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

Thursday, December 15, 2005


I can describe the way I feel right now in two words, tired and bloated. Today was the day of our group Christmas luncheon. It was at Maggiano's from 11 AM - 3 PM and it was pretty fun. It was nice to talk to some of my coworkers in a somewhat social setting. The food was very good but I ate way too much. Things started out with cocktails (beer and wine) and appetizers; calamari and bruschetta. When we sat down for lunch we had two different salads and bread, five different entrees, and fruit and tiramisu for dessert. There was then a raffle and gift exchange, I ended up with a poinsettia. The party broke up and we went our separate ways. As I was going to have to be back in the area this evening, I decided to stay around. I need to find gifts for some people yet so I wandered around Woodfield and then went to Border's and read for a while. All of the food that I ate for lunch was pressing on my brain so I couldn't think so I read. The time came and I wandered over to Panera's where we had our book club meeting and Christmas (White Elephant) book exchange. While I liked the book that I got, it was the book that I brought. It was funny though that someone else had brought it. As a consolation, I was told that I could read another book if I want to . I am going to although I haven't decided whether it will be The Russian Debutantes Handbook or Hairstyles of the Damned.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


I really like to have a post for Monday through Thursday, but I really saw nothing today that I felt like commenting on. I forgot to set my alarm last night so I ended up getting up at 8 AM. I got to work at 8:30 AM so I had to stay until 5 PM. It sucked. Other than that, I wrapped a gift for my book club meeting on Thursday, I made dinner, and that was about it.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Richard Pryor + Kangaroos

Comedian, Richard Pryor died this weekend, finally succumbing to a heart attack. He had lef the public eye because he suffered from MS that he was diagnosed with in 1986. He was 65. Born in Peoria as the son of a pimp and a prostitute. He was raised in a very abusive household. His grandmother (who he mentioned in his bits as having highly accurate pumps) raised him until he dropped out of highschool in 8th grade. He joined the Army and when he was kicked out, he went to work in the nightclubs. He was very crude, raw, and profane but he was also truthful. He was among the first to joke about race, liberally sprinkling his performances with that word that white people still can't use (N*****). It was noted in one of the public rememberances to him that Richard would have milked the absurdity for all it was worth: Nearly everything the comedian ever said that makes him worthy of an outpouring of major obituaries cannot be quoted in those eulogies. He also had personal problems in his life which he richly mined for material. He had problems with drugs, alcohol, violence, paranoia,(which caused problems when he brought a gun into work), and women. He was married 6 times to 5 women. And in 1980, he was almost killed when he set himself on fire. There are two stories that were told about the incident. Originally, it was thought that he had been free basing and it exploded, but he later admitted that it was a suicide attempt. He doused himself in cognac and set himself on fire. With the way his life was going in the 80s, it was a common thought that he would be leaving early. MS may have actually saved his life before it killed him. He was honored in 1998 with the first Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Comedy. He is survived by his wife and seven children.

Wisconsin is not in Australia. Their climates are not even close and yet they seem to be having an unusual kangaroo problem. A 150 lb. male red kangaroo was found hopping around the woods around Dodgeville in January. After capturing it and doing a two month search, he was placed in a zoo in Madison. Then, this last Saturday, a truck driver hit a 50 pound 'roo near Mauston. There had been no prior sightings so they have no idea where it came from. The driver has asked for the body so he can have it stuffed in order to have proof for hus story.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Busy Week

I have been going since Friday and this is the first night that I have expected to have nothing on the books. I could have written yesterday when I had nothing, but after the busy week, I needed a break.

So, what have I been doing? Last Friday we had a technical meeting that up until this year had been a quarterly occurence. It normally might run a little longer than the scheduled 8 hours but last Friday, it went 10. I did stay about 9 hours but as I had plans that evening, I had to split. My parents had come down to watch my nephews and there was a quarterly craft show called Depart-ment that was scheduled for the weekend. I asked my Mother if she wanted to come along and she did so I had to run up to my sister's house to pick her up and then drive to Chicago for the show. It was pretty cool. Being a craft show, everything was handmade (more or less) There was embroidered clothing, jewelry, pillows, toiletries, purses, and other such stuff. My mom found a necklace that she liked and I found a scarf/boa for one of my sisters for Christmas.

Saturday, I ushered at the Goodman Theatre. I thought that I was going to see A Christmas Carol, but we ushered the show in the smaller theatre, Black Nativity. While it wasn't the play that I had expected to be seeing, it was still very good.

Sunday, I went to my sister's house and played with my very active nephews. While I don't mind playing with them, it is very tiring, especially when they start getting rough.

I was going to go to a fundraiser/happy hour/Christmas Party for One Brick and Operation Gratitude. Operation Gratitude is an organization that provides Christmas gifts to deployed service members. This was very important to me as a veteran. I remember when we were over in the Persian Gulf during Desert Shield how good it felt to be remembered. There was a letter writing campaign to any service member and during the Holidays we were inundated. It was great. I had forgotten some stuff at my sister's house on Sunday and I was going to be busy on Tuesday, so I was going to have to run up there. This left me thinking that I really didn't want to go down for the Happy Hour but when I got home and checked my email, I saw that I had received a confirmation email for the event. I decided to go and I'm glad that I did because I got to see several people that I haven't seen in quite awhile. I was sorry to hear however of the impending death of the first volunteer organization that I had belonged to, Social and Service Chicago.

Tuesday was the Volunteer Appreciation Party for the Chicago Bicycle Federation. It was at a restaurant called Orange which is a very unusual brunch restaurant. We had frushi (fruit sushi), fruit, and french toast kabobs. We receved a gift bag containing the latest issue of Time Out Chicago, an Orange menuzine, a water bottle, and a gift certificate for a free burrito at Chipotle (Yum!!). We also celebrated the volunteers that did the most for CBF.

Yesterday was going to be a CBF volunteer managers meeting but that was canceled until next month.

I plan to be very busy in the next week as well. My friend Guy may come down, I am wrapping gifts for The Childrens' Place, we have a group Christmas Party, a group Christmas Lunch, a company Christmas Reception, and a book club meeting, and this is what I can remember at the top of my head. I am sure that there is something else that I am forgetting that I want to do. We will see when we get there.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bad decisions revisited

The surviving members of the Grateful Dead must have been exploring old times recently when they recently made the decision to prevent the free download of their concerts from the website The Dead, throughout their career were known for allowing fans to freely record their concerts. This resulted in an industry of people freely trading recordings. The band kept a tremendous touring schedule from the time they were founded in the late 60's until the death of one of their founders, Jerry Garcia in 1995. The band essentially dissolved after his death. It did eventually reform but they don't tour nearly as often as they used to. The touring brought in a lot of money, so any money that could be received from recordings was small in comparison. Now that they aren't touring endlessly, the recordings could be a significant revenue stream. After the backlash (which should have been expected) the band did back off and is allowing free concert recording trading as long as the concerts are not soundboard recordings which they claim as their own and will sell them on iTunes.

I will be anthropomorphic for a second and say that the cat Emily from Appleton,WI made a bad decision when it went to a paper company's distribution center and ended up getting shipped to France in a cargo container. At the time of the story, the cat faced a 30 day quarantine and the owners were unsure how they were going to get her back. The cat's story became pretty big news and drew the attention of Continental Airlines. Airline employees escorted the cat on its business class trip from Paris to New Jersey, and from New Jersey to Milwaukee where they met Emily's owners. The owners were expectedly very happy to see Emily and plan on watching and holding her much more closely.