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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 November 2005.

October 2005 MAIN BLOG December 2005 Next

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Mountain Dew MDX
As a follow-up to yesterday's post, I found something that I like better than Red Bull - it's a new product: Mountain Dew MDX Energy Soda. The taste is a lot better than Red Bull, and it's neon green. It's a soda (probably a Mountain Dew base) with ginseng, taurine, guarana, d-robose and maltodextrin... whatever the hell those are.

Yeah, much better.

My fear? It's a test and it's not in full production. In fact, I can't find it anywhere around me except for one Jewel on Roselle Road, and then only in a cooler at the checkout and not in the soda aisle or mixed-in with the other energy drinks. Hard to find. Pretty expensive, too - priced like an energy drink: $1.75 for a 14 oz. bottle.

posted at 12:52 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Back to Bull

I used to drink coffee in the morning when at work. But then I noticed that the sludge at work wasn't always the greatest, and sometimes I'd get a flavored coffee if there was something left, then I had to put milk or cream in it and I never really counted the sugar packets... all in all, I was doctoring the coffee everyday and it was never the same day to day. I started to think about what I needed. It was just caffeine, so I started drinking Coke in the morning. At least that way, it would always be the same, never changing in content. I drink it over a full tumbler of ice in a Thermos™ tumbler - and the ice that I get at 8 in the morning is still with me at 3 in the afternoon.

For the last month or so, I've been getting these bouts of fatigue, sometimes so severe I almost - just almost - fall asleep at my desk in the middle of doing something. The caffeine wasn't helping.

So, I tried something I used to drink - instead of Coke, I had a couple of cans of Red Bull in my cabinet. Now, it's only a one day trial, but, yeah, that did the trick. I'll try it the rest of the week. Oh, and I'll watch my sleep, too.

I just wish the Red Bull had a better taste... sometimes I think it's just the taste that keeps me alert.

posted at 01:10 PM | Link | Mundane | 1 comment § |

Monday, November 28, 2005

Blown Away

Went out at lunch to grab something to eat since there just isn't any food worth buying in the building any more. We had thunderstorms and heavy rain overnight. The rain eventually ended sometime this morning - without a window near my cube, I couldn't tell you when that happened.

I walked out of the building and didn't realize that, though it was sunny and 60º, the winds were hellacious. They were blowing from directly behind me as I walked toward my car.

For the first time in my life I almost got blown over. Almost. The wind was directly at my back so it pushed me along, but the scary part was when the wind actually blew my legs forward. In fact, the wind blew my leg forward twice. Thank God that I was balanced on my opposite leg as I walked, but it was actually really scary to momentarily lose control of you leg when walking and have it move forward by wind-power. Weird.

posted at 01:34 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Slept the day away

Today was Sleep Day. That's all I did. Carol left to go to work for a few hours before the Bears game. I went downstairs and slept most of the morning, occasionally waking-up to watch TV, but usually falling asleep while I was watching. Fell asleep during the Bears game (something I usually do anyway. I always fall asleep somewhere in the second half). Found myself dosing off the rest of the afternoon and into the evening when Carol and I were watching TV together. All of a sudden, my eyes are closed and I don't remember drifting off. It's like one minute I'm engrossed into the story on TV, and the next moment, I'm waking up, not realizing how much time had passed. OK, so it wasn't a productive day from the standpoint of getting anything done, but my body sure thought it was productive...

posted at 09:12 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

B & B drove out from the city and the four of us went to the AMC South Barrington 30 this afternoon to catch a 4:00 showing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

This film really is darker and more intense than the prior movies. Still great acting, great story and yet the directors have all been aware that even though it's am effects laden movie, the effects never overwhelm the storyline or experience. Also, a bit longer than I remember.

After the movie, we went back to our house for shrimp and orzo with garlic bread, and talked for an hour or so. We love seeing each other and just spending time together.

posted at 07:24 PM | Link | Movies | 1 comment § |

Friday, November 25, 2005

Quick Repair

First snow accumulation of the season Woodfield Mall
Wonderful day off. Other than going to the Hoffman Estates skating facility this morning, it's been a day of sleep. Also, a day of snow - we got our first accumulation. It's not even an inch, though. I guess there's more up north and toward the lake.

So, I fell asleep on the couch, and may glasses fell off - again - while I was sleeping. I didn't know that when I woke up, and shifted around on the couch - that's when I heard a "ping" and my glasses shot across the room. I picked them up and put them on and they looked intact. I was wrong as within an hour I was getting a pain on the side of my nose - sure enough, I had lost a nose guard.

Damn, that means I have to go to Lenscrafters for a quick repair at the busiest mall in the state - Woodfield Mall - on the worst shopping day of the year - the day after Thanksgiving. Great.

The streets were slick, but there wasn't a lot of traffic going there. The parking lots looked full, but on closer examination you could see holes everywhere - it's late enough in the day that people were going home (I mean, the mall opened at 6am this morning), so I got a spot 4 cars from the door. The mall was full, but nothing more than a really bad Saturday. I really wasn't a bad experience at all. Totally tolerable. Oh, and service was quick at Lenscrafters, so the trip didn't take long at all. Thank God.

posted at 07:07 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Wolves Announcement

Went to the Wolves practice facility here in town. I was too curious about this Media Alter from Wednesday night. There was a big tournament going on, so there were a lot of parents and kids there, but no indication of a press conference.

I talked to a few people and the rumor flying around was that Bobby Hull was in the building.

That seems like two different things going on at once.

I was wrong.

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:56 AM | Link | Wolves § |

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Wow. Great dinner.

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:55 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Blog-A-Turkey 2005

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

It's turkey time here in the house and I'm way behind schedule. I'm not going to blog the doings this year - just too far behind and not enough energy.

Check out the prior years - 2004, 2003, 2002. If you want to see a video on my technique on barbecuing a turkey on a Weber Kettle Grill, be sure to check out the video in 2003.

posted at 12:33 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wolves 4 - Hamilton 2

Chicago Wolves Hamilton Bulldogs

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:32 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Why am I still here?

Counted cars out the window.

10-story office building.

59 cars in the parking lot.

Nobody is here. Why am I???

posted at 01:05 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Reiterating - I am NOT a hardware guy...

I'm not just talking computer hardware either. If you know me, you know that I can't swing a hammer, I can't build anything, I can't install anything.

Exhibit 1: Ceiling Fan. Resolution: Hire an electrician.

We purchased a new curtain rod for our patio door back when we had the house repainted back in the beginning of May as House Project #2 (#1 was new flooring end-of March/beginning-of-April).

I looked at the instructions and I turned numb. It's just a friggin' curtain rod - how come I can't figure this out? I struggled looking at the diagrams and the text and trying to correlate the two and project how this works over our patio door. Nothing. Frustration builds.

Carol sensed the frustration and immediately offered to hire a handyman. She heard of a great organization and she had a coupon. She talked to the organization - they thought it should take about an hour.

The guy came today around lunchtime. Carol left work to meet the guy thinking she'll just take a long lunch.

After 4 hours and after the guy almost burst into tears trying to figure out how to do all of this, the curtain rod is actually finally installed.

If the handyman took 4 hours, imagine what I could have done... and the damage i could have made...

posted at 04:49 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Too little or not enough?

When I roll around while I sleep at night, I always check the clock to figure out what time it is.

Something struck me this morning - if you you wake up and you feel that time passed quickly (like it's later than what you expected), does that mean that you had good sleep or not enough sleep?

posted at 09:03 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, November 21, 2005

OK, really, The last one... I promise...

A Chicago Reader story about the story - yes, another take on the A Taste of Heaven story.

posted at 02:03 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Time for Mom and Jack

Mom's birthday is Wednesday, so, to move it away from Thanksgiving, we decided to celebrate it today by going to Diane & Melinda's for dinner.

Boy, do they look tired!!!

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:01 PM | Link | Uncle Michael § |

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Wolves 3 - Admirals 2

Chicago Wolves Milwaukee Admirals

read more of this entry »

posted at 11:00 PM | Link | Wolves § |

Friday, November 18, 2005

So much for the thighs

Can't... walk... down... stairs... muscles... in... thighs... not.... working... well... need... medicine... NEED... EXERCISE... body... gone... to... hell...

posted at 07:02 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Friggin' Fire Drill.

It's not the drill itself. It's not the damn alarms going off. It's not that it's cold outside.


Back upstairs after the drill, my legs ar all wobbly. I look like adrunk when I'm walking down the aisle behind the cubicles.

posted at 03:04 PM | Link | Mundane § |
When's winter?

14º this morning. I know it's only been 6 weeks, but in my head I went from sitting in the stands at U.S. Cellular Field watching baseball on a sunny 85º day to this crappy 14º wake-up with nothing in between. (I know that there was an autumn in there somewhere - I just don't remember it). We had a great lengthy summer and such a mild autumn that this transition is a killer.

I hate this time of year.

posted at 06:29 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Where did everybody go?

Not much, but it's the first snow
The evening rush hour was non-existent. It was dark, with very high winds and our first snowfall, though it wasn't accumulating anywhere, just blowing around. What I can't understand is the traffic. There was nobody on the streets all the way home. Did people really freak-out about the snowfall and leave work early? Where did everybody go?

posted at 04:13 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Nope. It won't die.

Sign at Unknown Restaurant
Tribune columnist Eric Zorn was sent this picture from an unknown local restaurant.

The story that won't die.

posted at 09:19 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Let's close this up...

I didn't know that Tribune columnist Eric Zorn has a blog! So, here's a great, all encompassing stab at the "Inside Voice" brouhaha in his blog entry. Great opinions, different views. Check it out. All good. Be sure to read the comments, too, as people just go medieval on some of the parents.

His blog entries about this are here, here and here

posted at 01:59 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, November 14, 2005

Who Is The Moron?

Question: Who is the moron?
Click on the thumbnail above to view the picture.

It is a pickup truck this afternoon in the parking lot of the Schaumburg CompUSA

Read the large bumper sticker on the vehicle. Read it closely.

Question: Who is the moron and why?

posted at 12:18 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Inside Voice follow-up

That event that I blogged about a few days ago about a café owner on the North Side that asked via a sign on his front door that all children behave and use their "inside voices", has created an awful lot of exposure in print, radio and TV around town.

read more of this entry »

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

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Jack's Family Debut

Today is the annual birthday event to celebrate Sam's (Samantha's) birthday. But here it is - she's turned 18 and this must be the last family party for her. The big deal today: it's Jack's first family event.

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:35 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, November 11, 2005

Is this right?

A Daylilly in front of the garage
I came home from work tonight and I saw something that Carol told me about that I didn't believe.

Today is November 11th (Veteran's Day). Almost mid-November. One of the Daylillies in front of the garage is blooming and has some additional buds that look like they could open. It was getting dark already so I had to use the strobe on the camera to see the flower.

Is this normal for this time of year? All the others have bloomed and have dead stalks. Why did this happen? And it looks like another on the other side of the garage looks pretty green and has buds, too. What's up?

posted at 06:42 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The uproar over the "inside voice"

Big thing in Chicago. Many people, mostly moms are pissed. And, if true, then I'm pissed as well - at the moms.

Here's the deal. Imagine if you will, a bakery and coffee shop (in the Andersonville area called "A Taste of Heaven"). Imagine that one day the owner (of 14 years) puts up a sign on the front door, at kids height:

"Children of all ages
have to BEHAVE
and use their INDOOR VOICES
when they come to

Now, I have no problem with this. He's just asking EVERYONE for some RESPECT for himself and his customers. It's obvious that - after 14 years - something has pushed the owner over the limit and forced him to put the sign up. Sure enough, owner Dan McCauley got pushed.

"We were surprised at how many times we would see children really out of control," McCauley said. "And we actually had people leaving the bakery because the children were so out of control."

"We thought it was just a friendly reminder to people that when they come here, just be considerate of the people around them. We had no idea the kind of controversy that was going to explode out of this," McCauley said.


Now mothers are boycotting the store, taking offense to the sign. They don't want to be told how to handle their kids. And then, get this quote from some of the mothers: The angry mothers said there are plenty of places in the Andersonville neighborhood where they can take their kids, even if they're acting out.

So, instead of disciplining their kids, they'll just go somewhere else where they don't have to do the work of a parent and let the kids disturb the customers of an establishment to the point where they may leave said establishment, causing a loss of revenue to the owner????


read more of this entry »

posted at 09:08 AM | Link | Mundane | 3 comments § |

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


OK, people, especially the people at, and everyone using 64.62.168.* :


You are sucking my bandwidth dry! There's not that much here to see, so what the hell are you doing?

So, that's it! NO MORE BYTES FOR YOU!

Time for a DENY IP for a while

read more of this entry »

posted at 08:59 AM | Link | Blogging § |

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Puppeteering 201

Last week's (LOOOOooooog) post about my audition that started my short, wonderful career as a television puppeteer really got me thinking about those days and what it was like to puppeteer on a kids television show, and I remembered more things about that "lifetime".

read more of this entry »

posted at 01:44 PM | Link | Puppeteering § |
Too early to dream it.

Had a dream last night that I was shoveling snow. It's too early for that, isn't it? Please say it's too early...

posted at 06:59 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, November 07, 2005

My head feels lighter

I'm not a guy that schedules when to get a haircut. The other attached action: no beard trim without a haircut. Neither have been done in many many many months. Took care of that tonight.

On Halloween, I wore a red shirt along with my long hair and my long white beard. I mean, the beard was longer than normal, not like long to my knees.

Part of our (OK, actually my Halloween ritual is to allow the kids to take whatever they want from the bowl. No one just grabs and runs - everyone looks through the bowl and chooses whatever they like (it's always a mix of candy, usually chocolate related). Then I tell them they could take another if they want and sometimes they take the same kind and sometimes they'll choose something new.

Anyway, I had a little girl, 2-3 years old and her mom came to the door. The girl was quiet and just slowly picked her candy. But she was also really looking at me and checking me out.

She took her second piece and went running down the sidewalk, looked up at her mom and yelled "SANTA!"

OK, time for the trim...

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

Sunday, November 06, 2005

7 weeks

Went to my mom's today for our weekly "Jack Fix". He's only 7 weeks but it's so damn cool seeing the subtle changes week to week. Had a chance to hold him after dinner and it was just great. He's pretty alert (though he still sleeps alot... and doesn't sleep alot at the same time, just causing havoc to Melinda's and Diane's lives). But, overall, he really is a great kid. So I walked around with him for a while (he likes moving around instead of just being held and sitting in a chair). He fussed a bit - which, yes, is pretty normal, but it's just that really cool little piece of life. Found out that Diane's been trying to sing to Jack and hasn't been able to remember any little ditties, other than "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", which has got to be one of the oddest songs to come up with, but kinda cool and the same time. But the really cool thing that I found out, which - of course - just pulled at my heartstrings just a little - she sings to him "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"!!! Oh, oh... I never asked if she sings the words "Home Team" or if she substitutes a team name... and if she sings a team name, which team is it????? Oh, oh...

(You can hear a little bit of Jack fussing in my arms in this MP3)

posted at 10:03 PM | Link | Uncle Michael § |

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Great evening, crappy ending

Went to B&B's today for some take-out Chinese and just some good conversation. Barry still seems to be hanging in there, but it's just odd seeing him without energy in his own home. I love the guy, but the medications are just screwing him up. At least, I pray it's the meds. He's a bit quieter, finding it hard to concentrate on some things. Still, he's a trooper. So is Buff, and life continues to go on... which leads me to the entertainment of the evening. First, we watched Ladykillers On Demand. Odd, quirky movie that was pretty enjoyable. I had no idea how much of a major part Irma P. Hall had in the movie - great job.

Now, comes the vile, disgusting, uneasy part of the evening - watching HBO for George Carlin's new show, Live from New York, Carlin: Life is Worth Losing.

Sorry. I've seen Carlin on HBO. I've seen Carlin in person. I felt like I needed to take a shower before killing myself. In fact, the whole show felt like something out of CSI where the comedian would be found dead in his dressing room after the show. Way the hell too dark, touching on things that needn't be touched. I'm actually using the word vile. Laughter? Hardly.

posted at 11:06 PM | Link | Friends § |

Friday, November 04, 2005

Itching for a change

I feel the need to change the way this blog looks. But if I change the way the blog looks, then it doesn't match the rest of the site.

So, if things start looking a little "wonky" around here, you'll know what I'm up to.

Now if there's somebody out there that would like to quickly redesign the site with a fresh, clean look that fits the content of this site, please let me know...

posted at 11:40 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, November 03, 2005

It Was 30 Years Ago Today

November 3, 1975. Thirty years ago this morning, I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something that was pretty unlike me. I have never had the courage to try it again (I don't know why), and yet I have cherished every moment it produced.

read more of this entry »

posted at 12:11 PM | Link | Puppeteering § |

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

100 days

Torino 2006
Just 100 days until the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino (or is it Turin?) Italy (February 10, 2006).

posted at 08:51 AM | Link | Olympics § |

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

40 minutes a day

Here's something that caught my attention when... reading the newspaper today, yeah, that's it... newspaper...

The Tribune had an article that said talked about reading blogs at work. I guess this started because the writer was... reading blogs at work and found this at Romensko (which I guess started because of something that was brought up at Ad Age).

Apparently, employees spend about 9% of their work-time reading blogs. And the Tribune article thinks that one of the reasons is that reading a blog looks like you're doing work (even though the blog being read is not work-related). As the Tribune writer (Steve Johnson) says: "To a boss standing at, say, 20 paces, reading a blog resembles work." Apparently, if you look at some blog stats, you'd see that page hits "peak during working hours, then plummet on weekends when, of course, there's no incentive to read them that's quite so strong as productivity avoidance".

Now, my stats start rising dramatically at about 11am and stay there all afternoon and then dip slightly over dinner and it's back up again from 7 to 8. The weekday/weekend usage tracks toward the workweek with the weekends lower.

Still, interesting that we're out on the web reading that many blogs...

posted at 10:09 AM | Link | Blogging § |
How much change is good change?

Here's were it's all going to start for the 2006 White Sox - the first player movements.

read more of this entry »

posted at 09:10 AM | Link | White Sox § |
*nose wiggle* x 2

"Rabbit, Rabbit!"

Still don't know if it should be "White Rabbit" or Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!

posted at 06:50 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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