Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nodding off.

The story of the day HAS to be this one. It'll make you think twice about sleeping on public it a plane, bus or train. Now do you see how funny the title is??

A further commentary on why Democrats should vote Republican in this election. Mind you, I'm pretty middle of the road. I really don't like either extreme, but I tend to side on the fiscal conservative side of things with our elected officials. Okay, so if you remember Jimmy Carter taking office in 1977 after a terrible Republican administration. Still, nothing short of Watergate was going to prevent Nixon from winning again, at least that's my belief. Anyway, the point is, Carter inherited a shitty economy and a bad international problems which led to the hostages in Iran. His fiscal policies led to the highest interest rates in memory and a nasty, nasty recession. On the international front, his talk first, second and third strategy led to hostages being taken in Iran and a basically third world country was able to stand us down. Any of this sound familiar?

What happened next? People were sooo disenfranchised with the Democratic party, thinking wrongly that they caused all of these problems, that you had 12 years of Republicans as a knee jerk reaction. I'm not saying it's definitely going to repeat this way, but I could easily see the scenario playing out again. Bush has screwed our economy by trying to bail everyone out and refusing to ignore his oil buddies and build more refineries as opposed to allowing them to close down. And the war in Iraq....good Lord. What a blunder. Don't give me the old "we haven't been attacked since 9/11". No we haven't, not here at least. We conveniently moved 3,000 our children over to Iraq so they could be killed by terrorist/oppressed people revolting against a threat (us) bigger than their own maniacal regime that we removed. So don't tell me we haven't been attacked. We were successfully attacked just about every day for five years before anything was even remotely brought under control. And don't tell me "it's a war so that's different". A dead kid is a dead kid.

Sorry about that rant. The point is, you don't want a Democrat trying to clean up a mess of this magnitude, because I don't believe it can be done.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Eye of The Storm

What no pictures? Nope, I've got nuthin' folks. Been working like a dog and Friday I head to St. Louis for a softball tournament again. Last time I headed down there, I narrowly avoided two tornadoes. Well, I'm headed right back into the eye by heading down I-55.

Remember this game? Did you ever play it? I haven't, but I knew of it.

Hope you listened to me and gambled with MCF at 78. Today it closed at 89. Not bad for a 10 day move.

There has been progress on the bathroom and I'll take some pictures and post them soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Voting save the Democrats.

Many of my more liberal friends have heard my theory about how they should be voting Republican this election. It sounds like maybe I'm being inflammatory, but I'm really looking out for the best interest of the two party system....which should be more inclusive by the way, but it's what we have right now. This story tells part of the reason why. My concern is that things will be so bad for the next President, regardless of who it is, that the Democrats won't get anyone else elected for the next 12 years if a Democrat inherits this mess and doesn't adopt appropriate fiscal policies, which it doesn't seem like Barack has the experience to do. Logic dictates that the voting population wouldn't hold him accountable for past Presidents' mistakes, but that assumes the voting populace has a modicum of intelligence.....which they don't. So vote for McCain!!

That's all I have for tonight. Had dinner with Ricardo and his wife and T-Rex Tim and his wife at a wine pairing event. Good fun. The restaurant was the old Hardy Boys now HB and the wines (and food) were from Bordeaux. Good times!!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chicago being productive....except for me!

First my apologies for missing so many posts this weekend and Monday as I was out of town with not much internet access. In fact, on the drive home today, I stopped in the parking lot of a Holiday Inn off the interstate and "stole" their wifi access to check email! How's that for ingenuity?

Fortunately for me, in a scheduling anomaly, BOTH the Sox and Cubs are playing out of town so traffic coming up the Dan Ryan and in my neighborhood was fairly non-existent even though it was late rush hour. I figured without the games going on at home, people were working a little later or otherwise being productive instead of waiting around to park!

Happy Birthday to D.C. Kelly!!! Yay!!!!! I think she's 37 today. Shhhhhh.

Special thrill for Dejesus Freak today I'm sure. The Cubs first base coach, Matt Sinatro, was suspended for two games for bumping an umpire. On the same play by the way, Lou Pinella was fined, which was a total crock since the ump blew the call in question. Anyway, the replacement first base coach is......Ivan Dejesus!! I didn't even know he was still in the Cubs organization. Whoo-hoo!

The Bears, despite their issues at QB, WR, RB and offensive line, are projected by Vegas to win 8 games this year, or at least they feel if they put the number of wins at 8 then an equal number of people will bet each side of the over/under. I think that number will come down because I don't think Chicagoans are going to bet the over very heavily.....if at all. I might be the only one.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Bathroom update

As you know, I'm renovating my upstairs guest bathroom and have posted many pictures. Well, the pump is primed for big-time progress now. In addition to the vanity and toilet seat being selected (have been for some time actually), I have now selected the shower head, two exhaust fans, light set over the vanity, the pocket door and the pocket door hardware. All of it is in my condo and ready for installation except for the new pocket door, which after being delivered, will have to be finished.

The two big items left are the shower door and the tile.

If you're in Chicago on Saturday and have a hankering for some Beatles music, dejesus freak will be playing with a Beatles ensemble for charity at Maggies (look it up at Timeout Chicago). It's a fund raiser as well, so everyone wins.....unless djf sucks, but I don't think he does.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Geography time

Geography test:
What country borders both Iraq and Pakistan?

What country is directly south of Egypt?

What country is directly south of Slovakia?

Between Columbia and Peru lies what country?

Which is further north: Toronto or Albany, NY?

Between British Columbia and Saskatchewan lies what province?

Can you name one of the seven states in Australia? Two? The nation's capital?

Answers at the bottom of yesterday's post!

I'm not trying to embarrass anyone as I would have missed most of these as well. Interestingly, what sparked the idea was a quote from McCain referring to the Iraq/Pakistani border. Of course, they don't share a border but I wonder how many reporters there knew that? Or how many staunch supporters knew that? As Americans, our geography is woeful compared to the rest of the world....myself included of course.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tiger Domination

Quick note about Contango Oil, ticker MCF, a stock I lamented not recommending to you at $80 per share which subsequently jumped to $90 and then $95. It's back down to $78 as I write this due to the price of oil dropping. Most of what they produce is natural gas, not oil (despite the name), and I think much of the drop is unjustified. The company is being sold off in pieces and I know the owner wants to have it done before the election for fear of a democrat gaining office. Fair values I've seen run from $80-$110 with outside possibilities of even higher. If you have some "gambling" money, this might be something to look at.

Everyone knows Tiger Woods. He's about as big in and outside of the sporting world as you can get. If you were to ask most people why, they would say it's because he wins....a lot. That's true of course. Buy why? And how? Well part of the answer was exemplified this past weekend in the British Open.

Fifty-three year old Greg Norman started off on Sunday morning in the final pairing with a two shot lead. Whether it was nerves or who knows what, he bogeyed the first three holes and four of the first six to drop several strokes off the pace. Padraig Harrington, starting off playing with Norman and down two strokes, was the beneficiary of Norman's implosion. However, he too, couldn't stand success and he bogeyed holes 7, 8 and 9 after taking the lead to then turn the lead back to a youngster name Wood, not Woods though. Wood had the lead for a bit until he bogeyed holes 11, 12 and 13, turning the lead back over to Paddy Harrington who ended up winning by several strokes.

How do you think it would have turned out if Woods started off in Norman's shoes? Wire to wire baby. That lead wouldn't have changed hands. Not even once. THAT'S why he's as great as he is. Tiger may not win every tournament, but when in the lead on Sunday, he rarely, rarely loses one.

Finally, I realized I'm trying to fit 6 days of work into just three days....hard to do even if you only work 1/2 -3/4 days normally, so I'm a bit tired....again!

Answers for tomorrow's quiz:
5)Toronto, you thought I was trying to trick you didn't you?
7)Tasmania, Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and Northern Territory. Nation capital is Canberra, which lies halfway between Sydney and Melbourne.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Too tired!!

Busy, busy day today. Post will come tomorrow morning, a bit later than usual.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A walk in the hood

A couple of things that I heard on the radio sparked my interest and needed commenting on.

First, some employers are opting for a four day go-to-work week and one day of working from home. Why? To boost morale or take advantage of the nice summer weather? Nope. To save their employees on gas. Really? So the economy suffers fairly dramatically by having employees "work from home" one day a week in the name of saving them from spending the money on gas? Maybe the economy will pick up by the $8 in gas per employee they save versus the several hundred dollars in productivity based on statistical averages. Good call. Douche bags.

Another thing I heard was a term that described something Ricardo and I have discussed in the past, but didn't really name. The term is Food Apartheid. If you Google it, you'll get several hits including an article in the Washington Post. Ricardo and I have an office near the old Cabrini Green housing projects, so we have some experience with the lack of food options. Currently there is a Dominick's in the middle of what used to be the ghetto that is our work neighborhood, but it wasn't always that way. From what we can tell, the only place to buy food was this shack that just recently closed up along Division Street, or at least what looks like a shack next the relatively nice row houses that surround it. The only thing you were going to buy there was a bag of Funions and some malt liquor.

So is it really a poor (economically speaking) minority's fault that they are obese if they don't have accessed to reasonably priced and reasonably fresh fruits and vegetables? This generation has that access, at least in the one neighborhood that I'm talking about, but their parents didn't and they determine the eating habits of their kids early on. It's quite sad actually.

One of the projects Ricardo and I worked on involved a company with hydroponic technology which can grow vegetables inside a warehouse without dirt. My thought was to use some of the abandon high rises which haven't been torn down for five years, to grow some fresh produce. If it only has to be delivered three blocks, imagine how fresh and good it would be.

Just some of the things we think about while getting our afternoon coffee.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Rain and Softball

Tough day today on the softball fields. We had an important tournament and really just laid an egg. Maybe that's not quite right though as we won our first game and then lost our second game in 9 innings (2 extra innings). Our third and final game we lost 5-3. We had a two hour rain delay before we even got started and then another 30 minute delay during the day. Our problem was hitting though and then key errors at very bad times.

I think we only scored 8, 8 and 3 runs, which is not nearly enough to do well in a tournament. Myself, I went 6 for 10 but fouled out three times! Yes, three times. Twice I tried to hit the ball to right field and the wind blew it foul. Ugh. The third time I was just fighting off a knuckle ball from a new pitcher and I just popped it foul. Brutal. So I only made four outs and three of them were basically strikeouts.

Funny, one more hit probably wouldn't have made a difference, but I would have hit .700 and been much happier about my own performance. But it's a team game and we just didn't get it done today.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Final wedding entry

Last little bit about the wedding last weekend, but no pictures. After the band quit at around 12:30, there was a shuttle back to the hotel where Ken and Dawn sacrificed their bridal suite for the benefit of the party. They swapped the suite with some wedding goers and we used the suite until about 4 a.m. Interestingly enough, earlier in the day, Ken and I were talking about him giving up the suite and he said he didn't think he could stay up with us until 4 in the morning. I told him I've only ever stayed up until 4 when I was in Vegas and that required Red Bull and vodka. Here it was, 4 a.m. and I was still pretty awake!!!

We went to the mall on Saturday as Ken decided last minute that he should get Dawn some kind of wedding gift. I didn't suggest it or dissuade him until I found out that she got him a new golfing driver the week before when they did their church vows. Then it was a no-brainer. So off to the mall we went and kens idea was to get a her a new IPod. The Apple store was absolutely insane!! There must have been 300+ people WAITING IN LINE OUT IN THE MALL just to get into the store to evaluate buying a new IPhone. So we were allowed to stand in a much sorter line (5 people I think) and were called in when a non-IPhone salesperson freed up. It was insane. In case you were wondering, Apple stock price was around 40 in January 2005 and is currently at 171. Even last year in January it was at 100....still not a bad return.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wedding Day and new/old template

First, I was tired of the format of the new template, so I went back to my old one. Pictures and captions work better on this template. Enjoy!

So now I'm finally caught up to the wedding day of Joisey Ken and Hoboken Dawn.

The food was unbelievable! Truly it was. There had to be at least 7 stations set up, each with their own type of food: sushi, pasta, Indian, a margarita bar which also had fajitas, deserts, fondue.....geesh I can't even remember the others.

At that was all BEFORE dinner!! I really didn't know if I should fill up or not. Fortunately, I didn't. The band started up, played some songs, the traditional dances were performed and then the band went on break. Timed perfectly, the first course was brought out. The band came back in a few minutes and we all danced. Then the band took a break and the main course came out. Same thing happened for desert. It was great. There was just enough time between courses.

I didn't take enough food pictures, but here's what I have of wedding day (actually I have many more but not all of them are of interest):

One of the desert stations pre-meal.

The chocolate fondue station....nummers!!!

Charlie the ring bearer!! Yes, he even has a little hat. Charlie was very good the whole ceremony, but then he had to be taken home because the Park Savoy doesn't allow dogs normally.

Toronto Debbie leading Charlie up the aisle with the rings.

The bride and her mom, Vicki. Dawn's whole family is so nice it's almost unbelievable.

The bridesmaids. From the left, Ken's sister Kathy, Ken's sister Jen and Dawn's sister-in-law Shelly. Great looking bridesmaids. The groomsmen weren't much to look at. :-)

Jen doing her reading in front of the crowd. Dawn and Ken in the background with best man Tom to the right.

Dawn glowing after the ceremony!!

Francine from Michigan and college friend of Dawn. Her hubby wasn't there, so we hung out until she got too drunk to dance with me anymore. Ha!!

The "first" kiss.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Almost to the wedding day

On Friday we ran some errands which included stopping by the reception hall which is also where the vows were going to take place, to finalize some last minute details. While Joisey Ken and Hoboken Dawn were working with the manager, I snuck around and took pictures.

The location. We guess it used to be the club house for the golf course next door, but it would have been QUITE the clubhouse if that's true.

From across the road.

The back area. In that little hut was a margarita bar where they also cooked fajitas. To the left of the margarita bar was an Indian food stand. Pretty cool!!

Look at that view of the balcony! That's the golf course. We were hoping no one would shank one during the ceremony. We were assured that it has never happened....during a ceremony.

This is where the vows will take place. I didn't know that at the time I took this picture though.

A look at the building and vows area from the garden and water fall down the back yard further. What pretty flowers!!

My artistic photo of lights and the golf course. Nothing spectacular......just thought it might look cool.

On of the many mantles inside the Savoy. This one is curved, so they built the wall curved in order to use the mantle! Neat.

The reception hall where I would be dancing the following night....yeah, that's right, dancing. I do indeed dance, though normally only at weddings and normally only to songs I know well.....and only with my date or available single women.

Ken and Charlie relaxing on the eve of the wedding. Charlie has gone through various ailments and still has a big tumor on his side. It doesn't hurt him apparently though, so no operation is necessary. He's on a healthy diet that staunch vegetarians would find restrictive.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leading up to the wedding

So much to write about and so little time. I literally have a sheet of paper with topics to write about. I'll try to spread them out, mix in some photos from the weekend and see where we end up.

Joisey Ken's abode. Apparently the lawn graffiti gangs are very active in Fair Lawn, NJ. Ken's a blind Republican....but I say that in the nicest way. Plus he's in Tahiti now (or on his way actually) so he won't see this post for at least 10 days.

The view from Ken's newly enclosed porch. The bushes mark the end of his "yard" and the beginning of a huge park!

The local bagel proprietor and Ken. This is where we get our ham, egg and cheese bagel sandwiches. Good stuff.

The local theater marquee. Guess what's showing? Hancock! Joisey Ken's last name! Ha!

Our course of choice on Friday morning.

Here's the club house.

Look at this hole!!!

If you have a downhill hole, you need an uphill hole.

Nice dealership name. Don't drink and drive, sponsored by Jack Daniels VW.

Gas is cheaper there too!

This is the location of Ken and Dawn's first date!! Ken and I had a burger there....actually I had a chili burger....urrrrp.

Dawn's mother, Vicki's house. An old Victorian with 10 fireplaces, seven of which work. The house is on 4 acres. I saw a buck, doe and two fawns in the back yard while standing back there sipping coffee quietly. It can be yours for $1.7 million.

Another view of the house.

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the ceremony and reception locations, followed by wedding pictures!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back from Joisey!

It's 11:30 on Sunday night and I've just spent the last 7 hours making the trip home from Ken's wedding.....oh wait, it's actually 8 hours because of the time change. Ugh. We spent a solid 3 hours on the tarmac waiting for clearance due to a storm in Pennsylvania. I actually listened to the ground control before they turned our flight over to the tower. It was quite the trip (pardon the pun). The guy in control was just an ass!! Here's a sample:
"Uh, Jet Blue Alpha 549 to Newark"
"Newark Jet Blue Alpha 549"
"Uh, we just received a new route...."
"Good for you. Now you can wait like everyone else."
Nice. No wonder our pilot sounded pissed with him.

Anyway, lots of pictures of the event to come over the next few days. Soooo tired right now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sign o'the times

Yesterday I walked over to the Starbucks outside of Wrigley for my afternoon coffee. The coffee Nazi's at my Starbucks are still stuck on their refill policy, so I'm opting to go to every other Starbucks store, none of which have enforced the policy. In fact, my coffee refill is free at the other stores since I have my card registered, versus $2 at my local branch. Bastards. But the real reason I decided to go to that store was that it was a beautiful day and the Cubs were playing at night so I wanted to see what was going on in the hood around 3-4 p.m.

Anyway, on my way back, I walked down dejesus freak's block (between Halsted and Clark if you want to stalk him). BTW, djf, I almost did a pop-in, but I had to get home and pack. I counted 16 condos for sale and only four were new construction. Sixteen!!! In one, albeit big, block! Yowza. There are actually only two in my block, so maybe that block is an aberration. Still that's a lot!!

Heard a commercial for Scott Peterson Meats. Nothing too unusual about it unless you remember this. They say no publicity is bad publicity......I beg to differ.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Long day away from home

Had a long day yesterday, so I didn't have time to post. Sorry! I left the house at noon to meet Ricardo for lunch in Arlington Heights before meeting with a new client at 2. Afterwards, I went to pick up our scorekeeper/mascot, Jamie Southern from the Chicago Bandits women's professional softball team. Here she is again:

Cute as a button.

Anyway, I went over to the dorm where the team stays for the summer on the college campus at which they play (Judson College at 90 and 31), to pick her up. Coming from work, I needed to change clothes before our doubleheader, so she invited me into her humble abode where her roommate was still half asleep, to change in the back room. Since the dorm room had a bathroom and a kitchenette area, it was more of an apartment, but it was still the size of a dorm room. I do NOT envy these ladies. With only one tv hookup in the place, they moved their beds into the living room as they spend a great deal of time watching tv at night I guess.

So we headed to the fields, played our two games (split against the same team) and hit Hooters for a team meeting about our schedule for the rest of the year. All in all a productive day, but I didn't get home until 11ish.

Tomorrow I leave for Jersey for Joisey Ken's wedding reception and celebration. It's no India, but it should be fun!

Finally, The Queen of All Weather, Amy Freeze, posted on my 6/30 entry requesting that nickname. It's longer than Weather Bunny, but acceptable.

Monday, July 07, 2008

It pays to evaluate insurance

Had to tie up some loose ends the other day and one of them was the renewal of my condo insurance policy. With all the work I've had done on the innards of the place, I figured I was probably under insured as to the replacement value in case of fire or whatever. Upon reviewing the policy, I was only insured for about $65,000!! Yowza! Not sure how I picked that number originally, but it's way low. This is for putting the walls back up, the floors, kitchen granite, all that stuff.

So I called Chubb Insurance (no jokes please, they are huge in the insurance market....again, no jokes about being huge) and went over my desire to increase my protection. The guy was very friendly and said he'd call me back after an analysis. Turns out he could raise my replacement value to $230,000 (much closer to reality based on square footage) and because I went over the threshold of $200,000, I got a preferred rate on each $1,000 unit. So for nearly quadrupling my insurance protection, it actually costs me $100 less a year in premiums. Not exactly the answer I was expecting, but awesome for me!!!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Another Great Ribfest!

First and foremost, congratulations to Joisey Ken and his new bride Dawn!! They got hitched on the third and are holding the reception next weekend, which I'll be attending. I texted him on the Fourth to see how married life was treating him and in hopefully not a sign of things to come, Ken was sick as a dog on the couch trying to keep food down. Not sure what he caught, but it doesn't sound good. He's had a lot of stress in his life recently, so maybe that all finally caught up to him after the ceremony.

On the Fourth of July things were pretty quiet around the Sutton household. The evening before, I had headed over to Ricardo's abode for very nice gathering with friends and my very first game of Ladder Ball (AKA Monkey Ball). As of now, you are talking to a man who is undefeated, 3-0, in the white trash Olympic event. So on the Fourth I just recovered and reveled in my undefeatedness.

For the fifth of July, however, a very full day was on the docket. After two softball games in the morning in Arlington Heights, I had two work meetings out at a Starbucks in Naperville. The first meeting was really just to help a friend evaluate their business idea and the research they've done to date.

After the meetings, it was off to Ribfest in Naperville. Last year, Naperville Greg, Kleveland Kim and Greg's brother Denis hit the Fest. This year, Denis couldn't make it, but we added one of Greg's other brothers, Portage Terry, his wife Sharon and their kids Emily and Erin along with a good friend of Greg's, Oliver and his wife (both from Arizona) AND one of my softball teammates (and its sponsor actually) Paul and his wife Gretchen who have also made my blog before. It was quite the crew!!

Last year we tried Desperados, Mojos and Fast Freddy's Ribs. This year we started with Sgt. Oinks, who both this year and last year won third place best sauce. Best ribs and the second best sauce was Sweet Baby Rays. I didn't feel the need to try the sauce since I have it in my refrigerator. Instead, the best combo I had was Rays Ribs and Sgt. Oinks' sauce. Armadillos sauce was ladled on and copious, but very spicy. Too spicy. Mojo's ribs were meaty, though the first batch was meatier than the second batch. The Australian ribs and sauce were decent enough.

Here are the pics:

Here's the group shot, sans Paul and Gretchen. Note that Erin is holding my beer for me while I take the picture. Ha! I'm already negatively influencing the kids. How about that sun?? It was hot!!

Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim. Kim's beer was spilled in an effort to get up for this picture. Sorry Kim!!

There's Paul and Gretchen. Gretchen is chomping on a rib bone.

There's Erin, Sharon and Emily. Cute family!

Oliver and his wife Chris.

We were this close to the stage where Joan Jett played!! I think there were three songs that I knew well: I Love Rock'n'Roll, Crimson and Clover (the remake of the Tommy James and The Shondells song) and Do You Wanna Touch Me. It was pretty cool. She still looks great!

After many ribs, no Ribfest is complete without a Black Cow. Yum!

And no Ribfest entry is complete without a picture of me groping the completely out of place Hawaiian mannequin in a bikini top and hula skirt. Ahhhh, tradition.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

More Dating Discussion

Vindication is mine!! Ok, maybe not vindication, but certainly third party reinforcement. Two of the five dating signs that a date is going well are part of my first date "must occur" triumvirate in order for there to be a second date. In addition to us actually having a good time and communicating (that goes without saying) she must offer to split the bill (his #3), has to be more than just a hug at the end of the night (his #5) and the third is the follow up thank you the next day (especially since, though she offered, I picked up the bill).

Don't give me this "you asked her out you should pay" crap either. We're both on eHarmony, so getting together is a mutual decision. I'm constantly surprised how rarely the woman offers, even with some women who otherwise seem to be well mannered.

And I don't want to hear "that's what society dictates" either. They should think for themselves. Society dictated slavery was fine for hundreds of years, but not everyone had slaves nor did they accept it. Think for yourself.

On a lighter note, if you have even a passing interest in baseball, its terminology and/or specifically the pitches, you will like this link on Wiki.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Beer and Sunshine

While on my picture taking spree this weekend, I made sure to make it to Wrigley to take photo evidence of the brick I bought, personalized and had installed outside of the stadium. I've pondered doing the same thing at Comiskey, Toledo's stadium and an arboretum of sorts in Sarasota. Why? Why not??

Here are the pics:

To set the scene, I took a picture from across the street on Addison.

Notice the two trees? Good reference points for finding my brick. Actually, Naperville Greg and Kleveland Kim have a brick very near mine!

Each section is labeled and I'm in the Ron Santo section ironically enough. Like Harry Caray, Ron is staying in the booth wayyyyyy past his usefulness.

Here I am lining up between the trees pointing towards Clark.

And there's my brick!! Whoo-hoo!!!

On a completely different topic, there's a friend of the family in an odd pickle. See, this gent used to smoke 4-5 packs of smokes a day...yeah, a chain smoker. In order to cut down the expense a bit, he bought them over the internet and saved money on sales taxes. Nothing special about that really, the indians get away with it all the time. Michigan decided to crack down though and busted his particular website, obtaining delivery and purchase records.

I'm not entirely sure what was illegal about it as enforcement of sales tax collection is tenuous at best based on court rulings. Precedent has indicated that a presence by the selling firm in the state must exist for them to HAVE to collect sales tax. Most municipalities however have a little known and never enforced "use tax" law. This says if you buy something from another state/county with a lower sales tax rate and use it in your home municipality, then you have to remit a use tax form along with the differential in taxes that you weren't charged. Of course no one does this, but it's a fall-back technicality for the government.

Back to our friend, 4-5 packs a day for several years and taxes of at least a buck a pack I'm the math.....I'll wait.....yeah, he owed something like $7,000 and the State of Michigan was unrelenting. So be careful out there people!!!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


On Yahoo! yesterday, there was a link with photographs naming "Famous people who make you cringe". Some of them I can understand: Dina Lohan, Gordon Ramsay, the Burger King mascot and Dick Cheney.

But these actor/athletes/musicians don't make sense to me: Roger Clemens, Paris Hilton, Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan, Regis Philbin, Lou Dobbs and Tom Cruise. Now, do I LIKE these people? Not necessarily, though I have no issues with Regis or Lou and Paris and Lindsay certainly don't make me cringe to look at them.

Then they threw in these people too, all of which are just bewildering to me! Ann Coulter, Ralph Nader, Sean Penn, George Stephanopoulos. I have a feeling they just put them on for political reasons. I then had a discussion with members of The Podolny Group regarding the attractiveness of Ann Coulter. Ricardo finds her generally disgusting, but I think she's pretty hot! I wouldn't talk politics with her.....we'd just speak the language of love!

Random list of the week: Movies from 2008 that I want to see.

In the theater:
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Dark Knight

Will wait for video:
Get Smart
The Happening
The Love Guru
Iron Man
You don't mess with the Zohan
Sex and the City
Kung Fu Panda
Drillbit Taylor
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
What happens in Vegas....
Vantage Point