This collection of entries is from October 2007.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
So.. it was - what I thought - a very nice day. Sunny. Low 60's. A bit breezy, though.
And ... thanks to our screwed-up government, Daylight Saving is still in effect for an extra week, just to allow the Trick or Treater's out there one extra hour of daylight.
So, I was disappointed in the turnout - another downturn in visitors. You know I keep track of the kids.
So... here we go... here's the look of the numbers over the years:
and... drumroll... this year's count: 46
And that doesn't count the 3 kids that came back (they were in my first group - at 4:21pm).. .and.. it doesn't count the dog dressed like a devil, either.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Stealing a Taco
On the way home from work today, I had to stop by Taco Bell.
Now... why would I do that... and why would you care?
Because everyone in the United States is getting a free taco today. Now... again... why?
Because Taco Bell ran a promotion that was called "Steal a Base Steal a Taco". In a nutshell, if anybody in the World Series steals a base in a World Series game, America gets a free a free crunchy seasoned beef taco .
So - there it was: last Thursday, Game 2, bottom of the 4th. - Thank You Boston Red Sox rookie center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (he walked after two out, and stole second in a 2-1 win by Boston over Colorado)
The place wasn't crowded at all... you could only cash-in today from 2pm-5pm. I can't imagine what the chain's 5,800 stores were like during all of this.
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EVENT: Taco Bell Corp. ("Taco Bell") is tapping into the national pastime with a completely outside the bun idea: During any game of the 2007 World Series (the "Games"), currently scheduled for Wednesday, October 24, 2007, Thursday, October 25, 2007, Saturday, October 27, Sunday, October 28, 2007, Monday, October 29, 2007 (if necessary), Wednesday, October 31, 2007 (if necessary), Thursday, November 1, 2007, (if necessary), Games or event dates and times determined in the sole discretion of the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and/or Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., as applicable, and are subject to change, Taco Bell will offer the prize identified below for ANY "stolen base" as determined by Taco Bell in its sole discretion. For purposes of this event, an eligible "stolen base" is defined as a base stolen during regulation or extra innings play and is subject to the determination/designation of the official Major League Baseball scorekeeper as an official stolen base. Any attempted stolen base which does not result in an official stolen base as defined herein, will not be eligible for the "Free Taco" as outlined herein. If a base is stolen during regulation or extra innings play by any player for either team, Taco Bell will offer every person in the U.S. the opportunity to obtain one (1) free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco (Approximate Retail Value 77¢, prices may vary) ("Free Taco") at participating Taco Bell® restaurants in the United States on the date designated herein. No product substitution, cash redemption or alternative will be allowed. Only one (1) Free Taco will be permitted per person, regardless of how many eligible bases are stolen during the Games. In the event the Games are not played on October 24-November 1, 2007, the offer will be good during any Games of the 2007 MLB World Series to be announced.
ELIGIBILITY: No Purchase Necessary. This offer is open to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia only. Void in all other territories, possessions, commonwealths and all other countries. Void where prohibited. MLB Entities (as defined below) and employees thereof are ineligible.
SPONSOR: Taco Bell Corp., 17901 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92614.
HOW TO OBTAIN A FREE TACO: If an eligible base was stolen during the Games, Taco Bell will make an announcement through selected media channels, including a press release and its web site (www.tacobell.com), that eligible consumers can obtain their free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco on Tuesday, October 30, 2007 (if base is stolen in Games 1 or 2 on October 24 or October 25, 2007) OR November 6, 2007 (if base is stolen in Games 3-7, October 27, 28, 29, 31, November 1, 2007) ("Redemption Date") only. To obtain the Free Taco, consumers must visit any participating Taco Bell® restaurant in one of the fifty (50) the United States or District of Columbia between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (local time) on the Redemption Date only and request a Free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco. Free Taco's will not be offered on any other date or time, regardless of circumstance. Limit one (1) Free Crunchy Seasoned Beef Taco per person. Participating Taco Bell restaurant manager reserves the right to deny Free Taco to any person he/she reasonably believes has already received a Free Taco or has engaged in any other fraudulent activity. All eligible consumers: Everyone in line at a participating Taco Bell restaurant before 5:00 p.m. local time will receive a Free Taco, even if it is provided after 5:00 p.m. Free Taco offer is subject to store availability and Taco Bell reserves the right to substitute an item of equal or greater value if due to unavailability. All restaurant managers decisions are final regarding to Free Taco offer. As a condition of the offer, consumers agree: (a) to release, and hold harmless Major League Baseball Properties, Inc., Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc., MLB Advanced Media, L.P., MLB Media Holdings, Inc., MLB Media Holdings, L.P., MLB Online Services, Inc., the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, and the Major League Baseball Clubs, and each of their respective shareholders, employees, parents, directors, officers, affiliates, representatives, agents, successors, and assigns (hereinafter,"MLB Etities") and Sponsor and their affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, sales representatives, distributors and franchisees, and each of their officers, directors, employees and agents ("Promotional Parties"), from any and all claims, demands, losses, promises, causes of action, and liabilities, in this contest/promotion or any use/misuse of the prizes awarded hereunder including a Free Taco, (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Offer or any Free Taco or any advertising, marketing, promotion or publicity materials in connection therewith, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys' fees and court costs. By participating, consumers agree that all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, participant's rights and obligations, or the rights and obligations of the Sponsor in connection with the Sweepstakes, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules. By entering, entrants consent to the jurisdiction and venue of the federal, state and local courts for Irvine, California.
Taco Bell is an official sponsor of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. Contest not produced or executed by any MLB Entity.
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Yep... it's cold
Woke up this morning to 39°F outside... yeah.. the season has turned...
It's been a disappointing fall, though... it's been warm for so long, that the trees REALLY haven't changed colors as well as they used to. Add to that the high winds we had recently, and the trees are becoming more bare than retaining colorful leaves.
Well, at least I won't be staying in the house this morning, having to go to work. yesterday it was 61°F in the house, and that just made a bit too uncomfortable.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Another season over
Boston sweeps Colorado in the World Series... and thus brings to a close another baseball season...
My heart goes into hibernation until the spring...
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Went to see Gone
Drove into the city to pickup B&B to drive to the Evanston Century 12 theaters to see Gone Baby Gone.
Well, I have to say lately that I think I've decided that "my kind of movie" is one that entertains, it could be "light", it could be "action"... and this movie doesn't fall into that genre for me. I was reluctant to go, but as Carol pointed out to me, I seem to have been steering our movie going in that direction when the four of us are together and it was time to see one of "their" movies.
A bit dark... a bit disturbing (the subject matter)... but.. I MUST admit, well performed... and enjoyable in that sense.
And, to top it off, my legs didn't twitch at all in those seats, and I haven't the foggiest reason why.
After the movie, we drove back to their neighborhood to hit a LITTLE restaurant that we love going to - El Tapatio. The food was great, as always, but tonight our issues were 1) sitting under a speaker that was JUST TOO LOUD... and 2) since when do all these toddlers love Mexican food? the restaurant is TINY and the tables really close together, especially in the back where we always seem to sit, but I don't like have to scoot my chair as close to the table as possible (up against my stomach) to stay out of the way of the lady sitting behind.. .and the toddler always running into my chair... the amount of kids in such a tiny restaurant was startling...
We went to their house afterward to watch Game 3 of the World Series (there's no way Boston is gonna loose this series... sorry Colorado...) and had some yummy hot apple pie from Dinkel's (complete with a great vanilla bean ice cream, too).
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Elevator Entrance Etiquette
Am I off-base here? Is there some kind of cultural thing going on?
When I'm in an elevator and when I reach my floor... the doors will open...
WHY OH WHY OH WHY.. am I sensing that certain people of certain ethnic decents... have this... compulsion.. to enter the elevator before you can get out?
That's why I'm asking if it's a cultural thing that I'm just aware of... or are these individuals just discourteous?
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Mike and the Apple Guck
I know I have wrote much about my nephew... perhaps it's because for most of his VERY young life he's kind of looked at me with just a slight look of fear. I guess I was just an odd looking person, with the deep voice ... and all that hair on my face... and... none (or almost none) on top of my head.
But... he's been slowly warming up to me. And, just recently, like within the past few months, we've actually started playing together.
Today was a MAJOR day for me... I'm sure it wasn't for him, it was just another trip to see "gamma".
But... you know what happened today? You know what is going to go into my (recently faulty) memory today?
HE CALLED ME BY MY NAME.
Now... he can't say "uncle" yet, but to hear him call me "Mike" was a BIG THING for me.
We had bought Jack a Bob The Builder toy yesterday when we were at Fry's Electronics (wow, I love that place!)... it was a Packer Delivery truck... that came with (allegedly) scented crates of apples... so... he can say "apples" pretty well (OK, it comes out more like "appooo") but the "tr" in "truck"... well... not so much.
..and so.. Jack and Mike played with his "apple guck".
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Wolves 2 - Admirals 1 - Overtime - Home Opener
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Back at the Allstate Arena for some AHL Hockey action. The season has started, and it's time to settle-in and start to gear-up to support the Chicago Wolves again. We watched the Season Opener in Houston last week and were mildly impressed with what we saw - again, new team, new faces, but some names that we enjoyed seeing again. I feel good about this year - I'm not as negative as I've been about this team as I have been in prior years... 10,209 showed-up, down from last year... but still a decent showing.
Nothing new around the Allstate Arena... the open and player introductions are about the same... even the faces in the seats around us of the returning Season Ticket holders are all there... and, you know... that's not a bad thing...
(Game Summary - Gamesheet)
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Friday, October 12, 2007
Way to go, Albert Arnold!!!
Early, early this morning (well, at least for us in the U.S.), it was announced that the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ... and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr.!!!!
"for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change"
Now... people... all those people that are trying to get Al to run for president when he doesn't want to, remember this:
this country is screwed... it won't REALLY matter who occupies the white House because of the significance of the damage that has been done with relations between the United States and just about the entire rest of the world.
That being said... Gore is in a position to MAKE A DIFFERENCE not to the U.S., but GLOBALLY... and that is SO MUCH MORE SIGNIFICANT... and, let's face it, fulfilling...
SAVE THE PLANET
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The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.
Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.
Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.
Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.
By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.
Oslo, 12 October 2007
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Welcome to Chicago Weather
So, the official high temperature on Sunday was 87°F.
Today, I woke up and it was 48°F. The high was only 53°F - 34°F colder than Sunday for the marathon. Today's temperature would have been so much better for that event - more seasonal, I suppose.
That's why they scheduled it at this time of year.
Sunday, October 07, 2007
It's October. Baseball is over. It's fall...
it's not supposed to be 87 degrees outside.
That's why the Chicago Marathon is scheduled at this time of year.
The race started today at 8am. At 11:30, for any runners that didn't make the half-way point, they were diverted to the Finish Line.
The organizers shutdown the marathon.
It was already too late. A 35-year-old guy from Michigan died after 19 miles.
24,931 of the 35,867 that started actually completed the race (about 4,000 finishing under 3½ hours) - when the officials stopped the race. And about 10,000 registered runners took the heat warnings to heart and didn't even start the race.
Still, over 300 were hospitalized.
On top of that, there were many reports of the water stations were depleted... many runners not getting any water until mile 8... or mile 13, depending on the reports I was hearing.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
The Natural Order of things has returned to normal in Chicago.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
50 years ago today the world changed
It was 50 years ago today that life on this planet changed. The Soviet Union launched the first satellite to orbit the earth - Sputnik 1 (or "Спутник-1") On October 4, 1957 at 19:28:34 UTC. It was 22.8 inches in diameter, 183.9 pounds, orbiting on an elliptical orbit that took about 98 minutes. It took until January 31, 1958 for the U.S. to even fight back in what has always been described as a "Space Race" by launching Explorer 1 (ummm.. after Vanguard TV-3 explodes on launch pad on December 6, 1957). NASA was created on October 1, 1958 from the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) by the congress's National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (commonly called the "Space Act") Public Law #85-568, 72 Stat., 426. Signed by the President on July 29, 1958. Sputnik-1 orbited 1,440 times and lasted about 3 months. The transmitter batteries ran out after 22 days.
It all REALLY started 50 years ago today, 9 months to the day after I was born.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
What a great foggy morning. It's mornings like this that I am reminded about how much I love fog... and I really can't tell you why. Fog usually means no wind - not even a breeze. For some reason, too... it seems quiet. So mysterious. Driving is always a heightened experience... not knowing what's ahead of you... an enjoyable drive to work, for a change.
Monday, October 01, 2007
*nose wiggle* *nose wiggle*
We had a nice fall storm move through the area overnight... which, to keep a long story short, tripped a GFI breaker in our house, which took down the distribution amplifier in our garage for our DirecTV system...
..again, trying to make this short, I had to go downstairs to reset the breaker... which was the cause of me talking to Carol before I realized I needed to utter the correct words for today - "Rabbit, Rabbit!" - to get some luck... (with two nose wiggles from our two bunnies Indy and Chip)...
so... since I am doomed for not saying the luck phrase that pays (unless I remember to say "Tibbar, Tibbar!" tonight), go checkout the Wikipedia entry on this: "Rabbit rabbit".