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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 June 2005.

May 2005 MAIN BLOG July 2005 Next

Thursday, June 30, 2005


We finally got a thunderstorm! We haven't had any rain in weeks and we finally got our own little storm - complete with high winds and torrential downpour.

The bad news is that it lasted all of 10 minutes.

10 minutes doesn't make up for weeks of no rain.

Back to square one.

posted at 05:50 AM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Big Brother 6 Cast Announced

Big Brother 6 THEME
Well, here we are in it's sixth year... gone is the house that we've come to know for 5 years (demolished to put up an office building). Instead, the "house" is now on the soundstage that CBS used for "Yes, Dear".

So, it starts next week. The Australia and UK versions have been underway this year for a while now (we're at about day 54 in Australia and Day 34 in the UK). These other versions have daily shows, showing recaps of the days activities. The UK has a second show, earlier in the day, that's a live show that also has guests and is sort-of like a "chat show" as they would say. Each has their own live eviction shows, done outdoors in front of large, rabid audiences. The Australia version has a Friday Night Live Games event, lasting a couple of hours, where the houseguests compete for 3 awards: The use of a "Rewards Room" (with food, alcohol, room service, DVD's etc. for the winner and a chosen guest), the assigning of tasks to the houseguests (yes, they have specific roles and tasks that have to be performed daily in house), and the ability to deduct "points" from any of the week's nominees, thus saving a friend or even themselves, but also risk re-shuffling the list and they may wind-up being a nominee themself).

Each show has something else we don't have: major activities for the houseguests to do every single damn day, risking their food budget money. This gives them something else to do - something somewhat interesting to watch - since the US houseguests don't seem to do a frickin' damn thing all damn day except sleep and sunbathe. Both Australia and the UK air their Nominations live, and each still has the main core component from the original Endemol recipe intact: the public votes out the nominees, not the houseguests,

In general, these shows are a hell of a lot better to watch and a hell of a lot more entertaining than what Shapiro & Grodner pulls off in their measly three shows a week.

read more of this entry

posted at 01:37 PM | Link | Big Brother |

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


The lawn is just about burnt-away. We haven't had rain in weeks, and if we did, it sure isn't a soaking rain.

Time to break down and start watering the lawn. We got a grub treatment for the lawn and it needs to soak in, so since it's not raining, we've got to water. I went out and got a sprinkler that I can move around the yard, but it's going to have to run quite a while to try and soak it as long as possible.

So, I went out and got a fancy digital timer today. I'm sure it'll work - at least once. I just hope I can come up with a schedule that makes sense that the timer will understand and execute faithfully.

Otherwise, all I will have is straw.

posted at 02:12 PM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, June 27, 2005


Went down to the cafeteria in our building this morning and found out that Thursday is their last day. There are a lot of people that are just no longer in our building. There have been some pretty large, multi-company layoffs, and some companies - our included - will be moving out to new/different facilities this year. (I'm supposed to be moving out in the November/December time frame last time I heard).

The cafeteria people were able to get out of their contract early, and some other company will be coming in and take over the next couple of months, though with some kind of stripped-down service. No more great soups for lunch. In fact, I heard no more hot lunch. I'm sure that means no hot breakfast either.

Today, it hit me hard - no pastries. My donut was not waiting for me like it has been every single morning I've eaten here. That white glazed donut with a little chocolate drizzled over it wasn't there. He stood me up. He's been so reliable.

I guess the relationship is over. I feel lost and alone.

posted at 08:50 AM | Link | Work |

Sunday, June 26, 2005

White Sox 0 - Cubs 2

Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs

read more of this entry

posted at 07:15 PM | Link | White Sox |

Saturday, June 25, 2005

White Sox 2 - Cubs 6

Chicago White Sox Chicago Cubs

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posted at 07:12 PM | Link | White Sox |

Friday, June 24, 2005


Let me go on the record here, before anything gets started this weekend.

It has nothing to do with NextFest at Navy Pier, or the wonderful gastronomical Taste Of Chicago that kicks off today.

No, it has to do with baseball, interleague play, and the damn Cubs-Sox series.

I hate this event. Just hate it. I just can't stand the people that show up at the park, get plastered, and start shouting asinine comments at people and just looking for a damn fight. It's both sides of the aisle, both sides are guilty. I just hate the environment. Makes it quite difficult to try and enjoy the game.

We're in the middle of a pretty damn intense heat wave. Temps today are supposed to be around 96, with a Heat Index of 105.

Things happen in an environment like that.

Now, that being said, I don't have a good feeling about the outcome of these games either.

The Sox start the series 9 1/2 games in First Place in the AL Central, with a record of 49-22, the best in all of baseball.

Means nothing in this series. It's all about the outcome of these three games. And even though we lead the series 2-1 so far, I'm not sure we''ll come out winning this series. There's something in the back of my head that feels we can't do it right now. We've won the last 7 games - can we continue it? It seems like a longshot to come out on top for the weekend.

I don't know, it's just a feeling.

That's it. Go about your business.

UPDATE: Score of today's game: Sox 12 - Cubs 2

posted at 08:52 AM | Link | White Sox |

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Furlough Delayed

I was supposed to be furloughed again all next week. I got a reprieve for a while - I've been busy with an internal audit on the customer that I manage at work, so I guess I'm needed. So, instead of canceling the furlough, they've postponed it until the end of July.

I was sort of looking forward to the week off. Of course, not getting paid for that week is a bummer, but still. Would have been nice.

Now I have to wait a month.

I can do that.

posted at 04:51 PM | Link | Work |

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Heat, Cold, Gas, and Plants

This week is shaping-up poorly.

It looks like this whole damn week is going to be a scorcher, hitting the high 90's by the end with high humidity. Oh, and no rain either.

I'm coming down with something. My lungs are filling up, I've lost my voice. Feels like a cold. A summer cold. I don't think it's my allergies this time around. I feel really funky.

On the way to work this morning I passed my neighborhood gas station that I always fill-up at. I filled-up 6 days ago for $2.35/gal (OK, it's the premium stuff). Today it jumped to $2.52/gal! 17 cents in 6 days!

Just as we hear that gas prices are falling! HA! Damn Independence Holiday! The demand is going to go up the next week or so because of the holiday travels and this just feels like price gouging! Damn the oil companies!

Diane stopped by again today to finish-up her planting. She added more hostas and daylillies to some of the empty spots in front of the house and put down mulch on the other planting areas. That should help some of the daylillies in front of the garage - because of the pitch of the soil, some of the dirt would was away down the sidewalk when I watered. This should help retain the dirt and even the water.

The last big step is to lay down a fabric weed barrier in the front before we put down the mulch. Diane is pretty much against this, but it's something I insist on. I've used this stuff before, and it's great to 1) keep the weeds out and 2) keep the decorative "topping" (in this case - cypress mulch) out of the dirt. I've used it with stone in the past and it worked well. It's just hell to install, so I volunteered to do it next week while on furlough.

Just hope a cool front moves through so I won't die laying the fabric next week!

posted at 06:51 PM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Welcome to Summer

So, they days all run together and they all feel the same, only the season changes. Today is summer - another hot, muggy day that we've been having for a while now.

Seems my allergies must be kicking-in again - it's all settling in my chest. I love having - as they say - a "productive cough". Yech.

Looked out the front window this morning and 2 of the 3 Black-Eyed Susan's look like there's absolutely nothing wrong with them - it's as if someone came and replanted new ones overnight.

The third one? Not so much. Wilted and whithered. Will water again tonight.

Hey, make sure you wander over to say Happy Birthday to Erin when you get a moment.

posted at 08:12 AM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment |

Monday, June 20, 2005

Damn. I killed 'em.

Because of the ballgames over the weekend, my watering schedule got out of whack. I watered early on Saturday and skipped watering yesterday.

Bad move.

The three Black-eyed Susan's that Diane planted are toast. Actually, one of them is really toast - it's all shrivelled up, worse than the other two. It was the only one that had a flower on it when Diane planted it.

God, I feel bad. I didn't think it would make much of a difference to skip that time. Everything else was just fine, just not those Susan's.

I watered them anyway. Anything can happen. I'm still too new to this watering thing.

posted at 07:41 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, June 19, 2005

White Sox 4 - Dodgers 3

Chicago White Sox Los Angeles Dodgers

read more of this entry

posted at 11:34 PM | Link | White Sox |

Saturday, June 18, 2005

White Sox 5 - Dodgers 3

Chicago White Sox Los Angeles Dodgers

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posted at 10:16 PM | Link | White Sox | 1 comment |

Friday, June 17, 2005

Wearin' the new ones

I know I shouldn't be doing this, but I've been wearing my new RayBan's all day. Even at the computer, I haven't been taking them off and I can see fine. All this time I'm usually in my office without my glasses on because I can see the screen better without them. Today, I can see the screen fine. In general, I can see pretty well today, so I guess the prescription is correct after all.

posted at 04:21 PM | Link | Mundane |

Thursday, June 16, 2005

That explains a few things...

Earlier this week, carol get fed-up about not seeing well and made appointments for the two of us at Lenscrafters to get our eyes checked. It's been almost three years, so I guess it was time.

The tests went fine. What happened next I wasn't ready for.

The technician brings me into the exam room and dials up what she thinks is my rough prescription into that wild contraption that you stick your head into... you know the one, I just don't know what they call that thing... ("Now which one is clearer.. one... or two..."). he doctor comes in, and we get to work, first on the right eye. I'm looking at a projected target on the wall behind me through a mirror on the far wall. There's only three letters projected: "L F O". No problem - we go through the whole fine-tuning thing and get that all set for the right eye.

Onto the left eye. Wait a minute... something's not right.

read more of this entry

posted at 08:22 PM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, June 15, 2005


My sister Diane stopped by the house this morning and continued her hard labor at making our plot of clay and construction debris into something that would actually grow green plants, some flowering.

I still don't know how this all started. I think she's just really into gardening and has been doing it both their house in the city and the house up in Michigan. She's befriended the local landscaper up in Michigan, so she must be getting tips and has just really found something she just likes to do.

On top of that, the idea that we have property that has absolutely no plants on it (well, no living plants on it), must have sent her over the edge, I guess.

read more of this entry

posted at 08:23 PM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Those are gone...

The two yews - one dead, one unknown Empty dirt where the yews once lived
I mentioned back in April about the two yews on the side of the house.

I have been in denial for too long - the one bush is more than dead and the second one - though it looks healthy - started to turn yellow on some selected branches underneath.

Time to start over.

My 20 year old yews that I originally planted with my dad and transplanted to the side of the house are now gone. Just empty dirt is left, just begging to have something done with it.

posted at 05:45 PM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, June 13, 2005

Well, THAT'S over...

Chicago Wolves
We would have been going to Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals tonight.

Would have.

The Philadelphia Phantoms swept the Wolves, 4-games-to-0 last Friday, in front of 20,103 fans, the largest crowd in American Hockey League playoff history. Chicago (12-6) was swept for just the third time in its 11-year postseason history. The Wolves, who lost by more than one goal for the first time this postseason, managed just four goals in the four games, the fewest in a four-game playoff series in franchise history.

Sad, very sad. I mean, the Wolves had to be made of something to claw their way to the top of the West Conference, only to be handily swept in the finals. They were significantly outplayed. It was like there was a totally different team out there for the finals.

So, on the plus side, the Wolves have been in the playoffs every single year of their 11 year existence. They've been to the finals in 5 of those 11 (.450!) and have won 3 of them. That, my friends, is not a shabby performance for the franchise.

It was just shabby this series.


posted at 08:27 AM | Link | Wolves |

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Caught a broadcast of the Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! on NPR that we attended of last Thursday.

It was actually edited more than I thought it would. There was an entire game cut out (a Limerick challenge, that Mo Rocca chimed-in with the caller that produced some great laughs).

The editing was great, though. You really couldn't tell the edit points. I was impressed!

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | Mundane |

Saturday, June 11, 2005


One of the daylilies starts to bloom
I was excited to see that something good has become of my watering. I went out tonight to do my daily watering when I saw it - one of the daylilies in front of the garage actually bloomed! It was just a nice yellow flower, standing up tall where nothing has bloomed in years... OK, maybe decades... guess the watering is helping something...

posted at 07:55 PM | Link | Mundane |

Friday, June 10, 2005

Cubs-Red Sox Spin

All I've been hearing in the local media is this damn Cubs homestand against the Red Sox, and how they haven't met since the fateful 1918 World Series (a nice summary is at The SportingNews). Well, I'm taking solace in the fact that, yes, they haven't met since then, but the Red Sox have never played in Wrigley Field. Huh? Why? How? Well, during the 1918 World Series, the Cubs management decided to play their home games some place that had more seating capacity - Comiskey Park!

Update: Cubs take the series 2-1, loosing the Sunday Night ESPN game 8-1.

posted at 08:41 AM | Link | Baseball |

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!

Program cover from this week's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me! Carl Kassel - Official Judge and Scorekeeper, Peter Sagal - Host, and Panelists Mo Rocca, Paula Poundstone and Richard Roper on this week's Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!
I've been a fan of NPR for a few years now. Don't know why I started listening, but on long drives I really enjoy listening. Their news stories are much longer and full of information you just don't get anywhere else. Some of the shows are great, too. One of our favorites that Carol and I listen to every week is produced by Chicago Public Radio and usually airs multiple time over the weekend - it's a "game show" called Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!. This year, they're broadcasting in front of a live audience all summer. So Carol and I along with Diane & Melinda went down to the Bank One Plaza Auditorium to watch the taping.

Now, mind you, this is a radio show, so the stage was sparse (2 podiums, a table, and... a multicolored disco light). It's a nice little auditorium that seats about 500 people. At about 7:30pm, the lights dimmed, the unmistakable sounds of the Allan Parsons Project started up, along with the disco light. Yes, they introduced the cast like the Bulls intros.

Today's show had Carl Kassel (NPR newsman and the show's Official Judge and Scorekeeper) Peter Sagal, the Host, and tonight's panelists Mo Rocca, Paula Poundstone and Richard Roper.

The broadcast is just under an hour but the session lasted about an hour and a half. As Peter told us up front, things will have to be redone, either immediately just because of speaking flubs, or later after the show was complete, to "fix" bad readings of lines or somesuch. We were asked to stay for the "redo's" so that we could absorb sound and match the original content!

The cast was great - Paula was quick-witted in her great, odd style, with great one-liners that probably won't make it to air. Even though she was hot, Mo beat her to the punch in his own way and was drawing huge bursts of laughter throughout the show. I'm sure a lot of his stuff will wind-up on the cutting room floor, but it was great for the show. Richard had a few great lines as well, as one of the running jokes going throughout the show had to do with Anne Bancroft, The Miracle Worker, and not being recognized for her best dramatic role.

There's a segment of the show that's called "Not My Job", where they ask someone well known to answer three questions about a subject they know nothing about. Tonight's call-in guest was S. Epatha Merkerson (Lt. Anita Van Buren of Law & Order fame) and questions had to to with the production of what may be the worst movie of all time - 'Manos' the Hands of Fate. Unfortunately, she went 0-for-3, so the contestant didn't get Carl Kassel's voice on their home answering machine.

We'll have to see if some of the running gags/lines make it into the final edit: Anne Bancroft, Millard Fillmore (and East Aurora and his Noodle Roller), and "it's just us here" - Paula's line after being reprimanded for swearing between segments because there are kids in the audience (which everyone questioned what kid would ask their parents to go to a radio gameshow about current events!)

GREAT TIME, fun time. We want to do it again this summer!

UPDATE: Listen to the show here.

posted at 11:28 PM | Link | Mundane |

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


The hawthorne is obviously getting water - it's blooming
Well, my Zen Watering is also helping our Hawthorne tree - it started to bloom.


OK, key point to Zen Watering: has to be a bug-free night. Feel like I'm twitching to spray the bugs out of the air too often. Nice and quiet in the neighborhood. Hmm... another important note: - become one with your equipment. Learn it. Embrace it. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting enough water pressure out the nozzle. I lost track of how the nozzle worked. There's a thumbscrew type of adjustment on the back that adjusts how the valve opens. It's wasn't tightened, so I didn't have full control of the water flow. Must always have full control for Zen Watering.

Went to Home depot and have replaced all of my hose connections with brass quick-connect fittings. Once I did that, every leaky part of the hose and hose cart stopped leaking. Yes, become one with the equipment...

posted at 07:25 PM | Link | Mundane |

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Watering Zen

Haven't seen this in a while My Zen moment of watering the plants
Was driving to work this morning when I realized that a house across the street and 2 houses down was TP'd over night. Haven't seen that in a while.

Tonight, while watering the plants that Diane planted, I realized something: 1) I hate gardening, but 2) I love watering.

I have obviously picked-up the watering gene from my dad, who used to love to water the plants and water the grass - by hand at times - just because he could. He'd be out there for hours. I'm starting to see what he saw in it. It's just... peaceful. I don't know, you stand around, hose in hand, and just spray. Oh, and if you get a good nozzle, oh, that's the best. It's not the old brass, straight nozzle. I've got a fancy one that has multiple patterns on it that you just rotate into position to suit your need. Mostly for me, it's "shower" mode - you want a nice gentle shower for these plants and bushes. Some of the plants are doing well, so you don't want to injure them. Then, sometime, you just have to use the "jet" setting to put out a high-pressure stream, not to water but clean up the concrete or decorative landscaping brick. Well, OK, I use it when the hose doesn't reach - I set the nozzle to jet, squeeze the trigger just a bit, and arc the water onto some plants that I just can't reach any other way. But, it's satisfying. Peaceful. Relaxing. If the night is bug free, at sunset, oh... that's just perfect. I'm really digging this...

posted at 08:22 PM | Link | Mundane |

Monday, June 06, 2005

It better be good

We went back to Ethan Allen tonight to order the media cabinet we looked at about two weeks ago. I guess we got a little spoiled working with La-Z-Boy and others, because when the lady told us it may take 6-8 weeks we were shocked and appalled. That long for a piece of furniture? I piece of furniture that we NEED to have so that when we buy our big, wide-screen HDTV projection TV, we have something to put it on? How can we watch TV without that? HOW CAN WE WAIT 6-8 weeks to watch HDTV? Then we started rationalizing that we were in a "real" furniture store and things had to be made to fulfill the order and we were just used to companies having warehouses full of stuff to sell...

We felt better when we found out that our piece should be in the local warehouse in two weeks.

I guess our negative feelings about the delay had nothing to do with the furniture, but rather we've been pumped up for weeks about actually going out and getting a big, wide-screen HDTV projection TV, and our feelings were just amped-up after going to my cousin Kathy's over the weekend and seeing their new big, wide-screen HDTV projection TV.

It's all about the HD that I'm missing with my TV...

posted at 08:00 PM | Link | Mundane |

Sunday, June 05, 2005

White Sox 4 - Indians 6 (12 innings)

Chicago White Sox Cleveland Indians

read more of this entry

posted at 06:25 PM | Link | White Sox |

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Wolves 1 - Phantoms 2 - (2OT)- CALDER CUP FINAL Game 2

2005 Calder Cup Chicago Wolves Philadelphia Phantoms

read more of this entry

posted at 10:38 PM | Link | Wolves |
Checking-out the family

Enjoying the weather on Kathy's patio
Carol & I skipped the Sox-Cleveland game this afternoon to go to my cousin Kathy's for a family party to celebrate some summer birthdays and Alex's graduation from grammer school. We had a torrential thunderstom before we left. When we got there, everybody was still inside, but the sun came out and eventually we all spilled outside to enjoy some decent weather.

Unfortunately, we left after 6 o'clock to go the Wolves game - I mean it is the finals for the Calder Cup...

posted at 06:32 PM | Link | Family |

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bunny Zen #1

Video Capture of Chip having a snack
For lack of anything else to post, I give you 30 seconds of Bunny Zen - it's Chip, having a snack, watching the White Sox on TV. Indy is in the background (4Mb 30-second DIVX AVI)

posted at 09:47 AM | Link | Bunnies |

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Wolves 0 - Phantoms 1 - CALDER CUP FINAL Game 1

2005 Calder Cup Chicago Wolves Philadelphia Phantoms

read more of this entry

posted at 10:27 PM | Link | Wolves |

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I didn't think I looked that bad...

Since when do I get 10% off????
Went to a place near the house to pick up some sandwiches for dinner. Gave the woman behind the counter my order. She punches-up the list into the register. Saw the total amount go down before she said how much it would be. Didn't pay attention to it. Stood in line, waiting for the order to get assembled. Picked-up the order and left.

As I walked across the parking lot to my car, I looked at the receipt.

I got a 10% discount!

I'm only 48 years old - did I look that bad???

posted at 06:24 PM | Link | Mundane |
*nose wiggle* x 2
posted at 06:47 AM | Link | Memes |


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

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