Tuesday, May 31, 2005

If anyone's interested...

...I've registered my humble blog on a list of local suburban blogs that the Daily Herald has put together. The Daily Herald covers the northwest suburbs of Chicago and has recently started this service. My listing went "live" Tuesday morning.

The list is available here. This blog is listed under Hoffman Estates.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Comiskey Park (1910 - 1990)

Here's a picture I took of old Comiskey Park, the home of the White Sox from 1910 through 1990. This photo was taken on July 11, 1990. I "Photoshopped" the photo to give it a more antique look.

The White Sox played the Milwaukee Brewers that day on "Turn Back the Clock Day." The Sox played in replica uniforms from the 1917 team, the last year the White Sox won the World Series. True to form, the Brewers beat the Sox that day.

1990 was a good year. Lisa and I began our relationship and we attended a lot of Cubs and Sox games. It was also the last year for Comiskey Park (the new park opened in 1991) so there were a lot of special games and promotions. The Sox even had a competitive team that season.

I recently established an account at Flickr and have posted pictures from this game as well as other pictures I've recently taken. The plan is to move a lot of my photos over there. You can access my free site here. Please visit often.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Talk about cranky!

An 86-year old woman in Charlotte, North Carolina has been jailed for calling 911 to complain about a pizza deliveryman who would not deliver a pizza to her home. The woman was charged with two counts of misusing the emergency telephone system. When police arrived to arrest her, the 98-pound woman attacked the officer resulting in an additional charge of resisting arrest!

A long time ago, I lived in Scottsdale and delivered pizzas for Domino's Pizza. (I was between "career challenges.") Nothing that strange ever happened to me, but we did have a regular customer who lived in a home with an elaborate security system. We had to ring the doorbell, speak into the intercom and then stand in front of a camera before he would open his garage door to claim his pizza. He never tipped very well either. I often wondered if he was a criminal or simply paranoid.

Another time I delivered a pizza to an attractive young woman who answered the door dressed in a bikini (not that unusual in Scottsdale!). She asked me to stay with her because she didn't like to eat alone. As tempting as that offer might have been, there was something really strange about her and I suspect she was drunk or high. Oh, I was also married and didn't need the complication!

I delivered some pizzas to a couple of attractive woman who were drinking wine. They said they were going to party and asked if I wanted to join them. For the same reason as above, I declined their offer (but I did get a decent tip).

I also had a celebrity customer. For a brief time, former pro football player Mark Gastineau was married to film "star" Bridget Nielson and they lived in East Scottsdale. They ordered a pizza and when I drove up to their house, they were out by the driveway having one of their famous arguments! Gastineau told her to pay me and I ended up with a $20 tip. I think they wanted me to leave so they could resume their argument! I'm not sure how much longer they were married.

I did this for a couple of months before resurrecting my "real" career. I bet others have interesting stories as well. Leave a comment.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Earth Wars: "MSN Virtual Earth" to take on "Google Earth"

This is getting to be interesting. Several months ago, Google added a search feature to their Google Maps. It was the ability to view satellite photos of the area you were mapping. For instance, if you were searching for a route from the suburbs to downtown Chicago, you could view the result as a map or as a satellite image. Last year Google acquired Keyhole Technologies, a company that produces satellite images. Google recently announced that the Keyhole technology was going to be renamed Google Earth.

Now Microsoft has entered the fray with technology called MSN Virtual Earth. The link shows screenshots which picture satellite images taken at a 45-degree angle. Virtual Earth is set to debut during the summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

To win in sports, wear red

Maybe this explains why my Nebraska Cornhuskers have done well in football...at least until recently!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Fence from "Grassy Knoll" up for auction

Some sections of fence taken from the infamous Grassy Knoll will be sold at auction. This was the area in Dallas' Dealey Plaza where many claimed a second gunman fired at President Kennedy when he was assassinated on November 22, 1963.

The fence was apparently replaced in 2000 and four sections of the fence were retrieved by Dallas tour guide Ronald D. Rice. Each section is approximately six feet long and 4 1/2 feet high. Rice put the sections in storage for a few years until he stopped making payments. The sections were then sold at public auction to Daniel Moses who is the apparent seller for this upcoming auction.

There is some dispute whether these fence sections were actually standing in Dealey Plaza in November 1963. In the years since the assassination, a number of the wooden pickets have been replaced due to vandalism, souvenir hunters and weather. Several of the pickets have graffiti on them including one with the message: "Oswald Was Framed."

Friday, May 13, 2005

He'll survive

Tiger Woods' streak of making the cut in 142 consecutive golf tournaments over the last seven years ended Friday when he missed the cut in the Byron Nelson Championship.

Tiger still gets the last laugh. Instead of playing golf with the guys, he gets to spend the weekend with a beautiful Swedish model! (His wife is former model Elin Nordegren.)

Sunday, May 8, 2005

This is ridiculous!

My father passed away in January 2002. In April 2005, a letter addressed to my father came from the Circuit Court of Cook County. It was a jury summons for duty in May. My mother called the jury administrator and notified them of my father's death. She thought everything was straightened out.

Not even close!

In early May, she received the following letter:

This letter is to inform you that you have been excused from Jury Service on 05/17/2005 as a result of your request to participate in our Opt Out Program, which permits jurors who are 70 years of age and older to be excused from Jury Service on a specific court date. Your participation in the Opt Out Program applies only to the date for Jury Service noted above. Please be aware that your name will remain on the juror list and you may be summoned again for Jury Service at a later date. However, your ability to be excused from Jury Service under the Opt Out Program is always available to you, no matter how many jury summons you may receive.

Dad would have appreciated the humor in this bureaucratic buffoonery.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

House of Blues

With apologies to my wife (and all Cub fans), this is what Wrigley Field has become during the 2005 season.

Friday, May 6, 2005

Photo quiz

Can you tell the difference between a real photograph and a computer-generated picture? I thought I could, but I was wrong. Take the quiz.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Freedom Tower to be redesigned

I heard about this on the radio this morning, although the radio broadcast made it sound as if it were back to the drawing board completely. It appears the NYPD has issues with the first 150-200 feet of the building so the total height and the spire will remain.

I used to visit New York on a regular basis for business reasons in the mid '90s. My schedule would limit me to sightseeing and I never did visit the WTC or Lower Manhattan. I did get a chance to go up to the Empire State Building. I wish I could get my hands on the photos I took that day. It would be interesting to see them again.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Monday, May 2, 2005

Field of Dreams

It's May 2, but there were snow flurries in Chicago today and there are freeze warnings tonight in the outlying areas where I live! It's certainly not baseball weather, but we have already completed one month of baseball. It's been a tale of two cities as far as our local baseball teams are doing. The White Sox at 18-7 currently have the best record in baseball and have had the lead in every game so far this season. The Cubs have suffered pitching woes and Kerry Wood is going on the disabled list with shoulder problems.

Baseball is my favorite sport. It's the perfect game because the clock is not involved. Here's my favorite line from one of my favorite baseball movies -- Field of Dreams:

...people will come Ray. They'll come to Iowa for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won't mind if you look around, you'll say. It's only $20 per person. They'll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack. And they'll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They'll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they'll watch the game and it'll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. People will come Ray. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it's a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh... people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. -- Terrence Mann [James Earl Jones] from Field of Dreams (Source: Internet Movie Database)

Maybe it will get warm soon so I can actually attend a game this season.