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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 2008.

December 2007 MAIN BLOG February 2008 Next

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crazy drive home

Driving home - not fun
It was snowing all afternoon. Something tells me the Weather Critters got this wrong - we weren't supposed to get hit this hard north and west of the city.

The drive home was a mess.... We barely moved during the entire trip. In fact, the needle on my speedometer never actually moved - I have no idea how fast I was traveling. The road surface was a mess.... no one was out plowing either.

And this is to continue until noon tomorrow...

posted at 05:16 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |
Office etiquette rule #421...

If you happen to see a coworker who is walking - with a purpose - toward where the restrooms are located, DO NOT stop this person to chat...

If you notice this coworker shifting slightly back and forth with their eyes pretty wide open... STOP TALKING TO THEM...

If you notice the co-worker's knees subtly move toward each other...


posted at 10:53 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

OK... now this is crazy...

Man... Chicago weather can be really extreme at times...

Case in point:

High yesterday 48F (almost 9C). Woke up this morning and it was -2F (almost -19C)... that's a 50 degree swing in about 18 hours.

Add into that the Wind Chill: -22F (almost -19C)... this is crazy.. because it'll be in the 30's for the weekend...

It was like a blizzard outside last night - the snow was blowing sideways. Looked like hell. More snow to come in the next couple of days.

Traffic was terrible this morning - slow moving. The salt just doesn't work at these temperatures.

posted at 10:12 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here we go again...

The weather is going to go crazy again... another "the sky is falling!" weather report .. and alerts... and warnings...

Was actually in the 30's this morning... and I found it refreshing...

posted at 09:23 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Monday, January 28, 2008

New signage

New Real Estate signage

Carol pointed out something in the neighborhood that I have never seen before. I guess I never paid attention.

For as long as we've lived out here, we are constantly seeing "For Sale" signs in front of houses.

One in front of a house looked quite normal... from a local RE/MAX realtor. Except.. it was night.. and the sign was lit. It has solar panels on top and, judging by the color of the light, white LED's lighting the sign!

Then I noticed another sign on the bottom, hanging off the main sign... it was a website address for the street address of the house. Great idea... and cheap... it just redirects to the realtor's page, but then you can pick the homes that she's brokering, like this particular one...

I like seeing the use of technology creeping into things we've used to take for granted.

posted at 07:22 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Setting the stations

Carol's new radio
Remember that radio we bought yesterday for Carol's truck?

Well, we had it installed today...

Actually, first I went online and pulled the most complete list of radio stations and frequencies in the Chicago area. I'm saying "most complete" because trying to find a complete list of stations that you can receive in the area is damn near impossible. There were always stations missing or mislabeled.

OK... so... programming a car radio...
while in motion...
while reading a manual... and associated frequency lists...
trying to press VERY TEENY program buttons...
while wearing a restrictive seat belt (that locks frequently)...
while driving bouncing and swerving over, through - and perhaps dodging - the ever-growing fields of some menacing potholes...
trying to find something to fill 6 selections in the AM band...
not to mention filling 3 bands of 6 selections in for FM...

All on the way driving to my mom's house for dinner.

My head was BUZZING by the time I stumbled out of the car. I wasn't in good shape at all... but at least Carol is happy with having a radio with a display that she can actually read... though I have to admit, it looks great and has a great sound (something she's been sorely lacking)...

posted at 11:24 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Michael Clayton

After a day of getting a haircut, getting food for the rabbits (and fighting the dog and cat adoption chaos inside the store), having a wonderful lunch at CPK, buying a long-overdue new radio for Carol's truck... we went to the AMC South Barrington 30 and caught the 4:20 showing of Michael Clayton.

A great movie... really. And George Clooney is really growing on me as an actor. But, it's becoming apparent to me, that if I am going to the movies, I want something else. I want action. I want fun. The last three movies were none of those. I think I need to find something to watch to break this cycle.

posted at 06:54 PM | Link | Movies | Care to comment? | |

Friday, January 25, 2008

One Year

Well... I think I said earlier that I needed to write something here... and here it is one year later...

it's not like I haven't talked about it though... I did a podcast episode last year that talked about it. I have just never written about it.

So... here it is. One year later, I can look back and try to remember what that day was like. You never want to get a phone call at work from a health care professional. I had been getting all kinds of MRI's, spinal taps... just to figure out why I'm getting these leg twitches/spasms...

So, the doctor that I had gone to for a second opinion made a diagnosis based on interviews, symptoms, and something that showed-up on an MRI that I had of a totally different region...

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

I happened to be seeing my neurologist that day, so I called Carol and we both went... and we both listened to what she said...

I started a daily drug therapy... I had to get over an extreme phobia about needles. The drug is administered daily - via injection - into a fat layer under your skin. I guess the only way I could handle this was I was able to get an Autoject - a device that uses the pre-filled syringes and fires/injects at the pull of a trigger... that way i don't have to handle it all .. and deal with manually injecting myself...

So... the drug itself - Copaxone - is not a cure. There is no cure. It's just supposed to reduce the number and severity of exacerbations. It works by modifying my immune system... which you know, you gotta watch. And *NOT* cheap. Thank god for insurance - it's saving me over $2,250 a month. But, it's a drug that, since it doesn't cure, doesn't make you feel any different either. So what weighs on you mind is - "is this drug even working?"

So... there you have it. A disease without a cure. A drug that just reduces the lesions and their frequency...

Just to keep me going...

Here it is a year later, and I don't really know how I feel about this... don't know at all... I know it was "caught early" before things really went "south"...

So... you only do what you know you can do... don't let the disease "define you"... just keep on living each day... and see where the road takes you

posted at 09:40 AM | Link | Health | Care to comment? | |

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


This writers strike is just nuts... nothing to REALLY watch on TV except Reality and Game Shows...

..and now, a new word to describe how the strike is manifesting itself - TiVorexia.

See... when you setup a Season Pass to record your favorite shows, typically you set the Show Type to "First run only", so you only get the first showing of an episode of a show, and not the reruns. Great feature.

Now, with the strike, there's no new episodes of many of the shows we watch... and you look at the "To Do List"... and all you see is the Show Name... and "None scheduled" instead of the list of shows coming up to be recorded...

Carol actually thought ahead, and TiVo'd shows that she wasn't going to watch until later sometime... well... later is coming around sooner, and our TiVo still has things to watch.

posted at 04:11 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Snow slop

Wow - what a mess driving this morning.

It had actually warmed up (if you can call it "warm") to 29F (almost -1C) and it lightly snowed during the course of the night.

I mean lightly.. .covered everything, but barely... maybe an inch or so...

...and yet, it was one of the worst drives I've had in the morning recently. The side streets weren't plowed. the main streets weren't plowed. I was going down Higgins Road and I saw a police car up ahead on the right shoulder. When the traffic made it up toward him you could see a car down in a steep ditch along the road.

I can't figure out why - if the snow had already started last night during my drive home at 5pm, and it was only an inch or so since then - why were the streets in such bad shape?

At least it's not as bad as the 36" water main break in the city this morning that produced a huge hole and flooding up to 4 feet deep in the area, flooding nearby houses and stores.

Hey, on the positive side... sometime overnight, our driveway got plowed... and it must have been from the plowing company and not like last time.

posted at 09:10 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Monday, January 21, 2008

The "holiday"

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an odd experience because, for me at least, it's not a holiday - it's just another work day.

You can tell, though, by the amount of traffic that many people have the day off. You can tell by the number of open parking spots in the garage at work that many people have the day off.

Not only a day to celebrate the life of a monumental civil rights leader, it's also a day that is used as a call to service for the community.

The origin of the day is not only his birthday, but it's also rooted in labor rights and unions...

So... today i work.

posted at 09:09 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Exploding Pop

A cold night.. .was down to -6F (about -21C). We knew we were going to have problems last night going to the hockey game.

Other than the obvious when we couldn't get the garage door to open (it would only travel between 6 inches and a foot even after stopping, reversing slightly and restarting it, taking several attempts to open the door all the way), it was on the shelves near the utility room door that we saw the issue.

We store soda on the shelving unit. Several of the bottles were freezing, so we had to get them inside so they wouldn't get screwed-up.

Too late for some of them, though.

The glass bottle six-packs of IBC Root Beer weren't surviving well.. in fact, 3 bottles were frozen and shattered.. and there's frozen root beer all over the shelves and other bottles.

We cleaned up the bottles, but we'll have to wait for a thaw to cleanup the shelves.

posted at 04:08 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Wolves 5 - Monarchs 2

Chicago Wolves Manchester Monarchs

read more of this entry

posted at 10:47 PM | Link | Wolves | Care to comment? | |

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pull through

OK.. .another in what seems to be a series of small things that make you happy...

It is absolutely great to pull into a parking lot, or in my case - a parking garage, and find a parking spot... that you can pull through! You know the ones, where you're in one aisle and the spot that you pull in is open... but so is the one in front of you... allowing you to pull forward into that space.. so you can just pull out at the end of the day instead of having to back up! And you don't have to go through the effort of backing up into the space either!

This ONLY works when the parking spaces are straight, and not on a diagonal, because either the opposite spot is angled the opposite direction, or if it's not, that means that aisle is one-way the wrong way... and I HATE HATE HATE people that pull forward into those because it takes them FOREVER to swing their car around to pull out... .or even worse, just drive down the aisle the wrong way.

See? Small things...

posted at 08:33 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

No change

Hey! That's me in there!
My neurologist called me at work today. I hate doctors calling me at work - it usually means something bad.

Today though... that was not the case.

She called to say that the MRI I had done the day after Christmas, when compared to another I had done showed no changes... and that's good. However, when comparing the two images, it looks like there is a possibility that the original radiologist may have been able to diagnose my issue earlier (almost 2 years ago, a year before the diagnosis).

Umm... oh oh... you know... I never blogged about this... I talked about it in my podcast, but I've never wrote about it...

I'll do that next week..

posted at 11:32 AM | Link | Health | Care to comment? | |

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pen Pocket

You know... sometime you're just thankful for little things...

... little... odd... things...

It's winter here in Chicago, so I wear button-down shirts to work (no suits, thank gawd)

Being a geek, I not only love having a pocket on my shirt, but I also use it, holding onto whatever I would need.

But, you know what's cool? Having the style of pocket that actually has a separate little sleeve that holds a pen, so that the pen doesn't flop around the pocket... it's all self contained, snugly holding my pen...

That's cool...

posted at 08:47 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Monday, January 14, 2008

Left Shoe

OK... I've been having this problem for at least a year now, and I have absolutely no explanation for this.

My left shoe constantly unties.

It doesn't matter at all which pair of shoes I have on. The left one always unties.

I have no explanation to offer. And it just pisses me off having to continually stop and tie my shoe.

Doesn't make any sense....

posted at 10:18 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Last Place

OK.. just a small Pet Peeve here... but...

Carol said something and... do you ever have something that all of a sudden triggers something... or at least reminds you that you have something that bothers you?

Today, it was something that was innocent that everyone says, but it just riles me up when i hear it.

"It figures... it was in the last place I looked..."

See? innocent... but... my brain just goes...


posted at 12:17 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Wolves 5 - Marlies 4

Chicago Wolves Toronto Marlies

read more of this entry

posted at 10:39 PM | Link | Wolves | Care to comment? | |

Friday, January 11, 2008

The new words of 2008...

I think I'm getting tired of two words that are all I hear the last few weeks...

"change" - if you've been listening to all of the political events... and...


posted at 11:19 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |
What does this mean?

I always worry when I leave the house in the morning for my trek to work, and, as I drive through the neighborhood, all I see are squirrels everywhere, standing upright, eating nuts...

... what does this mean?

posted at 08:06 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Things that are scary, and yet piss you off at the same time...

OK... look... I'm getting upset at all of our liberties and freedoms being encroached upon... America is not the same place that it used to be... not that I'm saying that we should be EXACTLY where we were 8 years ago, but... I don't know... I just get pissed-off at things...

like... oh... Federal wiretapping... especially those of the warrant-less variety...

But, when you have a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act investigation (which is used in the government's most sensitive and secretive criminal investigations, and allow eavesdropping on suspected terrorists or spies)... when THOSE wiretaps get CUT OFF because the government didn't pay the bills to the phone companies....

something REALLY SCREWED UP is happening in government...

Phone companies cut FBI wiretaps due to unpaid bills

posted at 03:51 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I can't imagine a car crash like this...

In Florida, on I-4, imagine not being able to see in front of the hood of your car. Normally, in fog or smoke, you could see pavement at least a little bit in front of you. In this case - no. I never heard that there are "Fog Warnings" that have a scale to them - 1-10. Anything over 7 is supposed to be risky for driving. the alert was for a 10.

Now, add to that a wildfire that started as a controlled burn that got away from the Florida Division of Forestry.

Sometime after 4am is when it all hit at the same time... and the horrendous collisions began.

I guess it wasn't just one crash, but rather 10 crashes involving 70 vehicles. 38 injured. 5 died. In a 2 mile stretch of road.

Responding fire crews had to walk in front of the engines to guide them through the smoke & fog because the drivers just couldn't see.

There were reports of people hearing erie sounds of crashes, screams, people calling for help all around them... popping of tires from the vehicles engulfed in flames... and not being able to see any of it.

posted at 10:02 PM | Link | Current Events | Care to comment? | |

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

HB, EP, wherever you are...

Ummm... ok... could be all those times going to the annual Elvis Night at U.S. Cellular Field (you know... I'm still having problems saying that... I STILL call it Comiskey... I mean, how long do I have to refer to the place as TPFKAC? It's going to be 5 years already...)

...but.. .Happy 73rd Birthday, Elvis Presley... wherever you are...

posted at 09:41 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Monday, January 07, 2008

January Tornado(s)

OK, this is crazy...

It was 64F (a bit over 17C) today. If that's not crazy enough, let's add-in tornadoes, up by the Wisconsin border. Homes blown apart, 12 cars of a freight train blown over. Saw cell pone video of the actual tornado that was seen. There's a question if there was one, two, or three... but they have finally figured out that it was an F3 tornado (on the Fujita Scale... oh wow... they decomissioned the scale.. now there's an Enhanced Fujita Scale... with enhanced damage indicators... hmmmm... may have to read-up more about this...)

Anyway... it's January. Tornadoes in January.

posted at 10:36 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Surely the polar ice caps are melting...

Now we're up to Flash Flood Warnings from the Winter Storm Warnings because it's so warm today, all of the snow has melted and it's got nowhere to go...

High today: 61F (a bit over 16 C). Stepped outside today to... ummm... turn off our Christmas lights... almost felt "balmy"...

Sorry, I would rather have this than a typical Chicago winter weather.

Watched American Gladiators tonight. I was so pumped-up to watch this show. Carol and I used to love the original - in fact, we went to a live show at the Rosemont Horizon (now Allstate Arena) back when the show was originally airing (can't remember when.. must have been in the early 90's)

Though the show still holds a sense of nostalgia for me, perhaps... I am over with it? I can't help but to feel like there's a faint smell of "professional wrestling" with this, which just taints it for me...

posted at 10:41 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Another day of birthday...

You know, no matter how old you are, you have to like it when you get to extend your birthday bay a day or two, just so you can celebrate it with family... or whoever.

So, went to my mom's for dinner today instead of tomorrow, since she is playing social butterfly tomorrow and going to a party herself.

Carol had stopped earlier today and brought along a great cake from Deerfield's. - Double layer chocolate cake, covered in chocolate mousse, with a layer of ladyfingers around the outside. Oh, man... wonderful... and it wasn't really sweet, somehow, which is what made it wonderful.

Woke up today to ... green grass. All that snow? GONE. Why? It's warm today, finally... even warmer tomorrow...

posted at 09:24 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Friday, January 04, 2008


Happy Birthday to...


Finding birthday cards strewn around the house... on my pillow (after I had gotten up to ... ummm... go... to the bathroom), on my chair by my computer... on my dashboard covering up my spedometer... and then one in my backpack under the Velcro strap holding in my laptop...

... and a wrapped DVD case (you just know it's a DVD by the size and weight).

So... still another year has passed... and I'm still here to see it.

Which is all good.

At least it's warmer today when I woke up: 25F (about -3C).

posted at 08:29 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Unusual packages...

Came home tonight to find two interesting items...

The first, in the mail, was a CD from the neurologist's office, of the brain MRI that I had a week ago Wednesday. It has software on it that autoloads and you can browse through all of the images of each series that was taken. A very odd journey through my brain...

The second was hanging from my front door, in a clear plastic bag.

It was the English Translation of the Message of the Quran .

Yes, a paperback version, distributed by the Book of Signs Foundation, with a cover letter.

Not something I would have gone out and bought (probably ever), but... I don't mind having a copy around.

posted at 05:50 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |
Just a tad bit worse...

Woke up to find the temperature is 0F (about -17C).

There is heat out there somewhere that is supposed to be coming this way.

Oh, who am I kidding... it's not "heat"... let's just say "warmer air"... I mean, this is Chicago.

posted at 06:52 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Clean entry

I got home after work today and as I pulled into my clean driveway I realized I had forgotten to mention this yesterday.

In the middle of the Rose Bowl game, the doorbell rang and it looked like a family of 4 that wanted to know if we wanted our driveway and sidewalks cleared.

Since we hadn't seen "hide nor hair" of our plowing service, we said sure... and they did a wonderful job with shovels and a snowblower. Looking out at the snow they had to cut through, it was a lot deeper than I had thought - maybe 9 inches to a foot (in places).

And, as anybody knows, it's not the snow on the driveway that's the killer - it the mound of snow that the village snowplow leaves at the end of the driveway when they come along and plow the street.

Wonder if we'll ever hear from our plowing service ever again, or did Carol's incessant phone calls to their voice mail scare them off?

posted at 04:58 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |
Plunged into the cold...

Great way to start the shortened work week... the temperature is 3F (about -16C). Going to be cold all day.

And then I thought I saw 50F (10C) later, like maybe next week?

And the climate isn't changing?

posted at 07:19 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

OK, a lazy way to start the new year...

So.. what have I done to start 2008? Let's see...

  • Woke up
  • Watched the 119th Tournament of Roses Parade on HGTV (only thing better would be to watch this in HD, but all we had was the KTLA feed, and I'd rather have a commercial-free viewing experience with commentators that talked about what was used in the float construction, and the advantages of certain pieces, rather than the pre-written inane banter of major network coverage)
  • Watched The Winter Classic from Buffalo... first time ever in the United States... imagine... an NHL hockey game - a regulation in-season game - played on a temporary ice rink built between the 16-yard lines on the football field in Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY where the Buffalo Bills play. An NHL-record 71,217 fans watched in the middle of a snow storm (with the vast majority staying to watch the entire game) (best sign that a fan held up: "Look Mom, no roof"). And, it has to be settled in a shootout. What a GREAT event for the NHL (oh, it was Pittsburgh 2, Buffalo 1)
  • The 94th Rose Bowl Game. uggh... how friggin' embarrassing... another Big-10 fiasco at the hands of the Pac-10, with the Illini losing to USC 49-17.... ugggh...

And basically, those few things took up my whole day, outside of Carol cooking-up a wonderful breakfast and dinner...

Welcome to 2008...

posted at 10:12 PM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |
Happy New Year all!

ugggghhhh... just got home after a HORRENDOUS drive from Wrigleyville out to the suburbs. The weather just wasn't right today/tonight/this morning... whatever this time period was...

ooops... so much for that "Rabbit, Rabbit" thing.... there must be a way around that for New year's celebrations

It started snowing while I was at work (yes, I had to actually work today). The drive home wasn't really treacherous yet, as I stayed on the most traveled streets... thank God for the lack of regular traffic.

Picked up Carol and made our way into the city to Barry & Buffy's. The Tollway and expressway were wet and slow... no traffic tie-ups, just a constant slow speed, which, in the long run, was not bad at all. The snow by us was deeper, heavier than what we experienced by them. I felt good, though, knowing that the weather-critters were predicting the snow ending my 11pm, which gave the plows/salt trucks a few hours to work before we had to make it home.

read more of this entry

posted at 02:41 AM | Link | Mundane | Care to comment? | |


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