No, it’s not that kind of a wedding video!
I’m not sure if this is a joke, prank or an accident. Watch as the best man attempts to present the wedding ring!
One of the funniest sitcom episodes ever. This is the classic WKRP In Cincinnati episode from October 30, 1978. Station manager Arthur Carlson dreams up a “brilliant'” Thanksgiving promotion for his station. The promotion involves flying a helicopter over the Pinedale Shopping Mall -- and then releasing twenty live turkeys into the air.
Only one problem…turkeys can’t fly!
My favorite TV show is 24. Because of last season’s television writers strike, it’s been nearly two years since it last aired. The drought ends this Sunday with a 2-hour movie called: 24:Redemption.
Instead of the usual show being presented in real time, the movie will be a “normal” show with time compression. Rick Moran has a write-up on his blog.
I can hardly wait!
Update: I watched the show Sunday night. I saw some scenes from the 24 trailer and thought they were going to take place in the movie. Instead, they were scenes from Season 7 which begins in January. There was no time compression and the 2-hour movie took place in…two hours. My bad!
In Flanders fields, the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below...
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...
-- John McCrae (1915)
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields...
Executive Mansion, Washington, November 21, 1864.Mrs. Bixby, Boston, Massachusetts:DEAR MADAM: I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant-General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any words of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering to you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.Yours very sincerely and respectfully,Abraham Lincoln
The official website of President-elect Obama is change.gov. The site invites readers to share ”…your story and your ideas, and be part of bringing positive lasting change to this country.” That’s fine except, according to the blog Polysigh, there are restrictions “governing” the use of a .gov domain. According to Wikipedia, it is “…a sponsored top-level domain restricted for use by government entities in the United States of America. The .gov domain is administered by the General Services Administration (GSA), an independent agency of the federal government.”
The official guidelines also state that:
The Gov domain is for the operation of government, not the political, political party, or campaign environment. No campaigning can be done using Gov Internet domains. The Gov Internet domain websites may not be directly linked to or refer to websites created or operated by a campaign or any campaign entity or committee. No political sites or party names or acronyms can be used. Separate webites [sic] and e-mail on other top-level domains (TLDs), such as .org, will have to be used for political activity.
So, is change.gov an official government site or an extension of the Obama campaign site?
I just saw this video and wasn’t aware until now that it’s the most-watched election-related video on YouTube. It was made by an Iraq war veteran and it’s directed to Sen. Obama and his comments that the Iraq war was “a mistake.” It’s a pretty powerful message, especially as he walks away from the camera.
MESSENGER—which flew close to Mercury on October 6th—has sent back some amazing photos from the innermost planet. MESSENGER was launched in August 2004 and will make a total of three passes by Mercury before settling into orbit in 2011. The photo above (click on the photo for an enlargement) was taken about 17,000 miles away. Nine minutes earlier, it took this photo when it was about 1,100 miles above the surface. It looks like a photo of the Moon’s surface!
More information about MESSENGER and its mission is here.
I’ve always found that the most interesting presidential elections are the ones in which there is no incumbent running.
My earliest election memory goes back to 1960, when John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon squared off. I was eight years old at the time and I remember my father was active locally in the Nixon campaign. I believe he served as a precinct captain or in some similar capacity. I remember having Nixon buttons and bumper stickers all over the house! [I wish I had some of them now!]
The 1960 election was certainly one of the closest elections with Kennedy pulling a narrow victory late in the evening. I stayed up late listening to the election returns on the radio (Fox News was not around!) and I had to go to bed before anything was official. I remember my father waking me up the next morning for school and I asked him who won. I recall how miserable he sounded when he told me that Nixon had lost! Of course, I felt bad if—for no other reason—because my parents supported the losing candidate.
Since then, the 1968, 1988, and 2000 elections have not included an incumbent. [The 1980 election felt like the incumbent wasn’t running, but only because President Carter chose to not actively campaign against Reagan.] We know how close the 2000 election was and it’s hard to know exactly how the 2008 election will turn out.
My dad also worked on the 1962 congressional campaign for Donald Rumsfeld. He actually lived in my neighborhood in Northbrook, Illinois for a little while and I believe my dad got to know him from the neighborhood. Rumsfeld won that race and served in Congress until 1969. A couple of years ago, I was driving my mother through the neighborhood and she showed me where Rumsfeld used to live. This was right about the time he stepped down under heavy criticism as defense secretary. I wonder if the current owners know of the house’s history.
In a few more weeks it will all be over and we’ll see a new chief executive in the White House.
Hard to believe that, on October 9th, it will be a year since my beloved Mozart was taken from me. We were in our new house less than two weeks when a coyote snuck into our backyard in the evening and snatched him. I had just put him out on a leash to do his business and stepped inside for a few minutes. I came back out to bring him in for the night and all that was left was his leash and collar. Apparently the coyote was nearby and saw Mozart on the leash and took him from me. I found what was left of him the next afternoon in an empty lot about a half-mile from my house.
What a horrible way to go.
I keep telling myself that he was “only” an animal and animals die everyday…many for the benefit of mankind. But he was also a companion to me and I do keep the memories of him sitting in my lap while I was reading or sitting at the computer. I always felt like I was the Pied Piper. He would follow me all over the house seeing what I was doing and trying to hit me up for a dog treat. He liked to play with our other dogs and he made a funny “chirping” noise when he was chasing Sam, our other Papillon.
There’s been a number of changes in the year. First, we’re more settled in the house (although we have a ways to go to make it feel like a “home”). My mother moved in with us in February…and broke her hip a couple of weeks later! Michael, my stepson, will soon be coming back from Iraq -- much to the relief of his mother! My older stepdaughter, Jessica, got married and now her husband is also in Iraq. My younger stepdaughter, Christine, moved to Louisiana to be with her sister and took Bailey, our oldest dog. Lisa got a puppy named Wrigley. Kevin is growing much too fast for me.
And I still miss Mozart!
My White Sox are fading fast as the baseball season is in its final month. The Sox still lead the Minnesota Twins by a game in the American League Central, but it seems inevitable that they will fall short when the calendar flips to October.
I’ve strongly been thinking about looking for a ledge to jump from!
To date, none of these companies have contacted me back. The online vendor lost any business as I bought a walked from a local retail store. That was probably better anyway as I got a chance to compare walkers.
The gas contractor bothers me as I do want to get my grill installed. I bought it at Lowe’s right before Father’s Day and I had it hooked up free by someone I know. Unfortunately, you get what you pay for and the grill apparently wasn’t installed properly. I’m willing to pay a professional to come out and install it correctly and test it to make sure there isn’t a problem with the grill itself. I [foolishly] thought by completing the form and giving them my problem and my location, I would at least get an estimate to come out for the service work.
The coin dealer is a minor irritant. I’ve been to the dealer’s store before and it’s a pretty good shop. I’m very surprised they did not contact me back. Since I moved last fall, the store is now out of my way and I don’t feel the urgency to go to him. Hopefully I’ll locate another dealer closer to me.
I realize these are all minor rants, but it’s still irritating…especially when they say the “best way” to reach them is by completing a form.
Here’s the newest member of our family. He’s a Yorkshire Terrier – Chihuahua mix puppy named Wrigley. He is Lisa’s dog (hence the name!) and she promises to take care of him. His joining the family was completely unexpected!
For this picture, I held him in my left hand and took the picture with the digital camera in my right hand. He’s so small that I could hold him with one hand. Of course, I had to set my camera to it’s close-up setting. It’s the only way to keep him from moving!
Hard to believe, but tomorrow is the last day of my 4-week sabbatical. All in all, it’s been fun to be off. I’m not saying I want to go back to work,but I did accomplish nearly everything I wanted to do while I was away. I found my 3rd great grandfather’s grave and I took a vacation to the homeland of Nebraska. I still have some vacation days remaining so it’s not like I’m never going to have a day off. In some respects, it will be good to get back into the swing of things.
I had a fun day today. I fulfilled a long-held desire to take a short trip back in time and visit the gravesite of my third great grandfather. His name was Henry Profitt Cornelius
Henry was born on March 16, 1806 in Christian County, Kentucky and was the oldest of eight children. He was first married to Mary Ann Quisenberry in 1828. They had ten children together with the eighth child being my second great grandfather, Jess Profitt Cornelius. (“Profitt” was Henry’s mother’s maiden name and was used these two times as a middle name.) Mary Ann passed away in 1845 and is buried in the Hittle Grove Cemetery, Tazewell County, Illinois. Henry married Mary Ann’s cousin, Catherine Quisenberry, in 1847 and they had eight more children together. Thus, Henry fathered 18 children!
Henry passed away at the ripe old age of 89 on August 29, 1895. Catherine passed away in 1902. They are buried together in Mt. Hope Cemetery near Foosland, Illinois.
I became aware of Henry’s existence when I read about him in my Uncle Jay’s Roots and Shoots book. It became somewhat of an obsession for me to find Foosland and to find Henry’s grave. In fact, Dad and I talked a number of times about driving down to find the location, but his declining health made the trip unlikely.
I’m on a four-week sabbatical from work and I decided this morning to make the trip. I packed a cooler of water and energy drinks and made the trip to Foosland. Actually, it’s not a bad drive at all and certainly one we should have made years earlier. The town is “off the beaten path” and it took several turns before I found the county road leading to it. It took even more time to locate the cemetery. I had to ask some locals to point me in the right direction.
But I found it!
Foosland is located northwest of Champaign which is home to the University of Illinois. I thought my father’s hometown of Madrid was small, but I believe Foosland is even smaller. It’s accessible by county roads only.
The cemetery is very well maintained. It took me about an hour to find his tombstone. Since they both passed away over 100 years ago, I was fearful of not finding the grave at all or finding a tombstone that was weather-worn or in very poor condition. To my relief and surprise, their tombstone is in excellent condition.
Here are some photos that I took. I thought of Dad today as I was sitting at the tombstone.
Earlier I wrote about the restoration work I am doing at Jewish Graceland Cemetery and the grave of an Union soldier (Simon Bournstine) that I marked with an American flag. About thirty yards from Simon’s grave, is the final resting place of Theodore Hirsch. Theodore was a German Jew who immigrated to this country. In 1864, while in Louisiana, he enlisted in the Confederate army. A few months after enlistment, he was captured in battle and moved to the prison camp at Camp Douglas in the South Side of Chicago. This was a notorious prison camp where it has been estimated that over 6,000 Confederate prisoners died. About two months after arriving at the camp, Theodore became one of the casualties.
Most of the camp dead were either buried on the prison grounds or thrown into Lake Michigan! The local Jewish congregation found out about Theodore and arranged for his burial in the Jewish cemetery…and then forgotten! Private Hirsch’s grave is not marked. When I began assisting with the restoration, I learned about his grave and we were able to determine from the records the exact location of his grave. It has no headstone nor any military marker. His grave is right next to the outer wall almost like it was an afterthought.
With assistance from the United Daughters of the Confederacy, I was able to secure a proper Confederate flag (the “First National Flag”) and marked his grave to show the proper respect for a young soldier who died many, many miles from home. I am hoping to obtain a proper headstone from the Veterans Administration.
I’m officially on my 4-week sabbatical. My employer (MB Financial Bank) offers a sabbatical to employees who complete seven full years of employment. I actually qualified for my sabbatical last year, but asked to defer it until this year because of the move to our house last year.
I’m planning a couple of day trips to Champaign and Springfield and then plan to take Kevin and my mom out to Nebraska for a week to see our relatives.
I return to work on August 4th.
It’s that time of year again in Chicago where the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox do battle in what is called the “Crosstown Series.” This year, both teams are in first place in their respective divisions so the games take on a little more importance. The games have always been important to the fans of both teams, but there is a chance – no matter how slight – that this six-game series is a precursor to the Fall Classic.
Around my house, battle lines are clearly drawn. I’m a White Sox fan and Lisa and Kevin are Cubs fans.
They had the last laugh Friday when Aramis Ramirez (above in this Chicago Tribune photo) hit a walk-off home run to beat the Sox 4 – 3. The series concludes with two more games at Wrigley Field and then moves to U.S. Cellular Field next weekend.
Update: The Cubs won Saturday’s game too so I’m really hearing it!
Found a photo of my stepson, Michael Jones, on the Internet today. Michael is currently serving in Iraq and is located “somewhere"" in Baghdad. He's a military policeman and will hopefully be coming home this September. Michael is kneeling on the far right.
I need a recommendation for some good syncing software. I had to reinstall Windows and, as a result, I lost my iTunes music. The music is all stored in my iPod, but when I tried to copy my iPod my music back to my computer, iTunes would not let me sync unless I erased all the music from my iPod! For some reason, iTunes thinks I'm trying to sync between multiple computers.
I'm looking for recommendations for some software that will not only transfer my music over to my computer, but will "remember" my iTunes settings such as my Smart Playlists, ratings, the number of times a song has been played and the last date played. The last two are important as several of my Smart Playlists are based upon this information.
Any recommendations or suggestions would be appreciated.
Kevin and I had a fun day on Friday. I chaperoned his 7th grade field trip to Springfield, Illinois. We visited a number of Lincoln-related sites including the Abraham Lincoln Museum, his burial site and his home. We didn't get back home until 9:00 p.m. in the evening, but it was a fun day nonetheless.
Here is a photo of his home at 8th and Jackson Streets in Springfield.
Just a brief update for family members who come across this blog. My mother returned home today. She had been in a nursing home for over three weeks rehabilitating her broken hip. She made pretty good progress while in the nursing home and now she needs to build on that progress.
My NCAA brackets went bad on me two weeks ago. I play in two Yahoo! groups and my expectation was that I was going to lose and lose badly. In both groups, I have North Carolina playing in the championship game and winning the whole thing. My competition has UCLA winning.
Earlier this evening, Memphis beat UCLA so the tables have turned! However, as I write this, UNC is losing to Kansas by five points with more than 10 minutes left in the game.
If UNC survives the KU game, then I win one and maybe both groups!
Update: So much for that idea: Kansas 84 - North Carolina 66.
Lisa and I have been collecting Depression glass for about six years now. It all started with my mother. She has given us several pieces of old glassware that we knew had some family sentimental value, but we had no interest or energy in determining if they had any real monetary value. A couple months after my father passed away, we took my mother to a large antique show at the Arlington Race Course. Our eyes became wide opened as we walked among the dealers and realized that the glass she gave us had some real value. We're not talking about I-can-retire-now value, but some of the pieces were being sold for more than I would have thought.
The main pieces she gave us is called Cambridge Rosepoint. The plates and glasses were given to her as wedding gifts back in 1949. (It turns out that Rosepoint was a very common glassware gift to give to newly-married couples.) From that pattern and from other miscellaneous patterns, our collection grew. We first went to various antique shows in the Chicago area. Then, we discovered that many organizations specialized in Depression glass. And from that we discovered that many shows occurred in the Chicago area.
We attended a show last week in Northlake and Lisa bought herself a nice glass called "Queen Louise." The glass was pricey, but she did negotiate the dealer down a little bit. It's her birthday gift for this year! She also bought two small glasses.
Although our collection is growing, we are nowhere near some of the collections that the uber-serious collectors have. You can tell who they are. They are the ones carrying notebooks with them and spending a lot of time inspecting each piece of glass. We've also noticed that the demographic trends older. I'm sure many retired people take up the hobby. Many, I'm sure, are building on collections they remember from their childhood. Many, like my mother, inherited pieces from their parents.
It's a fun hobby and one that gives us a lot of enjoyment...together.
Like a lot of people, I enjoy putting together brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament. I don't follow college basketball as much as I did when I was younger...and certainly not as closely as college football. I do enjoy seeing how my picks come in. This year I'm participating in two Yahoo! groups -- one at work and one within my family. As of early Thursday evening, I'm 8 for 8 at work and 5 for 8 at home. I went out on a limb for my family bracket, but so far none of the upsets have come in!
I have North Carolina, Georgetown, Texas and UConn in the Final Four at work with North Carolina winning it all. At home, I have Duke instead of UConn with North Carolina still winning it all.
I'll see how good I am in a couple of weeks.
Update: UConn's already gone!!!
After 52 years of living in her home in Northbrook, my mother sold her house and moved in with us on February 15. When you consider the brutal market conditions, the sale of the house went pretty smoothly. She put the house on the market in August and immediately received interest from a number of parties. After a bit of negotiation, she accepted an offer around Thanksgiving and began plans to move.
The packing, cleaning and sorting was the most difficult part of the move. Mom's a "pack rack" and when you combine the need to save everything with a 52-year history in the same house, it was a recipe for disaster. After spending many weekends packing boxes and moving them to my house, we finally rented a dumpster and filled it to the top with "stuff." Her really good stuff was moved several years ago and was divided between my sister's house and my house. Thanks to her neighbors and friends, the house was finally cleaned up and the last box was loaded into my van.
Mom then attempted to settle into her new life in Elgin. She gave up her car when she moved out so she relied on me taking her to the store (which also served as her social release!). February was a brutal weather month in Chicago and Mom did not venture out of the house until the third week she lived with us.
Unfortunately, her fourth week was not a good week. On Saturday, March 8th, while she was getting ready to do her weekend shopping, Mom fell in her bedroom. I was in the kitchen and heard her fall, but the sound was very slight. When I ran into the room, she was already on all fours trying to get up. We eventually got her off the floor and had her sit on her bed. She felt no real pain and there was no bruising, swelling or discoloration. She did feel some pain when she tried to walk with our aid, but nothing that caused any alarm. She spent a quiet Saturday, but Sunday morning revealed that she was still having problems walking. I called the paramedics to take her to the hospital where X-rays revealed that she had broken her hip!
On Monday she had surgery where three pins were inserted into her hip. The actual incision was only 2-3 inches in length and the surgery lasted just over an hour. By Tuesday, they had her taking small, measured steps in her hospital room.
Last Wednesday she was moved to a rest home (they refer to it as a "transitional center") for physical therapy. That's where she is right now. She hates it and is itching to get out! Although she wants to be out for Easter, she will probably need to stay there for another week. She's making good progress, but needs to regain her strength and balance in order to move back to the house. With Lisa and me working all day, she will be by herself for several hours and needs to be able to walk to and from the bathroom and to and from the kitchen.
Once Mom does move back, the weather will hopefully be warmer making her feel more "at home" in her new home.
The past few weeks have been difficult with moving my mother out of her home of 52 years and getting her settled in with us. Then, she fell and broke her hip last week and has been hospitalized and is now in a rest home receiving physical therapy.
I'm not sure that I've really recovered from our own move last fall and then I had to move her. I really don't want to touch or lift a box for a long time! At least I've finally gotten around to buying and putting together a new computer desk! Since we moved in, I had to sit on the floor while using the computer. Now, I can actually sit in a comfortable chair and read posts, update my photos and generally surf the Internet again. The weather here in Chicago has been horrible and I'm hoping that the weather will turn warm so I can be outside and can start working on our new lawn.
I have been a participant in Phase Three of Sprint’s Ambassador program. The program puts free Sprint cell phones in the hands of bloggers for six months. The idea is to provide feedback to Sprint about your experience. Although there is no expressed or implied obligation, I’m sure Sprint is hoping that bloggers will act as evangelists and talk up their service and the specific cell phone (mine was a Samsung UpStage).
A couple of days ago I received this e-mail from Sprint:
Thank you for your participation in the Sprint Ambassador program. We appreciate the candid feedback you have provided and are regularly using this information to offer our customers the best products and services available on the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network.
After careful consideration, Sprint has decided to discontinue our Sprint Ambassador program so that we may focus on other key initiatives for gathering customer feedback. As a thank you for your participation, the devices you have received through the program are yours to keep. However, the service on those handsets will be terminated on January 31, 2008.
If you would like to keep the existing phone number on your handset, you have the following options:
- If you have an existing Sprint account in your name, you can simply go to Sprint retail store or call Sprint Customer Care at (888) 296-8806 to transfer the number over. You will need your phone number and account password to facilitate the transfer.
- If you do not have a Sprint account and would like to open a new one, we invite you to visit a Sprint retail store for assistance and select from the many service plans that we offer.
- If you would like to transfer your Ambassador phone number to another individual’s account, BOTH PARTIES will need to need to visit a Sprint retail store to ensure a smooth transition.
- If you would like to move your Sprint Ambassador phone number over to another carrier, you will need to have the carrier you select call our Corporate Account team at (866) 657-6843. Typically, a consumer that wishes to port their number would just need their account number and password. Ambassadors are considered corporate customers and, as such, cannot make changes to their account without going through the Corporate Account team.
For the Sprint Store nearest you please visit www.sprint.com.
Again, to keep your current Ambassador phone number, you must act by 11:59 PM on January 30, 2008.
Once again, we truly appreciate your participation in the Ambassador program. If you have any additional questions, please send an email to AmbassadorProgram@sprint.com or you can reach Sprint’s Ambassador CARE team at (888) 296-8806.
I’m not surprised that Sprint is making this move. I’m sure the program was expensive for them to support and, with Sprint’s recently-announced financial troubles, they are under a great deal of pressure to cut back.
I will not be staying with Sprint. I’ve had my account with Verizon for several years. I will try to sell my phone on eBay as I did when I was a participant in Phase One of the program.