August 2006

We went out tonight for a walk around the Panther Trail as mentioned in the previous post. As we drove over to campus, I was thinking, “Should have checked the weather.” It didn’t look too menacing when we started out, but as soon as we hit the halfway point, i.e., the furthest distance from the car, it started to rain. Just lightly at first and we thought it’d be ok. But soon the light rain got heavier and then it turned into a full blown downpour. We were soaked through in minutes and we were still a half mile from the car. By the time we reached the car, it had almost stopped and two minutes later, it did stop. The radar image below shows how tiny the storm was, but it was enough rain to flood the roads and fill the parking lot to about four inches. Lesson learned.

Radar image

We’ve lived here for 4-1/2 years and one of the things we bemoan about this area is the lack of good places to walk. Our neighborhood is tiny and we’ve worn a path around the new neighborhood next to us. The farmland around us has no trails, nor do the woods. So tonight we decided to drive over to Eastern Illinois University where Sarah works and walk around there. We were just going to walk around a pond near the football stadium when we came across Panther Trail. It’s a several mile long trail that winds around the pond and the southwestern practice fields. Really nice place to walk and there’s plenty of ways to make the walk longer or shorter. It’s well maintained, flat, and generally deserted. We plan on walking there several times per week.

 All these years. Who knew?

We stopped for dinner at the Beef House in Covington, IN on the way home from Indy tonight. Serious steaks here, but the atmosphere of a small town diner. Mostly older folks, although there were, unfortunately, lots of children crying and whining. Sarah got the petit filet and I got the regular one. The difference was maybe 2 ounces, if that. Not worth it for $5 extra. She ordered hers medium and I ordered medium rare. Hers came medium rare and mine was 3 seconds per side shy of raw. Plus it was sliced in half when I got it. I showed it to the waitress and told her I ordered medium rare. She took a quick look and said, “That’s not medium rare” and took it back. So I sat there while Sarah ate (at my behest so hers wouldn’t get cold). When mine finally came out it was better, but having been cut several times and recooked, it just wasn’t right. It says “Voted Indiana’s Best Steakhouse” on the website. What a laugh. Indianapolis has some very high-end steakhouses, any one of which would put this place to shame.On the way out I was amused by a very nice ’72 Cutlass Supreme in the parking lot with super chromed 22′ wheels. It looked like a clown mobile. I was dying for a camera.

We’re getting ready to make our annual summer pilgrimage to New England. Just four days, this time around. Still, it’s the last full week before school starts and only one week after the latest threat to the airlines by the bottom feeders claiming to be God’s warriors. Today I worked overtime trying to catch up and the hurrieder I went the behinder I got. Vacation isn’t really getting away from work, it’s just doing it ahead of time and/or postponing it till later. It just piles up on either end of your time off. In the end, you don’t do less work, you do the same amount of work in fewer, albeit longer, days. On top of work stress comes a worry about what to pack and whether or not to risk taking a laptop. I read today that British Airways is trying to reacquaint 5,000 passengers with their baggage and is looking for 5,000 more bags lost in the mayhem of last week. I wonder how many laptops were lost/stolen/trashed.

On a completely unrelated but equally distressing note, the Red Sox slid further into loserdom tonight. I shouldn’t have expected more, though. If they get swept by the worst team in the league, it only makes sense that they’d get swept by the best team. Still, it’s depressing to watch such a high caliber team give up on themselves. I signed up for’s live service just as this losing trend began. And that, my friends, is why I don’t gamble or dabble in the stock market.

Fair is fair. A little over a month ago I was braggin’ on the Red Sox and naively predicted a run to the pennant and beyond. I even signed up for’s live service. Since then the Sox have looked like a bunch of frat boys in a sandlot game. At times it’s comical, and at others it’s downright depressing. Last night was the worst. It’s baffling how a team that can put together the win they got that night in June can look so inept now. Much is due to injuries to key players, but it also seems like they’ve lost faith in themselves. The rest of this season may be too painful to watch. But as a New England sports fan, I’m used to the roller coaster ride. The Sox do it, the Patriots do it. So hope lives on. A couple of years ago they were down 3-0 to the Yankmees and things looked utterly hopeless. But Yogi is right, it ain’t over till it’s over.