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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 February 2003.

January 2003 MAIN BLOG March 2003 Next

Friday, February 28, 2003

Columbia errata

Mission logo of STS-107

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:39 PM | Link | Space § |
The sound of the crowd after ash strikes horsehide...

I've had an extremely stressfull and crappy day at work... until now. I've brought my little Sony Walkman and I'm listening to Spring Training Baseball - Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks. Ah, baseball...
Update: Ah, the first loss of the year. Sox lose 14-5 (Boxscore)

posted at 02:42 PM | Link | Baseball § |
Friday 5 - Reading

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What is your favorite type of literature to read (magazine, newspaper, novels, nonfiction, poetry, etc.)? OH, CRAP!!! I've said it before - I DON'T READ!!!! I mean, I can read, it's just that I don't read. Magazines. I read magazines. Yeah.
2. What is your favorite novel? The Adolescence of P1. Go ahead, try and find it.
3. Do you have a favorite poem? (Share it!) Not that I can recall.
4. What is one thing you've always wanted to read, or wish you had more time to read? Books. Any.
5. What are you currently reading? Magazines. Yes, I'm still reading magazines. God, I hate these questions...

posted at 06:35 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Joe Millionaire 2???

Joe Millionaire
How in the world is Fox going to pull off a second helping of Joe Millionaire??? If 40 million people saw the finale, don't you think people would be on to the premise??? At least February Sweeps is finally over and we have a bit of a breather until May.

Hey! You want Evan to show up at your next event? Aparently, all it takes is $15,000.

posted at 01:26 PM | Link | Reality TV | 1 comment § |
Orange to Yellow

So, we've been under Orange Alert for 20 days. The Department of Homeland Security has lowered the national terrorism threat level from Orange (High) to Yellow (Elevated) citing the end of the Muslim hajj pilgrimage as a key factor.

posted at 12:03 PM | Link | Current Events § |
Where's my neighbor?

Fred McFeely Rogers died today at age 74 after being diagnosed with stomach cancer just after the holidays. "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" started on Pittsburgh's WQED in 1967. No more cardigans and sneakers.

posted at 06:35 AM | Link | TV § |

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out Of Here!

I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here!

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:12 PM | Link | Reality TV | 1 comment § |
10 years?

Has it really been 10 years since the World Trade Center truck bombing? I've always wondered where we would be today if the bombing back then would have significantly damaged or collapsed the one tower. And now I wonder where we'll be just a year from now - after the "inevitable" war against Hussein happens. What could get unleashed? Will we be better off? Will the economy survive? Will Bush survive his next election bid? Will we be attacked again on our soil? Way, way too many questions before my first cup of coffee...

posted at 08:07 AM | Link | Current Events | 1 comment § |

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Long Live Pioneer 10

I got a press release from NASA today that says that Pioneer 10 may have gasped its last breath. Now, mind you, it was launched March 2, 1972, on a 21-month mission to study Jupiter. I don't know if you remember this, but it has a gold plaque on the side of it with a message and a map showing where earth is (if I remember correctly, astronomer Carl Sagan has a lot to do with the design of the message). So, it scooted out of the solar system some time ago. Considering that it was on a 21-month mission, the satellite just stopped sending good data telemetry back on April 27 last year. Not bad for a satellite that's over 30 years old. So basically, NASA just kept tuning-in to see if it could still hear it. The last time they heard a signal (very faint) was on January 23 when it was 10 was 7.6 billion miles from Earth, taking 11 hours and 20 minutes to arrive. It's the farthest human artifact from earth. What a trip.

posted at 09:02 PM | Link | Space | 1 comment § |

Ever have a song stuck in your head? You know, rattling around in there, playing over and over and over and you can't get rid of it? There was a study that was released at the Society for Consumer Psychology Winter Conference in New Orleans. The phenomenon is called an "earworm" in Germany, which actually sort of makes sense. The item that I found most disturbing is that "Episodes of earworms also tend to strike people with neurotic tendencies more often." That sort-of doesn't make me feel any better about this stupid Kylie Minogue song that's rattling around inside of my head right now...

posted at 12:43 PM | Link | Odd § |
Out in the field

Gazing out the Doctor's office window
Had my first experience away from the office this morning. I had to drive into the city to visit one of our doctors to swap-out her laptop. It was interesting to see what one of the office locations looks like. In this particular case, everything was a little tight - they were doing a lot of stuff in a relatively small space. The swap went well - the doctor was actually nice and cordial. Too bad she didn't copy her stuff off of her old machine before I got there. So, instead of a quick trip, I had to hump her stuff up the network, swap machines, and hump it back down. Let's just say I spent a lot of time drinking coffee and looking out her window - which wasn't all that bad. The office is location is on the "fringes" of my old neighborhood in the city. I should have called my mom and told her I'd be over for lunch!

posted at 11:24 AM | Link | Work § |

Monday, February 24, 2003


I read Robyn's blog on a very regular basis - I've said that quite a few times here. She's actually returned to blogging after a hiatus for some very good personal reasons. Unfortunately, she's going to take her personal side private to a separate website that's only for her family and friends. This, to me, is not too big of a deal since I am neither (though I will miss hearing about that part of her life), but the thing that really pisses me off is that I feel that she's being forced to do it from the blogtrolls out there. She's been attacked way the hell too many times via comments and email, from people that are just plain mean. It sickens me to see people getting forced-out like this, under the veil of "If you write about your private life on the web, then you better be ready to let people express their opinions about your actions" crap. That's Bull, my friend. Just because someone writes about very personal matters doesn't give the right to any troll passing by to attack you. Just STFU and move on. So now, Robyn has cloaked her personal life from us "blog friends" and regular readers. I will surely miss that, though I will continue to read her mssives on her original site. (I'll miss that "personal touch.") (BTW, I love Quinn's little photo dedication).

posted at 10:30 AM | Link | Blogging | 1 comment § |

Sunday, February 23, 2003

I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out Of Here!

I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here!
Tonight's wacky quote comes from Nikki Schieler Ziering: "Guys! - Crocodile is a reptile!" (You had to see it - Alana had won the full complement of 10 meals for the campers. Everybody thought they were eating fish, though some complained it was a little tough. So, they wanted to know what kind of fish it was. That's when they found out it was crocodile and not fish.) This show is such a train wreck, I can't NOT watch!!!

posted at 08:23 PM | Link | Reality TV § |

Saturday, February 22, 2003

Wolves 4 - Aeros 3 (Overtime)

Chicago Wolves Houston Aeros

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:38 PM | Link | Wolves § |

Friday, February 21, 2003

Big Brother 4 greenlighted

Big Brother 4
CBS has given the go-ahead for a 4th season of Big Brother, and has a contingency on a 5th.

posted at 01:00 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Ground Force America in production

Ground Force
It looks like Ground Force America is indeed in production, as last week a garden in Dallas Georgia (I didn't know there was another Dallas) was transformed. They're going to shoot 8 shows and have received 50,000 requests. Looks like a late June air date.

posted at 11:39 AM | Link | TV | 1 comment § |
Monarchs rebounding

It was a little over a year ago that I had heard about this terrible cold snap in Mexico that killed 75%-80% of the Monarch butterflies in North America (an estimate is near 500 million butterflies) . Now, there is an estimate of 200 million to 500 million Monarchs hanging around in clusters in a 20-acre area of forest back in Mexico. Cool.

posted at 11:04 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Friday 5 - Possessions

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What is your most prized material possession? Wow. I don't really know. I think it was this denim shirt that my aunt embroidered the entire back with a special a drawing by Bill Jackson depicting all of the characters from the kids show I did - Gigglesnort Hotel.
2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest? Gee, I don't really know or recall. I mean, I have stuff from grammar school, like papers and stuff like that, and of course photos, but other than that I can't remember any specific item.
3. Are you a packrat? ABSOLUTELY. Carol hates me for it, but absolutely.
4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum? I would actually prefer a "spic-and-span" house, but who the hell has time to keep things that clean??? As long as your house doesn't start looking like a senile old-lady's with one hundred cats and piles of newspaper 4 feet tall with only a path to go from room to room. Also, it has to be nicer than that if you entertain frequently.
5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there? No theme at all. No sense of style much, either. We just don't have the money to get new furniture - the living room stuff is over 20 years old.

posted at 09:21 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, February 20, 2003

I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out Of Here!

I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here!
I love this! Host John Lehr just before a commercial break: "This just in, ladies and gentlemen. That leach you saw earlier is now attached to Bruce Jenner. Repeating... Bruce Jenner has a leach!"

posted at 09:38 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Ah... spring is here... for now.

I went out for lunch to find bright sun, clear sky, and 50 degrees. Of course, I only saw the clear sky when I was outside of my car because the coating of salt over the windows (not to mention the rest of the car) makes it a bit hard to actually see the sky. (I need to take care of that.) It's been wonderful outside the past day or so. Add to that the stories from Arizona that tell me my boys are back in camp, preparing for another season of baseball. I know I've talked about this in the past, that I, for some reason, feel a biological synchronization with baseball. I measure the passage of time by baseball seasons and not years (the months without baseball just don't exist in my passage of time). I don't get very excited about the prospects of post-season play (after all, this is Chicago), but it actually changes my view on life know that baseball is around the corner.

By Monday, it's supposed to be 18 degrees. But out in the high desert, there's a group of guys getting ready to play.

posted at 12:45 PM | Link | Mundane § |
You want me to sit here through that?

Boy, I've got to you, "I'm so down wit dis"... When we go to the movies, we always get there early to ensure we get a good seat and make sure we get any of our favorite concessions. Of course, seeing trailers for movies that are "Coming Soon" is a big plus. What I have a problem with is the damn advertising, the actual porting of television commercials to film. If I'm at home, I can chose to change the channel or zip through them with my TiVo. I don't have a choice at the theater. So, in a nutshell, I've had to pay money to view commercials that I don't want to see. Apparently, I'm not the only one getting upset over this - there was a class-action lawsuit filed against Loews Cineplex Entertainment Group for doing just that. The charges are Statutory Fraud Claim By Misrepresentation ("by communicating to potential audience members that movies would begin at a particular time, in full knowledge that the movies would be delayed with a barrage of advertisements and product placements, thereby deceiving and misrepresenting to Plaintiff and class members that the movie would in fact be shown at the appointed time"), Alternate Statutory Fraud Claim By Omission ("omitting the fact that they do not show movies at the times scheduled or advertised in the newspaper, because they are instead taking advantage of a captive audience to show advertisements and promotions"), and Breach of Contract Claim ("The contract clearly show that the movies are supposed to begin at a particular time" and - I just love the phrasing of this - "The ticket stub attached as Exhibit 1 memorializes the binding contract between Plaintiff and each of the Defendants"). They're seeking damages "in no event to exceed $75.00 per class member". I think they'll settle for accurate published times. What I'm trying to figure out (and we also agree with this) is that there's a feeling that: Movie Trailer = OK, commercial = bad. I know that a trailer is nothing but a commercial for a movie, but somehow I expect to see them and I'm anxious to see them, and I don't lump them in with those "other" obvious commercials. I have no idea how this suit is going to play out, but I sure do understand where they're coming from. More info at and The Captive Motion Picture Audience of America.

posted at 09:00 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, February 19, 2003

I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out Of Here!

I'm a Celebrity - Get me out of here!

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:18 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
The Bachelorette - Finale

The Bachelorette

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:10 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
So, we're supposed to be Ready?

So, the U. S. Department of Homeland Security is at it again. They've opened-up a new website called Ready.Gov that we could use to get prepared in case of a terrorist attack. They've got info on how to make a kit of emergency supplies, how to make a plan for what to do in an emergency, and how to be informed about what might happen, specifically about Biological Threats, Chemical Threats, Explosions, and oh, those Nuclear Blasts and subsequent Radiation Threats. There's a PDF of the brochure "Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now." available, too. Just four days ago, Bush told the American public not to panic, and "Americans should go about their lives." HUH??? After reading Ready.Gov???? I don't think so!!! And this is all under Orange Alert. What happens under Red Alert? The proverbial "kiss your arse goodbye"???

posted at 04:14 PM | Link | Current Events § |

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Would you believe another quote?

First, it was the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Now, I'm actually quoted in the New York Times on, of all things, my GuestMaps.

One of the simplest and most effective map-based ideas is the "guestmap," which lets visitors indicate their locations when commenting in online guest books. Michael Lans offers several guestmaps in his Weblog ( Suddenly the anonymous or faceless names of site visitors "have a sense of place," he said.
The part of the article that I'm in is a quick discussion on geography and physical location being represented in cyberspace.

posted at 12:20 PM | Link | Blogging § |
Survivor contestant ill

Survivor The Amazon
Daniel Lue, the 27-year-old Tax Accountant from Houston, TX (who I thought performed worse than Ryan in the Immunity Challenge last week) is laid-up at home after being diagnosed with malaria.

posted at 10:17 AM | Link | Survivor § |
MovableType 2.62

Well, that's one upgrade down. Had a little dicey time trying to upgrade to MovableType 2.62, but I guess I've got that over with.

posted at 09:31 AM | Link | Blogging § |

Hey! The days are getting longer! This was the first day that I noticed that it was finally lighter outside at this time compared to a week or two ago. Finally.

posted at 06:35 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, February 17, 2003

Joe Millionaire - Finale

Joe Millionaire

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:15 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
I say potato...

This is really cool. There are certain words that are pronounced differently across the country. For example, how do you pronounce aunt? been? coupon? handkerchief? mayonnaise? pajamas? quarter? (anybody that knows me knows that I butcher that one) Take a look at this: Dialect Survey Maps and Results. Pronunciations and graphical maps of the distribution. Cool.

posted at 09:11 PM | Link | Odd § |
Damn, not again...

23-year-old Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler died this morning less than 24 hours after complaining of dizziness during a workout and collapsing.

posted at 09:10 PM | Link | Sports § |
Why Reality TV Is Good For Us

Time Magazine last week (I'm just getting around to reading it) had a great article in it: Why Reality TV Is Good For Us

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

A very interesting thing from over the weekend: Google buys Pyra Labs, the creators of Blogger. It must be interesting to be Evan. What will this mean not only for Blogger, but the rest of us bloggers out in the blogosphere not using Blogger?

posted at 09:08 PM | Link | Blogging § |
Club tragedy

Carol & I actually heard this unfolding this morning over our scanner, both over Chicago Police and Chicago Fire frequencies as everyone tried to coordinate the efforts to try and save as many people as possible. Sheer panic and sheer confusion. We knew there was trouble when they were taking some of the ambulances and having them go to the rear of the club so they could remove the bodies. Latest: 21 people killed in the stampede at the E2 Club on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

posted at 09:07 PM | Link | Current Events § |

The server that this website sits on had a drive controller failure 35 hours ago, so now I'm trying to play catch-up. I had carved-out a nice period of time to work on my MovableType upgrade (glad I waited because of the bugs) and to start work on a little redesign of the site. I sit down to start to work and - no site. Crap. Well, that was fun. At least I wrote everything down that I wanted to blog about while I've been waiting.

posted at 09:06 PM | Link | Blogging § |

Saturday, February 15, 2003

Saturday at Mom's

Hmmm... Steak 'n Shake steps-up their advertising
Went to Mom's house for dinner tonight. It's been a lousy, cold day here. Even though it's in the 20's, the wind chill is just terrible. Mom asked us to pick up a few things at the store for her, which, of course, we're happy to do. You see, my mom doesn't drive. She's had a license since the 50's which she renews regularly. She just doesn't drive, so now that dad is gone, shopping is a bit more of a chore for her. We passed the Steak 'n Shake in Hoffman Estates and had to swing around to go back and get a picture of their sign - it just wasn't something we expected to see! We had our nice pasta dinner at mom's sans Diane and the dogs (who were up in Michigan for the extended weekend). For some reason, we were just talking and talking and didn't realize we're still sitting at the dining room table at 20 to 8! In general, mom seems to be doing OK. We talked about dad and getting rid of some of his things (which she has been doing), so it's be a bit therapeutic for her. I'm starting to sense the very beginnings of a slight loneliness. It could be that the weather has been bad so she hasn't been able to get out much (at least, that's what I'm hoping). She talked about that she REALLY wanted to go to Las Vegas, but I think she wants to go with somebody - but they don't have to be at the same hotel or anything. It's like she's OK if she's there by herself, but she just wants to have a couple of meals with somebody while she's there. I'm trying to figure out if she's trying to tell us something. Found out my sister is taking another trip to the Caribbean next month. Don't know where - mom didn't seem to recall. She said the name wasn't familiar.

posted at 10:53 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Not for everybody

Something I wanted to share with you - yesterday was Valentine's Day. Now, for Carol & me, it's just a Hallmark Holiday, and we don't really celebrate it. We don't celebrate Sweetest Day either. Why? I'm not really sure - I mean we've been married over 23 years, Do we really need a specific day to tell each other we love them? Why? I guess to us, it's a bit ludicrous to have this saccharine day.

But I wanted to share one other thing. You see, to some people, their Valentine's Day may have been ruined and would never become a day of celebration. Carol is one of these people. You see, Carol lost her dad 8 years ago on Valentine's Day. It was sudden and perhaps accidental. Without going into too much detail, lets just say a paramedic who was treating him for what was thought to have been a heart attack, sort of misdiagnosed, mis-treated, and mis-medicated him, and an extended delay in getting a Life Flight helicopter to where he was for transport when transporting him via ambulance would have been faster - all contributed to his death. It was hard to handle and the day is just doesn't hold the same "frivolity" as it perhaps once did.

Then there's Robyn and Todd. I asked you to keep them in your thoughts. They, too, will no longer celebrate Valentine's Day. They still need our thoughts, prayers, and support and not some mean, hurtful comments.

So the next time someone says they don't celebrate Valentine's Day - don't you dare jump all over them for not doing it. There may just be a seriously valid reason for not participating.t

posted at 01:19 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |

Friday, February 14, 2003

Friday 5 - Blogging

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Explain why you started to journal/blog. I'm not sure exactly why I started. I just wanted some place to write about things in my life. I'm not a good writer, I'm not a witty writer, I just wanted to write for me.
2. Do people you interact with day to day or family members know about your journal/blog? Why or why not? There have been a few people that have visited the website a few times. I guess they're somewhat regulars. But (with the exception of this past week and the unusual traffic with people Millionaire or Bachelorette digging), this site has very low traffic. I know my sister visits somewhat regularly (and sometimes she updates Mom with news from here), but I'm not really sure the extended family ever comes over here.
3. Do you have a theme for your journal/blog? Nope. It's just my life and things I do and things that interest me.
4. What direction would you like to have your journal/blog go in over the next year? I don't have any aspirations, I just wish I would write more about topical things - more commentary (like I have something important to say. Riiiiight.)
5. Pimp five of your favorite journals/blogs. OK, here we go:
Erin's GiggleChick
Robyn's Ain't Too Proud to Blog
Mike's aka Cooties
Quin's QuinnMacDonald
Dawn's A Life Uncommon and Chicago Uncommon (which are more photoblogs than blogs, but she has a great eye for photography)

posted at 07:26 AM | Link | Friday Five § |
Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day from My Mundane Mid-Life!
Have a Happy Valentines Day out there everyone!

posted at 06:30 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Survivor: The Amazon - Episode 1

Survivor The Amazon
"Boys vs. Girls"

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:35 PM | Link | Survivor § |

I got out of work a little late (it was around 6, which to a lot of people, isn't late). I called home in case there was an issue with dinner, and there was but it was a good issue! Carol had, for some unknown reason, went out and bought me one of my favorites - scallops. She saw a recipe on 30 Minute Meals on the Food Network. Well, it was great! Actually, we were sitting in the dining room and I was eating a bit too slowly for her (I wanted to savor to the great scallops - nice size, too). She kept looking at me. I then realized that Survivor was coming on shortly, so I have to finish up before the Jeff Probst shows up!

posted at 06:51 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Still another Reality TV Update

Survivor Marquesas
Do you remember Vecepia Towery? (hint: winner of Survivor Marquesas) Well, her 15-minutes of fame aren't up yet. TLC's "A Baby Story" will follow her when she gives birth to a baby boy (named already: Jordan Levon) in May.

As long as I'm doing an update, here's one from The Bachelor/The Bachelorette. Apparently, Amanda Marsh ended her relationship with Alex Michel when she discovered he had slept with runner-up Trista Rehn.

posted at 03:40 PM | Link | Survivor § |

You know you're having a bad day when your Internet T-1 connection is giving you 12kb down and 6kb up throughput. Ugh. Painful.

posted at 10:39 AM | Link | Internet § |

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Please take a moment...

.. and quietly reach out and send your prayers, good thoughts, good karma and good mojo to a person that I've been reading regularly out there in the Bloggerverse - Robyn. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed reading her blog, admired a bit of her design work and layout style. I was always taken with her loyalty to her sporting teams, her college, and her family and friends. Now, she needs time alone (away from us) and just needs some good, comforting thoughts sent her way. Actually, don't stop with her - send that warmth, love, and good karma to both Robyn and her husband Todd. Take the time - do something good for the people that blog, the people that you read, the people that need the support. Please.

posted at 10:16 PM | Link | Blogging § |
Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 6 - Finale

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:01 PM | Link | The Mole § |

The sun in the morning over the last two days has been intensely bright as you drive east. Not a cloud in the sky, no haze, so it's just glaring in your face. For two days in a row, I have witnessed an accident happen in front of me in my lane of traffic. None of the drivers were wearing sunglasses, and I don't think they were using their sun visors either. How in the world were they expecting to be able to see brake lights in that sunlight? Not only that, but it's 6 degrees outside today (another morning of 6 degrees... weird coincidence) and we had a nasty, fast moving storm last night that dropped the temps during a period of high wind and snow. I thought I had heard that there were 55 accidents overnight in the Chicagoland area.

posted at 08:07 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

OK, people... just move along... move along...

I was trying to do a few things on my website today when I noticed it was a little sluggish. I checked my stats and found out that visitation is up the last two days 755%! Why? I'm getting swamped with searches on Joe Millionaire's Zora Andrich and The Bachelorette's Trista Rehn.

Now look people - though I like the increase in traffic, I've got nothing here. I commented on them once and that's it. No inside scoop. No pictures. No information if either of them are pregnant. You'll have to find that info some place else - it's not here. Thank you for visiting. Look around and kick the tires if you're interested in what's here, but if not - THEN PLEASE, MOVE ON.

Thanks. I never thought I'd get inundated like this. Somehow, this crazy, little website must be high-up on some search engines, or people just have a more voracious appetite for Reality TV than I had thought.

posted at 03:12 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Cheers, Alan!

Ground Force
This is my 1,000th entry! w00t! So how should I use it? Hmmm... a little blurb about TV... It is with heavy heart that I find out that Alan Titchmarsh, after 67 shows, has left my favorite (or maybe I should spell that favourite) British DIY show - Ground Force. The show will go on with Charlie Dimmock, Tommy Walsh and Will Shanahan with the new addition of Kirsty King. It won't be the same, but I'll have to watch to see if the show can still hold together without Alan. I guess we'll find that out relatively soon as the crew should be coming stateside any month now to start shooting Ground Force America!

posted at 01:39 PM | Link | TV § |

Monday, February 10, 2003

Joe Millionaire

Joe Millionaire
Next week: two hour grand finale! Typical Fox... lead you right up the decision and.. oh! it's next week! And there's the cryptic final message from Butler Paul Hogan:

"And by the way - in the past, I have refused to comment on rumors that had Joe Millionaire's story will end in a twist. But this evening, I will comment. Those rumors are not rumors at all. In fact, the final chapter of our story does indeed have a rather big, surpising and remarkable twist."

posted at 09:08 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Dogs dogs dogs dogs

Westminster Kennel Club
Carol, my sister Diane, and my mom are all in their respective homes glued to the television watching the 127th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on USA Network. Every year Carol is just glued to the TV to watch this. She can tell you any breed of dog, to the amazement of friends and family - she's even better than her sister-in-law Cathy, who raises and judges dogs. Diane went to Westminster a few years ago when she was in New York on business, something we've all talked about doing. It's a highlight of ours at this time of year. Glued, I tell ya. Glued.

posted at 07:18 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Planes over Allstate

I think I may have mentioned before that the Allstate Arena is directly under the approach to runway 22R at O'Hare. Just so you see how low the traffic is, here's a short movie I took with my Canon S230 digital camera out in the parking lot before today's Chicago Wolves game. Think it's a little nerve-wracking knowing that the planes are just a few hundred feet above the stadium?

posted at 06:37 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Wolves 3 - Admirals (Norfolk) 3

Chicago Wolves Norfolk Admirals

read more of this entry »

posted at 06:36 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Three little tugs...

I'm sound asleep when I feel three gentle little tugs on my comforter. I rolled over, didn't see anybody in the bedroom, but I looked over the edge of the bed - there was Indy looking up at me! She had been out and about this morning while Carol was downstairs doing laundry. Indy obviously came upstairs to play and didn't expect to see me in bed. It was a very cute moment and a nice way to wake up.

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

Saturday, February 08, 2003

Tears and food

My cousin's wife's mother had died last week (did ya follow that?), so there was a visitation/memorial service that we went to the afternoon. Packed house. There was a lot of people there, all milling around and talking. It was the only service at the funeral home and it took up all of the available rooms. There were lots of photos and mementos of Jean around the rooms - mostly photos, but something I had never seen before - a Patent certificate for the design of a compact dishwasher that apparently Jean had designed at one time. It was an emotional service, and everyone went to what is now the husband's house for a celebration of Jean's life. There were an awful lot of people at the service, and most of them came to the house. It was packed and loud. The food was catered by David's Bistro and damn it was great. I'm going to have to try it out. It was nice seeing and talking to the members of our dwindling family.

posted at 07:40 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, February 07, 2003

Wolves 4 - Aeros 3 (Overtime)

Chicago Wolves Houston Aeros

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posted at 11:13 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Homeland Security Advisory System Threat Orange

The Department of Homeland Security has raised the national terrorism threat level from Yellow (Elevated) to Orange (High) indicating a "high risk of terrorist attacks." (Gee... I wonder why?)

Check out the FEMA publication Are You Ready? A Guide to Citizen Preparedness

posted at 12:15 PM | Link | Current Events § |
Friday 5 - Food

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What did you have for breakfast this morning? If you didn't have breakfast, why not? No breakfast. Rarely eat breakfast at all - unless I'm traveling. I'm not a morning person so I just try to squeeze out as much sleep as possible and then just getup and leave for work.
2. What's your favorite cereal? Corn flakes., Actually, Kellogg's Sugar Frosted Flakes. Gets pretty soggy, though.
3. How often do you eat out? Do you want that to change? As far as Carol & i - we eat out about maybe once a week. Since where I work has no cafeteria, then actually I eat out almost every day.
4. What do you plan on having for dinner tonight? Got a recipe for that? Friday's are our potential eat out nights. Carol wants to do that because her Weight Watchers weigh in is on Fridays, so we, in a twisted way, go out to eat on Friday nights. Tonight? No idea where we're going. I've been told it's my pick, though, as carol doesn't believe today's weigh-in will be a "good one" for her.
5. What's your favorite restaurant? Why? Magnum's in Rolling Meadows. I written about it a few times - check out the links for the "why".

posted at 08:29 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Busy for a change

Have been pretty busy at the office today. We're in the process of "un-winding" or spinning-off some practices, and making the company even smaller - an event that will be going on with regularity over the next few months. It's odd being with a company that is growing smaller and smaller. I've always been associated with companies that grew by market expansion, growth and M&A activities. It's not a warm and fuzzy feeling.

posted at 03:56 PM | Link | Work § |

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

Celebrity Mole Hawaii - Episode 5

Celebrity Mole Hawaii

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posted at 10:10 PM | Link | The Mole § |
I got a Journal...

An authentic Mole journal
Now remember - I love the show's concept, I just hate the current implementation. I went and bought an authentic (complete with Certificate of Authenticity) Mole journal from ABC Auctions. It was just something I wanted because I still believe in the show and am a big fan of the first two seasons and I really would have liked to tryout for the next series (but I believe that was already cast). It's a cool journal, complete with embossed fingerprint on the cover.

posted at 09:44 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Reality TV Potpourri

There's so much out there on the web right now, so for you Reality TV fans out there, here's some comments, observations and a few links...

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:59 AM | Link | Reality TV § |

I hate Wednesday mornings. It's Garbage Day in Hoffman Estates. Now, I really don't mind taking out the garbage. Not really. What I do mind is taking out the recycling bins. I don't mind doing the recycling during the week - it's no big deal, and actually much easier to do than what I had thought when we started this years ago. But dragging the bins out to the curb, especially the ones with the bundled newspapers is just a chore. The can & bottle & cardboard recycling? Not a problem. Newspapers? Problem. We get three newspapers a day during the week (Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and the Daily Herald) so we're piling up newsprint at a good rate. And it's just so damn heavy. *sigh*

posted at 08:29 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Someone's out there...

I received an email last week that, quite frankly, touched me.

I've mentioned, over the past few weeks, that I write here because I want to. I just write about stuff that I do, stuff I'm interested in. Stuff.

Why? I don't really know. I have one main idea why (one that I'm not willing to share right now), but mostly, I guess I'm just writing and hoping somebody out there may have similar likes and dislikes and maybe, for the brief moment that someone stops by here, we make a brief little "connection" in our lives and we go on.

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:06 AM | Link | Blogging | 1 comment § |

Monday, February 03, 2003

Reverse Midas Effect

I'm having one of those days where everything I touch turns to crap. Everything. Started-off by getting to work and realizing I don't have my security card. I drove all the way home because I would be in and out of the datacenter most of the day doing tape copies for offsite storage. On the way home, I realize that even if I had my card, I didn't have my keys to get into my desk and overheads. Luckily I went home. The tape copies are screwed because I didn't pay too close attention to the pre-labeled output tapes, so I have to redo a few of the copies. I should have checked the help desk voicemail over the weekend and I forgot - bad move because people were trying to do the year-end close and had problems, so things got escalated around me, so I'm in more crap for that. Didn't have my coffee - no time trying to pickup the pieces of the problems around me.

And he could see (no reasons)
'Cause there are (no reasons)
What reason do you need to be shown

(Tell me why) I don't like Mondays
(Tell me why) I don't like Mondays
(Tell me why) I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot the whole day down
posted at 01:55 PM | Link | Mundane § |

I've gone silent since the Columbia accident - hope you don't mind. Those of you that know me personally know that I have been a space enthusiast since age 5. Tragedies in the space program such as this hit a little hard. I can't listen to the radio or watch TV, mostly because I know that this incident is going to take a long time to figure out and anything coming out now is either pure speculation, or just timeline facts as recorded by the downlinks in Houston. The same things are rehashed over and over with no reason other than filling the airwaves and keeping the story in the focus of America (which, of course, moves focus away from the Iraq conflict). Grieve, morn, and move on.

posted at 10:19 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Hail Columbia

Mission logo of STS-107 The crew of STS-107

The 113th Shuttle Mission.

88th Post-Challenger Mission.

28th Flight of Columbia (Serial Number: OV-102)

62nd Planned Kennedy Space Center landing

Commander Air Force Col. Rick Husband, 45
Pilot Navy Cmdr. William McCool, 41
Mission Specialist 1 Navy Capt. David Brown, 46
Mission Specialist 2/Flight Engineer Kalpana Chawla, Ph.D., 41
Mission Specialist 3 Air Force Lt. Col. Michael Anderson, 42
Mission Specialist 4 Laurel Clark, M.D., 41
Payload Specialist 1 Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon, 48

207,135 feet. Mach 18.3.


Robert Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington


A Space Shuttle contingency has been declared in Mission Control, Houston, as a result of the loss of communication with the Space Shuttle Columbia at approximately 9 a.m. EST Saturday as it descended toward a landing at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla. It was scheduled to touchdown at 9:16 a.m. EST.

Communication and tracking of the shuttle was lost at 9 a.m. EST at an altitude of about 203,000 feet in the area above north central Texas. At the time communications were lost. The shuttle was traveling approximately 12,500 miles per hour (Mach 18). No communication and tracking information were received in Mission Control after that time.

Search and rescue teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth and in portions of East Texas have been alerted. Any debris that is located in the area that may be related to the Space Shuttle contingency should be avoided and may be hazardous as a result of toxic propellants used aboard the shuttle. The location of any possible debris should immediately be reported to local authorities.
Flight controllers in Mission Control have secured all information, notes and data pertinent to today's entry and landing by Space Shuttle Columbia and continue to methodically proceed through contingency plans.
More information will be released as it becomes available.

National Weather Service radar image of the Columbia Debris Field
A National Weather Service radar picked up the debris trail.

Personnel mentioned below: MCC-FLIGHT - Entry flight director - Leroy Cain, mission control center MCC-CAPCOM - Astronaut Charles Hobaugh MCC-FDO (Flight Dynamics Officer; pronounced "FIDO") - Richard Jones MCC-INCO (Instrumentation and Communications Officer) - Laura Hoppe MCC-MMACS (Maintenance, Mechanical, Arm and Crew Systems Officer) - Jeff Kling MCC-GNC (Guidance, Navigation and Control Officer) - Mike Sarafin MCC-GC (Ground Control Officer) - Bill Foster MCC-GPO (Guidance and Procedures Officer) - Doyle Hensley MCC-EECOM (Emergency, Environmental and Consumables Operation Manager) - Katie Rogers MCC-LSO (Landing and Support Officer) - Martin Linde MCC-MOD (Mission Operations Dirctorate Representative) - Phil Engelauf MCC-Commentator - James Hartsfield, NASA/JSC public affairs officer STS-A/G (Shuttle Commander, air-to-ground audio) - Shuttle commander Rick Husband, aboard Columbia STS-ICOM - Indicates cockpit intercom voice traffic captured on in-cabin video

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:38 AM | Link | Space § |
Front Page!

Chicago Tribune - February 1, 2003 - Front Page
There it was - right there. The Chicago Tribune. Not even the Sports section. FRONT PAGE. Above the fold. Comiskey Park benched by Sox By Jim Kirk, Tribune staff reporter. Tribune staff reporters Teddy Greenstein and Gary Washburn contributed to this story. My quote, right there on the front page!

"I don't like naming rights," said Northwest Side native Michael Lans, 46. "I don't like the idea. It will always be Comiskey to me. But the revenue is good. It would be nice to see some tweaks."
Almost word for word. I mean, Teddy started with me and he was scribbling with his own shorthand on his memo pad, but basically, though I said more, that was what I said last night at SoxFest. I've never seen myself quoted on a front page before. It's a really weird feeling.

posted at 07:39 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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