Sunday, May 31, 2009

Um, I guess it's a good idea if the food doesn't agree with you

Have you heard of the Modern Toilet restaurant in Taiwan? Yes, it's a bathroom themed restaurant, who doesn't think that is a good idea? 

I picked the safest picture to put here, just in case you are eating. The food isn't all that gross,probably, but they take the theme to the limit. Drinks in urinals, check. Poo shaped ice cream, check. 

Just go look at the rest of the pictures here

Change you can sink your teeth into

I give you the Obama "Change" candy bar.

I found this in a shop at Navy Pier among a few other Obama trinkets. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it, but I was afraid of getting kicked out for screwing around. I find it hilarious and a bit of a waste of time. Who thinks of this stuff? I did come up with a few slogans for the candy bar:

It's full of  chocolatey change goodness. 

I never new change could taste so good. 

Isn't it about time you tasted change?  

That's about all of the slogans I could come up with. If you have anything better, add them in the comments. 

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Quincy is flying solo

Quincy has his own blog now. Why? He was bored just sitting at my feet while I was on mine. Go check it out when you have time. Feel free to send him any questions you want him to answer as well. 

Hope you are all having a good weekend. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weekend Assignment #268: I love a parade

Actually I don't really, but Karen wants to hear about parades since we just celebrated Memorial Day. 

Weekend Assignment #268: In some communities, Memorial Day is celebrated in part by a local parade. Have you ever appeared in a parade, or at least attended one? Details, please! Note that I'm asking about any parade, not just a Memorial Day one.

I know I was never in a parade. Or, at least I can't remember one that I was in, nor can I think of a reason I would have been in one. I was only in Cub Scouts for about 6 months and band for even less time. Neither were my style. 

I have been to parades as a kid, but it's been a long time since I've seen one. The kids have gone to a few with Jenn since I work on holidays all the time. It's not like they've been deprived of the experience. 

When I was younger we used to go to the Fourth of July parade up the street from our house. I think the only reason I went was for the candy that they would toss out. Oh, and one year my friend's little brother was in it. He was in some drum and bugle corps thing. I never really got a big thrill out of them though. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the noise. Maybe it was because I had to stand for so long and I could never see anything anyway. 

So, there is my exciting parade post. Sorry about that. 

 Extra Credit: Have you ever studied to play a band instrument? (No band camp jokes, please.)

Like I said above, I was in band for a very short time. I played the clarinet and I wasn't very good. I quit only a few months in, and the band director was not very happy with me. Mostly it was because my brother did the exact same thing the year prior. Maybe he felt we were wasting his time, I don't know. It's not like I was ever going to be the next "Bleeding Gums" Murphy or anything.

Anybody else like parades a little more than me? 

Finally watched "Marley and Me"

Since pretty much all the TV shows we watch are done for the season, Jenn and I watched a movie from the On Demand selection. Jenn picked, Marley and Me, which was fine by me, it seemed like something I would like. 

After watching the movie, actually I thought of this during the movie, I think Quincy might be the reincarnation of Marley. Actually, I should say our last dog, Cosmo, and Quincy together are the reincarnation of Marley. Sure, some things are different, but I couldn't imagine dealing with Quincy's and Cosmo's issues while taking care of babies. We have enough trouble with two kids ages five and seven. Heck, right now on the floor next to me is a little doll for my daughters dollhouse. It's feet are gone, eaten off by Quincy. It also has Phyllis Diller hair, but I think that is from my daughter giving it a shampoo. 

Let's try to compare a little. Cosmo destroyed two couches. Yes, you'd think we would have learned after the first one, but we didn't. We should have known better really, he wasn't well trained and we should have kept him in his crate while we were gone. We felt a little guilty and wanted to give him freedom. Not freedom to chew up a couch, but freedom to sleep where he wanted to. Maybe the couch was too lumpy for him and he wanted to make it fit the contours of his body better. I'll tell you what, he certainly slept on there much better after chewing it up. He also was smart enough to wait until we moved the couches around to hid the hole until he chewed up the other one. Turned out he could look out the little window next to the front door from that one spot. So he had to make the new couch comfy for him to watch too. It just makes sense when you think about it. 

We finally got a trainer for Cosmo after Jenn said she couldn't live with him anymore. She was mostly serious. He kept jumping up and grabbing her arm in his mouth, causing bruises all over her arms. I'm sure her co-workers were ready to call the police on me. So, after some training from a woman not unlike Kathleen Turner's character in the movie, and a little minor surgery, he calmed down after another year. Lucky for us, we didn't have kids for about another four years after that. We both said how we knew Quincy, or Cosmo as a puppy, would have chewed up the diapers. Now that I think of it, I think Cosmo used to take the wet ones. He would bring them downstairs and put them next to his toys. At least that was halfway to the garbage. 

Now, with Quincy, we have the chewing machine. He goes in the kids toys searching around for something to chew like it is a treat box for him. It's really annoying. Then he runs under the table to hide from me, when I go to get him, he starts running around like a mad dog. It's funny, and irritating, all at the same time. Basically our house is littered with half-chewed pieces of paper and kids toys. Anytime the doorbell rings I freeze. I'd like to ignore it, but the kids and dogs run over there and make a bunch of noise. It's hard to pretend I'm not home with all the racket. Unless I want someone to call the police. Nothing like having the neighbors think I leave the kids home by themselves. 

I will say Quincy walks pretty good. Certainly better than Marley did in the movie. Well, as long as a person doesn't walk by the other way. Trying to hold the 86 pound Quincy back when he wants to say "hi" to somebody is not easy. I have come close to dislocating my shoulder a few times. 

I think the end of the movie was the most similar to our experience. With Cosmo, it was an unexpected end. One day he just couldn't walk. His back legs were almost useless. He didn't seem to be in pain, but he could barely walk and he really couldn't go potty. When I came home from work and my wife was sitting with him in the backyard, I knew it wasn't going to turn out well. He didn't have the same problem as Marley, but the scene in the Vet's office was similar. I was there by myself and had to say good-bye. What do you say to a dog anyway? I certainly had forgotten about all the trouble he caused when he was a puppy, I just reminded him that he was a good dog and we were going to miss him. He knew what was happening. He may have been only a dog, but I think he knew it was the end. So, I said my good-bye, took his collar, and went to work. Yeah, I had to work afterwards, that was fun. 

The end also got me thinking about Quincy. He's been much more problematic than Cosmo, but he's just looking for attention. I think. I'm sure we will feel the same way we did about Cosmo at the end. It doesn't help the Quincy has the same coloring as Marley did. Not to mention the fact that the names are similar, at least to a dog they are. Quincy looked the the TV quite often when they called Marley. I think he liked the movie, too. 

I hope I didn't ruin the movie for anyone...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #39: Memorial Day

I missed last week's assignment because I forgot what day it was. Yes, really. The holiday messed me up and I was a day off. So, this week, I took the photo early and I'm posting it early. 

This week Carly wants us to post pictures relating to the Memorial Day holiday. Makes sense, no? 

It has been a three day weekend for most folks in the United States, and today is MEMORIAL DAY. Show me how you observed the day. A picnic with family, the day spent in quiet reflection, the raising and lowering of the flag, MEMORIAL DAY parades, anything related to the holiday is fine.

Extra Credit: Write a little about what 
MEMORIAL DAY means to you personally.

I only have one shot to share with you. I worked this Monday, so I didn't do any of the things one associates with the holiday. I decided to take a photo of the small American flags that one of the neighbors put along the sidewalk in our subdivision. 

It didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, but I couldn't play around too much out there. As you can kind of see, it was raining. I didn't want to ruin my relatively new camera. 

As for the extra credit, I mentioned a bit about that is yesterday's post

I hope you all had a nice holiday, or Monday if it wasn't a holiday for you. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

I know everybody is posting the same thing; have fun today, but remember what Memorial Day is all about, so you can skip this if you want. I won't hold it against you.

Back in 1967 my uncle was killed in the line of duty. I never got to meet him, so I can't say anything about him. I know he was a pretty big guy, he was the youngest sibling in the family, and I don't believe he was married all that long. Thanks to the power of the Internet, I can see that was killed by some kind of mortar or rocket fire. I'm not exactly sure I wanted to know that.

I do know that my mom and he were close. I think she looked out for him when he moved to the Big City. It must have been a big change coming from a (very) small town in Upper Michigan to Chicago, so I'm sure he was happy to have the help. Also, like many others, he was drafted. If I remember correctly he left school for a short time, and that's when he was picked up. That's about all I know. My mom doesn't like to talk about it much, not that I can blame her, and I don't try to bring it up. I'm also pretty sure he is the reason my mom would always come up with some reason why I couldn't join the Air Force whenever I brought it up as a kid. Again, I can't blame her for that.

So, here's to you uncle Jim. Thanks for all you did for our country.

Now, you, go enjoy your beer, brats and hamburgers. I need to finish work and figure out what I'm going to eat later.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Music of the future

Since my last post where I mentioned the awesomeness of the 8 track player, I've been thinking about the various mediums we've had over the last 30 years. The 8-track is, thankfully, dead as is the cassette, but vinyl continues to breathe, even though it is on life support. We have CD's, but even those are losing out out online purchases like iTunes, Amazon, Walmart, etc.

So what's the next step? You know there will be one. There always is a next step. That's part of what makes us human, the desire to improve things, even if those things aren't really much of an improvement; sorry DVD-Audio, you were a good idea, but not really worth buying new versions of everything again. 

That's the catch there. Whatever the new medium is, it has to be worth re-purchasing the music. Or, in the case of iTunes and the like, at least be able to transfer your existing library into the new medium and then go from there. That's why the digital, computer based, music has worked out so well. Sure, it doesn't sound as good as the original CD's (unless you use a lossless format) but at least you didn't have to buy the 300 CD's you have over again. 

I've been thinking about this a while and the only thing I can think of right now is some kind of direct input to the brain, or at least to the ear. I guess it would be a long time for scientists to figure out how to bypass the ears and go right to the part of the brain that processes sound, but won't it be great when that happens? Imagine every album sounding like you are there during the recording. Sure, every new type of media that comes out likes to say that listening to their new doodad will put you there with the band, but it never quite will. Don't buy into it. There is always going to be something lost in the translation whether it is in the recording process, or the playback on your equipment. 

Now think about music going right into your brain and other stimuli added as well. Why not add odors? You'd be able to smell the sweat of the drummer, or the massive amounts of hair spry from those 80's hair band albums you like. It's okay to admit it, I won't judge you.  Or maybe the smell of the studio, or a concert hall, or something. I don't know, I'm making this part up as I go along. But, hey, if this is shot right into the brain why not add other stimuli to make it all that more realistic? 

The question is, how do you get it into the brain? You could use a BrainPal type device that was used in John Scalzi's Old Man's War novels. But, maybe there could be a way to go right into the brain to avoid using some type of electronic device? There would be less chance of signal degradation, right? The signal, and thus the sonic quality, would be that much more pure. I think this is the only way you could actually feel like you are there with the band. And, while we are at it, why not tap into the visual cortex and get some visuals in there as well. Either of some type of stoner Pink Floyd-ish light show, or video of the band playing. Hey, you'd always have front row seats! 

So that's what I think should come next. Somebody get working on it, and make sure to credit me. Ten percent is all I ask. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Weekend Assignment #267: 30 years ago

Karen and her husband are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary this week. Congrats, Karen! So, she wants to know what the rest of us were doing 30 years ago. 

Weekend Assignment #267: On Tuesday, John and I will have been married to 30 years. If you're old enough to remember the late 1970s, please tell us what you were up to way back then. If not, pretend I asked about the late 1980s. If you're too young to that, I'll be very surprised, but go ahead and tell me about your life in the late 1990s!

After doing a little math, I figured out I was in 4th grade 30 years ago. It wasn't my best year in school. Not that I remember a whole lot, I just know that I got screwed with my teacher. 

My brother is three years older than me, and when he was in fourth grade he loved his teacher. I guess she was really nice and helpful. So I was looking forward to it over the summer. Then the bad news came. That teacher left, but that wasn't the worst part. The replacement was my old nemesis from kindergarten. 

I know what you're thinking (a little Magnum PI reference there for ya), how could I have a nemesis in kindergarten, let alone one who is a teacher. Let me just tell you, her and I didn't see eye to eye. We never got along. I don't know why, or what I did. She just had little patience for me, and, believe me, you needed patience with me. Actually, you still do. 

I can't remember everything, but I do remember an incident involving a giant plastic egg, little bits of paper and glue. Then glue, everywhere. Then the teacher finishing my project for me. I guess I was too klutzy for her. 

So, yeah, it wasn't the best thing for that year. I don't recall any major problems in fourth grade with the teacher, though. I just remember the dread I felt when I learned who the teacher was going to be. 

If I may, let me skip ahead to later in 1979. The beginning of fifth grade was the exact opposite. I heard stories of the mean teacher from fifth grade. It wasn't looking good. I was terrified. But, I got lucky, as a new teacher came in that year, too. 

It was a great set-up. He was just out of school, and not jaded and tired of kids yet. I think it was one of my favorite years of school. Really. 

First off, he got us all to buy enough books through the Scholastic Book Club to get an 8-track player for the room. For you young ones out there, and 8-track was similar to a cassette, only much bigger and always had the best song on the album split up right in the middle. Seriously, the song would fade out, the player would change tracks, and it would fade back in. It was great! We listened to a lot of music during lunchtime. I brought in my sister's Cheap Trick At Budokan tape and my teacher really liked it. 

Oh, and second, I set up my teacher with my older sister. What a matchmaker I was! I swear I didn't do it for a better grade. I was just being nice. Really! 

Okay, I've gone off track enough. More stories about fifth grade later. Remind me to tell you about the kid who always wanted to give me a quarter to be his friend. 

Extra Credit: What, in your opinion, was the best thing about the 1970s, if anything?

Um...bell bottoms? Feathered hair? Oh, I know, those giant combs that people used to carry in their back pockets. That was in the 70's, right? 

So, what were you doing in 1979? 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

X marks the spot

I like to think this was some kind of sign. Maybe a signal for my alter-ego? I need a cool name for it though.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot #37: Theaters

It's called the Schaumburg Prairie Center for the Arts. 

I've never gone there, but there have been some interesting things there. They do everything from music concerts to puppet shows. It's pretty neat. 

I want to know what goes on down this road next to the theater. Something sinister? 

That's all I have for you this week. Sorry for the absence. 

Friday, May 15, 2009

Worst idea for a game show. EVER!

There we were, minding our own business, watching The Soup on E!; then it happened. The Soup ended and something else came on. Something horrible. Make that Horrible. Really, it deserves a capital H. That show was Fake Or Real. A game show of such ridiculous proportions that Jenn and I both thought it was a joke. I thought it was actually the beginning of Chelsea Lately and we were going to be mercifully spared. But it wasn't a joke. 

For those of you who couldn't guess by the title (and really, I give you all the respect in the world for not knowing; you are a better person for it) it's a game show (?) where three people come out and the judges have to guess who had plastic surgery. So, as I've seen others describe it, it's like To Tell the Truth, but much sleazier. Though I will admit that the girl in the first segment who actually had the surgery looked the most normal. I didn't get the story, but in her before shot she was quite overweight and I believe she had a gastric bypass surgery to help her out. I believe all of them had some surgery, the judges had to decide who had all five surgeries, or something like that, the bleached blond, over-bosomed, lady was an easy guess. I guess that's why she was out there. 

But, to my point, do we need a show like this? Who came up with this idea? Who gave it the go-ahead? I want to know. I think this has to be the worst idea for a game show ever. Sure, you could bring up Fox's spectacular Moment of Truth which seemed to be designed to break up families. It was like the worst episodes of Maury and Springer all rolled together without the lame wrap-up by the host. But that show only ruined one, maybe two, families at a time. This new show basically goes out of it's way to show how great plastic surgery can be to all the people out there watching it. Especially impressionable teenage and slightly older girls. Gee, thanks E!, we don't have enough trouble making our kids feel good about themselves without having you show how "good" the surgeries can be. 

One of the judges was none other than Dr. Creepy himself; Dr. Rey from Dr. 90210. First of all, he's a plastic surgeon, he should be able to tell, right? Not to mention how weird it was to have him hold up the instruments used for the procedures to see if the contestants knew what they were for.

 Second, I've said it already, he's creepy. He's the embodiment of what is wrong with plastic surgery. On his show he basically tells the person what is wrong with them and tells them how to fix it. He's all about using surgery to help your self esteem. Thanks Doc! 

I only saw the first segment, but I did over hear on the TV that in the next segment the judges had to figure out who was a man before the surgery. Wow! That's something ripped right out of the Maury playbook. 

In summary, stay away from this show. I beg you. I don't want it to stay on! 

Before I end this I want to say that I don't think all plastic surgery is bad. I know there are many cases when it is necessary. This show isn't about that at all. That's why it ticks me off. 

I need to go to bed now. I'm worn out. 


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Weekend Assignment #266: TV that Mattered

Hey, Karen picked one of my favorite subjects; TV of my youth. I did a lot of TV watching when I was a kid but it didn't rot my brain at all. 

Weekend Assignment #266: The release of the blockbuster Star Trek prequel movie reboots a franchise for a cult tv show that had a huge impact on generations of sf tv viewers. Is there a tv series from your youth that you remember especially fondly?

Does she mean only one? Wow, that is near impossible for me. I'll talk about a few, with one being the most fondly remembered. Sound good to you? 

Now, some of these shows may not match up with my age since I watched in reruns, but I don't think that matters. 

One show I watched all the time, and still do, is M*A*S*H. Since this show was on forever I watched it as a combination of reruns and first run episodes. I clearly remember recording (on a Betamax!) the finale for my mom since it was her bowling night. I believe I was in eight grade then, so it was okay to leave me alone, don't go calling the cops on her. 

I think I like the first few years of the show the best. With the team of Hawkeye, Trapper, Henry and crew, it was just the right mix of comedy and seriousness. Maybe a little to heavy on the comedy in the beginning since I thought it would be fun to be in a M*A*S*H unit when I was young and impressionable. 

I think the last few years of the show, especially after Frank and Radar were gone, weren't quite so fun, but it was still interesting to watch. But, really, wasn't Col. Potter just a bit old to still be running things out there. When I watch it now it looks like he was in his 70's. Maybe he wasn't, but shouldn't he have been a desk jockey somewhere? 

I also watched Magnum PI all the time. Though, at the end of the show I was out of high school, so I watched it less. Wasn't that a perfect show for a teenage boy, though? A guy lives in a mansion, gets to drive in a Ferrari to catch bad guys, and has friends that run a bar and own a helicopter? Who wouldn't want to be Thomas Magnum?! Oh, and he lived in Hawaii! Jeez. Actually, my ringtone on my cellphone is the theme song from the show. Jenn found it for me, but I kept it. Too bad I'm going to lose it when I get a new phone. Did I ever mention that when Jenn and I were in Hawaii a long time ago I wanted to rent a Ferrari for the day? That would have been great, and expensive. But, mostly great. 

The last show I'll mention is one the Jenn rolls her eyes at every time I watch it. It started off as a Movie of the Week thing a long time ago, actually the pilot debuted before I was born, but the show continued in various formats for a long time. That show was Columbo.  This is one of my all time favorite shows. 

I don't know why I like this show so much. I love watching Columbo trap the supposedly smart bad guys and bring them down in his own charming, bumbling way. No guns involved, by the way. I don't think I've ever seen him fire a gun. 

Sure, some of the movies from the 90's and later weren't as good as the classic episodes, but they were still good. I think a lot of it had to do with Peter Falk himself. He knew the character so well that he could just slide into it, good script or not, and make Columbo come alive. 

You know, I'm sitting here trying to pick out a favorite episode, but I can't. It's not that I don't remember any, it's just hard to pick a favorite. I think that is a sign of a good show. At least that is my opinion, and I'm sticking to it. 

To make it easy on all of you I'm leaving off Quincy, Mork and Mindy, Speed Racer, and many, many more. 

Extra Credit: Have you bought the aforementioned tv series on DVD? If not, would you if it were readily available at a reasonable price?

No, I don't have any of these shows on DVD. Shows that I do have are, for the most part, shows that won't come back and were cancelled early in their lifespan. Plus, Columbo is kind of expensive on DVD. At least last time I looked. 

What are some of your favorite shows? 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family Portrait: 500th post

Hi! It's been a few days, as my sister reminded me. I've been a little busy this weekend and today Jenn left for Orlando for a conference, so I've been flying solo here at home. Hence this post being written at 11:22pm. 

Also, I've been holding off on posts since this is my 500th. I didn't want to link to some stupid article, or video, that I though was funny on this monumental occasion. But, to be honest, I really did't have anything special to post about. I mentioned all my friends in my anniversary post back in December, I can't add much more to that. 

Lucky for me, and you, my daughter helped me out by drawing a picture of our family. Let me share it with you. I'm sure she won't mind. 

Jenn is on the far left, I'm on the far right, and my daughter is next to Jenn and our son is next to me. If you look closely, you'll notice that us guys only have hair on the tops our our heads, while the girls have three-sided hair. It makes sense when you think about it. Oh, the thing that is on top of Jenn's head is a butterfly, and the other flying thing is a bird. Obviously, flowers line the bottom of the picture. 

So there you have it. That is our family. Just perfect, don't you think? 

I'll try to come up with my own material for the 1,000th post. 


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Weekend Assignment #265: Darn Computer

You know, Karen always picks topics that seem to be written for me. Maybe I have contributed to her psychically, or something. 

Anyway, she wants to know a little bit about computer problems: 

Weekend Assignment #265: If you're a blogger, you almost certainly have a computer. If you have a computer, you've had computer problems. Did your monitor go dark? Hard drive get hacked? System go silent? Tell us a computer horror story!

I haven't had any major problems with computers, but I have had my share of issues. The most recent was with our last computer. I won't mention the brand name, but it rhymes with "Bell." We had the computer for just over a year, so the warranty was over, and all of a sudden, I couldn't turn it off. Yes, I said off. It was the weirdest thing. I played around with it for a while, then, of course, I couldn't turn it on. Not good. 

So, from work, I searched the forums on the "Bell" website. Luckily, many other people had the same problems and figured out the problem was with the power supply. After some more searching, I found out which kind, and how powerful, of power supply I should get. I bought it (65 bucks, not bad) and somehow managed to install it myself without killing me, or the computer.  It was a little irritating to see all the people complaining of the same problem, on the company's website no less, and they never said anything about it. Well, at least as far as I know, maybe they did after I fixed mine and I didn't see it. It seems a lot of companies do that, there is some magical number of failures they have to see before addressing it. Too bad we don't all know what that magic number is. 

We just got rid of that computer a few weeks ago. Well, we still have it, we just don't use it anymore. It became really slow, and annoying. You could turn it on, go have lunch, and it might be fully booted up by the time you are done. I'm pretty sure most of that had to due with the hard drive being very near capacity. The fact that it was quite old, in computer years, didn't help. This leads us to the extra credit. 

Extra Credit: Which has fewer problems, a PC or a Mac?

I don't know If I could answer that. We did just buy a Mac, but I can't say for sure which has less problems. It's a little early for that. I will say I love the Mac so far, even as I try to get used to the new ways of doing things. I know there are a lot of people who are very pro-mac and pro-PC. I don't think I qualify for either. I'll let you know if that changes. 

How about you? Any computer horror stories? Let's hear them! 

Now that is a BLT!

This is about a pound of bacon. Enough for the whole internet. My heart hurts just looking at it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's amazing how one extra push of the snooze button can affect your day

Have you ever noticed how sleeping that extra 7, 8, or 9 minutes that the snooze button gives you can throw you off track? It's does for me. 

Take today, for instance. I started off okay, got it the shower with no problems, but that was about all that went as planned. I went to the laundry room to check on my pants in the dryer. Unfortunately, the clothes in there were still a bit damp-ish, so I had to turn it on a bit longer. Not a big deal, I had to shave anyway. 

After shaving, I took out the pants, and they were all twisted up; basically unwearable, unless I work in a cave where nobody will see me. So I straighten them a bit, and throw them back in the dryer to de-wrinkle. No time for an iron, if I knew how to use one. 

Again, not a huge deal since I had to get a lunch together. The shirt was okay, so I put that on and searched for something to eat. At this point it was about 6:25 am, when I should be on the road. I grab a frozen meal, and get some cereal for the morning. Of course it's a brand new box, do I have to wrestle with the packaging to get it open. I shove that in my bag, grab my pants, work on the wrinkles still in them, put on my shoes and coat, and head for the door.

Keys. Where are they? Oh yeah, they are in my pants in the bedroom. Run up the stairs, get the keys, run down and leave. It is now 6:35 am. I work at 7 am. 

Luckily the stop lights were cooperating; at least in the beginning. I did get stopped at one that I was hoping I'd miss. It is a long light. 

I did make it to work on time (6:55 am) but not as early as I'd like. See, when I go in I take over for someone; it takes a few minutes to explain what has been done, and what needs to be done. 

So, was that it? No. It wasn't. I had a bit of trouble logging into the computer, of course, and I didn't realize one program didn't come up properly. I noticed it about two hours later. It made for some make-up work. 

Oh, then when I went to eat my lunch, I realized I forgot a fork. Lasagna is not easy to eat with bare hands. 

The moral of the story? Get up when your alarm goes off. Will I learn this lesson? No. I never learn this lesson. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Dinosaurs at the zoo

We great weather on a weekend, and I was off, so we decided to go to Brookfield Zoo near our house. We are members (thanks Peggy and Ted!), so it makes things slightly cheaper and easier. Plus, they have a new dinosaur exhibit. It sounds a little strange having dinosaurs at a zoo, but they were animals at one time, so why not? The kids, especially our son, were excited. 

You don't have to walk very far in the main gate to realize something is different. See, the lion thinks someone is coming to take over his place.  

Soon, we found tracks, we knew we were heading in the right direction. 

Then, as we entered into the dino zone, we were advised to keep our eyes on the sky, and maybe our mouths closed as we did so. 

That is certainly one way, though maybe not the most humane, to deal with people smoking around you. 

It looks like they might have lost a few people while setting up this exhibit. Dinosaurs are quite savage; let's take a moment to remember those who were lost while setting this up for the public. 

We came upon our first dino shortly after seeing the destroyed trucks. I don't remember what this one was called, I was too busy trying to stay alive. Sure, he may not be that big, but look at those sharp teeth! 

Speaking of teeth. Check this guy's out. We didn't hang out too long, he looked hungry. 

We found a few empty dino egg shells. We didn't see the little baby dinos, though. I hope they haven't crept into some other part of the zoo. A little baby T-Rex could easily take out a baboon. Am I right? 

Many signs reminded us to not be stupid. No matter how intruiged you are, never, ever touch a dino? Why? Well, I think this sign says it all. 

Just as any other part of the zoo, sometimes you run into parts of...well, nature. And that nature that dinos leave behind (ha!) can be a little bigger, and more pungent, than your average animal. But, at least they warn you of that. 

As we left, the the T-Rex sentry was nice enough to say good-bye in his own scary way. 

I must say, the zoo did a good job with this. They made it interesting and fun at the same time. I'm not sure if they did it all themselves, or if some other group did it, but you can tell they had fun with it. Like the signs I showed you, there were little things throughout the exhibit that were fun and cute. 

So, if you are in the Chicago area, or going to be visiting soon, and you or your kids are dinosaur fans, I recommend it. It is set up for kids, but I think it can be fun for anyone. And, no, the zoo didn't tell me to write this, but you knew that already, right? 

Friday, May 1, 2009

The moon is half full, almost time

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm not too worried about the swine flu. Well, I wasn't. Not until Mr. Unfocused pointed out that Mother Abigail, The Walkin' Dude, and most of the other characters from The Stand are on Twitter. That can't be a good sign. 

So, I have a plan, but I have to wait for the full moon. M-O-O-N spells moon, you know. Look, it's halfway there. Soon, we can take down The Walkin' Dude and this will be all over. 


Where's my mask?