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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 July 2005.

June 2005 MAIN BLOG August 2005 Next

Sunday, July 31, 2005


Yes, we're still here - and not packing to go home. I made my contacts (thanks to my cell phone, Bluetooth DUN and a VPN connection). I didn't like all of the email traffic that I saw, though. My backup had too many messages for backing-me up during a time I should have seen zero activity.

That means something's up. And now, I'm feeling a little guilty.

Still, I'll enjoy this full day away and whatever time we''ll have tomorrow.

posted at 11:34 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The plan hatches...

The day way too wonderful. Lots of pool time, great dinner (Barry made a beer can chicken with a great rub).

And we have to leave tomorrow.

Or do we?

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:29 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, July 29, 2005

Long day, but we're where we want to be

Woke up at 4am. 4 in the morning. Awake. Went downstairs and tried to sleep on the couch. The morning I could sleep-in, and I'm not. Eventually the morning unfolded, Carol got up, we did our last minute packing slowly. Fed the rabbits so they would survive the weekend - Indy knew what was up as soon as she saw the size of the bowl of carrots.

We hit the road. The caller ID software at home paged me with another call from St. Joseph's. We quickly drove back home, no voice mail light blinking. Found the number to Barry's room and found out that he's been waiting around a few hours, waiting to get discharged. We decided to leave and sure enough, he was home by the time we got there.

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:59 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, July 28, 2005


The phone rang around dinner time. I looked at the Caller ID and froze. STJOSEPH HOSP. Oh, oh, this isn't going to be good... I only new one or two people that would go to that hospital... and both of them were leaving with us early tomorrow morning to drive to my sister's house in Michigan as a nice weekend getaway...

So, I answered: "I don't like the caller-id on my display." Sure enough, it's Barry. Long story, short - Barry went in for some tests today and they wanted to keep him overnight for observation totally as a precaution.

Well, let's see - that'll cut down or even eliminate pool time tomorrow, and cut down on the vacation decompression time...

... but, damn it it's my bud, so we'll pick-up B&B after Barry gets released in the morning. Not a big deal - at least he's OK and we're going to get away. Now, I'll have to get more info out of him tomorrow...

Hey! we get to sleep-in a bit in the morning!

posted at 06:20 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Allergy Hell

Yes, that's where I am right now. Sinuses full, sneezing 8 or 9 times in a row, lungs filling up with post-nasal drip (oh, yuck...), wheezing, coughing...

Oh, this just sucks...

it started a few days ago when I was locked-in the house during the power fail. Then opening-up the doors yesterday just seems to have stirred up god-knows-what in the air.

I'm miserable.

Kill me now.

posted at 07:47 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


We went to the AMC South Barrington 30 this afternoon to catch a 5:45 showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory tonight. I loved the original so much, that I didn't know what to expect.


TWO things:
OOMPA-LOOMPAS!!!! Holy crap I loved these guiys... or guy actually (It was one guy - Deep Roy - who played 165 oompa-loompas via digital effects) GREAT new songs - all from Roald Dahl himself (lyrics, anyway. Music and vocals by Danny Elfman)

and Squirrels! (or, has Veruca says "squir-rels" - I don't know about you, but around here we call them "squirlz" and not "squir-rels") You have to see 40 REAL (not digital produced) squirrels opening nuts in the nut sorting room (they do get digitally animated later in the scene for some specific actions), but they actually trained the squirrels for the nut-sorting!

Over-all, very enjoyable! And the inclusion of a Willy Wonka backstory seems to round-out the script and gives what I think is a more satisfying ending to the moving (compared to the original).

I only missed one thing - I would have LOVED to hear Johnny Depp deliver that wonderful verse:

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:16 PM | Link | Movies § |
Well that wasn't worth it.

We still have a cable TV feed into the house. We keep it as a backup to the satellite and it's only Basic Cable - just local channels. I had Comcast come out and install a CableCard into the new TV. It's a PCMCIA card (just like you would use in a laptop computer). It replaces a digital cable box, but you don't get any interactive functions (like On Demand video and a Guide - big deal). I did this so that I could get local HD channels (since DirecTV doesn't have that ready yet).

Well - I'm not impressed. We got 8 more stations on cable - and that doesn't cover all of the local digital transmissions that are available.

I'm not sure it was worth it. I mean, I'm getting the digital signal for Channel 2 which I can't pull in over the air, but... eh... We've got a couple of HD local channels now.

posted at 01:06 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Now we're talking!

It's GORGEOUS outside!!! That rain yesterday afternoon was the long awaited cold front! The sun is out, just a slight breeze, hardly a cloud in the sky, and the temperatures this morning are in the 60's!!! We opened up all the doors and windows to get air out the place - it's wonderful!

posted at 07:14 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

It wasn't over!!!

So, at around 3:30pm, while I'm on the phone with Carol, THE POWER GOES OUT AGAIN! It starts to rain as well. So the installers (Tom and Erik) went ahead and installed the dish and tested as best as they could with their equipment without any power. They ran an additional cable around the house for the HD receiver (I wanted a clear shot of new RG-6 without any connectors between the receiver and the multiswitch, just to keep the signal intact).

So, they left and left me their phone numbers and offered to actually come back and tweak it some more when the power comes up.

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:49 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, July 25, 2005

17 hours without power

We had a major storm go through the neighborhood yesterday. High winds, torrential downpour. We had standing water outside our patio door - which is rough to get when the backyard slopes-off almost 5 feet. In fact, my lawn turned into a swamp.

Then around 8 o'clock the power went out.

read more of this entry »

posted at 02:10 PM | Link | Mundane § |

A couple of days off... I LIKE it... No money, but I'm liking it... gonna take it easy and decompress, ending the week with a drive to Michigan with B&B and we'll just bob in the pool, barbecue and just crank-up that decompression to a new level...

posted at 10:06 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, July 24, 2005

White Sox 6 - Red Sox 4

Chicago White Sox Boston Red Sox

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:32 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Saturday, July 23, 2005

White Sox 0 - Red Sox 3

Chicago White Sox Boston Red Sox

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:42 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Friday, July 22, 2005

Furlough #2

Well, I'm packing up my office again for my second week of furlough.

Again, I've been really looking forward to this... but it's that double-edged sword again - 1 week off but 1 week of no-pay.

I'm feeling I need to negotiate some time off throughout the course of the year. Just don't know how much.

Anyway, I'm outta here for a week!

posted at 04:11 PM | Link | Work § |

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Non productive

Yesterday's storm only produced .6" of rain, and that was at O'Hare. Again, the rainfall was very specific to certain areas, so the storm was a non-event around here. I didn't help the plants, the grass, or the drought.

What's even worse, is that we've got the local meteorologists crying "the sky is falling! the sky is falling!" about this weekend, specifically about Sunday - again, a day of baseball for us at "The Cell" against Boston.

Sunday it's supposed to be 97 degrees with a heat index of 105. There are all kinds of warnings up to basically, don't go anywhere outside on Sunday. As the days have been passing and we've been getting closer to Sunday, the predicted high temperature has been slowly going up a degree at a time - a few people locally are saying that we can break 100 degrees on Sunday... and possibly break the all time high on the same day it was set - 105 degrees.

This is nuts...

posted at 09:54 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Yes! FINALLY! We've gots ourselves a cold front!

Nice, heavy thunderstorms moving through the whole Chicagoloand area.

"Severe Thunderstorm Watch Number 651 Remains Valid Until 6 Pm Cdt"

But will it be enough? Not a chance! The front is too "thin" - the storms won't be soaking enough.

posted at 01:18 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Google Moon!

Wanna check out the lunar surface (maybe, specifically, the Apollo landing sites)?

Google it!

Yes, it's the Google Maps tool - for the moon!

(Just don't zoom-in too close!)

You what today is? It was 36 years ago to that Apollo 11 landed on the moon!

posted at 09:46 AM | Link | Space § |

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

My new elevator pet peeve

Well, I've been on this job now for over 6 months.

I'm developing a pet peeve that I cannot control. A totally, irrational pet peeve,

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:31 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, July 18, 2005

Magic Number


I don't get it. The Chicago Tribune is posting the Magic Number for the Chicago White Sox. It's just days after the All-Star Game. This is Chicago. Nobody goes out on a limb like this when it comes to sports teams in town.

But here we are - the Sox still have the best record in all of baseball, again the first team to 60 wins. As of this morning, they're 12 games ahead of the 2nd place team (Twins). I'm not expecting to retain the "best record in baseball" title much longer - the St. Louis Cardinals are just 2 games behind in the win column and they have been stronger than the Sox.

And now the media have started noticing the local team that's actually in First Place and I'm getting that "jinxed" feeling, when you don't say certain things even when they're right in front of you, so you don't jinx the situation and have it change.

And there it is - Magic Number 61 - the number of White Sox wins and 2nd place team losses needed to win the division.

It's only July and they're calculating and publishing a Magic Number.


posted at 05:22 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Sunday, July 17, 2005


OK, now we're just sitting around the big screen TV, finding HD feeds to watch and just watching things because they look good and not because they are good.

OK, I'm diggin' the big screen...

posted at 03:30 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, July 16, 2005

WOW and Beef

We had Barry & Buffy meet us at Streets of Woodfield this afternoon so that we could all go to see War of The Worlds at the Loews theaters there. We haven't seen them in a while. We got there almost 45 minutes before the movie started - just to make sure we got seats (not a problem with that much time before the start)

I'm still not sure how I feel about the movie. Effects - SUPERB. Technology is really getting effective. I guess I'm still stumbling around the plot, or story line, or how I feel about it. I guess I have to just look at it as "a day in the life" (or many days in the life) of a divorced dad and his kids... when aliens invade the earth with the intent of wiping out all of humanity and succeeding easily with NO HOPE of being able to fight them off, even just a little, to just save a small town or city, only to slowly realize that perhaps they cannot save the entire human species from genocide. The ending scenes... sucked, I think. I wasn't expecting resolution, but surely you would think that something changed in the family relationships by the end... (and why the hell did those few blocks in Boston look surprisingly untouched?)

Chicago Prime Steakhouse
So, even though we initially talked about going to Big Bowl for dinner, Buffy mentioned she needed meat. So. we made dinner reservations at Chicago Prime Steakhouse, which we haven't been to in years. Had a WONDERFUL wait-person named Cindy who was one of the better servers that we've had in years (If you go - ask for her - you won't be disappointed). We had wonderful meals - though it was quite a bit pricier that we were prepared for.

Afterward, we went back to our house so that we could show them the landscaping that Diane had done, the new rugs that they haven't seen in the living room/dining room, and of course, to take a short spin in front of the big screen TV for a while.

In just two weeks we're heading up to Diane's house in Michigan for a mini-getaway. We're all looking forward to that.

posted at 09:25 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, July 15, 2005

They're following me

As I'm doing my evening watering of the plants outside, I've started to notice that I am not alone.

I don't know how they know it. I don't know if they know it's me.

Or maybe they just know that a human is walking around outside with a big long fat worm that has water that comes out of a strangely-shaped head.

I now have robins that follow me around while I water. They must know that after I water, the soil is moister and the worms must be on the move and perhaps easier to find. Sometimes it just a single robin, sometimes two. I could never tell if they're the same robins, or just whoever was in the area that sees me sprinkling.

posted at 08:31 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Big Screen TV

Our brand new HDTV on the brand new cabinet
Well, it's here! Carol and I now have a 55" HDTV in our family room, sitting on the media cabinet that we got recently.

Here's the thing - I have no good digital signals to view. We're almost 40 miles NW of downtown Chicago, and the antenna is an old 20 year old non-digital one that's actually in the attic and not mounted on the roof. He don't have the new dish up yet for DirecTV HD signals and we don't have digital cable - yet.

So, I'm really disappointed. I'm really disappointed in how bad the DirecTV signal is. It all depends on the station (transponder), but some - including locals - are pretty "blocky" and just don't have the resolution that I thought we should have. Buyer's remorse? I don't think so - I think it's just stuff I need to work on and tinker with as the new pieces are added.

But, I did view my first HD event - The Cubs - Pirates game this afternoon (I don't want to hear it about me watching the Cubs - It's baseball and it was a test). I can't wait to get a better signal so it doesn't break-up as much during motion. The picture quality has the potential of being something awesome.

Carol loves it. We're getting used to the remote and how it fits with all of the other remotes and all of the other equipment we're hooking up. I was up until 1 AM this morning recabling , labeling the cables, and making sure the other equipment (amp, TiVo, DVD, Computer, UPS, etc) all worked before the TV showed-up. All I have outstanding is the optical connection from the TV to the Amp - I've got no audio... which I don't really care about right now beacuse the internal speakers in the TV are the best I've ever experienced. - They're only Left & Right (no Surround), but they're pretty effective.

posted at 12:07 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It's Christmas Eve!!!

I don't think I have felt this way since I was a kid, the day before Christmas, all wound-up and just giddy over the presents that I would getting the next day.

Well, it's here again.

Tomorrow, I'm working from home so I can be there to accept delivery of our new Big Screen TV!!!!!

I can't wait!!! I feeling like bouncing around the room!!! And giggling!!!

I can't wait!!!

posted at 10:12 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


After actually attending the All-Star Game in my own hometown, watching the game on TV SUCKS. There are a lot of ceremonies that aren't televised. Hell, they don't even broadcast the Canadian National Anthem anymore! And who threw out the ceremonial first pitch? Don't know - wasn't broadcast. Too many friggin' commercials to run so you don't see anything. Then, when the game is on, there's not enough attention paid to the game. Example - when Kenny Rogers ended his stint on the mound, they interviewed him in the dugout - and never mentioned who the hell was at the plate. Here's a guy, maybe his first time to the All Star Game, who is up to bat and strikes out and the TV crew never says a word on who the person was - it was all about Kenny Rogers, why he was at the game, what he thinks of the crowd reaction... They even screwed up some of the graphics - Early in the game, Fox showed a graphic of the "defensive alignment" of the American League starters. Everyone was there EXCEPT White Sox starting pitcher Mark Buehrle - who was replaced with Chris Carpenter, the starting pitcher for the National League. The audio sucked all night. The little "lipstick" cameras mounted in the ground are cool and give you a different perspective on the game, but they were really dark and almost useless.

I'm jaded. I just didn't enjoy the coverage, In fact - I turned it off more than halfway through the game. I didn't care that I hadn't yet seen 3 of the 4 White Sox players that were there.


posted at 10:29 PM | Link | Baseball § |

Wow. OK, so not having any service on your car for 8 years can be a little pricey.

But you know, $2,232 over 8 years isn't bad...

posted at 05:12 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, July 11, 2005

8 years

Well, I'm about 2 weeks away from having my license suspended for not getting an exhaust check on my car. It was die in January, and my "Service Engine Soon" light has been on for a few years now.

It used to be that it you went in to get the checkout and your engine line was on, they would perform the test anyway and I would always pass.

Now, the light cannot be on - the tests are all though the on-board computer and sensors.

So, I went in to get the car serviced - FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE EIGHT YEARS SINCE I BOUGHT THE CAR.

Yes, I've done oil changes, brakes, new tires. Just not the regular maintenance.

This is gonna cost a fortune.

But, in the meantime, I have a nice silver 2005 Infiniti G35 as my loaner. Who doesn't love driving a new car? The smell, the quiet, the pickup on the accelleration... the new gadgets that aren't on your old car...

posted at 10:54 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, July 10, 2005

White Sox 8 - Athletics 9 (11 innings)

Chicago White Sox Oakland Athletics

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:39 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Saturday, July 09, 2005

White Sox 1 - Athletics 10

Chicago White Sox Oakland Athletics

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | White Sox | 2 comments § |

Friday, July 08, 2005

Am I going to lose it?

I've come to the conclusion tat I'm going to lose my finger nail - the one I smashed in the Stadium Club doors at "The Cell" back on May 1st. I can see the bottom of the nail, and that's not good. Actually, not only do I see the bottom of the nail, but I feel like there's another nail underneath.

I'm a little squeamish about this, havening never lost a nail before, and my right index finger just seems to be used for so many different things... I wonder how it will all fall out? (No pun itended...)

Had to go back to Home Depot today. That fancy timer I bought last month failed. It ran a couple of good cycles and hasn't run since. So, instead of digital, I went to a digital/mechanical version. Hopefully, the lawn will come back.

posted at 07:54 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, July 07, 2005

And the world turns upside down again

I'm actually working from home today, but I didn't sleep-in. I heard about the London bombings and that was it for me - I had to get up and just watch it all unveil.

Damn the evil in the world - it doesn't need to exist. Damn them all and their supporting organizations to the deepest, darkest, hottest ring of hell and despair.

posted at 05:43 AM | Link | Current Events § |

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

CBS announces Big Brother 6 Online Offerings

Big Brother 6 THEME
CBS announced that the show will have a Head Of Household Blog, and the Head Of Household is have a digital camera. The Big Brother talk show "House Calls" is back with "Big Brother 3" Marcellas Reynolds, and there'll be a "Big Brother Fantasy League". All of these items will be at the CBS website.

Oh, and as usual, RealNetworks will be broadcasting live feeds from the house.

read more of this entry »

posted at 02:22 PM | Link | Big Brother § |

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The long journey to HDTV

This has been a long journey...

Back on February 19th, Carol & I were at an appliance store in Kenosha, waiting for new tires to be installed on my car (now, that is a long story...) We were tucked away in the corner of the store, watching their HDTV's.

That's when it happened - a guy's dream came true: my wife fell in love with a big screen HDTV!

Now, other than the cost of the TV (which Carol was pretty damn close to actually buying on the spot before we had to leave that day), we're DirecTV customers, so this just isn't something we could do quickly.

First, you need the TV. But, to get the HD signal from the DirecTV satellite, you need an HD Receiver. Now, the DirecTV HD channels are on a different satellite, so we need a new dish that will pick-up signals from multiple satellites simultaneously. To get the signal from the dish to the receiver means that we need a new amplified multiswitch that will take the multiple satellite feeds and pump-out the signal to the receivers in the house.

Fortunately, you can take all of these steps one at a time and gradually rebuild your infrastructure to get HD signals.

Last Thursday, we took the first step - buying the TV.

read more of this entry »

posted at 06:57 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, July 04, 2005


What a wonderful weekend. I didn't blog at all - didn't have an internet connection, had audblog problems, and frankly - was too "in the moment" relaxing in the pool for three days and enjoying Diane and Melinda's cooking.

Sigh. Need to do this again... in a couple of weeks...

posted at 07:50 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, July 02, 2005

4th of July Weekend Vacation
posted at 10:52 AM | Link | Audblog § |

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Return of BunnyCam 2.0

Our BunnyCam has returned. I had to shut it down when we had the hardwood floors installed because the bunny condo was moved to our bedroom for an extended time. After that, it was the interior house painting that had the cage staying upstairs. Now that the condo is back in place, I got a new camera (newer does not mean better) and Indy & Chip are back online. It's a different angle, so it should be different to watch.

posted at 07:03 PM | Link | Bunnies § |
*nose wiggle* x 2

"Rabbit, Rabbit!"

Beginning of the month, beginning of a holiday weekend.

2 reasons to "Rabbit, Rabbit!"

(Plus our own personal two reasons - Indy & Chip (or, as we're starting to call him - Chip The Bruiser. He's not growing at all, but he's just one solid little bunny, running everywhere he can, picking up anything he can, and annoying every bunny he can)

posted at 06:31 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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