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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 December 2002.

November 2002 MAIN BLOG January 2003 Next

Monday, December 30, 2002

Michael Robert Lans, Sr. 1914-2002
Me at nine months with my Dad
I just got home tonight from my Mom's house. It's been a long, stressful evening.

This afternoon at 5pm, my father died.

He was at home with my mom. She found him, but he was already gone. He died quietly and from what we can tell peacefully. He had been getting weaker over the past weeks. I've talked about his problem eating here. We don't know what really happened, we only knew that his time had come.

My Mom seems to be fine. My sister Diane seems to be fine. I think I am fine. We all knew what life with Dad could be like as the cancer progressed. He didn't suffer. Even through his surgery back in May of last year, he never really had any pain at all. The only pain he had was when he had that huge abscess on his neck a few months ago. That was it.

What more could you ask for? A long life (he was 88 years old), no pain, and to die in your own house with your wife of 48 years.

posted at 11:24 PM | Link | Family | 5 comments § |

Sunday, December 29, 2002

Oh, please, just get it over with...

Chicago BearsTampa Bay Buccaneers
The Chicago Bears (4-11) have had 46 different starters this season. 46. Injuries have decimated this team. It's the end of the season, a Sunday Night game on ESPN against Tampa Bay (11-4). The Bucs have never won a game (0-21) if the temperature is under 40. It's 35. Something tells me that really won't make a difference tonight. They've got the #1 defense in the league, and they're going after our third string quarterback with a fourth stringer as backup. There's no way the Bears can win. Let's just get it over with...
Update: End of the 1st: Buccaneers 0 Bears 0
Update: End of the half: Buccaneers 6 Bears 0
Update: End of the 3rd: Buccaneers 6 Bears 0
Update: Final: Buccaneers 15 Bears 0

posted at 07:17 PM | Link | Bears § |

Carol and I wanted meat. Barry & Buffy wanted meat. It was time to do something about it.

read more of this entry »

posted at 06:46 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |

Saturday, December 28, 2002

Wolves 5 - Rampage 3

Chicago Wolves San Antonio Rampage

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Wolves § |
This is Hospice care?

My dad is under hospice care for his cancer. He's at home, and my mom's been doing a good job taking care of him. Today, while doing normal daily maintenance on his stoma, some mucous (ew) dislodged a bit a went down his airway. Well, he was coughing and you could hear it. Mom freaked a little, and called Loyola Hospice Care because , though dad was OK, she's just like to have someone come out and maybe suction out the mucous. Not a big deal, not a big request. After four friggin' hours of telephone calls, and finally a nurse coming out, he's declared fine and they won't do anything. There's so much more to this story, a story about quality of life versus what appears to be a corporate inaction and even indifference, using that old "well, you know, he is going to die" line that we're starting to get real tired of. I'm pissed. My mom's pissed, a little freaked out, and quite a bit overwhelmed. We'll get through it. We have to.

posted at 03:32 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |

Friday, December 27, 2002

Minus 35

When I came home tonight, Carol was just smiling from ear-to-ear and almost bounding around the house. It's Weight Watchers day, and she's down 2.2 pounds, making an even 35 pounds total. That's not bad, considering it's the holidays! She out of the house tonight, going to a bachelorette party (complete with p*nis-shaped pasta - had to clean that up a bit, I don't want Google searches here for damn p*nis-shaped pasta!). I'm proud of her weight loss - she's doing a great job and has these little goals for herself (all clothing related, with certain pieces of clothing that are still in the closet). Somehow, I need to get on the bandwagon...

posted at 06:28 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Foreign Objects

I am holding something that seems... familiar... I seem to recall having something very similar to these things some time ago in my past... it looks foreign... it has my name and address on it... I seem to remember those other ones having that, too... the lettering in the corner seems really familiar... Arial, italic... wait... it's... it's... it's a paycheck!!! Oh, my, how long it has been!!! And there's two of them!!!

posted at 11:03 AM | Link | Work | 1 comment § |
Friday 5 - New Year

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What was your biggest accomplishment this year? Finally getting a job after 20 months.
2. What was your biggest disappointment? Not being able to get a job in my field (though at least it's a related field). Finding out that my Dad's cancer came back with a vengeance and can't be cured.
3. Will you be making any New Year's resolutions? Nope. Never do. Too hard to keep.
4. Where will you be at midnight? Do you wish you could be somewhere else? We'll be at our friends' house - Buffy & Barry. And no, we have no desire to be anywhere else.
5. Aside from (possibly) staying up late, do you have any other New Year's traditions? Lately, it's just going over to B&B's, drinking champagne, and eating and eating and eating...

posted at 08:28 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Nuts... I couldn't Call-In "Rich"

Well, as they say, "you've got to play to win." So we did (play). And we didn't (win). You know how you call-in to your boss to let him/her know that you're not going to be in? Normally, you call-in "sick" or some such thing.

Barry and I have always wanted to be able to "Call-in 'Rich'" instead. ("I'm sorry, I'm not going to be able to come into work today. I'm rich.") I've also heard it called something else: if someone gets the big prize, the people at work would refer to them as being "Lottery Terminated." (Wow... I would have been able to buy 376,254 TiVo's. Or 225,450 Handspring Treo's. Or 22,727 Segways. Or 6,849 Cooper Mini's. Oh! Even better! 5 trips as a tourist to The International Space Station!)

posted at 03:24 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Doctor, Doctor, It hurts when I do this...

Hmmm... OK, so the little fall that I took on Christmas Eve is starting to show itself in the form of pain in my back where I hit the pavement. Fortunately it's just muscle pain, and it seems to only effect me when I stand up after sitting in my chair. I guess it could have been worse, so I can just tough this out.

posted at 11:43 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

Indy's view of the season...

Indy's view of the season...

posted at 09:51 PM | Link | Odd § |
Merry Christmas

Spent the day at my parents house. Breakfast. Gifts. Naps. Dinner. Trading Spaces marathon on the TV. In a nutshell, that was our day. Dad is miserable. He's got an appetite. He really wants to eat. He's just so friggin' frustrated at having his food come up and out his nose. He's embarrassed. It upsets him. He wants to eat like normal people and he should be able to. It's just so damn difficult to see him go through this on Christmas. It's killing me. At any rate, we enjoyed our Christmas together. It's a long day, though. We needed to just get home so that we can hit the sheets for work tomorrow.

posted at 09:20 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve at Diane's
Tonight, it's take the parents to my sister Diane's for a family Christmas Eve with our cousins and Uncle Jim. The weather is starting to turn nasty - very windy and snowing. At least the snow isn't of the big-flake variety, it's more of the real tiny not-necessarily-flake-but-maybe-pellet variety. We all show up at Diane's house at the exact same moment, causing chaos and pandemonium amongst the dogs and, well, everyone involved. The evening went well. Dad seemed a bit crabby, though. I think it's just hard on him to travel, and I just don't think he wanted to socialize with our extended family. Well, while cleaning the snow off my car, I fell in the street. Yep. My right foot started to slide out from under me. I remember thinking to myself "This is going to hurt" as I didi the splits. The splits didn't hurt, as I was able to twist my legs so I didn't actually do the splits. Hitting the asphalt hurt. I slipped again when walking my parents to the car.The ride home was bad. The Kennedy hadn't been plowed or salted. Addison was the same, so travel was just slow. After dropping off my parents, I slipped again going to the car. By now, the sudden flailing of my body is screwing up most of the muscles in my back, and now I have a headache like you would get in a whiplash accident. Ouch. The drive home was made worse only by the number of idiots on the street who just don't know how to drive in this weather. Actually, it has nothing to do with the weather - they're just driving like idiots. Like the guy in the SUV that didn't even stop to look that traffic was coming at a busy intersection (without a traffic light) and just pulls out and turns. (Of course, there was traffic coming, and this little event caused a van to swerve to miss the idiot, cross the center line and come right at us, only to swerve again, this time to avoid us. Nice, eh? Merry Christmas!) Or the people that just pull too far into an intersection, causing you to swerve around them. That has nothing to do with snow, and everything to do with idiotic driving. I feel more Pet Peeves coming on here... (The bad thing, is that all of the idiots looked Eastern European... pattern?) The tollway was clear and wet, as well as most of the neighborhood. At least we're home safely.

posted at 10:12 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Gee, I wonder why there's no traffic...

Got to work in record time today - 20 minutes. Wonder why? Yes, that's the downfall of working here - you don't get Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve or the day after Thanksgiving off. I was thinking back and realized that I have never worked Christmas Eve in my career. Advantage? Light traffic. Disadvantage? Forget being able to get anywhere on time for any Christmas Eve celebrations.

posted at 07:51 AM | Link | Work § |

Monday, December 23, 2002

To the friggin' idiot on I-294...

To the absolute moron in the black Ford Explorer that just had to be in the left-hand lane on the Tri-State Tollway after 1pm, tailgating, crossing the yellow line, then getting off the Tollway at Dempster going East, still not paying attention to traffic: DO YOU HAVE TO READ A FRIGGIN' FORBES MAGAZINE WHILE GOING 80 MPH?????

posted at 01:55 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Crash and burn

Major failure at work.

With me, that is.

There's nothing I despise more in my career than to show up at work on a Monday morning and find the system down. And not knowing why. And being the first person there. And having to handle the avalanche of Help Desk calls from around the country from users not only wanting to know what's wrong, but demanding to know how long it will be until they're up (without even knowing the extent of the problem). I handled the whole triage miserably. I failed. I failed so badly that there were calls about my performance. I haven't had to handle pressure like this is in quite a few years and I wasn't ready for it. I should have been more professional, I should have known better. I just let the emotions build and I mishandled the calls. (Thank God I took my blood pressure medication today!!!) All of this because a WINS service goes nuts on a server (not to mention a VPN issue because of a PIX box reconfiguration, but that's a whole other story). So, I've been told, I need to step away and let the phone ring for a while to gain my composure. I have this need to answer the phones and provide quality service, but I guess if you can't deliver quality, then just step away...

I'll learn.

posted at 10:28 AM | Link | Work § |

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Wolves 5 - Admirals 2

Chicago Wolves Milwaukee Admirals

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:04 PM | Link | Wolves § |

Friday, December 20, 2002

Those "other" people

Blizzard outside the office The floor walker
Part of the interesting thing of being employed again, is that I get to work in an office building that supports many companies - something that I haven't been in for quite some time. So, like the walker I had mentioned the other day (who I now see everyday), there are "other" people in the building that I feel free to talk about! Like today, in the men's restroom on our floor. A gentleman walked in to brush his teeth. At 10 in the morning. Now, for some reason, I feel free to discuss him because you just don't see people brushing their teeth at work. And then, after watching this, you starting to wonder - "Why?" Can't stand his breath after some coffee? (one hopes that it wasn't because he was eating onions or garlic at 10 in the morning). Was he being considerate to a fellow coworker, perhaps a young lady that he works with very closely? Or perhaps it's medical, having to keep his mouth and teeth as clean as possible because of dental or gum issues. Or maybe it's just OCD? (I had never seen him before, but today is only Day 8 on the job). Just one of those observations that make you wonder...

posted at 10:08 AM | Link | Work § |
Friday 5 - Holidays

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five... (Hey! It's back!)
1. What holiday or holidays do you celebrate this time of year? Well, Christmas, of course, with celebrations Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
2. What was the best gift you have ever received? There could have been better, but recently the best gift sounds weird - it was a Herman Miller Aeron chair from my sister that I have at my computer at home. It's the world's best chair. When I worked at marchFIRST, that was one of the many extravagances that they had purchased. Why is it the best present? A few reasons - it's comfortable and my butt and back enjoy it, but most of all it was a bit pricey and and it was a very generous gift that I'm much appreciative of.
3. What was the worst gift you've ever given? OOOoooooo... I just don't to talk about some things in public... I have received some pretty bogus things over the years from people that may have been trying to be considerate, but just don't get it.
4. Where will you be celebrating the holidays? Are you hosting? Going away? Christmas Eve will be at my sister's house, Christmas Day at my parents.
5. If you could spend the holidays with someone who isn't around, who would it be with? Why? I guess it depends on the definition of "someone who isn't around". If it refers to geographic location, all of my family is local to Chicago. If it refers to someone who is no longer with us, well that's a whole different story. I would love to go back to the Christmases of my childhood, with everyone alive and vibrant, when the extended family was big, and loud.

posted at 10:03 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, December 19, 2002

I'm OK with Brian...

At least I'm not throwing things at my TV tonight like last night. I think it may have been different if Clay won...

posted at 09:09 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Healthy Bunny

Well, Carol is home with Indy. Indy bounded out of her carrier, made a beeline for her condo - which she found locked - and then spent quite a while in her clubhouse of boxes. She's fine. The vet can't find a thing wrong with her, though the blood work is still pending. She got x-rayed, got her teeth checked, and nothing looks wrong. Great. To me, that means that, somehow, right around Thanksgiving, she went crazy. At least she's home, and I feel better.

posted at 08:08 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Empty House

It's one thing when you come home from work and your wife's not home. You can accept that - she's working late, she's out shopping. Whatever it is, it's fine. You can handle that. No problem. Why is it then, when you come home and your pet is not there either, the house just seems REALLY empty?

posted at 05:57 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Ah, the depths of sleep...

Well, so far, I've found another benefit of finally being employed - sleep. I've been getting great nights of sleep. It's not that the job is tiring - I'm fine when I get home. It's just that when I sleep now, it's a deep, sound sleep. The kind of sleep that you actually enjoy. The kind of sleep that, when you wake up, you don't want to end. The kind of sleep that, when you do wake up, you realize that you haven't moved much through the night. Ahhhhhhh...

posted at 08:11 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Amazing Race 3 - Episode 11 - FINALE

The Amazing Race 3
"They're Slithering to the Finish Line Like the Rest of Us!"

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:04 PM | Link | Reality TV § |

I'll publish my little synopsis some other time - I'm too wrapped-up in throwing things at my TV right now...

posted at 09:58 PM | Link | Reality TV § |

Indy eating hay out her basket
So, I get home from work tonight, Carol is making dinner, and Indy is out running around. "Our bunners" is just having a grand time running around, shaking her head, and jumping up in the air. What she doesn't know, yet, is that she's going to the vet tomorrow. She's still not eating everything she should be, and she's just too "wired". It's best to just get her put up on the rack, rotate the tires, check the fluids, and make sure she's OK anyway. One of the things we noticed is that she stopped eating her hay, which isn't a good thing. I look down at her on the floor, and there she is, parked next to her basket of hay that we leave out for her, just having a nice chew on some fresh hay. Great. She'll eat hay when she's outside her Bunny Condo, but not when she's "home". We'll have to see what happens tomorrow.

posted at 06:05 PM | Link | Mundane § |

1 Year Blogiversary!

I started "My Mundane Mid-Life" one year ago today, with a comment about the damn Bowl Season being too early (and I still think it is!). It's been an interesting year - hopefully this "thing" will get more interesting and more entertaining as time goes by. I had every intention on keeping this thing going when I started it. So far, so good! Thank you all for stopping by and reading and nosing around my website. I do appreciate it. Hey, if you come around regularly, why not leave me a comment or sign my GuestMap?
posted at 08:45 AM | Link | Blogging | 1 comment § |

Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Misdemeanor Corporal Injury to Spouse

Survivor Thailand
The Smoking Gun has more twisted Survivor news. This time, it's about Misdemeanor Corporal Injury to Spouse charge... against Charmaine Ann Heidik who, allegedly, punched her husband Survivor Brian Heidik in the nose. She was jailed for two days and was released on her own recognizance. Trial started yesterday. In the meantime, the court has ordered that the "Defendant shall stay at least 100 yards away from the person, place of residence, place of business and/or schooling of Brian Heidik." and "not own, use, or possess any dangerous or deadly weapons, including firearms, knives, or other concealable weapons." Charmaine was also known as C.C. Costigan in adult films, and has appeared with her husband Brian in at least two films: 2001's The Regina Pierce Affair and 2000's Scandal: Passions Obsession.

posted at 08:47 PM | Link | Survivor § |
If H=human population, and V=vampire population...

A mathematical model of predator-prey population dynamics in Buffy's Sunnydale by a PhD candidate in ecology at Stanford University: Vampire Population Ecology

posted at 11:47 AM | Link | Odd § |
"And we're walking... we're walking..."

The building that I work in is not very big. Each floor is a series of office suites connected by a main corridor. On my particular floor, a few suites are empty due to companies going out of business. So, in general, it's quiet ot there. There's a guy that walks the main corridor, from end to end, reading a book. Just walking back and forth. He's got walking/running shoes on, and he's walking and reading from one of the floor to the other. I guess it's one way of taking a break and getting some exercise.

posted at 11:20 AM | Link | Work § |
Da Bears Anthrax Scare...

This showed up in this morning's EMail:

LAKE FOREST,IL. (AP) - Chicago Bears football practice was delayed nearly two hours today after a player reported finding an unknown white powdery substance on the practice field. Head coach Dick Jauron immediately suspended practice while police and federal investigators were called to investigate.

After a complete analysis, FBI forensic experts determined that the white substance unknown to the players was the goal line. Practice was resumed after special agents decided that the team was unlikely to encounter the substance again.

posted at 11:13 AM | Link | Odd § |

Monday, December 16, 2002

Skinny Bunny

Extreme closeup of Indy's teethmarks on the corners of our walls
Indy is still not herself. She's lost weight - which, in the grand scheme of things, is not necessarily bad, as she was just a little bit pudgy. Ever since Thanksgiving, she's been... "different". She's been chewing everything in sight, but she's not eating. She's franticly wanting "lovin's" from her Dad (me). She wants to be petted, but then she wants to lick. A lot. She's just starting to eat her lettuce, and today she started eating her "chow" (It's not really "chow", but Kaytee Exact Rainbow for Rabbits). She's not eating any hay, though, and that's not good. She's still got energy, though, and this past week she's been "flopping" on the floor, a signal that she's content. We may have to get her to the vet pretty quick.
Update: Appointment with the vet Wednesday at 4:00pm Thursday at 6:00pm.

posted at 07:41 PM | Link | Bunnies | 1 comment § |
The coffee situation...

OK, I've got a serious situation that I need to take control of. When I get to work at 8 in the morning, there's no coffee. No one on the other side of the floor even makes coffee during the day. That leaves us drugs of IT Discontinued Operations" to fend for ourselves. Now, my new bosses and coworkers have a drip coffee machine about 12 feet from my cube - but no one makes coffee when they get in. So now, I've got to take that over because I made my first pot at 10:30 and that's way too late to jump start my day. And do we have coffee? Not ground - beans! You have to pick your bean (there seems to be a bit of selection) and grind your own and then drip your own pot. Time to "own" the coffee duties, or else I'm not waking up before I start answering the phones!

posted at 01:36 PM | Link | Work § |

Sunday, December 15, 2002

Sunday Dinner

Carol & I go over to my parents' house just about every weekend. It's a nice way to keep in touch - Diane is almost always over as well. We don't feel too guilty for having our own lives and having to skip a weekend because of other commitments. This week, though, is different. We're getting into the Christmas season with heavy hearts and skirting a real big issue. This will be Dad's last Christmas. I really felt it this week. This was the first dinner we've had where Dad wasn't at the dinner table with us - he took his dinner in the back room, in front of the TV. He's having this really odd problem that I've talked about before - he can't keep some of the food he eats "down". It seems to come up (and for you squeamish people out there - jump to the next sentence) out his nose. The hospice nurse (and I think doctor as well) believe that the massive infection/abscess that he had in his neck a few months ago may have formed a "pouch" that's collecting some of the food he's swallowing, so this thing he's experiencing isn't acid reflux. The major downside to this is that, though he's hungry and wants to eat, this condition is making eating extremely difficult. He's losing weight. Fast. I really noticed it this week. He's so much thinner. It's putting a strain on my Mom and I can't imagine what Christmas is going to be like. It's scary and disturbing and we just don't really talk about it. In our family, if you don't talk about it then you don't have to face it. At least you don't face it in "public". But you sure do face it when you are alone...

posted at 09:48 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, December 14, 2002

Dinner with friends

Magnum's Prime Steakhouse
Just got back from Magnum's in Rolling Meadows where we had our holiday get-together with Barry, Buffy, and Debbie. We love this place. We were there last year and back again in May. We even had our favorite waitress, Char (who, if you ever go there, you must ask for her - you won't be disappointed). Food was as great as ever. I had the same sea scallops wrapped in bacon for an appetizer, but for dinner I had a horseradish encrusted New York Strip that was wonderful. The night was too damn short - we hadn't seen Debbie since Labor Day weekend, and Carol hadn't seen Buffy since our Museum Campus day.

posted at 09:15 PM | Link | Friends § |
Cat's in the Kettle

I have to admit, I laughed out loud at this. Harry Chapin must be spinning in his grave. (Snagged from Quinn).

posted at 01:24 PM | Link | Odd | 1 comment § |

Friday, December 13, 2002


BBC America Ground Force
I think this is so cool! My favorite show on BBC America is Ground Force. They are going to shoot a new series - Ground Force America! Yes, they are coming here for surprise garden makeovers! They are planning to film this February in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and this May in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C. The potential problem that could kill the viewership of the show? No Alan Titchmarsh! That's just not right! On the flipside, you will get Charlie Dimmock, Tommy Walsh, and Will Shanahan. They are accepting applications now to be one of the gardens!

posted at 09:34 PM | Link | TV § |
Third Day

So, it was quiet most of the day today as everyone in the company was at a company Christmas party. There were only half a dozen support calls... until the Internet connection burped and VPN failed. So, I panicked for just a short while, got some colleagues on the phone and the line came back up - by itself. Must have been a problem with the provider, since there wasn't any errors on the CSU/DSU. Based on my first week, I think I could do this job for a while.

posted at 05:58 PM | Link | Work § |

Starting to feel the whiplash of not working for such a long period of time - I'm groggy a lot of the time. Just not used to this, though it's getting better day-by-day. Driving to work is not bad at all - I'm doing it in about 35 minutes, and I can take Higgins Road the entire way (I love direct routes). The surprise this morning was that the road construction eastbound on Higgins is finally over (didn't look like westbound was finished, though). There were unmarked police cars on the shoulders just waiting for the people to speed along the newly-opened lanes.

posted at 09:20 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, December 12, 2002

Survivor Thailand - Episode 12

Survivor Thailand
"The Tides Are Turning"

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:09 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Second Day

OK, second day and I'm more on my own than yesterday (tomorrow is the real test - I will actually be alone as I man the phones during the company Christmas party that I'm not going to). Finally got my laptop configured late this afternoon. Now I have to figure out why I can't keep the master volume level up - if a try to set it, it actually moves by itself to 0. Weird. Didn't have lunch - worked instead while everybody else went out, then I had to do the HR orientation and fill out paperwork. *blech*

posted at 05:47 PM | Link | Work § |

Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Wolves 5 - Ice Cats 4

Chicago Wolves Worcester Ice Cats

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:26 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Amazing Race 3 - Episode 10

The Amazing Race 3
"Don't Try to Play the Moralist Now!"

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:06 PM | Link | Reality TV § |

Not used to working... falling asleep... need to get my act together

posted at 04:47 PM | Link | Work § |
First Day

I now work in this building My cubicle My cube is against the far wall on this empty floor
Well, here I am halfway through my first day at my new job. First: it's quiet where I'm sitting. I'm in a cube farm of 18 cubes and I'm the only one "living here" - the other cubes are unoccupied. When people in the surrounding offices aren't here, it's deathly quiet. It's going to take me a while to get ramped-up - both on the company and support structures, but also just on working in an office environment again!

posted at 01:19 PM | Link | Work § |

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The long nightmare is over


I start work tomorrow at 8:30am. It's really a temp job, as it's a position that will be going away, but they are going to sign me on as a full-time employee - with benefits! That will be the first full-time job I've had in 20 months!. Excited? Yes. Sort of, though. It's not what I normally do. It's actually a Help Desk job - something I've never done before (lately, I've been doing 3rd Level support, not 1st Level). And it's tens-of-thousands less that what I used to earn, but it's a full-time paying job and I get to stay within the industry (which I think is a plus!) There's another little thing, too - my buddy Barry got me the job - it's at his company! So, I'm indebted to him for saving our broke asses! Thanks, Bar. I need to do something for you!
posted at 01:45 PM | Link | Unemployment | 2 comments § |

Monday, December 09, 2002

MNF x 3

Monday Night Football Chicago BearsMiami Dolphins
At least it's the last one... another Monday Night Football with the Bears... Three Monday games this year. It's been raining on and off - deluge-type rain. The play is bad from both teams. I haven't seen this amount of turnovers in a while.
Update: End of the 1st: Dolphins 7 Bears 0
Update: End of the half: Dolphins 14 Bears 0
Update: End of the 3rd: Dolphins 21 Bears 3
Update: Final: Dolphins 27 Bears 9

posted at 08:25 PM | Link | Bears § |
Another year of this?

Another year of geese infestation
Since Fall was the Fall that wasn't - more like a long preface of Winter - the damn geese are back in the neighborhood again, crapping all over the place. And it's not just a pair of geese. No, whole flocks are walking the cul-de-sac. Great. Another season of this. Why couldn't the West Nile virus get these guys instead of the blackbirds?

posted at 01:30 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Another one

United Airlines
My favorite airline filed for Chapter 11 this morning at 6:19am. I've always tried to fly United. I've enjoyed their service and aircraft. I've loved the company, too. Since I was a kid, I have wanted to work for the company. After all, it is "Chicago's Hometown Airline". THe headquarters is just a suburb or two over from ours. Now, it's in Chapter 11. I'm hoping, like a lot of other people, that they can fix it and not destroy it. Our other airline favorite - National - our favorite airline to Las Vegas, didn't make it and folded. Both airlines were rejected by the Air Transportation Stabilization Board for a guaranteed loan.

posted at 09:41 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, December 08, 2002

Getting old is a bitch

I love waking up in the morning and realizing that you slept so soundly that, to the best of your fleeting recollection, you never moved during the night. The downside of that is if you had worked yourself into a comfortable position, you have stayed in that position for a very long time. If some body part, though comfortable, wasn't exactly in the right position, you pay for it the next day. That's where I am right now. I woke up with my right wrist in terrible pain. I feels out of position. The little finger and ring finger are tingling a little, which means there's a nerve out of place, too. All I'm trying to do is watch Michael Vick get his hat handed to him by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. ("Where do you keep your buccaneers?" "Under your buckkin' hat!") He sure doesn't look like the quarterback everyone's been raving about. I'm continuously shaking my hand in the air, straightening my elbow and shaking my hand toward the ground, trying to get whatever is out of whack into correct alignment. Not happening. Pain. Sucks.

posted at 02:36 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, December 07, 2002

The Big Hurt

Chicago White Sox
So, Frank Thomas returns to the White Sox after he can't find a team to take him. No big surprise. I have mixed feelings about this guy. Yes, he's a great power hitter - but he hasn't been that way recently. There was a time where he led the league in walks because he was so feared. Not any more. He's too moody. He's had some injuries over the last few years, leading to some pretty bad stats. An, even though I'm a White Sox fan and follow the American League, he's now just a Designated Hitter and, well, that's just not right. (Even though, in the past, if he played First Base, his stats went up, though he always denied it.) So, the Sox have actually torn-up his contract and reworked it for a couple of years with both sides getting to exercise "mutual options" for renewal. So, Frank, if you're back, you better start doing something and become the leader of that team - something you have never done in the past 13 years on this team.

posted at 09:30 AM | Link | White Sox | 1 comment § |

Friday, December 06, 2002

Eliminate the asswipe

I am appalled, sick, outraged, enraged... Robyn is bringing up a situation where there appears to be a guy in Tampa who is - for lack of a better term - stalking female bloggers. It's happened to about four bloggers so far, including Robyn, and something needs to be done, as it looks like he may have latched onto a 14 year old blogger. Look, I write personal stuff about my life in my blog. Many people do. There's a sicko out there who is preying on this information and actually showing up at places where these women have said they were going in their blogs. With regularity so you just KNOW it's not coincidence. That is just SO wrong. There's other comments, too, about "inappropriate" things this guy is doing. Support Robyn, Sara, Sarah, Dania, and everyone else that has had to endure this asswipe's actions.
UPDATE: Dania outed the guy, so now he is known to the rest of us. Details about this guy are in the coments of Robyn's entry.

posted at 08:31 PM | Link | Blogging | 4 comments § |

Face-to-face interview on Tuesday morning for a temporary job on a help desk. There's more detail, but, again, I don't want to reveal it yet - there's potential jinxing involved and someone else is involved. It's been 14 months since my last contract (that only lasted 9 days), and 20 months since I had a permanent position.

posted at 12:27 PM | Link | Unemployment § |

Thursday, December 05, 2002

Survivor Thailand - Episode 11

Survivor Thailand
"A Big Surprise... and Another"

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:09 PM | Link | Survivor § |

It looks like I just might be earning some money starting next week... it won't be what I used to earn, but it would be something... More info to follow - don't want to jinx anything.

posted at 11:44 AM | Link | Job Search | 2 comments § |

Wednesday, December 04, 2002


Maggiano's in Schaumburg
Just got back from Carol's company Christmas Party at Maggiano's Little Italy in Schaumburg. We were in a nice, private, dark banquet room upstairs. We had a great time. Her coworkers are great (some loud and boisterous!) and though every once in a while conversation turned toward work, people really tried to steer clear of it. Carol has been overwhelmed, swamped, frustrated, overworked over at least the last month. Yes, it's her busiest time of year and she has days where she comes home (like yesterday) an emotional puddle of goo. But it was interesting to hear how some of her coworkers are trying to help her out and everyone - to the letter - said that they had no idea how busy she really was and how impossible it is to keep up with the constant orders and phone calls. Too long of a night, too much drinking - I have no idea how these people are going to function tomorrow.

posted at 10:25 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Amazing Race 3 - Episode 9

The Amazing Race 3
"Why Did You Have to Take Your Pants Off?!"

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:02 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
But I've never worked retail...

I'm panicking. We're panicking. I went to the local CompUSA to see if they're hiring - they are but the didn't have any applications! I left my resume with a Customer Service person. I have never worked retail in my life. Sales there is base-plus-commission. Yuck. I don't know if I can do this... someone out there please HELP!!!! I don't want to abandon my 20+ year career! Help! At least they were hiring - I stopped by Best Buy and they're not. Help!

posted at 03:46 PM | Link | Mundane | 2 comments § |

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Duplo the bunny

That's it... Indy is nuts. Ever since Thanksgiving, it's like she's in her Terrible Two's. To save out walls, I went to Toys-R-Us and bought a couple of buckets of Duplo blocks and built some small walls to block her off from the real walls. I didn't buy enough buckets, but I think this will work...

posted at 05:40 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Go visit!
My old boss has decided to "pare down" his website starting next month. If any of you out there remember Cartoon Town on Channel 32 in Chicago, go to his website now at to order videotapes because he won't be selling them anymore after the first of the year.

Bill always had a page on his website called Memories where he reminisced about things that have happened with the shows that many people didn't know about. Great stories. A few of them I remember from the days of Gigglesnort Hotel. In his final installment, however, he thanks those that he's worked with... and he took the time to tell the story about replacing a puppeteer that had left...

Finding a replacement proved difficult. Auditions were held at Columbia College, but no one had the experience the show required, nor did they display the heart necessary for the intense training that would be necessary--no one except a determined, diminutive young man with the shortest arms I've ever seen on a puppeteer--arms that appeared far too short to hold a puppet high enough so that the camera didn't catch the puppeteer's head. Michael Lans auditioned with the Dragon, the largest puppet I had at the time, and showed so much energy and desire I decided that if heart could make you a puppeteer, Michael could do it. He proved me right, somehow magically removing his head from his body during shoots. With Nancy as his instructor, Michael trained long and hard and became a superior puppeteer.
I can't help it - I'm all teary-eyed. It was my most favorite time in my life and my childhood and now adult idol remembered and took the time to thank me. I will always be grateful to Bill Jackson for the time and fun and opportunity to work with him. Always.

posted at 02:05 PM | Link | Puppeteering § |
Me Groggy, Indy Fuzzy

I woke up at 10:00, trying to figure out why I was still sleeping. Ever have one of those? Checked on Indy and she seems no worse for the wear. She's not eating much. She's laying around in her meatloaf pose, so she seems content. She's not asking to come out of her cage, so I'm wondering if she feels OK. It's snowing again outside - lake effect. (It's cool - The flakes are really big and you can see it on my live WeatherCam.) Going to be cold tonight - single digit temperatures.

posted at 12:00 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, December 02, 2002

Mixed-up Bunny

Indy is driving us nuts. Ever since Thanksgiving, she's been acting different. She's been trying to eat the walls. We've been chasing her around, trying to get her to stop, and we just can't get her to stop, let alone associate our yelling and screaming with her chewing on the walls.

Well, tonight we all got scared. I chased her around still again after catching her chewing. When she got into her bunny condo, that's when I saw it - blood. Blood all over the lambskin we have on her second floor of her condo. Something ripped up her right rear foot. She's not in pain at all. In fact, she's totally oblivious to it. I grabbed her and Carol and I worked on her foot to clean it up and try to stop the bleeding, which we did. She's going to confined to her cage for a while. Damn bunny.

posted at 09:05 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Blue sky?

The guys at the NWS need to look out the window
I think the guys at the National Weather Service may want to yank their heads of their Doppler radar screens and look at the window. I'm seeing pieces of blue sky. It sure doesn't look ominous.

posted at 03:38 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Second Wave
256 PM CST MON DEC 2 2002
posted at 03:37 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Joe Millionaire

Well, Fox has a new Reality TV show starting on January 6 at 9 p.m called Joe Millionaire. The setup: 20 single women who fly to France in order to win the affection of a handsome American they believe to be worth $50 million. The key word here is believe - You see the guy is actually a construction worker with an annual income of $19,000. Ouch. There are eliminations like The Bachelor, with the last woman finally finding out the big secret - only if she decides to continue the relationship.

posted at 01:56 PM | Link | Reality TV | 2 comments § |
Snow Advisory

The snow is starting again

945 AM CST MON DEC 2 2002

posted at 09:51 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, December 01, 2002

Chariot Race 2002

Imagine recreating Chariot Racing from 500 B.C. in 2002. TLC is running a short documentary series Chariot Race 2002 where they actually do this - setting up a Circus, building chariots and training drivers and horses. Way cool.

posted at 09:26 PM | Link | TV | 1 comment § |
Thanksgiving #2

We just got back from our second Thanksgiving dinner - this time at our friends Chelby & Damian. Chelby's parents are in Mexico a this time of year - until May, so she's without family and needs to extend a tradition to her important second family, which we are blessed to be part of. It was a nice dinner again (Carol made the stuffing, which seems to be in high demand - Me, well, I'm official turkey carver!) We tried watching the Bears-Packers game on TV, but it was just too painful.

posted at 08:04 PM | Link | Mundane § |
*nose wiggle*
posted at 08:26 AM | Link | Memes § |


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