Friday, December 29, 2006

The Gap Widens?

I was reading "The Gap Widens" today and getting more and more frustrated. The article talks about the AFC dominance of the NFC. However, the same thing can be said for baseball. The AL has been dominating the NL for years. Interleague play is extremely one sided and the all Star game has been won by the AL, having only lost twice since 1988, there was the infamous tie in 2002. But during the same timespan the world series only has the AL winning 11 of 18. A majority, but nowhere near the dominance shown in the all-star game. That's because the world series, is a series, played by teams at the end of the season. Football like baseball has really 2 seasons. First you have to get into the playoffs. That can be as ugly as possible, it doesn't even matter if you have a losing record, if you aren't in the playoffs you have no chance to win. Then you get a fresh start. When the playoffs roll around next weekend all of the teams have no wins and no losses. It's time to start over, and only those that can put together a 4 game season will win. The world series in baseball keeps getting won by the wild card. Last year broke a streak by having a division winner win the world series. It was the division winner with the worst record and the one that backed into the playoffs by narrowly squeaking past Cincinnati. It only takes 4 games. An undefeated team can be out just as fast as one that's 8-8, remember the Indianapolis Colts last year?

And to quote:
With their run defense a shambles, and the Colts losing all three of their division road games -- at Tennessee, at Jacksonville and at Houston -- all the hand-wringing in Indianapolis is well-founded.

But it is possible we're all over-dramatizing the state of affairs for Tony Dungy's team, which lost on a last-second 60-yard field goal at Tennessee and a 48-yarder at Houston. The Colts, in other words, were dangerously close to being 13-2 and entering Week 17 in possession of the AFC's No. 1 seed, based on a better conference record than San Diego.

Just a reminder that sometimes when it seems like the sky is falling, it's actually a case of low-level clouds.

Just a few paragraphs before he talks about the Bears

Top-seeded Chicago struggled to beat lightweights Tampa Bay and Detroit (six wins between them) the past two weeks, and is considered a good bet to be the least regarded 14-2 team in league history.

Does anyone else find it strange how the Bears who did happen to win when struggling are considered a poor team, while the Colts are considered a good team that was just unlucky.

The real difference between the two teams is that the Bears are a defensive team that has won with defense, while the Colts are an offensive team that has not been able to keep up with the points their defense gives up. Even in the Colts big wins, they give up lots of points. I'd much rather have a strong defense that can keep the game in reach of my offense, or for themselves, as they did with the Arizona Cardinals game.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Music soothes the savage beast

Jonas was sitting around playing guitar tonight and Jaden either exhausted and ready for bed, or just enjoying the music, started taking his shirt off. Not that I encourage my kids stripping to music, but it was cute.

Still working on the floor

As you can see, we're not done yet. We are still scrubbing some paint from the floor. It looks nice after we put a lot of work into it and it will be done soon. About the only other thing to do is move the kids in and get curtains. Oh yeah, and put up the electrical outlets. Here's a before and after picture of the floor. You don't see me on my hands and knees scrubbing though.

Remodel update Finally

Ok, I've been slacking on posting this because I'm still working on it, but the room is getting close.

Here are some pics to whet your appetite.

Make every home a battery.

I was reading an article titled "Wind energy turns out to have a complication: reliability" It states that the biggest problem with wind is that it doesn't blow when it's needed most. The biggest strain on the energy grid is hot summer days when everyone is running their air conditioners. Of course it's these same days that the wind doesn't blow. The article goes on to suggest a few alternatives none of which are very good. We could create Hydrogen, a clean way to create Hydrogen, is a plus and if there is any surplus green energy, it should be used to create hydrogen, but we are not at that point. Another alternative is pumping air into underground chambers to help power natural gas plants, and turning off Hydro electric plants to allow the hydro power to be used when the wind is not blowing.

My opinion is that they are thinking on the wrong scale. Don't worry about making the central grid more powerful, worry about making the end user more self reliant. We already have Heaters, air conditioners, and water heaters at every house. Why not add a battery pack? Let's make every house self sufficient for 2 or 3 days. A power outage is only a problem because people cannot keep their house heated. The giant storms that have moved through this winter would be almost nothing if the houses all still had the ability to power themselves for a few days.

Then the purpose of the central power grid is to recharge a houses battery. If a battery is dead the house will use power from the grid for the house, then at night the battery can recharge. I'm not talking about giving every house a generator. I'm talking about a battery. The same way that a Prius can be used to power a house, a batter could be used to power a house.

When every house has it's own battery, then solar power can be used to recharge the battery without needing power from the grid. If the battery is fully charged then the house can get power from the grid.

Can you imagine it? No more brown outs. No more blackouts.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Christmas response to remember

Things heard around the house this Christmas. Cool, sweet. All right. That's the one I wanted. This is awesome. I love it.

But if you were Jonas you only had one response. Nice. Sometimes it was short and sweet. nice. Sometimes it was drawn out with lots of attitude. Niiiccceee!!! I thought maybe there was one present he wasn't going to say it for, as he was about to open his last present at the house he said, "can you hand me my present that's shaped like a guitar?" That's when all the suspense and drama I'd been building up for the big present went out of me. I deflated pfbtpfbtpfbtpfbtpfbt.

Then he opened it, "and it is a guitar. nice."

That summed it up for Jonas this Christmas. Nice.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chrismas season is over

We've opened all of our presents, and undecorated the house. Now it's time to move on. Christmas takes up a big part of peoples lives. We did most of our shopping before Thanksgiving, which means that for close to two months we have had Christmas on our mind. Now it's at least mostly off our mind. No more presents to open, no more decorations or music on the entertainment center. We do still have to deal with the piles and piles of gifts that aren't all opened and put away or together yet, but mostly Christmas is done.

And good. I love Christmas, but the amount of work that we do for the holiday sometimes seems like overkill. Get a tree, decorate it, buy gifts, wrap them, put up lights, make cards and send them (ok, I secretly love doing this because it's another way to say hello to everyone), and have a big party (which is also awesome). But today is the 26th, and we have our tree taken down and the decorations put away. Not that I'm a scrooge. I love the season, maybe it could just be easier in some ways.

I guess I shouldn't complain too much. Christmas was awesome. I had a great time with the family. My cousins Brian, Michael, and Edward came. I got to see some of my 2nd cousins. Football was on. The food was good. Gifts were great. The kids got some amazing things.

My brother went way above the call of duty and got the kids a VSmile video gaming system. This was something that I was completely against for a long time. I didn't want my kids to grow up playing video games, I want them to play with real toys, physcial objects. Things that they have to use their imagination for and things that they have to move to interact with. Basically, I wanted them to grow up like I did. I didn't get a video game system until I was in Junior High, but my parents did have an Atari, and a Collecovisoin prior to that, so I had games to play from a fairly young age. And some games require more imagination than physical toys do. Blocks can only stack. Many different things can be made, but they still just stack. But a video game helps develop problem solving skills. Imagination is used to jump into or onto new things just to see what will happen. Hand eye coordination is developed in order to conquer the newest challenge. Video games aren't all bad. Now we'll never tell the kids to stop cleaning their room and go play the video games (like they do in the commercial), but I think they will be excited.

Ady also got a little laptop that will help her to work on her letter recognition and get into spelling words. My favorite gifts to give were the Baseball gloves that I gave to both Jonas and Ady. The guitar that we gave to Jonas and the Soccer ball we gave to Ady, and the Lauri Berkner CD we gave to Jaden. Clearly I want the kids up and moving around. We even took a trip outside today to play catch. I have a lot of work to do to get the kids to catch.

All in all, Christmas was great. Thank to all of my family and friends for making it that way. I hope your Christmas was as enjoyable as mine.

Friday, December 22, 2006

End of year coming soon

It's almost time for the new year. Take this time to enjoy your family get togethers. Take the time to also review how the year went for you. Sit down and review your goals. Did you meet them? Did you add anything new. Did you get sidetracked from something that you really wanted to do? If you didn't write down any goals for this year prepare to write them down and commit to them for next year. It's ok if you don't accomplish everything you would like. Just having something in mind to accomplish is enough to get you moving forward.

Set your goals and your plans for next year. What do you want to try to accomplish? Are you planning a vacation?

I love this time of year. I enjoy reflecting on my successes and failures, as well as setting goals for the new year. The next week, the last week of the year, is usually my favorite.

Christmas is coming

It's just about time for Christmas. And beyond the gifts that are a tradition, Christmas time means so much more to me. It's a time when I get to be with family that I rarely see. Cousins and second cousins show up for a gathering. Not as many as there were when I was younger, but some of them still come. Christmas is also a time for remembering. My favorite Aunt died on December 26th several years ago and I still remember her very well. I don't sit around and cry about it, but I use Christmas to reflect on the good times that I had with her.

The gifts are purchased, the plans are made. Everything seems to be ready....

Why is Jaden sick?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boys room remodel

Well, it's almost done. I'll get a picture up soon. But the boys room is almost done.

It's painted, the carpet's been ripped out, revealing a nice wooden floor, with only a few patch spots. And the trim is done.

The only thing left before moving in furniture is to scrub the paint droppings from the floor. The room must have been painted just before putting carpet on, so now I'm having to scrub off paint that's been on the floor for years. No matter, it's coming up and I got through about a 6ft x 3ft area last night in just an hour. A few more days, and maybe better scrubbing materials, and I'll be done.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas comes early

Last night Erin and I were finishing wrapping the kids presents and she told me not to go into the closet, for the 1500th time, or I would get my presents right now and they wouldn't be wrapped.
I stopped to think about this. That may not be a bad idea. Christmas is really about us watching the kids enjoy their presents. We get each other more expensive and fragile gifts that we don't want the kids to break, hrm....

Ok, let's do that. Let's open our presents tonight, early, then on Christmas we can just focus on the kids, that will be great!!!

So we did. We opened presents early, it was awesome. Instead of wrapping paper everywhere there were plastic shopping bags all over the floor. There was just the two of us and our gifts. It was awesome.

I got an Illinois Hat, a nice simple, large I in the center, with Illinois on the side, it's perfect for me. I don't like extravagant with my hats, and one with the cheif, although it would really support my love of Chief Illiniwik as the Illinois mascot, would not be me. I have a few Illinois T-Shirts that I love to wear, but I always feel funny wearing my Braves, Sox, or Bears hat with it, I just don't like to miss teams. This gift is awesome.

I got two of the most coveted gifts that I wanted to help me make GTD a bigger part of my life a Label maker and a Digital Voice Recorder. Now I can label away and make it easier for me to read the folders in my filing cabinet. My own handwriting has been such a problem reading that I have taken to not labelling anything and when I go to file, I just have to flip through folders until I find the right one. At least I have a good enough memory to get me back to about the same spot. And the digital voice recorder may do more harm than good. There are many times that Erin and I will be out driving and we'll disagree about something, even something that I know I'm wrong about. She'll say, when we get home we'll Google this. My only respite is that she forgets to look it up. Ah, but no more, now we'll be able to remember all of my follies on my new Digital Voice recorder. But it's awesome. Those thoughts that I have while driving 8 hours every other weekend with To an From getting Jonas can now be captured without a fear of driving into a ditch while trying to scratch a word or two to capture it onto the back of my gas receipt. I'm looking forward to it, now I just need to have a thought.

I got a new shirt, it's nice, a long sleeve collar-less polo type shirt.

I got The Matrix 1 and 2. Awesome. No true geek developer should be without the Matrix Trillogy and the Star Wars 6. You should also have Real Genius, War Games, and Hackers. I don't have War Games. But I'll always remember the speak and spell voice saying "Would you like to play a game?" I also don't have Hackers. Ok, maybe this one's not so much for the geek of it, as it is for watching Angelina Jolie run around in tight leather for the whole movie. Mmmm, Angelina Jolie. Anyway, most of the computer talk in Hackers is so laughable as to be the greatest geek comedy ever written. It was perfect casting Penn (from the famed Penn and Teller) to be one of the IT security people during the great Hack scene at the end of the movie. Hacking and protecting are nothing at all like what they showed. But it's interesting to see the visualization of the file system and attacks from the director's point of view. Geeks don't see that way, we see words, lots of words and cryptic text.

Finally I got Cutting boards, and a Cheeseball mix. The Cheeseball mix has showed up at several get togethers this year, and I've just parked myself next to it until the crackers were gone, for some reason it is the absolute most tasty cheeseball mix that I've ever had. I think we'll make it for Christmas that way I can force others to enjoy it and keep myself from eating the entire thing by myself in about 20 minutes. And if you didn't know me, I have a thing for cutting boards. I don't like the giant fancy cutting boards, I just don't like mixing my fruit, and vegetable juices when cutting, I'm often cutting for more than one dish at a time, and I love to cut. Some people are really clever with their knives and they'll hold something in their hand and do all the cutting up in the air. Not me, I'm petrified of slicing another finger that way, too many times I've bled trying to be creative with the knife. No, I like to place everything on a cutting board and cut it. I like small simple cutting boards and I don't want to wait to wash one before cutting the next thing. I'm cutting an onion, green pepper, and apple, I need 3 cutting boards stat. Thank you nurse. I only have 2 at home, and we cut a lot, so if one hasn't been washed it makes cutting for the next meal sometimes a pain. We only had 2. Erin bought me 3 more, a nice simple plastic cutting board with a juice catching ridge. I love it.

Christmas coming early was a great thing. I'm still very excited for the rest of Christmas. And looking forward to enjoying the kids opening their presents.

One quick idea for anyone still looking to buy me something small. I want a small collander. Draining a can of beans in one big enough to hold a watermellon sucks. I have to clean one that big. I don't mind putting it into the dishwasher, but it takes up half of the shelf. I want a smaller collander that will hold a single can of something, those should be nice and cheap.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

London deluding itself

London Provides First Street Recharging Points for Electric Vehicles

I read this article today and laughed. London has some of the worst air in the world. Transportation is the biggest cause of their polution. But they are excited because there are now 750 electic vehicles in the town. And they are putting in 48 free plugins to encourage people to drive electic vehicles. There are 7,172,091 residents in London. 750 vehicles won't make a dent, and neither will the 48 outlets. If they are serious about improving the air quality, they would be removing fees for people who drive these vehicles, and they would be giving tax incentives. Start getting 100,000 cars off the street and maybe there will be some improvement.

I hope that London gets much more serious about this. I hope that other major cities do as well. I was excited when I read montsh ago that the city of New York would "allow" hybrid vehicles to be cabs. I don't understand how a city could prevent a vehicle from being a cab. As long as the car meets the federal guidelines for safety, and the cab company is not overcharging, then anything that's drivable should be able to be a cab.

I'm not a big fan of subsidies, but I do like tax breaks as incentives. I think having a tax break based on Miles per gallon for consumers and possibly even car companies could be a huge incentive for making more efficient vehicles. For years the standard has not gone up, and any improvement has been negated by making vehicles bigger. I would like to see minimum MPG standards go way up, with additional tax breaks offered for getting to even higher levels before they are required. Set the mid/compact car mpg at 40, each, not per fleet. That's something that car companies have gotten away with for too long, then reward 50 MPG with tax breaks.

Let's get serious about fixing the environment.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Sign class over, Thank goodness

Last night was the final night for sign language class. I was somewhat looking forward to it. Steve said we could bring our kids and we were going to learn Christmas signs. Awesome, our kids are always wanting to know how to sign things, and holiday signs aren't in our dictionary.

Class started and Steve asked if the few kids that were there could wait out in the hall for 15 minutes. Then he layed into us, again. He said he's disappointed in us and that 3 people dropped the class because of one student. I'm even going to name names. He said the 3 people dropped because of Stephanie. This is a total crock. The past 3 weeks he's been talking about how he's fed up with students not trying to learn and how he doesn't like one of the students named Sandy so he was quitting. He has ranted about just about every student in the class at one point or another, and almost half of ever class has been spent with us watching him sign complaints about his life, his former students and his family. We learn signs when we listen to him complain, but it's tiring.

He started blaming Stephanie for everything and she very politely stood up, started gathering her things and told him. I'm very happy you taught me sign, bye. I looked at Erin and asked if she was ready, she was. We left with Steph. After his last tirade we decided that we would not sit there and put up with it. We are there to learn sign language, not be yelled at.

There is a problem here, and Stephanie is not it. Steph is a very nice, smart woman who loves to sign and has taught both of her boys to do it. She knows more signs than anyone else that was in the class. She had even talked to Steve about her stories maybe dragging on too long, and he told her that she's there to sign, she should just sign. The problem is the teacher. In the past 2 years he hasn't had enough people like him in the first two classes that he's been able to have a sign 3 class. His own teaching style of complaining all the time and backstabbing his students is what causes students to drop his class. A leader takes responsibility for his actions, Steve instead blames the rest of the world for all of his problems.

As it is now, I am soured on sign language class. I would like to take sign 3, but I'm pretty sure that since there hasn't been enough for sign 3 for the past two years that it probably won't change. I do hope that the new teacher is much more teacher like and not just angry deaf guy. There is a group of former students that got tired of Steve that now meet at Panera weekly to practice their signs and pick up on new words. Erin and I are both thinking that going to that will be more beneficial that further book learning at this point. It's not worth the stress and frustration that we have had to go through in the past few weeks to keep attending class.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Kiss

Rather than forwarding an email, I decided to post it on my blog.


A husband and wife go to a counselor after 15 years
of marriage.

The counselor asks them what the problem is and
the wife goes into a tirade; listing every problem they have
ever had in the 15 years they've been married. She goes on
and on and on.

Finally, the counselor gets up, walks around the
desk, embraces the wife and kisses her passionately.
The woman shuts up and sits quietly in a daze.

The counselor turns to the husband and says,
"This is what your wife
needs at least three times a week. Can you do this?
The husband thinks for a moment and replies,
"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and
Wednesdays, but on Fridays, I golf."

Monday, December 11, 2006

Getting Things Done

I finished reading the book GTD about 2 weeks ago. This is a great book that could have implications across the county with efficiency and followup. I love the potential that exists in each of us as individuals. Too often progress is not made simply because we aren't ready for it, hopefully this book helps put everyone in the state to be ready to make progress on their projects. GTD itself has gathered a cult following. I'm not an early adopter, but I do plan on being an advocate. This is something that everyone should learn about and try to implement in their own lives. You can find out more about GTD at Wikipedia. It will keep up to date on other sites that are touting the benefits as well.

I am still in the process of slowly doing a brain dump of all the projects I have. I don't have the time needed to be able to just sit and get all of it out at one time. The brain dump is something that is really necessary to fully jump into GTD, but it will take me about a month to get going. I need a few items to help me out, and I've asked for them as Christmas presents, so until after Christmas when I get my new toys, or have to buy them myself, I have to wait.

Since I've finished GTD, I have started keeping track of things better across the board and feel a lot better about many of my projects. The book is sure to mention that using these methods will not reduce the complexity in your life, it will only help you to get a better hold on what you have to do, that way you can still make progress even when your mind is not at 100% efficiency. This is definitely the case. I have had found myself realizing that I have a lot more projects than I ever thought I had, and understanding better why it is that I'm not making as much progress on those projects that I previously knew about. GTD can be done completely with just paper, but I'm a computer nerd, so I've been using Monkey GTD to help me keep track of my projects. I really like the layout a lot, but the tool was a little awkward to start using. I plan on posting a getting started with Monkey GTD on my tech blog in the near future.
A funny thing happened while reading about Getting Things Done, it took me forever to read it. I was constantly having things pop into my head that I realized I hadn't captured somewhere to follow up later, so I would stop reading and start capturing my thoughts. It seemed almost as if the book was drawing out these long held memories and projects that were just waiting to be put on a list, or maybe as I started my mini brain dumps, my mind just became empty enough that it was able to dig into the deeper recesses and pull out the long buried projects from their depths of insignificance.

While reading the book and writing this post over the past few days, I had to think a lot about GTD. I have decided will not be a GTD Site, there are already lots of GTD sites out there and I won't be just another one of them. I am a big supporter, but I'm not going to be a portal to the GTD world. Please, take the time to go and find out more about it yourself. You can get a lot of the information free, but the book is probably still the best way to get started. Everything else is based on the book, so it all makes more sense after reading it. This is something that I recommend everyone, not just technical professionals do. Yes mom, I think you could benefit a lot from organizing your projects better too.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

I love sports

I love sports. I identify with the struggle between two teams, two individuals, people trying their hardest to accomplish a goal. It started when I was just a kid growing up. I'd sit around with my dad and watch sports on TV. Anything that was on ESPN, golf, bowling, wrestling, American Gladiators, baseball, basketball, football. As my wife puts it, we're the kind of family that loves sports so much that if dogs were wearing numbers and taking a crap, we'd watch it. Sports grew the bond between me and my dad. That's how we connected. When my asthma kept me from playing I started to coach at only 13. We coached Little League, and later we coached girls softball. I love baseball, all the little things that make a difference. They say football is the game of inches, but baseball is the game of anticipation. Just having the right feel for something and leaning in the right direction can make the difference between making and missing a play. Baseball is the game of millimeters. A round ball hitting a round bat and finding a hole in the field of play somewhere. It's amazing how all the little things come together to make a great game. An individual can shine, but a team can overcome and win. Sports are a metaphor for life, except there's a bonus. Each event has a clear cut end making it easy to identify a success. We can win an inning, game, and season. Life is harder. The boundaries are not defined. Was today a win? Do I have the rules of my tasks, life, projects defined well enough I even know when a win occurs? I have been a goal oriented person for a long time, and have kept lists of things that I want to try to accomplish, then I will work towards them in my free time. Free time is hard to come by, goals aren't being met. Does that mean I'm losing? Or am I just stuck in the a game different than the rules I understand? I couldn't win a baseball game if I showed up in a football uniform and without a glove and bat. I need to know the rules of the game to be able to win. The rules of life are what we make them. We are always winners or losers in our own minds. If you are struggling and not winning, you may be playing the wrong game. Maybe your life has changed and the chance to follow the same rules is gone, come up with a new game. Shift your goals to the things that are now most important to you. Become the person that you want to be in another area of your life. No matter what though, never stop striving to be the best you, that you can be. Sports has taught me that practice and hard work does lead to improvement in everything. I may never be the best, but I can always work to be my best, and that's something that I live by every day.

Baseball thoughts

Ahh! Baseball. The game I love. I sit and reminisce about when I did coach and look forward to when I will again. This time of year is usually quiet for baseball, except for the changing professional teams. Free agency has made it so a team can look completely different every year, and other than the fact that the Chicago White Sox are still in Chicago and called the White Sox, nothing is set in stone. I expected very few changes for them this year. They never quite got it together last year, and my thought was that it was a personality problem somewhere. Maybe they just didn't have the same burning desire in a leader they had the year before. I think their biggest loss was Aaron Rowand. He is a good center fielder, good bat, and good leader. I looked at him as the face of the team that won the world series, it was the "Win or Die Trying" campaign. Last year the face of the team was Jermaine Dye. I like Jermaine Dye, he's solid and consistent. But he's boring and sleepy. I just could never look at him as a leader, that would be like trying to follow Sleepy Floyd (old basketball reference).

I was shocked to read this morning that Freddy Garcia is going to Phily because his contract will be up at the end of the year. Big deal, just work on another deal with him. He's been a great asset to Chicago and was 17-9 last year. Who do we get to replace him? Gavin Floyd with a 4-3 record and a 7.29 ERA. For those non-baseball fan readers, that means that he averages giving up 7.29 runs for every 9 innings (complete game) that he pitches. It's a very bad ERA. The biggest news I expect to hear from the sox is that they have found someone who can play center field and bat .250. That would be huge. Last year Brian Anderson was a big part of the reason we fell apart and lost. He could not hit and get on base to keep a rally going or to drive in runs.

In other news, the Cubs GM Jim Hendryn was hospitalized at the winter meetings. It's probably because he's dizzy with the excitement that he actually has a shot of a winning team with a fighting chance at the playoffs next year. Being part of the Cubs organization he's used to having thrown in the towl already. This year however, the Cubs are driving the market. They are forcing other teams to overpay for players by having jumpoed out early and gotten Soriano. He was the biggest name out there and shockingly the first one signed. Way to go Cubs. I hope for the best for you, that is I hope your fans make it to September with hope.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Turn! Turn! Turn

For the past 6 and half years, I have spent nearly every day at work talking to a good friend of mine. We've talked about everything. He was there for me as I went through my divorce and the birth of both of my kids. Our favorite subjects were usually baseball, food, and commercials. Ok, we talked about work too. He and I were sent to training together, went to baseball games together, it's been great.

Today was his last day. I've been sad today. I know that tomorrow, when I go to work, he won't be there. I won't be able to go talk to him, the only one that I've been able to go talk to about everything.

At least our friendship is not over, just the ease with which I can get to him and talk. To you dear friend. Salut!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Exciting weekend

Thus far, my weekend has been exciting. Everything really started Thursday night. With a very nasty storm coming through central Illinois. It was raining and freezing. Thursday night there were already 4 inch icicles hanging down from each piece of siding. Then after midnight it started snowing on top of everything. I don't have a garage that I can put my car into, so I was stuck with 1/4 inch of ice on my car. I couldn't get into it Friday morning, and had to call into work. Thankfully I still had power, but my lifeline was gone. My Internet connection was down. We spent a lot of the morning calling everyone we knew to make sure that they were OK. At that point most people were without power. At 1 PM we lost power. I don't think there is any insulation in my house of than what we just put into Jonas' room. I think we need to look into fixing that in the future, I don't know how much it will cost, but it got cold in here very fast. The house dropped to 62 by 5, so I went out and spent 40 minutes scraping the car our from under the ice. I broke the ice scraper and hurt my hand doing it. We were taking the kids to stay somewhere that had power, but coming back to brave the freezing house ourselves.

The drive was very interesting. We drove past 10 or 12 downed power lines, lots of downed tree branches and trees, and even a flag pole that had bent in half. There was a viaduct that I drove under that was flooded out. The salt trucks had apparently turned the ice into water, but the drain wasn't working. I almost didn't make it, if I didn't ignore the "water on pavement" signs, I may have been in big trouble.

When we got back home, I saw a truck from the power company down the alley, and went to talk to them. I got to see them connect the power back up to my house. It was 9 PM and we had power again. I was really excited. I was able to get online and check my email. Although it was only 9:30 I felt like it was well after midnight and I went to bed early.

There was big news in my email. OK, there was huge news in my email. The Laurie Berkner band is coming to Chicago. Yikes! Today, we got tickets for the 5 of us. I'm excited, because all 3 kids love her, but she's Jaden's girlfriend. When nothing else will calm him down in the car, or at home, we just turn Laurie Berkner on and he's mesmerized. Erin has a few posts about it, you can read them at "My Kingdom for more Laurie" and "Behold the Power of Laurie"