Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I guess there's a use for every idea! A new internet service helps you locate a public restroom!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Scientists simulate jet colliding with World Trade Center

A team of researchers at Purdue University have created a 3-D simulation of a jet colliding with one of the Twin Towers. The simulation was created to help engineers develop better construction materials (although rooftop surface-to-air missiles probably aren't practical!).

The video is hosted on YouTube.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Born to be Wild

My wife and I have taken an interest in NASCAR racing this year. TNT is now carrying some of the races and, as a promo, they hired Hinder to do a cover of Steppenwolf's "Born to be Wild."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sticker shock

Today being a beautiful Sunday, and the car dealers in the Chicago area being closed, provided the perfect opportunity to visit a couple of car dealerships to walk around unimpeded. I was at the local Toyota dealership and was looking at a beautiful bright red Tundra pickup. The M.S.R.P. was $44,000. (Full disclosure: this was just for fun. That price is way out of my league!) I started to read about all of the options it contained. One of the options, by the way, was leather seats which seems odd for a pickup. Anyway, the last item caught my attention: the vehicle is delivered with a full tank of gas!

That explains it.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Paris Hilton

When I got to work this morning, a co-worker told me about Paris Hilton being released from prison. This is one of the funniest things I've heard in a long, long time. Apparently she was released for "medical reasons."

Mainly she stopped eating and was crying all of the time.

What was especially funny was a petition her lawyers filed in May with California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. What I found especially humorous was this little nugget (from

The petition, which had more than 900 signatures by Tuesday morning, urges the California actor-turned-governor to pardon Hilton because she provides "beauty and excitement to (most of) our otherwise mundane lives."

Oh dear God!

Update: Justice may yet be served. Apparently Paris is due in court Friday morning for a hearing that may put her back in jail and hold the sheriff in contempt for releasing her early!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Nintendo Wii

We bought a Wii game console for Kevin for his birthday last week. Actually it was a combination birthday and school recognition gift. He had perfect attendance going until the second-to-last week of school when he got the flu. He stayed home from school, but as far as I'm concerned, he had perfect attendance.

Anyway, he wanted a Wii, but none of the usual suspect stores had them. Target was out. Toy-R-Us was out. Everyone. Lisa finally bought one on eBay. The price actually wasn't too bad. He also received a couple of games and a Best Buy gift card that turned into another game. Now he's set for the summer!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Where are all the Cicadas?

Rumor has it that the Chicago area has become infested with Cicadas.

You wouldn't know it where I live.

I back up to Poplar Creek Forest Preserve in northwest Cook County and I fully expected to be inundated with Cicadas. But there is nothing yet. I thought I heard some last weekend, but nothing ever became of it. Even with the nice warm weather we've enjoyed this week, I still hear more birds than Cicadas.

I'm not complaining. I'm just curious why they haven't reached us yet.

Friday, June 1, 2007

More on selling a home

I'm slowly getting used to the idea that my home is not really "my" home anymore. It's not "their" home either, but somewhere in between. In Illinois, home buyers have the right to request a home inspection. Our inspection took place yesterday.

When Lisa and I bought this home back in 1994, it was new construction so our "inspection" took place with a representative of the construction company and occurred within the guidelines of our home owners warranty. I have never bought an existing home in Illinois so was not familiar with the protocol.

Anyway, to my surprise, the buyer, his Realtor and the home inspector showed up at my door late yesterday afternoon. To say it was awkward would be an understatement. The buyer seemed like a nice guy, but meeting face-to-face on my turf was a bit strange. I thought I would be meeting solely with the inspector who would spend time around the house, asking questions and searching for defects. I felt like I had no representation and was/am irritated with our Realtor for not telling me what was going on.

The inspection took three hours and the inspector was very thorough.

Our Realtor called this morning with preliminary results. A few "minor" things were found in our 13-year old house and a written report is due by Monday. I told her I was upset that I was not informed about the participation of the buyer and his representation. My Realtor expressed surprise that I was not aware of Illinois law. A weak explanation from someone who is supposedly the top Realtor in Hoffman Estates!

I'm sure more surprises lurk!