Friday, January 30, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #22: Rocks or Stones

If the title didn't give it away, this week Carly asked us to take pictures of rocks or stones, or some variation on that theme.

Grab your cameras and show me some ROCKS. Big ROCKS, little ROCKS. LittleROCK, Arkansas, STONE soup. A Zen garden with decorative ROCKS, or how about ROCK cliffs? Sure, why not! A Pet ROCK, or ROCK candy. Take the words ROCK or STONE and use your imagination. ROCK music. ROCKING chair. ROCK ON! Stepping STONES. The Rolling STONES... it's all good!

Since we are still buried under snow here I wasn't sure what to do this week. I could dig out some stones in the backyard, but that's no fun. And too cold. So I went with something a little different. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped; I blame the lighting.

As you can see, I won 2 out of 3. Hey, the kid has to learn about losing, right?

I meant to take a picture of the small rocks out daughter has put in the handle of the door in the car, but I forgot and it is dark outside now.

Since I didn't wait until the last minute to post this week, there is still time to go to Carly's site and join in the fun.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Weekend Assignment #252: Book Connections

This week Karen has promoted Laura to professor for this week's assignment. I need to come up with some non-lame ideas so I can get a promotion! First, I need to do the assignment:

Weekend Assignment #252: Where do you get books from?

I wish I had some cool place to list like a fun independent bookstore, but I don't.  Actually, I wish there was a place like that around me. Especially one that specialized in genre fiction, but I don't know of one. Anyone know of a store like that in the northwest suburbs of Chicago? Maybe I just missed it.

Anyway, I buy my books at Border's for the most part. I like their rewards program better than Barnes and Noble, and I just like the store better. I will say that Barnes and Noble stocks more of the books that I like, so I do have to go there from time-to-time. I have heard many rumblings of Borders being in financial straits (who isn't right now). I hope they work things out. I don't want them to leave.

There is a bookstore about 45 minutes away that I have been to before called Anderson's Bookshop. They are an independent bookstore, but they are too far from me to go there all the time. I went there when Dave Barry was doing a signing. It is a nice shop and I would recommend it to anyone in the Naperville or Downer's Grove area.

Extra Credit: What was the last book you read, and why?

Acutally I am reading two right now. I have Stephen King's Just After Sunset at home and Allen Steele's Coyote in paperback that I can take with me to work, or wherever. I bought the Stephen King book because I pretty much read all of his stuff. I bought Coyote because I read Spindrift by Allen Steele earlier this year and now I want to read the series that Spindrift was based on. Got that? So far both are good, but I give the edge to Steele right now. Though it is hard to compare a collection of short stories to a novel. Not that I won't try.

Do you have a favorite place to buy books?

Important Question of the Day

I know there is a lot going on right now, recession, job losses, Blagojevich; but I have a question for all (3) of you:

Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip?

I'm serious. I know this a clear-cut choice for everyone. You love one, and hate the other. What is your choice?

Mine is mayo. I never liked Miracle Whip. I always found it had a slightly odd after taste. Sorry, Kraft; no offense. I love all your other stuff!

Why do I ask? I bought a sandwich on the way to work and it came with a packet that labeled 'salad dressing', which is code for fake Miracle Whip. Think about it, would you really use it to put on salad?

If you only use mustard or some other kind of condiment, that is fine. But tell me which one you used to like as a kid. I'm sure you used one as a kid.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

You saw this, right?

Montell Williams is now helping sell the Obama Coins set. This doesn't bother me too much; they sell coins with people on them all the time.

There are a couple of points I'd like to make:
  1. The Washington quarter looks like Obama has an extra head on his shoulders.
  2. They say they are a 'limited release'. Just remember, they can limit the release at 100 million if they want. It would still be limited. They will unlikely be of much value.
  3. Only ten sets per family! What a rip!
I wonder how much handling is? They don't tell you until you order, of course.

Let me read you a story

Don't worry, it is really short. It was written by my seven year-old son, how long could it be?

It's called, The Good News and the Bad News. Here's a shot of the cover for you.

See how on the left side there is a happy kid with a sun over his head, while on the right the kid is getting rained on? Great, huh? Let me just tell you this; if I had to draw this it would look almost the same. I have terrible drawing skills. And painting skills. Or, anything that requires fine motor skills. Or talent.

Let's move on to the body of the story.

It says: The good news is my dad is turning 40. The bad news is I have to wait.

Yes, he can't wait to be 40. I guess he can't wait to start getting gray hair, go to work, pay bills, or any of that fun stuff.

In his defense, Jenn and I think he's talking about us going on our trip next week and he has to wait until June to go to Disney. Or, he thinks you get to go on a trip when you turn 40.

On a somewhat related note; he did tell me when he gets to be 16, and has a job, he's going to save up to by us a minivan. He really has a thing for minivans.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #21: Youngins'

This week Carly asked us to take some photos of young things: kids, animals, plants, you name it. This week I have to go to the archives to complete the assignment. Since it is the middle of winter here in Chicago I couldn't go out and find any good examples. Or, I should say, new examples. I did find some older pictures.

Here is a picture of a polar bear cub with his mother. Let's hear it -- awww.

Here is a picture of the kids watching some dolphins swim a while ago.

And, for the last picture, here's one of Quincy that I didn't put in his birthday post.

It's still hard to remember him that small.

Now that you've checked out mine, go check out the rest of the photos. You know you want to.

I need a haircut

Exciting, isn't it? I do need one though; I can't remember when I got it cut last. It's out of control. I don't want to sound like a guy who really cares about that kind of stuff, but it is way to long to make it sit on my head properly. So I end up looking quite a bit like the kid from the movie My Bodyguard. You don't know what i mean, well here's a picture for you. I'm talking about the smaller kid, but the big guy's hair looks similar to mine too.

See how the kid's hair is kind of all over the place? That is what mine is doing. When I leave for work my hair is still a little damp, so when I go outside into the wind my hair looks like it was combed with an egg beater. (Remember those? Wow, they still sell them!) The fun part is when I go to use the bathroom a few hours after I get to work and look in the mirror.  No wonder people don't make eye contact with me. I have crazy person hair.

When will I get it cut? Let's see, I start work at 3 pm tomorrow. I could do if before work, but I should clean up around the house while the kids are at school. I'm off on Tuesday, but I work late the night before, so I might want to take a nap after I drop the kids off at school. By the time I get up, clean up myself and get something to eat I won't have enough time. Wednesday is out, I have too much to do. Thursday I work at 3 pm again, but...I may just have to get it cut on our trip in 2 weeks.

You know what I need? Someone to cut my hair at work? Wouldn't that be perfect? For guys I mean. Guys like me who just get it cut and don't add any color or any other stuff to their hair. I think the market may be a little small. Like one person.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tag! I think I'm it.

Mr. Unfocused kind of tagged me for a meme last week, so I guess I better get around to doing it. I think I have seen variations of this hanging around the interwebs, but that doesn't mean I've done it before. I have to name six things that make me happy. We'll see if I can come up with six. By the way, the usual rules apply. So that means I will not follow them. Call me a rebel!

Six things that make me Happy. (In no particular order, mind you.)

1. M&M's. Yes, they really do. You know how my favorite TV doctors talk about stress eating? I'm one of them, but I just get myself some M&M's and go to town.  Then my stomach hurts and that takes my mind off of the stress. See how that works?

2. Music. With the right music I can come out of a funk pretty easily. It definitely helps me when I'm cleaning the house or running. Certain music will do the opposite, though. Seriously, if you listen to Coldplay when you are depressed, you are going to feel much worse when that album is over.

3. Movies. Especially movies from when I was a teenager or a little older. I must watch Uncle Buck, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Spaceballs, Caddyshack and Die Hard whenever they come on. Sometimes old, bad movies make me feel good, too. I like watching them and wondering who thought it was a good idea. Or, just laughing at the implausibility of certain movies. Some Sci Fi movies fit in there well. Many times Jenn will ask me why I am watching the movie if it is stupid. I don't know. I guess that is why I like MST3K so much.

4. Playing Golf. I'm not all that good, but I have fun. Well, most of the time. Sometimes I want to wrap a club around a tree, but who doesn't fell that way sometimes?

5. My days off. Enough said.

6. Obviously my family. Sometimes the kids can stress me out, but they are good for the most part. I enjoy watching my son read and trying to figure out what is going to happen next in the book. I like how my daughter plays house with her dolls. I enjoy spending time, when we get some, with my wife -- doing anything. Well, maybe not shopping, but almost anything.

There you have it. Six things that make me happy. What about you? You can leave some things in the comments if you want. Feel free!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yes, you need this.

Just buy it. Don't ask questions. You don't want to be the only one without it. Do you? If you love your country you will buy it.

Order now!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quincy at one year

We are celebrating another birthday in our household; Quincy is one year old today. This birthday is a little more low key; no bowling alley, family party or even cake. See, the youngest child always gets screwed. Believe me, I should know.

After our first dog, Cosmo, died we waited a while before we got another one. Most of the wait was because of me; I didn't want to jump into training a new dog with two young kids at home. I think I held out for about for about 5 months before I gave in and agreed to getting a new dog. Hey, at least I got us through the winter without having to train him outside!

So, Jenn did some research and found a breeder about 90 minutes away that had a litter of Golden Retrievers due soon. Long story short, we got this picture of the litter in our e-mail in January.

I have no idea which one is Quincy but, based on his personality now, I'm going to guess he is the one with his head on top of all the other dogs. Now, if there was a dog chewing up a toy doll in this picture, it would make it much easier to pick him out.

A short time later we went out the the breeder to choose which dog we wanted to take home a few weeks after that. Now look at these little guys. How do you choose?

I'm positive Quincy is the lighter dog in the middle with his tongue partially hanging out. He is a little darker now, but not a whole lot. Look how tiny he was back in March.

It's funny, his ears are still quite a bit darker than the rest of his body. Now, however, his one ear is about the size of his whole body back then. At least is seems that way.

The Easter Bunny brought the dog to the kids this year. This is Jenn bringing him in after we 'found' him out by front door after we conveniently had somewhere to go. Look at the size of his paws!

It didn't take long for him to make himself at home. Our daughter wasn't too fond of him the first day. She was used to our 11 year old golden who mostly lounged around the house. Quincy was a flying fur ball that wanted to chase everything; including her. She warmed up to him pretty quickly, though she still will say she misses Cosmo.

We knew we might have a problem with size on this dog. Everyone who saw him would remark on how huge his paws where; the vet, the groomer, our friends, and sister (in-law to me). All these people knew what they were talking about. This shot is two months later than the one above.

Here he is checking for crumbs at the kitchen table. He is not standing on anything at this point. This is when I started wondering if we should have named him Clifford.

He is kind of trained now. He listens most of the time, but he still likes to steal things and make us chase him. Maybe he is trying to tell us he needs more excitement in his life. I don't blame him, this winter has not been nice. It's been too cold to do much playing out there.

Today I took the kids to the pet store to buy Quincy a few things for his birthday. Daughter picked out a squeaky turtle and son a football. Here Quincy seems to be using the turtle as a pillow, but he is actually rolling around on it.

I guess you can say he likes his turtle.

For the parting shot I would like to show you how he let's us know he is ready to come in the house.

This is our kitchen window. The base of that wind is about chest high on me. I still can't believe that he can reach it. And let me tell you, when he does that in the dark it freaks me out. He looks like some kind of demon, ghost dog.

Thanks for reading. Happy birthday Quincy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Weekend Assignment #251: Fantasy Sabbatical

This Weekend Assignment comes to us courtesy of Florinda. She came up with the idea and passed it along to Karen, who added the extra credit. I've been trying to come up with ideas too, but mine have been kind of lame so far. But, that is another story. On to the topic!

Weekend Assignment #251: You have a six-month paid sabbatical, and you can spend it anywhere you like EXCEPT on a beach drinking margaritas. Where do you go, and what do you do while you're there?

First, I have something to say. When I hear the term 'sabbatical' I can't help but think of Ross from Friends being forced to take time off of work because he went crazy because someone stole his turkey sandwich. Maybe that is just me.

So, where would I go? Is it okay if I drink beer? Good. I'd probably go a few places. I'd head out to the Pacific Northwest first. Maybe travel from Vancouver down through Oregon and stop before I got to California. (No offense California!)

I've heard there is great scenery along the coastline, and plenty of places to hike. I'm not a hiker, but I would do it for this trip. I'd make sure they were short hikes though, I don't want to get lost and eaten by a bear. Also, there are some nice golf courses in Oregon I'd like to try out. While I'm golfing Jenn could hang out at a spa or something. (Yes, she would be there too.)

Oops: I hit enter before I was done, meant to add some things)

I've been trying to learn how to take proper photographs; my plan would be to learn how to take nice scenery shots as I traveled the coast. I don't know if six months would be long enough for that.

I think I could find enough to do for six months. If I had some time left we could head over to Las Vegas for a few days. I don't gamble much, but it's not my money, so why not? Do you think they would let me take pictures of the casino floor? Me neither?

Extra Credit: In real life, have you ever gone anywhere enjoyable at an employer's expense?

I have gone to Las Vegas and Seattle on the company's money. They only paid for hotel and transportation and food, no gambling money. I spent the night in my hotel room in Seattle since I was ill, so I don't count it.

Where would you go?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Missed it by that much. (A late EMPS entry)

Last week Carly wanted us to take pictures of snacks that we enjoy. Once again, I had the pictures but I didn't get to post them on time. This time it was do to all the things we needed to get done for our son's birthday. So I thought I'd share them with you now. Okay?

First, here is a picture of our snack cabinet. Yes, we have a whole cabinet dedicated to snacks, doesn't everybody?

As you can see, many of them are of the 100 calorie variety. It makes you feel good about snacking on them -- until you realize you ate four bags while watching a rerun of Hogan's Heroes.

Next up we have a chocolate bar from the same cabinet. Well, I guess they are all going to come from that cabinet.

Dark chocolate is one of my favorites. This may not be the best kind of dark chocolate but, again, it is only 100 calories!

So after all the sweet stuff I need something salty. Why not some chips?

Do I need to say they are 100 calorie Pringles? No? Good. They are quite tasty.

And finally here is a cookie. It's a generic brand from Jewel in the Chicago area, I think they are Albertson's elsewhere, but these are my favorite chocolate chip cookies. I don't know why; something about the texture and the taste of the chips works well together. I don't know.

So there you go. These are some of my favorite snacks. Do you have any? It's okay if they are healthy snacks. I won't judge.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Seven years ago tomorrow

Seven years ago tomorrow our son was born. The day wasn't much different than today. Well, except I was younger, and had much less gray hair. I had just started my vacation and thought I'd have a couple of days to do some things around the house before he (or she, we didn't know at the time) came into our life. Jenn and I went out to dinner with my mom, had a nice big dinner and went home. Jenn went to bed early (any woman who has been pregnant would understand) and I stayed up to watch some TV (any know the rest). It must have been a great program because I was roused from my sleep by Jenn who wanted me to start timing some contractions.

After that things get kind of blurry. It's funny how time seems to flow differently depending on the situation. Take work for example; eight hours can seem like a lifetime. Having a baby born, though it can take 20 to 36 hours, can seem like it is less than a work day. Of course, I'm talking from the male perspective here. For the woman giving birth it may seem much longer. Until the drugs start flowing, I'm sure.

It's also funny the things you remember. I remember calling the doctor, my mom stopping by before going to work in the morning, the hippie on call doctor, taking a nap in an uncomfortable chair, getting breakfast (and feeling guilty Jenn couldn't have any, and a few other things I won't mention in case you are eating.

A few things do stand out. They had to have some neonatal doctors come in and wait for the baby to be born. It was more precautionary than anything, but there were some minor difficulties during the birthing process. Everything was fine, but it did make for a crowded room. Oh, I should mention that we didn't have a name picked out yet. We had narrowed it down to two and said we would decide when we saw him. Actually, now that I say that, we had some girls names ready too, but I can't remember them.

One of our favorite stories about the first day of his life is about gas. Isn't that always the way? He just had his first bottle and I was walking around with him and patting his back. He was so tiny, as most babies are, so I asked aloud to the room full of friends and family, "How will I know if he burps?" I figured something that little would make a little squeak sound when he burped. Was I wrong. He burped so loud he woke up the lady in the next room. I think he burps quieter now.

Now that little burper is seven and on his way to being able to beat up his old man. I need to start working out.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We were much heartier back then

Tomorrow will be the second day that school is closed due to cold weather. It's about -11F out there right now, going down to about -16F or so overnight. Maybe a bit lower. When I was a kid, back in the old days, we were never off of school because it was too cold. We walked 2 miles to school with paper bags on our feet, socks on our hands, through waist deep snow; even when it was below zero. And we liked it. Nobody cared if you lost a finger to frostbite, or a nose, or most any other appendage. (I did say most!)

Funny story about waist deep snow. Back in high school we would walk to school because the bus trip was longer than the walk and, in my opinion, any time off the bus was much better, no matter how cold. Anyway, we used to walk through this field to cut out about 1/4 of the distance to the school. At some time in late fall some construction was starting up in that open field, but it was covered up by snow for the most part. Well, one day walking home one of the guys happened to step into a foundation of one of this buildings that was covered in snow. He sunk up to his waist in snow and was pretty much trapped. We laughed at him a while before helping him out. So, yes, we did walk through waist deep snow. I wasn't lying. Well, at least one of us did.

I wonder; if I stayed outside in the cold without any gloves long enough, then I took my hand and whacked it against the car, would it shatter? You know, like that scene in Terminator 2 where the Robert Patrick terminator is in liquid nitrogen then he breaks into a million pieces? That would be kind of neat. I would be without a hand, but I'd have a nice scary story to tell the kids so they make sure to wear their gloves outside. Too much?

So, what's the point of this post? I'm not sure. But I wish work would be closed due to it being too cold outside.

Stop me if I've told this story about cold already. (I searched through the blog, but I couldn't find a reference to it.) Back in the mid-80's we had a really cold Christmas. I don't remember exactly what year it was, but my sister had an '84 Trans Am at that time. We were at my dad's house for Christmas and it was brutally cold out. It was one of those days you were afraid to kick the tire on accident, just in case it could shatter. I want to say the wind chill index was down around 50 degrees below zero. I could be wrong, and they changed the measurements for wind chill anyway, but it was close to that. What I remember most is it being so cold that my sister's car door locks wouldn't work. The key would go in, but that was it. But, somehow we were able to get the hatchback open. So, I had to climb through that to open the doors. It was fun. I felt a little bit like MacGuyver. Though he would have found a way to open the car door with some gum and a toothpick.

So, yeah, it's cold. It's winter. When do I leave for San Diego again?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Weekend Assignment #250: Hot or Cold?

Talk about topical. Just as we are hitting a cold spell here in Chicago, Karen wants to know if we like it too hot or too cold.

Weekend Assignment #250: We're getting into the coldest time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, so I expect things are getting a mite chilly on some places. If you had to pick one or the other, would you rather be too cold in the winter, or too hot in the summer?

This is a tough one, especially today. As of the last forecast I saw, we are going to be approximately 5 degrees tomorrow and probably won't get above zero Thursday. That's too cold for me. I can handle winter when it is in the 20's and 30's, but once it gets into the teens, I want out. Then, add in some strong winds to get the wind chills about 20 below zero, and I don't want to leave the house. Get me on the next plane to Florida, or Tuscon. I can go stay at Karen's place or something. Actually, our neighbors spend the winter in Tuscon. I've told Jenn I'd like to do that when we hit retirement, too. If there is anything left in our 401k's at that point.

Okay, so I don't like it really cold, what about too hot? I hate that too. This past summer we only had a handful of days in the 90's and some people complained. I loved it! I hate when it gets into the 90's around here. The humidity is usually way too high and I want to sleep on the cold tile next to the dog. And I sweat. A lot. I don't like my shirt getting soaked with sweat as I drive in the car then walking into the store with giant sweat stain for all the people to see. At least I can clear a path down the aisle. Who wants to stand next to the sweat monster?

I need to live in a place that never gets above 80 degrees, or below 35 degrees. Where would that be, San Francisco area maybe? No, seriously, where would that be? I need to find it.

So far I haven't answered Karen's question. I'm stalling, can't you tell? I guess, if you put a gun to my head, I'd say I'd rather it be too hot. Yes, you can bundle up in the cold, but when it gets to zero, or below, you can't put enough layers on. Unless you are like the little brother in A Christmas Story, and probably not even then. At least the furnace can't go out in the middle of the summer and make you freeze and cause the pipes to burst. See, I always look on the bright side of things.

Extra Credit: How has the weather been so far this season, compared to past years?

So far this hasn't been the coldest of the last few years. We've had a few cold snaps, but nothing extreme. We have had a lot of snow, though. I'd say it has been quite a bit more than the last couple of years, at least to this point.

So, would you rather be too hot, or too cold? Be honest.

Monday, January 12, 2009

It all started with one of my weird food quirks

I went out to the store Sunday to pick up a few items for the house, which included some frozen meals to bring to work. I'm trying to be a good boy and eat some Lean Cuisine-type foods at lunch to save money -- and a few pounds. One of the things I bought was a Philly-style panini. I thought it would be a tasty, easy to eat, thing to bring to work. One problem; when I went to put it in my lunch I decided to check the date on the box. I shouldn't have done that.

I've talked about some of my food fears here before, so I hope you understand and don't think I'm crazy(ier). The date on the box was January 24th, 2009. That's good, right? It's not for another twelve days. No problem. Eat it up! No, I couldn't bring it to work. Think about it; when you buy frozen food (of the big-time processed type) the expiration date is about two years later. So, I ask myself, how long has this been sitting in the freezer at the store? How many times has it defrosted and re-froze because of some kind of freezer malfunction? Yes, this is all the stuff that goes through my head. I don't know how I eat anything.

Needless to say, I left the sandwich at home, and brought something else. When I got to work I realized I forgot to bring a fork, so I had to go to the cafeteria to get one. Then, of course, I look around and decide the Italian sub looks much better than my frozen sesame chicken, so I bring it (and a salad!) and to the register. This is where I got screwed. I think she over-charged me, which is impossible to tell when you have to weigh the salad, and I think she hosed me on my change, too. I hope she had fun trying to figure out why her register balance was off at the end of the day. Serves her right.

As you can see, having weird food issues only goes on to screw up your whole day. Oh, I should mention I was almost late to work. It wasn't directly related to the food, but it's all part of the bad karma thing people talk so much about.

So, am I on the road to becoming Monk, or is there hope for me?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #19: Nap Time

I'm back on track with Carly's photo shoots. I missed the last two because of the crazy schedule around the holidays. I actually had the photos taken for last week but I never had the time to actually post them.

Anyway, this week Carly picked a topic I can really get behind -- napping. Who doesn't like a good nap. So, I took a couple of pictures where I like to take a nap.

First up is the couch in our family room.

Due to stupidity on our part this is the only full sized couch in the whole house. But, it works out well. I can take a short nap while the kids are playing in the next room, but I can still hear what is going on. (Pardon the Christmas pillow on the couch. We've put away the other decorations. Really!)

Next up is the recliner.

My wife bought this for me on the first Father's Day after we moved in to our house. I don't get to sit in it as much as I would like, but I will nap in there on occasion. It's pretty comfy.

I didn't get a shot of anybody napping, but here is a shot of our dog, Quincy, resting on the cool tile.
This picture is from June. He's about three times bigger, but this was the best shot I could find of him resting. He doesn't seem to rest very often.

Where do you like to nap?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Finding old friends

In a bit of weirdness this week, I managed to connect to a few old friends. They were different levels of connection, but connections nonetheless.

Two friends my wife and I found while looking around on LinkedIn. They were both college friends that we lost touch with shortly after graduation. I actually talked to one of them, Scott, on the phone a short time ago. We haven't talked in 17 years, or so, but we were able to pick up were we left off for the most part. We are going to try to get some of the people together for a mini-reunion. I'll let you know how it goes.

The other two were from grade school. Yes, a long, long time ago. Back from the days when we took dinosaurs to school, and worked by candlelight. Those I found through Facebook (Yes, I know). Actually, they found me since I signed up and added a mutual former grade school friend that I am already in touch with. Not that we talked about much, but it is still kind of neat. As you know from reading this, I do have a thing for nostalgia.

I guess there is a good purpose to the Internet and all it's information. More so than just having a place to quickly look up quotes for stupid movies. Or the lyrics to Run Joey Run.

These past few weeks have been busy so I haven't been posting a whole bunch. I think things may calm down a little bit now that Christmas break is done, but my son's birthday is coming up, then we go to LaJolla, CA soon after that. So, maybe not!

On the New Year's Resolution front, not that I made any, I did sign up to run the Shamrock Shuffle and the Soldier Field 10 mile. Jenn talked me in to the 10 miler. I'm a little scared. See, I've been a total sloth these past few months. It started after I finished the Walter Payton run. I had no other races on my schedule so I slacked a little on the running, then I tweaked something in my hip so I backed off even more on the running. Then, well, it got cold. Yes, I do belong to a gym with and indoor track, what's your point? Now that I have some motivation, I'm hoping I get off my butt.

Wish me luck! I need to go find a snack. All this talking about running is making me hungry.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Random Wednesday (it's back)

I thought today was the perfect day to do a Random Wednesday. It's been awhile.

I watched some of Knight Rider today. I had no choice! I read the short synopsis in the newspaper and it said the doctor guy (that's his name, really) was fixing a sick robot. How do you pass up something like that? I haven't watched the show since I wrote about the mini-series last February but, not surprisingly, it hasn't gotten any better.

There were a few parts I had problems with, or should I say the most problems with. Anyway, the Bad Guy was in this warehouse that was surrounded by an EMP field so the Knight Rider guys couldn't see inside with any of their special toys. Or detect any kind of radio signal out of, for that matter. I can see that, I guess, but my question was; how is the Bad Guy able to remotely control an aircraft drone and get radio signals to all his fancy computer equipment?

Also, the sick robot was lonely and jealous of KITT and all the attention it was getting. Yes, I am serious. So the Good Doctor is able to build a robot with such great AI that it can be jealous but can't speak except in blips and beeps? He must have designed R2-D2 as well.

I have created a monster in my house. My daughter has begun reciting commercials. I really didn't have anything to do this. But, when she talks about Miracle Hangers and getting Jenn the ultimate purse that can hold anything, I know I am in trouble. Next she's going to be asking for ShamWows.

Okay, I need to go to bed.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Weekend Assignment # 249: Looking back at 2009

I like this idea. Karen wants us to write up a look back at this year we are just starting. That leaves so many opportunities. I hope she didn't want me to be totally serious. I think she knows me well enough by now to realize I won't.

Weekend Assignment #249: Today is January 2, 2010. Tell us about the most interesting things that happened in 2009, in the world and also in your life in particular.

First off, I want to say thank you to everybody who voted for me in the special election for Barack Obama's senate seat. I figured I was the only one without some ties to the corruption that has been basically running our state for years, so I thought I might have a chance. Of course, because of said corruption, it was impossible for me to win; but, hey, I got some votes. Thanks!

On a related note, though not surprising to me, Gov. Rod Blagojevich was not impeached from the office of governor for our great state of Illinios. It turns out that really wasn't hair on his head. I knew it looked too weird. Who knew it would turn out to be a parasitic alien that was taking over his mind? When you thing about it though, only a crazy person, or alien, would keep having shakedown conversations on his phone when he knew it was being tapped. Unfortunately Glaxord, the alien, got away before we could find out what his true plans were. All I have to say is that I'm going to be watching people's hairdos more closely. You hair stylists and barbers keep your eyes peeled. The world is counting on you.

Back at home, we did end up winning the Mega Millions Jackpot back in July. Our share turned out to be only $45.75 after taxes. Who knew that many people played numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6? Oh well, at least we were still able to buy 400 shares of GM stock. Let's hope they turn it around soon.

On the national front, Barack Obama took office in January. By the second week the economy was completely turned around, all of the terrorists surrendered at once, and the unicorns came back to Earth. It has truly been a year of Change so far! I can't wait for 2010.

Extra Credit: How did you do on your 2009 resolutions, if any?

I didn't do so good there. I still eat all the M&M's I can get my hand on, I don't run as much as I should, and I don't eat right. But hey, I was busy running for that senate seat. Next year will be different.

(Edited to correct the month Obama takes office; because I'm an idiot)

Songs ruined by radio

When I was in high school, and even later, I used to like the song "The Zoo" by The Scorpions. Now, I can't even listen to it thanks to classic rock stations. I can listen to any other Scorpion song, but "The Zoo" makes me want to stab a spork in my eye. (Sporks do less damage than forks; it's a fact).

Now, I don't own any albums by The Scorpions, but I enjoy their music and even went to a concert once. It was 20 years ago, but still. But, thanks to radio, that song has been killed. At least to me.

My question to you: What song, or songs, has radio killed for you? Don't worry about being embarrassed about the song; I put up a Scorpions song for Pete's sake.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mark your calendars for 'The Most Sequential Day'

At least that is what I'm calling it. If you have a better name let me know.

What am I talking about? Well, July 8th, of course. Since July is the seventh month, that make it 07/08/09, or 7,8,9. But to make it even better, at 12:34:56 on July 8th, it will be 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Won't that be fun? By the way, I should mention I mean 12:34:56 in the afternoon; it will be easy to follow my plan.

Since that is a weekday, I have an idea. When that second hits, everyone stop working, stand up (if not already) and proclaim it is 'The Most Sequential Moment of the year", then go back to work. Are you with me? Great.

I know you are asking yourself, "Self, there are different time zones everywhere, how do we all do this?" I thought about that. We could all do it in GMT, but a lot of people won't be at work then. So I say just do it at that time in your own time zone. It will be like a giant wave that goes around the world. Cool, huh?

I realize I may not be the first one to think of this, but I'm not going to go searching around the web to see who came up with this already. It's too depressing. I'd like to think I had some original thought at some moment in my life.

So who's with me?! Go. Get your calendars. Mark it down now.

I'll be waiting for the wave to hit Chicago.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cat...out of bag.

First of all, anyone that has come here looking for a picture of a cat, I'm sorry. That is not what I'm talking about here; besides, there is only one real source of cat photos anyway. But, feel free to read on anyway. There are no cats in this story, but that also means none are harmed during the telling of this story. (I don't want PETA after me or anything).

As I may have mentioned before, Jenn is taking me on a trip for my birthday next month. It's my 40th (ahhhhh!) this year so she wanted to do something special. She decided against a party and chose to take me somewhere. Isn't that nice?

About three or four weeks ago she let it slip that we are going somewhere. She wouldn't tell me where, just that it would probably be warmer than here. That didn't really narrow it down much. I knew it wasn't going to be Hawaii because we were only going for a few days. And it would be too expensive. I tried not to bug her too much, but it was hard. There were ways I could have looked up some of the information on the trip, but I was good and didn't. Until one day.

Actually, I didn't go looking for anything. (Really!) She opened her planner and a piece paper happened to flip open that had the flight information on it. She yelled for me to not look, but it was too late. I saw it. I didn't say anything though. She always tries to surprise me with gifts but somehow the surprises get ruined. I still enjoy the gifts, but usually something happens and I find out, or figure it out.

So, I played it cool for a couple of weeks; until just a couple of days ago. We were talking about a restaurant gift certificate we have and we were wondering if we could use it on out trip. Well, I let my guard down and just spit out, "Do they have restaurants in California?" In the immortal words of Homer Simpson, d'oh! So yeah, I know where we are going.

To be specific, we are going here to see this. Isn't that cool? Well, I suppose if you don't care about golf you wouldn't think it was cool. But it is for me. Isn't Jenn cool? She doesn't like golf and she is going to let me drag her around a golf course to watch a tournament. You can watch for me on TV. I'll be the only one waving a giant foam finger around. Or, the guy getting tackled by a caddie for waving said foam finger. Either way, I should be visible. Set your TiVos!

I have a question for you Californians; how do you say LaJolla? Please let me know. I don't want to look like a dork there. Or, like a bigger one. Thanks!

I guess you can say I'm looking forward to next month. Granted, I'm not looking forward to getting older but at least our trip is a few weeks before my actual birthday. I can enjoy my last few days of my 30's on a nice trip.

Now I have to go plan for something big for Jenn. She's younger than me so I have a little time. It has to be big. Any ideas?