This collection of entries is from January 2004.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
Columbia diary found
I guess part of a diary that Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon wrote while on Columbia's final mission were found.
Still more snow
This morning was the worst drive yet. The snow started around 4am and we're in the middle of a possible 2"-4" accumulation, and it's messed up traffic big time. "They" are reporting triple the normal rush hour travel times, and O'Hare & Midway have already had 300 flights canceled. Had to pickup Juliet again, but this time I got a free breakfast buffet at her hotel before we took off. At least today is going slightly better than yesterday. At the end of the day, Juliet (who was outside taking a smoke break) called me and told me there was a beautiful sunset outside. No one believed her after the morning rush hour we had. Sure enough - there wasn't a cloud in the sky and there was a really nice, colorful sunset. Made a better end to the day than the beginning.
Monday, January 26, 2004
Wow, the snow this morning was rough. I had to pickup Juliet at her hotel to get her to work, but the snow has really messed-up the side streets and even slowed the tollway. I am totally out of it today. I'm screwing up everything and I'm not retaining anything - like the tape is moving but nothing's recording. It almost feels like my brain is buzzing. Literally. Brought Juliet back to the hotel after work and took the not too unusually long drive home. Turns out Carol's not feeling well - getting a sore throat.
Sunday, January 25, 2004
OK, so the Golden Globes were on tonight. Eh. Why the hell is Sharon Stone everywhere with everyone in every shot? I thought that The Office was a nice surprise, as well as Lost in Translation. One thing's for sure - I don't like the TV categories. They have multiple categories for the movies that they award, but the TV awards are all lumped together (why should you award an actor in a TV movie in the same category as an actor in a series?)
Opportunity already sent back it's first pictures, and it looks like it found a rock ledge or even bedrock in the small crater that it landed in. Really cool photos.
Sunday Morning 25th
I woke up this morning and flipped on the TV and couldn't figure out why there was stories about Charles Kuralt on. It took a while to realize that CBS Sunday Morning was celebrating their 25th Anniversary. What a great, uniquie, wonderful show. And wouldn't you love to have Bill Geist's job?
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Opportunity on Mars
I watched the landing of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the Internet (and CNN - I prefered the NASA Select feed, as I always do, for the lack of commentary, even though I like CNN's Miles O'Brien). It's still absolutely effin'™ amazing that we have landed two rovers on Mars this month (OK, one's not exactly working right now, but I just can't believe that they're just going to lose Spirit). I'm just trying to figure out why Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger are doing in the mission control room...
My cousin Jimmy is 39 years old, married, with three daughters. An IT guy, like a lot of people in his family. Anyway, last Wednesday, he had just come back from home Depot and was playing with the kids on the floor when he lost feeling on his right side. He didn't think too much of it - he had been having kidney stone problems, but they called 911 anyway. He walked out to the ambulance when it got there.
Turns out he had three mini-strokes. He had ruptured a vein in his neck. Normally this is either inherited or happens when the person has been in a serious car accident, where the head moves violently. In this case - he doesn't fall into either category.
The feeling has returned. He's on Coumadin to thin out the blood so it won't throw another clot. In the meantime, he can do absolutely nothing for 6 months - no travel, no playing with his kids - NOTHING.
Do you realize how lucky he is? Man I hope he's going to be OK...
Friday, January 23, 2004
Photos of Spirit landing site
Oh, how cool is this?!?!?!?!!! JPL released photos from the Mars Global Surveyor satellite that actually shows where Spirit is on the Martian surface from 248 miles up! Not only can you see where it is, but they found the parachute and heat shields and - get this - they even show where Spirit bounced when it landed! Very cool.
First Major Snow
Yes, the snow hit, and hit with a vengeance. Getting to the Tollway was a lot longer than I had anticipated - Buckley wasn't plowed. At all. Took me almost 25 minutes just to get to the Tollway. Once I got on the Tollway, everything was moving. That's what I had anticipated - the one positive thing that I've always felt about the Tollway Authority is they always kept the plows out and keeps the roads passable, if not clean. By the Time I got to Lake Cook, traffic had stopped. I sat there for a good 15 minutes, which is the worst I've experienced in this commute. Traffic started to move - slowly - after I crept up to Willow. Knowing that the side roads were going to be hell, I stayed on the Tollway. Total commute time by the time I got home: 2 hours 40 minutes.
So what do I do when I get home? Why go back out in the snow to go to dinner! (In case you hadn't figured this out by now... we go out to dinner on Friday nights. Doesn't matter where, just someplace cheap). You what today is? Why, it's National Pie Day, so it's off to Bakers Square. (At least Carol drove, so I could recover from the commute!)
Bunny Rabbit is sad...
... Captain Kangaroo died. Wow, the second Children's Television icon of mine to die in just a few days. I barely remember the show when I was a kid, but it made an impression. Bunny Rabbit. Mr. Moose. Dancing Bear. Mr Green Jeans is long gone now, and now the Captain. Bob Keeshan seemed to be a gentle man. I hate seeing these guys pass... I'm just hoping Bill (Jackson) is OK....
Looks like the DNS nameserver changes are complete for the website, but now I've got a bigger situation (I think) - I may need to reconfigure MovableType. Looks like it'll be a while before I can post here...
Slow traffic to no traffic
So, this morning's commute was one of the fastest I've had - hardly any traffic at all compared to last night. I think everyone is just traveling at different times or actually using public transportation because we're supposed to get hit with snow later.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
Why is it so slow?
Traffic home tonight was terrible - the worst traffic day in quite some time, and there wasn't a weather problem to cause it. No accidents either, just a lot of really slow moving traffic. I hate commutes like that.
Spirit goes quiet
Nuts. Looks like JPL lost the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover. They thought it was a thunderstorm in Australia at the main antenna causing a comm problem, but that's not it. Damn. They went from this glorious, flawless landing and startup, getting everything working and actually rolling off the landing vehicle for about 10 feet and up to the rock "Adirondack" - and then nothing. Damn Martians.
Cold morning and drunk elephants
Another cold, winter morning - it's 3 degrees outside with a -17 wind chill. Traffic was terrible on the Tri-State Tollway this morning - all because of an earlier accident that was on the left shoulder at Willow that everyone had to slow down and look at before we could finally go on. Then again it was semi, 2 SUVs and a couple of cars, so there was a large group of vehicles to look at.
I'm in the car in the morning at the right time to be able to hear a certain legendary Chicago Radio shtick. Uncle Lar' (Larry Lujack) and Li'l Tommy (Tommy Edwards) are doing Animal Stories every morning around 7:47am on the Real Oldies station 1690 AM. If you grew-up in Chicago in the 70's and 80's and used to listed to WLS (back when it was rock and not talk), you know about Animal Stories (hey - did you know that there are 3 CD's available of Animal Stories bits?) Anyway, Uncle Lar' and Li'l Tommy had a old story this morning about elephants getting drunk on rice beer in India and killing 6 people. The story was little old, but it's still one of those odd little stories that fits exactly into the Animal Stories format. The station is pretty low power and if you can't get it (or are a former Chicagoan that would like to hear the show), the station's website has streaming audio available.
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
We're struggling to get machines to stage at work. Data from the user community is just not coming through. We're struggling to get 20 machines to stage. Lunch today was... interesting. For some strange reason, the team members that are from DC want to go to White Castle for lunch. It's been years since I've had a Slider, so I went along. I knew we were in trouble when I went to get into the back seat of their rental car and found McDonald's French Fries all over the back seat - like an entire large order of fries all over the seat. *blech* So, off to White Castle where two team members buy a Crave Case of 30 burgers to eat now and save for later (the advantages of staying at a Suites hotel). Never saw a crave Case before - the burgers are in little cardboard boxes (the way they normally come) and the 30 little boxes interlock and fit together within the larger attaché-like cardboard box. Ingenious. The only bad part about the trip is being a non-smoker with three smokers in the car. Oh, that was such a joyful trip back to work... When we get back to our building, we are greeted with new staging data! But it's only for 12 seats... but then another segment comes in of 129 seats! Yes, life is good as we finally will have work to do.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Tonight was the annual Chicago Wolves Season Ticketholder Party, but instead of holding it at the Allstate Arena like the usually do, it was held at Gameworks in Schaumburg (we were happy - Gameworks is much closer to home!). The problem with Gameworks, though, is that it's a much smaller venue. Every machine and game in the house was busy (it was all free while we were there), but it was hard to maneuver around - the lines for the buffet upstairs were huge, not to mention the lines for player autographs were much worse and much slower). We found out there was a second buffet in - of all places - the restaurant and hardly anybody was in there. It was an OK time, but it was quite a bit different and I'm not sure if it was "better" or not. I could tell by our friends John and Carol that it might not appeal to the "older demographic" - crowded, noisy, multiple floors...
read more of this entry »
Work is sloooooowwww today. There's just nothing to do, with only promises of busy-ness coming later in the week. Gives you more time to surf the net, check up on job postings, update the resume... you know, important things...
Monday, January 19, 2004
Moving it back and forth
Spent most of the day just moving data back and forth between the old host and the new host. I was on Stand Down for the day due to the holiday, though Carol still had to work. Not a lot of fun FTP-ing stuff around, but it keeps you busy.
I'm still worrying about finances, as it's getting more and more dire. My contract should be up within 6 weeks, so I need to line-up a job ASAP as well.
It's all too scary.
Sunday, January 18, 2004
Time to move the blog...
My hosting company sucks and I'm moving. The performance sucks, and the outages are just way out of hand (The site was down fort over 10 hours today... for no reason...), so I'm moving the blog.
That means that you won't see any activity here for a while while I move this monster as well as making the DNS changes.
I'll see you in a few days!
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Wolves 5 - Moose 1
read more of this entry »
Well, it's time for the Manitoba Moose. I look forward to these games for two reasons - 1) singing "O, Canada" (best national anthem ever), and 2) Riding Jimmy Roy. Historically, the group of regulars in our section and the one across the aisle don't think much of this gut. He's a career minor league player, never spending a single minute in the NHL. He's an aggressive player who isn't opposed to taking dives or antagonizing opposing players. He tends to spend quite a bit of time in the penalty box (at least during our games) and when he does, he's ours. By taunting him, we have been able to take him out of his game, causing more problems for him and his team. First penalty tonight (at 6:33 in the 1st for roughing - big surprise), as we layed into him, he flipped us off, which, off course, just feeds us. It's something that entertains us all game, every game against Manitoba.
Kari Lehtonen has been day-to-day since hitting the crossbar in Wednesday's dame, so the team called-up Michael Garnett. He gave up the first goal of the game but did a pretty good job the rest of the way. The Wolves, on the other hand, out-shot the Moose 41-20 and got 5 goals past Johan Hedberg, who also wasn't "in the game", complaining about one goal and getting a Roughing penalty. (It's always a physical game when these two teams meet.) Three of our goals were on Power Plays, while Manitoba's only goal was shorthanded (Damn.)
As a side note - we didn't really miss Steve Maltais, who was "scratched" because of a Deliberate Injury Match Penalty in last night's game.
(Boxscore - Gamesheet)
« hide the extended part of this entry
Is it too late for dinner?
Well, I picked-up Carol from the airport. It's Black Ice out there in the northwest suburbs, so travel was a little slower. We're both starving so we're having dinner - at 1:30 am. She's exhausted. Hopefully she'll be able to catch up later today...
Friday, January 16, 2004
Friday 5 - Your Mark
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails? My personal email? Nothing. I don't like sigs at the bottom of my personal email. My company email? Typical name/address/contact info stuff
2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be? Our yearbook never had quotes. Oh well...
3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say? I was thinking something about my last name or initials & address... I don't need to have anything else... oooo, wait...maybe "Mundane"?
4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say? Yes, an award that loks like an Oscar, but isn't... and I can't remember what it says right now...
5. What would you like your epitaph to be? "He tried to be above average, but never succeeded"... hmmm, too depressing, I need to figure out another one...
Thursday, January 15, 2004
Too many photos...
I've spent hours working on tagging didgital photos inside Adobe® Photoshop® Album 2.0 to classify them into certain categories. I still have hours to go and the fatigue of looking at all of these photos is amazing... or maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep...
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
Wolves 3 - Maple Leafs 3 (Overtime)
read more of this entry »
Back at the Allstate Arena for the Wolves game. It's a little odd - hardly any of the "regulars" were here for the game. Today was the first day of this year's first Jersey Auction for charity. The jersey's are a special 10th Anniversary jersey, that I think looks really sharp (work with black pants and black socks). The auction, however, is already a little out of hand. The rumour is that our rookie goalie Kari Lehtonen has the potential to be the next Dominik Hasek, so the bidding in the First Intermission is already up to $1,500 and the auction doesn't end for two more games.
Though it was weird being at the game without Carol, and my jersey, and without my radio to litsen to Judd, I guess I'm glad Carol wasn't there. There was a whole group of very youing kids sitting right in front of us, with parents that didn't care that there kids were sitting on top of the seats, blocking everyone's view, not to mention continually moving around. The parents didn't undertsand the whole "Wait For The Whistle" concept to not stand up during play. It would have drove Carol absolutely nuts. Oh, and I had the young mother of the group sitting in front of me with her thong showing everytime she leaned forward to talk to the kids. Pull up your pants and pull down that sweater, already - it's a friggin' hockey game!
The group of people across the aisle weren't much better - two young couples that were absolutely loaded by the end of the night. The two women bought these oversized foam rubber Wolves claws that are sold at the arena. There were actually mock-clawing each other... as well as people they didn't know in the row in front of them... it was just weird. One of the guys tried to out-whistle the Joey & Laura's horns, trying to get louder as they blew harder, which of course, no one around them wanted to hear. It was so weird, that Joey & Laura (who were sitting behind them) actually sat next to me for the 3rd Period to get away from them.
The game itself was a mess, just like the last time we played them. The Baby Leafs are a tough, scrappy and maybe even a little dirty team. Things got physical early, but it just got stranger through the game. We were leading 2-0 after the 1st, but late in the 2nd, somebody from St. John's hip checked Kari Lehtonen who got thrown backwards and hit the back of his head on the crossbar. He got pretty shook-up, but stayed in the game. He never came out for the 3rd Period, and was replaced by Freddie Cassivi. Later in the 3rd, Mikael Tellqvist came way out of the crease to play the puck and a charging and Karl Stewart checked him, sending his helmet flying and him to the ice - and Stewart gets called for Interference. Things went steadily downhill from there, with a lot more fights. We lost the lead and the game was tied 3-3. The Baby Leafs spent way the hell too much time in our zone, just peppering whoever was in the net. We get through the Overtime Period with a tie, even though we were out-shot 50-35.
(Boxscore - Gamesheet)
« hide the extended part of this entry
Oops... I forgot to eat...
Well, my first night without Carol was uneventful... I went to Best Buy to use a Gift Card I got from B&B for my birthday and picked-up Adobe® Photoshop® Album 2.0. While I was in the store, Carol called my cell phone to check-in (something she didn't have to do, but was nice). Then I went home and spent the evening starting to organize my didgital photos. I'm getting close to the 20,000 mark so let's just say it's going to take some time. Of course, I took some time to feed and be with Indy (she's such a demanding bunny). Carol called again later in the evening to let me know that the local news in LV is reporting that the lights have been turned on at Binion's (they've been dark since they shut down a few days ago). There's also a runmor that Harrah's is seriously thinking about buying them (only for the Horshoe name and then sell it) and the World Series of Poker will happen, but they don't know when/where.
When I woke-up this morning, I realized I was ravenous - because I had forgotten to eat dinner (not like I'm going to wither away if I don't eat - my winter layers of fat help out in that regard). It was a little odd waking-up and doing the normal morning stuff in the empty house. It was garbage day so I had to take care of that, refill all of the humidifiers in the house, feed & pet Indy(that demanding thing again, only this time she let me know she was neglected by grunting at me when I stopped petting her).
I'm going to a Chicago Wolves game tonight and I forgot my jersey that I usually wear. I think it's sitting on a chair downstairs, right where I put it... so that I wouldn't forget it. Nuts.
It's supposed to snow today. Great. It'll be in the 60's in Las Vegas. Great.
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
Windows 98 gets a reprieve
You know, there comes a tiume when you've just got to "cut the cord"... Microsoft was supposed to end support for Windows 98 this Friday, but has extended support through June 30, 2006. (Windows Millenium Edition expires December 31, but I think they rolled support into the Win98 timeframe. Windows 95 support ended in 2001.) Here's a stat for you: "About 20 percent of all Windows-based computers still run Windows 95 or 98."
I wonder what kind of resources Microsoft will have to retain just to support (and patch!) Win98 and WinME for 2½ more years? And can we just please kill Windows ME? Talk about a worthless opertating system...
Well, I dropped-off carol at O'Hare. She's flying to Las Vegas this morning to work a trade show this week. Am I jealous? Hell, yes! But, there's no way we could have afforded having me go as well. Nuts. So, I'm home alone this week. Should be interesting...
Monday, January 12, 2004
Survivor: All-Stars Cast Announced
The cast for Survivor: All Stars was officially announced on The Early Show this morning.
read more of this entry »
The location is back at the last location - Panama's Pearl Islands, and the tribes are names after the islands where they camp. There are 18 people instead of the usual 16, and there are 3 tribes instead of the usual 2.
In the Chapera Tribe:
In the Saboga Tribe:
In the Moga Moga Tribe:
« hide the extended part of this entry
Sunday, January 11, 2004
People's Choice: Survivor
Survivor: Pearl Islands won as Best Reality-Based Program tonight on the People's Choice Awards on CBS. You want to know what was really scary? Seeing the entire cast dresed-up in formal wear!
I never watch this show - I find it too... cheap. I don't know, I just don't "trust" it. Yes, I know it's voted on by the public (allegedly), but I don't buy it. Sorry. If it's not an industry awards show (Emmy, Oscar, Grammy, and I'll even "allow" the Golden Globes), I don't view it as a "legitamate" award.
The sun has been out all day and it's actually 36° - almost downright balmy.
It's occurred to me that when we had cable (*blech*), we actually tuned-in to The Weather Channel pretty regularly. Now that we have DirecTV, we never turn to that channel. I guess one main reason is that the satellite feed doesn't have any customized data for the local area - just generic info for the region.
I also realized that I regularly don't have a clue about the extended forecast for the week. I'm starting to wonder if I really care about winter weather. I mean, it's cold, windy, and occasionally snowy. In a nutshell - miserable. I guess I don't really care until baseball season when it directly effects me.
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Wolves 3 - Mighty Ducks 5
read more of this entry »
Boy, that game sucked. There was no flow to the game, just a lot of bad passes stealing, breaking up shots, back and forth, up and down the ice. It was actually... boring. There were a lot of people there - 11,828 (the largest of the season) - and they seemed to have all been sitting in our row. Note to people going to a hockey game for the first time: understand the concept of "Wait For The Whistle". DO NOT get up to go get a beer, some food, or go to the bathroom while play is going on. It's 1) inconsiderate for everyone that you have to disturb to get out of your row 2) dangerous since you will be blocking the vision of those around you who may not see a flying puck coming at them. Be considerate, watch the friggin' game and keep your socializing to a minimum.
That being said, the game still sucked. It's the first time we lost in six games at home.
(Boxscore - Gamesheet)
« hide the extended part of this entry
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Deputy U.S. marshals entered Binion's Horseshoe late Friday armed with two court orders authorizing them to seize up to $1.9 million in cash from the casino, an action that forced the closure of the 52-year-old property's casino. That place is a keynote place downtown and home to the World Series of Poker every year.
Friday, January 09, 2004
I'm not sleeping well - our financial problems have gotten to my psyche and it's messing with my head, and, in turn, my sleep. Got up early and went to work an hour early today. The flip side of this is that I got quite a few things done today and feel good about my accomplishments.
Being right on the lake means you get those lake effect snows every once in a while. It's been snowing all day today. It's that huge, fluffy flakes that just dust everything. It accumulates, but not really - it's just a thick coating of nothing, it's so fluffy.
Had to get gas at the Oasis on the way home tonight - the price of gas has gone up 13 cents a gallon in one day, and the Lake Forest Oasis is now the cheepest place to buy on my route to and from work. 13 cents a gallon - what the hell is going on?
Thursday, January 08, 2004
OK, I'm not really up on things, but I was sent this link to The Shizzolator and tried it out on CNN.com and then my own blog. Holy crap, I can't tell you how long I laughed at seeing a website translated to Snoop Dog-ese...
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
Celebrity Mole Yucatan - Episode 1
read more of this entry »
Oh my God, they brought back the "celebrity" version of this wonderful game. I'm not happy about this. This was a wonderful game that got cheapened with a) the replacement of Anderson Copper with Ahmad Rashad, and b) the use of "celebrities" (and please notice the use of the quotes around the word) instead of average Joes (except that's another show). The "celebrities" this year seem a step down from last year. Sure they have the absolute lunacy of having back again this year Stephen Baldwin and Corbin Bernsen, and I really don't think I mind Mark Curry and maybe Angie Everhart, but Tracey Gold, Ananda Lewis, and Keshia Knight Pulliam? And then, the one person you'd never want to see on a show like this - Dennis Rodman. I don't like it.
The show starts with Corbin having to pickup the other contestants in The Celebrity Mole Taxi. The game ("El Taxi Loco") is to decipher a clue (in Spanish and English) and find each "celebrity" and bring them back to Ahmad within 75 minutes. Every celebrity picked-up is worth $5,000. If he shows up after the allotted time, he looses the money. Well, it's a pretty lame game, but the piece was, well, "cute". I mean, between Bernsen & Baldwin, there's no trust between anybody. The taxi itself is "cute" with all of it's stickers all over it, not to mention the chihuahua bobblehead do on the dash and two chickens (Carlos & Pepe) on the front seat (they were in a cage). Well, they come up two short as they decide to get $25,000 in the pot than to risk getting back late.
The players get their numbered journals (probably after lunch) and everybody starts writing. Corbin starts going nuts again as he realizes that there's one gold fish of the patio wall, so he thinks that the Mole must be Tracey Gold (after he goes up to the wall and smells the paint). Stephen, at the table, says "I'm not saying he ain't the Mole, I'm just sayin' he's insane". The second game is "Artifact Or Fiction". Two players are chosen as "salesmen" (Mark and Corbin). The each get a Mayan artifact that they have to "sell" as real to the rest of the players, though only one of the artifacts is indeed authentic. If players "buy" the true story, $10,000 will be added to the pot. If they believe the false story, not only will no money be added to the pot, but the liar will receive an Exemption. Corbin talks about his gourd that's used to make tequila, and Mark talks about his rock that's a fertility piece. Mark doesn't do a good job selling, but everyone believes him, especially after Angie says she saw the same thing in a store yesterday and the shopkeeper said it was a fertility piece. Ananda knows that Corbin's gourd is exactly how the Mayans made liquor. The group decides Corbin is the liar. Turns out. Mark is the liar, the group doesn't get any money, and Mark gets an Exemption. (Mark's rock was found in South Central!)
Back at the hotel, Stephen leaves his hotel room to go to Tracey's room to form a "coalition". In the middle of the discussion, Stephen hears Mark coming and has to abandon the discussion and fake out Mark that he was just messing around with the camera crew. Ahmad finds Keshia in the Makeup Room (first time we have ever seen an actual "makeup room" for this show. Looks like they commandeered a suite and Keshia is sitting under a chandelier.) Because she pulled Journal #2 earlier today, she is being offered a special secret game called "Moon Over Yucatan". She has to convince the other players to join her for a night-time swim after dinner, but she can't tell them it's a game. For each player in the water, $2,000 is added to the pot. If anyone goes skinny-dipping, she gets an Exemption. It was a typical Mole dinner. Keshia feigns an illness and sets Angie to take a walk with her. They each go down to the beach and get their feet wet (two feet in water = $2,000). They called Mark over and he did the same. Keshia tries to convince mark to skinny-dip, but Angie volunteers if Keshia will do it. They use a towel to go out into the water and strip, earning Keshia an Exemption and the pot gets another $6,000.
The group then has their Exemption Dinner, and Keshia tells her story to the group about the game. The pot is now at $31,000, and the group takes the Execution Quiz. The person Executed? Ananda. Hotel accommodations provided by Occidental Grand Flamenco Xcaret.
I'm not happy about the show, but I'll watch again. Hey, wait a minute... Ananda was in the opening credits playing a game that wasn't in tonight's show, throwing balls at other players...
« hide the extended part of this entry
Well, yesterday it was -3° but today it's all the way up to 7°. It's almost balmy, or at leat it feels that way, since the winds seemed to have died down a bit.
I'm into that weird driving time again where the sun, as it's rising, is hitting me square in the eyes just over the horizon in the tollway. Makes for interesting braking! At least no one seems to be tailgating.
The other thing that I've just experienced for the first time this season are the semi's with a foot of snow on top of the trailers that are being whipped off the top, leaving a plume of white-out behind them. That's always fun trying to follow them.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
-3° this morning when I woke up. Wind chill: -35°
OK, this is way uncomfortable. I should have filled-up my gas tank on the way home last night, though I have to admit that doing it this morning wasn't as bad as I've experienced in the past.
This is the weather that I hate about Chicago. I just can't stand the severe cold.
At least the car works.
Monday, January 05, 2004
Sadly, it's not "What is Electricity?"
Well, my buddy Joe returned as 1 Day Champion on Jeopardy today after his $14,800 win on Friday.
He was in second place throughout the game, and just couldn't pull it out in Final Jeopardy, so he reign as Champion only lasted a day.
Anyway, good job, Joe! It's still pretty damn cool even being selected to be on the show, let alone winning!
Back to work
Well, it's finally back to work time. I - just sort of - was looking forward to it. Unfortunately, it was another day of no data, which means no machines to stage, which means that the crew that we normally have to do the staging won't be in again, and that just sucks.
The weather is still sliding downhill, with the temperatures dropping through the day and overnight. I'm not looking forward to this.
Oh, and to top the day off, while I was driving to the tollway after work, while the car was still warming up, a flock of geese flew overhead. Big deal - happens all the time, right? Well, I've never been under a flock of geese and have one of them - from altitude - crap on my car! What's worse? I find out that it's cold enough that my windshield washers are frozen, so all that happens is my windshield wipers just spread the poop over the windshield. Oh, great, what a drive home this will be. Fortunately, close to home, I was able to get the washers working.
Welcome to 2004. Is this an omen?
Sunday, January 04, 2004
How did I get so old?
I found a birthday card jammed into my keyboard this morning. It was from Carol.
The front said: "Sometimes I'll hear you doing something in another part of the house and it will remind me that we share a life together, and I smile."
Awwww. Then I open it. Inside it says: "Then I hear a thud, a crash, and cursing. Not quite as nice, but I still smile. Happy Birthday."
Yep, that's our life!
Where's the damn snow?
We were supposed to have 2" of snow by morning. Well, it just started snowing now, and they're saying maybe 7" by tonight. Great.
Spirit first images
So far, the mission is going very well. Data from Spirit is being relayed through Mars Observer just like it's supposed to. The first images are interesting. The landing area seems smoother than Pathfinder's was. This is going to be cool to follow.
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Spirit Alive on Mars
I was watching the TV feed from JPL. I'm not sure if Europe's Beagle 2 had this kind of a setup, but Spirit broadcasted a series of tones throughout the entire entry and decent phase, each signal told of a specific event - atmosphere entry, G's force accelerations, parachute deployment, heat shield separation, radar lock and retro-rocket firing. It was really cool hearing everything tick off. Then a short signal saying that the craft started bouncing on the surface (if you know anything about the mission or the prior Pathfinder mission, you know that this is normal, bouncing across the Martian landscape surrounded by airbags).
Everyone knew that it survived the entry. Now it was just a matter of waiting for a signal after it was all settled.
Then it came - the signal that the craft actually made it. The place went nuts. I can't wait to see the first pictures!!!
I may have spoke a little too soon yesterday. The spam is back again, though it might be slightly less than "normal". I keep forgetting that the bastards work during the week and Spam on weekends. Those who are unemployed (or who are using Spam mailing as there only source of income) work 7 days a week.
Bloody rat bastards...
Friday, January 02, 2004
Has anybody experienced what I seem to be experiencing?
I'm still receiving some, but the number of Spam emails I'm getting is way down since the first of the year. I'm hoping it's because of the "CAN-SPAM Act of 2003" (actually called the "Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003").
It just seems way down.
Good, ya bastards...
Well, so far, the NASA exploratory missions are going well.
This afternoon Stardust flew within 240 kilometers and flew through the particle and gas-laden coma around comet Wild 2, The really cool thing is that this is actually a sample return mission (it picked-up material when flying through the comet's "tail"), and the craft will land at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range on January 15, 2006 (or in 744 days! - It was launched February 7, 1999.)
Now, let's see how the Mars landers do...
Carol & I went out tonight to grab a burger for dinner (nothing fancy).
It's 61 degrees outside!!! (normal is supposed to be 30). This is Chicago - it's not supposed to be like this!!!!
Tomorrow starts the slide - Cloudy Rain/Snow colder - 39 degrees, then on Sunday the weather-critters are saying 30 degrees and MAYBE 3 TO 6 INCHES OF SNOW
Then, by the time I finally go back to work on Monday, the high is supposed to be 16 degrees...
What is Playing Banjo?
Back in October, when I was up in Wisconsin with "The Away Team", My buddy/former co-worker/former boss Joe told us he was going out to Culver City, California back in October.
So what, you may ask?
Well, he was going to compete on Jeopardy!
The show aired today - and he won! Took him to Final Jeopardy to do it, but he did it! Next week I think is Kid's Week, so he won't be back for another week. Of course, in accordance with his agreement, Joe can't talk about it. But, how cool is that?
Here's a link to his "Hello to Chicago" video from the Jeopardy website.
Here's an MPEG video (6Mb) of Alex Trebec and Joe talking during the intoduction segment.
Friday 5 - Looking Forward
Time for another Friday Five...
What one thing are you most looking forward to . . .
1. ...today? being lazy!
2. ...over the next week? My birthday on Sunday, and (believe it or not) returning to work on Monday
3. ...this year? Getting some kind of job that actually pays a decent wage, and celebrating our 25th anniversary
4. ...over the next five years? Slowly getting out of debt
5. ...for the rest of your life? Spending it with Carol, perhaps traveling perhaps relocating, not working for a living and being retired and having a enjoyable life together
Reading the Sports Illustrated Year In Sports issue and found a quote that put me on the floor...
WASN'T THAT A LINE FROM THE KAZ TADANO FILM?
After people wearing hot dog costumes collided during a footrace at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Brewers manager Ned Yost said, "I just looked over and saw our wieners in a wad."
A bit foggy in the neighborhood this morning. A little foggy in my head, too. I think I'm catching-up on lost sleep from yesterday. I'm just trying to figure out why I'm awake right now ... I'm missing good sleep time!
Thursday, January 01, 2004
Happy New Year
Well, Happy New Year, everybody! I'm trying to figure out when I'm going to stop saying "Good riddance to (insert last year here)" every New Year's Eve. Seems like just when you think you've turned a corner and you have hope for the coming year, when you look back on it you just can't say it's been a good year (on so many levels). *sigh*
We spent the evening at B&B's for the annual New Year's get together. This year, the food was all appetizers (which we did for years in the past) instead of an actual meal like last year (steak and lobster! A little pricey!). We watched After the Thin Man on TCM. I had never seen any of the Thin Man movies, and this was a hoot! Then we started watching the New Year's coverage and spent the entire time slamming all of the revelers' choice of clothing. We couldn't find anybody who was dressed well - it was all a bunch of people under-dressing or... dressing in things that they shouldn't be caught dead in because of either 1) poor taste, or 2) body shape. Yech. Did our annual toasts at midnight and we left at about 1:15 this morning.
The drive home was uneventful. First off, we have never ever seen so many cabs in the Wrigleyville area compared to all of the years in the past. May have been because of the very mild weather just brought out a hell of a lot more people. The expressways and tollways were good - only one maniac driver that almost wiped out us, a van, and another car on the Northwest Tollway just west of 53. Bastard.
This morning, I'm a significantly groggy and in significant back pain (no idea why - could be because of the way I slept? or didn't sleep?). Stomach is all acidy. I'm just kicking back and watching the Tournament of Roses Parade without commercial interruption on HGTV. (Oh, jeez... I just saw Trista and Ryan go by on the FTD float - "Love Songs"...)
*nose wiggle* Toot! Toot!
"Rabbit, Rabbit!" and Happy New Year - 2004! Whooo Hooo!!!!!