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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 January 2002.

December 2001 MAIN BLOG February 2002 Next

Thursday, January 31, 2002

Wet snow and no signal

The neighborhood after the snow Snow on my DirecTV dish
pant... pant... pant... (gulp)... damn that snow is heavy... just shoveled the sidewalk to the front door... the snow is heavy and wet (it's 34 outside) - your typical "heart attack snow". So far, none reported on the news, but a guy in LaGrange lost two fingers in a "snowblower incident". Ew.

So I get up this morning and was watching the local news to see how bad things are outside. Then I decide to see what else is on - I flip over to BBC America, and... nothing. Black Screen. Hmmmm... I flip over to ESPN. Nothing. What the.... I have local stations and NOTHING ELSE. I have now experienced what is probably the single downfall of DirecTV - SNOW. The local channels are spot beamed down to the Chicago area and are at a high signal strength. It's getting through the snow on the dish (Normally I get 100% signal strength on these channels - I'm getting 78%), The signal strength on the other channels is ZERO. No lock on the satellite. I look out the family room window and see my dish covered in snow. Crap. I get dressed, grabbed a ladder and trudged through the snow to the side of the house. Only twisted my ankle once and went down in pain, but I'm OK. Got on the ladder and brushed the snow off - it just slid off. If I just waited longer, I bet it would have slid off by itself. Now, I'm back to 84% signal strength on the other channels and everything is fine. Got online and went to American Satellite to order what Carol calls a "sweater" for the dish - it's a cover to keep the snow off so I won't have to do this again.

posted at 12:18 PM | Link | Mundane |

Holy crap, it snowed! I mean, IT SNOWED!!! There's 10" of snow out there! It really came down!

posted at 08:27 AM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, January 30, 2002

CT Assisted Biopsy

So, I drive into the city. Not a flake in the sky until I get to Foster & Nagle, and then it's barely doing anything. Get to my parents house, walk in to the house in the middle of an argument about God-know-what. This whole health situation has been slowly effecting my family in so many ways. I can't imagine what goes on between my parents day-in, day-out... couldn't park in front of the house because someone has parked a dark gray 1990 Chevy Cavalier with no plates or sticker that they're trying to sell for $1200 right in front of my parents house. PISSES ME OFF. It's been there since at least Sunday. Anyway, the snow continues but never accumulates... the streets are just wet...

Carol's favorite house in Oak Park Signs along Chicago Avenue in Oak Park The Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio 1889-1909
I love driving down Chicago Avenue in Oak Park. It's great just after a snow, to see the streets that are lined with the old-growth trees, just covered in snow. And there's a ton of great houses. BIG houses. Carol has a house that she loves that's on a corner lot. I think it was up for sale recently... can't remember how many millions of dollars it was going for... one of these days I'm going to have to go to the Frank Lloyd Wright house.. I pass it on these trips to the medical center...

Loyola University Health System "The Ten Commandments" by Cliff Helfrich
Finally got to Loyola Medical Center. Still no snow on the ground - a good thing. Dad goes back to the CatScan lab in the basement. We were there for almost an hour, getting him signed-in and prepped. Then we have to leave - we're going to go to a separate CT lab back on the first floor. Typical of a super large medical facility, it takes a while to finally get there. We're in part of the hospital we've never been in before. We go down one corridor, and there's a brand new art exhibit hanging on the walls (it was new according to the nurse that escorted us to this CT lab). The exhibit was "The Ten Commandments - 10 pieces of canvas with abstract painting on each that is supposed to depict each commandment. We didn't pay too much attention, but I just didn't get it.

The sign for CT Scanner #4 Dad waiting for the biopsy Dad actually getting scanned Dad in the CT Scanning room Screens with Dad's CT Scan

We finally make it to the CT Lab - "CT Scanner #4". We all wait out in a very tiny, dark waiting room. Eventually the nurse takes dad in. It's 12 noon. Mom and I ask if we could go to the cafeteria to grab something to eat & drink. The nurse says sure, it should take about an hour. Off to the VERY crowded cafeteria for a quick lunch. We sat by a window and watched the snow falling on the patio area. Still no accumulation, its just wet - puddles everywhere. We go back at about 20 to 1 and find out that the actual procedure hasn't started yet. They were just cranking-up when we had got there. Apparently, they had to confer with Dr. Bastian before they could do the actual needle biopsy. All of a sudden, Dad gets scanned, they look at the shots, another doctor goes in, gets the tissue sample, and walks out to go and make sure he's got a good sample. It just happened probably within the span of 5 minutes. I stepped out of the room for a minute or two, just to walk down the corridor to see what was down the hall (The Heart Failure Lab, actually) when I saw the doctor going back in. I started walking back and the doctor was coming back out and said "We're all done". When I walked into the waiting area, the was another doctor that was talking to my mom, in broken English. All I caught at the end of the conversation was something about the tumor had grown, and "wrapped around" something, and was now down below the stoma. This sounds bad. The tumor has grown since the last CT? Mom helps dad get dressed and we head on home. Still snowing, still no accumulation. I drop them off, and head home myself.

This is sounding worse than I what I heard from Dr. Emami just two weeks ago today.

I'm feeling scared. This is new to me. Mom had said to me in the waiting room that she "knew that people with 'this' never come out of it" and that she's taking it a day at a time and she's doesn't want to think about it much because it bothers her too much.

I understand.

posted at 03:20 PM | Link | Family |
Garbage Day

Holy crap... am I tired... I wanted to keep sleeping... must be the weather. No snow by us. but 1"-2" south of O'Hare. The city is literally split it half with this Winter Storm that's been going through since last night... 6"-10" by tomorrow afternoon! I've got to get myself together to drive my parents to Loyola Medical Center again...

Ah, the weekly garbage pickup...
it's Wednesday, so it's garbage day... nothing I hate worse is to be on your way out the door and remember "hey, it's Wednesday!" and have to drag out the garbage and recyclables...

posted at 08:05 AM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

State of The Union

OK, State of the Union... eh. Everything about the War on Terrorism was fine. For some reason I was uncomfortable with Hamid Karzai being there - he could be viewed as a puppet of the US, which I think would be a bad thing. Wasn't real comfortable singling out North Korea, as well as Iran and Iraq. I mean, you knew Iraq had to get mentioned (with special mention of "Weapons Of Mass Destruction" and UN inspectors). But I felt that there are voices in Iran that could turn the country a bit so that we can communicate again. I just didn't see the North Korea thing coming. I mean, it's true and I agree, but I just didn't think they would get mentioned.

I remember more boisterous State of The Union speeches by Clinton. I seem to remember a lot more "yea-ing" and applause. Perhaps Congress is a bit more "somber" now with the war, the recession, the unemployment... but that Enron thing sure came through, with him saying corporate America should be "more accountable to employees and shareholders and held to the highest standards of conduct". Damn right.

posted at 09:20 PM | Link | Current Events |
Geese and Satan

OK, now I think they're inviting friends...
The geese are back... now I'm starting to think they're inviting friends...

Got the mail and saw a letter from Unemployment... lots of things run through your head when you see a letter like this, all of which have to do with losing your benefits. Turns out, it's just a letter saying that the calculation changed for calendar year 2002. Unfortunately, I made too much money during my 6 months of work last year for that new calculation to make any difference - I'm still at the max allowable.

OK trust me, the next two things aren't related (I don't think...)

We have to sit through another State of the Union speech tonight by George the 43rd. Look, I'm behind the guy absolutely 100% when it come to the War On Terror, but I never liked his domestic policies. I hope we start turning up the heat in the Philippines, and, after seeing Black Hawk Down over the weekend, I hope that Somalia gets "cleaned-up" as well, but the rest of the policies? Fahgetaboutit.

Now - not related (I don't think), the Mayor of Inglis, Florida (Carolyn Risher) issued a proclamation that declared the Prince of Darkness persona non grata. "Satan, ruler of darkness, giver of evil, destroyer of what is good and just, is not now, nor ever again will be, a part of this town of Inglis." Think the ACLU is happy?

posted at 04:16 PM | Link | Mundane |
I have no life

Great... here's a button that you can buy at ThinkGeek that just sums it all up for me:

Think Geek button

posted at 03:47 PM | Link | Mundane |

The National Anthem Of Bloggers!!! The whacky Canadian Mike at aka Cooties came up with this... UltraSuperHyperMegaUberBlogerrific!

posted at 11:51 AM | Link | Odd |
September 11 Sourcebooks

Wow... found this link at The Illuminated Donkey - it's September 11 Sourcebooks from The National Security Archive of George Washington University. Wow, all kinds of stuff that's all deep background source documents. Cool...

posted at 09:09 AM | Link | Current Events |
Winter Storm Watch

Oh, oh.. it may be cloudy now, with rain on the way, but there's a Winter Storm Watch out for tomorrow afternoon through Thursday. Why is it when I have to drive into the city during the week, it's snowing?...

posted at 08:31 AM | Link | Mundane |
Job hunting in the dark

Very cloudy and dark this morning... a great day to sleep-in... had a little problem with some stomach acid (blech!) overnight, but not bad. Solid sleep. Mmmmm... sleep... sleep good... nuts... I'm up...

Responded to a posting on for that same job as on the 24th, this time called a Messaging Analyst Project Manager through Strategic Staffing Solutions in Detroit. It popped-up in my morning job search Email agents, so I have to try it from as many recruiters as possible... hey it looks like there's actually two jobs...

posted at 07:50 AM | Link | Job Search |

Monday, January 28, 2002

Unemployment check

Employment SECURITY??? Hello - May I help you?
Another unemployment check to deposit into the bank... boy that's a slap in the face - looking at the envelope, it comes from the department of Employment Security. Employment Security??? Since when are jobs secure??? Boy, they're not doing their jobs! A quick trek out to the ATM, and we make it through another couple of days...

posted at 03:17 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, January 27, 2002

Family dinner

The high temperature today - 59 . In January. In Chicago. Ooooooo... Mother Nature is messin' with us...

So, went to my parents for dinner with Diane and the dogs. Guess I'm taking my parents back to Loyola Medical Center on Wednesday. Dad's going to have some kind of CT assisted biopsy - I think they use the CT for correct positioning of the needle to extract the correct tissue for sampling. Brought a CD over for Diane that I had burned of all of the family pictures that I've been scanning out of Mom's archives. Still have that problem with those satin-finish photos... produces a series of dots for each ridge on the image... I wish I knew how to get them cleaned up...

Came home and found out that our little bunners Indy had chewed a hole in our carpet in the family room about the size of a silver dollar. That little brat! Now I have a hole of just carpet backing - no nap. Great. We REALLY needed new carpeting, and we would have done it - if I was still employed. Like so many other things, we've had to put off some of the things we wanted to do...

posted at 10:15 PM | Link | Mundane |
It's nice outside. Too bad I'm overweight

Oooooo... this looks like it's going to be a nice day outside...

Major problem, though... you see, Mother Nature has a tendency of "evening things out"... which means that all hell will break loose later in the week (probably snow and cold).

Interesting... I had Mexican food last night and my stomach's fine. No GERD in 15 days... wonder what that means... I'm eating healthier? or at least am eating things that aren't acidy? or maybe my stress level has gone done? nah... can't be that... where's the hell's my job?!?! Oh, maybe it's... 5'3" 204 pounds... 'nuff said...

posted at 10:42 AM | Link | Mundane |

Saturday, January 26, 2002

Mogadishu on the big screen

AMC South Barrington 30 Hmmm... what to see, what to see... Hmmm... what to eat, what to drink...
Wow. Another 52 day.

Barry & Buffy came over to visit. We went out this afternoon to the AMC South Barrington 30 to see Black Hawk Down. The only negative: it runs 144 minutes. Wow. What a movie, what a story. It's the true story of the Battle of Mogadishu, the longest sustained ground battle involving American soldiers since the Vietnam War. 120 American Delta units and Ranger infantry were dropped into Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3rd, 1993, to abduct two of Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid's lieutenants. Instead, two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters were shot down, and what was expected to take an hour lasted 15, resulting in the deaths of 18 Americans, 73 wounded, and hundreds of Somalians dead. Great cinematography. Great acting. Ridley Scott did another great job.

But the real real story is even more timely and hits home even more - you see Gen. Muhammed Farrah Aidid's people were actually trained, funded, and staffed by - guess who - BIN LADEN! Yep, the same bastard we're still going after 8 years later. If you happen to see the movie, think about that and see how it "colors" your view of what was going on in Moga (as the Rangers call it).

Went to this Mexican place, El Mason, in Schaumburg for dinner. Haven't been there since the 80's. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and sounds like we'll go back. Everyone had combo platters (Carol, Buffy & I each had the same one, that came with a half of a strip steak that was very tasty and tender).

posted at 08:15 PM | Link | Movies |

Friday, January 25, 2002

Wedding at the Buffet

OK, I'm not getting this...

I was hungry when Carol got home so we went to this Chinese Buffet place not far from the house. Nothing special about this place. I don't know a bout you, but these buffet places have been springing up everywhere, and most times these places fail. this one has been going strong for a couple of years now.

We get there early, before the dinner rush. But there's something odd about this place that I can't explain. Friday nights turn out to be Latino Night of the Chinese Buffet. No clue why this happens. We can go there any other night of the week, and there's never as many Hispanics in the place as there are on Friday nights.

The place was empty when we got there. About halfway though our dinner, this 14-person part comes in the door. The busboy starts rearranging tables next to us. Sure enough, Latino Night has started.

But this was a bit odd. As usual, more than half the people were kids under the age of 7. Not a big deal. But then I notice that one of the guys is in a tuxedo. OK, so I'm starting to stereotype in my mind, thinking maybe he was a waiter at some upscale restaurant somewhere. But that's when I notice the woman. She's got a jacket on (that she continues to wear through most of dinner). Then I see the white satin dress. And the white flat shoes that she's wearing. And the baby's breath in her hair... oh my God, is this a wedding reception??? None of the other adults seam to be as "dressed" as these two. The "bride" takes her jacket off. The dress is backless - no wonder she's cold. There's pictures and video being taken. I'm just not getting this... I've got to remember to take my digital camera out with me more often...

Now to add insult to injury, I can't stand when parents don't control their kids at a buffet. What you don't need is some kid running around underneath you as you are trying to navigate the buffet with a full plate of food. What's even worse is a toddler who is coughing his lungs out (at least it sounds that way) anywhere near the food. It's one of my MAJOR pet peeves...

On the way out, at another table, I hear a young teenager cry "Why did I put soy sauce on my macaroni and cheese!"

posted at 06:35 PM | Link | Mundane |
They mock me

Great... now they're mocking me... Damn it! Get the hell outa here!
They're back... they're mocking me... they're sitting on my driveway... time to go ruffle some feathers...

posted at 02:45 PM | Link | Mundane |
Another bright, bright, sunshiny day...

It might get up to 60 on Sunday. I need to get out and enjoy it somehow - get out of this house. No new job listings today. Figures.

posted at 10:39 AM | Link | Mundane |

Thursday, January 24, 2002

Geese and jobs

Geese walking through the neighborhood again... this time there's no squirrels as part of their posse... I need a job... responded to a posting on for a Messaging Analyst through CIBER, Inc. (is this the same job on Or this? Or even this from Oak Enterprises that I'll also reply to? Surely this one is...)... my pessimism is coming out here, but I'm not expecting a call back, though I sure would like one about now. I've been debating about applying for this job at Keebler in Elmhurst (I didn't remember that Kellogg's is the parent company) as well that I saw through, though I'm not an exact match. Guess I'll do it anyway.

posted at 01:31 PM | Link | Job Search |
Which drink are you?

Great... I'm so damn boring, I'm taking these online tests!

Drink me!
Which drink are you?
posted at 09:32 AM | Link | Stupid Quizzes |

Wednesday, January 23, 2002

Geese, squirrels, and DirecTV

Damn, my life has become such a bore. What a waste of space... this unemployment just sucks.

Well, the geese went through the neighborhood again - this time with two squirrels running with them. Very odd.

FedEx showed-up with a replacement satellite receiver from Sony. Called DirecTV and got the new unit up and running. I really felt like I was receiving good customer service. This has been a great experience...

posted at 08:33 PM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, January 22, 2002

Warm, but a bum receiver

It's Chicago. It's JANUARY. It was 54 today!!! Greenhouse effect? Who cares! It's gorgeous outside!!!!

Well, inside things are not going as well as I had hoped with DirecTV. I had to call Sony about this one satellite receiver that was giving me "A short has been detected in your access card" message. Sony is overnighting a replacement receiver. Not bad!

posted at 09:08 PM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, January 21, 2002

Chest CT

Loyola University Health System Loyola Medical Center Russo Surgical Center Sign to CT Scan Dad shuffling back from his CT Scan
Another drive into the city to take my parents to Loyola Medical Center. This time, to go to the Russo Surgical Center for a Chest CT. The roads were empty, the hospital was crowded. My guess - both are true due to the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.

posted at 01:22 PM | Link | Family |
Not enough

Just couldn't fall asleep. Had to get up early. Didn't enjoy the shortness of my sleep time.

posted at 07:22 AM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, January 20, 2002

Wolves 0 - Griffins 1

Chicago Wolves Grand Rapids Griffins
I'm getting tired of watching these two teams play each other. This is the 9th time they've played. The Griffins beat the Wolves 1-0 in a game that was marked by not having tons of fights or penalties. But the Wolves just can't handle a puck. I've said that for a long time now, and you could see that tonight.

posted at 09:56 PM | Link | Wolves |

Whoa... groggy again... solid night's sleep, but can't remember anything about most of the dreams last night... all I remember is being an investigator on a multiple (24) murder investigation next to a seaside resort...

posted at 09:10 AM | Link | Mundane |

Saturday, January 19, 2002

Welcome Back Michael, Goodbye Soldier Field, Good Job Danny

Chicago Bulls Washington Wizards
So, Michael Jordan comes back to the United Center. It's just a bit too much for him. He actually starts tearing-up during the player introductions and the only thing that "saves" him is the lights being turned out for the Bulls introduction. The AP report described it like this:

As United Center announcer Ray Clay introduced Jordan before the game, the sellout crowd stood and started clapping and screaming. At first, he tried to ignore it, looking down at his blue-and-white Air Jordans and chewing on his lip. But as the ovation continued, Jordan finally looked up. His eyes filled with tears and he glanced around the arena that will always be home no matter where he's playing. He gave a shaky smile and waved at the fans, who adore him for the six titles he won with the Bulls -- even if he's no longer wearing that familiar red-and-black No. 23. One fan summed it up best, carrying a sign that read, simply, "Thanks, Mike." Clearly moved, Jordan looked around, seeming almost stunned by the lovefest.
Michael's explanation:

"I had a tough time playing against Chicago. It's like playing a relative, in a sense. It's not as intense, you're not quite as motivated."

"I've got a statue sitting out front. It's going to be tough for me to come back and it just be another game. It's always going to be compared to what I did here. It's human nature. And I know that."

More quotes:
"I can say whatever I want about the uniforms and that the people have changed in those uniforms, but Chicago is Chicago, the Bulls are the Bulls, and the fans make the whole situation tough."
"I've got a lot of gratitude for this city, for what they gave me and the motivation of playing, and here I am, I'm playing against their team."
"I have too many memories," he said. "It's important for me not to come back and try to live up to that situation because that's tough. I may have a good game maybe the next time I come here. But to try to compare the two eras or the two situations, it's very, very tough."
He had a career-high nine turnovers, and was just 7-of-21 from the floor for 16 points. The Wizards still won 77-69 (it's not like the Bulls were playing any good, either. In the first half The Bulls shot 16.7% on the first half.

And you gotta like this: Jordan shows up two hours before the game, heading for the locker room. "Hey Michael!" someone yelled, "what's it going to feel like going to the visitor's locker room?" "I don't even know where it is," he cracked.

Welcome back, Mike.

Chicago Bears Philadelphia Eagles
Then the Philadelphia Eagles show up at Soldier Field to play the Bears in the playoffs and handed them their hats. Eagles won 33-19 in a game filled with injury, all against the Bears. I hated this game. How could there be so many injuries and no penalties? I guess it boils down to another "homecoming" - Donovan McNabb (he grew up in the suburbs). He was 26 of 40 for 262 yards and rushed for 37 yards. And between McNabb and Duce Staley, they just killed us. And their defensive end Hugh Douglas just pissed me off. Everyone he touched seemed to get hurt. He drove Jim Miller to the turf and separated his shoulder. Later Mike Brown gets thrown to the turf at the sidelines and gets a concussion. Marty Booker gets a separated shoulder in the 3rd. Shane Mathews had to come in and play the rest of the game and this guy can't pass worth a damn (at least Miller could air it out once in a while). The Bears just didn't show up. At least Jerry Azumah got an interception (tipped by cornerback R.W. McQuarters) and touchdown.

The game was over at 6:35pm. At 9:30pm, crews started dismantling Soldier Field. Workers began removing the seats (which will be sold for $200 a pair), taking down the goalposts (they're being taken to Champaign for next year). Crews had only 30 hours to clean everything and remove the seats before the power is to be switched off and the demolition begins.

Goodbye Soldier Field. You'll never be the same.

Chicago Wolves Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
The Wolves were in Ohio, playing the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks. Dan Snyder had a hat trick and the Wolves won 5-1. At least there was some joy in Mudville.

posted at 11:07 PM | Link | Sports |

Wow... almost 10 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The dreams were pretty vivid and detailed. Lots of odd little things, mostly about working somewhere where everyone was being laid-off, though I never made it to lay-off day. A lot of character interaction. Odd things, too, like climbing up a side of a brick building (not a big building, only a couple of stories) using the mortar and other surfaces to hang on to, as well as ledges... and doing this as a means of transportation to certain offices and floors... A remarkable thing about dreams, which aren't real to begin with, is to dream about something and then in the middle of the dream saying to yourself "oh, I remember that", and remembering a certain situation... which you never did before either - creating a false memory that's used in your dream. Weird. Familiar people, familiar surroundings - in unfamiliar places. Feeling pretty good when you wake up...

posted at 10:15 AM | Link | Mundane |

Friday, January 18, 2002

Bad receiver, no job match

Well, I wanted a better day.

First, I got my FedEx from DirecTV. Turns out - the problem isn't the access card, it's the receiver. Bummer. I only had it two weeks. Now I have to find a Sony dealer for service.

Then it looks like I don't match as well as I would have liked with that job on based on an EMail that I got back from the headhunter. I really wanted that opportunity.

Went to Rosatti's for the buffet for dinner. That was OK. Oh, and I had a great night's sleep. Oh, and then I had my first great DirecTV Sports moment - I was able to watch the Manitoba Moose at the Utah Grizzlies on Fox Sports Rocky Mountain - my first AHL game in a different market. Thought that was cool.

The other stuff just bums me out today.

posted at 11:28 PM | Link | Mundane |

Thursday, January 17, 2002

Bad receiver, bad lunch, too much hope

Odd day. Started with one of my DirecTV receivers crapping out with a "short in the access card". A new one is being FedEx'd to me and I should have it tomorrow. Gotta like those DirecTV people.

Then Barry calls. He's in the neighborhood and wanted to know if I wanted to do lunch. So we went to the Super Chinese Buffet on Golf for lunch. Always went there for dinner, not lunch. Disappointing. Obviously they would have less of an offering, but somehow the food didn't seem as good either. Strange.

I answered a job posting on The opportunity is interesting - a contract position. But it's 100% travel for 6-12 months. I'm not sure I fit the position, but it sounds interesting. Had another search firm leave me three voice mails today for a position that looks like I don't fit.

Odd day.

posted at 09:41 PM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

The cancer won't be cured

Loyola University Health System Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center

I leave the house at about 12:30pm to drive to my parents to drive them to Loyola Medical Center in Maywood. Dad had to see Dr. Emami, who's the chairman of the Radiation Oncology department at Loyola. Out in Hoffman Estates, it's been snowing big time - big flakes, too. On the way to my parents and on the way to Loyola, the snow was lighter and wetter. But the closer we get to the hospital, the bigger the flakes are becoming. Get there at 2:30 for a 3:00. Turns out that the big deal is not the lymph node that Dr. Bastian was concerned about. There's a mass behind the stoma that is probably cancerous. The MRI shows the mass and everyone believes it's cancer.

If dad would have gotten radiation treatment after his laryngectomy back in May, that mass would not be there. At that time, Dad didn't want to do radiation. Mom agreed. They both knew what could happen if he didn't get radiation. He was feeling good after the surgery. He didn't want to feel worse.

Now he's in trouble.

Dr. Emami wants to make sure it's cancer. He wants dad to get a needle biopsy to make sure. Dad was also supposed to get a chest x-ray, but now he'll get a chest CT instead, just to make sure the cancer didn't spread further down.

A resident (Dr. Paul Crossan) checked out dad, made sure he was OK.

The course of treatment will probably by 33-34 treatments, once a day, 5 days a week, so that'll be almost 7 weeks.

But there's a major problem: behind the mass is dad's spinal column. The spinal column can only handle about 25 treatments. It's going to be difficult to monitor - radiation treatments take weeks to actually work - (there's actually a delayed reaction to the radiation), so it's going to be tricky. Really tricky. And this won't be a cure. It's too late for that. It'll give him a bit over 2 years. If he doesn't get it, the mass will continue to grow, eventually cutting off his windpipe.


posted at 06:39 PM | Link | Family |

Damn crows!
Wow, really started to snow... I gotta get going to pick up my parents... there're salt trucks going through the neighborhood. Damn! It's Wednesday and the crows have found our garbage AGAIN, like they do every week when we put it out for pickup...

posted at 12:07 PM | Link | Mundane |

Second good night's sleep. Carol said that I'm not snoring as much as I used to. Coincidence?

We're supposed to get 3" of snow this afternoon. I'm driving my parents to see dad's radiologist this afternoon. I'm not looking forward to the drive. I'm not looking forward to going to Loyola's Cancer center. There's a lot of dread here. I just don't know what to say or put into words. It's a bit scary. It's a bit of reality coming up from the darkness and slapping you in the face. I'm not looking forward to this...

posted at 09:30 AM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, January 15, 2002


mmmmmm... sleep..... sleep good.........

posted at 09:48 AM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, January 14, 2002

Chicago Wolves Season Ticket Holder Party

Wolves Season Ticket Holder Party Bryan Adams wins at Dome Hockey Wendell Young in net in Dome Hockey! Garnet Exelby and Dan Snyder Derek MacKenzie & his new stitches Steve Maltais and Dan Plante Norm Maracle and Dallas Eakins J.P. Vigier and Kamil Piros
Went to the Chicago Wolves Season Ticket Holder Party at the Allstate Arena tonight - get together of ticket holders to eat crappy stadium food and meet all of the players, get their autographs, take their pictures, and maybe even play hockey with them - dome hockey or air hockey, that is. It was an OK time - it's never anything stellar, but a nice time.

posted at 09:50 PM | Link | Wolves |
They're baa-ack

Damn geese!
There is something that happens around this time of year that pisses me off... it never fails, when there's no snow on the ground, usually when it's drizzling or raining, we have "herds" of geese that walk the neighborhood, always stopping to feed on our lawn. The hang around for hours at a time, refusing to leave, even if I go out there after them. They never fly away, they always just walk around. And, of course, there's a big negative spin on this - they're crappin' all over the driveway and sidewalks. It's gross. Why can't they just migrate!!!!

posted at 03:02 PM | Link | Mundane |
Too early for me

Ugh. Couldn't fall asleep. Woke up early. This sucks.

posted at 08:30 AM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, January 13, 2002

Wolves 4 - Moose 5

Chicago Wolves Manitoba Moose Zdenek Blatny wearing special White Patriotic Jersey

Went to another Wolves game tonight against the Manitoba Moose. We lost 5-4. Same officiating crew as last night... and they still suck. More fights. One of our guys (Clark) elbowed a guy and got 5 minutes (he drew blood), but he also got a game misconduct. I hate these guys. They did a real crappy job keeping control of the game both nights. Lots of missed calls and wrong calls.

Today was the end of the patriotic jersey raffle and auction. There was a total of 60 jerseys up for auction (4 of them were up for raffle). I didn't win anything. bummer. They were great jerseys. And, of course, the prices at the auction were at the $1000 level for almost all of the jerseys. I think I heard they made about $71,000.

posted at 07:42 PM | Link | Wolves |
Slept better?

Didn't eat dinner last night either before or during the hockey game - just a Coke during the game. Turns out, it let me get a great night's sleep - once I got there. Feel better this morning, though I feel I could have slept longer.

posted at 10:07 AM | Link | Mundane |

Saturday, January 12, 2002

Wolves 7 - Barons 3

Chicago Wolves Cleveland Barons J.P. Vigier receiving his All-Star Jersey from AHL President and CEO Dave Andrews J.P. Vigier wearing special Dark Blue Patriotic Jersey One of the MANY fights tonight A VERY crowded Cleveland Penalty Box
Went to the Wolves game tonight against the Cleveland Barons. Wolves won 7-3. UGLY game. Four Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties in the 1st period. It just kept getting worse from there. The 3rd Period was unbelievable. Cleveland had three game misconducts, including one against the assistant coach. We wound up getting one game misconduct, which I thought should have just been a 10 minute misconduct. When was the last time you saw 2 7-minute power plays in one game? (2 minute instigating, 5 minute fighting, usually coupled with 10 minute misconducts and maybe a game misconduct). I think I heard on the post-game show on radio that Cleveland had a total of 144 penalty minutes. Cleveland now leads the league in Minor penalties (373), 10-minute misconducts (24), and game misconducts (12), and tied for gross misconducts (1). All of this in front of the President & CEO of the AHL, who was there to present J.P. Vigier with his All Star Jersey. (Vigier wound up getting a hat trick during the game. Think he was pumped?)

The team also wore special Patriotic theme jerseys that were being auctioned this weekend. Tonight's jersey was dark blue. A very cool jersey. Proceeds from the auction are going to selected September 11 charities.

posted at 10:51 PM | Link | Wolves |

Another crappy night of sleep. This GERD is getting to me - all I can think of is my dad and how he had to get a laryngectomy due to cancer. There was never a discussion on what caused the cancer. Was it his cigar & pipe smoking that he quit 10-20 years ago? Was it acid reflux that he's been complaining about all of my life? And if it was, am I "predisposed"? It's scaring the hell out of me. Now, between the GERD and unemployment, it's not like my life is in great shape right now, and my sleep is just pure crap. Can fall asleep, can't "catch up". It's hell and I hate it.

posted at 09:54 AM | Link | Mundane |

Friday, January 11, 2002

Posting and Blogging

Trying to catch-up with my Blog of Las Vegas Update, but Blogger is giving me fits trying to publish. Could be some fallout form Ev's reconfiguring.

Responded to a job posting on Probably won't hear a thing. Headhunters can be such assholes...

posted at 10:39 AM | Link | Job Search |

Thursday, January 10, 2002

Survivor Africa - Episode 13

Survivor Africa
"The Final Four: No Regrets"
So Ethan Zohn won Survivor Africa. The way it was being setup, I didn't think that was going to happen...

posted at 10:36 PM | Link | Survivor |
Alarm tag

Quickly got hold of my mom. I'm driving them next week to talk to the radiologist and to get a chest X-ray for Dad. Found out the alarm company actually called twice - once around 11:45 the other at 1pm. Just sounds odd... never heard back from anyone, so I'm assuming that everything is fine...

posted at 03:42 PM | Link | Mundane |
Elderly Parents and Health Care

Talked to Diane in New York. She thinks everything is OK, and that it's probably the cleaning people. They've been tripping the alarm lately. The reason why I can get hold of my mother is that she went out to run errands.

The thing that came out in conversation that I didn't know and don't like the sound of, is that my dad's surgery is now "on hold". He went for a CAT scan last week, and now the doctor wants them to talk to a radiologist. Wow. There's a lot of different ways to interpret this. I guess they have an appointment for next Wednesday at 3pm. I guess I'm driving. I'm saying I guess because my mom hasn't talked to me yet. They've got some very weird ways of approaching health care that make no sense in a logical world. You don't talk about it and it'll go away. right. Not when you deal with cancer. They're never going to change...

posted at 03:03 PM | Link | Family |
Tag - you're it

Had lunch with Barry at a Chinese buffet by Manheim & Oakton - no idea the name of the place.

While at lunch, my mom called and left a message at my house - the alarm company called and said the alarm is going off at Diane's house. She doesn't know what to do. I call her when I get home (around 1:30). No answer. I keep trying every half hour. No answer. i bet they drove over to the house to make sure it's OK.

I EMailed Melinda to find out what's going on. She doesn't know - she's not on the call list. (I think they need to fix this). We'll try to keep each other informed. Diane is in her New York office. Melinda will try calling her on her cell.

I feel helpless.

posted at 02:31 PM | Link | Family |
Gotta have beef

Chicago Prime Steakhouse
Ever watch TV when you're hungry, and something comes on, whether a commercial or just something within a show, that shows some great looking food and then that's all you want right now? That happened to me and Carol yesterday. We were flipping through the channels and saw this great ribeye that someone was cooking and immediately that was it - we had to go out and have a steak. We went to the Chicago Prime Steakhouse on Meacham in Schaumburg. We needed beef. Carol had an 18oz Ribeye (Cowboy Chop) and I had a 14oz Prime Rib. Very good. We're gong back.

No Katie-sitting today... all of a sudden, I feel free! Now if I could only find a job...

posted at 10:33 AM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Last day with Kate

Last day dog-sitting. Yeah! Katie's a very sweet dog, but it's a little stressful knowing you've got a one-eyed dog that's recovering from surgery and you're responsible for her medical care.

posted at 09:05 AM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, January 08, 2002

Dogsitting, eBay, and marchFIRST

My marchFIRST shirt from eBay
Nice quiet day dogsitting Katie. Replied to someone that saw my resume on Monster, but no reply from the EMail. Got my marchFIRST Microsoft Alliance shirt that I won on eBay. Watched a bunch of Hopkins 24/7 shows on Discovery Health. Great series.

posted at 10:09 PM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, January 07, 2002

Bad sleep

Bad night sleeping... didn't want to wake up, but I'm Katie sitting again today. I'm tired, but I think the stress about not having a job is getting to me. I just can't get myself to sleep. Damn.

posted at 02:33 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, January 06, 2002


Chicago Bears Jacksonville Jaguars
Chicago Bears 33 Jacksonville Jaguars 13.
Best play has got to be DT Keith "Tractor" Traylor juggling then intercepting a pass, and running 67 yards to setup a touchdown for the Bears to go up 20-0 in the third quarter. The run was priceless making everyone's highlight reel. It was great. He even was looking for someone to lateral to. Toward the end of the run, other Bears players were pushing him further down the field before he was finally taken down at the Jacksonville 9. We now have a first round bye. Very cool. Regular season - 13-3. Last year - 5-11 - LAST place. 1999 6-10 - Last place. 1998 4-12 - Last place. 1997 4-12 - Last place. Who woulda thunk?

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Bears |

Saturday, January 05, 2002

DirecTV and The Wolves

Spent half the day going to stores to find things related to our DirecTV installation. First stop - cancel the cable and turn-in the cable box! That felt gooooood! Went to Radio Shack for a five-way phone jack for all my stuff in the family room. Had lunch at Sweet Tomato - a salad buffet place. Very good - we'll be going back there. Then to Best Buy to buy that replacement multiswitch. Oh, and buy the DVD of Buckaroo Banzai. Then off to home, replace the equipment, call DirecTV to resend the authorizations and voila everything works. I can't stop talking about how great DirecTV is. Great programming choices, great picture quality (I love the Sony receivers), and above all, great customer service.

Chicago Wolves Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins
Went to the Wolves game tonight against the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins. First time the teams have met. The Penguins have the most penalty minutes in the entire league. (1,267 minutes - the closest teams are Cleveland and Philadelphia both with 1,089. The Wolves have 756. Wonder if that's why they also lead the league in attendance. They're also the worst in the league - they're 7-22-7-3.) Things got pretty bad with fighting, but they calmed down by the third. They wound-up with a 3-3 tie. It was Elvis night at the game - Elvis impersonators performing in the lobby, Elvis costume contest during the first intermission. Strange.

posted at 11:29 PM | Link | Wolves |

Friday, January 04, 2002

Birthday dinner and DirecTV

My sister Diane and Melinda took Carol & me out to dinner for my birthday. Had some great baby back ribs at Bone Daddy. Yum. On my way to her house, I realized that I didn't eat a crumb of food all day. I think this DirecTV thing has got my adrenaline going and I just forgot!

Sony SAT-B55 Digital Satellite Receiver
All the DirecTV receivers are plugged-in - half are fully operational. I need to go out tomorrow and buy a new multiswitch - I think that's the problem. The picture quality is absolutely unbelievable! We got the Platinum package and can't believe the number of stations! 23 local sports stations! I can't wait for baseball season!

DirecTV - a very nice birthday present!

posted at 10:54 PM | Link | Mundane |
Decent signal

Satellite signal display
Working out the kinks in the satellite signal on the receivers...

posted at 01:58 PM | Link | Movies |
Up on the roof (of the garage)

Larry Barnes installing the DirecTV dish
Ooooooo.... the dish is up...

posted at 10:18 AM | Link | Mundane |
He's coming! He's coming!

Ooooooo.... Larry the DirecTV installer is on his way....

posted at 09:02 AM | Link | Mundane |

Yaaaawwwwnnnnnnn..... just another day, but I'm another year older. It's my birthday today. Just hangin' 'round the house. Unemployed. 45. No Katie-sitting today, so I'm really alone. Need to clean-up the place a bit - don't know when the DirecTV installer is coming...

posted at 08:28 AM | Link | Mundane |

Thursday, January 03, 2002


Box o' Receivers
Wooooooo Hooooooo! UPS just delivered my DirecTV stuff! Three boxes worth. One box is the dish itself, another box looks like a self-install kit (cable, connectors, a multiswitch and a videotape), and the last box is the 4 receivers (much smaller than I thought). Now I just need to get it installed and activated...

Damn... installation is expensive! More than the equipment itself! But I got an installer to come out tomorrow.

Another Katie-sitting day again. I gotta tell you, I've been looking all over the house to see if Katie left a "present" anywhere. She didn't. Man, is she passing gas...

posted at 11:37 AM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, January 02, 2002


Katie-sitting again. Now that she's got her cone off, she has no problem going up stairs, so she woke me up this morning. Now she's just hanging out with me in my "computer room".

Well another day passed, and still no UPS delivery of my DirecTV stuff. Starting to concern me. I want to cut-off AT&T Broadband as quickly as possible.

And, of course, everybody is at work this New Year. Everyone except me, that is. This job market better break real soon.

posted at 12:55 PM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, January 01, 2002


Wow... groggy... ate too much last night... need to just kick back and watch Rose parade and marathons on Food Network...

posted at 10:14 AM | Link | Mundane |

New Year's Eve spread
Spent the evening at Barry & Buffy's with Debbie and Kenny & Pat. As usual, everyone brought appetizers to eat. Things from brie & pear slices, toast points with creme fresh & caviar, cucumber slices with salmon, creme fresh, capers, & dill, walnut dried salami, Kenny's special shrimp (very yummy), barbecue chicken wings, Italian meatballs, a great Reuben mix that you put on miniature rye slices, baklava... and I'm sure I'm missing something... Watched the ABC 2002 coverage, even with the 30th Anniversary of Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve. Was very disappointed in the local coverage. The phone rang at Barry's just after 11. Barry answered and talked for a while. We couldn't figure out who he was talking to. The he turns and hands the phone to me - it was Diane! Her and Melinda were at their Michigan home - where it was midnight (the New Year) and she had to call! The drive home this year was uneventful - dry roads and hardly any idiots.

posted at 02:04 AM | Link | Mundane |


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This Blog was last updated Friday December 18, 2009 13:03:12 CDT (-06:00 GMT)
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