Thursday, April 26, 2007

RIP Faye's Diner

Earlier this year we were suprised to find that Faye's Diner - a place my wife worked as a teen and in an earlier incarnation (as Paul's) was featured prominently on Grandpa's Day in '83 - was closed.

We only went there occasionally in the last ten years, but it was still sad to see it go. Now, as the sign states, it'll be a parking lot.

What progress.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A true B movie horror moment

Last Friday I noticed a whopping big spider on my kitchen window. I'm not talking tarantula here, but quarter-sized. I got out the Raid and let loose. It fell, then scampered out a crack where I'd failed to close the storm window.

In it's wake it left the perfect Spider-Man logo in the Raid foam.

Being a dork, I Nextelled my Dad to come look. [the wife and kids were out].

In anticipation of his visit l I went out and caught the thing for show-and-tell.

When my Dad arrived I took him outside to show him the beast. At that moment I looked up for whatever reason . .

cue music . . .

and in horror, noticed that the entire side of the house was covered with equally large spiders, each with a sturdy web of it's own.

Ugh!

I have nothing against spiders, nor a fear of them, but c'mon!

My theory is the spiders eggs had hatched in the bright eastern sun of the previous few days. Thankfully they haven't got into the house (I must have killed the scout).

Knock on wood, that is.

 

Quote of the Day

Lisa's mom took YaYa to see Night at the Museuem yesterday, and my oldest girl thoroughly enjoyed it.

On the way to school this conversation took place:

"And you know that President in the movie?" she said.

"Teddy Roosevelt?" I said, guessing by the preview.

"Yeah, him. Guess what? The actor who played him WAS THE VOICE OF THE GENIE IN ALADDIN!"

"I heard him talk and I was like [cue bug eyes] Grandma that's the Genie!"

"He must be like a famous actor or something, huh?"

She was speaking, of course, of Robin Williams.

A pic of LuLu

Lisa's mom left for Arizona for the winter (to return early; a story best left to the House epic) but before she left she tried out her new digital camera on Lu.

The House on Nostalgic Ave - the tour

On October 9th, a cold and dreary autumn day, we finally got to tour the house.

I came straight from work, and Lisa showed up with YaYa. My in-laws were there too, but the lawyer was running late. Given the track record on the house, we were worried we’d be stood up, but he showed up alright.

The house . . oh my.  At least the bench on the porch was nice.

Let’s take this more or less in order. The living room was in OK shape, except for hardwood floors that seemed to have been stained only in the middle 3/4th’s of the room, as if an area rug was covering the floor. I still can’t figure that one out.

Then dining room was a more depressing sight. The carpet was quite literally threadbare and held down more by dirt and dust than any adhesive. The scattered remnants of my Uncle’s tenantcy – a cabinet, a jacket press, a globe, books, etc – were stacked willy-nilly in half the room. The walls themselves had peeling paint and there were cracks running along the ceiling and walls.

Both the bedrooms were a whopping 8x8ish in size. The one to the north was home to peeling paint and water damage, while the other showcased a moldy, water damaged closet (the ONLY closet in the house), dirt (snot?) on the wall, and a handmade card taped to the wall that was addressed to my Great Aunt.

She’d passed away 20 or so years ago, btw.

The kitchen . . wow.

Filthy ancient lineoleum, a white porcelein monster of a stove that dated to the 50’s at least, a gigantic pile of boxes and refuse in the center of the room, and a low, country farmhouse style sink.

This cabinet or 'dry sink' was the very one mentioned whenever my Ma's attention turned to the house. It was a favorite of my Great Grandpa's.

Did I mention there were no working utilities, including water, in the house?

Off the kitchen was the bathroom, a hideous conglomeration of bright green ceramic tile, a clawfoot tub that had been boxed in, and a tiled CEILING that was falling down. You know, I just now realized there had been a towel on the rack at the time. Weird.

I think we went downstairs to the basement next.

My in-laws declined to make the journey with us, which (to me) sealed what I believed they thought of the house.

The basement certainly didn’t win me over.

There were two ringer washers as you walked in, with a message written on the wall that read ‘this wire’ (meaning the exposed, fragile looking thing next to the note) ‘ is live when power is on’.

Neat.

There was a giant of a furnace, older than I am, and a fuse box too, a cloth contraption that an electrician would later say couldn't generate enough power to run a modern washing machine or fridge, nor any appliance of worth.

Nearby was the old coal bin, empty of fuel but still home to coal dust, and now a storeroom whose wooden walls were rotting away and whose contents were mold covered and disintegrating.

Then . . . the dungeon.

A cobblestone floor sat between four cream-city brick foundation walls. [for those outside Milwaukee: this town was once famous for cream colored brickwork, of which my basement provided ample evidence].

 

The wall to the south was bowing and damp to both sight and touch.

The wall to the north was bowing too but was braced by large timbers set against it.

The effect, I’m told, of decades of being so close to a drop forge.

Throughout the room were rusted metal items and decaying wood. Off to a side was the old water closet, now minus a toilet, which too was falling apart. On the wall in front of where the toilet once stood was a tiny ashtray attached to the wall, cig butts still inside.

From there it was on to the second floor, up a surprisingly pleasant orange staircase distinctly marked by pale squares where pictures once hung.

A room was off to the left, the bedroom where my Grandparent’s once lived and where my Mother was probably conceived.

Now it was, to my eyes, horribly water damaged, with SHEETS of paint hanging off the plaster. The best part of it were the boxes of 25 year old S.I’s and Time’s laying around. More than anything, that room nixed the house for me.

The rest of the second floor was unfinished attic; typical floorboards, typical beams overhead. A (relatively) small amount of possessions lay around, including a 1939 calendar still nailed to the wall.

How appropriate for a house stuck in time.

The lawyer, just FYI, didn’t venture past the dining room and did his best to discourage us. It was clear he thought this a waste of time for all of us, and I don’t blame him.

Even the backyard, which prior to the walkthough had seemed so . . well, not good, but manageable, now appeared as it truly was: a madly overgrown lawn and a porch so neglected a small tree was pushing up from beneath the stairs. [note: the first pic of the porch is obviously from a later visit, since it's sans tree]

Afterwards Lis and I began to discuss the house.

"It’s a f*ing dump," I said poetically. "Let’s just take the pics over to my Ma. We’ll do a good deed by letting her see the place again and call it even."

"Really?" she said. "I kind of like the place. I think it has potential."

Let me here note that she once said the same about both me and the future popularity of American Idol. A 50% record is nothing to scoff at, so my ears perked up.

Heck, even my Mother in law turned out to like it.

I still thought she was nuts. It wasa bleeping dump, a travesty, a shame really, and besides, we didn’t have the money for a remodel.

When we got home I called our lender. She said if I wanted it I had two options: getmy family to accept an inflated bid then trust in them to willfully refund the difference for improvements, or apply for a 203K rehab loan.

I told her to get cracking on the 203K, and I put the word out that we were interested in the house.

I think the sellers were shocked, which tells you something about the place’s value, no?

And it was off to the races . . .

Monday, April 23, 2007

My Weekend Rambles

My weekend wasn't half bad actually.

A large part of it was spent watching Parker, with LuLu with her Grandma and YaYa either at bday parties or out getting a pedicure with her Mom :)

YaYa had her first soccer game of the year Saturday and let four goals get by when she was goalie, but tried hard.

Saturday we also took the kids to the park. Parker took three wicked shots to the head when he wallked in front of Lu on the swing, and I foolishly tried following Lu down the slide and got my butt stuck for un momento.

I did get some projects done. I primed and painted both exterior doors (with Parker's 'help' - I have a great pic of that), Lis and I put up the handrails on the interior steps, Ijerry-rigged the cellar door, and got Lu's room cleaned. Plus Sunday was a gorgeous day that we spent outside. We got the porch cleaned off (Lord, it's big when clean!) and started some lawn work.

I even got my birdfeeder up! (btw, I saw a hawk in the yard this past week)

* * * *

Oh, Park actually said a complete sentence, or nearly so today: he responded to Lisa by saying "lub you too" which is a feat, considering he says nothing more complicated than 'buh bye' and then only rarely.  :)

* * * *

In other rambles, I've learned to appreciate the History Channel and the near constant presence of MLB action on cable, and I bite my tongue when the kids watch Spongebob Squarepants, imho a god-awful show if there ever was one.

I genuinely feel privileged to have watched A-Rod homer twice in a game this weekend, tho' I must admit the whole Red Sox - Yankees rivalry is begining to be a bore. I'd like another East team to step up and join the fight.

The Devil Rays by '09 I'd reckon, but perhaps Toronto this year?

Friday, April 20, 2007

My Rant about my Dr. (some language)

So I wasted three hours of my day today going to see a doctor, and in the end I wasn't even treated.

It was a shrink, to be honest, and it's a good thing I'm not a full-blown wackjob, because the whole thing was stressful enough to make even a healthy guy crack up.

I get there at 10:45 for an 11:00 appointment. I asked the receptionist if the Doc was running on time. She smirked.

Not a good sign.

From past experience I know he runs behind schedule, so I bought a SportsWeekly on the way over.

At 11:25 he walked into the reception area and took in a patient, the first since I'd arrived.

At 11:31 that patient left the building.

At 11:39 the doctor came in chatting on his cellphone, laughed, and left the room.

At 12:07, with my SportsWeekly read COVER TO COVER he took in his 10:45 appointment.

At 12:29 I was fuming. He came in, fumbled around the reception area for a minute, and then cheerily announced : "Daniel, you're next. Right after Gary here."

Oh, he** no.

I stood up.

"The hell with that. I've been here 90 minutes and I'm done."

"I'm sorry to hear that," he said, minus any trace of actual regret.

"No you're not, you're always making patients wait. It's damned disrespectful."

I stormed off, but made a beeline for the receptionist to officially cancel, lest I be charged.

No lie, she closed the glass in front of me, complete with 'receptionist at lunch' sign.

WTF?

I suppose it's bad form to freak out in a shrink's waiting room, seeing as one flick of their pen puts you in Nurse Ratched's bad grace's.

Still, what an a*hole. And imagine what it's like for the poor woman across the waiting room the whole time; obviously disturbed, probably incapable of standing up for herself, and quite blatantly disabled.

Reckon the doc believe's it's A-OK to treat the patients like cra*, seeing as the worst they can do is howl and drool, heh?

Oh, my bad. Sorry for being capable of thought and action.

A*hole.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Virginia Tech Update

AOL has allegedly secured some student plays written by the shooter, via an AOL employee who went to Virginia Tech and says he attended classes with Cho Seung-Hui.

I say 'alleged' because, without meaning to question the honesty of the source, the plays set off some alarms in my head.

This guy is a senior majoring in English at a major university and he writes stuff like this? I've encountered many (too many) educated, intelligent people who write like cr**, but they weren't English majors.

Then there's the stated reaction to the guy from the classmate. (emphasis added)

The plays had really twisted, macabre violence that used weapons I wouldn't have even thought of. Before Cho got to class that day, we students were talking to each other with serious worry about whether he could be a school shooter. I was even thinking of scenarios of what I would do in case he did come in with a gun, I was that freaked out about him. When the students gave reviews of his play in class, we were very careful with our words in case he decided to snap. Even the professor didn't pressure him to give closing comments.

If the plays are genuine, here are my thoughts:

1. Cho was an awful writer, with a juvenile thought process and a 7th graders love of profanity (no sarcasm intended)

2. Therefore Cho could not have been more than a marginal to sub-par English student at an American university.

3. It is even likely that given the statement above, he was allowed to pass classes just so the faculty could avoid confrontation. If that is the case, he should not have remained on campus as a student.

4. If the reaction in the statement is true, and not a hindsight interpretation of events, than: a) the professor had an ethical obligation to report the content of the writing b) failing that, the students themselves had a vested self-interest in reporting a frightening and disturbed individual to the powers-that-be.

Keep in mind no one's at fault except Cho himself; he's the one who pulled the trigger.

Again, if true, the existence of the writing is eerily similar to the Klebold assignment a month prior to his participation in the Columbine massacre. To paraphrase one commenter on the original link "how many times do we have to see this stuff before we learn to react?"

UPDATE: info continues to pour in and make items obsolete, so I think this will finish off my blogging on the subject.

"There was some concern about him," Rude said. "Sometimes, in creative writing, people reveal things and you never know if it's creative or if they're describing things, if they're imagining things or just how real it might be. But we're all alert to not ignore things like this."

She said Cho was referred to the counseling service, but she said she did not know when, or what the outcome was. Rude refused to release any of his writings or his grades, citing privacy laws.

So someone DID notice, it appears the plays ARE real, and he was referred for counseling.

Virginia Tech

In the wake of the horrendous school shootings at Virginia Tech yesterday, I'm sure we'll all hear the familiar hue and cry for additional gun control laws.

The Drudge Report is already linking to similar thoughts in the foreign press.

In all honesty I don't see where the current gun laws failed. Speaking only with the knowledge gleamed from the (often chaotic) reports of the day, the shooter was armed with handguns, not assault rifles or machine guns. And this was no stereotypical redneck kook or drooling madman. By the accounts I've read, Cho Seung Hui  was an upstanding 4th year English major at a major university and had no criminal history.  

Moreover, he made his first purchase on March 13th, meaning this was no spur of the moment/crime of passion that a waiting period would have prevented.

So how do you justify preventing the transaction, unless you believe (as some do) that all guns, no matter what kind, need to be kept from the public, whoever the individual might be?

To me, you forget about the predictable political speeches on gun control.

Instead, you mourn the victims. You question why we continue to produce folks that enjoy hurting others, apparently for sport. You wonder about the emergency procedures in place at Virginia Tech. You applaud the heroes of the day, like Liviu Librescu who blocked his classroom door to allow his students to escape, even at the cost of his own life.

And you continue to wonder why ba**ards like Cho Seung Hui don't turn the gun on themselves before they even leave their house in the morning.


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Nostalgic Ave Odyssey Pt. 1

 So sometime last summer we were pre-approved for a mortgage and began looking for a house. With our budget our aim was simple: find a nice house with a backyard in a so-so neighborhood (what most readers would call the South Side ghetto, but what we called home).

We toured a lot of homes that sumer.
 
* We saw a very nice house on 28th St that we liked a lot, but the neighborhood was a little too so-so for me and my cousin (and real estate agent) thought she saw evidence of foundation problems.
 
* We gave serious thought to a fixer-upper off of Morgan. It was quaint, in a great neighborhood for us, and had serious potential. It also had a dirt crawlspace for a basement, a lean due to foundation problems, and was set back off the front yard with no chance of ever adding a garage.
 
* There was a very cute house near our (then current) residence that had a Ozzie and Harriet backyard and a good interior. The only bathroom tho' was on the second floor, and there was no way my mother or my in-laws could navigate to it - hence, the house was a no-go.
 
* Lisa really liked another house we saw where the owner insisted on showing us all her improvements. I thought the place sucked, but I guess there was potential.
 
* I took Parker, and later the whole family, on a tour of house off of 12th and Cleveland. The best part of that place was a garage with doors on both sides - you could drive in off the alley and straight onto the back yard.
 
* Another house near our own was spacious and featured something for each of us: an open staircase for Lisa and a comprehensive security system for me. I think we just missed the boat on that property.
 
* We spent the day up north in Oconomowoc looking at houses, where the market will get you a nice house for 1/2 the cost of Milwaukee.
 
* Heck, we even toured a house on Burnham that had no floors - literally. It was just a shell of a house on a boozed up, garbage strewn block.
 
To be honest, by fall I'd decided it wasn't to be, and that it was God's way of telling us to shut up and pay our rent.
 
One day my Dad was listening to me moan at work and suggested that I look into my great-grandma's house on Nostalgic Ave.
 
note: as a tip of the hat to all thepsycho's in the world, I will refer to the house as being on Nostalgic Ave, as you've probably already guessed.
 
For those folks in the family, X Ave has a mythological stature, and is spoken of only in hushed tones of nostalgic reverence. It is the house where my maternal grandmother's parents lived, and where theye each died. It is where my grandparents lived for a short time after the war, and where my mother was likely conceived. It is where my mother and her brother were taken (or dragged, depending on the storyteller's mood) each weekend to visit while Grandma cleaned her mother's house. It is where my Mom got splinters sliding down the wooden cellar door, where Great-Grandpa planted rose bushes, where Great Grandma fell down the basement stairs, where the Xmas tree was by the living room windows and opposite it a fake fireplace; where the earth-shaking booms of the nearby forge were a lullaby to my Mom on sleepovers, and where my Great Uncle Leo, in a apocryphal tale, hid a treasure beneath a floorboard.  
 
In short, it had a lot of history, and a lot of baggage.
 
"It's for sale?" I asked.
 
"No, I don't think so," my father replied. "But it's been empty for years, since Uncle Chester moved to the nursing home."
 
That was the extent of it for a few weeks. I brought it up casually to Lisa and one day we drove past it, probably the first time I'd been to the house in a quarter century. The backyard was horribly overgrown and the porches needed some paint, but it seemed like a house we'd have stopped and toured.
 
On another drive past the home we stopped and looked in the basement window, where we could see a tidy room with a canning cabinet.
 
"It seems like it's still in good shape," we both said at the time.
 
My mom drew us a floorplan of the house in exacting detail, unconsiously showing her enthusiasm for the project. Based on the drawing I thought it was too small, but Lis saw something that piqued her interest.
 
Thus began the excruciating process of finding someone to show us around.
 
The house had been willed to all 7 of my Great-Grandparent's children, but most had been bought out, including my Grandma. 4 owners remained; my Uncle Chester, the most recent resident; the decendants of my Aunt Mamie, who had lived in the house with her brother until her death; my Great Aunt Mabel, wife of the deceased son Wally; and Cynthia, daughter of my late Great Uncle Harry.
 
No one had a key.
 
Aunt Mabel sent me to Chester, who we visited in his nursing home, who we promised to have visit X Ave if we bought it. No key. We were told to contact Aunt Mabel's grandaughter Chris, who for a time had kept up the house. No key. Aunt Mabel herself, no key.
 
Moreover, Chris (being the person most familar with the home) strongly discouraged us from pursuing the property.
 
Not encouraging, let me tell ya. I was begining to think people were intentionally stonewalling me. We're talking a week or two here folks.
 
Eventually we showed up on Aunt Mabel's doorstep and in a genuine but awkward moment Lisa started to cry. A few days later progress was made, and we had an appointment to tour the house with a lawyer that represented some of the parties.
 
That tour  . . . was a wakeup call.
 

Forewarning

I'm going to start the long drawn out tale of our first home purchase. What will follow is the introduction, if you will -  basically everything that preceded our first walk-through and the begining of the 100's of photographs.

Ignore or enjoy, as you wish.

Misc Chatter

Nothing of importance to say today, other than the stairs from my bedroom to the first floor are BRUTAL when you first wake up in the morning.

I think I might install a slide this weekend.

* * * *

I also would like to say that I wasted a decent portion of my life this year reading Robert Heinlein's The Puppet Masters and a small portion of Methuselah's Children. In a long-ago past post I listed Heinlein as one of my all time favorites, due fully to my memories of the books I read in my teens.

If the trite dialogue and overall crappy writing is indicative of his catalogue, then I kindly rescind my recommendation.

* * *

A sincere thank you to my Dad for coming over close to midnight to show me how to relight my hot water heater and furnace. I'd shut off the gas to the house to complete some work on the dryer (more on that later) and hadn't realized it killed the appliances until my wife stepped into a cold shower hours later.

* * * *

My knee hurts. Did I mention those stairs suck in the morning?

* * * *

We upgraded to standard cable yesterday, which is a big move for yours truly.

For years we went with broadcast TV, but reception became so poor over time that we moved to 'basic' cable. For $12/month we got the local stations, a host of Christian channels, and a home shopping network or two.

Eventually they added Bravo, the Food Network, Style, and National Geographic - thereby rounding out our viewing experience.

Well in the latest move none of the Big Four showed up, with the cable company claiming - bait and switch if ever there was - that none of those stations should ever have been on our line in the first place.

So we went with a bundle. Road Runner Lite (aka AOL), our phone, and standard cable for a bill a month, which is just a MOCKERY of every ideal I hold dear.

$48/month for TV? Ugh.

So now we have Nickelodeon, ESPN, and God help me, HGTV.

* * * *

True tale: we had the cable company out three times for this installation, never getting it done the way we wanted it because, as the tech said, "We aren't magicians. We're cable guys."

The yahoo  said this like a rosary, over and over again. When my wife heard the back door close she said, "Typical a**h**e cable guys. 'I"m not a magician my a**"

Thing is, I'm the one who had closed the door. The cable guy was still there, and I spent the next hour wondering how badly he was going to maim my house in retaliation.

 

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Man I suck

So I missed Tuesday's Angels-Indians game because of other obligations, and yesterday's because of the snowstorm. I still intended to go tonight, only to pop on MLB.com and find the final game in progress while I sat at work. I hadn't realized it was a day game.

Damn.

* * * *

Over at Inc.com Leigh Buchanan composed a very entertaining and well-written piece denouncing emoticons aka smileys. Her means of destroying them: substitute language for the smiley until people are sick enough of it to stop. An example:

Picture if you will a colon: one tiny, perfect dot poised above its brother. Now imagine that colon transformed into a pair of eyes, bright and sparkling with mischief. From between those dots extends a hyphen. Yet screw up your eyes and…do you see it? A nose! Yes, a nose! Patrician in its straightness it dips toward the generous curve of a closing parenthesis. That parenthesis is a mouth, corners up-tilted in mirth. Viewed in sum, these marks compose a face whose expression of gentle amusement suggests the good humor intended in the previous remark.

You can find the article here.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here's a disturbing bit about Keith Richards.

In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.

"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.

"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Read the rest here.

 

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Snow in Bleepin' April

You know, on the first day of spring my wife and I saw a robin in our backyard. The first robin of the spring, on the first day of the season. How poetic.

Today, April  #@&^ 11th, I am staring out the window at a swirling, nasty SNOWSTORM that is threatening to dump up to a foot of snow here in Milwaukee.

My junior year in high school we had a blizzard in May, but that was a rare exception  . . or so I thought.

* * * *

I've never listened to Don Imus, and could care less if he has a job or not. But I think that in a culture where profanity and mockery are commonplace, and African American comedians/musicians use the word left and right, that the use of 'ho's' shouldn't get the man fired.

Talk about a double standard - not only do comedians and rap artists adore the word, the very 'politicians' who oppose Imus are guilty of perverse [reverse] racism of their own.

My opinion? Imus is an idiot, mainly because his use of the term was offensive to WOMEN. That's my strongest objection to it, and even that isn't enough for me to take away a guy's bread and butter.

In other news, charges were dropped against the Duke lacrosse players. Something stunk about that case from the get-go; a DA mad for publicity, it sounds like.

Now a woman had her reputation dragged through the mud front and center, college players were wrongly put through hell, and no doubt the city will be stuck with lawsuit settlements for years to come.  

Sigh. What a bleepin' world.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Ultasound pics

On my Mom's 60th birthday (April 5th) and the morning after our first night in the new house, we took both of our girls to view the 20 wk ultrasound of the baby.

LuLu was squirmy and noisy, but YaYa behaved herself - purely a matter of being 20 months older, I'm sure.

Still, I'm glad they both had the opportunity to see their sibling in utero, and even at her worst LuLu was still better than 80% of kids would have been.

They couldn't determine the gender, even after some intense searches . . guess he or she wanted to surprise us. It'll be the first 'surprise' birth for us, tho' the safe money is on another daughter.

Here's one of two ultraound pics from that day. I'll try to add the second at a later time.


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Monday, April 9, 2007

AL teams to play in Milwaukee?

News today on mlb.com that the three game Angels-Indians series scheduled for Cleveland this week will be moved to Milwaukee due to winter conditions in Ohio.

Well, hot dog! A chance to see two AL teams compete, and I don't even have to leave Milwaukee? If I can arrange my schedule, I'm there!

One of the reasons I'm so eager is the presence of future Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero.

That got me thinking: in my years of watching baseball, how many Hall of Famers have I seen on the field?

[warning: this list will almost certainly be expanded over the coming months as my memory improves]

Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Rollie Fingers for sure.

Don Sutton almost certainly.

Big Mac (should he make the Hall) I saw on Sept 10th, 2001, if not at other times.

I saw the '04 Yanks and  White Sox in Chicago, which means I saw A-Rod, Mussina, Jeter, Posada, Giambi, Shefffield and Rivera. At least three of those are HOF.

I've seen Griffey, Bonds, and Kent.

Frank Thomas (man, did he inspire fear!)

I've seen Rickey Henderson and Dennis Eckersely at the old County Stadium.

I saw Cecil Fielder, and his son Prince.

I've seen Pujols (yawn), Sosa, and Edmonds.

With reasonable certainlty of memory, I've watched Maddux and Ryan pitch.

That's not a horrible list, considering I started watching the game regularly only in '92. I'm sure I shorted myself by a score or so, but it'll come in time.

Kurt Cobain


With yesterday being Easter and all, I figured it wasn't the right time to go ahead and post a tribute to a guy who committed suicide (officially at least).

Anyway, here's a link to an article I wrote in '05 about Kurt.

To quote my '06 entry:  The tribute I wrote last year [2005] strikes me as a little too dramatic and formulaic in retrospect, but the sentiment holds true [and what I wrote in the comments sections is some writing I'm pretty proud of, imho]

RIP Kurt

Friday, April 6, 2007

Update

Hey guys, I'm still around.

In the last three months (while I've been ignoring this blog) we've: had two Xmas concerts, had Parker turn two with a great party, had YaYa lose her first tooth, gained back all my weight in return for quiting smoking since November, bought a house, completely remodelled said house from the foundation to the gutters, moved, had a tooth pulled, got into a car accident on the highway, pulled LuLu out of school, blew a transmission twice, became enchanted again with Lost, had a second ultrasound that could not conclusively prove gender, and generally just lived a high stress/no relaxation life as of late. . .

I've thoroughly documented everything with our camera, tho' I'm LOATHE to modify and upload the hundreds of pics I have to show the transformation. I'll get started soon enough.

BTW - Thanks Astaryth for the birthday card for Parker :)

Oh, and a Happy Belated 60th Birthday (on the 5th) to my Mom! Love You!