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This is an archive collection of entries from  my main personal blog, My Mundane Mid-Life.

This collection of entries is from January 2003.

December 2002 MAIN BLOG February 2003 Next

Friday, January 31, 2003

SoxFest 2003

Carol got off work early, came and picked me up so I could leave early and on an ugly, wet Friday we drove downtown to the Hyatt Regency Chicago to attend SoxFest 2003.

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:50 PM | Link | White Sox § |
Does this mean I can PING Columbia?

OK Space Geeks out there - the current shuttle mission (STS-107) is running an experiment called OMNI (Operating Missions as a Node on the Internet). Yep, the shuttle has an IP address! It's on an an embedded PC that has a 233 MHz processor, 128 MB of RAM and a solid-state 144 MB hard drive running Red Hat Linux. Cool.

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:31 AM | Link | Space § |
Friday 5 - Potpourri

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why? Easy - Batman. Superman had the whole flying thing and strength an other cool powers, but Batman was just a normal guy (well, OK, Bruce Wayne really wasn't all that normal I guess... how about "average" guy?... OK, how about "average millionaire"?) He had the coolest stuff! The whole Bat Cave thing, the Batmobile, and God knows what in his Bat Utility Belt. I just thought that was cool.
2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got? Umm, well, I wanted to go into space and of course that didn't happen. I can't recall wanting something and being devastated by not getting it.
3. What's the furthest from home you've been? Hawaii - Senior class trip 1975. Big Island, Maui, and Oahu.
4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet? I want to be able to speak a foreign language fluently. I stumbled through a few years of Spanish in high school and that's about it. I've wanted to learn Russian and Japanese.
5. What are your plans for the weekend? Going over to Barry & Buffy's tomorrow night, going to my Mom's on Sunday, but tonight - it's SoxFest 2003 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago!

posted at 06:58 AM | Link | Friday Five | 1 comment § |

Thursday, January 30, 2003

R.I.P. Oolong

R.I.P. Oolong the Japanese Bunny
I'm at my desk at home sobbing my eyes out. I mean, really crying. Why? Oh, this is so silly... you see, I just found out Oolong passed away on January 7th. Who was Oolong? I never met Oolong. Oolong lived in Japan with a wonderful keeper, who had a great eye for photography, and a heart for humor. Oolong was his bunny. Oolong did things that I never knew bunnies did - like romp around outside in the snow and balance things on their head like dolls, flowers, fruit, or pancakes. Damn it, this is killing me... he looked like a wonderful bunny. It isn't known what he died from. He had been fine and then turned bad in just a few hours. I can't tell you how much the photography of Oolong touched my very soul. I had to rush downstairs and hold Indy for a while... Crap, I'm a mess...

Please visit Oolong's website. It's mostly in Japanese, but there's English translations if you hover over the photos. Make sure you view as many photos as possible to get a feel for the style of photography and the relationship he had with his bunny.

I am a weepy mess...

posted at 10:41 PM | Link | Bunnies | 2 comments § |

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 4

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:10 PM | Link | The Mole § |
Sorry, didn't watch


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posted at 08:32 AM | Link | Mundane | 2 comments § |

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Well, that wasn't much fun...

Looking out the office window - guess it's worse than I thought Brushing-off the car
OK, it was snowing a bit more than I had expected. Since it was coming down quicker, the salt on the streets really doesn't work, so, yes, it's accumulating on the streets. It was slow-going on the way home. Wasn't too bad, but it was a bit slick, and the traffic was moving a bit slower than normal, so the travel time to get home was a little longer than normal.

posted at 06:00 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Getting whiter

Well, it's been snowing for the last few hours here. Starting to accumulate off the roads - the roads, just like I had thought, were so salty that they're just wet. Originally I heard 1"-3", but I think that could now be up to 3"-5". Can't wait for that commute.

read more of this entry »

posted at 03:43 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Much better... maybe not

It's 25° outside - much better than yesterday, except that later today the weather critters are calling for freezing rain, sleet, and snow between 1" to 3". Should be great traveling. They said that the rain should be freezing on the pavement when it hits - I don't think so. There's just way too much salt on the streets around here to freeze-up the roads.

posted at 06:37 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, January 27, 2003

Zamboni on eBay

The AHL's Syracuse Crunch is auctioning-off their Zamboni on eBay. It's not the current one (I guess they retired this one last year), but it's fully operational. The last bid I saw was $3,050.00, and it met it's reserve. How cool is it to get a fully functional Zamboni for just over 3 grand? It does need work, however ("The washer tank is rusted, but could be replaced"). Still that's cheaper than the jersey I saw auctioned at a Wolves game a few weeks ago (coincidentally, a game against the Syracuse Crunch). (Auction ends February 4)
Update: It went for the $3,050.00 bid.

posted at 09:35 AM | Link | Hockey | 1 comment § |

-2° this morning. Sunny, no clouds, and no wind so the wind chill is not worse than the temperature. the good news? After today it's supposed to be in the 30's.

posted at 08:13 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, January 26, 2003

This ain't a song for the broken-hearted

Super Bowl Website

Carol & I picked-up my mom and we went to Diane & Melinda's for our own private Super Bowl party.

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:39 PM | Link | Sports § |

Saturday, January 25, 2003

A light dusting

A light dusting for the salt trucks
So, it went from nice and sunny to windy and snowing. It's not much snow, it's just a light dusting to cover everything. the salt trucks are out and I don't understand why. There is so much salt on our streets in the area that, in the morning, it looks like fog in the air, but it's salt clouds stirred-up by the traffic.

posted at 08:04 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Comiskey Park Update

Last month, when we were on our meat run to Michigan, we were on the Dan Ryan and passed Comiskey Park. That was the first time I noticed it - there was something different about the park. The Upper deck looked the same, so there was no structural change there, but something else was going on. So, since I had nothing else to do today, I drove down to Comiskey to check it out.

read more of this entry »

posted at 03:38 PM | Link | White Sox | 1 comment § |
Feeling sluggish?

Does the web feel a little slow for you today? Well, guess what - it is. Why? Because, according to Symantec and CNN, it's under attack. It's a SQL worm called the "SQL Slammer" that's hitting about 22,000 machines, taking advantage of a vulnerability detected six months ago in Microsoft SQL Server 2000. Yeah, nice job Microsoft - you don't know security from a hole in the ground. Never have. The worm is apparently generating a ton of traffic, so response times are going up. At least there not as many servers involved as the Code Red worm back in July 2001 that hit more than 700,000 computers.

posted at 08:12 AM | Link | Internet | 1 comment § |

Friday, January 24, 2003

MMMmmm... cake....

The company birthday cake
So, starting this month at the office, they're doing a little birthday celebration for those people that have birthdays in the month. Total for January? One - ME! So, we had a great cake from Jarosch's (Yellow and German Chocolate with strawberries and buttercream frosting) (actually, for the size of the group that works here, it was quite a bit too big). So, everyone sang Happy Birthday to me, and I got cake cutting duties, eventually getting a piece myself. Yumm...

posted at 02:46 PM | Link | Mundane | 2 comments § |
Friday 5 - 5 more things

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What is one thing you don't like about your body? This is in reverse order - I think it should be 5 things here and 1 thing at the bottom. I'm not liking this week's Friday 5... Height, weight, rapidly disintegrating hair line, ears, nose... pick one from the list.
2. What are two things you love about your body? Huh? I am "neutral" about my body. I don't "love" it.
3. What are three things you want to change about your home? Carpeting, landscaping, furniture
4. What are four books you want to read this year? HA!!! If you know me, you know that my wife Carol is the voracious reader. I never pickup a book. I am visually stimulated (TV & movies)
5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself? I have failed most of my promises, and right now, I can't remember even one.

posted at 06:51 AM | Link | Friday Five | 2 comments § |

Thursday, January 23, 2003

A casino - in my town???

Wisconsin's Ho-Chunk Indian tribe wants to develop a casino-hotel complex in my town of Hoffman Estates (at the northwest corner of the I-90 Northwest Tollway and Beverly Road)! I'm not sure how I feel about this... my first, knee-jerk" reaction is "Wooooo Hooooo!!!! YES!!!!!!", but there's an awful lot of hurdles to clear for this to happen. No sense in getting excited over it...

posted at 07:56 PM | Link | Gambling § |
RRRrrrr... rrrrrr... rrrrrr...

OK, the sun went down, the car got cold, and definitely needed time to warm up. Zero to 4 below tonight. I'm tired of this. Please let it warm up...

posted at 06:08 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Have I ever mentioned how much I love tomatoes? Some just rolled off my Subway sandwich onto my desk, so I ate them... and they were wonderful. Reminded me of summer, getting a fresh tomato off the vine and just slicing it up and eating it with just a little salt and pepper... Now it just reminded me of that - it's the middle of winter, pretty damn cold outside, and the tomatoes aren't that great right now, but, damn that tasted good...

posted at 12:55 PM | Link | Mundane | 2 comments § |
Hmmm... not bad...

Decided that if it's going to be so cold today, I'll force myself to go out and grab something to eat just so that I can start my car. It's 9 degrees outside and the wind chill is about -17. However, the sun is out - not a cloud in the sky. The car started without a problem and didn't labor at all. Must be getting some solar heat. Drove to Subway (12" Italian B.M.T® on Hearty Italian bread) and came back. Got out of the car at the office and my Indiana Jones hat got blown off and rolled through the parking lot picking up salt. It looks like hell. Crap.

posted at 12:03 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
OK, we're freezing...

2 degrees below zero, Wind Chill 22 below. High today 9. Going to be a great day.

posted at 06:39 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 3

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

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posted at 10:31 PM | Link | The Mole § |
2003 Bloggies

The Third Annual Weblog Award nominations, also known as the 2003 Bloggies, were announced yesterday. Take a look at the nominees, visit their sites and vote.

(Now, before anyone says anything, I'm not doing this blog to ever win an award - I'm doing it for me, so I'm not upset at all that I didn't get nominated for anything... I'm a realist. My stuff isn't that good and, I think, doesn't hold a candle to any of these nominees. I think that's a healthy way of blogging. Do it for yourself. My life is mundane, that's why I named the blog My Mundane Mid-Life, and I have no aspirations to become something bigger. That's why I write about the things I do, that's why the blog doesn't look any "snazzier" than it does, that's why a lot of people don't come here to read it. I'm mundane and boring and that's just the way it is. Now, for those people that do come here regularly to read my drivel, thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing so! I really do appreciate you being 'round!)

If you want to see the list of sites that were submitted to the judges for voting to come up with this year's nominees, wander over here. The list isn't linked, so you'll have to do some searching on your own for the URL's.

posted at 03:54 PM | Link | Blogging | 1 comment § |
How cold is it?

Another morning of 6 degree weather. (What is it with 6 degrees every morning? It's either coincidence or somebody's equipment may need calibrating...) 17 deaths in the Chicago area related to the cold. The weather-critters are using the term "dangerously cold" when talking about the wind chills. Looks like we may be in the 20's at the weekend. That's if you trust those weather-critters. Why is it that there's hardly a weatherman in your local town that you trust? Must of the TV guys are just goofy or even possibly inept. There's some that should have retired decades ago, others that can't form complete sentences, let alone come up with witty banter with the other news people. I just want it to warm-up a bit, and the winds to die down.

posted at 08:09 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

A new Michael!

It's a brand new Michael Jacob!
Oh! I forgot! My former coworker Peggy had a baby! (You remember Peg - I've got some pictures of her and the family at Comiskey Park last year on Elvis night and the year before.) She and Rob and daughter Madison welcomed little Michael Jacob on the 12th. Congrats, Peg! Great name!!!

posted at 08:52 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Damn, it's cold

You know, there's one specific aspect of Chicago weather that I hate. Cold. And in Chicago, cold is COLD and it's usually "raised up a couple of notches" (as Emeril would say) (actually it would be "lowered") by the damn wind. It was 6 degrees again this morning, 17 degrees now, and this is the way it's going to be all week. I just want to see it get up into the high 20's to low 30's every once in a while. It eases the pain of the suffering. Now, on the plus-side this year, we haven't got much snow (knock on wood). I don't mind snow if it's on the warm-side of the temperature range around here. In fact, I really liked last year, when about seems like three different times, we would get dumped-on to the tune of about a foot of snow and within days the temperatures were in the 40's and it would melt. That I like. Also, we're in the weird time of year when it seems to stay light longer in the day, but the sun doesn't seem to be rising any earlier in the morning. Sunlight = good.

posted at 04:48 PM | Link | Mundane § |
I'm getting that itch...

Last week on the Travel Channel was another Vegas Week. The Travel Channel goes to Las Vegas every couple of months to shoot things there, and I swear that what they're doing is just shooting items for the network and not for any specific show. the only reason I say this is because I keep seeing the same footage in different shows, so either it's the same producer or they're sharing the footage. At any rate, I miss going there. Because of the unemployment situation, we haven't been to Las Vegas since 2001 and for us, that's the longest we've been away from that town since the two of us started going in 1994. I just miss the travel. I miss the excitement of that town. I don't have to gamble there - I could always just go to a riverboat around here if I just wanted to gamble. I just like the town, I can't help it. Sometimes I feel like it's calling me back (sort of like the Las Vegas Convention and Visitor's Authority commercials, with the guy that sounds like Don Rickles on the phone.. "Vegas calling...").

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

Monday, January 20, 2003

Pain in the neck

Yes, it's still there. That weird pain I have in my neck is still there. It has been slowly going away all week, but now it's been hurting almost all day. There's no lump there that I can feel, but the pain feels like a swollen gland or something, about an inch to the right of my windpipe. Like I said, it's been slowly going away all week. By the weekend, I had totally forgotten about it. Now, since I talk a bit in my job, it's bother me. it bother me when I drink. It bothers me when I chew. It bother me when I swallow. It bothers me when I don't appear to be doing anything. Now, I feel like I'm coming down with a cold - my sinuses are filling up a bit and my throat is dry and scratchy, so I'm not sure if that's what's causing the increase in the occurrence of the pain. I need to talk to somebody about benefits, since my physician isn't in my "plan" and this would be all out of network.

posted at 01:43 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, January 19, 2003

What was she thinking?

Actress Lara Flynn Boyle arrives at the 60th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 19, 2003. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Actress Lara Flynn Boyle arrives for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. , on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Actress Sharon Stone arrives at the 60th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 19, 2003. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Actress Sharon Stone blows kisses as she arrives at the 60th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California January 19, 2003. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith Actress Sharon Stone arrives for the 60th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. , on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2003. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Did anybody catch Lara Flynn Boyle on the Golden Globe Awards tonight? What was she thinking? Ditto for the much too giggly Sharon Stone.

posted at 10:00 PM | Link | TV § |
OK, you've had enough time...

Today is Sunday, January 19th. Come on people, get off your arses and take down the friggin' Christmas decorations!!! Get the damn wire reindeer that light up off the lawn, take down the helical Christmas trees, get the lights off the railings on your front stairs... Too cold? OK, how about taking down the friggin' Christmas tree that I see in your front window, eh???? No? Then the least you could do is turn off the friggin' Christmas lights!!!!

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

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Trading Spaces Las Vegas Live Reveal

Trading Spaces

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posted at 09:23 PM | Link | TV | 1 comment § |
The Fellowship of the Ring

Spent the afternoon watching a TiVo recording of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Oh, boy, I am out of the loop on this. I have read the trilogy back in High School and loved it. I watched the movie this afternoon and hated it. I'm still trying to figure out why. Perhaps the trilogy has lost its luster on me over all these years. Perhaps its because (I feel) the CG effects, specifically any in dark scenes, look like crap. (I've always felt this about watching a movie on television. If I see it in a theater, though the image is much larger, the color rendition and contrast is different and the effects just seem to work better.) Perhaps it's the friggin' length of the movie (178 minutes... God the special expanded edition is 208 minutes) that has a story with so many details, that I found it tiresome. Perhaps it was the audio levels that were all over hell and back that made it uncomfortable to listen to with a furnace and humidifier turning on and off, masking the lower levels and frequencies. Perhaps that gargantuan pork fajita burrito from Chipotle just made me too uncomfortable to sit for that long of a time (Ads on the website say "It would be a delicacy if it weren't so damn big", "Burritos so big they should be called burros", "Burritos the size of speedbumps" "20 ounces isn't the drink. It's the burrito", and my favorite "Ours goes to eleven"). Perhaps I'm just an idiot and wasn't in the mood to watch this thing in the first place...

posted at 05:41 PM | Link | Movies § |

Friday, January 17, 2003

Picture Yourself

Me - driving to work, down Higgins Road Me - driving home from work, down Higgins Road
So, after reading Christine talk about Picture Yourself, I got inspired and took two pictures of me - one driving to work, the other driving home. What was that? Why, yes, I took these while actually driving. Why? I don't know - something to do while I'm driving, in traffic, doing about 45 mph. I just submitted them, so I guess they'll be posted next week some time. Why not snap yourself and send them in over there?!
Update: They're up: Driving to work and driving home.

posted at 08:49 PM | Link | Odd § |
Friday 5 - Jobs

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Where do you currently work? in the "discontinued operations" part of IT at Corporate of an eye surgery and laser centers company
2. How many other jobs have you had and where? In IT, it looks like six. I started as a COBOL Programmer Trainee at the World Headquarters for a company back in 1978, worked my way over to systems programming, networking, security, etc. until a RIF in 1997. I had a consulting gig doing a GroupWise to Notes R5 conversion for a home builder, went to an established consulting company to work as a Notes Admin for its infrastructure group, then the company merged with another and wound up one of the dotcom darlings - for all of a few months, when the company crashed and declared bankruptcy. Parts of the company were purchased by another dotcom'er, but I was brought over on only a 60-day contract. I had a contract with a company also going through a GroupWise to Notes R5 conversion, but that was cut short when the contracting company lost the support contract. Then a really short contract (9 days) with a company recovering emails that were lost in the WTC attack (no valid off-site backups for 2 months prior). There's a lot of unemployment time in that span from 1997 until now.
3. What do you like best about your job? Right now - it's a job (something I haven't had in too long of a time). The commute is very tolerable. The workload, right now, is light. I'm learning a few new things (but, unfortunately, not getting very deep into them to feel like I've learned something extensively). It's a permanent position instead of a contract, so at least I have benefits.
4. What do you like least about your job? It's not in my area of expertise over the past 5 years. It's at half the salary I used to earn. the job will end as IT is being downsized (it's already down from 52 to 6) and outsourced, so I probably only have another 3-4 months max staying here.
5. What is your dream job? NONE Meaning I don't want to be working. I've enjoyed my time when I was unemployed, and I real, really, really want to win a Lottery so that I can accomplish that. Now, barring that, I wouldn't mind finding a line of business that allows me to work from home that I would enjoy doing. Barring that, I want to work for an airline in any corporate capacity, but with the industry going into the tank, I don't think that's going to happen either. *sigh*

posted at 09:43 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Will it go 'round in circles...

Back in November, the San Francisco Zoo got 6 new Magellanic penguins, from Sea World in Aurora, Ohio (now Six Flags Worlds of Adventure), a normal occurrence for the zoo. (Man I love those penguins... I always wanted one of them as a pet...) Somehow, these 6 penguins, "communicated and changed the minds of the other 46" penguins, and now all 52 penguins are swimming laps around their enclosure all day long "until they stagger out of the pool at dusk". The zookeepers are perplexed, but then again, so am I...

posted at 06:42 PM | Link | Odd § |
I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing...

CNN is reporting that U.N. weapons inspectors found a 11 empty chemical warheads and another one that is still being evaluated, and the warheads are in "excellent condition". I'm not sure how I feel about this. Are these warheads just for chemical delivery or can they be used for something else? Just because they have them, does that prove their guilt that they have delivered a chemical WMD or does it just prove that they were capable of assembling a chemical WMD, or what? Is this a smoking gun or does that only come when we find the actual chemical compounds? And why am I uneasy about the one warhead that's requiring further examination?

posted at 01:37 PM | Link | Current Events | 1 comment § |
Going for a Double Leaning Jowler ...

I've only played this game a few times in real-life and thought it was an absolute hoot. Now, we've got the online version of Pass the Pigs!

posted at 11:11 AM | Link | Odd § |

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 2

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

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posted at 10:14 PM | Link | The Mole § |
Wolves 4 - Aeros 5 - Overtime

Chicago Wolves Houston Aeros

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posted at 10:07 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Do you have a swollen bubo?

How do you lose 35 vials containing samples of the bubonic plague???? Well, they're missing from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Lubbock City Council member Frank Morrison said it is premature to say the items were stolen.
Update: The FBI says "All of the vials reported missing from Texas Tech Health Sciences Center have been accounted for."
Update: A university scientist was arrested for making false statements to the FBI. He had accidentally destroyed the vials but told his laboratory safety officer that they were missing.

posted at 12:44 PM | Link | Current Events § |
Happiness = P + (5xE) + (3xH)

Psychologists have actually found a formula for happiness! They also admitted that the equation was not easy for most people to understand, but it's all derived for a series of questions.

posted at 10:09 AM | Link | Odd § |
No Coffee

I blew up the coffee machine. I didn't mean to. I just ground the beans, put the grounds in the filter, popped the filter basket into the machine and hit the brew button. The next thing I know, I have cold coffee running all over the floor. The machine shorted out, a tripped the GFI-breaker in the outlet. The bad thing? The damn water valve fails open, fills the pot, and empties the rest of the water all over the counter and floor. I can't get the outlet to reset - it sort of arcs when I hit the reset button, so things are not good... I need my morning cafeine...

posted at 08:25 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Six degrees of...

It's cold outside. Six degrees. Zero down south in Aurora. Thankfully, Carol will start my car on her way out so after I'm done showering, I can jump in to a toasty car... after I remember to tag and take out the garbage... At least the house feels toasty as well, and it looks like the sun is coming up, so it's another trip to work squinting all the way as I drive toward the sun...

posted at 07:06 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

Touched by CBS

According to CNN, CBS has canceled "Touched by an Angel".


It was still on the air???

posted at 12:31 PM | Link | TV § |
3.2 Megapixels

Thanks to the generosity of some friends, I had received a ton of Best Buy Gift Cards over the holidays and my birthday. I've wanted to replace my old Canon PowerShot A50 camera for some time. It's a bit too big to cary around effectively, and I've been burning a lot of money buying batteries for the thing. It was time to cut down on that battery expense and upgrade. I bought a Canon PowerShot S230 Digital Elph. Well, I'm still learning. I used it last night at the party, but it was a bit dark and I didn't get the quality I wanted. But moving from 2 to 3.2 megapixels - holy crap! - WHAT a difference! Of course, my old camera's images were at 1280 x 960 - this one is 2048 x 1536, so they take up a bit more room. I'm going to need a new CompactFlash card. The other cool thing? Movies! I tried it out last night on Indy. The camera produces an AVI file, 15 fps, at 320 x 240 with audio. It was very good (though the cage was a bit dark, and I'm still learning when to use the macro focus effectively), and I was pleased with the result. (Would you like to see it? Watch out - it's 11.95Mb!) (The camera could also do 160 x 120, as well as 640 x 480, but the files are probably going to get big at that point.) Perhaps some quick movies may be in the works for the website???

posted at 10:29 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Half inch and cold

There was a dusting of about half an inch of snow overnight (it was snowing when I drove home from the Allstate Arena). It's 14 degrees and tonight they're claiming will be the coldest night of the year (3 degrees. Big deal, it's not even an negative number). Guess I'll have to make sure I don't go outside (which shouldn't be a problem).

posted at 06:37 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, January 13, 2003

Chicago Wolves Season Ticket Holder Party

Went to the annual Chicago Wolves Season Ticket Holder Party at the Allstate Arena tonight. Same stuff - not any different than last year. Saw all the team. Went in the locker room. Climbed on the Zamboni. Free stadium food. *yawn*

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:12 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Survivor The Amazon Cast Revealed

Survivor The Amazon
CBS unveiled the cast for Survivor The Amazon this morning. (*Spoilers Below*).

read more of this entry »

posted at 02:36 PM | Link | Survivor § |
Effing™ Health Care Benefits

I worried about healthcare for a long time after I started my unemployment. I mean, it took 12 months to get cleared to get on Carol's plans from her job. Now that I have a job and have to use this company's healthcare insurance, I'm no better off. As usual, probably like millions of other Americans, my doctor is not in their PPO plan. Damn it, I'm not changing doctors! I'm going to have to do it out of network and maybe have Carol's plan as secondary and maybe between the two of them they can hash this out. If figures, now that I'm scared about this damn nerve in my neck that this would happen. Effing™ insurance companies! How are you supposed to keep healthy when you are expected to change doctors as often (or sometimes more often) as you change jobs? What good is that to the consumer? Screw them... of course, I will wind up paying more just to keep my doctor... <grumble><grumble><grumble>...

(The use of "Effing" is trademarked by Erin at! Well, not really... but at least I gave her props for the use!)

posted at 01:45 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, January 12, 2003


I'm not really sure, but this nerve problem is escalating. I'm thinking that there just might be something else going on because this nerve is firing at weird times, not always with the position of the neck. I think I yawned once and it fired. The pain is terrible - I usually wind up grabbing my neck and try to massage the area to get it to calm down. Damn it, I just may have to go to the doctor...

posted at 09:41 PM | Link | Mundane | 2 comments § |
Wolves 3 - Crunch 1

Chicago Wolves Syracuse Crunch

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posted at 06:24 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Nerves and BBC America

Well, last night's sleep was interrupted much more frequently than the night before with excruciating pain up and down my neck by this nerve thing. Perhaps it's just my pillow. So, I rolled over when the sun came up and popped-on BBC America to watch Charlie's Garden Army (which I've never seen before) and Bargain Hunt, whose presenter David Dickinson reminds us of Richard Dawson for some reason. And What Not to Wear is just intriguing for how much these stylists are demanding and getting away with. (Just an FYI - TLC is running a preview of their American version of the series What Not To Wear next Saturday night, the 18th, at 10pm EST/9pm CST, in the time slot that While You Were Out normally occupies).

Well, time to get up... we're going to my Mom's house for lunch and then off to a Wolves afternoon game...

posted at 08:39 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Maurice Gibb 1949 - 2003

Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees died this morning after emergency surgery last week. Carol loved the Bee Gees. About 15-20 years ago, I remember looking at some photos of the band with Carol and we found one of Maurice and it looked exactly like me. Then another, and still another. So, even though I didn't follow the band as much as she did, I had a little bit of a connection (though totally subjective) with them.
Update: The brothers are upset and are questioning his treatment
Update: Maurice Gibb died because he had an inherited condition that caused his small intestine to twist, which cut its access to the blood supply
Update: The autopsy report at The Smoking Gun

posted at 07:35 AM | Link | Entertainment § |

Saturday, January 11, 2003

More Nigerian 419 Fraud

The Third to Fifth largest industry in Nigeria, this "419 Fraud" is still going strong. I received another Nigerian Spam msg this morning. There is info about this at the U.S. Secret Service Financial Crimes Division website, and at the 419 Coalition Website.

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:27 AM | Link | Odd § |
*ow* effing™ *ow*

Got a few hours extra sleep, but it wasn't "good quality" sleep. The damn pinched nerve in my neck is actually scaring me a bit. The nerve fires if I've got my head in the wrong position when I sleep, sending what seems like a bazillion volts of current from the right side of my lower jaw, down the right side of my neck, usually causing me to actually vocalize my pain through a grunt or squeal like a little school girl. Not pleasant. Then, on some occasions, it fires for a few seconds, causing the muscles to pulsate. Ew. Ow.

Ok, let's add on a GERD issue at 3:30 in the morning, and then waking up and finding out it's 11 degrees outside... I don't want to be up... I just want to sleep some more... OW!

posted at 09:33 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, January 10, 2003

My 'hood

Went out to and got my blog all setup so that it's now identified by my home latitude/longitude. The really cool thing is that the website pulls coordinates from everyone that registers and produces a list of my geographic "neighbors". Click on the button and you'll see everyone within 100 miles of me!

posted at 09:51 PM | Link | Blogging § |
Friday 5 - Right Now

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Where are you right now? Sitting in my cubicle at work, drinking coffee
2. What time is it? about 9:40am
3. What are you wearing? This is starting to sound like an obscene phone call... Forest green cotton button-down shirt, black pants.
4. Any people or animals around you? Describe them. My cube is in the middle of 18 empty cubes. There are coworkers down the hall, but I'm alone.
5. What are your plans for the weekend? Wolves hockey Sunday afternoon. Oh, and sleep as much as I can.

posted at 09:41 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

I'm tired. No, I'm tired. I feel like I'm not recovering over the stress of last week. Like a Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome thing. I'm exhausted. I'm getting a good night's sleep. I just don't get it.... Even the fresh ground coffee at work doesn't help. (Did I ever mention that I've got a grinder here at work? It's nice being able to pick your beans, grind them and brew them for your morning fix.)

posted at 08:33 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Ah, yes... the Fantasy Rampage...

(Snagged from Quinn) This piece from The Onion just somehow feels right and just about fits every convenience store clerk I can remember doing business with - Twelve Customers Gunned Down in Convenience-Store Clerk's Imagination

posted at 09:33 AM | Link | Odd § |
Downhill from here

A very nice day yesterday - sunny, temps in the 50's. By the weekend, the lows will be in the single digits. At least this morning the sun was out - bright, night a cloud in the sky. Of course, it's a bit difficult when you're driving to work, the sun is low on the horizon, and you are driving into it... The wind is supposed to pick up and the temps drop this afternoon.

Saw something that my little warped mind thought was interesting. In the morning, while I'm taking Higgins all the way to the office, where it does that little jog around Oakton and Busse, just as you make that turn from Oakton onto Higgins, if you look straight down Higgins, you can see the tower at O'Hare at what looks to be the end of the road. In fact, you can see the old tower as well (the one by the airport Hilton). As you get closer, you lose sight of them. And there's some sort of forced-perspective thing going on because the towers look big and close. It's probably the same effect that makes the moon look big when it's on the horizon, when in reality, if you measure it, it really didn't change size at all.

I know, big deal. I thought it was cool.

posted at 08:34 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Wolves 4 - Moose 2

Chicago Wolves Manitoba Moose

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posted at 10:29 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 1

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

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posted at 10:14 PM | Link | The Mole § |
"Joe Millionaire" kills

Crap. The premiere of Joe Millionaire this week was the highest-rated premiere of the season on any network -- scripted or unscripted -- in adults 18-49 and 18-34 (key demographics) with 18.61 million viewers overall. The audience makeup was roughly 42 percent male (compared to 31 percent male for "The Bachelor" - that must be a Fox "thing"). That 18-49 rating is higher than every episode of CBS' "Survivor Thailand" earlier this season, and better than all but the finale of ABC's most recent edition of "The Bachelor."

posted at 12:12 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Long live The King

It's Elvis' birthday today. Well, if he were alive that is. Somehow, I never knew his birthday was only 4 days after mine. Oh, well. I never really followed him at all, though I'm starting to dig some of his music (mostly just his hits - probably because of some irrational sense of nostalgia). "Viva Las Vegas" has also become our official vacation theme music - we play it in the rental car when leaving McCarran Airport when we get to town.

posted at 08:47 AM | Link | Odd § |

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

I guess he's in town...

I love working near O'Hare. I can watch some of the air traffic and I'm close enough to get good signal on my portable radio scanner, so I can listen to O'Hare Approach, Tower, and Ground at my desk (OK, so it's a little weird). It's also very cool to see the Marine helicopters fly by the window to take Dubya off to his speech to unveil his alleged Economic Incentive plans... (I didn't hear him come in or see him, but the Ground controllers were moving some ground traffic away from him.)

posted at 11:32 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Flashing Red Lights

There is nothing that screws up traffic more than flashing red lights at an intersection. If there was an accident, traffic would still get through the intersection faster than trying to get through an intersection whose traffic signals are blinking red. Cripes. Not like I really wanted to get to work early or anything...

posted at 07:49 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, January 06, 2003

Joe Millionaire - Episode 1

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posted at 09:02 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Wow! My first one!

After a too long day at work (a tape-copy operation that took way too long), I came home to find... a box from Not a big deal as I had pre-ordered Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom" and it should be shipping around now. But then I opened the box to find... a wrapped present! Well, that was a new one to me! It had a card on the gift: "happy birthday (it might be a couple days past, but who says it can't be a birthday week or month!??!!) cheers!! hope all is swell!!!!" There's another envelope in the box, the front reads: "DON'T RUIN YOUR SURPRISE Open your gift before this envelope".

read more of this entry »

posted at 07:06 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Back at work after what feels like a very long time. Relatively busy. I mean riding a Help Desk has it's moments of non-stop phone calls and what could be sheer boredom. Fortunately, I have "other duties as assigned" in my job description, so I'm doing some weekly tape copies for off-site storage and building a notebook for a user in Kansas City. Keeping busy. Busy = good. Of course, I wouldn't mind some downtime to read some blogs...

posted at 04:21 PM | Link | Work § |

Sunday, January 05, 2003

Great dinner

Yummm... Tiramisu!!!
Salad, beef roast with a little horseradish sauce on the side, green beans with garlic, egg noddles in olive oil and herbs, rolls, tiramisu for dessert. That's what Carol cooked for us as my family came over to sort of celebrate my birthday, but more of getting Mom out of the house and just being together. Job well done. Yes, it was a birthday party of sorts, but it was better just sitting around and talking about the events of the past week. I really think that we are just fine.

posted at 09:27 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, January 04, 2003

Harry at the movies...

©2002 Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved. Harry Potter Publishing Rights ©J.K.R.
It's a good time to start catching-up on our movie viewing, so it's off to the AMC South Barrington 30 to catch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Well, 3:50 on a Saturday afternoon is still a bad time to see the movie, as a) it was a full house, and b) people are still bringing toddlers to see the film. This film, though good, is still much darker than the first, and there's just no friggin' way a kid that age is going to sit through a movie that's 161 minutes long. Toddlers just don't understand "movie theater etiquette". Use some judgment, people. Oh, and we went out afterward for my birthday dinner at... umm... Steak n Shake (Hey, it was my choice) and came home and watched Hildi go nuts again on Trading Spaces.

posted at 07:15 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Oh, those wacky TSA rent-a-cops...

I love Penn & Teller. I've seen them in Vegas, caught their TV specials. Penn Jillette had a problem when going through security at McCarran Airport in Las vegas back in November. As Penn says - "You have to ask me before you touch me or it's assault." And you just know that Penn knows his rights... Oh, and check out a new product that Penn talks about - "The Bill of Rights, Security Edition," which are "playing card size copies of the Bill of Rights printed on metal. With the 4th Amendment in red." Fun for airport security checkpoints.

posted at 02:24 PM | Link | Odd § |
I don't think I'd survive there...

New Years in Times Square 2003 Panorama
Really cool QuickTime VR photo of New Year's in Time Square by Jook Leung from a great site full of panoramas at Be sure to checkout his panaorama of The Tribute In Light memorial as well.

posted at 01:34 PM | Link | Odd § |
Happy Birthday to ME

Well, it's here! Another birthday - Number 46. Hopefully it'll be a good way to end such a crappy week! I have nothing planned (as I mentioned in the Friday Five), though the sister and Mom are coming over tomorrow. Nothing big. Hey, why not pop a comment or sign my GuestMap and let me know you're out there somewhere!

posted at 09:36 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, January 03, 2003

Friday 5 - Personal Decorations

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Do you wear any jewelry? What kind? Just my wedding ring, and a watch if I want to wear it (it's a bit large).
2. How often do you wear it? Umm, the wedding ring doesn't come off unless I shower (weird, eh?) The watch has more to do with where I'm going, what I'm wearing, since my cell phone (which is always on my belt) has the correct time I don't have to rely on the watch.
3. Do you have any piercings? If so, where? Nope, none.
4. Do you have any tattoos? If so, where? Nope, none.
5. What are your plans for the weekend? My birthday is tomorrow and nothing is planned. It's a bad enough week. The stress of all this happening just over New Year's and before my birthday is a bit draining. Time to recharge.

posted at 11:13 PM | Link | Friday Five | 4 comments § |
Wolves 3 - Griffins 4

Chicago Wolves Grand Rapids Griffins

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posted at 10:50 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Thank you

To those who left comments here, I sincerely Thank You.

To those who sent private EMails, I sincerely Thank You.

To those who took the time and effort to actually come to the visitation and/or funeral, my family and I humbly Thank You.

To any one else that stopped by here and did neither, but had a little tug on your "heart strings" seeing the prior post, Thank You.

I needed time away from the Bloggerverse to spend on and with my family. The days have been absolutely exhausting. I'm back and will startup again.

Oh, and Happy New Year!

There's a Wolves game tonight, and I felt I needed to go and decompress watching a hockey game. But this afternoon, I knew that in a weird way, I had to go.

After the funeral, after the cemetery, we were having the usual post-cemetery lunch at the White Eagle in Niles. That's just where you go after being at St. Adelbert's Cemetery which is right across the street. The place is well known for its Polish grub and the place is huge and busy with the dozens of funerals having their luncheons here. The place just churns funerals during the day.

Anyway, we're in one of the many banquet rooms. As usual, there must have been three or four other funeral luncheons in that particular room. During lunch, I happened to look up and saw, across the room, the back of a Chicago Police Officer. There's something about the gestures and the bald spot on the back of his head that looks really familiar. I grab Carol and we walk over, and it's Bob, one our our buddies that sits 4 rows down from us at the Wolves Games. He's there because his Mom died, on Monday, six hours after my Dad.


Bob and Chris didn't know if he really wanted to go to the game tonight, but after seeing us, they've decided to go.

We've also decided to hoist a beer for our parents at the game tonight. In a twisted sort of way, it just seemed like the right thing to do.

posted at 04:17 PM | Link | Mundane § |


That's it for the entries in this particular Archive of my blog. If you want, you can look through other entries by selecting the links in the right-hand column of this page under either Archives by Month or Archives by Category, or you can search the site for specific keywords by using the Search page.

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