And Life 2 Go

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing" - Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 29, 2005

Apologies to my liver

Dear liver,

I apologize for abusing you this weekend, for making you process all that bad alcohol. You see, it was a nice day out, and we were at the Cubs game with a good group of friends. The beers seemed to just keep coming. And then after the game we went to some strange bars where more beers were consumed. I did keep well fed, though, which may have helped you out a bit. I also apologize in advance for this coming weekend, where you will be accompanying me to Pittsburgh for a 3 day weekend of more Cubs games. I will be more careful this weekend, however, as I really like you and don't want to hurt you anymore. You are, after all, necessary for me to live. I will be drinking lots of water this week and absolutely no more alcohol until Friday evening. So hang in there buddy, I'll treat you good this week if you treat me good this weekend.

Your host body.

Also, a shout out to my colon, sorry 'bout that burrito w/hot sauce I ate after the game.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stir the pot

... it's been a little slow around here for a while, so I thought I'd post a picture I took of a church sign I recently drove by...


I haven't been to church in over 10 years, but here's a church I may want to attend.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

10 Things You Love About Your City

.. I haven't done a Ten on Tuesday in a while, but some of you who read this blog may know how much I love the city I live in. (OK, I don't live IN it, but close enough). So without further delay, here we go:

10 Things you Love About Chicago
1. Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field / Wrigleyville - I couldn't think of a more fun place to be on a weekend.
2. The lakefront on a nice day - Walking along the lake, visiting Navy Pier and a few museums? All along one of the greatest skylines in the country? C'mooon it doesn't get any better.
3. The devotion of Chicago sports fans - Whether you like the White Sox, the Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, or the Blackhawks, you love your team and let people know it.
4. The Chicago Loop - One of the cleanest downtown areas I've seen, with great architecture, restaurants, and shopping to boot.
5. The museums - The Field Museum, Art Institute, Science and Industry, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium. They all rock.
6. The music scene - I'm a little older now, so I don't frequent the downtown live clubs nearly as much, but the choices are amazing.. Double Door, Metro, Aragon, Park West, The Vic, soo many more. If there's a band on tour, no matter how large or small, they will stop in Chicago.
7. The food - Chicago-style hotdog (NO ketchup allowed!), deep dish pizza (Uno's!), italian beef (dipped, with hot peppers please), the steak houses... it's hard to stay thin around here.
8. The changing of seasons - I could never move to somewhere where it's summer year 'round. The city after a snowfall is amazing. Just don't park on the street.
9. The diversity - You name an ethnicity, Chicago has a neighborhood for it. Greektown, Chinatown, Pilsen, just to name a few.
10. The people - Kind of cliche, but every time I'm in the city I find most of the locals very nice. Maybe it's because of the food?

I'm sorry I have to stop at 10. I could probably go on for another 20 or more reasons.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Picture this..

.. well it's a rainy Saturday morning, but I don't have much of any interest to write, so I thought I'd post up a few more photos from my Hawaii trip... here we go.

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This was the view from our balcony on the "Big Island" in Hawaii. Our condo was about 5 miles inland, giving us great views of the volcanos.

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This is what you saw all along the roadside on the west side of the island. Basically the roads were built on top of old lava beds. Locals and tourists gather white sea shells from the beach and create various phrases (Mostly "I love..." stuff) by arranging the shells on the old lava bed.

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A view of the mountains around Waimea, an inland town. Much of the northwest part of the island is covered in stunning green grass and rolling hills. The Big Island actually has one of the largest cattle ranches in the country, bigger than any of those in Texas. Most of the red meat you eat on any of the Hawaiian islands comes from this ranch.

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A view of one of the coolest places I've been. This is on the north coast of the island, at the bottom of those cliffs is the most stunning black sand beach I've ever seen. There's a challenging trail that takes you down to the beach, it almost takes 30 minutes to get down there. Well worth the hike back up. this concludes my brief picture tour of the Big Island. See what happens when I'm bored?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

My 'hood

... I think we moved into the wrong neighborhood.

Now don't get me wrong... I love my house. But just the people that live around us... I definately will never bond with them.

I grew up in a very middle class neighborhood. A nice mixture of "blue collar" and "white collar" folks. If you had a car up on blocks in your driveway, big deal. If you had your boat parked on the side on your house on your lawn, no big deal. You could throw a bonfire whenever you wanted, drink beer on your front stoop, and even play some loud music without many complaints. The block I grew up on, we knew almost every neighbor on the street.

Not here.

A week or two ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she knew someone who lived in my subdivision. She said, "She drives a black Lexus SUV". My wife and I, at the exact same time, said "That doesn't narrow it down much."

There is a lawn competition going on here. Who can keep theirs the greenest? They religiously water their lawn, every morning and evening, during their allowed time slots. I haven't watered my lawn once. It shows, and I don't give a crap. I've only had to mow once this summer, and I consider that a bonus, not a stupid green lawn.

I once ventured out to a block party, where I started to talk about some current music and my opposition to the Iraq war. They looked at me like a deer in headlights, then proceeded to talk about how great their new BMW is, praised George W. as a genius, and which mutual funds they currently like. I left immediately.

We're definately one of the "rotten apples" in the neighborhood. I play my music loud, I swear alot, I don't goto church, I don't care if my lawn is bright green, and I like to discuss and think about things other than money.

I'm not sure how much longer I can live here, which sucks because we've done alot of work to this house. I'm thinking I may try and see how far I can push my close-minded neighbors. Maybe I'll have a gay party? An anti-war rally? Or blast some Marilyn Manson out my windows as they all come home in their Sunday best.

I may even drink some PBR on my front doorstep.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Back to basics

... well, I realized how irritating my layout was, so to spare you all looking at it anymore, I quickly switched templates and added a few things. The CSS code on this template is much cleaner, allowing me to customize it alot easier, and making it easier to understand.

So I apologize for the past 2 or so weeks. Next time, smack me upside the head.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Potpourri #5

... I'm already tired of my feeble attempt to customize this layout. Granted, I didn't spend too much time on it, but it's rather bland, isn't it? If and when I get some free time, I'm gonna have to spruce it up a bit.

I know talking about the weather is lame, but it's been friggin hot in Chicago all summer, with almost no rain. The country as a whole has had a higher overall climate since 2001, getting higher every year. While I always believed that global warming is occuring, do you think it's already affecting the midwest? I mean, has it been so friggin hot here just by coincidence, or, pardon my phrase, is the shit really hittin the fan?

I filled up my Jeep today, one gallon of 87 octane gas was $2.59! Damn! I didn't notice until I was done filling up... I mean, wasn't it around $2.30-something a week ago?! I know the price of oil went up big time but I didn't think it would affect the pumps so soon. I was, and still am, against the war on Iraq, but can't they throw some oil our way for "liberating" them? .... and I use that term loosely.

On a lighter note, I'm going to see Green Day and Jimmy Eat World tonight. I'm pretty psyched. I'm curious what the average age is going to be... after all, Green Day hit it big when I was about 20 or 21, and I've been following them since... so I wonder if alot of peeps my age did the same and are going to the concert. We shall see...

Saturday, August 06, 2005

It's Bananas, B-A-NAN-AS

..sorry... poor reference to Gwen Stefani's song...can't really stand it.... although..she's gotta really nice booty in the video.

Anyways, the point of my title: bananas. I have a "workout" bag, where I keep various pairs of undies, socks, shorts, and shirts. Last week, on Monday, I thought I'd drop a banana in there, to eat when I got to work.

Well, lil' o' me forgot about it. I usually workout everyday, but last week, I came in late on Monday.. took Tuesday off.. and had a noon-time meeting on Wednesday... so I didn't get to my gym bag until Thursday.

That's right, folks. Thursday. Four days in a dark bag for the banana to ...... ripen.

The banana wasn't completely rotten. It was only about 94% blackened. But it was... smelly.

So now, all my gym clothes smell like... bananas. I mean, you open up my gym bag.. and you smell... bananas. I guess it could be worse... at least I didn't leave a pork chop in my gym bag. Nothing like a green piece of pork.

So, on Monday I shall workout and smell like bananas. And after I while, I suppose I shall smell like sweaty bananas.

I am oddly curious what sweaty bananas smell like. I shall soon fine out. I just hope the people next to me don't mind my little experiment. If people start to complain, maybe I'll slap a few scoops of ice cream on me... and split.

Get it? Banana split.... wow... that's so cheezy.

Mmmm, cheeze.

Friday, August 05, 2005

My internet in the 80's

.. OK, well I didn't really have internet. Obviously the World Wide Web didn't exist, at least in a public form, in the mid 80's. But my Radio Shack 300 baud modem did.

For those of you whose first experience to the internet was surfing on a 28K modem (or, if you started out real early, you may have even had a 14K modem), 300 baud is.. let's see... let me do the math.. 93 times slower than a 28K modem, and 186 times slower than the standard 56K modem. So it was slow. REAL slow.

And there was no browser, no URL's, no graphics. I had a list of BBS's (Bulletin Board Systems), each with it's own phone number. I would dial this phone number, wait for the tone, and plug the phone line into the 300 baud modem. If someone else was already on the BBS... yes, just one person.. you would get a busy signal and redial until that person hung up. Once connected, the text would slowly scroll across my computer monitor, attatched to my glorious IBM PCjr.

Eventually, primitive chat systems arose. Some guy would buy 6 modems, hook them up, and run a chat program on their own PC. The "D-Dial" was born. The six modems (yes, all 300 baud) would be linked to one phone number, you would call this phone number, and be able to chat with 5 other people. I never dialed a chat system that had more than 6; maybe Chicago was behind on technology... but I've heard of some with 8, 12, or even 16 modems.

I remembered late in middle school, and at the beginning of high school, I'd talk about this with my friends. They'd just give me a blank stare. I was talking with 5 other strangers on my computer every night? First of all, they didn't understand how this was possible... and second, they didn't know why. I also remember my parents yelling at me because the phone was busy all the time. I eventually got a second line, funded by my first job at the local video store (No DVDs, mind you.. just VHS and Beta).

I became quite addicted for a while, probably spending 2 to 3 hours every day after school, surfing the internet and chatting with middle-aged men. Very few women.. and almost no kids my age.. were on the D-Dials.

Finally, around the end of my freshmen year in high school, I realized there was more to do after school than call other computers. I became involved in sports, the concert band, met my first girlfriend, and had my first beer. I would go back to it every once in a while, but eventually I stopped using it all together. This was around 1987.

The next time I used a modem was to connect to AOL in 1995.

Now that's old school.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Big crowd

... I was forced to go to a White Sox game because of "Dog Day", and this is how crowded it was.

OK, it may have been an hour before start time.. but c'mon?!

And yes, this was my feeble attempt at being "art-sy"... I liked the lines of the bleacher seats against the lines of the cut grass...