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

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Very Little

This will be very short because my life recently has been relatively uneventful and there really hasn't been anything in the news that has caught my eye or raised my ire. I rode in Critical Mass on Friday which went down to McKinley Park which is around 37th and Archer and Bike the Drive on Sunday which meant that I had to get up at 4:30 AM but both rides were a lot of fun. I have been riding to work when it looked like it wasn't going to rain hopefully that will happen more often (the riding not the raining). And that's about it.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Testament of Doctor Mabuse

I just watched the above movie. It was directed by Fritz Lang in 1933 and is considered a suspense classic. Having said that, it was a little hard to watch because it was in German and reading the dialogue got in the way sometimes, of watching what was happening. For the most part, I don't mind watching foreign films but for whatever reason, old German films seem to give me trouble sometimes. Watching classics, I try to notice the archetypes and plot lines to see if they look familiar. This movie had several elements that really reminded me of Fight Club, one of my favorite movies.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Kabul House

Hey look at this, I'm actually writing on a weekend. I did my first extended bike ride of the season yesterday and it was great. It really wasn't that far (21 miles) but it was quite a bit further than I have biked this season. My legs were/are fine and as usual, the place where I got my tightness was between my shoulder blades. I am going to do "Bike the Drive" next weekend and I am confident that I will be fine. It is 30 miles but it will probably be slower than I usually ride and there are breaks about every seven miles.

I have mentioned that that my New Years Resolution was to eat at at least two restaurants where I have not yet eaten a month. Yesterday was my restaurant day. I had been planning on going to Gale Street Inn, but decided that the majority of the restaurants that I had been going to have been relatively mundane and while Gale Street Inn is supposed to be really good, it is also pretty ordinary. I decided to go to a restaurant that has been on my list for a while but keep on forgetting about, Kabul House which, as you may expect, serves Afghani fare. I had no idea what Afghani fare was going to be like but, it turns out, it is like a cross between Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. There are a lot of Kebab and rice dishes on the menu and the main meats are chicken and lamb. I tried something that was a lamb dish with rice and garnished with pared carrots and raisins. It was really good, the price was right and I ended up taking about half of it home. I will definitely have to go there again.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Whats Up

Why haven't I been posting often? I really haven't been doing much and while I have done it before, I really don't like doing a "grilled cheese sandwich" post. What does that mean? Posting to say that I had a grilled cheese sandwich today is inane and uninteresting. While what I write isn't going to win a Pulitzer Prize, I don't want to put my loyal readers to sleep. When I post, I want ot have something to post about. So what is the post du jour? Leonardo da Vinci. He is very popular right now with Dan Brown's best selling novel the da Vinci Code still at the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, the movie The Da Vinci Code coming out tomorrow, and the exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry any one can get their fill. But the archetype of the Rennaissance man has long been a part of popular culture. Representations of Mona Lisa, The Last Supper, and the Vitruvian Mancan be found everywhere from the artwork of Andy Warhol, to The Simpson's, to trendy T-shirt manufacturer Threadless. The leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is named Leonardo and there is even a Leonardo da Vinci Action Figure.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Is blogging about a blog navel gazing?

I recently ran into some trouble with my mp3 player. I charged it and it wouldn't start. I kind of had the idea that the battery might be dying. Despite that thought, I did considertrying to email for tech support. It took some looking but I finally found the place where I could email for tech support. They told me how to reset the thing and told me to reformat. I thought I would give this a try but there was a problem, I had about 1000 songs on my player that I didn't have copies of. This meant that I was going to have to back up the stuff that I don't have copies of. The problem with that was that the player was designed to put files on but it took a lot of memory to back it up. I spent basically two days backing songs to my hard drive, recharging the battery and backing some more up. I finally got everything that I hadn't had copied copied and formatting was easy. I now just have to put my music back on the player. Hopefully it still works well.

As a large amount of the work that I do comes from the automobile and HVAC industries, the guy for whom I do most of my work posts a lot of interesting articles relating to the automotive and the HVAC industries. Today he posted an article about a six stroke combustion engine. The original article was in Auto Week but the article he posted was on a blog called Damn Interesting and I have to say it really is. It posts articles about science, engineering, psychology, and history, that are as the name says, Damn Interesting. On the front page we have articles about Feral Children, Tempoal Myopia, a reporter that outspied a spy, the relationship between high temperatures and violent crime, a new way to do chemotherapy, and other things.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


While I do have time on most weekends to post, the only reason that I can think that I don't is that I don't have a routine. During the week I do my posts (or start writing thenm at least) at about 9 PM. At 9 PM during the weekend, if I'm not out, I am watching a movie. On Sunday though, I could write. So the only events of note took place on Friday night and on Sunday. Yesterday, I watched a movie as I usually do on Monday. Yesterday, I watched Elizabethtown which I really liked but there hasn't been a Cameron Crowe film that I have seen that I haven't liked. I could have written yesterday, but apparently I felt lazy.

So what was of note on Friday and Sunday? As I mentioned on Thursday, I won a ticket to the Pretty Girls Make Graves show. It was an early show so I didn't have much time after work before I had to leave. Because I didn't have much time, I decided to eat out and because I made the resolution to hit at least 2 restaurants a month that I have never been to, I decided to go to Yak-Zies. It was nothing spectacular which was what I was expecting but they do make a pretty good burger. After the burger, I went to the show. Unlike many people, I like seeing the opening acts. For PGMG, the opening acts were The Joggers, who I had heard of and who did a great set that was obviously influenced my 70's Prog Rock (They opened with Yes' I See All Good People...) and Giant Drag who were like the White Stripes in reverse (Female Singer/ Guitarist, Male Drummer) who I had never heard of but were still really cool. While I knew that I liked what I had heard of PGMG, I was not aware of how many of their song that I knew. Their music is intensely mining the post punk new wave era of the late 70's/early 80's and it was a great high energy set.

On Sunday, I volunteered for Architreasures who were beautifying a public space, with the public's help in Logan Square. They are creating a wall sculpture/mural outside the Logan Square El station and are making a public garden. I helped paint the wall that the sculpture/mural is going to go on blue and then afterwards went to another restaurant that I haven't been to, El Cid, which is a good Mexican restaurant.

So until next time, Good Night and Good Luck.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Pretty Girls Make Graves

I don't have a lot to post tonight. I was supposed to volunteer at the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation in preparation for Bike the Drive but they canceled tonight because they had several cancellations. I did get some good news this evening; I won a couple of tickets to see Pretty Girls Make Graves at the Metro on Friday night. I had no plans for Friday, now I'm going to have some fun.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Immigrant Demonstration

I will talk about the "Day Without an Immigrant" Demonstration that happened today but I first want to do a quick rundown of the past couple of weeks.

I went to Michigan for Easter and am glad I did because my middle sister, Melissa, was unable to make it to Chicago for my birthday. I spent Friday, and Saturday there and left on Sunday. Friday and Saturday were pretty lowkey but we had a couple of big meals on Sunday. Monday and Tuesday I started preparing for my family to be here but it was slowed because I did not have internet access at my house so was having to go to the library. On a regular day I get between 40 and 60 emails that are not spam and if I don't take care of them every day, they stack up rapidly. On Tuesday (the 18th), I had a technician over and he brought a new modem. Unfortunately, we discovered that my USB connections no longer worked so I wasn't going to have a connection with that computer. Luckily, my brother Marty was going to bring me a new computer on Friday so I didn't have to be long without a computer at home. Wednesday, the 19th was my 40th birthday and my co-workers made me a cake and got me a card. When I went home, I watched a movie and drank a beer. I took Thursday and Friday off from work in order to preparefor my family staying here. I didn't go to the library and I cleaned hardcore. Friday evening my brother and sister arrived and I took them out for dinner (Leona's) before I went to my hotel (Club Quarters). On Saturday, I celebrated my birthday. I spent the day running up and down the Magnificent mile with my brothers and little sister doing the tourist thing. After sopping for a few minutes at my hotel, we walked to Moonstruck Chocolate before walking to Millenium Park. We then walked to Vosges Haut Chocolate, the Apple Store, and ended up for a while at Water Tower Place. We then walked back to my hotel so I could change my clothes and we met my friend, Jon. For dinner, we went to Emilio's Sol y Nieve which is just east of Michigan Avenue. The rest of my family joined us except for three nephews and my sister Melissa (that would be my sister Tracy and her husband Paul, my parents, and my nephew Carter for those of you who are counting). We were also joined by my friend Guy, his children and his mother, and my friends Jerry and Scott. In all, there were about 17 people there. It was a lot of fun, there was a little fun played at my expense, and the food was fabulous. After dinner, we went to Dave and Buster's. On Sunday, I went home, picked up my sister and her boyfriend Jon, and went to my sister Tracy's for the day where everyone basically collapsed. On Monday, I met someone for coffee. On Tuesday, I got another new modem because the one that I had received apparently didn't work. It was also the day of my book club. On Wednesday, I volunteered at the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation in preparation for their annual Bike the Drive. On Thursday, I volunteered at a fundraiser/international dinner for an organization of several churches that helps bring refugees into this country and helps to get them established once they are in this country. This weekend, with the exception of meeting my friend Scott for Sushi on Saturday night, I did nothing and Nothing was good.

Now that I am caught up I can talk about today. Today was the 120th anniversary of the Haymarket Riot (or Tragedy, depending on your point of view). It was a historic day in the labor movement. May 1st, May Day, is also recognized as Labor day throughout the world. Because the immigration and illegal immigration issues are so intertwined with the labor movement, several labor organizations combined with several immigrant rights organizations to organize this demonstration and it was an amazing thing. Police estimated there were about 400,000 demonstrators and the organizors estimated about 700,000 marchers. The best guess is somewhere in between. In any case it was an enourmous crowd and it was very well behaved. We marched from Union Park at Ashland and Washington to Butler Field in Grant Park, a distance of about 3 1/2 miles. I enjoyed myself and was glad to be a part of it.