November 2008

Ups and Downs of the week.

  Cranberry Sauce - Best part of a Thanksgiving dinner. 

   Research Papers – I swear, no more after this semester. 

  Inniskillin Eiswein – Very tasty. 

   Black Friday nutcases - Willing to injure others to save a dime. Pathetic. 

  Gas prices - Still down. Hope it lasts until we get back from our Christmas trip.

Still a beautiful place.

Ramsau in winter.



UPDATE: While surfing around with Google Earth, I think I found a shot that shows the webcam housing for the shots above. Seems like the right angle and placement.

Webcam housing.

Ups and Downs of the week.

  Progress – Dad is finally out of the cardiac hospital and into a rehab hospital. Now the rebuilding begins. He’s lost a lot of muscle and will need to learn to walk again, but it’s a step towards home. He’s happy and so are we. I’m hoping he’ll be home by Christmas.

   Saturday morning tests – What an awful time to plan a final; the Saturday starting a big vacation week.

  Time off - Even though it’ll be a working “vacation,” it’s time I need badly.

Meh    Big Three Auto Company Bailout – On the one hand it’s important to try to keep people working, but on the other they still have to sell cars, which they haven’t really been able to do effectively.

   The Economy- Getting worse by the day.

For better or worse, the Red Sox have traded Coco Crisp to Kansas City. Hard to say if this will work out. We know Coco is one of the best center fielders in the major league. He’s also lightning fast on the bases. He occasionally gets into hitting slumps, but he always ups his game in the post season. This new reliever, Ramon Ramirez, could be just what the hurting Sox bullpen needs, but let us not forgot that other reliever who was supposed to save us, Eric Gagne. I hope they didn’t give Coco away for nothing.

In any case, farewell Coco. I hope KC knows how lucky they are to have you coming aboard. It’s a shame I won’t get to see too many KC games. I’d hate to miss another stellar catch like the one below. I still can’t believe this catch.

Coco Crisp

Ups and Downs of the week.

  Fireplaces- Nothing like a toasty fire on a cold, rainy night.

   Homework- It’s bad enough when it’s useful. When it’s pointless it really gets annoying.

  Polycom Videoconferencing systems – Very cool to connect in real time to another meeting halfway around the world.

Meh    Patriots – Not a stellar season so far, but much better than predicted. Cassel will never go back to being a number two QB. He was record-setting incredible last night and the rest of the team let him down. He played well against Indy, too, and they let him down there as well. I wonder who he’ll be starting for next season?

  Space shuttle launch – I never tire of watching them. I love the shot where the external tank separates.


I mean a real vacation. Something with a beach and warm breezes and bottomless Margaritas. Some place where my mind can just drift. No phones, no kids, no cold rain, no school work, no server worries, no email, no internet, no driving, no newspapers, no TV. Maybe a good book would be ok.

It seems lately that annoyances are everywhere. Last weekend we went out to eat at our favorite Indian restaurant in Champaign. Just after we sat down, a family came in and I knew right away they’d be obnoxious. The two kids, especially the little boy, were quite loud and the parents’ only reaction to their outbursts were to shhhh them. Over and over and over. Then the kids starting singing “Frère Jacques” and the parents joined in!! So instead of my wife and I having a nice dinner conversation, we were treated to two verses of the world’s most annoying song. We couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. Then this past weekend we went into our favorite Thai place in Urbana and the same family was there!! No singing this time, but the same “this is our living room” attitude. Luckily the place filled up and the generic background noise drowned them out.

Today I received a laptop from our office in Chicago. This laptop is a Dell with the idiotic Media Direct button on it. Apparently the owner pushed the button by mistake and it now will only boot to Media Direct. After searching for answers online, I learned that this is a common problem with such laptops. The Media Direct application overwrites the Master Boot Record (MBR), supposedly temporarily. However, in many cases it’s irreversible. Good thinking Dell. Even Dell support failed to correct the issue, so they suggested reformatting and reloading the OS. All the remedies I found online failed to bring the OS back to working condition, so I decided to stop wasting time and I started over from scratch. Just what I needed to start this week.

To top it all off, this whole week is supposed to be cold, gray, and rainy. Fits my mood perfectly.

 This is where I’d rather be.

The Beach

Ups and Downs of the week.

   Friday night classes- The last one I got a phone call that my Dad was near death. Tonight during class I find out my brother-in-law was in the ER after having surgery this past week. I’m glad there are no more Friday night classes.

  Formula One – Awesome ending to the season. The championship went down to the last corner of the last race. Incredible.

Meh    Patriots – Well, they didn’t get downright embarrassed, but a dropped pass by Gaffney that would have been a sure TD and some questionable calls by Bellichick late in the game cost them the win.

   Michael Crichton died - Another great storyteller gone.

  Sweet Tooth Specialties in Charleston, IL- Cheese bread and pineapple bread. Both delicious. Have to go get more tomorrow.

President Obama has a hell of mess to clean up, but he can do it. He has the tools, he has the Congress, he has the will of the people. I’m amazed and happily surprised at the American voters. They finally woke up and smelled the coffee. It’s about time.