static, interference, intervention, intervene, get involved so as to alter or hinder an action, white noise, snow, fuzz, fuzzy, Fuzzy, ME

Sunday, October 31, 2004


I spent Halloween at my sister's house because in the seven years that I have lived in my apartment, I have never had any trick-or-treaters. My sister's subdivision started very early, the first trick-or-treaters showed up a little after 4 PM and we only had one group after 6 PM. Most were finished by 5 PM. My sister and brother-in-law were both going to take their kids out and I was going to give out candy but Sebastian, the younger of her sons, was not interested in trick-or-treating, or wearing his costume for that matter. Alexander had a Blue costume (from Blue's Clues) and Sebastian had a Clifford costume. Alexander was out for a couple of hours with his Mom but Paul, my brother-in-law, had to come home with Sebastian because, as I said, he wasn't interested in any of this. I started watching Road to Perdition while I was waiting for everthing to start and watched the end after the boys went to bed. It was a very good movie, albeit a little dark. I was afraid it was going to end up with a happy ending which would have ruined the story but it ended as I expected it should have, with the anti-hero having to pay for his sins.

I am now ending this as I am going to have several very long days coming up. I will make a point however, of posting what happened.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Catching Up

It has been a few days since I posted so I may post a couple of times today. The first day I didn't post (the 27th), Blogger wouldn't let me get on to post so I didn't. The 28th, I went to a Chicagoland Bicycle Federation Annual Member Meeting. They went over their accomplishments for the last year and announced their Top Ten Initiatives for 2005. They also asked those in the audience for any suggestions; anything that should be on the list but isn't or comments on the initiatives. I agree with where they plan on going although I did, after the meeting was over, think of something that should be addressed. CBF has been very successful with their bicycle ambassadorship program and they have started to extend it into the suburbs, but they need to get some bicycle advocacy in the Northwest suburbs. I have to say that I live in one of the most bike unfriendly areas in the Chicago area as far as roads are concerned. I may have to take this up when the election is over.

On the 29th, my sister called me up to visit because she was going to be coming down to pick up her husband at the airport. What ended up happening was she came over and picked me up and we went to Panda Express because her sons were hungry. She bought me dinner and then we went to the airport. We didn't wait long before he arrived so we picked him up, they dropped me off, and that was the end of that night.

Yesterday, I was going to be canvassing for Election Protection which is a joint project between Common Cause and People for the American Way. Unfortunately I woke up late and with a tremendous headache so I canceled. I am going to be working for Election Protection on Nov. 2 as a Poll Monitor all day so I don't feel so bad about not going in yesterday. So what did I do yesterday? I burned CD's (The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin, Tom Waits Real Gone, and Trans Am Futureworld), talked to an Election Protection representative about coming in for training on Monday and working on Tuesday, talked to my friend Sharon about the upcoming election and why the Christian Right has caused the assumption that if you are Christian you are automatically Republican. I do not subscribe to that view at all. My point of view runs along the same lines as those espoused by Sojourners and Public Christian. I also stayed up and watched Saturday Night Live because their preelection show is usually pretty good. The host for last night was Kate Winslett who was pretty good and Eminem was the musical guest which was very cool because his newest single is a VERY anti-Bush song called Mosh. It was the first song that he did after which he held up a sign that said vote.

Today is Halloween and I'm going to my sister's to scare the little kiddies so I should probably go.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004


My day was pretty uneventful; I went to work, came home and continued cleaning my kitchen, made dinner, watched the last senatorial forum (which was pretty funny, actually) and watched He Loves me, He Loves Me Not, in which Audrey Tautou (Amelie) plays a very scary stalker.

Because nothing really happened today, I decided I would talk about the title of my blog, Static. I decided to call it static because of the different meanings and inferences of the word. Static is also referred to as fuzz which is also a short version of what my siblings call me, Fuzzy. Static is also a slang term for objection or dissent and as I am rather outspoken in my opinions, especially in my objection to the way things are going in our government, I thought it was appropriate. Here is a place you may hear something different than what the powers that be are espousing.

I didn't think about it but static also can mean motionless and this, unfortunately, can also apply. I may physically move, but there are some aspects of my life that are at a standstill. I need to do something about this. Unfortunately (again), while I am a man of my word, I have to actually tell someone what it is that I'm going to do or I'm likely not to do it. I have told myself that I am going to resolve the conflict that is holding me still but I need to tell someone else. I will not however, broadcast it here, despite the fact that there are very few people that see this. The possibility exists that if I wrote it here, it might come into the open in a way that wouldn't help.
So I have to tell someone that is not at all involved and set a date to resolve this because if I have no pressure, I won't. I will resolve this by the 7th of November.

And this is where I end this tonight, goodnight.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Catching Up

I know that I haven't written anything in a few days although I'm not sure whether I wrote last on Friday or Saturday so I'll start on Friday. The Aesthetic Eye opened their latest show on Friday and extended the run of my friend Guy. He had two new pieces in addition to the work that he had brought initially. The opening kept him very busy which was a good thing. He is in contract talks for one commission, there was serious interest in a couple of other pieces, and he started talks with someone for another commision. Hopefully they both pan out. I'm commissioning something from him as a gift for someone but it's small.

Saturday, was Make a Difference Day. I worked at the Greater Chicago Food Depository with SASC. I have worked at GCFD several times and we have done several different things, Saturday we packaged dry rigatoni. The rigatoni comes in 730 pound boxes and it gets packaged in 1 1/2 pound bags. Having said that, it doesn't go directly from the big boxes to the individual bags. There are a couple of people that shovel the rigatoni from the boxes into 5 gallon buckets. I was one of these people on Saturday. From the buckets, people fill the 1 1/2 pound bags. The bags are then weighed, sealed, labeled, and boxed in groups of ten for shipment to different soup kitchens and shelters. I ended up shoveling about 2000 pounds of rigatoni in the three hours that I was there.

I was pretty tired when we finished but I went to my sister's and visited with my sister and brother-in-law, my parents, and my nephew. I stayed for dinner but I didn't stay too much later than that. I came home, tried to watch a movie (The Making of The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) but was falling asleep on the couch so I ended up going to bed at 10:30 PM which is earlier than I normally go to bed during the week.

Sunday I got up at about 9 AM and went to church. The rest of the day was spent taking care of those things that you need to do to make your household function, grocery shopping, paying bills, and some light housework.

If you would have seen me today, you would have never guessed that I had done any housework. I got home and it became spring cleaning day in October. I spent several hours pulling things out of my cabinets, cleaning the cabinets, and washing the dishes that were in there. I haven't finished so tomorrow I get to continue.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Very short post

I had a great night tonight. Guy's opening went well. He has a commission for some barstools and a person that wants to commission him for a computer table. He also had some pretty serious interest in a couple of pieces in the gallery but no bites.. I had a good dinner at a Mexican seafood place with Guy's mother and his kids and some good conversation at the gallery. I will have a busy day tomorrow, GCFD, calling my landlord and paying bills. I elucidate more on these subjects tomorrow and probably more.


Thursday, October 21, 2004

What a difference a day makes...

I feel much better than I did yesterday so I won't dwell on my solitude. I am alone but I do have good friends and a family that is close and cares about me.

I was busy at work today but I was also very much a political activist. Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest independent media conglomerate in the country with 62 stations in 39 states, was planning on running a blatantly anti-Kerry documentary on all of their stations, preempting regular programming. Sinclair is blatently conservative and partisan. This is not the first time this year that they have been accused of partisanship. When Peter Jennings read the names of the Americans that had been killed in Iraq on Nightline, Sinclair forbade it's 7 ABC stations from showing it. Common Cause and other groups have notified its members to sign a petition protesting the decision on the documentary. They also set up a blog called Boycott Sinclair Broadcast Group on which they had a list of all of Sinclairs advertisers with links and email addresses. You could email the advertisers individually or collectively to inform them of your displeasure. I emailed a few individually but I also sent out a collective email from which I got about 20 responses. There have been several advertisers that have decided to pull their advertising and because of this Sinclair's shares dropped enormously. When Sinclair announced that they were not going to air Stolen Honor (the anti-Kerry documentary), their stock price rose. They are now planning on running a "news" program using much of the documentary and may run it more than once. The plan ism if they run the show, note the advertisers, boycott the advertisers, and let them know that they are being boycotted.

I also worked tonight, a phone bank for Common Cause to get out the vote. I can't stand cold-calling but we were given a list of people to call and a script so it wasn't so bad.

The things President Bush says never cease to amaze me. Yesterday, while campaigning in Iowa, he had this to say in response to Sen. Kerry's contention that the war in Iraq was a distraction from the War on Terror, "Just the other day, Zarqawi announced his sworn allegiance to Osama bin Laden. If Zarqawi and his associates were not busy fighting American forces in Iraq, does Sen Kerry think that he would be leading a productive and peaceful life?

Of course not, and that's why Iraq is no diversion, but a central commitment in the War on Terror, a place where our military is confronting and defeating terrorists overseas so we do not have to face them here at home."

To me this sounds as if our military is being used as a sacrificial anode, so to speak. The President is giving the terrorists something to attack somewhere else so that that which the President thinks is valuable is not damaged. Human life is the most valuable commodity and to me, this says that a soldiers life is worth less than others. This is immoral to me both as a veteran and as a human being.

I commented to my friend Sharon yesterday after she ranted about American society's values on her blog and then was apologetic about it that as it was her blog she could say what she wants and there is no reason to be apologetic. I am going to apply the same doctrine here.

Goodnight all.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I should be a philosopher. I seem to come to the question of what is the point fairly often and I do explore it from several schools of thought although having said that the existential answer which is essentially, there is no point the world is absurd seems frequently to be the answer. I do believe in God but I really wish that he wouldn't take so much joy in testing me. I realize that God will only give as much as you can take but it would be so nice if I didn't have to take so much. I realize that I have been given a gift with my incredible memory but it has come with the cost of difficulty being able to connect with people. I do try to make a connection, but it's even hard for me to make friendships. I feel like an outsider and have felt like an outsider for my entire life.

So what happened today? I was very busy at work running the coulumetric Karl Fischer apparatus and the regular Karl Fischer, I received a lot of analytical data for a couple of different projects, and I ordered some powdered graphite for a future air brake test. After work, I ran two big boxes of books and a bag of clothes to Sharon's house. The books were for sale on ebay and the clothes were for Hull House on Make A Difference Day which is Saturday. I came home, made dinner, spent two hours going through my email, and watched Goodfellas. I also checked the Boston Red Sox- New York Yankees game and was very happy to see that the Yankees are having their ass handed to them. It was the 6th inning and the Red Sox were ahead 8-1, so I didn't see a need to watch anymore. While I wish the Cubs were here this year, I am very happy to see that the Red Sox have a good chance of beating the Curse of the Bambino.

And that's all for tonight.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

A very uneventful evening...

I went to the Hideout Volunteer Party tonight. It was at a neighborhood bar called the Chipp Inn which is one block behind the Aesthetic Eye Gallery. I went hoping that I would see some of the people that I worked with. Katy and Tim Tuten were there but that was to be expected because they own The Hideout. Pat Lee, one of the senior people with Tuesday's Child, who was also the one of the volunteer coordinators for the Hideout Clock Party was also there with her husband. I said "Hi" to her but that was the only substantive thing that I said tonight. Neither of the girls that I worked with was there. The only other person I talked to was the bartender to ask for a Honker's Ale and a guy sitting at a table with an empty chair to ask if he minded if I sat. The beer and food were free. They had Goose Island Honker's Ale and 312 and Warsteiner on tap and the food that was served was a very good Mexican buffet. They had tortilla chips and guacamole, sesame chicken, spanish rice, black beans, tortillas, a vegetable dish (yellow peppers, zucchini, squash, onions, and tomatoes), and chicken and peppers. I enjoyed the food but I really had no one to socialize with. Everyone that was there seemed to know someone and was talking with them. I stuck around for about an hour and watched some of the ball game and then decided to go home.

Monday, October 18, 2004

An interesting turn of events

I usually carry my cell phone on me, but when I forget to pick it up in the morning, it may be a couple of days before I remember to pick it up. I plugged my phone in Saturday night, didn't take it to church with me because I live close to church and I find it incredibly disrespectful when I hear a phone go off in church. I forgot to pick it up after I got home and then went to my sister's house. I again forgot to pick it up this morning when I went to work. When I came home for lunch today, I made a point of picking it up and noticed that I had a voicemail message. I checked it and found out it was my oldest friend, Guy. The gallery he is showing at in Chicago has decided to extend his run and the opening for his new show is Friday. I now know what I will be doing on Friday.

I called him up tonight from my sister's house and caught up. It seems that while there is nothing firm on his table at the moment, there are a lot of maybes. I mentioned, in our conversation that my friend Sharon was presently unemployed. He suggested that he would be happy for her to do some promotional work for him and if he got a big job he would cut her in for 30%. The thing about this though is that she will have to see his work and meet him. Hopefully, she can come with me Friday to the show. I will tell her about this on Wednesday when I drop off the books and CD's that I'm giving to her to sell.

Tomorrow, I'm going to the Hideout Volunteer party. Free food and beer at a neighborhood bar for two hours. It should be a lot of fun.

And so ends this blog entry. Goodnight to all.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Visiting my sister

After church this morning, I went to visit my sister Tracy for the day. She is going to England next week for her 4th anniversary because her husband has to be there on business. I wanted to see her before she left because I wanted to see her and I hadn't been over in a few weeks. I sat with her and the boys while they had lunch, played with her boys for a little while and when everyone laid down for a nap, I did my laundry and called my sister, Melissa, whose 24th birthday was today. My parents took her out to dinner to Applebee's where she had Orange Chicken. For her birthday, she normally goes to Pi's, but her boyfriend doesn't like chinese food so she decided to go to Applebee's and got her Chinese food there.

I wouldn't normally bring my laundry over to my sister's house except that for whatever reason, several people in my building decided that today would be a good day to do laundry and I was the last in line for one washer and one dryer.

Sebastian, my youngest nephew who is two, woke up first and we played together quietly for about an hour before Tracy, my sister, and Sebastian's brother, Alexander got up. Then the kids got a little wilder. It was my job to keep them occupied, while Tracy made dinner. We had a nice dinner, Chicken Masala, rice, and peas. Unfortunately, Tracy is raising two very picky eaters. Alexander will not eat vegetables or pasta and Sebastian won't eat meat.

While we were eating, my parents called and said they would be there in about twenty minutes. They were coming down to watch my nephews while their parents were in England. It was rather funny watching Alexander waiting for Grandma and Grandpa. He was sure the clock was broken because it didn't look like it was moving. He wanted one of us to take it down so he could change the battery.

My parents arrived, we played some more, the kids went to bed, and I came home. Tomorrow, I will go over there again to pick up a couple of boxes of stuff that will be offered for sale on Ebay.

And that is all for this evening, goodnight.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Kerry/Edwards Rummage Sale

The day started with a trip to Evanston to help a woman at a rummage sale where the proceeds will be going to the Kerry/Edwards campaign. I helped convince people who were waffling that since the money was going to a very good cause they should spend their money. I worked there for about 5 hours and helped raise $250 for the Kerry campaign. I also contributed $20 of my own money to buy books and CD's which will be going for a good cause in their own right. I'm giving them to Sharon to sell on Ebay. She is splitting the profits with me so I will probably make my $20 back but I'm not worried about that, I just want to help Sharon make as much money as possible so she can stretch the money that she does have as far as she can while she is officially unemployed.

I also watched Thief tonight which was one of the DVD's I received from Netflix. I remember liking it a lot when I saw it years ago (it came out in 1981) but watching it tonight, while I liked it, it seemed dated.

Tomorrow, I will see my sister Tracy and her little munchkins (or gremlins if they didn't sleep well). She is going to London for her anniversary because her husband has to be there on business. I wanted to see her before she left. My parents are coming down tomorrow night to watch her kids for the week. I will probably see them on Monday night.

That would be all for now, everyone have a great evening.

Friday, October 15, 2004


The big event for today was the fact that I voted. Yes, I know that election day isn't for 18 days but I am going to be working as an election monitor on November 2. I will be doing my best to ensure that those people that are registered to vote are legally allowed to vote. I will be standing outside a polling area watching for any problems and equipped with a phone a notebook and a camera to document any problems. From what we were told in our training, most problems can be taken care of on-site immediately but we will be equipped with a phone to bring a lawyer in if necessary.

This morning, I had to do a little ballot studying. I have known who I would vote for at the top of the ballot for a while, but when it comes down to the judges, there are so many, I had to look up the recommendations of the Illinois Bar Association. Most of the judges were recommended, but there were four circuit court judges and two sub-circuit judges who were not recommended. I did bring in a paper, to remember who was not recommended. I also wanted to look at the referenda in my precinct and when I did that, I had to try to find an explanation of one of the referenda because, in my opinion, it was vague and poorly worded.

I also received three netflix movies, Hellboy, Thief, and Goodfellas. I have watched Hellboy before (and I watched again tonight) but I really like it and will probably end up buying it eventually.

Tomorrow, I'm going to help a friend of Sharon's with a garage sale benefiting the Kerry/Edwards campaign in swing states.

And thats the news for tonight, October 15, 2004, goodnight.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Going Upriver

I went and saw Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry tonight and I have to say that it was a very powerful film. Admittedly, part of the effectiveness for me may come from the fact that I'm a veteran myself. While the movie was about John Kerry, it was also a sliver of time. The movie looked the history that John Kerry was a part of from about 1961 to about 1971. It talked about what was going on politically in the United States at the time and when John Kerry went to Viet Nam it gave a lot of background about what was going on on the ground. It also provided details about how he got his silver and bronze star and one of his three purple hearts. Most of the movie however, addressed the anti-war movement of the late 60's and early 70's and how Kerry became involved in it. It showed a lot about Viet Nam Veterans against the war, their protest which was from April 19, 1971 (my birthday) until April 24, 1971. During that time Kerry addressed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and at the end of the protest the veterans admitted that the medals that they had received meant nothing and what they had done in Viet Nam was meaningless. They then threw their medals over the hastily erected wall in front of the Capital Building. I have to imagine that this action, admitting that what they had been through and what so many of their friends had died for was incredibly meaningless, was incredibly difficult and probably left several of them floating in an empty void. The movie also briefly brought up John O'Neill. He (and 8 others) was hired by the Nixon administration to try to discredit the Viet Nam Veterans Against the War. O'Neill is a veteran, very clean-cut in appearance and apparently was never involved in any immoral acts as he saw them. John O'Neill has shown up recently as one of the money men behind Swift Boat Veterans for Truth a vehemently anti-Kerry Viet Nam veterans group who has been trying to discredit Kerry's Viet Nam service. President Bush also mentioned in last nights debate that he was at John O'Neill's house when he met his life Laura. Which to me at least, puts the lie to Bush's statement that there was no connection between his campaign and Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

This was a very good movie. Sharon, was going to go with me but she had to cancel. I wish she could have seen it. I definitely recommend if you have the opportunity to see it.

I am going to have several busy days coming up so I should probably finish this so I can get some sleep. Good night everyone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Last Presidential Debate

The last presidential debate was tonight and I have to say that I thought it was a tie. I was a little upset with the moderator letting Pres. Bush interject something after Sen. Kerry's response without his first extending and then not letting Sen. Kerry get the last word. I thought Sen. Kerry's expressions of faith and quoting of the bible were good and do nothing but help. Pres. Bush was very good at controlling his emotions, he was a funny a few times, and he was very good at sidestepping some questions. Unfortunately, Sen. Kerry also did some sidestepping. I would much prefer that a candidate actually answered the question asked. If his answer didn't take as much time as he had alloted he could go on to other things, BUT ANSWER THE QUESTION FIRST!! I am going to guess that President Bush didn't have a set speech or way to sidestep on the question of the appointment of judges because he let it fall. While Kerry did answer that question, I think he could have answered stronger with examples of Pres. Bush's judicial appointments and to bring up the fact that all of the judges that he has appointed, or attempted to appoint, were recommended by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, who are, as they describe themselves, a group of conservatives and libertarians interested in the current state of the legal order. Their point is that the judicial system is incredibly liberal (kind of like our liberal press) and they are trying to drive the system to the right. In my opinion, the judicial system should be neither liberal nor conservative and should consider the law objectively. I realize that this is incredibly difficult and everyone's views are clouded by their experience but the ideal should be neutral. I think that until recently it was but we have a creeping fascism in our country and we have to drive left to get to the center.

Would anyone care to argue this point?

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


I had a very long lunch today with my friend, Sharon so that's what this blog will be primarily about. Having said that I will completey change the subject and throw in two non sequiturs. Mount St. Helens erupted again today. It was again a minor eruption but the first lava flow was visible last night. For the other non-sequiter, I will say that the second Illinois Senatorial debate was tonight. It was a radio event and unfortunately my stereo can't pick up the station that carried it well so I didn't get to here it. I am sure that it will show up on the internet so I can listen to it later. I did find a blog of someone who listened to it and it sounds as if Alan Keyes again went off the deep end.

And now on to Sharon... I met her last September at an SASC volunteer event. We were making dinner at Lincoln Park Community Shelter. She was wearing blue jeans and a purple T-shirt that said Algebra is for Lovers. Because of the T-shirt, I had to guess that she was a math teacher. I was very wrong. She said she got the shirt because she thought it was cool and that she worked as a record promoter for EMI. She immediately became the coolest chick ever. I love music and I thought it was really cool that she worked with one of the bands that I really liked, Fountains of Wayne. It seemed, however, that she was seeing someone in the group. That was fine, she was very friendly and I could still be friends with her. In later months, I found out she lived in Rolling Meadows which is relatively close. Up until Christmas, I was only running into her at volunteer events. She did however, invite me a few days after Christmas out to a movie. I was doing a family thing at the time and I couldn't but I thought it a nice gesture. In January, a group of us met to see the Einstein exhibit which was a lot of fun. She also tried to set up a book club within SASC. While it was a good idea, the structure that it had to live under killed it. In February, a group of us met at her house for game night. It was a week after her birthday so I brought her a gift. A gift certificate to Borders (she's a bookworm) and a Year of the Monkey Beanie Baby (she was born in the year of the monkey). I also got her a bottle of wine but that was a host gift and not a birthday gift. The next time I saw her again, I embarrassed myself terribly. I made a left handed compliment to one of her friends and I also kept talking about a subject that I thought rather freaky far longer than I should have. Unfortunately, we sitting in a large group and most of the people in the group only heard part of what I was saying which only made it worse. It was about a month before we saw each other again but in that time, she mentioned that she wanted to start looking for another job and if I saw anything let her know. I took it as a call for assistance and if someone needs help, I will do everything in my power to help them. So I started helping her look for a job. She sent me her resume which I forwarded to a few people that I thought might have more connections and I subscribed to a listserve that might have something. Unfortunately, nothing panned out and she quit her job without another job to go to. She was going to take another job that a friend offered her, but it didn't work out and it put their friendship on the rocks. So that brings us to the present. We talked about life, religion, art, politics, and the fact that she needs a job. She is also writing an inspirational book and I wrote her an email to suggest to her how to go about attacking something booklength. We decided also to go see an inspirational movie about John Kerry's Viet Nam service this weekend and she agreed to accompany me to SOFA the weekend of Nov. 5-7.

Life is good.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Christopher Reeve, died yesterday at the age of 52. The actor was most famous as Superman, who he played in 3 movies. He was paralyzed in 1995, after falling off of his horse and fracturing two vertebrae.


I was trying to think of a way to incorporate some contemporary Superman songs like Superman's Song by the Crash Test Dummies, or Waiting for Superman by The Flaming Lips, or even Jimmy Olson's Blues by the Spin Doctors as a remembrance of Christopher Reeve, the most famous Superman, but then decided that it would be a little crass. Christopher Reeve was a superman even before he donned the costume and even after he was paralyzed. He was an activist who spent a lot of time supporting Amnesty International and other causes and set up his own foundation to support paralysis research after he was paralyzed. He was a great man and he will be missed. He leaves his wife and 12 year old son, 21 and 25 year old sons by a previous relationship, his parents and a brother.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Chicago Marathon

The Chicago Marathon was today and Kenyan, Evans Rutto won his 2nd straight Chicago Marathon and 3rd straight marathon in a time of 2:06:16. He ran his first marathon in Chicago last year and won with a time of 2:05:50 and won the London Marathon in April with a time of 2:06:18. Romanian, Constantina Tomescu-Dita was the first woman to cross with a time of 2:23:45 despite having spent the last several days in bed with the flu. Both winners will take home $125,000. I also had four friends running the marathon this year, Jennifer, Brenda, Chris, and Mark. I know them all through SASC and I would post their results as well as a form of congratulations but the online search seems not to be working. I worked in the medical tent today doing data input for the patients that were seen but we seemed to have database problems several times as well.

The database seems to be back so I will try to make all of my friends famous.
Jennifer Cichowski 5:41:46
Chris Bersaw 5:44:48
Mark Tisdahl 6:07:06
Brenda Schrohe 4:52:52

Congratulations to all of you.

I was supposed to be in the medical tent at 9 AM this morning and I would have made it if it had been a little easier to figure out how I was supposed to get there. The medical tent was within a secure area that you had to have a card to get into. I went to the information tent to find out where I needed to go and they didn't know. They did suggest Balbo, where the Medical tent was though. I went to Balbo and there didn't seem to be a gate, so i kept walking. I walked all the way around to the other side where the Medical tent was and was told again that I had to come in on the other side. It took me about half an hour to walk all the way around the compound. I also stopped to talk to security at every entrance and kept getting referred to someone else. I finally got back to the west side of Columbus and Balbo and saw that there was a security guard there. I conviced him to let me in but it stilll took me another 15 minutes to find the woman that I was supposed to check in with. Luckily nothing was happening yet. When we started getting busy we also had the server crash and then start doing some strange things after it was back up. After everything was said and done, in the 6 hours I was there, 8 of us input conclusively about 400 patient records. I say conclusively because there were about 100 that were input and seemed to go into limbo. The records may eventually show up but they hadn't by the time we shut down.
Needless to say, this made me pretty tired. I met a lot of great people, but the work was positively enervating.

I will finish this here. Tomorrow, I am going to see a very crass puppet show movie by the creators of South Park (Team America: World Police).

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Existential again

This will probably be pretty short because I have to get up early tomorrow and will have a long day. It is amazing to me how much you can find to do when there is something that you really don't want to do. I said that I was going to clean house today and I did do some but there is a lot more that I could do. The stuff that I did do today, pay bills, buy groceries, go to church was all important, but I could have been more efficient in my time management.

In the time that I ws by myself I got to thinking about Existentialism. Some of the cornerstones of Existentialism are the absurdity of life and despair and most Existentialist philosophers are atheists. While I do have periods of angst and see the absudity of life, I am ultimately an optimist and am also Christian. While things do look rough there is a plan and it will ultimately turn out for the best. I have a lot of good things coming up that will be a lot of fun but it is sometimes hard to see when all I see is me. Tomorrow, I am volunteering in one of the medical tents at the Chicago Marathon as a runner. Monday, I'm going to see Team America: World Police with a free ticket I got from the Onion, and Tuesday, I'm going to meet my friend Sharon for lunch. All of this stuff should be a lot of fun and I will be happy when I get to them.

With the Presidential election in less than 30 days, I have been paying close attention. News that didn't get a lot of play was that two of the third-party candidates were arrested before the debates. They purposefully got themselves arrested in order to protest their exclusion from the debates. I have to say that I really agree with the stand that they are taking. Every presidential candidate who is on the ballot in at least 30 states should be allowed to let the people know what he stands for. Having said that, while David Cobb, the Green Party candidate more closely represents me, there is no way that I am voting for a third-party candidate this time around ( I voted for Ross Perot in 1992 and Ralph Nader in 2000). The stakes are too high, and in my mind a smalll move to the left is better than 4 more years of the status-quo.

Friday, October 08, 2004


I planned today to get my apartment immaculate for Kim's visit. Not because I care what she thinks about my place, it's simply a matter of personal pride. I would attempt to clean my place no matter who was coming over and no matter if I had already cleaned it. I even went to Home Depot to get the stuff I needed to repair my futon (one of the slats in the seat was broken) So, I repaired my futon and started cleaning up. While I was eating dinner, I checked my email and saw that she was going to have to cancel. This didin't bother me for more than one reason. The fact that she isn't coming though will give me the opportunity to more thoroughly clean my place. It is relatively neat already but it will give me the opportunity to clean those places where nobody is going to look anyway.

The fact that she isn't coming also gave me the opportunity to watch the second presidential debate. I have to say that Kerry again won this one. Bush avoided the monkey faces this time but he came off as very angry in several of his responses. It was very obvious that he was losing his cool when he wouldn't let the moderator moderate. There were times when Kerry didn't answer the question, but Bush was even worse. His (Bush's) responses were also positively mantra-like in that he kept repeating the same thing. When he got a question that he couldn't answer well, he went on the attack and this happened often. I have to say that Kerry's answers on his positions on embryonic stem-cell research and abortion were great.

I finally heard about my volunteering at the Marathon. Luckily, I won't have to arrive until 9 AM on Sunday. I'll still have to go to church on Saturday night, but at least I won't have to get up at 4:45 AM to get there at 6:30 AM.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Another picture of Foamy (I have no idea why my brother decided to name a wild raccoon Foamy).

This is Foamy, the raccoon that keeps raiding my brother's apartment and who snuck by me when I was sleeping in his livingroom.

What am I thinking?

Kim asked to come over on Saturday and I said yes. This is a very bad thing. She wants to be a friend of mine and I really don't know that I can. She wants to come over to see my music collection and to burn copies of each other's CD's, that's all. This is the woman who dumped me for an old boyfriend via email but told me we could still be friends. No one ever means this. we can still be friends means we will be civil if we ever happen to run into one another which hopefully would never happen. She really wants to be friends and this woman who I still find very sexy is coming to my house. I need to have a girl friend of mine berate me. We are getting together on Tuesday for lunch. Hopefully she can convince me that I need to stand up for myself. It's really funny, I'll stand for people that I think need help or for causes that I believe in but I really have a hard time standing for myself.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

A very uneventful day...

Not much happened today, so I'm not sure how long a post this is going to be. We had our monthly group meeting today and one of the things that we discussedwas the rumor that won't die that our company's owners may be looking to sell either our group or the company itself. According to our manager, nothing is official but each group has been told to create a business white paper which feeds into the rumor that any or all of the groups may be offered for sale. Some senior members of another chemical company were seen at other of our sites which gives an idea of who may be interested. In any case, if anything happens, it won't be for at least a year. This will give me time, at least, to redo my resume. When the rumor first came out, I looked for my resume and discovered that I no longer have one. I had thought that I was going to have to rewrite it from scratch. I did remember however, that I had a resume on Unfortunately, it has been three email addresses since I have used my account so I have to do some work to get it back.

The only other thing that I did today was to walk to the post office to return my latest Netflix movie (Kill Bill vol.2) and mail a bill payment. I watched Kill Bill vol. 2 last night and while it did have it's moments, I have to say that I liked vol. 1 better.

In the wider world, Rodney Dangerfield died and the Cubs indicated that there was a good chance that Sammy Sosa may be leaving before next season.

Tomorrow begins another day and hopefully there will be more to talk about although nothing bad.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

An eclectic day

Mt. St. Helens had a minor eruption, I went boomeranging, and the vice-presidential debates happened today.

Mt. St. Helens has been building toward a sizable eruption for a couple of weeks. There have been frequent tremors and a lava dome has been building within the crater. There have also been steam releases in the last couple of days. The eruption today was a pretty sizable release of steam and ash but it apperars that it isn't done yet.

I have been boomeranging since 1985 although admittedly, I haven't done it a lot in several years. I started out when my friend Jacques decided that we needed to go to Toys-R-Us to get a frisbee. When we were there we happened to see a boomerang and he decided to buy it. We followed the instructions, took it out into a field, through it and watched it crash about 30 yards out. After several tries, we had to find out whether it was the boomerang or us so we went to the library and looked up everything we could find out about boomerangs. One of the first things we found was a book by Ben Ruhe called Boomerang: How to make, throw, and catch. Ben was considered the godfather of American boomeranging and through his book we learned that the boomerang we had was junk. We got a design and started making them and continued looking for new sources. In looking, we happened to come across an active thrower in Delaware, OH by the name of Chet Snouffer and a guy in Louisiana that put out a catalog called the Boomerang Man. Chet, it turns out, was the world boomerang champion and was having a workshop about a month after we called him. We obviously had to go. The Boomerang Man just had a lot of boomerangs and he got a lot of our money. For about three years we were very heavily into boomerangs. We bought wood and had a boomerang factory in Jacques' basement. We also went to several tournaments. I was never any good but a couple of my friends were on the national team one year. Nowadays I have a few hanging on my office wall and I make a point of going out to throw at least once a year. I have about 40 complete boomerangs and several broken ones.

And now for the Vice-Presidential debate. While I thought Edwards one, I was annoyed that neither could stick to the point of the question and both seemed to be on a single mantra. I was actually kind of impressed that Cheney was able to keep his cool even when Edwards scored some very sharp points. I was very impressed at the very pointed questions that Gwen Ifils asked. Hopefully the Edwards win will extend the good guys run of luck and they may actually be able to show a lead in the polls.

And I will end this here and wish everyone who reads this a good night.

Monday, October 04, 2004

It arrived finally...

The posts that I attempted to post last night and thought that I lost finally arrived on the blog tonight. My long post actually showed up twice so I ended up deleting it. So what have I done today? Very little and I actually feel a little ashamed. I was pretty much done with all of the work that I had for today by noon so I spent the rest of the day doing busy work. I got home, started going through my email, took a nap. Checked my mail to find that my Netflix movie (Kill Bill vol.2) arrived today while I was sleeping. The mailman either didn't ring the doorbell or I slept through it. This time though, they left a card so I can pick it up at the post office tomorrow. Pirates of the Carribbean and the bonus disk should arrive tomorrow.

After I walked around the block to ensure that the mailman was truly gone, I finished going through my email and made dinner, chicken and vegetable tangine. I also talked to my brother who called to ask me what I knew about Zoroastrianism, apparently one of his acquaintances is Zoroastrian. I was a little familiar with it, learning a little in religious history in high school and having a co-worker who is Zoroastrian.

I then sent an email to a friend in the Detroit area who I missed this weekend because I forgot to put his phone numbers in my phone. I apologized and should probably call him sometime this week.

After all of this, I spent about an hour trying to figure where I should put the hit counter code for this blog. I don't expect the numbers to climb very fast or very high because I haven't told any of my friends or family the address to my blog. Why would I not tell anyone what the address is? While most of this is pretty mundane, there are times when I do leave my self pretty vulnerable and I would prefer to be able to get things off my chest than to have to edit myself because I'm worried about what my family or friends might say about how I'm feeling.

This is where I end this. Hopefully my brother sends me a picture of the raccoon tonight so I can post it tomorrow. Everyone have a good night and I will again post tomorrow.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Raccoons and weddings

I should have figured it would be lost when I couldn't comment on a friend's blog but it was a pretty good and pretty long post GONE! I will talk about this weekend tomorrow.

Raccoons and weddings

My trip to Michigan was pretty nice although there was a little oddness to contribute to the weekend. I stayed at my brother Marty's house in Ypsilanti and the wedding was going to be in Auburn Hills, so I was expecting about a 70 mile drive to (and from) the wedding on Saturday. My brother has a cat and he has a cat door so the cat can come and go as he pleases. This though, has created a problem. It seems that a young raccoon has taken to raiding his apartment via the cat door. I saw the thing poke its head through the cat door a couple of times on Friday but we thought that we scared it away. On Saturday morning however, there was evidence that it had been in the house. As I was sleeping near the window, this freaked me out a little. Just a little though, I had to get ready to go to the wedding.

So, I went to the wedding and reception which were very nice. It was nice seeing my cousins, the food was excellent, and it was good that my cousin had finally decided to marry the girl he had been going with for almost 10 years. I left relatively early, about 10 PM because I knew that I was going to have to drive an hour back to my brother's place, I didn't want to drink any more if I was going to be driving, and it's no fun being the sober one when everyone else is drinking. I was hoping to call one of my friends from college (MSU) who lives in the area, but I forgot to put his number in my cell phone.

I got back just in time to deal with the raccoon again. In the time between when I got back and when I went to bed, I saw the thing 4 times. The second time it showed up, my brother broke out his camera and shot several close up pictures of it. He's supposed to send me a picture and when he does, I will post it. I have to hand to that thing, it certainly was persistent. When I saw that the cat was in the house, I decided to block the cat door becaus I wasn't going to have a raccoon crawling by me again while I was sleeping.

In the morning, my brother had to go to work, so I was going to be by myself before I left for home. I decided to call another friend from college, Jenny Christopher, to see if we could get together. Unfortunately, due to the fact that she lived 50 miles away and was going to be doing something with her boyfriend in the afternoon, we couldn't swing it although we did have a pretty good talk. It was good to catch up with her. I then packed, had lunch, and drove home which brings us to the present. I don't know what I'm going to be doing this week but I do know that I will watch some Netflix movies and redo my resume. If I haven't talked about that, I will bring it up in next week's blog.

Friday, October 01, 2004


This will be very quick because I'm about to go out the door for Michigan. I will not have access to the web so there will be no updates this weekend. Hopefully I'll be able to see my friends from college. Everyone have a good weekend.