Thursday, June 30, 2005

Thai fishermen catch 645-pound catfish

Here's a story that seems hard to believe. Two fishermen in Thailand caught what's believed to be the largest freshwater fish ever caught.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

"Moonlight" Graham honored

In the movie Field of Dreams, there is a character named "Moonlight" Graham who plays a significant role in the storyline. Graham was a doctor who, as a young man, played in one major league baseball game, but never got a chance to bat. Part of the story involves getting Graham his one at-bat.

Many people, like myself, thought that Graham (played by Burt Lancaster in his last big-screen role) was a fictional character. However, he was a real person and the Minnesota Twins will honor him with "'Moonlight' Graham Day" today on the 100th anniversary of his lone baseball game.

Graham died in 1965 at the age of 88.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Shelby Foote passes away

Historian Shelby Foote has passed away at the age of 88. Foote was featured on Ken Burns' 1990 PBS documentary, The Civil War.

I recently rented the documentary from Netflix and watched it for probably the 4th or 5th time. He made the whole documentary more believable and more...human, if that's the right word.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Cubs and White Sox

The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox play their second intercity series this weekend. They played each other for three games at Wrigley Field (with the Sox winning 2 of 3) and this weekend's three-game series is set for U.S. Cellular Field.

First of all, I'm a Chicago baseball fan, but you have to take sides when the two teams play each other. My wife is a die-hard (is there any other kind?) Cub fan and she wields influence over my 10-year old son who leans towards the Cubbies. I guess I'm on the "dark side of the Force" since my passion lies with the White Sox.

I can't explain my White Sox attraction. I was raised on the North Shore which is traditionally Cubs territory. All my friends in grade school and high school were Cubs fans. I was the "outcast." Growing up I would listen to Sox games at night, imitating the play-by-play announcer (Bob Elston). I probably became a Sox fan because my parents would take me to their games instead of to the Cubs games. For them, it was easier to drive to old Comiskey Park than it was to take public transportation to Wrigley Field. Who knows what factors into your decision.

As of this writing, the Sox have the best record in baseball so I'm enjoying the ride right now. The Sox haven't been to the World Series since 1959 (they last won in 1917 with Shoeless Joe Jackson!) so I'm hoping this is the year. I don't consider myself THAT old, but I don't want to wait forever!

Update: The White Sox won the first game of the series, but the Cubs came back to take the next two games. Thus the teams tied the season series at 3 games apiece.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Our flower garden

My wife loves flower gardening. I think she would do this full-time if she could. We built our house in 1994 and every year since she has added to the garden. Last year we made some substantial changes by moving her rose garden and then removed some bushes that were overgrown and were providing too much shade.

Check out this Flickr set that shows pictures of the garden taken "through the years."

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Frankly, my dear...

The American Film Institute today released their list of the 100 top movie quotes of all time. To probably nobody's surprise, Rhett Butler's "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" from Gone With The Wind was voted #1. In order, movies making the remainder of the top 10 included The Godfather, The Wizard of Oz, Casablance, On The Waterfront, Sudden Impact, Sunset Boulevard, Star Wars (Episode IV), All About Eve and Taxi Driver.

One of my favorite movie lines was not on the list...nor would I expect it to be considered. It was Bluto Blutarsky's line from Animal House:
Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!
Now that I think about it, a couple of lines from Caddyshack were not included either.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

What options?

I called my HMO this morning. I simply wanted to verify some information on my son's insurance card. I called the 800-number and got a sweet-sounding recorded voice announcing that I should "...listen carefully, as options have changed."

What options? I last called them a couple of years ago and I swear that everything was the same.

I've heard this same type of message in the past with other companies and I wonder if this is just a way to make people think that a change has been made when, in fact, nothing has changed. They just don't want callers to press zero to get a human voice.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there. My own father passed away three years ago so I'll be spending the day with my son.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Movie deal in the works?

I see that Jennifer Wilbanks (aka "The Runaway Bride") has signed a deal which may lead to the development of a movie based on her experiences. My only question is: why did it take so long?

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Flower garden

I created a Flickr set with photos of our flower garden beginning with photos from 2000 through yesterday (Saturday, June 12).

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Another body part story!

A man's leg landed in the backyard of a home in Floral Park, New York. Police believe the leg belonged to a stowaway from a South African Airways jet that landed at Kennedy Airport after a flight from Johannesburg. A later inspection of the jet revealed another leg hanging from the wheel well.

They speculate that the stowaway was crushed while the landing gear was lowered as the jet made its final approach to JFK.

Hey, at least the leg didn't fall into anyone's chili!

Tuesday, June 7, 2005


The weather in the Chicago area turned summer-like over the past few days. We had thunderstorms rumble through the area over the weekend, but they wimped out and we got some rain for about 30 minutes.

Despite the rain, my yard still looks real dry. It seems strange to be running the sprinkler this early in the season.

The weather has gotten much warmer and the high today (Tuesday) is to be near 90 degrees with humidity. I don't care for this kind of weather. I find it difficult to keep cool, especially at night. I prefer temps in the sixties or seventies, but that's just me. We have ceiling fans going to keep the air moving. I'm too cheap to run the air conditioner, but I run the AC an average of 5-7 days during the summer.