Friday, January 28, 2005
The disposal of animal waste is becoming a serious problem in rural areas where ranching is the primary industry. Most of the drinking water comes from wells and some of these wells have become contaminated because of the animal waste.
Monday, January 24, 2005
Carson's Nebraska roots have been well documented. He was born in Iowa, moved with his family to Norfolk, Nebraska and attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. Over the years, my mother claimed to have known Carson while in college. I called her on Monday and she gave me some additional information.
Mom lived in Raymond Hall which was the girls' dorm on 16th Street in Lincoln. Mom's roommate was a girl named Marian from Nebraska City. In 1947 Johnny Carson and Marian dated and Mom got to know him when he would stop by Raymond to meet Marian for their dates. Mom said that he would always wait for Marian in the sitting room on Raymond Hall's first floor. Over time, the relationship ended and Johnny began dating a "Pi Phi from North Platte" (according to Mom) named Jody Wolcott who would eventually become his first wife. Mom remembers Carson as being a lot of fun and "spontaneous."
After college ended, Marian and Mom remained friends and she was a bridesmaid at my parents' wedding. They kept in touch over the years, although they have not spoken for several years.
My college friend Henry contacted me today and recounted his Carson story:
Early Omaha local TV had a kiddie show hosted by Captain Dan the Sailor Man. I was about 8 or 9 years old and watched every day. One day I entered his contest to win a pony, but didn't win. Captain Dan called me at home to offer condolences, and asked me if I'd like more such contests on the Captain Dan Show. I remember I was thrilled to talk to Captain Dan. Last Saturday I learned, and have since confirmed, that Captain Dan was a young Johnny Carson working at his first television job. Now, a week after I learn I once talked to Johnny Carson, he passes away. I never had a chance to thank him for calling me.Note: The show to which Henry refers was on Channel 6 (WOW) in Omaha.
While I was at the University of Nebraska in the early '70s, there was a restaurant on 16th Street a few blocks off campus called Here's Johnny's. It only lasted a few years, but it was a good place to go for a late-night snack. Carson returned to campus in 1972 for the homecoming game. Unfortunately, I could not get very near to him.
Sunday, January 23, 2005
Saturday, January 22, 2005
Since the original picture is composed of white, brown and shades of grey, I applied a sepia tint using Picasa 2.
Friday, January 21, 2005
I do dislike snow during weekdays -- especially during rush hour -- which is what we've had the past three weeks.
It seems like a nice gentle snow tonight so I'm hoping there will be some nice winter scenes to photograph on Saturday.
Ironically, people living in warmer climates don't suffer as much from this type of depression. Who knew?
So now we all have this to look forward to on Monday!
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
This is a picture I took last summer when my 9-year old son and I went to the Sears Tower in Chicago. It was a beautiful, clear summer afternoon. This picture faces northeast towards Lake Michigan. I used Picasa's graduated tint filter to add a tad more blue to the lake.
Blogger users will appreciate the way it seamlessly integrates with Blogger. I simply edited the picture, clicked the Blogger button, it called up Hello (another free download from Google) and uploaded to this blog. I had an earlier version of Picasa and downloaded Hello to add photos to my two Blogger blogs. I don't know if the newer version of Picasa requires Hello to upload to Blogger or if it uploads independently. Nevertheless, they both worked perfectly.
Did I mention that both programs are free?
Patrick Lawler is also saddled with $100,000 in medical bills as he was uninsured. "I was self-employed on the job," he said. "I would have had to carry my own health insurance. But I didn't think I'd shoot myself with a nail, you know?"
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
The National Football League has announced an agreement to allow its playoff game broadcasts to be downloaded (for a fee, of course) from Apple's iTunes Store. This Sunday's NFL conference championship games will be available on Monday. The Super Bowl broadcast will also be available following the game on February 6.
The NFL had previously announced a partnership with Sirius Satellite Radio where subscribers could receive live broadcasts of all NFL games.
The positive thing I'm noticing is that the days are slowly getting longer. It's still light when I leave the office and even when I arrive home. Before it would be dark when I left the office. I guess it means that spring is creeping ever closer. Of course, springtime in Chicago is no bargain. We don't get warmer weather until May...even later some years!
The White Sox held their annual fan convention last weekend and the Cubs will do the same this weekend. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training in about a month so I just need to get by the next four weeks to "survive" another winter.
It's nights like this that cause me to yearn for the hot, muggy days of summer. Of course, when those summer days are here, I'm complaining because it's too hot, too muggy and I'm uncomfortable. I guess I'm never satisfied!
Obviously, this was all before I learned about blogs and Blogger.
Anyway, I really like the way that Picasa organizes my digital photo collection. I can set it up to automatically scan my hard drive to find new pictures. It helps me organize old family photos that I've scanned and have posted on my family blog.
On Monday, Google announced that they updated Picasa to version 2. I plan to upgrade to version 2 this week. Picasa remains free software. A great value.
Monday, January 17, 2005
After complaining about a "toothache," he went to see his dentist where X-rays revealed the source of his pain. A six-hour operation removed the nail without any apparent complications.
Lawler is said to be contemplating a career change!
Saturday, January 15, 2005
Friday, January 14, 2005
A few months ago, ESPN celebrated their 25th anniversary with a show highlighting their 25 years of history. One of the features showed children who were named Espn (or a variation of the spelling) by their parents!
Update: This story has now been called a hoax!
Thursday, January 13, 2005
It has the famous Danelectro lipstick pickup and has a raw "garage band" sound to it.
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
Not that I'm complaining, but it's 61 degrees in Chicago (specifically O'Hare Field) right now. Ironically, it's warmer today that it's been for most opening day baseball games at either Wrigley Field or Comiskey Park I or Comiskey Park II (now U.S. Cellular Field).
I can live with this warm weather, but it's suppose to be zero degrees late Thursday night meaning that we will experience a temperature drop of 61 degrees in just over 24 hours! Brrrr.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
The law is modeled after a similar city ordinance in Los Angeles.
As a responsible dog owner (four times over), I question why such laws are even necessary. I do understand, however, that a small minority of dog owners are not responsible and don't provide the minimum comforts in caring for their dogs. It's unfortunate that local governments need to step in where irresponsible owners refuse to tread.
On a related note: Maggie, my sister's Springer Spaniel who went AWOL in Columbus, Ohio on December 19th, was found and returned after a 22-day "sabbatical." Both dog and owner are in great spirits!
I currently have the Google and Microsoft desktop search applications sitting side-by-side on my home computer. I've used the Google desktop search a couple of times, but have not yet tried the Microsoft product. I do like the way the Google search tool integrates desktop with web searches.
Friday, January 7, 2005
On CNN.com today, I read about a TV viewer who is suing NBC for $2.5 million over an episode of Fear Factor. In this episode, contestants were forced to consume rats as part of the "competition." Austin Aitken told the AP that he became so ill from watching the episode that his blood pressure rose, he became dizzy and ended up vomiting. When asked why he simply didn't turn off the show, he said he couldn't get to the TV fast enough!
Aitken said he really not interested in the money, he simply wants to send a message to NBC and the other TV networks. How nice of him!
Thursday, January 6, 2005
Wednesday, January 5, 2005
Tuesday, January 4, 2005
There have been several cases where employees have been "dooced" by their employers based upon opinions contained in their personal blogs or journals that, in the employers opinion, cast the employer in a bad light. There is a recent case where a Delta flight attendant posed for provocative pictures while wearing her Delta flight uniform. These pictures appeared in her blog and Delta eventually terminated her. She is now taking her case public via the blogosphere.
This weblog is for my own personal pleasure, contains my own opinions and is totally unrelated to my employer, its policies and practices. In fact, I have intentionally never mentioned the name of my employer. I don't want to add "dooce" to my resume!
Monday, January 3, 2005
Sunday, January 2, 2005
I remember all the excitement the recent Hale-Bopp and Kohoutek Comets created for amateur stargazers.
Saturday, January 1, 2005
Our little New Years Eve tradition consists of my wife making her signature dish -- lasagna. She's not Italian (she's Austrian, actually), but her lasagna recipe is to die for. Anyway, some family members got together last evening and we ended up playing Trivial Pursuit. After a spirited contest (my son and I won), I opened a bottle of champagne and we watched as Chicago ushered in the new year. We then watched Van Helsing on DVD which ended around 2:30 AM. After cleaning up, I was looking forward to going on the computer for a few relaxing moments before retiring for the night. I went into the den and turned the computer and the monitor on.
The computer is working, but the monitor remains dark. I turned it on and off a couple more times and decide to fight this battle in the morning.
I got up around 8:00 AM and turned the monitor on.
I start unplugging the power cord and plugging it in again to see if that does something.
Not being overly technical, my wife and I decided to drive over to Best Buy to purchase a replacement. We bought our current Sony monitor just over four years ago. It's an 19-inch CRT monitor that's big and heavy. When we first bought the monitor, flat panel displays were just coming out and were very expensive. To make a long story short, we found a 19-inch flat panel display monitor that's big and bright. Judging from my unscientific sample, flat panel monitors were everywhere and only a few of the "old" CRTs were available for sale. There were several nice CRT models available at very reasonable prices, but none were over 17 inches in size.
I brought it home and hooked it up. Now my desk seems larger because the new display takes up so little space. This particular model can even hang on the wall if I desired!
While at Best Buy, I checked out the laptops and I can't believe how nice they are getting. Maybe someday...