother 3 - Day 21

Big Brother 3
Quick update on the live feeds: The houseguests got a Mexican dinner last night, sometime after 10pm their time. It was the first real meal for half the household that was eating PB&J for the week. There was a food challenge early this morning (CBS woke them up at 8am which, for them, is unheard of) which they won, so there's new food for them for the week. They had a Subway six foot sandwich for lunch, after the challenge. Roddy nominated Amy and Marcellas for eviction. Both of them threatened to walk out later in the day, but I belive it took the producers to turn them around while the two of them were in the Diary Room. Here's another twist - Josh went to Gerry to discuss a "coalition" for the next week or two.

posted at 08:58 PM | Link | Reality TV |
Meatloafing

Indy pretending to be a meatloaf
Indy was looking cute again this afternoon. I had to post another pic. She's being a brat, though, and will be spending a bit more time in her condo tonight.

posted at 05:50 PM | Link | Bunnies |
Fresh concrete

Mmmmm... fresh concrete... Fresh road, waiting for new traffic How soon is "soon"?
Well, Higgins is looking pretty good, and I'm expecting to have the traffic flipped onto the new concrete in another week or so. The problem - that only signals the halfway mark. Between that and all of the temporary traffic lights along Gold Road, I don't have a clue what the construction people have up their sleeves.

posted at 01:48 PM | Link | Mundane |
Friday 5 - Blogging

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. How long have you had a weblog? Since December 2001. I'm a relative newbie.
2. What was your first post about? Commenting on the first Bowl game of the season - I thought that it was too early
3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one? I've had no name changes. On May 1st I moved off of Blog*Spot over to my own domain.
4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? I'm a Blogger guy. I liked it because it gave you a way to get up and running (with a Blog*Spot blog) in absolutely no time. I'm thinking about Moveable Type, just because of some of the features.
5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? Actually, some of the people that I read have multiple blogs! It doesn't really matter to me - I'm looking for the human connection, trying to figure out who they are. Normally, you can pick that up through journals, but a blog is just as effective.

posted at 12:01 AM | Link | Friday Five |

Thursday, July 25, 2002

One less second baseman

Ray Durham on Fuji Film Photo Day - May 26, 2002
Nooooooooo!!!!! The White Sox traded Ray Durham to Oakland (along with cash!) for minor league pitcher Jon Adkins. They called-up Willie Harris to replace Ray-Ray. Damn. Sounds like GM Kenny Williams is starting to throw in the towel. Ray had the second-longest tenure with the Sox.

posted at 08:44 PM | Link | White Sox |
Big Brother 3 - Day 20

Big Brother 3 Big Brother 3 - Tonya Paoni Big Brother 3 - Tonya Paoni exits the house
In a (somewhat surprising) 5-3 vote, busty Tonya is evicted and Josh is somehow saved for another week. Head Of Household was won by Roddy. A few hours later on the live feeds, Lisa, Eric and Danielle talked about Tonya in not very flattering terms. If what they said was true, than perhaps Tonya needed to go. Chiara, in a moment alone in the HRD (High Rent District - the nickname of the Map Bedroom), cried into her pillows - only to be called into the Diary Room. There is no indication in the first few hours of his reign what Roddy will do for this week's nominations.

posted at 08:09 PM | Link | Reality TV |
Odds to live

I was talking with Barry over lunch about the possible End Of The World in 2019. It sounds like it's higher odds to win the Mega-Millions lottery (1 in 135,145,920) than to get hit by this asteroid in 17 years (1 in 60,000). I'm not feeling too good about this - hopefully the scientific community will be able to take more observations and get better data to make sure that this isn't going to happen. What is interesting, though, is that the National Safety Council (those Green Cross people) have a table - Odds of Death Due to Injury, United States, 1998 - to show the odds of dying by certain events. Did you know that for any given year, there is a 1 in 390,532 chance of dying in an Air or space transport accident?

posted at 03:01 PM | Link | Odd |
Think of the SWAG

I wish I was still employed so that I can reap the benefits of System Administrator Appreciation Day (this Friday)...

posted at 02:45 PM | Link | Odd |
Pay-for Blogging

Wha..? Salon is starting-up a Blog service (using Radio UserLand)? Even a press release...

posted at 02:44 PM | Link | Blogging |
Temp Bach planning

Hmmmm... good fortune...
Had lunch with Barry again today at the Chinese buffet place near his office. Carol is going up to my sister Diane's house up in Michigan next week, and I'll be a bachelor Thursday-Friday-Saturday nights, and Barry & I need to figure out if there's something we can do during that time. Got a good fortune in my fortune cookie, though!

posted at 01:27 PM | Link | Friends | 1 comment |

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Telemarketing scum

I don't know if having software that monitors my Caller ID is a good thing... I had 21 phone calls today at my house - only 1 had a valid Caller ID and that was a call from my mom. I despise telemarketers. Now I need a way to stop these bastards from calling in the first place...

posted at 10:40 PM | Link | Mundane |
Mole 2 - Episode 11 and Big Brother 3 - Day 19

Alright, time to catchup on the Reality Television shows that I watch...

The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal
Al is gone, and we're down to the final three. Poor Al, having to stay in the "Tiny Bubbles" room of Anderson's Fun House is just too much for a mere mortal. The pot is up to $536,000, and now it's just down to Heather, Dorothy and Bill, who I still believe is The Mole. We'll know in two weeks.

Big Brother 3
Danielle didn't use the Power of Veto to try and save Josh or Tonya from possible eviction. I've been watching the live feeds regularly and I can't tell who's leaving tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Tonya. However, there was a big argument between Marcellas, Amy, and Tonya, that was all resolved, but I believe may have shaded the feelings of anybody on the fence in voting and may throw Tonya out. Josh needs to go. Amy needs to go. Eventually, Gerry needs to go, too.
Update: I was watching the live feeds tonight. There was a time when Tonya told Josh her boyfriend's phone number so that he could call him if he gets out of the house. Well, the crew was asleep at the switch and they didn't cut to that infernal Front Of The House camera with the continuous loop of the the theme music. Tonya was told that her boyfriend was getting inundated with phone calls. I think this was a wakeup call that people really are watching the Internet feeds, so they have to start thinking about what they really want to say.

posted at 09:04 PM | Link | The Mole |
911 Virus

I knew this had to happen eventually - somebody wrote a virus specific to the WebTV platform that, when infected, calls 911.

posted at 11:24 AM | Link | Computing |
State of the Union

Great assessment of "the State of the Union" of Weblogging software products at The Microcontent News Blogging Software Roundup.

posted at 11:20 AM | Link | Blogging |
I might have the house paid off by then

"Warning! Warning! Danger Will Robinson!" We have less than 17 years to live! Huh? There's an asteroid that may hit earth on February 1, 2019. It's 2km wide and can obliterate a continent. Party!

posted at 11:16 AM | Link | Space |
There's crying in baseball

Sad. One of the Rockford Peaches, Mildred "Millie'' Deegan, died. If the team sounds familiar, it's because of the 1992 movie "A League of Their Own.''

posted at 11:09 AM | Link | Baseball |

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Penalty Box Police baseball

Alexian Field - home of the Schaumburg Flyers The view from behind the plate View from the 3rd Base side The Flyer's mascot Bearon signing autographs Tonight's promotion: Logo baseballs sponsored by Chipotle Part of the Penalty Box Police group at the game A plane landing at Shaumburg Airport passes over the field Hardly anybody stayed to watch the last at-bat Closing up Alexian Field after the game
Tonight, Carol & I went to the Schaumburg Flyers game with a whole bunch of "Penalty Box Police" friends from the Chicago Wolves games. The park is just a few miles from the house, so it's easy to get there (it also shares the Metra train station parking lot). the Flyers are part of the independent Northern League (which means there's no affiliation with Major League Baseball). The Flyers lost to the Joliet Jackhammers 9-3. It was a long, boring game. The Flyers stank. Period. It was cool, though, to see a certain rookie pitch - Tommy John III - grandson of Tommy John. Cool. The Jackhammer's manager/DH was Matt Nokes, who played for the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees. Other than that, a bunch of no names going nowhere. They just love to play the game. The crowd was somewhat small - 4,168. Hardly anybody stayed until the end - the Flyers were just getting whipped and the game was a bit long (3:12). The first 3 innings took about and hour and 10 minutes. But, it was a nice facility and it was fun seeing the Wolves gang again. We'll be going to another game next month with people from Carol's work. Hopefully it'll have a better outcome. (Box score)

posted at 10:41 PM | Link | Flyers |
Shoot the helicopter

If you saw a helicopter landing in your neighborhood, would you panic and do this?

posted at 11:56 AM | Link | Odd | 1 comment |
Welcome to the 21st Century

Hey! NPR finally got the message about linking to their website! The old policy was a bit archaic, and did nothing to help promote the web the way it is meant to be. The new policy seems to be more in-line with protecting their material but letting the web link to the material (no frames!)

posted at 11:50 AM | Link | Internet |
Blogging articles

More Blogging articles popping up, like at Information Week - Are You Blogging Yet?, a small mention in what's right with America in The Lights That Didn't Fail at the Wall Street Journal, The trees fight back at The Economist, Blogs helping cartoonists draw a bigger audience at the San Jose Mercury News, and Using Blogs in Business at Blogroots.

posted at 11:47 AM | Link | Blogging |

Monday, July 22, 2002

Cute bunny

Indy trying to snooze in front of the couch Indy just being snoozy Whoa! Back that thing up! I'm still trying to figure out why her whiskers got crooked I'm ready for my closeup, Dad!
No particular reason for this post... Indy just looked too cute when she was running around tonight, so I thought I'd torture bother her with the camera.

posted at 07:56 PM | Link | Bunnies | 1 comment |
The need for speed

Three military fighter jets just flew over my house, one at a time (not in formation), heading south. Hmmmm...

posted at 02:06 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, July 21, 2002

Hot dogs

Hot today. 97 - Heat Index 108. Terrible. Bad. Right now, at 9 o'clock at night, the Heat Index at Meigs Field on the lake is 102. Thank God we didn't have a game at Comiskey today.

When we were at my parents for dinner tonight, my sister Diane told us about this website that breeds hybrid puppies. Of course, we all thought "gee, wouldn't that be a mutt?". Of course, these are kennel-born. (They also have pure-bred puppies). You have to go to The Barking Lot to see pictures of some of the "hybrid" puppies that they currently have for sale, such as: Peke-a-chons (Pekingese & Bichon Frise), Chi-Chi-Poos (Chihuahua & Poodle) and Puggles (Pug & Beagle).

posted at 09:36 PM | Link | Mundane |

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Huzzah!

The main entrance at the Bristol Renaissance Faire The Piccadilly Parasol Shoppe Some of the merchandise on the walls of The Piccadilly Parasol Shoppe Chelby completes a sale of a nice blue cotton parasol Damian and Chelby walking the Faire Mmmmm... orange sorbet in an orange! Broon escaping from a straightjacket high above the crowd Kaminari Daiko 4-time Grammy nominated The Rogues The Consorte Bella Donna lady madrigals The Friends Of The Faire private garden The Queen
Today, Carol & I went somewhere we haven't been in almost 20 years - the Bristol Renaissance Faire. In fact, the last time we were there is was still called King Richard's Faire. We actually went up to surprise our friends Chelby and Damian who are selling their ware up there. If you've been reading this blog, you may have known that I was making some parasol frames for them or their shop - The Piccadilly Parasol Shoppe. It was nice to surprise them and see the finished products that they are selling. We didn't want to disturb them too much, so we went around and listened and watched the entertainment, ate (a lot - and it's not just that old turkey leg foods anymore!) and went window shopping. There a lot of good crafts up there. The whole thing is bigger and better than the last time we were up there. We walked a lot - and it's all up and down dirt and uneven paths, so it was a good workout just to walk. Anyway, it was a good time and we're glad we went up there.

posted at 08:01 PM | Link | Friends | 1 comment |

Friday, July 19, 2002

Big Brother 3 - Day 14

Big Brother 3
Watching the live feeds today... apparently there was some kind of "argument" or at least "loud discussion" between Josh and Gerry. I also missed what appears to have been a food challenge of some sort. Half the house is eating PB&J sandwiches, the others are cooking. Apparently it was an eating or drinking challenge that was "gross" with lots of vomiting. Ew. Late this afternoon, I was watching Marcellas talking to Roddy in the HOH room, and he said he was affraid of what Josh could do in the house. It sounded a lot like what was said about Justin last year. Anyway, after an extended time in a network blackout (imagine watching the front of the Big Brother house, with the theme song playing on continuous loop for hours), it sounds like Marcellas nominated Josh and Tonya for eviction.
Update: Danielle won Power of Veto. Let's see what happens after the weekly Monday household meeting.

posted at 10:26 PM | Link | Reality TV |
Carol -20

Great... new traffic patterns at Golf & Higgins...
So, I was out and about this afternoon, looking for a few things. I noticed that the road construction is changing things around next week. That should screw-up traffic for a few days, at least.

ALRIGHT!!! Green River at White Hen!!!
Went to the White Hen in the neighborhood and was ecstatic that I found Green River in the cooler!!! I love this stuff - it caffeine-free (good for late-night drinking, when you don't have to be awake). You just don't find this stuff everywhere.

Carol's Weight Watchers beads - 20 pounds worth!
Carol just got home - her streak is broken. For the past 13 weeks, Carol has lost weight at each of her Weight Watchers weigh-ins. She's now lost 20.4 pounds! (She's upset that she was weighed-in on a different set of scales today that showed her up .2 pounds, breaking her streak). The woman that runs her meetings has this bead-thing, where you get a bead for each pound you lose. Carol strung together 20 of them and they're on the refrigerator as a reminder. (I guess the leader got a kick out of what one of Carol's co-workers did - when she gained a pound she put a bead back! Apparently, nobody had done this before.) Her whole group from her office has lost 157 pounds between 7 people as of this past week). Way to go Carol! I'm proud of ya!

posted at 04:21 PM | Link | Mundane |
American Flight 11

Speaking of ABC, they have an exclusive about what happened before the crash of American Flight 11 on 9/11. It shows how professional the flight attendants were in trying to relay crucial information to the ground after the hijackers had taken over the plane. Riveting stuff.

posted at 03:09 PM | Link | Current Events | 1 comment |
8,019.26

ABC just broke into network programming to show the close of the NYSE. The dow is down over 400. They're showing 8004.50 right now, so it's not a final yet. Great. Update: Here's the final - the Dow closed down 390.23 to 8,019.26, to its lowest level since January 1998. The Nasdaq composite index lost 37.94 to 1,319.01. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 34.03 to 847.53.

posted at 03:04 PM | Link | Current Events |
Roasted Nuts

Ummm... look, I really don't write well. I don't have the gift of gab. I don't really know how to turn a catchy phrase. I mean, look at my blog entries here! But even I know when to use certain euphamisms and when not to. I think this is one situation that you don't use them - especially in a headline of a news article that makes the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill produce a press release.

Update: Oops... I broke protocol... I got the article via a link from Mike at aka Cooties. Sorry, Mike - my bad.

posted at 02:34 PM | Link | Odd | 2 comments |
Friday 5 - Locations

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Where were you born? Chicago, Illinois
2. If you still live there, where would you rather move to? If you don't live there, do you want to move back? Why or why not? We've actually had discussions about moving to Las Vegas, out favorite town, probably when we retire... whenever that will be
3. Where in the world do you feel the safest? The safest I've ever felt was staying on Walt Disney World property. Weird, eh?
4. Do you feel you are well-traveled? Not at all. How could you feel well traveled if you never left the continent?
5. Where is the most interesting place you've been? Sundance. Love that place.

posted at 08:53 AM | Link | Friday Five | 1 comment |

Thursday, July 18, 2002

WTC

In case you are interested, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation has posted the Concept Plans of the six finalists for the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site and adjacent areas.

posted at 08:44 PM | Link | Current Events |
Die. Die. Die. Die. Die.

OK, maybe a "knee-jerk" reaction, but this is something that makes me sick to my stomach and angry at the same time. What has happened to our society? Why is it that we hear more items like this instead of less? Why are we becoming twisted? Why the indifference to life? the guy is 24 years old - how was he brought up? What makes a man do this? Peer pressure? And what about the 10 to 12 other people that were there with him???

Man arrested for burning kitten on grill

posted at 08:24 PM | Link | Odd | 1 comment |
Big Brother 3 - Day 13

Big Brother 3 Big Brother 3 - Lori Olsen Big Brother 3 - Lori Olsen exits the house
In a 5-4 vote, Lori is evicted. Then, in an interesting twist, Marcellas wins Head of Household! Bet you he goes after Josh. You know, they've been in the house for 13 days now, and the Live Feeds are SO much more entertaining than these CBS live shows...

posted at 08:11 PM | Link | Reality TV |

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

I wasn't even there

The dead ivy at Wrigley Field. (Chicago Tribune photo by Charles Cherney)
OK, I swear I wasn't there... It seems that the ivy at Wrigley Field is dying. Yes, I am anti-Cubs, but there's no way anybody should have done this. It's not right - the ivy at Wrigley is almost a sacred thing in the baseball universe. You don't touch it, you don't mess with it. There is speculation that a White Sox fan did this during the Cubs-Sox series there last month. I hope that's not the case - I wouldn't want to be associated with them.

posted at 11:59 PM | Link | Cubs |
Big Brother 3 - Day 12

Big Brother 3
So, Gerry uses his Power of Veto to veto the nomination of Marcellas. As Head of Household, Lisa then picked Amy to join Lori as the two houseguests nominated for eviction. I've been watching the live feeds when I have spare time, and Lori needs to go. Amy is actually growing on me, and she is more entertaining to watch. Lori is just a "box of rocks" as my wife Carol would say. Josh still needs to go (he's still and arrogant S.O.B.), and I think Gerry should be on the chopping block as well. He comes across a bit too sanctimonious for his own good, philosophizing a bit too often. Get rid of him.

posted at 09:20 PM | Link | Reality TV | 1 comment |

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

The Mole 2 - Episode 10

The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal
Well, Bribs was executed, Al had an exemption, Heather tried twice for an exemption and failed, the group is down to four people and the pot is near a half million dollars. I'm still betting on Bill as The Mole. I mean, after seeing the tease for next week, how could you not? Complete with ABC announcer, bold graphics, and swooshing sound effects: WHO (shot of Heather) IS (shot of Al) THE (shot of Dorothy) MOLE? (shot of Bill)

posted at 09:08 PM | Link | The Mole | 1 comment |

Monday, July 15, 2002

Project Management from Above

Joe (up front) teaching project management
So, after spending a long day traveling and watching baseball, I had to roll out of bed early (not as early as yesterday) and pretend I was a commuter again. I hopped on Metra and to the train downtown. My buddy Joe let me sit in on a Project Management class he was teaching for his company. I felt like I was exercising mental muscles that I haven't used in a very long time. It was an all day lecture (he even made me do the classroom team exercises!), with lunch. It was a great class. Reminded me of the times we worked together back at Brunswick. It was a bit weird being a "guest" in a class of 18 people, the rest being actual employees of the company. Project Management has always been my weakest skill. This helped me a bit.

The view of Millennium Park and Grant Park froom Joe's office Aon Center Earth from Above exhibit at Millennium Park Earth from Above exhibit at Millennium Park Earth from Above exhibit at Millennium Park Earth from Above exhibit at Millennium Park - a photo of the World Trade Center Commuters trying to catch a train at Union Station
After hanging around in Joe's office for a bit (with a very nice view of Millennium Park), I decided to start my journey back. I walked to Union Station because I wanted to stop by Millennium park to see the Earth from Above exhibit that everyone has been raving about (especially Dawn at a.lifeuncommon.org). Wow. This was really something to see. It's not just the individual pictures, which are from around the globe and very interesting to see, but it's the entire collection of the images that was so interesting. I must have spent an hour over there just looking around. Well, that and buying some postcards in the gift shop. Then, the long walk to Union Station, and the long ride home (that was lengthened by "switch problems). Feels long a long two days. I'm not used to this!

posted at 07:37 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, July 14, 2002

ROAD TRIP!

Janie, Jeff, and Gary on our flight to Detroit Ah... the way I like my flights - Empty! A Southwest jet trying to cut in front of us Look! Midway! (MDW) Look! Detroit! (DTW)
Carol and I get up early, drive to Riverside to pickup Janie & Gary, and then it's off to Midway Airport, where we meet Jeff and we're on our way to Detroit. I've never flown on Southwest before, and getting an "A" boarding pass, I'm told, is good, but it doesn't matter - plane is empty. The flight is really short - just barely enough time for the complimentary juice & coffee service. The Detroit airport (DTW) is... well, let's just say, now that Midway has started it's remodeling, this airport is the pits. We get on the Hertz shuttle to get our Crown Vic and drive into the city.

A main entrance at Comerica Park Gary, Janie and Jeff outside Comerica Park Unusual gargoyles on the outside of the ballpark The back of the scoreboard at Comerica Park
Finding Comerica Park was actually a bit difficult - you can't see it from a distance. Heck, you can't see it a block or two away. It's tucked into a small area downtown. We got to the park pretty early - somehow we lost sight of the fact that the game started at 2:05 (we thought 1:05). So, we slowly walked around the outside of the park to see what it looked like.

The exclusive Tiger Den seating area above the Infield Box seats The view from the left centerfield seats at Comerica Park The exclusive Tiger Club in right field The scoreboard at Comerica Park - currently the largest one in the majors One of the tigers on top of the Comerica Park scoreboard Sculptures on the concourse along the left centerfield wall Tigers "Walk of Fame" along the concourse at Comerica Park Big Cat Court, a food court at Comerica Park The Big Cat Court food court from above The tigers on the carousel at the Big Cat Court View of the field at Comerica Park from the upper deck The Brushfire Grill picnic area and 50-foot ferris wheel
We went in as soon as the gates opened, and proceeded to walk around the park. The food selection was a bit pitiful. It wasn't until later did I find the better food at "Big Cat Court", and that made things better, but within the normal stands it was a bit plain & boring (though I had a Kielbasa that was very tasty).

Carol cooling-off in Tigers Den seats behind our "real" seats Our group at the park - Gary, his sister Marty & husband Harry, and Janie & Jeff
Our seats were 28 rows behind the plate - great view, but in the sun all through the game. This caused a major problem for Carol, who got what seems to be minor heatstroke even before the game started. She had to sit in a different area in the shade and we had to help her out with wet towels, lots of water, and some ice cream to help her cool down. She was better by about the 4th inning, but we kept in the shade for the whole game.

View from behind our seats at Comerica Park Carlos Lee swinging away
The game itself was OK. It looked like the Sox were going to lose again, but Carlos Lee had two homeruns, and then Jose Valentin hit a triple in the eighth that scored two and then scored himself when the throw to third went wild (sort of an in-the-park homerun, but not really). Sox win 6-4.

Pegasus and the Greektown Casino
After the game, we walked (!) over to Greektown to have dinner at Pegasus. Well, I wasn't hungry after being out there all day, so Jeff and I took a walk through the Greektown Casino while the others ate dinner. It was weird being in Detroit and being in a land-based casino. It was a nice place, two floors - larger than I thought it would be. Sunday afternoon, almost every single table game we saw were $10 tables. I think we saw one $15 table.

Janie going down I-94 to the airport Waiting for a gate at Midway
Back to the restaurant, the group finished up, and then it was off to the airport. This time we all got "B" boarding passes - not a good omen. Sure enough, the flight home was packed. We got in 10 minutes early, and had to wait 20 minutes for a gate. Then we drove Jeff home, drove Janie & Gary home, and finally drove home ourselves. A very long day. Would we do it again? You bet!

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | White Sox |

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Big Brother 3 - Day 8

Big Brother 3
Quick BB update - Gerry won the newly minted weekly "Power of Veto" Award, which allows him to Veto one of the two nominees. What doesn't come out in the show is that he already knows what he wants to do, and he doesn't have to tell anybody until Monday. If he vetoes somebody (he doesn't have to), the HOH has to nominate someone else, and it cannot be the person who holds the Power of Veto.

posted at 11:03 PM | Link | Reality TV |
Gorgeous day for some bulls

Chelsea trying to take a nap Hey! I'm trying to sleep here!
GORGEOUS day outside. Did nothing all day (watched Big Brother feeds for a while and posted some transcripts). Drove to my parents for dinner. The Northwest Tollway is getting lanes reconfigured again during reconstruction. Good thing - construction is half over! Bad thing - construction is only half over. The new lane configurations typically throw off traffic for days. We'll see how it goes.

Back home, I'm watching the Running of the Bulls from Pamplona on ESPN2. Strange event, but it's a car wreck (or in this case, bull wreck) - you can't help but to watch!

Tomorrow is going to be interesting - Carol and I along with our White Sox Season Ticket Buds Janie, Gary, and Jeff are flying to Detroit to go to Comerica Park to see the White Sox play the Tigers. Sox have lost three in a row to the last place Tigers, and I'm not looking forward to the game itself, but we're going to see the park (We love seeing new ballparks. Janie & Gary have seen almost all of the new ones). We fly up there in the morning and fly back at night. Can't wait to see how the day turns out!!!

posted at 09:43 PM | Link | Mundane |

Friday, July 12, 2002

Bull!

I know a lot of blogs are pointing to this photo, but it's so damn cool seeing a bull coming at you in Pamplona

posted at 01:54 PM | Link | Mundane |
No Friday 5

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...

...except they haven't posted one again. They're getting a little spotty over there. But then again, they're in Orlando for the week...

posted at 10:21 AM | Link | Friday Five |

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Blogchalking

Hmmmm... Blogchalking... I guess I have to say this...

Google! DayPop! This is my blogchalk: English, United States, Hoffman Estates, Hoffman Hills, Michael, Male, 41-45!

posted at 09:44 PM | Link | Blogging |
Big Brother 3 - Day 6

Big Brother 3
Nominated for eviction: Lori, the 37 y.o. Bank Representative from Foxboro, WI and Marcellas, 34 y.o. Fashion Stylist from Chicago.

Got my RealOne player all updated, watching the feeds this afternoon. This is not like last year's group of idiots. This is a decent group to watch.

posted at 08:06 PM | Link | Reality TV |

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Big Brother 3 - Day 5 - First Episode

Big Brother 3 Big Brother 3 cast

Here we go again... CBS has started Big Brother 3. Actually, it started over the weekend when the houseguests entered the house, it's just that there were no live feeds available over the internet to see what's going on. I absolutely hate to admit this, but watching the live feeds have been a great pastime of mine over the last two years. I don't know why, it just is. The house looks the best out of the three years - the decorators did a good job. OK, first HOH (Head of Household) - Lisa, the 26 y.o. bartender from L.A. The people that I need to get the hell out of the house: Amy, the 23 y.o. Real Estate Appraiser from Memphis, and Josh, the 28 y.o. arrogant prick of a Waiter from Long Island.

posted at 09:03 PM | Link | Reality TV |

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Suspend the All-Star Game?!?!?

2002 MLB All-Star Game
Wha....???? They suspended the All Star Game after 11 innings in a 7-7 tie because they used all their players - both bullpens and benches were empty. The fans first booed the announcement when it was made at the beginning of the bottom of the 11th. After a while they all started chanting "Let them play! Let them play! Let them play!..." I mean, the fans showed up and paid good coin for this game - they should allow players to be "reused" since it's an exhibition game. Thank you, Bud Selig. Nice way to treat your hometown fans. And wait... no MVP??? Nice way to screwup a game.

posted at 11:36 PM | Link | Baseball |
Welcome back

A big shout-out to my cousin Jane who is back from her honeymoon (wedding pictures here), who actually stumbled onto this weblog from our other family website. (I've moved all of my stuff here from there - just wanted a place I can call my own, I guess.)

posted at 10:33 PM | Link | Family |
The Mole 2 - Episode 9

The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal
Well, I have to admit it was fun watching Al and Heather as well as Anderson getting drunk on wine for the Grape Game. The Assembly Line Game was OK, but the Night Ball Game was just a bit strange. Darwin is executed. I had my doubts earlier in the game about him, but I'm still set on Bill as The Mole right now.

posted at 09:06 PM | Link | The Mole |
It's about time

I should have waited for the EMail to show up! PayPal contacted me to let me know the investigation is over and I should be receiving a new password (VIA SNAIL MAIL!) in 5 to 7 days. No indication on what the investiagtion found. Wonder how much of a hit this jackass took from my accounts.

posted at 11:48 AM | Link | Mundane |
What's going on?

So, I gave up and called PayPal this morning. They couldn't tell me anything, as the account is still under investigation. I had to leave voicemail for an investigator to call me. It's been way over 10 business days... what's going on over there?

posted at 10:39 AM | Link | Mundane |
Floating

1.08" of rain out in Hoffman Estates between 1 and 2 this morning (2.08" at O'Hare). It's the only rain this month. Shorted-out the GFI outlets in the house again. Ever since the cable guy borrowed a ground from the outlet on the back of the house, the circuit is blowing when we get a real heavy rain. I need to get this fixed.

posted at 07:52 AM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, July 08, 2002

Well, it's low for me

I've been feeling a bit funky the last day or so. I thought it was fatigue from driving too much the last couple of days, or sitting in the sun a bit too long at Comiskey. Fortunately, I had a doctors appointment scheduled for today. It's my blood pressure - it's down, down to 104/84. They didn't seem to be alarmed at how low it was. But I feel funky. I guess the medication is working OK. Now, I need the weight to get down. After that, cholesterol (263).

posted at 09:25 PM | Link | Mundane |
eBay PayPal? PayPal eBay?

Hmmm... the New York Times says EBay to Buy PayPal in $1.5 Billion Stock Deal. Maybe I'll finally get my hijacked PayPal account back (I still haven't heard from PayPal).

posted at 11:41 AM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, July 07, 2002

White Sox 3 - Indians 9

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe is wheeled-out by Harold Baines to throw out the first pitch on his 100th birthday!
Back at Comiskey, and there's something cool before the game. Former Negro League's pitcher/catcher Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe, who was in a wheelchair, was brought out onto the field by Harold Baines. "Double-Duty" stood up, out of his wheelchair, and threw out the first pitch! Today was his 100th Birthday! He threw the pitch to one of the guys he used to manage - Buck O'Neill - who's 90 years old! How cool is that? It turns out, he always goes to Sox games. I need to see if I can find him the next time I'm at Comiskey. I saw a clip about him on TV when I got home - he's still very sharp. I think that it's great to have somebody from that era still around.

Oh, the game? Ew. Sox lost 9-3. Todd Ritchie, who is now 5-11 with a 5.82 ERA in 19 games and 108.1 IP, gave up a grand slam among his 6 earned runs. Yeah, that trade for Ritchie is working real well. Let's see - we got Ritchie for Kip Wells - 9-6 3.41 ERA in 18 games and 108.1 IP, Sean Lowe - 2-2 5.54 ERA in 31 games and 52.0 IP, and Josh Fogg - 9-6 3.56 ERA in 17 games and 103.2 IP. I don't know, but to me it looks like we got the wrong end of that deal for this season.

posted at 05:01 PM | Link | White Sox |

Saturday, July 06, 2002

White Sox 7 - Indians 3

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians Today's promotion: Dog Tags from Mountain Dew Mmmmm... Hot Dogs, Polish, and onions... mmmmm... Bull riding in center field for White Sox Extreme Day Snap! Crackle! Pop! - Part of Kellogg's Kids Week Getting a beer from "The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal" player Lisa
What a gorgeous day! It never did rain. There were some clouds for a while, but it turned into something pretty nice. Back at Comiskey for a series against the Cleveland Indians. This used to be the one series we used to loathe to go to. When Jacobs Field opened in Cleveland, the games were always sold out. The Sox took out ads in the Cleveland papers to invite people who couldn't get tickets at "The Jake" to come to Comiskey. Well, it filled the place, but God it was awful to sit there with all these Cleveland fans, who just about out-numbered the Sox fans. those days are gone - The Jake is no longer sold out, Cleveland is not in the pennant race and is trading top players, and now Comiskey is not filled with their fans. What a nice day! Game time temperature - 81 degrees. Interesting confluence of promotions today - Kellogg's Kids Week and Extreme Day sponsored by Mountain Dew with rock climbing walls, mechanical bulls, bikes, skateboards... The game was good, too, a nice close give-and-take game (the kind I like). Sox won 7-3.

Merle's Smokehouse in Evanston
After the game, we drove up Lake Shore Drive to Barry & Buffy's (another glorious ride up the drive on a gorgeous day). We decided to do a movie and dinner, so we drove back up to Evanston, to the Evanston Century 12 to see The Bourne Identity. Wow. good flick. Great car chase... in a Cooper Mini!!! (I'd love to get one of those cars). After the movie, we walked over to Merle's Smokehouse for some barbecue. Hey, I was surprised - this was good food and we had great service as well. You know, even though I feel like I'm living in my car the last few days, I really enjoyed today.

posted at 10:32 PM | Link | White Sox |
Thor working overtime

Lots of thunder outside. Wonder what the weather is going to be today?

posted at 05:31 AM | Link | Mundane |

Friday, July 05, 2002

Friday 5 - Potpourri

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...

1. Where are you right now? Sitting in my den (sort of a messy computer room right now), recuperating from our family get-together at Diane's house in Michigan.
2. What have you lost recently? Here are my knee-jerk reactions to this question: My job - except that was 13 months ago. My skill set that started to decay as soon as I was let go, and dimisnishes with each day that technology passes me by. My confidence that I will be able to earn a living doing what I used to do. My optimism that this will all be over really soon. My well being knowing that I used to be financially OK and now I'm way too unsure of where we're going.
3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now? No clue, though I do know that I still have it - I just can't get to it to find out what it was (it's burried, and I may not be able to get to it this year!)
4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen? A nice rolling-ball pen, any type, as long as it doesn't gunk-up. Gel is good, too.
5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Baskin Robbins Mint Chocolate Chip

posted at 09:01 PM | Link | Friday Five |
A family vacation

Flags and bunting welcoming us to Diane's Sign on Diane's front door Carol cooling her feet and talking to mom Just lookin' up at the trees while sitting on the deck Gracie is perplexed about trying to get a toy Gracie gives up trying to get her toys Diane grillin' up some pork chops, pineapple and corn That's me making parasol frames outside on the deck with my mom Wildlife hangin' around outside The Lighthopuse Premium Outlets Mall in Michigan City, Indiana Chelsea is all excited chasing balls being thrown around in the pool
My eyes are unfocusing, but at least I'm back home. Michigan was really nice. I could sit out on Diane's deck all day and night - as long as it wasn't buggy. I just realized something - this was the first 4th of July that I can recall where I didn't see any fireworks anywhere. There wasn't anything going on around town, and there was nothing to see nearby. Actually, Diane's house is so wooded, we couldn't see anything from there. That's probably one of the reasons I like the place. I love just sitting on the deck and lookin' up at the trees. This morning we took a little side trip - we went to the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets Mall in Michigan City, Indiana. It appears to be built across the street from a nuclear reactor cooling tower - a very odd experience. Later, when we got back, Diane's friend Sue and her boys came up to spend some time (mostly in the pool). Did I mention how much I like being up there? Oh, another surprise - Dad survived the trip very well. Maybe that will help them think about leaving the house more often.

posted at 06:08 PM | Link | Mundane |

Thursday, July 04, 2002

Independance Day

Happy Independence Day!
God Bless America! It's the Fourth of July! Happy Independence Day!

Carol & I are picking up my parents in a few hours and are driving up to my sister Diane's house in Michigan until tomorrow sometime. It should be interesting - it will be dad's first time spending the night someplace else since his surgery last year.

posted at 08:35 AM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

And so you're back, from outer space...

Men In Black II
Just got back from Men in Black II. The film was OK. There were some nice, funny moments, but I came away feeling like something was missing. Something like heart, depth... something. Most of the reviews I've seen gave the movie two stars. That's just about right. Frank the pug got quite a few laughs from the crowd, which reminds me - it's been a while since I've been at a movie on opening day. I like seeing a movie with a crowd on an opening day. It's a totally different feeling to viewing the movie, usually a positive one as everyone reacts - for the first time - to what's happening on screen. Used MovieTickets.com's Automated Box Office machines - ATM's for tickets. This was way too easy to use. I need to start using this more often instead of waiting in lines or getting there earlier in the day to get tickets.

posted at 08:03 PM | Link | Movies |
Ground Force New York

Ground Force The New York Restoration Project
This is so cool! My favorite show on BBC America is Ground Force. I just saw on the Today Show that they were in New York City doing a garden for The New York Restoration Project, surprising Bette Midler! Wonder how long it's going to take to broadcast it on BBC America. Probably two years. Wait... No! Ground Force: New York premieres Tuesday, August 20 at 8 pm/et, 5 pm/pt. !

posted at 08:29 AM | Link | TV |

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

ABO

MovieTickets.com
Hmmm... looks like we're going to see Men in Black II tomorrow night. I just went on MovieFone.com and ordered the tickets through MovieTickets.com. Guess I'll see if those Automated Box Offices actually work. Can't wait to see the movie!

posted at 10:49 PM | Link | Mundane |
The Mole 2 - Episode 8

The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal
I found the show a little dull tonight. And considering that the challenges had to do with reunions with family members, it wasn't as emotional as I had thought - except for the marriage proposal by Heather's boyfriend. The pot is up to $346,000, and Katie was executed. Oh, and I'm still sticking will Bill as The Mole.

posted at 09:23 PM | Link | The Mole |

Monday, July 01, 2002

Speech Therapy Chauffeur

Loyola University Health System Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center at Loyola University Medical Center Mom & Dad waiting to see Rachel
Back to chauffeur duty today. Dad has an appointment with the speech therapist to have his TEP prosthesis changed out. He can't use the valve thing to try to talk anymore - it just doesn't fit now that he's had the radiation treatments. Well, dad has been talking about getting one of those electronic larynx's to try to be able to talk with that. It seems to make sense. Well, it was brought up to Rachel (the therapist) when we were there. She went back to her office and got one for dad to use for a couple of weeks. So now dad has a new toy to play with. He's not getting the hang of it though, he wants to expel air, but he doesn't need to. And what's worse, with his hearing aids, he can't hear the speech either, so he won't know where to place the electrovox thing. This is going to be interesting. I've got a bad feeling that Mom's going to be pretty impatient with Dad.

posted at 05:25 PM | Link | Mundane |
*nose wiggle*
posted at 09:28 AM | Link | Memes |

 

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