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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 March 2002.

February 2002 MAIN BLOG April 2002 Next

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Easter Sunday

Carol's roses Mums from Diane Diane's special bunny egg plate Watching Iron Chef after dinner Diane, Melinda, Carol & Cathy watching Tom Hanks on Inside the Actors Studio
Happy Easter!
Indy enjoyed today, though she didn't get out much until after everyone left tonight. She didn't get many hits to her live BunnyCam either. We hosted our family's Easter dinner again this year. Unlike last year, this year was small and quiet. Just my parents, my sister Diane and Melinda, and Carol's brother Gil and his wife Cathy. Oh, and of course Diane brought the dogs - Chelsea and Gracie. Typical Polish-derivative Easter dinner - but this year no pierogi and no sauerkraut. I swapped-out the DirecTV receiver for my TiVo to bring it into the living room so we could listen to digital music during and watch TV after dinner. We watched Iron Chef after dinner and my mom is convinced that the Japanese-to-English translations were made up (She had never seen Iron Chef before). Tonight's ingredient - cuttlefish (though the description says squid - same thing?). All it all, it was a good dinner & get-together without a lot of stress.

posted at 10:47 PM | Link | Family § |

Saturday, March 30, 2002

Lasagna and Wolves

Went to Chelby & Damian's tonight for dinner and, of course, watch the Wolves game on CLTV. Good dinner - lasagna. I love Italian food. Good lasagna. Later, during the game - a root beer float. Oh, yummmmmmmmmmmm... Of course, I had lost a few pounds just before going over there. I got on the scale and realized that I gained it all back. Nuts. Oh, the Wolves lost 5-1 (they're in Utah). They looked terrible and were outplayed.

posted at 11:16 PM | Link | Friends § |
Livin' in a Double Wide...

Oh my God... I've turned into white trailer trash... I got a letter today from the Code Enforcement Division of the Village of Hoffman Estates. I am in violation of village ordinances by having the old hot water heater laying in the parkway for pickup. Apparently, the village doesn't do that - I have to call an independent hauler and pay to have it hauled away. That's the last time I listen to my wife as authoritative on refuse hauling...

posted at 04:13 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Insomia Robin

Crud. I couldn't sleep. I went downstairs, watched a little TV, watched a little TiVo and then... I heard it... a Robin. Outside. Twittering in the dark. It's the first robin I've heard this spring. But I don't think I've seen a robin yet.

posted at 04:10 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, March 29, 2002

Good Friday and bunnies

Good Friday. A perfect day for reflection. A slow, quiet, sleepy day. No Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty. Worked a little on Indy's cage & Webcam. Hopefully everything will run fine on Sunday - Indy always gets hits from people wanting to see a live bunny webcam (or BunnyCam) on Easter, believe it or not. She even gets ! (There's a thumbnail image on the left side of this page that links to a a full size image, as well as a link to a live Java Push applet display that will show streaming video as fast as I can push it).

Now, as I talked about three weeks ago, if you do wind-up watching Indy and start thinking about how cool it would be to buy a rabbit for Easter, PLEASE go to the House Rabbit Society's Easter Page first before potentially making a mistake.

posted at 09:15 PM | Link | Bunnies § |
Friday 5 - Fame

The Friday Five
Time for The Friday Five...
1. If you could eat dinner with and "get to know" one famous person (living or dead), who would you choose? Tom Hanks. His body of work has been great - even back to the days of Bosom Buddies. He's a quality actor/director/producer. And he seems to be a quality guy. We also have a the same passion about one subject - Space. I'd love to be able to sit down and talk to him about it.
2. Has the death of a famous person ever had an effect on you? Who was it and how did you feel? Jim Henson. His death was so deeply sad. This man had brought so much joy and happiness to so many people. I wanted to be him - in fact, I started along a certain path because of him. Here's something I haven't written about yet in this blog - I used to be a puppeteer from 1975 to about 1980. I worked on a local children's show in Chicago for one of my childhood idols - Bill Jackson. Bill, Nancy Wettler and I were the performers of a show called "Gigglesnort Hotel" for two years (the show actually lasted 3 years, but I joined Bill to start the second season) on Sunday mornings on the ABC affiliate in Chicago, WLS-TV Channel 7. The show won two Emmy awards and an NATPE Iris Award for Excellence in Children's Programming. We did another short series called "Firehouse Follies" that was only 13-weeks long. We did some commercials for Plywood Minnesota, we did some HR Training videos for the Budd Company (the train car people), and, when Bill left Chicago to teach at Cal Arts, I went out to Los Angeles once to do a pilot for a series with him. We all wanted to be part of Henson Associates - in fact I think Nancy may have actually auditioned for him. He's what we strove for. However, I feel absolutely blessed to have worked with Bill Jackson. I have many stories to tell about my brief stint in local television, but that was over 25 years ago. Back on April 5, 1995, The Museum of Broadcast Communications had "An Evening With Bill Jackson" and it was at that event I realized how what I worked on changed the lives of so many people. Looking back, it was the best time of my life.
3. If you could BE a famous person for 24 hours, who would you choose? George Clooney. Here's a guy, very famous and good looking, who's still having the time of his life - working on some quality projects, with quality people, who seems wanted by everyone. 24 hours of that would be a great ride.
4. Do people ever tell you that you look like someone famous? Who? This is pretty lame, but I actually had someone come up to me and say that I looked like Steven Spielberg. No, seriously. No, somebody actually said that to me. I had a baseball cap on, and they said it. Really. It doesn't help that he's 10 years older than me...
5. Have you ever met anyone famous? I worked on a pilot with Broderick Crawford. Let's see.. I worked with Broderick Crawford on Le HotSpot in 1980. Broderick Crawford was in A Little Romance (1979) with Diane Lane. Diane Lane was in My Dog Skip (2000) with Kevin Bacon! Is that three degrees from Kevin Bacon???? ( I checked this at The Oracle of Bacon at Virginia)

posted at 08:30 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, March 28, 2002

Here's the third

What is it about the myth of "celebrities die in threes"? I can't remember when all three people dies in the same day. This time, to fill out the troika, writer/director Billy Wilder died yesterday.

posted at 09:47 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Survivor Marquesas - Episode 5

Survivor Marquesas
"The End of Innocence"
I know who the evil ones are and they're screwing up the game. Robert Mariano and Sean Rector are knocking off people that are good players just to show that - even though they don't want to do any work - they are in charge. This week they toss bartender Gabriel Cade. At least Maraamu won both challenges, and the "Pirate Raid" of Rotu was priceless.

posted at 08:03 PM | Link | Survivor § |

Watching the White Sox - Cubs preseason game on Fox Sportsnet Chicago (The Sox are winning 16-3 after 5 innings). There's a black cat running on the field. Of course, Chip Caray has to say that he feels good about it since it's on the Sox side of the field. I HATE Chip Caray. HATE him. (Update: Sox won 22-7)

posted at 03:56 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Back from Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty. Found out today that Dad only has four more treatments, and that the labs are closed tomorrow for Good Friday, so I have a "vacation day". The Northwest Tollway threw me for another delay today, when they shifted the three lane of traffic east of the Des Plaines Oasis. On the way back, I saw a mobile sign that says 2 lanes through the area starting April 4. There are mobile signs of Golf Road out here saying lane closures start the week of April 1st. What a way to start the week. Thank God my chauffeuring is coming to an end. Of course, if I'm not employed soon, I could still be tapped for more service (Dad will have a follow-up CT Scan and appointment 6 weeks after). I really don't want this to become a new career for me.

posted at 03:04 PM | Link | Family § |

Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Wolves 4 - Wolfpack 1

Chicago Wolves Hartford Wolfpack
The Chicago Wolves played the Hartford Wolfpack tonight. It looked dicey early when Hartford scored first on Olympian Pasi Nurminen. They looked pretty strong. But somehow, the Wolves got back into it and wound up winning 4-1! And to top it off, the clinched a playoff birth with their win tonight! Very cool, but I hold no hope that they'll win the Calder Cup this year. Rob Brown tied it up in the first, and is now tied for the league-lead in scoring with 78 points. Guy Larose had two goals tonight. It's nice to see him back from the Augusta Lynx of the ECHL. (Simon Gamache is also back from the Greenville Grrrowl of the ECHL)

Puck accident at tonights Wolves game
In the third, there was a very scary moment. There was someone from Hartford that took a shot on goal. It was a rocket. It went wide and ricocheted high off the tall glass on the end of the rink. The puck came off the glass and somehow cleared the glass on the side of the rink and hit a guy in the second or third row squarely on the bridge of his nose. Well, everybody freaked as this poor guy is streaming in blood and pain, so the Rosemont police guys (who work the Allstate Arena security) ran (pushed) through the crowd to help. It took way the hell too long for the medical teams to get to the guy (5-10 minutes maybe). The guys was in pain and even though Rick (one of the cops that sits by us by the Penalty Box) was the first to get to him and had a towel over his face, there was still blood everywhere. Smalley and Kenny O told us there was blood everywhere in the aisle and they moved some of the fans out of the area. All that we could think of is Brittanie Cecil at the Columbia Blue Jackets game. Hockey is quick, people. Pay attention. (even though, I don't think this guy had a chance - the shot was a rocket). He walked to a wheelchair so that he could get medical attention. Everyone gave him a round of applause.

posted at 10:19 PM | Link | Wolves § |
I'm Not Happy

So, I came to the realization recently that I am not happy lately. I remember that I used to be, well, not unhappy, but now I know I'm not happy. I think it's the being unemployed thing, and justr maybe sprinkled with a dash of September 11. I think that now that I haven't had a job in such a long time, it's taking a toll on my psyche. Now, I don't seem to laugh as much as I used to, I don't seem to enjoy my time like I used to. It's not a depression - I'm just not happy.

And then, you hear this:

Dudley Moore dies at 66 of pneumonia as a complication of progressive supranuclear palsy.

Damn. But it doesn't stop there...

Milton Berle, dead at 93 - died in his sleep while taking a nap.

Less smiling, less happiness... bad day for happiness...

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Construction, a wash, and a carcass

Eastbound Golf at Higgins - the construction begins
What a gorgeous day outside. On the way to my Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty, I could see the start of the construction in the neighborhood. I was wrong earlier - this years construction is Higgins Road. Next year's construction is Golf Road. They started hacking apart the medians and anything else in the way at Golf and Higgins, though. Should be an interesting summer.

"Working at the Car Wash... Car Wash, yeah..." Getting a wipe down outside...
When done with my Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty, I decide to get the car washed. Though dark blue, it looks llight gray from all of the salt stains on it from the last few weeks of snow. So, it's off to Turtle Wax to get a Super Turtle.

Wednesday is Garbage Day. So I get home from my Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty, only to see that the old hot water heater carcass is still laying on my front lawn. Damn. What the hell is going on? And I've got family coming over for Easter on Sunday! Why didn't the pick it up??? (You, too, can watch the drama by clicking on the thumbnail of my live webcam on the left of the page to see if it finally disappears!)

posted at 04:09 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, March 26, 2002

88 Years Old

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! He's 88 today. Just another day with him in Radiotherapy at Loyola Medical Center. Came into the waiting room and ... no receptionist. Laurie wasn't there - she was in training, and there's a sign on front of the desk "It's a Boy! Born 3/25" so Jane must have had her baby yesterday. Very backed-up today - took about an hour. Because we were "backed-up", we saw people that we normally didn't see. Saw a woman who looked to be in her late 40's - early 50's, with her daughter. Come to find out, through conversations with other people that we never saw before, that she was stumbling and her left side was going numb. She thought she was having a stroke, so she went to the hospital - only to find out she has a malignant brain tumor that has spread to her lungs. Makes me feel luckier that Dad isn't that bad.

posted at 03:16 PM | Link | Family § |

Monday, March 25, 2002

Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Oh, man... my mouth feels like sandpaper, my brain feels fuzzy... too many apple martini's last night... too late of a night... it's been snowing for a while this morning. Wind chills are around zero. The trip to my parents was a breeze - no one was on the tollway. The trip to Loyola Medical Center was a breeze, too. A little crowded in the Radiation Therapy Waiting Room. Jane the receptionist isn't there - she's "upstairs - she was experiencing labor pains (yes, she is pregnant), so the person that's she's been training (Laurie) is there. There's been a lady we see everyday - I think her name is Christine. She's definitely on the younger side of the age group that flows through the waiting room. Today was her last treatment - 43 in all. No one asked about her cancer. In fact no one ever asks that of any one. Everyone is anonymous. You have no idea had bad someone's cancer may be. It's just something that isn't talked about. Anyway, everyone made sure they offered their best wishes to Christine before they left. It's just that hope that everyone there has toward the patients.

posted at 02:44 PM | Link | Family § |
74th Academy Awards

Buffy & Ken in discussion Ken, Pat, Debbie & Roberta on the couch for the Oscars
We went to Barry & Buffy's, like we do every year, to watch the Oscars. We got there at 4:30, and we left at 11:30! We always have a good time, starting with watching the red carpet stuff. We have food, lots of drink, and take our shots at Oscar fashions . Then of course, there's the balloting, Every year, B&B go out and buy a present to be won. we all vote - most correct wins. This year, Barry just reproduced the ABC ballot that they had at the Oscar website, which meant we had to vote in all categories. We only had 8 people this year - Buffy keeps changing the mix to get it just right for entertainment and fun for all - including her. A few years ago they had about 24 people and that was really difficult to listen to the show, serve food and refreshments, and have a good time. We're still having problems actually listening to the show - there are times when people are socializing and not paying attention, causing others to get a little irate. The year of the big party was bad and may have strained a few friendships.

Since this is the first year that I'm blogging, I didn't think about blogging during the Oscars - I'm going to have to add to the post later!

posted at 12:16 AM | Link | Friends § |

Sunday, March 24, 2002

Dad's cake

Dad with some of his birthday presents
Went to my parents' house for lunch, and to celebrate Dad's birthday - he's 88 on Tuesday. We're still adjusting to his laryngectomy from May - I mean, how can a man who has a stoma and whose windpipe is no longer attached to his moth blow out candles on a bithday cake? He can't - I mean he might be able to do it through the stoma, but that's just not something we want to see... We pray he still has many more birthdays to come...

posted at 03:29 PM | Link | Family § |

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Grabby bunny

In a way, I'm glad our bunny Indy never learned how to grab on to things, not like this rabbit...

posted at 10:56 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Flo Control

Oh, man, this is just so damn cool... I saw this link at Erin's site, and I had to mention it. It's a great implementation of technology to stop your cat from bringing "gifts" into the house...

posted at 10:37 PM | Link | Geek § |
Age Gauge

Linked via KateSpot (I'm not sure if this makes me feel younger, or just adds to me feeling older than I am):

Boy the Bear's Age Gauge

read more of this entry »

posted at 06:32 PM | Link | Memes § |
New Hot Water Heater

Damian *TRYING* to empty the old hot water heater "Gunk" clogging the intake pipe to the old hot water heater The old hot water heater at the curb The new hot water heater
Just four days ago, we had to have someone come out and service our furnace - a fan stopped working and thus, no heat in the house. That wasn't planned. Unfortunately, today was planned - by Carol. After almost 18 years in the house, she decides we need a new hot water heater. We were still getting hot water (though she claims not as much as we used to), and let's face it - 18 years on a hot water heater is just asking for trouble. So today, we're doing a preemptive strike by replacing it. Our friend Damian in coming over with his dad and they're going to handle the swap. They're over at about 8:30 and start working on the disconnection. Well, we knew we were in for a problem when: 1) when disconnecting the feed into the tank, you look at the inside of the pipe connected to the tank and it's full of gunk and crud, and 2) when opening the tank's drain, nothing is coming out. The means the tank has to be moved out to the curb full of 40 gallons of water and God knows how much sediment. That wasn't easy, but we finally got it out to the parkway, where Damian just tips it over. The thud of the tank hitting the lawn actually bounced me in the air (admittedly, just barely). So at 9:30, we're off to Home Depot and find a tank that looks almost identical the the old one (meaning - the piping doesn't have to be redone!). We're back to the house by 10. Damian says they have about an hour of work ahead of them.

The tank finally goes "live" at 2 in the afternoon. Yes, everything fit, but apparently sweating the joints and getting the whole thing leak-free just took a bit longer than they thought. It didn't help that everytime they lit the torch to heat the pipe the hard wired smoke detector right above their heads would go off. Since it's hard-wired to the house, there was no way to disconnect it. Anyway, we're now have drip-free hot water coming from a tank that should last at least 9 years...

posted at 02:23 PM | Link | Friends § |

Friday, March 22, 2002

Indy Likes Money

Indy's snack
Note to self: Check pants pockets before washing... so that when they come out of the dryer, money doesn't haphazardly fall to the floor unnoticed, where Indy will think it's hers and eat it...

posted at 09:15 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

The weather, though it feels bitterly cold, is actually beautiful - bright sunshine, hardly a cloud in the blue sky. The traffic on the Northwest Tollway was "normal" - even though the construction is still there, it's like everyone knows what's going on and they're either taking an alternate route, or they're just blowing right through the construction area. Today is Dad's Radiation Treatment #22. Only two more weeks to go. We're in the Radiation Therapy waiting room. Mom is reading a book. I look at the floor - there's a piece of red yarn that looks like it's from Mom's craft work she was doing yesterday (Cubs logos and little guys). Got into the car to go bring them back home - there's a small piece of red yarn in the backseat. Sigh.

Hey! That's it! Indy can make money!
On the way home, we pass Skrudland's - a photo processing place in our old neighborhood. I look up at the sign. It's something I had never thought about! I'm unemployed, and short on cash - hey! I can get our pet bunny Indy to make some cash!!! Why didn't I think of this sooner!

posted at 03:08 PM | Link | Family § |
Neighborhood Roundup

I am watching two women, one in a silver SUV the other in a maroon compact car, driving around my neighborhood, stopping, and getting out of their vehicles chasing a dog. Looks like a Min Pin (Miniature Pinscher). The dog, though small, is easily out running them. They're all over the neighborhood. The thing is - I think I know the dog and if so, the dog's not theirs. At least, I don't think so. It's a Keystone Kops image, for sure.

posted at 11:03 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Friday 5 - Seasons

The Friday Five
OK, I'm jumping on the bandwagon, I am now going to participate in The Friday Five!
1. What is your favorite time of year? Spring, Has to be Spring
2. What is it about your favorite season that, well, makes it your favorite season? Two things. First, it just feels like a re-awakening from a deep sleep - the colors start coming back, the sounds, the smells, the warmth... And then the second thing is - the start of baseball. I seem to measure my life around baseball. My year is the baseball season, and after the World Series, I just seem to... hibernate. If there is a baseball strike/lockout, my entire body-clock gets screwed-up The year seems "incomplete" and I feel lost.
3. What is your least favorite time of year? Why? Winter. Winter in Chicago stinks. Yes, there are times of absolute beauty, but, damn, it gets cold here. The days are so much shorter. The wind rips through you. Commuting actually feels like it ages you. It's difficult to stay warm.
4. Do you do anything to celebrate or recognize the changing of seasons? Not really, though I still associate it with Baseball - Baseball season that is. I make sure I go to Opening Day and try to be part of the last home game of the season - let's face it, we don't know post-season baseball in Chicago. There's almost an overlap between Baseball Season and Hockey Season, which we also follow a bit. We try to to do the same with that, too. (Opening game, last game of the season).
5. What's your favorite thing to do outside? Other than sitting in the stands watching a ballgame on a warm, bright, sunny day with just a hint of a breeze when your team is winning?

posted at 08:35 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, March 21, 2002

How can I say "Thank You"?

I had an experience today that actually showed me what family means. I've been without full-time employment since June. Things have been getting financially "tight". Today, my parents paid my property taxes. They knew we were having a little bit of trouble, and they just did it. I get home and pick up the mail and there's a letter from my sister. Inside the letter - a check. A check to help with expenses and just because she really does appreciate me playing chauffeur for Dad's radiation treatments. Complete with a P.S. - it's a gift and she doesn't expect repayment.

It brought a tear to both Carol's and my eye. Sometimes people just want to help - I've just never been on that receiving side of that before. I really have no idea what to say or how to express how I feel. Family. You can't chose them, but thank God they're there.

posted at 08:17 PM | Link | Family § |

The beginning of the traffic on the Northwest Tollway An asphalt "chewer" on the Northwest Tollway Construction crew on the Northwest Tollway
The tollway construction has officially started. The Northwest Tollway had the right lane and shoulder closed in both directions east of 53 and west of Arlington Heights Road, centered around Golf Road. There's one of those "asphalt chewers" on each side, chewing-up the shoulders. Traffic is bad through the construction area - probably just from the shock of the construction zone.

Daffodils from Radiotherapy
Radiation Therapy was backed-up. Well, just one of the two machines was backed-up. I guess you always go to the same machine with the same technicians. Forget about getting there early for the 1:30 appointment. Dad goes in at 2pm and comes out afterwards - with a bunch of daffodils! The staff was giving them out to patients today. It's part of the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days.

posted at 04:18 PM | Link | Family § |

Aw, crap... it snowed again. I thought it was going to rain, not snow. Great.

posted at 08:14 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Survivor Marquesas - Episode 4

Survivor Marquesas
"The Winds Twist"
OK, it only took three weeks and a shake-up in tribal membership, but Maraamu finally voted Account Manager Sarah Jones' ass of the damn island. She needed to go much earlier, and certainly way before Hunter Ellis was booted. Robert Mariano and above all Sean Rector need to get their pompous, lazy asses booted off as soon as possible. They're not deserving to continue this game.

posted at 08:06 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Good traffic times

No construction on the Northwest Tollway yet. Not much has changed since yesterday.

posted at 03:22 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Nice day

Spring has come to Chicagoland! Though you can't tell it by the weather that's coming later tonight...

posted at 01:16 PM | Link | Mundane § |
I'm sick

Aw, crap. I'm sick. My throat is on fire, I'm sneezing, and my eyes are burning. I don't do "sick" well. I don't get sick, so I'm not a good "sick person". Hopefully, Carol will pamper me a little. Just a little. That's all I need, just a little...

posted at 08:20 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, March 19, 2002

Brittanie Cecil

You know, if you've read this blog, that Carol & I go to hockey games regularly - we support the Chicago Wolves of the AHL. I have been hit by a puck once - took one on the chin after in bounced off some seats in front of us. It hurt, but did little damage. Now, in what is believed to be the first death of a fan hit by a puck at an NHL game, a 13-year-old girl died after being hit in the head by a puck that was a slapshot by Espen Knutsen from the left circle, shot over the high glass and glanced off another spectator at a Columbus Blue Jackets game against the Calgary Flames. I just saw the tape - she got up, and had a towel or something to her forehead. You have to watch the game and keep on your toes - you have no idea how startling it is to see a puck coming at you. This is really sad...

posted at 05:44 PM | Link | Current Events | 2 comments § |

Oooo... I've always wanted a Sony Aibo robot, and now they've come up with a real cool one...

posted at 05:35 PM | Link | Geek § |
Primary Day

Well, at least those damn campaign ads are off the air... for a while. Today is Primary day in Illinois - a day that both Carol & I do not exercise our right to vote. Reason? We don't want to declare the party to vote for - we believe in voting for the candidates that we think will do the best job, and not having to vote just for Republican or Democratic candidates. I understand that there are other states in the US that allow this, but not here.

posted at 05:07 PM | Link | Current Events § |
Local construction

Installing temporary traffic lights at Golf & Higgins Construction horses on right shoulder of Norhwest Tollway Construction barrels on left shoulder with turnaround sealed off on Norhwest Tollway
Well, the construction hasn't started on Golf Road (next week), but they're really scrambling to put up temporary traffic lights at Golf & Higgins. The Northwest Tollway also has no construction - yet. The Roselle Road entrance ramp has "Work Zone - Speed Limit 45" signs posted and they're posted in a few other places. There's small construction horses along the right shoulder from Roselle to 53, construction barrels from Golf to west of Arlington Heights, west of Elmhurst Road on right side, then onto left side east of the Des Plaines Oasis. There's some patching-over of the "rumble strips" in the left shoulder around Mannheim. That's it.

Found out that my dad passed his annual Driver's License test this morning! He turns 88 next Tuesday. (Drivers that age have to take an annual visual test and road test, just to make sure they're OK to drive.)

posted at 03:17 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Proficient Heating & Cooling

The gutted furnace Furnace fan parts Dan installing the fan
8:31. He's here - Dan from Proficient Heating & Cooling. I remember him! He says it's the drafting motor and it won't be as bad as trying to replace "that board"! He's got one in the truck that can be used - for $498! What can you do. at least it's not as "that board" - it's a circuit board that controls the whole staging of the furnace - unfortunately, the furnace manufacturer is bankrupt and getting a replacement was quite difficult - we were without heat for two days in the middle of winter a few years ago.

At 9:26, I'm hearing the sound of a fan! Sounds like the furnace is alive! Yep, it has fully turned on. Dan's been carrying it on the truck for a year. He actually has to cut apart the housing of the old fan to reuse the flange because it's not an exact replacement fan. Dan leaves with his Merrit cigarettes at 9:36.

posted at 09:47 AM | Link | Mundane § |
No heat

"Michael." "huh... wha..." I spring up in bed. It's Carol, and it's 7:30 in the morning. It used to be that at exactly 7:30 in the morning I'd be on a train passing through the Bensenville yards on the way downtown. That was back when I was employed. Now, as I'm still trying to push the sleep away, Carol is telling me that the furnace isn't turning on and she smells and electrical smell when trying to recycle the furnace. Great. It figures that the house starts to go south while I'm unemployed. Carol wants the hot water heater replaced this Saturday before something happens to it. After all, this August we will be in the house 18 years. This stuff happens over time. Thank God that we built this house, so a lot of the physical plant stuff has been "new". Great.

posted at 07:37 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, March 18, 2002

Blogging articles

Another series of Blogging articles seem to be making the rounds. This time in the April 2002 issue of Fast Company, on the show Tech Live over at Tech TV, and at Microcontent News.

posted at 05:47 PM | Link | Blogging § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Drivin' down the Northwest Tollway...
They didn't start on the Tollway construction yet. They were putting out barrels along the inside shoulder, but that's about it. Traffic was normal inbound & outbound during my daily trip to the parents and taking Dad to Radiation Therapy at Loyola. The waiting room was really crowded - overflowing out into the hall. Things just felt slower. So did Dad - he's just slowing down. I think the radiation is getting to him. Hopefully he'll tough it out.

posted at 03:05 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Construction Season

Sign for Golf Road Construction Sign for Northwest Tollway Construction
Well, it's that time of season again. Construction season, that is, as my life is talking another step towards "hell-like". Golf Road by my house is going to be under construction for most (if not all) of the year as they make it three lanes in each direction (expanding what was already done east of here). And then the Northwest Tollway is being "rehabbed" as it gets stripped down and resurfaced. That also should last at least most of the year. Traffic should be horrendous and it's a bit difficult to avoid. I'm going to have to take side streets and other main arteries to get anywhere. Sigh.

posted at 10:42 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, March 17, 2002

Wolves 3 - Admirals (Norfolk) 4

Chicago Wolves Norfolk Admirals Coach John Anderson Bobblehead Doll Wedding of Abe Bloom and Pamela Shaw during 1st Intermission Irish Dancers during 2nd Intermission Bidders hovering over the Silent Auction bid sheets
Well, 13,116 people saw the Chicago Blackhawks farm team, the Norfolk Admirals beat the Chicago Wolves today 4-3. The Wolves had some absolutely Brilliant play in the second period, but just couldn't catch-up. Norm Maracle actually looked bad, letting at least one of the goals go by him on a simple glove save. He gave up all 4 goals on just 19 shots - Frederic Cassivi replaced him in the second. For about a minute and a half late in the third, we actually had a 6 on 3 power play!!! And came away with nothing. Clean play, though - even with our new guy from Philadelphia Francis Lessard. He had 14 minutes in penalties last night in his first game with us. He set a franchise Record for the Philadelphia Phantoms in penalty minutes back in the 1999-2000 season with 416. The next year he had 330. He already had 251 with Philadelphia this year before we got him. Sigh.

The big crowd today could have been for the Coach John Anderson Bobblehead Doll giveaway. Or it was for the end of the St. Patrick's Day Jersey Auction. I didn't see a single jersey for under $700. There was a wedding during the first intermission. Both the bride and groom skated onto the ice (separately, of course). Too bad the groom couldn't stop well, and fell into a metal arch of balloons and flowers, toppling them and him. A bit embarrassing. Wayne Messmer came up the aisle afterward (he "hosted" the event) and muttered something about "Some people have no shame..."

posted at 07:07 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Want Ads

Being an unemployed Messaging Engineer in this job market sucks. Today's Chicago Tribune's Job Section (or Careerbuilder section) had 6 columns of jobs - in all computer fields. I remember when there was 6 pages of job postings, not including the big ads. Now - hardly anything.

posted at 09:16 AM | Link | Job Search § |

Saturday, March 16, 2002

Green River

Aw, man... I thought Chicago had cornered the rights to dying the Chicago River green... I just saw that the Venetian in Las Vegas dyed their gondola canals green. Just doesn't seem fair... The Chicago River gets dyed at 10:45am this morning.

posted at 08:47 AM | Link | Current Events § |

Friday, March 15, 2002

Ides of March

Soothsayer Caesar!
CAESAR Ha! who calls?
CASCA Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!
CAESAR Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR What man is that?
BRUTUS A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
CAESAR Set him before me; let me see his face.
CASSIUS Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.
CAESAR What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.
Soothsayer Beware the ides of March.
CAESAR He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.
Julius Caesar Act I Scene II

posted at 07:21 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, March 14, 2002

Wolves 2 - Phantoms 1

Chicago Wolves Philadelphia Phantoms Front of Chicago Wolves St. Partick's Day Jersey Back of Chicago Wolves St. Partick's Day Jersey
The Wolves met the Philadelphia Phantoms tonight. A very good game, and I was actually feeling good about the Wolves again. We beat Philly 2-1. The Phantoms had only 5 defensemen available for the game due to injuries and a suspension - a pretty clean game, though. It was weird seeing Jarrod Skalde playing for them (he was traded to them on March 5 for Joe DiPenta, and now Skalde is an Assistant Captain). We're not doing too bad since Atlanta called-up All Star J.P. Vigier on March 13. And Atlanta is not doing bad either - they won 2-0 against the Colorado Avalanche tonight with goals from, yep, J.P. Vigier and Brian Pothier who was recalled on March 9. I even felt good about Norm Maracle - he's been seeing the puck pretty well. Not a big crowd tonight - 4,609 - pretty typical for a weeknight.

The Wolves wore their St. Patrick's Day Jerseys which will be auctioned on Sunday (a silent auction). When the doors opened, somebody put a $1,000 bid on Derek MacKenzie's jersey. In case you haven't been to one of these things, $1,000 is about average to low for a jersey. And the whole team's jerseys are available. The proceeds from this auction go to Easter Seals.

posted at 10:04 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

The Radiation Therapy waiting room is empty today. Dad is now three weeks into his course of treatment. I was able to time his treatments - 16 seconds of 3 hits. The side effects are starting to kick in - he's getting fatigued and he says that he's had a sore throat for the past 4 days. Well, it's Thursday, so it's Doctor day, so Dr. Emami said he had a prescription for a "cocktail" that should help. It's so popular, that he had a bunch pre-typed and just hands them out to the patients. Hmmm... it's made of Maalox, Benadryl, Xylocaine, and Diflucan - 1 teaspoon every 2 hours as needed.

posted at 03:29 PM | Link | Family § |

Wednesday, March 13, 2002

Survivor Marquesas - Episode 3

Survivor Marquesas
"No Pain, No Gain"
Third week in a row, and the Maraamu Tribe loses immunity and boots off the strongest castaway on Survivor Marquesas tonight. They booted off Hunter Ellis, the FedEx pilot. I hope the damn NoNo's eat every last one of them. The tribe will get systematically hacked apart by Rotu... unless the producers pull an "African Switch"...

posted at 08:03 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Nice going

The War On Terrorism has had me worried since the beginning. Why? Because I don't trust the people that need to do some specific things to bring this phase to an end. I don't trust the new Afghani forces to actually bring the remaining Taliban and al Qaeda to justice, let alone kill or just even capture them, when wide spread corruption has existed in the war lords world for way too long. I don't trust the Pakistani's to do the same with any escaped Taliban or al Qaeda. And now, I'm not feeling too good about our own Government when the INS on MONDAY MARCH 11, 2002, just two days ago, Huffman Aviation of Florida received from the INS M-1 Student Visas for hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi six months to the day they flew planes into the World Trade Center. Couldn't anyone in the government catch this before they were mailed???

posted at 04:40 PM | Link | Current Events § |

Tuesday, March 12, 2002

Joseph D. Konopka - Terrorist???

I don't know if you know about this - it seems to be a local story - but there was a guy that was arrested saturday on the UIC campus on suspicion of burglary. Big deal, eh? Well, now the guy is in federal custody, charged with possession of a chemical weapon!!!! He's 25 years old, and has been living in the subway since jumping bail in Wisconsin. He had a pound of Cyanide stashed away in a CTA vault that was on the Blue Line subway downtown. Scary enough for you? Could you imagine what could have happened??? He's got a nickname - "Dr. Chaos". Sgt. Teri Vogel of the Door County sheriff's police said Konopka "definitely has the propensity to commit mass destruction." Gee, I feel safe... not!

Direct from the Shawano County Wisconsin Sherrif's Office Most Wanted List:

Joseph D. Konopka (06.24.1976) AKA Tim Whiting, Doctor Chaos, Doc Chaos, Doc Chaz.  Konopka is wanted for Felony Failure to Appear on multiple Burglary, Theft and Criminal Damage charges (Door County); Felony Bail Jumping and Felony Criminal Damage/Solicitation of a Child to Commit a Felony/Arson (Shawano County); Felony Burglary and Criminal Damage charges (FBI); Felony Failure to Appear for Pretrial Conference (Kewaunee County); and, Felony Criminal Damage to Property - Business (Marquette County).  If you have any information concerning this person, please contact your local law enforcement agency or call the Shawano County Sheriff's Office at 715.526.3111. 

posted at 10:39 PM | Link | Current Events § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Dad napping in my car
Another packed day at Radiation Therapy. This time, though, for some reason, Dad gets called in ahead of everybody else in the room. Everybody gives him the Evil Eye as he leaves. Had to stop at Walgreens on the way to their house to pick up some prescriptions. Dad's starting to look tired. His cough is still there, though it's hard to tell if it's getting worse. It's just a bad, dry cough.

posted at 03:12 PM | Link | Family § |

Monday, March 11, 2002

Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Signs for the Radiotherapy Reception & Patient Waiting Room Signs for the Radiotherapy Reception & Patient Waiting Room
1:25pm. Ah, another crowded day inside the Radiation Therapy waiting room. Standing room only. They guy that complained about & dropped his coffee is here, as well as the other older couple with the guy who also has a laryngectony like Dad. Both of these couples are cut from the same cloth, and I'm thinking my parents are in that group as well. There's an older lady sitting next to me, talking to another woman about divorce papers - I think it's about her daughter. There are not many secrets here - the room is too small, and most of the people here are old enough that their hearing is probably going, causing elevated voice levels. There's been a younger woman here that must have an appointment before Dad's since she's always here with the rest of us.. She gets called in to get changed - few people do, must be specific to the location of the tumor(s). She stands out from the others because of her age - she's definitely below the mean average of the room. Mom is doing her plastic needlepoint craft work that she takes everywhere (and I do mean everywhere), making some Cub players. Yech. There's an electrical equipment closet, just inside the entrance of the reception area. Whenever some gets their radiation exposure, you can here a very loud buzz come from the closet. It makes sitting in here a little odd - you can tell how much radiation the patients are getting, like you can tell who is getting high dosages because of the exposure time. I think that younger lady is in there now, and her exposures are relatively short - 5-10 seconds. I brought this up to my parents about a week ago, and now it's always on our minds as we sit here. Somebody get's an exposure of just under 60 seconds. To me, being just a Joe Schmoe, I equate length of exposure to severity of the tumor(s). Well, Dad's getting called in, so it's time for me to walk back to the Parking Garage to get the car to drive around the buildings to pick them up when he's done...

But my day isn't over - my Mom wants to go to the cemetery (St. Adalberts). Seems that as of March 1st, the wreaths that may be on the graves must be cleared off, so she wants to pick up the stuff she brought out there who knows when over the winter. So we drive all the way up there and wind our way through the cemetery - only to find out that one of the sections have been cleaned out of decorations. We go to another site where she picks up the wreaths at her parents graves - then proceeds to steal two more to make up for what she lost on the other graves! Needless to say, it was a long ride home...

posted at 04:19 PM | Link | Family § |
Would you like simulated fries with that?

OK, another day, still unemployed. I wonder what it whould be like to get a job at McDonald's. Hmmmm... Let me simulate that...

posted at 09:01 AM | Link | Odd § |
Six Months

We must never forget.
CBS ran 9|11 last night, and it was so moving, to watch the events through the eyes of firefighters (actually a documentary crew following the firefighters) on that day. Unbelieveable. A great record of the tragedy.

posted at 07:46 AM | Link | Current Events § |

Sunday, March 10, 2002

Wolves 2 - Grizzlies 4

Chicago Wolves Utah Grizzlies
Another crappy showing from the Wolves as the Utah Grizzlies beat them 4-2. They still can't handle a puck. They were just outplayed. A fairly clean game, though. It was a Family Fun Fest day, whatever that meant. All we knew is that there was a bout a dozen 5-8 year-olds sitting next to us. Carol kept referring to them as a "Gopher town" because all she heard was the high-pitched "bee-bee-bee-bee-bee-bee" as they were all taking at once throughout the entire game. Most of the time, they weren't talking but yelling in each others faces. Weird. We think it was a birthday outing. The dad, who was in the row behind us, was just burning through is money. We heard him pay almost $25 for 7 lemonades, and he had done that twice, not to mention cotton candy for everyone and then snow cones, and it looked like he bought pucks for all the kids later. Look, the Wolves are cheap entertainment, but concessions sure aren't.

posted at 07:09 PM | Link | Wolves § |

Saturday, March 09, 2002

Easter Bunnies
House Rabbit Society

I know I don't get a lot of traffic here at this Blog, but, please, take a moment to read this and help out this cause.

Carol and I have a pet rabbit named Indy (She has her own WebCam over on the Left-hand side of the page, if you want to visit). We love Indy, and have loved the rabbits that have been part of our life over the past 20 years.

Every year, at Easter time, people think about buying a rabbit for their kids. Bunnies really are great, but they have special needs and care and are not like dogs & cats. There are many rabbits that are abandoned each year after Easter when the kids lose interest or when they become a burden to the owners.

If you have a website, please visit the House Rabbit Society's Easter Page and get a banner to put on your page until after Easter (March 31 for those that don't know) to help raise awareness of the problem (I've got mine over on the left side as well). There are also PDF's to print up and post in your cublicle of wherever if you'd like to do that to help spread the word (as well as a damn sad poem that just just rips at our heartstrings).

Indy thanks you and Carol & I thank you.

posted at 10:36 PM | Link | Bunnies § |
Pay per view

Barry & Buffy just left. We had a great evening with them, just sitting around and talking. Carol made a great pasta dinner, and we did our first Pay Per View movie ever (either DirecTV or cable) - Rush Hour 2. Fun movie. The four of us were in Las Vegas a year ago Monday, and they were still finishing shooting at the Desert Inn - which was transformed into the Red Dragon Hotel & Casino for the film. Just seems a short time between shooting it and watching it on Pay-Per-View. Spent a lot of time on the IMDb trying to figure out who was in what movie. The house was making a ton of noise because of the wind. Had a big candle wax problem - had one of those big 3-wick jobs sitting on top of one of my Bose speakers break open an pour hot wax down the front. Crap. I have no idea how to get this wax of the speaker material.

Speaking of Las Vegas, B&B are leaving for a short vacation on the 30th. They're staying at Harrah's and flying Our Favorite Airline to Las Vegas™, National. I am so jealous and envious! We've been going to Vegas together every year (sometimes, twice a year) for a while now (since May '97) and it just feels weird not going with them. I mean, we'd go together, but it's really my fault - I don't have a job, so we don't have any money. Crap. Well, I hope they have a good time. Seriously. And I hope that they won't feel guilty about doing things there just because we're not with them. We talked a bit about this, and I know they, too, feel weird about us not being there with them, but they should have a good time on their own. We'll be there together again... someday...

posted at 09:52 PM | Link | Friends § |
Windy deaths

OK, this is bad - when the thunderstorms came through, it also brought high winds. The house is creaking and occasionally we hear a bang or bump something from somewhere. This is the worst we have heard. The furnace is doing something weird, too - sometimes it won't turn on. We're hoping it's related to the wind. The highest wind gust recorded was 58mph at Meigs Field (52mph out here at O'Hare). There was a bad accident downtown. Some scaffolding that blew off the Hancock building (what the hell was scaffolding doing on the Hancock with these kind of winds????) crashing into a three cars on Chestnut Street, killing three people. The rest of the scaffolding just swung around crashing into windows of the floors around it. This looked bad. I saw on a news broadcast a car with no roof (probably cut off), that had two people in the back seat in cervical collars - the people in the front seat had been killed. There's going to be lawsuits coming out of this...

posted at 03:59 PM | Link | Current Events § |

Paralympics Salt Lake 2002
Olympic Update...
Huh??? Yep, I totally forgot about these games! I'm watching the Opening Ceremonies are on NBC right now. The rest of the games are going to be on A&E at 6pm EST each night this week.

posted at 01:15 PM | Link | Olympics § |

The temperature dropped 26° in the last two hours. The rain is now sleet, smattered against the windows. Here we go again...

posted at 11:07 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Creaking thunder

1:10am. Thunder again. Thunderstorms rumble all night. High winds, too. It's dishwasher time again.I hear on the police scanner that there's a Severe Weather Watch with Flash Floods and winds up to 80 mph. It's now 5:30am and Carol and I are both up - don't know why. Actually, Carol knows why - Barry & Buffy are coming over for dinner today and somehow, sometime during the night she realized that she didn't have any mushrooms. She's going to the store now. The house s creaking way too much. Guess I'm getting up to and Blog this mess...

posted at 05:39 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, March 08, 2002

Big swing

Criminy... it's 64° outside. So, from Monday to today, we swung from -6° to 64°... boy, if this doesn't screw-up your health, not much else will...

posted at 04:51 PM | Link | Mundane § |

More job postings, this time it's the same job on both & At least it's something.

posted at 08:54 AM | Link | Job Search § |

5:55am. I'm in the middle of some great sleep, when noises penetrate the dreams and wake me up. Thunder. What the hell is going on? We went from 61° on the 24th to -6° on Monday, now it's 50° and we're in the middle of a thunderstorm. The rain is blown against the aluminum siding and it sounds like you're sitting (or sleeping) in inside a dishwasher. I know that there's this joke that says something like "If you don't like the weather in Chicago, just wait a minute - it'll change", but this is ridiculous.

posted at 06:11 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, March 07, 2002

Survivor Marquesas - Episode 2

Survivor Marquesas
"Nacho Mamma"
Another wrong booting of a castaway on Survivor Marquesas tonight. Patricia Jackson, the Truck Assembler from Lugoff, SC got booted off because some people that she was "too bossy". Great. At least she was doing work, you idiots. You need to get rid of Sarah Jones, who seems to be the Doppelganger of Lindsey Richter from Survivor Africa. And oh, man, eating Fafaru just looks nasty. I was going to say "at least it's not bugs", but I think bugs or cow's blood would be better than that stuff...

posted at 08:02 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Rubik's Cube

Damn, I know all I'm doing right now is posting links to other things, but here's a great little interractive game - it's a web based Rubik's Cube! (I don't think I've ever posted as many links like today...)

posted at 10:44 AM | Link | Odd § |
slamming the groovy enchilada

Some of these almost sound familiar - The Euphamism Generator

posted at 10:38 AM | Link | Odd § |

Hmmm... the marriage of Blogging and Knowledge Management (which I'm interested in, since I'm a Lotus Notes guy) - What is a k-log?

posted at 10:28 AM | Link | Blogging § |

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

Mulcahy Outpatient Center at Loyola University Medical Center
My normal daily "taxi service" for my parents is different today. Today, Dad has a 1pm appointment for Dr. Bastian's office. Last week, Dr. Emami thought that there would be some kind of device - like perhaps a different trache - that Dad could get to help him "talk". I'm skeptical, but I feel that my parents aren't making use of any opportunity that's afforded them, so even if he comes away with nothing, it shouldn't be viewed as "time wasted". We just don't know what's available, and it's important to find out.

I'm sitting down in the Lobby of the Mulcahy Outpatient building with my little Toshiba Libretto - my parents are up in the office area of Dr. Bastian. Mom came down to let me know that nothing is happening upstairs and Dad is getting impatient - pretty typical for him when meeting a new situation. He's been very "calm" dealing with the process in Radiation Therapy. This kind of stuff drives him nuts - the older he gets, the more impatient he gets. He's going to be pretty upset. It's been over an hour, and we're late for our 1:30 Radiation Therapy appointment. They show up at 2:05 and I get them to the Russo building at 2:15. We're back on the road home at 3 o'clock.

Yellow Lights at Railroad Crossing
Saw something I never saw before on the way home. We cross a couple of different Commuter rail lines to and from the hospital. This one crossing - near Lake and First Avenue - seems to be near a Metra station, because there has been a few time when I saw the crossing gates go down, only to go back up again a few seconds later. There's always a train to the east, probably at a station. Well, I noticed something today - at the railroad crossing, there is a second set of flashing lights - not the red flashing lights that go on when the gates go down when a train approaches, but there's a pair a blinking yellow lights - identical to the red ones - near a sign that says "DO NOT STOP ON TRACKS" - probably a warning that says "there's a train that'll be here in a few moments - stay off!"

posted at 04:28 PM | Link | Family § |
Tribute of Light

Hmm... two more job postings to answer today, one at for a Sr. Notes Administrator and another at for a Lotus Notes Administrator. These people must be getting swamped - I'm not getting any call backs in months. I'm guessing that they're getting tons of resumes to try to sift through.

In case you haven't heard, the first memorials to the World Trade Center attacks will be unveiled on March 11. One is the "Tribute of Light," two beams of light to simulate the towers, the other is the original 27-foot bronze sculpture by Fritz Koenig called "The Sphere" that used to stand in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The lights will be illuminated from sunset to about 11pm, and talk is that it's only a temporary memorial. "The Sphere" will be at Battery Park until a permanent home could be found, perhaps back at the original site.

posted at 08:20 AM | Link | Current Events § |

Tuesday, March 05, 2002


If you're a fan of reality shows, you have to watch MTV's The Osbournes. Yep, imagine 13 weeks of watching Ozzy Osbourne and his family! Hysterical! I actually feel good about my life after watching this show!

posted at 10:09 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Radiation Therapy Chauffeur™ duty

The last two days have been interesting driving on the tollway & expressway - there have been a lot of trucks that have been sitting outside collecting snow over the weekend. Now, as they barrel down the road at a high rate of speed, the compacted snow is shooting off the tops of the trucks in sheets, causing havoc for anyone following behind. You don't want to be behind these things. I saw another truck that didn't have compacted snow, just light snow on top. It left a blizzard behind it - you couldn't see the traffic in the middle of this snow-cloud.

On the way to pick-up my parents, I saw a huge fire over in Harwood Heights. I think I heard later on the radio that it was some kind of auto body place. It was kind of startling to see - being on the Kennedy expressway, you're sort of in a wide ditch - below ground level, so you don't see what's going on in the neighborhoods around you. Then, when I got off at Nagle, you could see the black smoke in the sky, not very far ahead. It must not have been burning very long.

Ah... baseball on the radio... Sox playing the Cubs... gotta love it... and the Sox won 20-6! And it was a split squad game for the Sox! Update: Of course, bragging too soon, the Sox split-squad lose against Arizona 16-5 tonight...

Hey, did you know that an ostrich's eye is heavier than it's brain? See, the daytime version of the Weakest Link is educational!

Got an invoice from the Chicago Wolves for Calder Cup playoff tickets. Like they're gonna win the cup this year... We reluctantly spend money that we don't have and send in our ticket request (including a 25% deposit for next season's tickets).

posted at 03:16 PM | Link | Family § |

Monday, March 04, 2002


Gee, Chicago turned 165 years old today...

posted at 10:18 PM | Link | Current Events § |
A Man of Constant Sorrow

OK, it's damn cold... it was -6° this morning. It was just 61° on the 24th. This is nuts. Everything outside is frozen solid. The sun is out almost all day, and it slowly warms up. The neighborhood streets still suck - they never really got "clean". Then I look out the window tonight and it's snowing again - everything is covered. Again.

Had a chance to just watch some TV tonight with Carol and Indy. We watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? on Starz!. What a hoot! Great movie, great performance by George Clooney. Apparently, Indy (our bunny) didn't enjoy it as much. She doesn't like music, especially vocals with harmonies. She took off early to spend the rest of the time in her bunny condo, ignoring the movie and napping.

posted at 09:29 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, March 03, 2002

Don't look at the light

Snow everywhere. Bright, blazing sun. Looking out the window hurts. No, I mean hurts. The pain is unbelievable - you can almost feel the pupils straining to close down. Squinting doesn't help. Tears come immediately. I think I know how the Nazi's felt when viewing the Ark of the Covenant at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark...

The sun's out, but it's getting colder. Carol & I go to my parents' for dinner. The traffic both ways is light - my guess is people know what's coming and they're just staying home.

posted at 09:47 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, March 02, 2002

Wolves 3 - Americans 3

Chicago Wolves Rochester Americans A very snowy Allstate Arena reserved parking lot Darcy Hordichuk and Christian Matte Mario Larocque and Andrew Peters Sign for the Rochester Penalty Box The neighborhood after the game...
Well, we set off to the hockey game in the snow. The traffic was pretty light - not many people wanted to be out on the street. The traffic moved well, and we were there in no time. I was surprised at how many cars were in the lost an hour before the game. The Wolves played the Rochester Americans for the first time at the Allstate Arena. The referee (Dan O'Rourke) called everything, even Delay of Game. Lots of Misconducts, too. He wanted to be in control of the game, and for the most part he was. He was consistent at least - all you can ask for. The Americans have a guy (Andrew Peters) with over 300 Penalty Minutes. Well, they lit-up our goalie Frederic Cassivi (3 goals on 6 shots) so Coach Anderson replaced him with Norm Maracle, who stopped the rest of the shots. The game ended in a 3-3 tie after overtime. The official stats say the attendance was 13,119 - I find that a bit hard to believe because of the weather, though there really was a good crowd. In a nice gesture, the Wolves are allowing fans the opportunity to redeem last night's used or unused game ticket for admission to any other regular-season game, Sunday through Friday, for the remainder of the season. Aren't minor league franchises great? The ride home wasn't too bad, though the neighborhood wasn't too clean. Now, the temperatures are supposed to drop to zero tomorrow night...

posted at 10:41 PM | Link | Wolves § |
More snow

Damn it's snowing...
Damn, it's snowing... no I mean snowing... The "lull" lasted for a few hours. It was in the low 30's, so sidewalks/driveways - when cleared - just melted. Now, it's coming down - hard. I lost the signal to the DirecTV satellite - except for local stations - those spotbeams are pretty strong. I wonder if the Wolves game is still on?

posted at 04:00 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Yep, 6 inches of snow on the ground - and we're in a "lull" between storm systems. "They" are keeping the Winter Storm Warning through tonight, with the snow restarting early this afternoon through early evening - with another 3"-6". Should be interesting going to the Wolves game tonight. Pozo was here about an hour ago to plow the driveway and shovel the sidewalk to the door - I don't mind paying for this at all - it sure saves the back - this is a really heavy snow - it's right around freezing and "they" are now saying it's actually a mix of snow and drizzle right now. Not a lot of activity in the neighborhood - saw a few plows but not much other traffic.

posted at 09:19 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, March 01, 2002

Snow cover

It's after 10pm and the ground is already covered in snow... Carol said she heard that after midnight we may get 2" of snow an hour. This is gonna be fun... (check out the live webcam on this page!)

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Fish Fry

Poster for St. Ferdinand's Fish Fry Oooooo... Free Pierogi! St. Ferdinand's Annual Fish Fry
Well, I went back to my old parish tonight (my parent's current parish) - St. Ferdinand's to go to their annual Fish Fry. They run it every Friday through Lent (except Good Friday). My Mom helps out, cutting cakes mostly. The turnout is always good - last week they had 650 people show up - and they do a drive-up business as well. Well, Carol, Diane, Melinda and I decided we were going today - Polish Day. You get a free Pierogi with every adult meal! It's always an odd socializing time - either meeting people from my childhood or meeting my Mom's friends. Had the Cod tonight (pretty good... and quick!) And, of course, Mom brought over some extra sauerkraut Pierogies for us.

On the ride home, we saw our first flakes of snow at 8:30pm. Let's see what happens...

posted at 09:26 PM | Link | Family § |
Winter Storm Warning

Great... Winter Storm Warning - up to 10" of snow where I live... let's see if "they" get it right...

posted at 06:41 AM | Link | Mundane § |
March 1st and marchFIRST

Here it is March 1st and of course I can't get out of my mind marchFIRST, my old company. It's been 48 weeks since I worked for them. Oh, oh... that's almost a year... I'm just starting to see some job postings come around, but it's been really bad for a Lotus Notes Engineer... Every couple of weeks I see a job posting like this on - thought I had better apply.

posted at 06:34 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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