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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 January 2006.

December 2005 MAIN BLOG February 2006 Next

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I found my answer - Robert Ferguson

I knew I would find my answer to avoiding tonight's speech in my TiVo. It's just that it took me by surprise. It was, by far, the most moving, remarkable, real moment of television that I probably have ever seen.

It was last night's Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

I've come to really enjoy this show and specifically Craig. He's a wonderful host. I mean it, this guy should be the next host of the Tonight Show, not Conan O'Brien. He's a wonderful interviewer. He really listens to his guests and doesn't work off of cards with scripted questions. He researches the guests and really engages them. It's for these reasons we set a Season Pass on TiVo for him - it's worth it.

And then, this show happens.

Lately, when he comes out, he's been wearing a jacket but no tie. This started happening when he stopped doing a monologue and actually started telling stories, something unique and more effective for his style. Tonight, he's in a black suit and tie. He's not the same. He doesn't even sound the same. His Scottish accent is noticeably thicker.

He warns the audience that tonight's show won't be the same. Tomorrow, everything will be back to normal. But for tonight, he had a special thing he had to do.

read more of this entry »

posted at 07:31 PM | Link | TV § |
State of The Union

It's time for what has become my annual Boycott of the State of The Union message.

Can't stand the guy, can't stand his public speaking persona, can't get past the fact that I don't believe him anymore (not that I did before, but now it's just worse).

Sorry. Just can't do it. Rebuttal? No way - just more politics I can't stand right now.

Now... what to watch instead? TiVo is always good. We've always got something there.

I guess there's always Dog The Bounty Hunter on A&E... (I could make some crack here about going after bad guys and actually catching them and bringing them to justice, but I won't)

We'll find something to watch...

posted at 02:34 PM | Link | Current Events § |

Monday, January 30, 2006

When did that happen?

I was brushing my teeth this morning when - for some reason - I noticed for the first time that my two front teeth have been wearing-down. The edge isn't straight anymore, like I've been gnawing on a piece of wood for the last few years.

Damn it. Time to go to the dentist. Last time there? 1998. Next time there? Feb 16th.

Crap. I hate needles and pain and... dentists. I mean, our guy is great, but... I still don't want to go.

Time to pay the piper.

posted at 02:06 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, January 29, 2006

OK, I'm feeling the hint of rejection..

Dear Jackson,

OK, I'm starting to feel a slight twinge of rejection. I was holding you again today, but to keep you happy and smiling, I was holding you outward, so you can see everybody, and it was easy to fly you over to Auntie Carol.

But when I talk to you or try to get you to "lock on" to me so that we can play a bit, you don't seem very happy. You're starting to look at me with a confused look - as if you were trying to figure out if I'm a good guy or a bad guy. I see fleeting expressions on your face that just run the gambit of happiness to... wait... you probably wouldn't know what "gambit" is... 20 weeks and I think you understand English when I can't even speak it well...

I know you're not even 5 months old yet, but, you know... I was just hoping.

But, I also realize that you don't see me a lot. It's only once a week, if we're lucky. And when it comes to human interaction, I don't know how much you remember. Do you know who I am?

I'm starting to believe, though, that this is going to be a real long term problem that we're going to have to work out. I mean, let's face it. I'm different. I'm different than everyone else that you interact with at home or even at my mommy's house. I look different and I sound different. I wonder if that's bothering you? Should I be trying to speak in a softer voice? A higher voice? Heaven forbid - do I need to lose the beard?

I need to connect with you somehow, Jackson. Your uncle really does love you but he just doesn't get what's happening. It's not like he's had any experience before either, so, let's face it - he's lost.

Maybe when you get a little older everything will make more sense. For the both of us.

We'll work it out - it's just a bit rough right now.

Uncle Michael

posted at 09:31 PM | Link | Uncle Michael § |

Sign outside Napoleon's Tailor
I have a certain special event coming up 2 weeks from today and I need to be presentable for it. Really, I need a suit and the ones I have, though they've served my well for the past decade or two, finally... *sigh*... don't fit.

It's bad enough to be short. It's worse to be overweight as well. Leaves your shopping options pretty limited.

So, Carol & I headed off to a special store, just for me - Napoleon's Tailor in the city. It caters to anybody under 5' 8" (yes, I'm only 5'3" on a good day).

Walked in the door, nobody in the store (well, there's not a lot of "us" out there). As soon as we got a salesman, he had me take my coast off, took one look at me, went to a rack, pulled a jacket of of a hanger and held it up so I can get into it.

Fit like a glove. This guy's been in the business for a while - he knows what "we" look like.

The unfortunate thing what just gets to me now, was not that it was a 46 (I have some pretty broad shoulders - always have). It really wasn't the "Extra Short", though the "extra" was a little startling. It was that last word - the word that I have not come to accept. The one that I've rejected for too long, ignored for too long.


46. Extra Short. Portly.


Made me want to spend lots of money getting pants that fit right (alterations are free here).

posted at 03:24 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Flying with B&B

Went over to B&B's house tonight. It's been raining all day, and sometimes pretty heavily. They both worked on a great beef dinner (not to mention slaving-away on... Eli's cheesecake).

They rented a movie to watch - Flightplan. I'm not sure liked it. Don't know why, just feel odd about it. Moved slow. Found some things implausible. Tried to be entertained. Nope. Didn't like it.

If you've noticed, that's something Carol & I don't do - rent. We may - MAY - do a Pay-Per-View on DirecTV, but hardly ever. I also think that's the main difference between B&B and us - They're cinema, we're television. Those are the things we seek for entertainment. They rent movies, watch movies on cable/on demand. They even enjoy the long-form British miniseries (you know the type, 2 hours long, 4 shows to a "series"). Carol and I are just television people. Perhaps due to the skewing of our ages? Don't know.

There's a small bar that we pass driving to their place, on Addison almost under the Ravenswood "L" tracks called Tiny Lounge. We've always wanted to go there because 1) it looked cool and 2) looked intimate 3) looked retro 40's/50's. On the way driving to their house we saw it.

Empty. Sign gone. On the way home, I pulled the car over to take a look in the rain. I piece of paper - stationary from the bar - hung on the door.

"Thanks for your patronage. We look forward to serving you at our new location. Please visit us at"

No indication of where the "new location" is. The stationary is from this location.

Website doesn't help, either.

posted at 11:40 PM | Link | Friends § |
"Go at throttle-up" still echoes...

20 years have past. 20 years. I still feel myself reach unconsciously toward the TV every time I see it, as if I could grasp them, hold them, and stop what was happening.

I still have in my bookcase the mutli-volume report from the Presidential Commission.

It was 20 years ago today that the United States lost a Space Shuttle and it's crew in a fireball of an explosion.

And who would have thought that it wouldn't be the last time.

posted at 08:17 AM | Link | Space § |

Friday, January 27, 2006


Just got off the phone with our pal Janie. None of us is going to SoxFest, which starts in under an hour. Of all years to not pay attention to when tickets were on sale, the year in which the World Series should not be one of them. It would have been a great night... or weekend, but I screwed-up. We screwed-up. Nuts.

Came home to find the invoice to sign-up for the Stadium Club for the year. For a split-season ticket package it went up over $100 to $550. It's worth it for the beginning of the season when it's cold & rainy. It's worth it for those 90 degree summer days. And boy is it worth it in post-season. We split it with Janie & Gary and it works out. Pretty upset the price went up, though...

posted at 04:11 PM | Link | White Sox § |

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Changes at TPFKAC™

Hearing rumors about some of the changes going on at Comiskey... "The Joan"... "The Cell"... US Cellular Field... whatever. (Still pissed-off about the name of the place and it's been three years).

Went looking through WhiteSoxInteractive and found some disturbing stories.

I've been waiting years to change the color of the seating from that pool blue to green, the way ballparks should look. I got all excited when they made the announcement that it was going to happen. So it started last year, and it was supposed to progress through last season. Never did. This off-season, they've gone through, starting upstairs, and ripped out all the seats and replaced them (as of this writing, they're not complete - the last two sections are to done - somehow they received the wrong seats). The started working downstairs - but only up to the dugouts. that's right, my section WON'T be getting new seats this season for the second year in a row. there's no explanation why. Here's where the rumor and speculation come in: in the majority of "modern" ballparks, the seats in these areas are specially built so they are canted toward the infield, sort of like setting the seats at a 12 degree angle while keeping the whole row straight. Now, if that's what they're doing, then I'll shutup and relish in the canted seat next year. If that's not what happening, and they're just stalling again, then I'm going to be pissed, because who sits in these seats? The Partial Season Ticket Holders, who are slowly starting to feel screwed by the team (the possible inability to get Opening Night tickets was the beginning of the mistreatment).

On a different subject, what may be the most disturbing news for me.

Nancy Faust will not be playing organ at all of the games in 2006. In fact, she's only playing day games. Nancy says it's her idea. Perhaps it's the beginning of a retirement after what will be 37 years of playing the organ.

I know that people want to hear something more modern, like the clips that are played for the home players when they come up to bat. (Nancy plays pieces for the visiting teams batters).

It's baseball. You've got to have organ music.

You gotta have Nancy.

posted at 11:17 AM | Link | White Sox § |

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Richard, the jury has spoken *snuff*

What the hell was he thinking? Did he REALLY think he could get away with this?

Good ol' Richard Hatch, winner of the first series of "Survivor" back in 2000 was found guilty of tax evasion for not paying taxes on his $1 Million prize (not to mention of evading taxes on $327,000 he earned as co-host of a Boston radio show and $28,000 in rent on property he owned). He had seven bank, mail and wire fraud charges that he was acquitted of. He was deemed a flight risk an immediately taken into custody.

His future? Possible maximum 13-year prison sentence and $600,000 fine.

I mean, this guy had a deal on the table last March and he rejected it.

What an idiot. Outwit? I don't think so...

Somewhere, Susan Hawk is laughing her ass off...

posted at 03:59 PM | Link | Survivor § |

Monday, January 23, 2006

But I don't want to go to school today, Mommy...

Nope, can't do it.

Have got this pain, in the middle of my stomach. Sharp, stabbing pain. Spent too much time in the bathroom last night.

No, not going to work. I don't want to suffer there - especially without a badge that won't let me in anywhere. I figure that would be a real bad thing. I could lay around and sleep and recharge for the week.

Hmmm.... this is pretty close to what it felt like back in September, though the pain overnight was pretty bad, it doesn't feel as bad in the daylight.

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

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What did I do?

Jack with a new bib
Dear Jack:

Uncle Michael wants to let you know that, no matter how hard it is for me to believe this, I'm not taking it personally that you started bawling when I held you today.

I was told that sometimes, you just get scared for no reason at all and when that happens you just start to scream and cry. There was nothing I did to scare you, but sometimes you just get scared.

It's fun holding on to you and talking to you now. You're starting to become aware of tings around you. You're getting bigger and stronger. I still think it's a kick that you seem to enjoy watching football on TV... though I can't figure out why, except for the colors and motion...

You have a great smile and you've started to develop this giggle and laugh when your mommy plays with you that's to die for.

Just understand that when we're at my mommy's house, there's always people that want to hold you and be with you and play with you. I never want to ask to hold you because I know there are other people that want to do that and I want to make sure that they have time with you. I figure that you don't have very many uncles, so, somewhere down the line, I figure I'll have time with you... doing... something.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know. No hard feelings.

Your uncle,
Uncle Michael

posted at 09:39 PM | Link | Uncle Michael § |

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Wolves 4 - Admirals 6

Chicago Wolves Milwaukee Admirals

read more of this entry »

posted at 10:21 PM | Link | Wolves § |
Computer Time

The snow came all right. We gt at least 6" overnight. It was really coming down during the "thundersnow" (though we only had lightning and not thunder).

The plows came through the neighborhood and salted behind them. it's so warm out that the streets have no snow or slush on them - they're just wet.

Diane and Melinda bought a new Sony Vaio, so today I drove into the city to get it unboxed, setup, and - wit any luck at all - talking to the old machine. After setting things up and making sure that the machine did function, we drove to a Micro Center in her neighborhood. I've never been to one and I really enjoyed the place - I like the way it was laid-out, like the book section (thought it was pretty big and complete) like all of the D.I.Y stuff (Ditto - thought it was large and complete). I don't know, I just liked the place. We bought a crossover cable, a new LCD monitor (hey, Diane wanted it), a few other things, then drove over to Fat Willy's to pickup barbecue for lunch.

It was great seeing little Jackson in his "native environment". You can tell he's more comfortable and he's more animated and ... well, it's just his "natural setting".

Well, after working the crossover just fine and getting the machines talking to each other, Diane and I had a more detailed conversation and we weren't on the same page. While I was loading some software on the new machine, she went back to Micro Center to pick up a router. I was amazed on how quickly we got both machines up and running with a PPPoE connection with Earthlink over the router. That was the quickest thing that happened all day - too bad we didn't do it earlier.

Anyway, I got them up and running for a while before leaving for home (we have a hockey game tonight). Very nice new machine at a good price - again, from Micro Center.

posted at 05:38 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Friday, January 20, 2006

Temperature Hump Day

According to the Tribune's Eric Zorn, in his blog, yesterday was the date where the average daily temperatures at O'Hare start to go back up.

Tonight we're supposed to get 3"-7" of snow overnight.

I know that temperatures do not necessarily equate to snow, but it just sucks anyway.

posted at 02:15 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Defective ID replacement

My company ID picture - would you hire me?
I finally got a chance to replace my company ID. It's all bent-up because the plastic that's being used is a little thin. I hang my badge from my belt on one of those retractable tethers. Unfortunately, if i don't pay attention when I sit down, the badge slides into my front pocket and it folds. And it's real difficult to try to flatten-out the badge. What's really bad is that these "creases" are permanent and the badge is a swipe-style, meaning there's a magnetic stripe on the back and I have to swipe my card in the reader to enter a door. When I come in in the morning, if I get to work before 8am, I have four card swipes to get from the garage to my desk. Over time, the oxide is rubbing off the mag stripe at these creases, so I had to go get a new badge. Even though the photos are digital - they didn't save them, so I had to get a new photo taken. Let's just say I wasn't ready for that and my photo - just like what seems to be every friggin' photo ID I have - just isn't the greatest: my hair was a mess, my beard needs a trim. And let's face it - look at it, would you hire me?

Update: My new badge doesn't work. At all. It won't let me in any of the 4 doors I need - or even more importantly, it won't let me back in the ONE door that I need when I return from the restroom. There are no temporary badges either. Until they fix me, I'm a man without a badge - and that's not a good place to be.

posted at 10:45 AM | Link | Work § |

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

20,000 and climbing

The White Sox announced that Season Ticket sales have passed 20,000, the highest in franchise history. This is allowing General Manager Ken Williams to raise the payroll to $95 million, certainly something that can't hurt the team. The downside? Because of the way MLB handles postseason tickets, anybody buying a full Season Ticket after January 15 (or Partial after January 9) will NOT get any options to buy Postseason tickets. A waiting list has been created for people that want to get the postseason options. WAITING LIST. The Sox have a WAITING LIST for Season Tickets (soft of). I NEVER thought this would happen in this town. There's also a RUMOR floating around (it's just a rumor) that - because of the number of Season Tickets being sold - the popular Dog Day promotion may be canceled because there will be too many Season Ticket Holders that will need to be displaced when the bleachers are vacated to make room for the dogs and their owners. Another rumor going around - due to the new City of Chicago Smoking Ordinance, U.S. Cellular Field will now be smoke-free. (As a non-smoker, all I can say is "YES!")

posted at 11:22 AM | Link | White Sox | 1 comment § |

Monday, January 16, 2006

mmmm... *snork*... must... stay... awake...

First day back after a full week of being out of town... hard to stay awake... hard to concentrate... emails make no sense... can't find the groove... wow, this is hard to do...

posted at 10:52 AM | Link | Work § |

Sunday, January 15, 2006

No Bears

Slept most of the morning. Carol made a late breakfast that we called brunch and then we slept some more. We're not recovering from this trip at all.

Went to my mom's this afternoon. Got there in time to watch the the beginning of the Bears game. Jackson was on my mom's knee - watching the game. He watched the game all evening. He was glued to the TV. OK, here's not yet 4 months old and I'm sure it was just the colors and moving pictures, but he was watching. In fact, he kept making noise anytime Carolina was on screen. I don't know hoe to interpret it. I got a chance to hold him for a while and talked to him and described what was going on. He watched and seemed interested. Again, remember - not yet 4 months old.

Jackson has grown since the last time we saw him - which was Christmas - he's getting stronger, can hold himself erect, can even support his weight on his legs, he's vocalizing more, drooling more. He's great. He's leaning toward left-handedness as that's the hand/arm he's really moving around. Ooooooo... Left-Handed pitching is always in demand....

We celebrated my birthday since we all weren't together since Christmas. I got my first "Uncle" card from Jackson. It's so damn minor, and I know that it really wasn't from him, but it's still important to me.

Well, the Bears sucked. They just didn't show up to play. No offense. Defense - not complete. Never felt good about our pass coverage this year, and somebody figured that out. So much for football this season.

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

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Home again

This was a long day. We were pretty well packed and ready to go since we were in the room less than 18 hours when the wakeup call came at 6:15am. We didn't want to leave the room - it was the best room we've had - by far - throughout our visits to Las Vegas. The bed was phenomenal as well. I did a video checkout, but the bill never got sent to our fax machine before we left. The sprint to the Hertz drop-off at McCarran was easy and the bus to departures was half empty and prompt. United/Ted check-in wasn't bad either, as was security and the shuttle to the D Gates. Waiting for departure was rough just because my legs twitched and hurt.

We were delayed in leaving by about 20 minutes - and, according to the pilot, it was due to a "medical situation" at the gate. We have no idea what he was talking about. The flight was uneventful as both Carol & I slept on and off all the way in. It was a sunny day and cool and actually a bit refreshing (if not "bracing"). Baggage Claim - no issues. We rode the "peoplemover" to Remote Parking with a guy I knew years ago at a former job - he was the head of HR for a while, then the head of Training for the company. We briefly chatted about people we knew and parted ways at the end of the ride.

Again, nothing unusual at the parking lot or the drive home. We stopped at Pompei to pickup dinner since it was almost 4pm and we hadn't eaten all day. The "kidlettes" (a.k.a. Indy & Chip, the bunnies) seemed to like the fact we were finally home.

The time at home felt... "milky" and just passed in a haze.

We were home. The trip was over. The time had passed. It's over.

posted at 07:04 PM | Link | Las Vegas | 1 comment § |

Friday, January 13, 2006

Jay and the Deli

We got up with the sun and started getting ready to leave. I popped downstairs to the "food court" at the Luxor (and I use the term loosely) to get Egg McMuffins and Krispy Kremes to make it through the morning. We eventually got packed, worked our way downstairs and checked-out. We made our way to the back of the casino and out to the parking garage. It was getting late, so I attempted to get Carol to the Mandalay Convention Center - too bad I never found the entrance. It was getting later and Carol was getting more and more frustrated at my rare inability to find the entrance. I finally gave up, drove into the Mandalay parking garage, and dumped her off at valet parking for the hotel - which used to be the entrance to the "restaurant row" right outside Rumjungle. (I found out later that I was exactly where I thought I was even though the signage had changed)

I drove back up to the Fashion Show Mall, still again. This time, though, I wanted to go across the street to the Wynn. I wanted to see what it was like outside the property and how the entrance looked. First thing I noticed (other than what I saw the other night - the sign moves) was these great waterfalls that you can't see from the street. They were really tall and were just outside of the Esplanade entrance to the property. The Esplanade is not unlike the shopping area the brings you into the Bellagio. Same concept, just outfitted to Wynn specs.

This time around I found more places within the property - like the Buffet (Champagne and Bloody Mary brunch. I was able to get a picture or two of a hole on the golf course by walking through the Country Club Steakhouse. The lake that we saw at night looks different during the day (gee, no lighting effects. Duh.) It's still amazing how all of these things are hidden from the "great unwashed" in the street.

I took a chance and drove to our next hotel to get registered for the evening: The Venetian. OH. MY. GOD. What a room. And it's just like all the others in the hotel - all suites. In fact, the living area is a two-step down from the sleeping area of the suite. We did spend an extra few bucks on getting a view - this meant 31st floor and facing the Strip. Well, it didn't face the central strip - we had a view of the Mirage right across the street (handy for tonight), Treasure Island, the Fashion Show Mall and the Wynn. (Oh, and a big construction space next door that I think is going to be The Palazzo). This wasn't a bad view at all from this height. What a room. We're going to get spoiled. Too bad is a bit expensive.

After taking pictures of the room and the view outside, as well as getting the luggage and things moved into the room, I had to take the car to get "gassed-up" (i.e. replace the gas that was used before returning it to the rental company). Since I only have a Mobil gas card, I tried to find one nearby. Nope. I wound-up at a 76 south of the strip paying cash. oh well.

Got the phone call from Carol and I swung over to Mandalay to pick her up. I took her back to the Venetian and right to the room to show it to her, because I know she would love it (she did). We went back downstairs to the Grand Canal Food Court to grab a late lunch/early dinner knowing that we'd have to find food later tonight.

Afterward, we split up - she went back to the room, I had pictures I wanted to take at Paris and Aladdin before the sun set.

I should have drove over there. It would have been faster.

Instead, I walked out to Las Vegas Boulevard, and went south, passing Casino Royale, to Harrah's, where I walked the entire depth of the casino and out the back to go to the Las Vegas Monorail stop. I took the Monorail to the Paris/Bally's stop. Through the stop is directly behind Paris, I had forgotten that the stop actually services Bally's, and I had to walk through the god-awful Bally's shopping area below the hotel, then up into the casino and then into the shopping area of Paris and then through the entire Paris property to get to Las Vegas Boulevard. And by the time I got there, the sun has already started to sunk behind the buildings and mountains to the west. Crap.

This damn Las Vegas Monorail - though a great idea - is doomed to fail because it only services the backs of the properties. Who the hell wants to walk through an entire property to get to an overpriced monorail (cost me $9 for a round trip ticket) - just to have to do it again at your destination? And they want to expand it to the airport? Could you imagine doing this whole trip with luggage?

I grabbed whatever exterior shots I could of Paris before I lost the sun. I didn't care about the exterior of the Aladdin. I went inside to check it out - it's in a transition this year to become the Planet Hollywood Casino and Hotel. It used to have a large airy feeling with a tall ceiling over the casino. They've managed to kill that by chopping-up the place with full floor to ceiling walls, walling off... what? Can't tell. Looks like hell.

There were workers outside laying Red Carpet on the stairs - tomorrow Mayor Oscar Goodman was doing something with the Miss America contestants (yes, Miss America will not be in Atlantic City this year - it's at the Aladdin. Go figure.)

I had gone down to Paris because I wanted to show how they screwed -up a nice piece of land next to that great fountain they have outside. They've added a new restaurant - Ah Sin - that has outdoor seating that goes up to - and a little bit around - the fountain. I don't like it. I just love the area at the fountain, and they just kind of hosed that.

I retraced my steps back to the Venetian and soaked my now ravaged feet and legs and hell, my body, too, in the tub in the great bathroom. It was a valiant attempt, but I was just too sore and twitching too much - only drugs could knock that down.

Eventually 8 o'clock rolled around and we got dressed and walked across the street to the Mirage.

We have tickets to see Jay Leno, one of the very few performers doing something in town this week. It fit our budget and actually sounded like it could be fun. He was in the Danny Gans theater (who also was not performing - I think he's out for shoulder surgery). We waited in a long line to get some drinks before we went in. Theater was nice and was a nice size - one level, not too big). Jay actually had an opening act - a country music guy Derek Sholl. Good music with funny, cleaver lyrics. He did a little over half an hour, then Jay came out and did an hour and a half (this after flying up from L.A. after taping his Friday night show). He was actually a lot better than we had thought. It was like the Tonight Show, but not. He could talk about things - for a while - that he couldn't really talk about on air. And never swearing once in the act. Refreshing. Good stories, good jokes about a wide range of topics, whether current events (more like what he would do on the show) or things about cars and family. A very good show.

On the way out, we hit the Carnegie Deli and got one corned beef on rye to share (and a piece of cheesecake). We took it back to the Venetian and ate it in our hotel room around midnight - not a great idea if you want to sleep well to travel the next day. DAMN that sandwich was HUGE.. GOOD, but huge.

But, this it it. Our last night in Las Vegas. Tomorrow, it's back home to the grind.

Boy, I wished B&B were here this week. I can only wish that we will all do this together like we used to.

posted at 11:55 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Paris at night

After Carol left for the day, I wanted to go just a bit north, so I took the tram to Excalibur. God, I hate this hotel/casino. I hate the theme, I hate the way it looks. I walked across the ped bridge to New York New York and went down to the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard. NYNY has made a permanent memorial area of display cases that hold rotating items that were left right at this spot back in 2001. For some reason, many Americans felt the need to memorialize and remember anyone involved in the events of 9-11 and they picked this spot, at the foot of the Statue of Liberty, to leave notes, letters, drawings, paintings, Fire Department t-shirts and patches back in 2001. NYNY saved all of the material and now displays some of the items in permanent glass cases. It's something that needs to be seen. It's not big, but it somehow feels important.

I went inside and walked around the faux-cityscape floor of the casino. I was getting hungry so I stopped at Jodi Maroni's Sausage Kingdom. Great Polish sausage, but they don't have a friggin' clue on how to make a Chicago Style Hot Dog.

I walked back across the street and took the tram to Mandalay Bay and walked to the convention center, put on my fake persona (Carol had, ummmm, found a badge laying on the ground during booth setup so I was able to get in to the show). I went over to Carol's booth, hung out there for a while and Carol went on break for lunch. We found a table in the snack area of the convention center and carol relaxed as much as she could.

We split up after the break and I drove to one of our favorite casino's: Hard Rock. The place hardly changes year-to-year, and this year is no exception. I just love the look of the place (the use of hard wood everywhere) the music, the vibe... oh, yeah, and the cocktail waitress outfits...

I drove around a while afterward. I drove back to Green Valley Ranch and realized they were building a new parking garage and it screwed-up the current drive to the main hotel entrance. Found an actual rush hour traffic problem on I-215 by Green Valley due to construction.

I figured-out the main traffic problem that we've been hitting daily on the Strip - almost doesn't matter what time of day it is, though it's much worse in the evening. The strip northbound is at a standstill between the M&M's Store and Harmon Avenue. One reason is due to the extreme right lane having to merge into another lane. But the real culprit is at Harmon itself, just about killing the right lane: it's the pedestrian traffic crossing Harmon - it's slow and at times extensive, stopping any traffic try to make a right turn eastbound on Harmon. the whole block or two could delay your travels up to half an hour.

I briefly saw the Las Vegas Premium Outlets and the World Market Center during my tour around town. Anyway, I headed back to the Luxor and waited for Carol.

Carol has been wanting me to have a nice sit-down dinner this week, so tonight we drove over to Paris. We walked up without reservations to Mon Ami Gabi and got a very nice table for two overlooking the the strip and the fountains at Bellagio. The food here is always great and the atmosphere is as well. And - if you're close to the doors or actually sitting under the heaters al fresco on the patio - you have the entertainment of the music and fountains from across the street.

By the time we finished dinner, it was definitely dark, so we did something that Carol has never done - we went upstairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower to see the view of Las Vegas at night. The winds were about 10-12 mph (according to a wind gage I found near the elevator upstairs). this is really the only way to see Las Vegas at night - forget the Stratosphere. It may be taller, but it's too far north of the central strip area. Carol was really tired from the show, so she stayed upstairs to watch one Bellagio fountain show and she went back to the casino to sit down. I stayed upstairs for almost another half hour taking all kinds of pictures from up there. Eventually, I felt I had to get going to get Carol home. I went down and found her sitting at some slots - she couldn't find an open blackjack table (with the correct minimums) for her to play.

We slowly walked to the car and drove back home. The show closes tomorrow and we're staying an extra day - but at a different hotel - which means packing. Tomorrow, not tonight. We're too messed-up to attempt to do this tonight. We'd fall asleep gathering stuff.

posted at 10:06 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Venetian Taxi Service

I was up and out the door at 6:05 am, still fully dark (the sun doesn't come up for almost an hour here in the valley), As I drove up Las Vegas Boulevard, it looks like there was a crunched-up bicycle and an ambulance (and Metro Police, of course) in front of O'Shea's - no idea what happened.

I drove Sahara and then out to Boulder Highway. I saw three squad cars parked along the side of the road at the Walden Motel, so I parked in their parking lot and joined the handful of very cold people, sipping on the hot coffee's in the dark, just talking and waiting.

I met this woman from Chicago (I'm a target with my White Sox jacket and hat) who claims she was on Jenny Jones as a Karaoke Queen, and that she just moved out here a year or two ago and how great Elvis Night's were at the White Sox games. We actually talked about that for quite a while and how she would dress-up and really get into it (she used to date an impersonator) and picked-up the nickname of Elvisa. We met another woman, a native American by the name of White Dog. There's quite a collection of humanity out here in this small group of people.

Now, what the hell were we doing all together?

Well, if I went to a brand new casino (South Coast) and if I shutdown an old casino (Boardwalk) there's only one more thing to do with a casino.

At 7am, just a few blocks north of us, the Castaways Casino (formerly the Showboat) was being imploded. I've never been to an implosion and didn't know what to expect. The only thing I planned for was to have the sun - when it finally rose - to be behind me (even Channel 8 here got that wrong, so you just see something like a silhouette). Well, they pushed the plunger at 7:5am (5 minutes late) and - though the explosions were startling - that sucker dropped within seconds and was just... gone (except) for the cloud of dust. We shared our goodbye's and I took off for home, getting there at 7:35 hoping to share the video with Carol, but she was already gone for the day. I mean, implosions just need to be shared.

Time to go back out and start my picture taking. I took exteriors at the Luxor and then drove to the Bellagio - my favorite parking place for access to the mid-strip. Had an embarrassing experience - I accidentally set off the car alarm as I was fumbling with my keys just as I entered the Bellagio. Glad I decided to go back to the garage to see if that was my car making the noise (it was). The Bellagio Conservatory was closed and being converted for Chinese New Year coming up. I took shots of some of the restaurant exteriors and then went outside to get shots of the hotel exterior. The sun today is being weird - there's a lot of high-level cirrus clouds that are filtering the sun, so it's not a crisp light. As I walked out front along the "lake", I noticed still another ambulance and police in front of the entrance to Paris - another accident, perhaps one with a cab.

Walked over to Caesars - they were working on the fountains out front, but there appears to be a huge fountain right in front of the building that i don't remember before. I was upset to see that there was no Ice Skating going on out front like last year. Of course, it's warmer this year, so I'm not sure if that's why there's no ice. Inside, there's not much new (I don't remember the registration area looking like that). The Forum Shops are always huge and there's always something a little different as stores move around and come and go. I needed some water after all of this, so I bought a bottle from a kiosk... obviously a problem with the refrigeration unit, because as I was drinking that great, cold water I realized that there was ice in it! Refreshing!

Time to eat. I walked back to Bellagio and drove to In-N-Out Burger. The place was so packed, I ate outside at a table, which was actually the correct choice on a somewhat sunny day. Got a Double-Double and coke and just watched the world go by... until I saw a guy, sitting with a girl a couple of tables away, reach down and - one handed - picked-up a pigeon and held it up to the girl. She wasn't pleased about it so he put the bird down. Six of their friends came out of the "restaurant" (can you really call a fast food place a "restaurant"?) and the girl immediately starts telling them when the guy did. Sure enough, the guy walks up to another pigeon and picks it up and holds it up to his friends. Just a weird little piece of life.

Since I was in the area, I drove over to Rio to see what's new over there. I saw a new game - Rapid Roulette. It's a live, standalone roulette wheel surrounded with sit-down video terminals. People make their own bets on the video screens instead of on a felt layout. Saw my first "bevertainer" - as I was entering the main casino, Shania Twain's "I feel Like a Woman" started-up and a cocktail waitress took a small stage in the middle of some slots and danced along. Nice, but eh?

Had to go back to the Fashion Show mall to go to LensCrafters to get my glasses adjusted - the damn nut on the right lens keeps loosening. I love the way these frames look, I hate the maintenance headache they've become.

went back to the Luxor about mid-afternoon to wait for Carol. After the show today, they are all going to dinner at Delmonico's at The Venetian and I was volunteered for Taxi duty. I didn't mind at all, but the traffic on the strip has been getting a little "hinky" around Harmon. I got them there only a few minutes late. After I dumped them off, I parked the car in the Venetian garage and decided to shoot evening exteriors tonight. I walked across to the Mirage, down to Caesars, across to Flamingo and back to The Venetian, taking up most of the evening. I hung around the Venetian for a while, thinking they would be getting out soon - wrong. I gave up and went back to the Luxor. Just as I was opening the door to our room, the cell for rang. They just got out. Sorry, I'm staying in - the girls took a cab home. We're all exhausted - I could imagine how the girls felt.

posted at 11:54 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

End the day with Jack-In-the-Box Tacos

Carol had to go register and actually setup the booth for the show, so she was out of the room by 7am. The local morning news shows were showing police activity at the Gold Coast - some guy robbed one of the cashiers and when he went running through the parking lot he shot at a security guy, hitting him in the leg. The robber got away. (They showed videotape later in the day - the guy shot at the security guy 3 times - you can actually see the muzzle-flash on the tape).

I was busy working on a finger problem this morning - for some reason, my left ring finger is a little swollen, discolored and a bit sensitive just to the left of my fingernail. It's almost like the nail is growing into the skin. I'm cutting and digging and I can't see anything (though there was a little puss that came up - *eewwwww*) Carol has me looking for Neosporin and hydrogen peroxide to clean this up.

Since we closed a casino yesterday, I thought I should go to visit the most recently opened one - the South Coast. It's miles down Las Vegas Boulevard. In fact, I think Las Vegas Boulevard further south of the casino goes down to 1 lane in each direction.

The casino is Brand New - it opened on December 22 (after opening ceremony fireworks set the roof on fire! No major damage was done) It's nice and roomy - and even though it's in the middle of nowhere, there were quite a few people there. In fact, the largest line I've seen on this trip so far was at the buffet at this place (I heard a worker pass by saying "what the hell are they still doing here? haven't they figured out that it's crap?") Checked-out the brand-spanking-new 64 lane bowling center (all VERY new Brunswick equipment). Another big highlight that wasn't completed yet - an equestrian center.

I made my way all the way back up Ls Vegas Boulevard to the Mirage to pickup our tickets to Jay Leno this Friday. I was getting thirsty again so I actually went to the Bonanza General Store, up at Sahara and the Strip. It had to be one of the most armed and secured general store I've seen in this town. Not only did I grab a Coke, but i grabbed band-aids and Neosporin! I sat in the car & doctored-up my finger. Now it hurts a hell of a lot more now that I put the damn band-aid on.

I have something planned for tomorrow morning, so I had to drive along Boulder Highway to "scope out" some possible locations to take pictures. As i was passing Boulder Station, there was another huge police action going on. there were cops, ambulances, TV cameras. Found out later that some guy shot a guy he knew at a bus stop - at Boulder Station (something about allegedly molesting his daughter).

I was getting tired and needed to crash, so I went back to the Luxor - only to find the room not made at 2 in the afternoon. So, I walked over to Mandalay Bay and went into their Convention Center to get an idea of how the show that Carol is exhibiting at was laid out. Note to PPAI: your signage SUCKS. Enough of that - I walked back to the room. Now and hour later, the room was done. I nursed my finger some more and took a nap. Carol was exhausted when she came back after the setup, so she soaked in the tub (quite deep and formfitting and very nice, apparently). She didn't want to go out for dinner, so we made this little side bet - who would get their food first. She ordered room service. I jumped into the car and drive down the street to Jack in the Box to get 6 regular tacos (only $3.20!). I stopped in the store on the first floor and got a Michelob Lite (available here in aluminum bottles), and then I ran into Carol's co-worker Teri near the elevators. Well, let's just say by the time I got to the room, room service has already came and carol had finished eating! Well, I still had my tacos and beer to drown my sorrows...

posted at 10:48 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Monday, January 09, 2006


Carol had to go to the Mandalay Convention Center to oversee the startup of the booth area for her company at this week's trade show (the real reason we're in Las Vegas - she's here for work, I'm here because it's cheap for us!)

She was there for only a few hours, so we met-up and drove to the Boardwalk casino on the strip. This place is very small and old. There's only one reason to come here today - it's closing forever at noon and will be demolished to make way for MGM-Mirage's master project for the property between Bellagio an Monte Carlo. The parking garage was pretty empty, but people were still walking their luggage to their cars having stayed for the last night at Boardwalk. The pit was open, with only 2 blackjack tables and one craps table operating. The Race & Sports book looked like it closed days before. This place is so small, this is probably the only place on the strip (or many other places) were the they use half-sized craps tables (it's basically half a craps table). Employees came in and signed farewell messages on some of the walls. TV crews were interviewing people, and MGM-Mirage itself was there to document the shutdown. I walked around, took pictures inside and out (Carol wont go outside because of the signature piece outside on the building - a huge, friggin' clown face).

We went back to Fashion Show Mall to grab a quick lunch at the Food Court, bought some cheap binoculars at Sharper Image (hey, I forgot to pack ours and i just gotta watch operations at McCarran!), and bought some cologne at Nordstrom (Armani Mania - I ran out).

I was exhausted and had to go back the Luxor for a nap. Carol went to the free 2pm Hold 'Em Poker lessons here. 2½ hours later, I was up and Carol was back having lost her shirt. She loved the experience, but realized that she pays attention to her cards exclusively to the action happening on and around the table.

Dinner was at Cravings Buffet at the Mirage. There are a lot of changes happening inside at the Mirage. New bar areas around the central "jungle", new restaurants (including a real Carnegie Deli - probably the only one that had a hostess stand in front of it), a newer look to the casino (with new signage), gorgeous new High Limit areas (like we would be able to play in there) and a huge nightclub opening this weekend called Jet ("3 rooms, 3 Sounds").

There's something that's been pissing me off on this vacation - the amount of children here, almost all running out of control - through casinos, through restaurants. They don't belong in this town, let alone actually in the casinos. It's wrong. I bring this up because of a family of 6 at Cravings, where there was one of the girls (2-3 y.o.) was running and screemin through the restaurant, without the parents trying to control her (then there was the time where the mother went to one of the stations to get something to eat, the young girl was doing her run/scream, the toddler is crying her eyes out while being held by dad who was on a cell phone and walking around the table area - this one event cleared-out everyone sitting within 2 tables of them - until dad had to run after the 2 year old who by now was dishing out food for herself at the salad station)

Great dinner at Cravings, though. I highly recommend it (dinner buffet $45 for 2 plus tax) WIDE selections of food.

After the Mirage it was time to visit the new gem of town - the Wynn. (Yes, named after Steve Wynn, the man that built the Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio - to name a few).

WOW doesn't sum it up. Can't. It's unbelievable. Better than Bellagio (his last resort). Richer, lusher. And, as we walked around the casino, I stopped to take a picture of one of the restaurants (the Chinese "Red 8"), there came Steve Wynn himself, alone, on a cell oohing, dressed absolutely impeccably. Wow - our Brush With Greatness™
for the trip. This man - for a period of time - shaped the gaming and hotel industry of Las Vegas itself.

Carol was pretty exhausted by then, so we went back to the Luxor and crashed for the evening.

posted at 11:05 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |
Good one!

There's one thing that makes or breaks your feelings on your hotel room, whether it's a good room or not:

The shower. Specifically, the shower head, both the coverage/spray pattern and even more importantly - the water pressure.

Yep! We got a good one! Refreshing!

Side note - odd. The mirror in our bathroom refuses to fog. Does it have something to do with desert humidity in a 19th story hotel bathroom?

posted at 09:20 AM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Sunday, January 08, 2006

It's Gospel

Up way before sunrise. Another day without a single cloud in the sky. Carol - in order to satisfy her addiction - went downstairs and got a coffee for her and Krispee Kremes for us. CBS Sunday Morning is on awfully early out here. After wards, we walked over to Mandalay Bay for a real experience this morning - we went to the House of Blues for the Gospel Brunch! It was setup with long tables with brown paper on them and it felt like a church social. The food, mostly southern in style, was really good.

Then, behind the closed curtain, the music started. I was taken aback by the show/performances only because I expected Gospel Music. What I didn't expect was an entire Gospel Sunday-Morning Experience. This is definitely an event that must be experienced. (The host was Sandra Alexander with Sharon Smith & the New Vision band)

We decided we better walk-off breakfast so we went to the Fashion Show Mall. I hadn't been there in years, and now it's huge! We walked around there for a few hours, got something to drink and headed back to the hotel.

We had a room on the 9th floor facing east, which meant we faced McCarran Airport - my favorite view (I can turn on my hand-held scanner and watch airport operations), but the majority of the view was taken-up with the butt-end of the sphinx in front of the hotel. Carol wanted to give me a little gift and worked on getting our room changed for one on a higher floor. Unfortunately, we're exhausted. We never really unpacked, so we were ready for the move. We didn't expect it would be multiple moves because the room wasn't ready. So now, many hours later, we're on the 19th floor of the East Tower. I have a different feel of the Luxor now. These rooms are nicer and are showing less wear than the rooms in the pyramid. It's quieter. The bathroom has a deep bathtub and a separate shower stall. We're happier here.

Carol went down to the deli to grab some sandwiches for dinner - we're just too exhausted. We're not catching up on any sleep. Another early turn-in...

posted at 11:58 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Trying to be cheap

So the $2 20-oz bottle of Pepsi from the vending machine down the hall pissed us off, so we went to Walgreen's on the Strip and bought our soda for much cheaper ($1.29) and snacks for the week. Actually, we went to a 7-11 first that is also on the strip in a place we've never seen before but they just didn't have the selection we wanted.

Afterward, we went to the MGM Grand. Carol hadn't been there for a few years, so I wanted to show her the new restaurants along the Studio Walk all look wonderful (and ranging from a little pricey to "Oh-My-God!")

But we couldn't find anyplace to eat. We didn't want extravagant and we weren't dressed for some of the places, so we went to the Studio Café where a Reuben (me) and Eggs Benedict (Carol) cost $45. Whoa.

Back to the hotel and crash for the night. Carol's been snoozing for a while and I'm turning-in right now. 'Night!

posted at 11:45 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |
Finding the Sun

Got up at 4:15 this morning, finished packing, showered, dressed, drove to O'Hare to catch Ted 1485 to Las Vegas. Upgraded the seats to Economy Plus just to get the extra 5 inches of legroom. Worth every penny. Still couldn't open the laptop due to idiot in front of me reclining in my lap. Saw Just Like Heaven as the movie westbound. Got to Vegas on time to be met with 47 degrees and sunny and not a cloud in the sky. FELT GREAT.


Went to Hertz Gold and had a Ford 500 waiting for me (much nicer car than I thought it would be), complete with the Neverlost system. We drove to Green Valley Ranch in Henderson (the subject property of The Travel Channel show American Casino) to have the Feast buffet. More expensive than I thought but really worth the money. Would definitely go back. Walked across the street to walk around The District. Got in the car and drove to the Luxor, where we checked-in and crashed. Crashed hard. Enjoying the downtime - already a long day, with hours yet to go.

posted at 05:44 PM | Link | Las Vegas § |

Friday, January 06, 2006

Skipping town

Carol and I are all packed. We're skipping town tomorrow morning.

I always say I'm going to blog from the road. I usually write a post or two, then I get caught up in the vacation, enjoy it, and spend my time away from the computer.

So, for the next week, I'm not guaranteeing any postings. It's a vacation for me, so if I post - good, if I don't - good, I'm enjoying myself.

Oh, and where are we going?

Viva Las Vegas, baby!

posted at 10:14 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Lou Rawls

Singer Lou Rawls sings the national anthem before Game 2 of the World Series between the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field on Oct. 23, 2005, in Chicago. Rawls died of cancer Friday morning, Jan. 6, 2006, in a Los Angeles hospital. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Man, I loved this man's voice.

Lou Rawls died this morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, where he was hospitalized last month for treatment of lung and brain cancer.

He sang the National Anthem at U.S. Cellular Field for Game 2 of the World Series, just over 2 months ago on October 23, 2005.

I was already anticpating startng a podcast back then and I recorded everything I heard from our seats at the baseball game.

You may hear my MP3 recording of Lou Rawls singing the National Anthem at U.S. Cellular Field for Game 2 of the World Series by clicking here.

posted at 12:19 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Sometime around the weekend I remember commenting that gas prices went uo 5 cents.

Tonight, on the way home it went up another 10 ents?

15 cents in a week? What the hell brought that on?

posted at 05:19 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Trying to Breathe Right

Breathe Right
Well over a year ago, I started noticing that I'm not really breathing through my nose as much as I should. My sleep has been off for the past year as well. So, I thought I'd try a quick remedy to see if it would help overnight - Breathe Right nasal strips.

The first night, they worked really well. Not great or perfect, but really well. Now, I've developed this weird problem:

Sometime, during the course of the night, I wake myself up as I'm pulling off the Breathe Right strip.

Mind you - I'm fully asleep, and I only wake up because of the pain as I'm ripping the strip off (and oh, BTW, what the hell kind of adhesive IS that? Pretty friggin' powerful, if you ask me!)

It's happening every night at different times - I take of the Breathe Right strip with no knowledge of me doing it - until it comes off.

So what is my sub-conscious telling me about these things? They seem to work - why pull them off early? How does it interact with a dream (which I don't remember)?

Maybe they're too high or too low and my subconscious knows that and is taking them off because they were installed incorrectly...

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2006



Happy Birthday to me.

Yes, I turned 49 today.

It's turning out to be a bit scarier than I thought. Carol gave me a card this morning (well, she didn't give me one, she gave me 5, and she didn't give them to me but rather hid them for me to find like on my desk chair, in my bag I take to work, in the medicine cabinet, on my steering wheel) and in one of them she said that "1 more year and you can join AARP!"

Oh crap... when the hell did this happen!!! I'm a year away from qualifying for Senior Citizens discounts! I'm not even a Senior Citizen! What the hell! I'm still in my 40's!!!

Oh, dear Lord, help me...

posted at 10:31 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

To hell with the darkness

I'm getting tired of the darkness.

No, not at night - the daytime darkness.

It's been cloudy and rainy for what seems to be a week. I haven't seen the sun in days. Some mornings we have fog to go along with the dense overcast. It's really screwing with my ability to function. I have an intense desire to... hibernate. Sleep, under a warm blanket. Somewhere. Anywhere..

I need to get my energy up - I mean, I wasted 2 days in a row - now I need to work (oh, yes, the first day back at work is always so wonderful). Caffeine only helps so far. I need sunlight.

Where the hell is it????

posted at 10:24 AM | Link | Mundane § |

Monday, January 02, 2006

Wasting - Day 2


Well, watched the Tournament of Roses Parade in HD for the first time (coverage courtesy of KTLA in Los Angeles, broadcast by WGN here in Chicago). REALLY great seeing the detail. REALLY crappy seeing the detail of everything washing of the floats because of the torrential downpour.

Then, some of the Bowl games in HD - gotta love HD for sports!

Anyway, back to wasting the day.

posted at 05:38 PM | Link | Mundane § |

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wasting the New Year

Yep. Slept all day.


I haven't been up for more than an hour all day. Except now. I've been awake for 4 hours and it's time to go to bed. Think I've screwed up a good night's sleep. Maybe I need to "assist" the sleep a little bit.

posted at 10:47 PM | Link | Mundane § |
Ushering in the New Year

The table is full of stuff we made for the evening Carol, Debbie, Pat, Buffy and Ken
Well, we made it home. Carol had to drive the last half - I was getting too tired.

A subdued evening, but still a good time. I love our New Year's get-togethers. I love to see (and taste!) everything that everyone made for the evening. It's always good quality, it's always well thought out (never just slapped together thoughtlessly at the last moment). Good eatin'!

One of the major differences this year is that we never watched a movie - we actually put on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve at 9pm, way before anything was happening.

Of course, we had to wait to see the return of Dick Clark. He had a stroke on December 6, 2004, just weeks before last year's show.

He sat at a desk inside the ABC studios at Times Square. It was a bit startling to see. He looked great, but his voice is impaired and he didn't gesture with his right hand at all. His voice isn't exactly the same and his breathing is forced. But, later in the show, as he relaxed a bit, you can here the quality of his old voice was still there, but his enunciation just wasn't there. As he said "Last year I had a stroke. It left me in bad shape. I had to teach myself how to walk and talk again. It's been a long, hard fight. My speech is not perfect but I'm getting there."

Being on the show tonight was clearly a goal he set for himself and he made it. As he said: "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."

The question is - should he continue on? His speech is nowhere near where it should be for an announcer... and it just felt... "uncomfortable"... to listen to him. At times, he has almost impossible to understand. At others, clear as a bell, just raspy.

And I don't know if anyone else caught this, but I thought that during the countdown he skipped a bunch of numbers, like he couldn't count backwards.

Well, after the East Coast celebrations, we turned to our next annual item: making fun of what people wear on our local coverage. None of the women at Channel 7 looked good. None of the women at any of the events Channel 7 covered looked good - except for all of the women that were at the bars up and down Clark street in Wrigleyville (just blocks away from where we were!)

Buffy got a small birthday cake for me from Dinkel's (oh, Yum!) (yes, my birthday is coming up on the 4th)

I love hangin' out and celebrating the New Year. I'd love to see the new year being better than the last!

posted at 01:23 AM | Link | Mundane § |
New Year's Nose Wiggle (x 2!)

Hey!, YOU try saying "Rabbit, Rabbit" instead of Happy New Year after midnight!

Not Easy!

(It's Times 2 because of our two resident rabbits!) Still don't know if it could it be "White Rabbit" or Rabbit! Rabbit! Rabbit!?

posted at 12:01 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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