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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 April 2003.

March 2003 MAIN BLOG May 2003 Next

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Fog Delay

Screen Capture of the White Sox game - shot from the Center Field camera in the fog Oakland Athletics first base coach Brad Fischer (35) watches the game against the Chicago White Sox during the third inning on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in Chicago. The game was delayed 14 minutes due to heavy fog after the third inning. (Brian Kersey/AP) Oakland Athletics manager Ken Macha, from left, Chicaho White Sox's manager Jerry Manuel and crew chief Rick Reed discuss delaying the game after the third inning on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in Chicago. The game was delayed 14 minutes due to heavy fog. (Brian Kersey/AP) U.S. Cellular Field is partially obscurred during a 14-minute fog delay during the Oakland Athletics Chicago White Sox game on Wednesday, April 30, 2003, in Chicago. (Brian Kersey/AP)
I'm trying to watch the White Sox game on Fox Sports Chicago right now. The operative word here is trying. There's some hellacious fog rolling in, and the crew is having to use different camera angles so that you can actually see the ball. Before they started the top of the 4th, the umpires called a delay due to the fog. It's bad.
Update: Oakland 4 White Sox 1 - Temperatures fell from 68 at the first pitch to 50 by the end of the third, 14-minute delay following the end of the third inning and Jerry Manuel asked the umpire crew for a delay (that was granted - after all, Magglio Ordonez lost Eric Byrnes' fly ball for a go-ahead triple) which lasted 31 minutes.

posted at 07:51 PM | Link | Baseball § |
It's green

OK, it's not a good picture. The clouds look much worse in person.
Well, with the lights out in the office space, you really know when the weather moves in outside the windows. It's actually green outside. There's a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect. It's getting darker. Still raining, of course.

posted at 02:58 PM | Link | Mundane § |
So, I've been walking around like that?

I happened to look down at the sleeve of the polo shirt I'm wearing and I see something white sticking out of the sleeve. What the hell is that? Turns out I've been walking around the office this morning with a fabric softener sheet hanging out of my sleeve... what a great look...

posted at 12:15 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Finally wet

Driving to work in the rain
It started raining on the way home last night and it rained overnight. Woke up this morning and it was dark. Man I love waking up to darkness and rain. Not storming, mind you. Just rain. The sounds of rain on the roof. Love it. The drive to work was slow because of the rain, but it still moved along - except for those people that seemed mesmerized by the raindrops on their windshield, driving 5-10 mph under the limit, actually causing more traffic problems. Usually all of them also had another issue - driving in the rain without their headlights on. (Illinois state law requires you to turn on your headlights if you have to use your windshield wipers. Weird, eh?) The office is nice and dark. I don't have the overhead lights on, just task lighting in the cubes. I love this weather.

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

Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Same side of the road

New westbound lanes on the south side of Golf Road
Well, they've switched the westbound lanes of Golf Road onto the pavement on the south side of the road. Guess that means that they're going to tear-up the north side first. It was starting to rain on my way home, so I can already see one problem - lane markings. In the rain, in the dark, these lane markings get pretty difficult to see. Hopefully there won't be any major accidents while this is going on. It should all be finished in 5-7 months from now...

posted at 05:58 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Hmmm... I can believe it...

I guess I'm not really surprised by this. I mean, if you watched the show, you had a feeling that it could go this way... Jack Osbourne in rehab

posted at 03:37 PM | Link | Odd § |

Holy crap, my allergies have really kicked in. This is the worst in years. Must be the drought plus dogsitting. I'm miserable. I hate feeling like this.

posted at 08:38 AM | Link | Mundane § |
The May Day Project

The May Day Project - Saturday May 10th 2003
Hmmm... this seems right up my alley... snap a photo every hour or so showing what you were doing at that point of the day on Saturday May 10.

posted at 08:22 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, April 28, 2003

Gracie - Day 1

So far, so good. Gracie made some really odd noises last night when we were trying to fall asleep. Sort of like she was blowing her nose or expelling air through her nose to get rid of something, and it seems totally involuntary. Weird. Carol took her with her on her morning walk, and she came home at lunchtime to let her out again. Poor Gracie just seems a little confused. Me - I've got sinus problems, most likely my dog allergy. I've got a headache, too. Oh, I got my hair cut on the way home tonight. No big deal, it's just that I don't do it as often as I should.

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

Sunday, April 27, 2003


Gracie on her way home with us
After the game, we went to my mom's for dinner. The main reason for going over there was to pickup Gracie. Mom, Diane, and Melinda are spending this next week at the Venetian in Las Vegas, and Gracie needs a baby sitter. So, she'll be spending the week with us until Saturday, when we will pass her off again. She looked really confused during the drive out to our house. Hopefully, everything will work out all right this week.

posted at 10:10 PM | Link | Mundane § |
White Sox 3 - Twins 1

Chicago White Sox Minnesota Twins

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posted at 04:29 PM | Link | White Sox | 1 comment § |

Saturday, April 26, 2003

White Sox 7 - Twins 4

Chicago White Sox Minnesota Twins

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posted at 09:59 PM | Link | White Sox § |
I hope he found his way home

On the way to the Sox game tonight, we stopped at the Des Plaines Oasis to grab something to drink for the ride. On the way out, an older gentleman approached me, and very tentatively, spoke "Excuse me, could you give me some directions?" He had white hair and a white goatee. I of course said yes, and asked "where to?". He again, tentatively said "Carol Stream."

He was heading east and Carol Stream was at least 20 miles west. I started, in general, telling him that he would have to get back on the tollway, but get off and get back on again to head west. He started fumbling with a shirt pocket, producing a few index cards, and continued searched for something to write with.

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:55 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, April 25, 2003

New lanes open

New lanes open on eastbound Golf Road
The drive home wasn't as bad as last night, but still not normal. One of the things I noticed, though, was closer to home. During the day today, they opened new temporary lanes on eastbound Golf Road. It looks like the construction is ready to start, now screwing-up my morning commute as well.

posted at 05:41 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Friday 5 - Last

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What was the last TV show you watched? This morning's Today Show (well, just a little bit of it while I was getting ready to go to work)
2. What was the last thing you complained about and what was the problem? Traffic on the way home last night - see the entry
3. Who was the last person you complimented and what did you say? Oh, oh... I don't remember... that doesn't make me a bad person, does it?
4. What was the last thing you threw away? Three DAT tape cleaners, just a few minutes ago
5. What was the last website (besides this one) that you visited? that would be Christine's Big Pink Cookie

posted at 09:19 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, April 24, 2003

Do you HAVE to do that now?

What book is so interesting that she can't put it down to DRIVE???
My drive home at night has gone from 30 minutes to an hour, thanks to road construction in Schaumburg. Meacham is now only one lane (instead of three), and the idiots that are driving north are blocking Higgins (thinking that they're actually going to get all the way across when the light is changing). This is causing traffic on Higgins to back up through the Forest Preserve. Traffic is tight - stop and go. Then I see one of my Pet Peeves (though I haven't written this one up yet): the lady behind me is reading a book. While she's "driving". What the hell is she reading that's so intriguing that she she is willing to risk bodily injury to herself and those around her that she can't put the book down to drive???

posted at 06:25 PM | Link | Mundane § |
I survived...

Looks like I survived Take your... Child... to Work Day. It was a heck of a lot noisier and uncontrolled (at least on our side of the floor) than I expected. At least we all had pizza and cake today. Interesting seeing who's kids are well behaved and who's... well, aren't.

posted at 03:12 PM | Link | Work § |

Wednesday, April 23, 2003


A dandelion outside my patio door
I've been sneezing all day, my eyes are tearing, and with it being a quiet day on the phone, I've been falling asleep all afternoon. I think I just figured it out - I think my spring allergies are kicking in. How did I figure it out? The sighting of my first dandelion - which happens to be right outside my patio door.

posted at 05:30 PM | Link | Mundane § |
W-H Lives

OK, let's see if you can follow this...

Back in 1999, I went to work for a consulting company in Chicago called Whittman-Hart, as a Notes Administrator for the company's infrastructure (not as a consultant for the company). I had used them on a project back in 1996-97 to bring my then company's Corporate HQ onto Notes. I liked the company, they had a good rep in the industry, so I was very excited to join them. The CEO, Bob Bernard, formed the company in the mid to late 80's (if I remember correctly), and in 1999 Whittman-Hart had a market capitalization of $4.47 billion. Not too shabby. Then comes the merger that Bob steered with USWeb/CKS to create an Internet consultancy, marchFIRST - 9,000 employees worldwide and about $1 billion in annual sales. I was now officially with a dotcom. And then - *BUST*. Bob sells parts of marchFIRST that was the core of the old Whittman-Hart to his buddy Andrew "Flip" Filipowski at divine (in a sweetheart deal), just before marchFIRST declares bankruptcy (and subsequent liquidation). I'm then at divine on a 60-day contract for transition services for "Divine Whittman-Hart", which ended June 1, 2001 and ended my journey. But, to continue the story, divine doesn't do well either, and it, too, declares bankruptcy (after being sued for fraud by one of its own subsidiaries).

Flash forward to today. Bob Bernard outbids everyone and buys back what remains of the former Whittman-Hart Inc., for $6 Million, which will go to marchFIRST's estate to defray more than $1 billion in pending claims. And so the circle goes...

posted at 09:29 AM | Link | Work § |

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Wolves 3 - Bears 2 (Overtime) - Western Conference Quarterfinals - Game 5

2003 AHL Calder Cup Chicago Wolves Hershey Bears

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:39 PM | Link | Wolves § |
I am a zealous proselytizer

What an odd location for this article - the Fashion and Style section of the Sunday New York Times. It's an article about the "cult" of TiVo evangelists with a great comparison:

(there are) as many TiVo-praise Web sites out there as there are hairs on Robin Williams
but has an odd comparison that I don't like:
Mr. Hawkins said that among his friends, there is a rift between those who get it — in his view, TiVo owners — and those who don't. "It's like the abortion issue," he said.
Ouch. TiVo should not be associated with that discussion.

posted at 11:48 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Field of Morons

Brothers Al (right) and Tom Skutnik, both of Chicago, hold a pair of boxer shorts they say were torn by security guards who ushered Al off the field Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. Both Al and Tom ran onto the field and were arrested and charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing. (Tribune photo by David Klobucar) Copyright © 2003, Chicagoan Al Skutnik talks about his reasons for running onto U.S. Cellular Field Tuesday night. (Tribune photo by David Klobucar) Copyright © 2003,
Carol told me about this article in last week's Trib that I didn't see, so I had to find it and read it online.

Oh, this so pisses me off...

The Skutnik brothers said they did it because they love the game, and only meant to excite the crowd when they partially disrobed, leapt from the stands and raced across the playing field Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
Whaaaat??????? Excite the crowd??? It's illegal, you friggin' moron!
"You go to a game to have a good time. You just want to pump up the crowd," he said.

"I love the game. I just wanted to be close to the baseball players," said Tom Skutnik, 20. "The game was awesome. We ran out on to the field, it felt good with everybody rooting us on."

Of course, during the interview, they're wearing Cubs jerseys and hats... and the Ump Jumper (Eric J. Dybas, 24, of Bolingbrook) is a Cub fan, too...
A close friend and roommate, Tony Consalvo, 21, said he was surprised by the accusations leveled against Dybas, who he said is an avid Cubs fan. Consalvo said Dybas isn't usually the type to cause trouble, especially on Tuesday's night's scale.

"Every once in a while, when he gets a few beers in him, he acts a little bit nutty," Consalvo said. "He's a cool guy. He has a lot of talk in him but he usually doesn't do anything about it."

A little bit nutty... well, at least these idiots are banned from the park now...

posted at 10:01 AM | Link | White Sox § |
Can you catch up?

I've been exhausted lately. Part of it is actually being outside and going to ballgames (fresh air = good). Part of it is just spring allergies that kick-in and get my sinuses screwed up, causing me to drag a bit. Then it feels like I'm just not getting enough sleep. I can't get myself to sleep a couple of extra hours on the weekends. I don't even take naps (though every once in a while I try). Know what time I went to bed last night? 9pm! OK, so my legs were twitching so bad I had to get up for a while, but I was back in bed by 10:30. So, I'm starting to wonder - can you ever really catch-up on your sleep? And then I hear about this sleep study that was done that says:

Chronic restriction of sleep periods to 4 h or 6 h per night over 14 consecutive days resulted in significant cumulative, dose-dependent deficits in cognitive performance on all tasks.
Hmmm... the kicker is the conclusion:
chronic restriction of sleep to 6 h or less per night produced cognitive performance deficits equivalent to up to 2 nights of total sleep deprivation, it appears that even relatively moderate sleep restriction can seriously impair waking neurobehavioral functions in healthy adults.
This suggests that sleep debt is perhaps best understood as resulting in additional wakefulness that has a neurobiological “cost” which accumulates over time.

posted at 08:56 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, April 21, 2003

Mr. Personality

Monica Lewinsky, center right, and contestant Hayley are shown with male suitors for the new reality series 'Mr. Personality' in this undated promotional photo. Lewinsky knows about the risks of sharing romantic confidences but stays on the receiving end in the dating show. (AP Photo/FOX, S. Jones, ho)
OK, ignoring the Monica Lewinsky aspect of the show, I have a one word summary about "Mr. Personality": creepy. Just plain creepy. The whole Man Behind The Iron Mask/Phantom of the Opera mask-thing just makes the whole show feel... well, creepy. I can't explain it. Creepy. Very unsettling. It did have a Reality Television moment though, when one of the rejected suitors (Robert the mascot!) rips into our lovely bachelorette, Hayley Arp, and you can almost see the concern/fright on her face as if she was wondering if the producers had any security personel hanging around.

posted at 09:43 PM | Link | Reality TV § |
Better Traffic

Odd - the traffic today was so much lighter than Good Friday. The parking lot is emptier, too. It's either: too many people ate too much on Easter and they're just getting a late start this morning, or people are on a vacation (spring break/Easter week). In any case, great traveling times. It's a pretty gloomy day, though and my office is absolutely freezing.

posted at 07:55 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, April 20, 2003

Family Easter

After the game, we jump on the Dan Ryan and get on the Stevenson and head west. We're going to my cousin Jane's, who is having the family Easter get-together this year. I feel like I'm driving to one of those places where, on those very old ocean navigational maps there would be a marking that says "There be dragons here". We rarely, if ever, travel to the south suburbs, and heading for 143rd Street in Orland Park just seems like a foreign land.

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:18 PM | Link | Family § |
White Sox 4 - Indians 7

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians

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posted at 04:15 PM | Link | White Sox § |
Easter Bunnies
I am re-posting this entry from last year.

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

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

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

If you have a website, please visit the House Rabbit Society's Easter Page and get a banner to put on your page until after Easter (April 20 for those that don't know) to help raise awareness of the problem (I've got mine over on the left side as well). There are also PDF's to print up and post in your cubicle of wherever if you'd like to do that to help spread the word (as well as a damn sad poem that just just rips at our heartstrings).

Indy thanks you and Carol & I thank you.

posted at 07:59 AM | Link | Bunnies | 1 comment § |

Saturday, April 19, 2003

White Sox 12 - Indians 3

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians

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posted at 05:02 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Friday, April 18, 2003

Of knuckleheads and bobbleheads

Well, the Chicago Tribune has picked-up on the Ump Jumper in "Of knuckleheads and bobbleheads" and the potential promotions that they would like to see at TPFKAC™:

read more of this entry »

posted at 04:46 PM | Link | Baseball § |
Friday 5 - Celebrity

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. Who is your favorite celebrity? Hmmm... don't know... maybe Sandra Bullock...
2. Who is your least favorite? Any "diva" (and diva, in my book, is not a good attribute), especially Mariah Carey
3. Have you ever met or seen any celebrities in real life? I worked with Broderick Crawford and Tony Cox on a pilot
4. Would you want to be famous? Why or why not? No - I don't have any impending "need" to give up my private life like they do. If it was for a short period of time, a "flash in the pan" sort of thing, that would be doable - as long as the thing that "caused" my fame wasn't negative (like, oh, I don't know... me running onto a field at a baseball game (something I would never do)). Now, if my fame was not due to being in the public eye, but I could be famous and still be just another Joe on the street, sort of an anonymous sort of fame, and it only comes up in conversation - then that's way OK by me. I'm more of a "behind the scenes" kind of guy anyway. I wouldn't mind it at all.
5. If you had to trade places with a celebrity for a day, who would you choose and why? I really don't have a choice - like I said, though you may get praise from others for what you have done, there's always someone out there that either doesn't like the same work, or just doesn't like you. I don't have a need to trade and I've never thought about it.

posted at 09:36 AM | Link | Friday Five § |
Working on Good Friday

It's been a long time since I worked on Good Friday. During my 20 years in corporate life, I always had it off. It just feels a little odd going to work - but then again it doesn't. Though I keep hearing how the expressways are flowing and that everything is "traffic-free", my commute was no different this morning that any other day. When I pulled into the parking lot, it was just as filled as a regular working day. My guess is that this Christian holiday has been pushed-off the books for many businesses, for whatever reason. It just feels weird. Carol is off today. She let Indy out before I woke up, and Indy promptly ran upstairs and started digging at a pillow that was under my nightstand. What a way to wake up - now, don't get me wrong here. Being awakened by a bunny is actually quite nice and sweet, but she's not normally allowed upstairs, so it was just something I didn't expect this morning.
Update: Whoo Hoo! We're out at 3pm! Hey, ay least it's something...

posted at 08:05 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, April 17, 2003


This has got to be the quietest day on this job. The phone just isn't ringing today. I'm doing some laptop configurations while I have a moment. It's even quiet in the office - the CFO was here this morning and a few people are out today. It's also very dark and gloomy outside, so it just adds the perceived isolation. I like this... I haven't even had a chance to play pinball today... (did I mention that our department has a pinball machine? I'll have to talk about that sometime...)

posted at 04:44 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Ump Jumper Top 10

Late Show with David Letterman
Dave just isn't letting it go... again... just like last time. Tonight's Top 10 List:

Top Ten Excuses From The Guy Who Attacked The Umpire

10. "I thought it was 'Attack A Defenseless Umpire Night'"
9. "Let's see you drink 15 beers and not do something stupid"
8. "Look at all the endorsements the shirtless father and son lunatics got"
7. "I wanted to impress Royals shortstop Angel Berroa"
6. "Umpire? I thought he was a vampire"
5. "It was Royals-White Sox game -- somebody's gotta make it exciting"
4. "You never heard of a little thing called 'spring fever'?"
3. "Pete Rose bet me I wouldn't do it"
2. "You're just not yourself when you've got shingles"
1. "From my angle, he looked exactly like Uday Hussein"

posted at 11:07 PM | Link | TV § |
Wolves 3 - Bears 5 - Western Conference Quarterfinals - Game 2

2003 AHL Calder Cup Chicago Wolves Hershey Bears

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | Wolves § |
The Ump Jumper

Well, the Chicago Tribune has dubbed the idiot last night the "Ump Jumper". Seems apropos. The haven't charged the idiot yet. But it also seems that the fallout has just begun:

Kansas City general manager Allard Baird told The Kansas City Star his team would not take the field Wednesday unless he was satisfied with the security. Royals spokeswoman Chris Stathos said Wednesday the team would report to the stadium, but that the decision to play would be made at game time.
Oh, great. This is escalating just because of a bunch of punks that just don't get it. The Cubs' GM has a great point:
"You still couldn't prevent a person, one lunatic or whatever you want to call it, from trying to get his 10 seconds of fame. I don't think you could ever say you're going to prevent it completely in any stadium: football, basketball, baseball, whatever," he said.

posted at 02:16 PM | Link | Baseball § |
Blogging in today's Chicago Tribune

Here's a nice article from today's paper on how media outlets just don't undertsand blogging - either what it is our how powerful it can be.

posted at 12:17 PM | Link | Blogging § |

Now, who thought this was a good idea? TNN changing its name to Spike. Oh, I guess it was this guy:

"We just like the idea of having a guy's name," said Albie Hecht, network president. "We thought that was smart and fun and irreverent."

posted at 08:34 AM | Link | TV § |

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

No!!!! Not Again!!!

Security arrives as an unidentified fan attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz as the eighth inning ended. (Tribune photo by Charles Cherney) Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune Security takes away the unidentified fan that attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz. (Tribune photo by Charles Cherney) Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune Security officials are surrounded by Kansas City players as a fan is removed from the field after attacking first base umpire Laz Diaz. (AP photo) Copyright © 2003, The Associated Press The White Sox fan who attacked the umpire is taken away by Chicago police. (Tribune photo by Charles Cherney) Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune The man who attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz sits handcuffed in a Chicago police car. (Tribune photo by Charles Cherney) Copyright © 2003, The Chicago Tribune

Nooooo!!!!!! Kansas City comes to town to play the White Sox... and another fan jumps out of the stands, this time he attacked first base umpire Laz Diaz. Shades of the Tom Gamboa attack by the shirtless father and son team last September. Know what's the pisser??? This was the fourth time during the game when fans ran out onto the field!!! We are soooo screwed. I wouldn't be surprised if Major League Baseball made a formal complaint, or at least a request, to get the whole security "thing" under control before the All-Star Game rolls into town. This just so pisses me off. These weren't baseball fans. these weren't Sox fans. these were assholes that decided to go to a baseball game and just screw around. Well, buddy, I hope your ass gets thrown in jail for a while. Stay the hell out of my park!

Note: I blame the White Sox for this. Look, I know these kind of "fans" exist at Wrigley, but you don't see this happen nearly as often. Why? The design of the park. The walls are brick, usually a good height, and depending where you are located, your seats may be a bit above the ground, all making it difficult to get onto the field. A few years ago, in their zeal to squeeze more revenue from the fans that actually show up at TPFKAC™, the White Sox added rows of seats down each line. By doing that, they brought the level of the seats down to field level, and put up a rail that - if you stand right next to it - hits you below the knee. That's right - to get onto the field, all you have to do is step over a rail that is only as high as your knee. WTF???? Who the hell's idea was that? Well, guess what? There's more fan incursions now than there used to be - gee, I wonder why??? So, White Sox, what are you going to do about this??? I am sooo pissed...

posted at 10:00 PM | Link | Baseball § |

Look, I'm going on record here... I can't get myself to call that place US Cellular Field yet. It's still Comiskey to me, so cut me some slack until I "transition". Maybe I should be calling it "The Park Formerly Known As Comiskey™" or TPFKAC™.

posted at 12:43 PM | Link | White Sox § |
Two days of bliss

OK, maybe bliss is the wrong word, but, damn it's nice outside! I just couldn't stay inside at lunch so I went out to grab am italian beef sandwich. I just don't know what to think with two days in a row having temperatures in the 80's. OK, so it's a little windy today, but after the crappy weather we are prone to have, this was like paradise! Well, OK, not paradise... I mean, this is Chicago after all, and it's April and the temperatures are supposed to drop like a rock into the 40's, just in time to go back to Comiskey for another series this weekend...

posted at 12:42 PM | Link | Mundane § |
5 years on...

I know today may be Tax Day, but this day holds another connotation for me. I worked for a company 7 months shy of 20 years when I was let go. That was 5 years ago today. Being with a single company for almost 20 years (especially when you're in the IT industry) isn't heard of very often anymore. Nonetheless, I was one of the few. I'm finding it hard to believe it's already been five years. You get used to a company, an industry, your coworkers, that it just seems part of you, even though it's already been five years on...

posted at 10:10 AM | Link | Work § |

Monday, April 14, 2003

84 DEGREES!!!???!!!

OK, we were freezing our asses off at Comiskey... oops... US Cellular Field just over a week ago, and now I'm melting... I got home to find a house that's almost 80 degrees inside. Mother Nature is soooo screwing with us... It's going to be impossible to sleep in this heat.... I just can't get myself to turn on the air conditioning, knowing it's going to drop back into the 40's on Thursday... I'm sitting around in a t-shirt and shorts, and it's not a pretty sight...

posted at 06:21 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Well, this is a bit unsettling...

OK, something you don't want to see at O'Hare - thick, black smoke from a fire
Just a quick word of warning: If you happen to be driving past O'Hare, either on Higgins or the Northwest Tollway, and you happen to see clouds of thick, black smoke, DO NOT PANIC. An airplane probably did not crash at O'hare, and there's no accidental fuel spill that caught fire. It's just, as stated in info on the airport, PERIODIC FIRE DEPT TRNG AT N SECTOR OF THE ARPT. There are two airframe carcasses (for lack of a better term) that the fire department sets on fire every once in a while for training exercises. So, in other words, don't panic.

posted at 12:14 PM | Link | Odd § |
No Bull?

One of my favorite baseball movies has got to be Bull Durham. There's so much in that movie about how I feel about the game. Great quote, great storyline. Well, The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum located in Cooperstown, New York was going to hold a celebration April 26-27 marking the 15th anniversary of the movie. Notice the word "was". I am ssoooooo pissed. Why? They canceled the celebration. OK, now why did they cancel???

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:26 AM | Link | Current Events § |

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Nigerian scams from Zimbabwe

Did the Nigerian scam change countries?

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:17 PM | Link | Odd § |
Wolves 3 - Bears 2 - Western Conference Quarterfinals - Game 1

2003 AHL Calder Cup Chicago Wolves Hershey Bears

read more of this entry »

posted at 06:06 PM | Link | Wolves § |

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Finch Girl

When we pulled-up to my Mom's house, I saw a baby bird flopping in the street. I thought I was going to run over him when I was parking. Carol thought that it was too early for baby birds to be out. Well, I parked and looked out the window. There he was. It was beige with an orange beak. Just looking at me. I opened the door and he hopped over to me. Carol came over and scooped him up. It was a finch. He was just a little confused. He seemed in one piece. We put him in the bushes in front of Mom's house (after, of course, we pet him and talked to him and reassured him). I checked on him 5 minutes later and I couldn't find him. He must have been fine, gathered himself together and took off.

Figures that I didn't have my digital camera with me today...

posted at 10:33 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |
Michael Palin's Sahara

How the hell did I not hear about this??? Michael Palin has another travel show on the air, this time it's Sahara. I loved, Around the World in 80 Days, Pole to Pole, and even Full Circle. Now he's going around the Sahara - The size of the United States with a population the size of Norfolk. He's got such a great sense of style working on travel shows. He's just great - be sure to check it out on Bravo.

posted at 01:23 PM | Link | TV § |
Tax Man

Nothing like waiting until the last minute to start your taxes. Got them done and filed in a few hours, thanks to TurboTax. Refund from the feds but owe the state. Must be the unemployment, capital gains, or maybe Elvis Night.

posted at 12:06 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, April 11, 2003

*ho hum*

I don't know what's up. I started blogging a bit about the war, as I got wrapped-up in the start of it. I didn't lose interest, I just got busier. Busier at work, meaning I couldn't sneak in surfing for a while and posting an item or two. then, you know, when you're busier at work, you don't get home as early as you used to, so you have a nice dinner with your wife whenever you get home. Then there's this damn crazy bunny that "loves her dad" that demands some of my time (albeit, not all that much as she loses interest and wants to go play or chew on something). And all of a sudden, the day is gone, you need sleep to be able to "handle" the users that call all day asking for help. And then you realize that you just burn your time, and you don't have the opportunity to write in the blog. I used to write more here, now it's just turning into a journal.

I apologize to those people that surf in, see what's here, and then just pass on into the darkness, without leaving a comment to speak of. Look, my life is dull and boring. I'm not sure if it always was, but it just feels like it's been that way for a while. Does it bother me? Well, I guess... but you know what it's like when you have a robe that just feels right when you wear it? It's comfortable. It fits. You know in advance what it feels like. You know what it looks like, what texture it has, even what it smells like (OK, we won't go there...) Is this a bad thing? Not really, at least I don't think so. Comfortable is good. So if you don't like what's here, my apologies. It's just my life. You can go ahead and move along. If something here interests you, please come back and visit again, maybe leave a comment or two, sign the GuestMap. (Hey - got a blog? Wanna buy some shares???)

It's just my life...

posted at 09:48 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Friday 5 - Music

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. What was the first band you saw in concert? Hmmm... that would be highschool... Styx played a few of the dances I went to, but this is a concert... could have been Chicago & The Beach Boys at the Chicago Stadium... maybe Cat Stevens at the Stadium... Seals & Crofts at Arie Crown? John Denver? The Stadium? damn... I don't remember...
2. Who is your favorite artist/band now? Don't know. Nobody stands out in my mind right now.
3. What's your favorite song? Can't pick a single favorite. Does anybody have just one favorite song?
4. If you could play any instrument, what would it be? I'm torn - guitar because it's a bit portable, or piano
5. If you could meet any musical icon (past or present), who would it be and why? I've said this before. Frank Sinatra - the Rat Pack years. It's not only his music, but it's also the era and his reputation, true or false. He was just so damn cool for his time. Not shocking or stunning as Elvis or The Beatles were, just cool.

posted at 12:20 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, April 10, 2003


John Hancock building and Water Tower Place on a great, clear spring day Washing the windows on our building Inside the wash So, why does this guy have a mask and a hat attached to the passenger head rest?
I work out in Des Plaines, but today I was going on a road trip of sorts. I had some laptops I had to swap at the "corporate" office downtown. I've never been there. In fact, I have never even met anyone from downtown. I grab the laptops and hit the road. What a gorgeous day - not a cloud in the sky. The drive downtown was great - until I got to the Ohio ramp, which was backed-up. I followed everybody's directions and pulled into the parking garage. that's when I realized that the address of the building didn't mean too much - the building was called One Magnificent Mile. I knew this building! There's a lot of retail in here and a few good restaurants. I head for the elevator, get my guest pass and go upstairs. I walked into the office area and introduced myself and everyone seemed delighted to see me! This, of course, made me very suspicious. I swap one laptop, and the person brought me around and introduced me to everyone and, of course, everyone was nice. I've talked to all of these people on the phone before, so now we were both placing names and voices with faces. I had one more laptop to go - the CFO's, so we went up to that floor, played the same introductions again and was received the same way again. All it all it was a great little trip. It was good meeting everyone, and even a little valuable having a few minutes to talk with the CFO about a small incident that happened last week (that I don't think I talked about here). When I was driving back to my office, I had thought back on my impressions of the "corporate" office itself. Not the people, the office. For where it was located, and for being a "corporate" office, quite frankly - it sucks. Visually, it does absolutely nothing to enhance the image of the company, and I think it actually detracts. Plain walls, no trim, crappy brass nameplates. No color. Very nondescript. Not great office furniture. A lot of clutter. The design is a rat's nest of narrow corridors that wander everywhere. It feels cramped. I'd rather work in Des Plaines than in the office. I hadn't realized that in all of the companies that I've worked at, they all had a certain look at "corporate" that established the feeling of the company. Let's just say - I don't like the feeling of that office. Someone needs to spend money on this place to change this "austere" look - and it's not a "good" austere either. Yuck. But still, great day outside. The CEO's admin's window overlooks Oak Street beach. Very cool. I really didn't want to leave the downtown area, but I had to get back - after all, no one was answering the phones at the Help Desk...

posted at 06:21 PM | Link | Work § |

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

All-Star Game Tickets

MLB 74th All-Star Game
I got home from work to find... an invoice from the Chicago White Sox. there it was - my invoice for All-Star Week tickets. Yes, the whole week: Radio Shack All-Star Sunday (All-Star Futures Game and Legends and Celebrity Softball Game), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day (All-Star Batting Practice and Century 21 Homerun Derby), and, of course, the 74th MLB All-Star Game, parking for each day, and tickets for the John Hancock All-Star FanFest at McCormick Place.

Because we've only got weekend season tickets, we won't be in our normal seats (since there's three season ticket packages occupying the same seats), so we will be out in Section 105 - Right Field. Downside: not out normal box seats, a bit further away from the action. Upside: WAY COOL LOCATION for the Homerun Derby!!!!

I've got to get this invoice back to them with some money...

posted at 06:19 PM | Link | Baseball § |
Dodgin' ice

It's another bright, sunny morning for a change. The drive into work was way interesting. Seems that all of the overhead power lines have ice collected on them from the snow and drizzle we've had. The sun was warming them just a little, so entire pieces of ice "rods" were falling from any wire going across any street, some pieces over 10 feet long. Then there was this idiot in a old Cadillac that didn't clean off his car since the snow fall. It, too, froze up, so entire sheets of snow/ice were blowing off his car, hitting others. Great. I just want it to warm up a bit...

posted at 11:09 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, April 08, 2003


Not much to talk about today. I'm in a fog - I think the weekend caught up to me. I'm exhausted and just want to veg-out. Got some brand new laptops at work that I need to configure - wickedly fast Dell Latitude Pentium 4 2 GHz. They're so fast that during POST it's almost damn near impossible to hit the F2 key quick enough to get into setup before it boots the OS. Watched the 100th episode of Changing Rooms on BBC America. Designers Linda Barker and Laurence Llewelyn Bowen traded their own houses. It was good to see the designers freek-out over getting their own places done by someone else. Now they know what it's like to have a designer let loose in their own homes!

posted at 09:56 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, April 07, 2003

Bye bye Jerry... not gonna miss ya

Chicago Bulls
One of the two most hated sports executives in Chicago, Chicago Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause, quit today. Lots of mixed emotions in the community about this - a lot of players loved him, but I don't know of a single fan that didn't hate the guy. The fans won't miss him, and maybe, just maybe, the Bulls can start getting their act together.

posted at 07:10 PM | Link | Bulls § |
What the... ?

Driving on a snowy, slick Higgins Road
I'm double checking the calendar... yep, it's April 7 all right... there's 3 inches of snow outside. (So much for that North Side home opener). Sometimes it just feels like God is messing with you...

posted at 08:47 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, April 06, 2003

Wolves 4 - Rampage 6

Chicago Wolves San Antonio Rampage
Holy crap, are we tired...

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:23 PM | Link | Wolves § |
White Sox 10 - Tigers 2

Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers

read more of this entry »

posted at 04:20 PM | Link | White Sox § |
David Bloom

So, he complains about leg pains and cramps. Not a big deal - we all seem to get them every once in a while. Hell, riding around in a specially modified M-88 tank recovery vehicle for as long as he has must make you uncomfortable. But, I'll bet you, there's no way in hell either he, his family, the folks at NBC, hell even the 3rd I.D. that he was with could have seen this coming when David Bloom died of an apparent pulmonary embolism. This news is just an absolute shock. You see a guy, younger than you (he's 39, I'm 46) and you see someone that seemed to really enjoy his work (something that I truthfully cannot say). He was always on top of his form, no matter what he covered - OJ Simpson, the Washington Sniper, the war in Iraq... riding a mechanical bull for the Weekend Today Show or getting dunked in a dunking tank on the plaza. I really enjoyed this work and was fascinated with his little gyro-stabilized camera and reports from the desert. It's sad, just damned sad to lose a guy like this. He had this wonderful way of making the story "fit", and making it understandable to us doofuses out here. You hear of other correspondents dying, you hear of coalition forces dieing, but hearing about his death has a different "feel" to it. Just one of sadness and loss, perhaps because he was good and perhaps it was because it wasn't as a casualty of war (though, in the grand scheme of things, it probably was). I know NBC will miss him, and I guess I will too.

posted at 09:48 AM | Link | Current Events | 1 comment § |

Saturday, April 05, 2003

Wolves 4 - Rampage 3

Chicago Wolves San Antonio Rampage

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Wolves § |
White Sox 7 - Tigers 0

Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers
OK, so would you trade your 37 degrees and cloudy with light rain for 32 degrees and partly sunny?

read more of this entry »

posted at 04:20 PM | Link | White Sox § |
Back online

Well, the cable guy left - I have a brand new RCA cable modem, and I'm back online. Too tired to write with so many games in such a small amount of time, not to mention FTP'ing my images someplace else and changes hundreds of webpages. Oh, well, it'll get done some day...

posted at 08:54 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, April 04, 2003

White Sox 5 - Tigers 2

Chicago White Sox Detroit Tigers
OK, this was NOT fun. The traffic was much lighter than I had expected, so we got to the park 1 hour before the 3:05 game time. It's cold, windy, raining.

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:58 PM | Link | White Sox § |
This is not going to be fun...

I'm at home, on a Toshiba Libretto that I have that's hooked up to my cellphone for internet connectivity, just so that I can say: It's 40 degrees outside. Raining. Thunder. White Sox home opener at 3:05pm. Seats in the outfield (meaning - no cover from the rain), and the team opened the season 0-3. It's going to be in the 30's on Sunday - I hope they call the game. Anyway, don't know how often I'm going to post. We'll see.

posted at 11:02 AM | Link | Mundane § |
Friday 5 - Stand in the place where you live

The Friday Five
Time for another Friday Five...
1. How many houses/apartments have you lived in throughout your life? let's see... 1 apartment, 1 house before I got married 1 apartment and 1 house since I got married.
2. Which was your favorite and why? The one that we're in now - because it's mine (Whoops... OK... ours)
3. Do you find moving house more exciting or stressful? Why? Hmmm... stressful, not exciting. Exciting afterwords.
4. What's more important, location or price? Location. I want to live where I want to live, and not have to live somewhere because I can afford it.
5. What features does your dream house have (pool, spa bath, big yard, etc.)? First off, house has to be wired. I want multiple CAT5, RG6 and fiber to multiple locations in each and every room. Since I don't have one now, gotta have a basement. Huge wooded lot (gimme an acre or so). yes, pool - heated. Big bathrooms, maybe a steam shower. Media room, data center (yes, complete with raised floors and proper HVAC). Doesn't have to be big. I don't know, I haven't thought about it too much...

posted at 09:56 AM | Link | Friday Five § |

Thursday, April 03, 2003

Forget what I said, I'm still not getting service...

So, the service rep on the phone last night gave me the address of the local Comcast office to go swap my modem. I took off at lunch, drove almost all the way back home to swap the modem, when I was very curtly told that they don't do hardware swaps and that the person on the phone gave me wrong information, and that I can only get the modem swapped during a service call. Bastards. I now have a service call 8am on Saturday, and the windows closes at 10am. The had damn well better have a modem with them that works and have me up and running by 10:01am Saturday. Bastards.

posted at 02:52 PM | Link | Mundane § |
My TiVo may rat me out...

Just because I have DirecTV and TiVo and not cable TV, the feds can find out what I'm watching and I don't like it. Damn that Ashcroft...

Under the USA Patriot Act, passed a month after the 9/11 terrorist attack, the feds can force a noncable TV operator to disclose every show you have watched. The government just has to say that the request is related to a terrorism investigation, said Jay Stanley, a technology expert for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Under Section 215 of the Act, you don't even have to be the target of the investigation. Plus, your TV provider is prohibited from informing you that the feds have requested your personal information.

"The language is very broad," Mr. Stanley said. "It allows the FBI to force a company to turn over the records of their customers. They don't even need a reasonable suspicion of criminal behavior."

David Sobel, general counsel for the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington think tank, said the Cable Act of 1984 gives cable operators greater protection against the Patriot Act. Cable companies do not have to release an individual's records unless the feds show that the person is the target of a criminal investigation. Even then, the individual must be notified of the request, which he can then challenge in court.

"The Patriot Act does not override the Cable Act," Mr. Sobel said.

You couldn't blame the satellite TV industry for feeling a little vulnerable these days. DirecTV, for instance, collects a large amount of individual data, such as program package orders, pay-per-view orders and even online purchases via the DirecTV-Wink interactive shopping service. The Justice Department could ask DirecTV to disclose whether you subscribe to Playboy or purchased Viagra if it would help an investigation.

posted at 09:31 AM | Link | Odd § |

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Better service

I had a much better conversation with a Comcast person tonight. Turns out - it's the cable modem itself. Motorola is recalling a bunch of them for a wrong chip and my serial number is one of the lot. So, I need to get the modem swapped, so I'll be down for days. In other words, I'll be sparse here (along with no graphics and images here) until I can my broadband connection up and running again.

posted at 07:32 PM | Link | Mundane § |

I'm still at the office, waiting on a callback about a circuit that's down when Carol calls me. She got home to find a voicemail from Comcast from 8:30 this morning saying the tech was here - where were we? This after we (Comcast Keith and I) explicitly agreed upon that the tech will only come after 5pm. Damn utility bastards, they're all the same. So Carol calls Comcast and, well, "rips them a new one" so to speak. While she's on the phone - the line goes active, just like when I made the first call. She's waiting for the tech to call back now. Then while on the phone to me, the line goes down again.

You know what the sad thing is? This is not unusual in the industry. How many times have you heard a story like this or have been a victim yourself of poor service?

posted at 04:40 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Down again...

And so, my crappy Comcast Broadband goes down again at 07:11am this morning... bastards...

posted at 08:36 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Still crappy broadband connection...

Ok, so yesterday, after the apparently useless phone call to Comcast, when, after my broadband connection went down at 08:46am and mysteriously came back at 06:26pm (just after hanging up the phone) I wake up to find that the connection is still there. Great. I go to work, do my normal work duties, try to access some things at home and... no connection. WTF. Sure enough, the connection went down at 10:09am. Well, it was down until 10:06pm tonight, when it just magically started back up again. Great. I love DirecTV. I hate cable. Broadband cable connectivity is starting to piss me off after all these years. Bastards. Anyway, I have a "tech" coming out tomorrow to see what the hell is going on.

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Mundane § |
*nose wiggle*
posted at 06:30 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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