Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Tao of Paus

I've decided my new year's resolution is to write a book. My tentative title is "The Tao of Paus". I've noticed that my world view is particularly offset from the conventional wisdom in many areas, and I think these views should be brought to the world. I feel I should contribute something to the world which has given me so much, the Internet, the Treo, the automobile, pizza, etc. I plan on this being a sort of open source effort, with me posting chapters here on the blog where you guys can comment, debate, and maybe help me edit the points I'll be making.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Kenny Williams, why did you trade Brandon McCarthy for a bunch of no names? Three words: Worst. Trade. Ever.

You have new Picture Mail!

Statues of Tigers players at Comerica Park, from Adams Street sidewalk.

You have new Picture Mail!

You have new Picture Mail!

Bears defnding the goal.

You have new Picture Mail!

O-line warming up

You have new Picture Mail!

Bears Pride knows no bounds.

You have new Picture Mail!

This is the lions mascot, Roary. Doesn't he look drunk?

You have new Picture Mail!

The Kicked Pylon. This was retribution for when the lions kicked the pylons out at Soldier Field. Ah, sportsmanship.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Welcome home Aaron! Happy birthday Alexis!

I got some exciting news yesterday that my brother Aaron has returned from Iraq. I guess it took him 4 days to do it, but he made it. Also my neice Alexis turns 7 today. Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Free Tank Johnson!

The Gurnee Gun Gestapo, ignoring a little piece of the Constitution known as the Second Amedment (that's the one that allows to keep and bear arms for our civics challenged readers), went and invaded Bears star defensive player Tank Johnson's home yesterday and charged him for having six guns. There are days I wonder if I live in the United States. Residents of Gurnee, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Monopoly fun. I'm the battleship.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Working up a sweat with the Wii

Well, I tried out Nintendo's Wii last night. The verdict: Fantastic. Electrifying. Fun. I played a couple of the sports games, with my favorites being Boxing and Bowling. I worked up quite a sweat in Boxing, knocking out three people before I decided I needed a break. My heart was pounding like mad, and even though it's only 66 degrees in the condo, I had to take my shirt off. I'm going to buy the Wii just for the workout potential of boxing.

The other reason I'll buy Wii is it's ability to play retro NES games from the '80s! It was so wonderful to see the Legend of Zelda again in all it's 8-bit glory. I got all nostalgic as I was instantly transported back to my 11 year old self. I even was humming along to the music. Good times.

I have to say, I really think the Wii has the potential to win the console wars. While the hard core gamers like my friend Jeff will probably shy away, I think it will more then make up for it with casual gamers like myself who are put off with the 14 button controllers. Playing the Wii is a lot of fun, just make sure you have a lot of room. This console isn't for couch potatoes. And that's a good thing.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Succumbing to the Crave

It had been many moons since I last had the Crave, but I would be denied no longer on this glorious Thursday afternoon. My work mom, Deberoah, made the suggestion, for White Castle's, and for some reason, it was the greatest idea I'd ever heard of. I don't ever remember being so excited to eat lunch. I had seven cheeseburgers and they were SOOOOO GOOOOD. I don't think I could eat it everyday, but every once in a while you just gotta Attack a Sack!

Monday, December 04, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Congratulations to the 2006 NFC North Division Champs! Now if we can only bench Rex Grossman we could be Super Bowl Champions as well. I want Griese!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Best SNL skit since Cowbell

I don't normally watch SNL, but I saw this hilarious skit, Lazy Sunday, by pure chance while channel surfing the other day. I was glad to see it was still up on YouTube. If NBC has two IQ points left in their management team's heads they will leave Lazy Sunday up to show that they can still produce something funny every once in a while.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Holy Receding Hairline Batman!

Special thanks to lil' Jen showing me hard at work but no thanks for showing my receding hairline. It's a no good. Posted by Picasa

Local immigrants and their bikes

These two pretty much speak for themselves:  Posted by Picasa
Lots of hair: Not much hair:  Posted by Picasa

Pimp man!

Rock on! I finally found my picture of this pimpish looking character selling dolls. Jeff and I were driving back on the Stony Island Expressway from a Sox game when I took this once in a lifetime shot with my Treo 650. Posted by Picasa

Homeless in Montreal

I finally found my picture of this homeless woman when I was in Montreal. This was right outside the McDonald's on St. Catherine. No question that this blantant display of vagrantism (is that a word? Probably not.) would not be tolerated in Mayor Daley's Chicago. Going to Montreal was a real eye opener for me. I never really appreciated how clean Chicago was until I saw a city that didn't have a hard core Streets and Sanitation department like ours. The dirtiest street in Chicago is cleaner then 95% of Montreal's streets.
 Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Happy Birthdaty Saturn! 10 great years!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wolverine Healing

I had a very rare episode yesterday: I woke up under the weather the first time in ages. After throwing up violently into the bushes in front of my place of employment, I toughed out a long, cold, nauseous day of work. I couldn't go home because I always accuse of everyone of slacking when they leave early, and I wasn't about to be on the receiving end of it. I went home finally to 12 hours of sleep. I hadn't ate anything but a cookie all day. I am not blessed with particularly good eyesight, but the good Lord made up for it by empowering me with remarkable recovery powers. I brag to anyone who will listen that they are my "Wolverine Healing". Wolverine, for those of you who haven't read the X-men comic books or watched the movie trilogy, is a character that has an unbreakable skeleton, enhanced senses, and my personal favorite, infinite regenerative ability. No matter how badly Wolverine gets hurt, he always heals fully. After my 12 hour nap, I felt fine. I can't say the same for my wife-to-be Roxanne. She got the flu before me (she's been sick since Saturday), has the same symptoms, and is still ill three days later. She called me at about 5:00 this afternoon to see how I was doing. "Fine", I responded, wondering what the big deal was. She was amazed becuase she still has no appetite and feels awful. Poor Roxanne! As we approach Thanksgiving later this week, I'd like to give thanks for the most important thing of all: My good health. And the Wolverine healing that keeps it for me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bo, I hardly knew yee

I was shocked and depressed by the passing of legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembecler. Bo finished coaching the Maize and Blue before I even started following college football. However, his presence was such a part of Michigan that you expect to see him at every Wolverines game. For him to die on the eve of the greatest game of this millenium has put an almost anticlimatic feel on the game. The grieving is so bad that even the Dead Schembeclers, an Columbus-based hate Michigan punk band, has decided to change their name after the "Hate Michigan" rally tonite. By the way, the Dead Schembeclers website has been flooded and is temporarily down, but their myspace page is still up. I found this image there from the lone Michigan fan: Go Blue! Win one for the Schembecler!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Treo upgrade successful!

It took longer then I expected, but upgrading to the 1.13 version of the software was well worth it. As I expected, the crashing has gone way down. I can freely switch between Real Player and regular phone features without a problem. However, all is not well. The phone function completely doesn't work with Softick Audio Gateway now. In fact, the music keeps right on playing as the phone rings. I wound up using the built in hands free functionality to make some phone calls with my headset. Oh by the way, my new headset, the Plantronics 590A, is the SHIZNET. Yeah, that's right, I said SHIZNET, it's my blog and I'll do waht I want. Anyways, really, these are the best stereo bluetooth headphones you can buy. If you are a fellow Treo owner ready to cut the cord, do yourself a favor and order a pair online. You'll thank yourself.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Treo Surgery

I've reached the breaking point. I've been avoiding upgrading the Treo system software forever as it takes a half hour, but seeing as my phone crashes every time I switch between the phone and MP3 player, I'm going for it. I will be completely out of the loop for the next 30 minutes, assuming of course the Treo survives the process and I don't have a 1 pound brick instead of a smartphone. I'll see you guys on the other side.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

RIP GOP

Well GOP, it's over. You are no longer of any worth as a politcal party. You couldn't even keep the Senate, and you never should have lost the House either. The redistricing schemes you employed should have kept you in power for a genration. You had 4 years controlling the House, Senate, and White House, and what did you accomplish? Social Security reform? Nope. Flat tax? Yeah right. Balanced budget? Oh that's right, the deficit skyrocketed on your watch. GOP, do the world a favor. Trade your place on the ballot with the Libertarians and let us get the job done.

It's official: I'm fat

Owning a Tanita body fat scale can make for some scary moments. It's bad enough to know your weight down to the decimal point, but then you're whacked with your body fat percentage. A long time ago, in an apartment not too far away, I had whittled my body fat down to a decent 8.8 percent fat. Now I'm a disgusting 18.2 percent body fat, entering a realm the scale terms "overfat". The term was funny at the time when I bought the scale, but now it's horrifying. I promptly got up this morning and ran 6.6 miles as punishment. I ran to the First Midwest Bank Ampitheatre, formerly know as the Tweeter Center, fromerly known as the New World Music Theater, fromerly known as the World Music Theater. For all further discussion on this blog, I will simply call it the World. That way when I run to the top of the big hill at the World, I can say I ran to the the top of the World, which I did, in fact, do today. For good measure I benched two sets of 5 at a paltry 73 pounds, weak, but I have had severe atrophy in arms. I also did five minutes on the ab slide on the quest for my six pack. My plan is build up muscle with the ab slide while the runs to the top of the World attack my gut, affectionately known as "Cornelius II", after my brother's beer gut Cornelius which he successfully eradicated. With a lot of hard work, Cornelius II will meet the same fate.

Friday, November 10, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Happy birthday Jeff!

You have new Picture Mail!

Self Portrait 11 10 2006

Happy Birthday Jeff and Marine Corps!

Today is November 10th. It is etched in my memory because 231 years ago today, a small orgranization called the United States Marine Corps began in colonial America. From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, from the trenches of France in World War I, to the island hopping of campaigns of World War II, from the hills of Korea to an airstrip at Khe Sahn, from Kuwait to Fallujah, these guys have been fighting and dying for America as long as there has been an America. Semper Fi, guys. My friend Jeff also shares a birthday with the Corps, which makes it easy to remember his birthday. Jeff turns the big 30 today! I'll have to get him a cane. Happy birthday Jeff!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

PalmGear site has free goodies

Hello everyone. I've been battling post election depression by loading up on free stuff for my Treo 650. It's over at www.palmgear.com and all you have to do is browse for the freeware. They have thousands of programs, including some great games like Scud Attack. Another gem is the PalmDB app that lets you open Adobe files. I've only gone through about 300 so far, so I'll keep you posted on any other great freebies.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Don't forget to vote

Today is my favorite day: Election Day! Not only do I get to perform my civic duty and vote, it means an end to all the negative campaign ads! Woo-hoo! Election prediction: Republicans lose 26 seats in the House, 4 seats in the Senate, and the start of the Impeach Bush movement. The next two years are going to be ugly.

Monday, November 06, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Black helicopter sighting? Probably not, but why fly over Tinley Park on a Sunday?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Tinley Park aquires Mendez property for $425,000

Your tax dollars at work: Tinley Park just shoveled out 425 grand to aquire the Mendez property, which is the middle house on North Street. The property was critical to moving the farce that is the North Street redevelopment forward. The village is still gunning for the property of the Dennis family, according to the Star article, so the possibility of Tinley Park using eminent domain against them still exists. I will be real curious to see how long it takes to get Tinley Park to get back this return on investment.

Apology from Kerry doesn't go far enough

John Kerry finally was hit with some common sense today and decided to apologize for his remarks degrading the intelligence of the troops in Iraq. As I have a brother in Iraq, I was beyond outraged by the remarks of the senior Senator from Massachusetts. However, his apology did not go far enough. Mr. Kerry still needs to apologize for his behaviour after the Vietnam War, where he called out his fellow soldiers as war criminals. Senator Kerry should also apologize for comments he has made on troops behaviour in the war in Iraq. The fact of the matter is that John Kerry loathes the military every bit as much as Bill Clinton ever did. He is a disgrace to the people of Massachusetts, to the Senate, and to the United States of America. He is the poster child for term limits and I do hope that one day the voters of the Bay State will wise up and send him packing for one his five vacations homes.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why the BCS is BS

There's nothing greater than Saturdays in the fall. Wake up at 9:00, walk over to the couch, and turn on the TV for 14 hours of college football. The tradition, the bands, the rivalries, watching future NFL players develop, all of these things make college worth watching. Indeed, almost everything in the college football world is perfect, except for one little thing: The BCS. OK, not such a little thing. The fact that there is no playoff system is not only illogical, itls downright shameful. Every other sport in the NCAA has a playoff system. Every single one. No computer system, no polls decide who is the champion. It is settled on the field, where it should be. Even the other divisions of the NCAA have playyoffs for football. Why does NCAA Division 1A continue to operate in the dark ages? Whatever the current excuses are, the money, the bowls, final exams, whatever, one can not escape the fact that we have the possibility of the national title game featuring the winner of Michigan-Ohio State facing.....Rutgers. That's right....Rutgers. I hope it happens. The bellyaching from the SEC schools would be so epic you wouldn't be able to turn on talk radio without hearing about it. If a one loss Florida team winds up in the Orange Bowl while Rutgers is playing Ohio State for the BCS crown, there might be finally be enough impetus to get a real playoff system. I don't mean to pick on Rutgers, but if they were playing in the Big Ten or the SEC they would have had three losses by now. Cinderella teams like Rutgers should have to prove themselves in a 16 team tournament before having a shot at the prize, not just waltzing through the Big East schedule. I'm sorry, but Louisville and West Virginia are not power schools. If Rutgers beats them and wins out, I think the voters and computers will have no choice to put Rutgers in the title game. Ohio State vs. Rutgers. The fact this possibilty exists is why the BCS is BS.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Going George Lucas style on my blog

Inspired by George Lucas' constant retooling of the the original Star Wars trilogy, I've decided to use new technology to spruce up my blog. What new technology you ask? The excellent Beta Blogger tool from Google. There are new templates (you may have noticed I have ditched the anarchic black minima for what they call "Rounders 4"), a new page element function that makes changing layouts a breeze, and last, but certainly not least, is the new labeling feature for organizing posts. I've been waiting for Google to get around to this for months because it allows people to focus on specific subjects on my blog. Don't care about my running but interested for my take on Tinley Park's potential use of eminent domain? Don't have a Treo 650 but interested in my Libertarian punditry? Now you can pick which parts of the blog you want to follow, or you can read the whole thing to appreciate my eclectic interests. It's up to you dear reader.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Finshed Marathon, barely

I ran my worst marathon time ever, and not just because of the cold. I hit the wall at like the 9 mile mark, which is beyond pathetic. I shouldn't have been suprised by this, as it happened on my training runs too. I think the Nu Gels I used were worse than useless, and I think I will use the power bar version of the gel next time. However there is no doubt in my mind that I simply had too much time since my last long run and the marathon. Despite all the running I did in Montreal I never cranked a 20 miler out like I should have. The whole Montreal trip just killed me and shouldn't have let it. Maybe the most important thing for me to do is analyze my diet and make adjustments. My current diet is abysmal and I need to rectify if I ever want a shot at under 4 hours.

Jehovah as my witness I will never take Metra again

One delay is one thing. Now we are stoped again and I am now putting one of my infamous curses on the entire Public Transit system. How hard is it to get a train to go? It is on rails. You don't have to steer it. I can understand how Mussolini gained power by making the trains run on time because it's a bigger deal then I thought.

Stuck on train, hating Metra

People wonder why more people don't take the Metra Rock Island. Now I know why. Besides the fact that don't run on convient schedules (hello, why no train to bring the drunks home from Chicago), the fact they don't stop at places people want to go (US Cellular Field, IIT), or the fact it takes an hour to get to Chicago from Tinley Park because it does stop every half mile from 123rd to 103rd, now I'm dealing with the fact my stupid train has been delayed 7 minutes for freight interference. This is approximately the time I would have taken to drop off my marathon bag. So now the time I saved by not bringin one is gone. Grrrr!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last Post until the Marathon!

Well, I've carbo loaded, hydrated, picked up my marathon packet at the health and fitness expo, filled up my amphibapod with 60 ozs of water, packed all my Nu-Gels, put my tracking chip on my running shoe, and put my bib number on my racing T. I'm a little concerned about the weather, as they say it will be cold and blustery. I'm going to try wearing my spandex, which I've never tried on a long run before, but I don't want suffer from exposure. Hopefully the rain will stay away, but I don't anticipate temperatures over 50. I'm taking the train tomorrow as the Dan Ryan has amazingly got worse since I last traversed it over the summer. I'm going straight from the train to the run, no bag to drop off, which I hope will get me closer to 9 minute milers, although I don't know how long I'll be able to stay with them. Well, I'll try and keep you posted, maybe send off a picture mail before the start, and then I'll have a recap after the run while I wait for the train to take me home. Good luck to all the runners and thanks to all the people who are going to come out tommorrow, escpecially my Mom!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Countdown to Marathon

Well, it's only 4 days to the Chicago Marathon, and the carb loading continues. I have 6 bagels in front of me that I plan on scarfing down before the end of the day, plus some granola energy bars. Also on the agenda is to drink my 4 bottles of water to hydrate myself to the point where I go the the bathroom every hour. It will all be worth it on Sunday if I can avoid the "wall" and cramping up. But if I do I'll take time to post from the course to tell you about it. :)

Testing Beta blogger from Treo

Hello everyone. Now that I have switched to the beta blogger, I figured I would try updating via e-mail to see if it will still work. If not, I will be fairly ticked off. Cheers!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Trying out the Beta Blogger

My blog might start to look a little different as Google has new features to try out with Beta Blogger (By the way, don't you love how everything is in Beta all the time with Google, Beta News, Beta Blogger, I wish we all could go through life with the Beta tag so when we screw up, we could just say "hey, I'm still in Beta.) The main reason I decided to try this out was the label feature, hoping that it could better organize my widely varying interests, i.e. running, politics, treo 650, general life updates so my mother knows what's going on, etc. I'm putting this one under "Update", although I may refine it later under the label "Google" as often comment on Google's new stuff/progress toward world domination. By the way, for the longest time I didn't have a problem with Google world domination, but now that I know that Google employees donate 98% of their money to Democratic Party, I'm a little nervous. Still, I love Google as it is the annoited successor to Microsoft and they do turn out wonderous amounts of free products that make my my life more groovy. So there's my first post as a Beta Blogger and may be the first of many at a more regular interval.

Google Maps for the Treo 650 has arrived!

It's finally here! A stand alone app from Google for mapping on the Treo 650. It downloads straight on to the phone from the web and it has worked fairly well in my tests so far. It retains the web version's ability to switch between road map and satellite, plus it has some useful features like "Find Location", when you need to know where the nearest pizza joint is, and "Show Traffic", which shows highway congestion with color coded maps. All in all, one of the best programs I've ever seen for the Treo 650 and I heartily recommend you download it if you have one.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

North Korean Nuke Test: Thank Clinton

If there is one lesson to be learned from today's nuclear weapons test by the North Koreans, it is this: America's foriegn policy can not be trusted to the Democratic Party. Now that's not to say the Republicans are perfect, but the current nightmare we now face on the Korean Peninsula is directly to the action, or inaction as it were of the Clinton Administration. Make no mistake, if George Bush 41 had been at the helm in 1994 when the North Korean nuclear crisis started, we would not be in this mess today. Clinton's policy of appeasement, subsidies, and negotiation enabled the North Koreans access to the nuclear reactors that are now turning out plutonium for their nuclear weapons. It is forseeable that once North Korea has built up enough of these weapons for a deterrent, they will start building them to sell to al-Qaeda or Iran to shore up the DPRK's shattered economy. So add this to the Clinton legacy along with Monica's blue stained dress: A nuclear armed dictator who's crazy enough to use them or sell them. Thanks Bill.

Update

I know, I know, I haven't updated in a while. The whole experience in Montreal had drained me badly. Ten straight days sharing a hotel room could be constituted as cruel and unusual punishment by some, but then I realized there are people in Iraq, boot camp, and various naval vessels across the world that made my arrangements seem like paradise.

In other news I recently have been voted in as the president of my condo association. I have been bombarded by various issues ever since. The job is an incredible pain in the posterior and I have a new found respect for all public officials.

On the running front I have been tapering for the marathon. Tapering is just staying off your feet and resting. I have never been comfortable doing this so I might do one more long run before the marathon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Homeless in Montreal

These are homeless people lined up in a park in downtown Montreal off St. Catherine's waiting for the Salvation Army

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Update from Montreal

Hello everyone in the States, and well everyone who is reading the blog no matter what country you hail from. I'm currently stuck at the Day's Inn on St Rene-something French sounding street in Downtown Montreal. I was forced to blow a whole weekend here because I still have three more days of training and my company is too cheap to fly me home for the weekend. Conscious of the fact that I was going to be on the road for an seeming interminable 10 days, I insisted on this location as it least it has an actual bed (in the other hotel we were staying at I was forced to sleep on a pull out couch) and it has wi-fi. Wi-fi which I am now updating my poor, neglected blog. I have done some runs while I've been here, although I forgot my Garmin Forerunner on both occasions. Wednesday night's run was particularly eventful, a run all the way across the Jean-Baptiste Bridge, got off, and then I wound up having to run across a 6 lane highway to get back on the Monteal bike trail. The bike trail betrayed me by winding up at a gravel parking lot in the middle of nowhere next to the river, with mysterious people in mini-vans and pick up trucks were parked every 100 feet or so for no particular reason, as it was 10:00 at night and there was literally nothing going on. Sufficiently creeped out and furious that there was no bridge to take me back across the river to get back to Monteal, I ran back towards the Jean-Baptiste bridge. Not wanting to cross the 6 lane highway again, I decided to keep running along the river to the next bridge, which was a good 2 miles down the river. I figured there would be a bridge going to the Casino Montreal, but again was denied. I had to keep running across a very creepy bridge the used cables to raise the road, rail road tracks, and bike trail I was on. The cables were singing in the 20 mph gusts and it sounded like the whole thing was about to fall down. I ran across to discover I could get back on the island that had Casino Montreal, which I decided to do. (There are two islands in the middle of the St. Lawrence River, one that has the casino, and the other an amusement park). There was a realllly long bridge (Pont Victoria) that I wanted to try and take back to Montreal, but the thing was so narrow there wasn't even a shoulder to run on (there were multiple warnings about no pedestrians), and I wasn't about to try and run on the railroad part of the bridge. There was one other option, an even longer run along a causeway to another bridge that crossed yet another island, and I would be about 4 miles upriver from Jean-Baptiste. I wasn't feeling that adventurous, and decided to put it off until tomorrow's run. In all Wednesday's run might have been around 12 miles or so. Monday's run was interesting in the fact I went up Mont Royal. At first I thought it was going to be a great endeavor, but in the end it wasn't as tall as I thought it was going to be. Don't get me wrong, it's quite a hike to the top, but I think the Sears Tower is considerably higher then it is. Here's a picture from the SE side of the mountain (not the tourist spot on the north side, I had to go way off the beaten path for this shot): I still on planning doing a rather long run tomorrow night as I still want to go by the Olympic Stadium and go through a tunnel that gets goes under the St. Lawrence River. Other then running, Montreal and I don't get along very well. Besides the whole hotel fiasco, the food situation is dire, with only Subway and McDonald's being the only places not to screwup my orders. Speaking of McDonald's, the Homeless people here, which are legion, use it as there primary begging point. Here's a picture of the residence-challenged individuals in the Salvation Army soup line: I've never seen so many homeless people in my life. It's a borderline epidemic up. All up and down St. Catherine they were out begging for my Canadien money. One had the audacity to interrupt me as I was eating my Bacon, Egg, and Cheese bagel and proceeded to tell me his life story as an unemployed pilot. The nerve! It's one thing to bug people on the street, but to go up to someone eating at a McD, that's just wrong. I cast one of my curses upon the whole of Montreal for this transgression upon my breakfast. I'm counting down the hours until I'm back home, about 72 of them I would imagine as I write this at 22:47 EDT Sunday(they use military time up here, which is kind of cool). Lord willing I will never have to come here again, or if I do, it will be for 5 days or less because this staying the weekend is the weekest thing I've ever been subjected to. How my brother is doing a year in Iraq is utterly beyond my comprehension. He is infinitely tougher then I'll ever be and my hat is off to him. Well that's enough whining, moaning, and groaning for now. Lest you think that moaning and groaning is a bad thing, remember the United States was founded by moaners and groaners who thought our taxes were too high. USA, I miss you and can't wait to return to you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I have officially had it with my iPhono headhones. The red light is on and not go off no matter what. Stuck in Montreal with no music. Boo.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Godspeed Aaron

Today my brother is on his way to Iraq, having begun his journey there yesterday on the 5 year anniversary of 9/11. I can't give my brother enough credit, for he rejoined the National Guard after the horrific attacks on that beautiful September day that seems so long ago, knowing full well the danger ahead. I believe that the entire reason that we have not been attacked again has been the fact that we are taking the war to the enemy, in Afganistan and Iraq, by brave men and women in our Armed Forces. They ensure our freedom every day, and we can't possibly repay them. I would to thank my brother and everyone else in uniform as they go about the defense of our nation, and wish a quick and safe return to our great nation.

Running update

Well, although I'm slow, my run on Sunday was in the 20 mile range. My time was somewhere north of three hours, and I have to admit that I walked a mile or two of it as I hit the wall pretty hard around mile 18. For Sunday's run I ran down to the World Music Theater then back up to the Red Trail of the Cook County Forest preserver. In retrospect I suppose I should have brought some more water along, maybe parking my car at the beginning of the red trail to stock up on water. The Gu Gels continue to work well, I just need to eat a little bit more the night before to stave off the wall.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sox season is over

To think, 48 hours ago, I thought the Sox were still in the hunt for a wild card spot. But after a dreadful performance last night (which I had the misfortune to witness personally) and Bobby Jenks blowing another save tonight, this season is done. The Sox maybe only a game and a half back for the wildcard, but it's not going to happen. If the starting pitching is good and the offense good, the bullpen will blow it. If the starting pitching dives, there's no offense like earlier in the year to make up for it. If every thing else is going good in a close game, the defense will make a stupid blunder. The Sox are finding ways to lose this year when last year they found ways to win. I'm tired of it. Even if they go on a run, I'll be in Montreal for 10 straight days and won't be able to watch it. So I'm officially giving up on this season. Maybe with the month of October to rest up, the starting pitching won't be so atrocious next year and 2007 can be another 2005. But I think the White Sox used up all the mojo last year and it maybe another 88 years for a championship.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Monday, September 04, 2006

Break on through

Today's Labor Day run was the first of my four "long" runs. Originally I planned to run the 9.4 mile "red" loop of the Cook Country Tinley Creek Bicycle Trail. Counting the 23 odd blocks it is from residence, it was going to be a run of about 15 miles. Today I went out in full marathon gear, which includes my Race Ready shorts, my IIT racing singlet, my trusty Fuel Belt with 4 pints of Ice Mountain water, 4 packets of GU Gel, my Garmin Forerunner, my Bluetake 420 headphones, and my always present Treo 650 which provided tunes and the god-forbid ability to call for a ride if I hurt myself. Seeing as it was a bit rainy today I passed on the sunscreen, but I never pass on the Blistex anti-chafing stuff. You should always put this stuff on the bottom of your feet, between your toes, inner thighs, under your armpit, your chest, and your shoulders, (basically anywhere there is going to be friction.) I had four pieces of toast with jelly and drank two 20 oz. bottles of water. I also had a GU Gel, since it said to take on 15 minutes before you run. Finally I was off. The only thing I screwed up on in my preparation was not putting in fresh batteries in the Garmin Forerunner, as it only lasted an hour into the run. Although this was frustrating, I had a pretty good idea of my pace from my conventional watch and the mile markers on the trail. Everything was going great for about 6 miles and then I felt really sluggish. All of a sudden, it felt like my legs were going through molasses. It didn't hurt, but I couldn't really strecth it out. Fearing a cramp, I downed some water and just tried to keep pace. After about two miles, it loosened up and I was back running normally again. I took a GU Gel every 45 minutes or so, and while they are incredibly difficult to swallow, (I used about half a pint to wash them down), they seemed to do their job and I never really hit the wall or anything. I felt so good coming off the red trail loop that I decided to head over to structure 32 to do 3 miles there. Over all I think I did around 18-19 miles in a little over 3 hours. I think I did OK for a first long run but I definitely need to pick up the pace next time. I plan on going into Chicago for next week's run to do a full dress rehearsal for the Marathon.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

You have new Picture Mail!

Stealth fighter sighting! Over Centennial Park at about 1:00 today. I've never seen one outside the air show.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Run around flooded Structure 32 in Tinley Park

Did a 5 mile run today at Structure 32. Thanks to the 25 year storm, Midlo Creek has run over into the lake drowning the piers.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Back to running

Well, now that the whole North Street affair has come and gone, I suppose it's time to return to blogging about other things. Then namesake of this blog, Tinley Harrier, is where I'll start. Some you may be wondering what a harrier is. While the first definition refers to an english hunting dog, the more relevant definition is "a runner on a cross-country team". While my time on cross-country team has come and gone (Tinley Park H.S. 1991-1994, IIT 1995-1996), I still like the term so I adopted it. I figured there wasn't anyone in my hometown Tinley Park blogging about their runs, and I was correct. So thus I am the Tinley Harrier. The 2006 Chicago Marathon is approaching rapidly, and I certainly have to make up some ground to get ready. Still, I have put down some lengthy runs, especially while I was in Canada a few weeks ago. (Note to everybody that calls me: I just got my wireless bill, and at 65 cents a minute for the roaming, unless there is a genuine threat to the republic, text me instead when I go back to Montreal on September 17th.) I ran with my actual running clothes last night, and relieved of the extra weight of my normal running clothes, I actually ran sub-9:00 minute pace for 3.2 mile, 26:37 time. Those of you that are new the running end of this blog, you may be wondering as to the signifigance of running sub 9:00 miles. If you run faster then a 9 minute mile for all 26.2 miles of a marathon, you will run the marathon in less then 4 hours. It's always been a goal of mine, but I seem to keep coming up short. Last year I came pretty close at 4:10:45. I don't know if I'll make it this year, but I'm certainly going to try! Everyone can follow along here at the Tinley Harrier on Sunday, October 22nd, as I live blog the 2006 Chicago Marathon. I plan on sending little posts from the race itself, and I'll have pictures at the beginning and end, with an audiopost wrapping up the days activities when I'm safely back in my car. I'm looking forward to it and I hope you follow along!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

North Street proposal passes

Well, the long battle is over. Tinley Park is now on the road to the epic disaster that is the North Street redevelopment, charging along down a hill with the brake lines cut. The citizens against this project waged a last stand, with Dorothy Dennis bringing up some excellent points that had the trustees clearly flustered. My favorite was when she brought up the statute saying that you basically had to vote on project within 90 days of its public hearing which North Street has now far exceed. The Village attorney claimed that various extentions have been filed the whole time and that they were appoved at various trustee meetings. I don't recall the subject ever having come up, and I will be going over the minutes over the last 8 months to see when these supposed extentions occurred. Norman Sheehan had the best line by far "You went from a turn-of-the-century development to a ho-hum, look-alike, overcrowded Yuppieville". I think he actually said the downtown went from turn-of-the-century to ho-hum, look-alike, overcrowded Yuppieville. Either way it was hilarious, and I loved his promise, not a threat, about the political ramifications of passing this project. I stood up and asked if they would continue to use eminent domain against the Dennis family, especially since the parking lot at the old Central Junior High will turn into townhouses, and I was promptly dismissed by Trustee Hannon saying that had been covered at the last meeting and Mayor Z yelled at me because I was supposedly cutting Hannon off. My old neighbor Trustee Seaman said it was a fair question but the issue was still being negotiated with the Dennis family and that it was "in their hands". He also said that he would not bring negotiations into public and that I should ask the Dennis family what they have in front of them as far as a deal. I basically got the village to say that Tinley Park had reworked the plans to go forward without the Dennis family, and they had no intention of pursuing their land "at this time". Roberta Sheehan uncovered the ludicrous amounts of corporate welfare that was in the financial agreement, to the tune of 13,00,000 dollars for the condos and the theater. If that wasn't bad enough, the village is forking over north of 900,000 dollars to move Tinley Ice. As a taxpayer, that drives me insane. I wish people would take these TIF districts for what they are: Corporate welfare schemes to take taxpayer dollars and give them to developers. That's all they are. So if you get nothing else from today's artice, equate "TIF" with "Corporate welfare". In fact, from here on forth, I will address a TIF district as a Corporate Welfare district. Even though this project is approved, there are actually a few more steps that have to be done before they kick everyone out and blast Teehan's into oblivion. Negotiations with the Dennis family continue, and the Mendez property still to this day has not been acquired. I was told yesterday by the Dennis family that eminent domain not be used against but that they would "build around them". I would love to see that if that's indeed what happens. Also there are a couple of public hearings on the parking lots involved with the plan, and I guess a hearing on expanding the Corporate Welfare district, since apparently Teehan's Tavern wasn't included in the original. I'll cover these events as they play out. Even though the Man won this battle, I'm proud of how everyone fought and resisted the onslaught. At the very least, we won a temporary stay of execution from eminent domain, and we have shown that any attempt to use it will not be taken lightly. Tinley Park may have won, but considering the black eye they've taken in the press, and the amount of time it's taken to get this done, it is a Pyrrhic victory at best for them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Did 3 plus mile run around structure 32. I felt really good and wish work started later so I could do more. Ab slide is working well on stomach.

Structure 32 reflections

You have new Picture Mail!

this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Last chance to stop Tinley Park North Street development

Well, it's been a long, long battle. And it would have been longer if the Village would have kept trying to use eminent domain to take the Dennis family's property, but Tinley Park shadily put that on the back burner to ram this grotesque project through. This project will fail however, for the same reasons so many people are oppposed to it. Let's rehash them one more time: 1. Traffic. The laws of physics yield to no man, and a two-lane road (Oak Park Avenue) can not handle the volume of traffic that an 11 screen theater, 115 residences, a couple of restaurant/pubs, and 500 commuters that go to a major train station. The surrounding streets will drown from the overflow and people will simply quit going downtown. 2. Parking. Or the lack thereof. Um...Let's see...there's already are parking shortage in the downtown lot (currently a three year waiting list to get a spot of soon-to-be destroyed Municipal lot D) and now there is going to be a theater that will need at least 400 spots, not to mention all of the aforementioned pubs and restaurants. I'm not even counting the other businesses that don't involve food and beverages, because I know they will fail. Which brings me to my next point. 3. A daytime business cannot thrive in downtown Tinley Park. For proof, look at all the little stores that are struggling to survive on Oak Park Avenue now. The Gumball place, Teina' s Touch, the little floral place I never see anyone in... Downtown Tinley Park will not bring people to these places. People go to downtown Tinley Park for two reasons: A) To get on a train B) To eat or drink at one of the bars or restaurants. Period. They are not going there to do window shopping or whatever. There's no parking, the train makes Oak Park Avenue a nightmare, and there's a little place called Orland Square mall 5 miles away 4. The Theater will fail. Badly. Apparently, the geniuses who came up with this project failed to consider there are two much larger, better equipped, easier to get to theaters (Orland AMC and Sony Country Club Hills) within 3.5 miles of downtown Tinley Park. People who have grown used to large screens and a big lobby will be in for a bit of a shock when they see this travesty of a cineplex that is about to be built. The willing accomplices the village has in the Southtown showed one of these tiny screens at the Elmhurst theater, and I'm telling you I've seen private screening rooms in people's homes that are bigger then those. Throw in the fact that you have to cross a street to get to the theater, deal with the train, the congestion of all the other traffic that the Tinley nightlife brings in, and I think people will opt to go to the other two theaters. Plus, movie theaters, like the drive-in before them, are on the way out. Crappy picture, talkative theater goers, and ridiculously priced tickets are making home theater the wave of the future. 5. No one will want to park underground. Hey Mr. Mayor and shady trustees: Tinley Park is not Chicago. It never has, and it never will be. You can get away with underground parking in Millenium Park, but not in a suburb. Train commuters will not be thrilled with going into a subterranean cavern after a long days work, with some bum peeing in the corner. It's just not going to work. 6. The village will still use eminent domain against the Dennis family. The temporary workaround of putting the new parking lot on the old Central Jr. High property will have to give way to townhomes eventually. At that point, the village will come back after the Dennis family to take their land. And the public outroar over it will be another black eye on the village. So there you have it. Tinley Park is two days away from making the biggest mistake since it passed on the mall so Orland Park could have it. It's funny becuase the whole reason this stupid project is going forward is to raise our property values. If they were so concerned about that, they should have got the mall all those years ago. This project is no mall, just an eyesore on our downtown. Here's the agenda for the August 22nd meeting, 8:00 at the Tinley Village Hall. This will be the final act of this tragedy, unless divine intervention or common sense somehow prevail: ITEM #10 SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESOLUTION NUMBER 2006-R-022 AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF AREDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Rea/Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Resolution would authorize the adoption of a redevelopment agreement for the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The approved site plan and permitted uses include 115 residential units, approximately 16,000 square feet of office space, approximately 43,000 square feet of retail space and an 11-screen cinema. The agreement outlines responsibilities of the Village to construct parking in adjacent areas in conjunction with the project. In addition, the agreement identifies financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development in accordance with the policy guidelines set by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on June 6, 2006. This Resolution is eligible for adoption. ITEM #11 SUBJECT: CONSIDER ORDINANCE NUMBER 2006-O-035 GRANTING VARIANCES AND GRANTING A SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Ordinance would approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) within the H-1 Historic District to allow for the construction of the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The PUD includes variations for height, density, floor area ratio, lot coverage, setbacks for outdoor café use, parking, signage and landscaping. In addition, the PUD identifies that the project will consist of 115 residential units, approximately 16,000 square feet of office space, approximately 43,000 square feet of retail space and an 11-screen cinema. This project was discussed at a Public Hearing held before the Long Range Plan Commission on March 23, 2006, and was recommended for approval by a vote of 6-2-0. This Ordinance is eligible for adoption.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Guy arrested at Tinley Ice

The police chased this guy to the ice house, put him in handcuffs, and put him in an ambulance.

You have new Picture Mail!

211 at Tinley Ice

Monday, August 14, 2006

Brian Anderson hit a homer! Yeeeah!

Testing from comcast

Good morning everyone. I'm just checking to see if I can still update from my comcast account. Also, there is no meeting tomorrow night at the Village, as they have cancelled it. By the way, I'm sorry I missed the last meeting, couldn't pass up the Sox thrilling come from behind win over the Yankees as I watched from section 508. Go sox!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Hi everyone. Sorry it's been so long. I just wanted to say go sox and I'll be at the game tomorrow, in the lower deck for once.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

North Street all but approved

Well, the North Street project, barring some miracle, is going to go forward. After all the "tough negotiations, the Village has apparently given away the store to the tune of 21.5 million dollars. That's your money and mine, folks. Remember the names Zabrocki, Rea, Seaman, Bettenhausen, Hannon, Maher, and Heffernan so you know who to blame for this travesty come election time in 2007 and 2009.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Montreal runs

I was recently in Montreal all the last week on business. How I didn't go insane from lack of internet on both the Treo and in the hotel is testament to my mental fortitude, but unfortunately my blogging did in fact suffer. My running, however, didn't. I took advantage of the excellent bike trail system Montreal has in place and went on some truly scenic runs of 8, 9, and 10 miles. In Montreal, there are rivers, canals, locks, peninsulas, inlets, piers, and bridges everywhere. I managed to get three runs in, doing large loops along side the St Lawerence River, crossing the Jean-Baptiste bridge, the largest bridge I've ever crossed on foot. I also saw the Biodome, the Montreal Casino, the Molson brewery, and other interesting sites. On a trip that otherwise would have drove me crazy, the wonderful nighttime runs in Quebec's largest city kept me sane. Montreal has beautiful people and is a beautiful city and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to have a great run.

North Street project up for first reading

Well, apparently Tinley Park and the developers kissed and made up while I was in Montreal. The North Street project is back on the tracks, picking up steam on its collision course to destroy downtown Tinley Park. Below is the finance part of the project on the August 8th, 2006 agenda: ITEM #10 SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESOLUTION NUMBER 2006-R-022 AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Rea/Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Resolution was placed on the table at the regular Board meeting held on July 18, 2006. This Resolution would authorize the adoption of a development agreement for the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The approved site plan and permitted uses include 115 residential units, approximately 16,000 square feet of office space, approximately 43,000 square feet of retail space and an 11-screen cinema. The agreement outlines responsibilities of the Village to construct parking in adjacent areas in conjunction with the project. In addition, the agreement identifies financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development in accordance with the policy guidelines set by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on June 6, 2006. Consider removing this item from the table. This Resolution is eligible for first reading. Needless to say I'm pretty disappointed. I was really hoping it would all fall apart, but if Tinley Park wants to shoot itself in the foot, so be it. By the way, as I rolled by on Oak Park Avenue today, I noticed the Gumball shop was going out of business. Again.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Stuck in Montreal

I miss everyone and everything about the U.S!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy Belated birthday to my sister Rachel, roomie Tim, and roomie Tim's friend Alison, who all have July 19th birthdays. Many happy returns!

North Street Tabled! For 2 weeks anyways. Pat Rea has said the village has gone as far is it will go. Tough Negotiating indeed.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Rescheduled Village Board Meeting!

This little bit of information was snuck in as the last item on the August 1st meeting of the Tinley Park Village board agenda. SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESCHEDULING THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING SCHEDULED FOR AUGUST 15, 2006, TO AUGUST 8, 2006, IN THE VILLAGE HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS BEGINNING AT 8:00 P.M. - President Zabrocki ACTION: Discussion - Consider rescheduling the regular Board meeting scheduled for August 15, 2006, to August 8, 2006 beginning at 8:00 p.m. Personally, while I think it's a little shady to move this meeting up (normally there are no village board meetings on the second Tuedsay of a month), it actually works out that I will be able to see the fate of the North Street project for myself, as I will be out of town for the August 1st meeting. Be sure to pass the word that August 8th, 2006 at 8:00 P.M. is the date and time for the North Street vote.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

More on North Street in Star

There's another article in the Star on the North Street proceedings. It's not nearly as dramatic as the Southtown's article, but at least the Jennifer Golz mentions the 22 million dollars that Tinley Park would have to put up for the project. Really, one has to ask how much more does the developer need if they are already getting 22 million dollars in incentives from the village? I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank everybody that came out Tuesday night, including Anthony, a fellow libertarian who came all the way out from Chicago to witness the proceedings. He's been following the story here on the Tinley Harrier and I appreciate his support.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Last chance for North Street?

Whoa. I was so busy this morning I didn't even get a chance to read the Southtown article detailing the desperate straits the North Street development has run into. I knew it was bad when out of nowhere, Pat Rea decided to table the finance item that was on the agenda. I went to meeting intent on getting all the details on to who was paying for what (mostly about what we, the Tinley Park taxpayer, was going to pay). I have to say that at first, I was convinced that board was just jerking us all around. Adding insult to injury, we had to listen to Jim Fuentes lecture us for five minutes on how great the North Street project was going to be for Tinley Park. I didn't really think that there was such a serious gap between the village and L&H. I thought the holdup was more over the parcel that the Dennis family needed to sell, not L&H's unwillingness to split the debt. Today's article seems almost too good to be true, so I'm remaining cautious. Still, Pat Rea, to his credit, seems to be holding firm, the Dennis family still hasn't sold any land, and as an unexpected bonus, I heard that the Mendez property that would become 'Center Street' has still not been acquired. Good omens indeed. However, this isn't over by any stretch. The village, in a desperate move, has made a deadline for a decision at the August 8th at the Committee of the Whole meeting. It starts at 7:30 PM, and I'll be very curious to see what will be said. Here's to hoping that Pat Rea will stick to his guns and that L&H will continue to be cheap.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Pat Rea says North Steet won't cost taxpayers, I disagree

Apparently, the tooth fairy, Santa Claus, and the Easter Bunny exist after all. Who else will be paying for the improvements to 171st Street, the parking lot at the old Central Middle School, and the aquiring of the land from the Dennis family to align North Street? Not the taxpayers, claims Pat Rea in an article in today's Tinley Star. So I'm curious: did the Tooth Fairy lend Tinley a loan for all this? Maybe Santa dropped off some cash on Village Hall last Christmas. I know what Pat Rea will say. Everything will be payed for by the TIF district. The problem is, the money has to come from bonds sold off now, which the interest of which gets paid for by us now, while the village waits for the income to come in from this project years into the future. So, Tinley Park taxpayers are still footing the bill, and don't insult our intelligence by claiming otherwise Trustee Rea. I was born at night, but it wasn't last night.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

North Street Development on July 25 Meeting Agenda

The North Street Redevelopment, now to be known as Tinley Park Place (Park Place, isnt' that from Monopoly? Are the thimble and iron going to live there?) is going to be on the agenda at the July 25 meeting of the Tinley Park trustees. I have taken the liberty of posting the agenda item in its entirety below: ITEM #6 SUBJECT: CONSIDER RESOLUTION NUMBER 2006-R-022 AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A REDEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Rea/Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Resolution would authorize the adoption of a development agreement for the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The approved site plan and permitted uses include 115 residential units, 16,000 square feet of office space, 40,000 square feet of retail space and an 11 screen cinema. The agreement outlines responsibilities of the Village to construct parking in adjacent areas in conjunction with the project. In addition, the agreement identifies financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development in accordance with the policy guidelines set by the Finance and Economic Development Committee on June 6, 2006. This Resolution is eligible for first reading. ITEM #7 SUBJECT: CONSIDER ORDINANCE NUMBER 2006-O-035 GRANTING VARIANCES AND GRANTING A SPECIAL USE PERMIT FOR A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT - TINLEY PARK PLACE - Trustee Seaman ACTION: Discussion - This Ordinance would approve a Planned Unit Development (PUD) within the H-1 Historic District to allow for the construction of the proposed North Street project, also known as Tinley Park Place. The PUD includes variations for height, density, floor area ratio, lot coverage, setbacks for outdoor café use, parking, signage and landscaping. In addition, the PUD identifies that the project will consist of 115 residential units, 16,000 square feet of office space, approximately 40,000 square feet of retail space and an 11 screen cinema. This project was discussed at a Public Hearing held before the Long Range Plan Commission on March 23, 2006, and was recommended for approval by a vote of 6-2-0. This Ordinance is eligible for first reading. I'm really interested in finding out what the "financial incentives to be provided by the Village in order to support the development", i.e. the corporate welfare to handed out to L&H via us, the oppressed Tinley Park taxpayer. I'm really curious to see how good Pat Rea is at negotiating.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Best article I've read on the Middle East

There is an excellent article today from Edward Alexandar today regarding the recent flare up between Israel and Hamas. He addresses the fantasy of co-existing Palestinian and Israeli states, proving without a doubt that it will never occur. Indeed, and I love this to no end, he makes the comparison of removing the Islamofacist threat to denazifying Germany. Yes! To win a war, there must be outright victory. What a concept! While the article doesn't go so far as to advocate carpet bombing, I will. You have to utterly defeat an authoritarian state, accepting nothing less then unconditional surrender. The last time the world saw real victory achieved was in World War II. Unconditional surrender was the only terms that were acceptable, and unconditional surrender from Italy, Germany, and Japan was had. Real peace exists with those nations today, and real peace can be achieved in the Middle East. As Rush Limbaugh put it so eloquently in Pearl Harbor Day column in 2001: "Unleash Isreal and Win Peace". Isreal is willing to do the job. It's up to America to stay out of the way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Village playing hardball?

Tinley Park Village Trustee Pat Rea is talking tough, according to this article by the Southtown. I mean, instead of giving away 48 million dollars for capital improvements to make the North Street project a reality, it might only be 28 million. Apparently that is not nearly enough for L&H development, so the negotiations will continue. Ironically enough, the only thing could topple this project is the fight over who's going to pay for it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's July 18th, but no finance package for North Street

Well, well, well. It's July 17th and there is supposed to be a financial agreement between the Village of Tinley Park and L&H/Teehan. But alas, at the board meeting tomorrow night, the North Street development will be conspicuously absent from the agenda. So what's up? I've got a theory. First, L&H/Teehan is trying to wiggle every last cent they can out of the Village, i.e. you and me the Tinley Park taxpayer. Negotiations must not be going as smooth as Mayor Zabrocki thought when he said there would be a finance plan for us to look at the July 18th meeting. Second, they are waiting for the commotion of the Southtown articles on the project to die down. They have enough opposition as it is without the exposure of four days of articles. I'd be curious to see if the Southtown will conduct a poll of Tinley Park residents to see how they feel about this project now. Anyhoo, I don't expect anything big to happen tomorrow night and probably not at the next meeting either. But I have a feeling people will be watching at Village Hall tomorrow night anyways.

A Series of Laconic Statements

I've got 4 minutes to blog today, so here goes: Yesterday's Southtown had a slew of articles on the North Street Development. Among the highlights, the connection between the Teehan family initiating the project and how it became intertwined with L&H was finally exposed. I ran 3 miles today, all of which I did with my mouth closed, which in turn required me to drink less water. The greatest invention of the last century, by a hair over the transistor, is the air conditioner. Ours went on the fritz on this 95 degree weekend so an emergency trip to Home Depot was in order. While our new unit is a little on the small size, it's getting the job done, lowering the temperature down to 76 degrees F.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Made the Southtown again regarding North Street

I didn't even realize that I had made the Southtown until my Mom told me about this article posted Friday. It bascially rehashes the things I said back in May during my interview with Southtown writer Dan Lavoie. In the article is a mention of this website, which I was pleased to see. The article itselfs deals with the citizens opposed to the North Street project, which besides myself includes the Dennis family, Sheehan family and Heather Finney. Also Charlie Smith, who was one of only two members of the Long Range Planning Commission who had the guts to vote against this project, was interviewed. In a seperate but related issue, the Village of Tinley Park has finally released the agenda for the July 18th meeting. I was disappointed, but not suprised, to learn that the Village has postponed any discussion on the financing of the North Street project. They will probably use some lame excuse like they are still in negotiations with L&H, but they're probably letting things cool off after the 4 articles that have been written on North Street recently in the Southtown. I imagine turnout for this meeting already will be big because of the Walgreens going in on 171st and 84th Avenue, and they didn't need any more enraged citizens.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Teehan's Saloon? Give me a break.

In the second of a four part series, the Southtown has an article on all the places to eat at in the new downtown. One of them will be Teehan's saloon, distant descendant of the soon to be demolished Teehan's Tavern. It is made very clear in the article that Teehan's will no longer be the wonderful blue collar bar that it was in my time drinking there. Apparently they are going to be all about serving food and being more upscale like Durbin's. Two upscale Irish places to drink and eat withing a block of each other, that's what we need. Will I ever see it? Probably not as I assume my ban will be extended to the new place as well. That's OK. I think it's time for everyone that goest to Teehan's to agree on the next bar to go to so when Teehan's is trashed, we can still all hang out. Jim's Inn anyone?

You have new Picture Mail!

3.3 miles today

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Southtown doing whole series on North Street

Well, it finally happened. Harry Teehan has been exposed as the mastermind behind the North Street development. It's all in the article today in the Southtown. Now, finally, those that are at the bar, the ones that said that they would chain themselves to the door so it wouldn't be torn down, will realize the ugly truth: That not only did the Teehan family sell their bar out, they are the ones that instigated this whole travesty that is the North Street Redevelopment. Downtown Elmhurst here we come. Thanks Harry and Ed, we Tinley Parkers owe you one. Speaking of downtown Elmhurst: It's too bad they don't have the pictures of the Southtown print edition up on the web site. They showed one of the Classic Cinema screens and I swear I've seen home theaters with bigger screens then that. This is the anchor that we're getting to bring all this vaunted foot traffic to downtown Tinley? When there are two legitimate cineplexes ten minutes to the east and west? Good luck with that. Ed Zabrocki is quoted in the article as saying "If it's a success I'm a hero; if it bombs, I'm a bum". The problem is, if it's a bomb, he'll retire and won't have to clean up the mess. The next mayor will and Tinley Park taxpayers will get stuck with the bill.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Ozzie at All Star Game

I remember back in November when I realized Ozzie Guillen would be managing the All Star Game. Now it's the game is on I couldn't be more proud of our manager. Ozzie has a lot of haters, but I'm behind him 100 percent. You would think a city that worships Mike Ditka, whose 1985 Bears had to win in spite of him, would have a little more appreciation for someone who brought Chicago a World Series championship for the first time in 88 years. Think about that the next time someone rips him for not being politically correct. If guys like Mike Ditka and Harry Carry can be forgiven for slips of the tongue, Ozzie should get a pass too.

Running in the rain

Today's run at 6AM involved a steady rain. As I didn't want to soak my Treo I went sans tunes for the first time in a while. It was so quiet, the only thing I heard was the rain and the clomping of my feet. The horror! Turns out my form has gotten retty terrible. I immediatley concentrated on heel to toe, heel to toe, and the clomping was diminished. I may have to do a few more runs without my headphones to make sure the problem is eliminated.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Aaron's Streaor Sendoff

On Thursday I went with the family down to Streator, IL, where the 1744th Transportation Companay was having it's sendoff as it deploys to Iraq for one year. The unit has 169 members, one which is my brother Aaron, and this the first time the unit has been deployed overseas. The unit is realitively new, having been created in 2002. Many National Guard units are like the 1744th, created to help support Operation Iraqi Freedom, which needs more Transportation, Infrantry, and Military Police units. The weather was beautiful for the sendoff, a nice 85 degree day with mostly sunny skies. The local VFW provided a lot of excellent food for the troops and families as well. The ceremony itself was held at the corner of a park in downtown Streator, where local politicians and members of the National Guard gave short speeches wishing the troops Godspeed. I have lots of pictures of the sendoff on my Google Picassa page, including one of me jerry-rigging my sister-in-law's camcorder to a tree so we could record the festivities. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of the 1744th for their service to the country, I couldn't have been more proud as I was Thursday watching them in formation. Good luck to all of you guys, Aaron you especially, and get home safe.

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Another 5 mile run.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

North Street Theater for Tinley Park

I've been meaning to comment on this article in the Tinley Star for some time now. It's about the new theater that's part of the North Street redevolopment, by far the most controversial aspect of the project after the aborted parking garage. The theater promises cheap admission (8$ for adults) and digital pictures (about time, DVDs are now 8 years old). While this all sounds wonderful, the sadistic amount of traffic generated by such a venue in the proposed location would be a nightmare. I also don't buy the fact that an "older" crowd would really show up to catch a dinner and a movie like they are teeny boppers all over again. I think the days are numbered for movie theaters, similar to the situation with drive-in theaters thirty years ago. Cell phones, crappy picture quality, endless commercials, yapping patrons that talk through the first five minutes of the movie if you're lucky and through the whole movie if you're unlucky are making the cinema a less and less attractive destination everyday. Against DVD's that come out within two months of a movie's release, on-demand movies, and home theaters with superior video and sound, the local movie theater is facing some serious competition. Do we really want a potential dinosaur sitting in the heart of the downtown? Considering how Tinley Park is always promoting it's progressive side, I'd like to think not.

Update

Hello everyone! I'm outside the Gas City on Center and Larraway finishing up my meatball sandwich from Subway. It's a perfect day out so I'm just sitting in the shade checking my e-mails. I would like to say hi to my Grandma who now has Internet access and hopefully will be checking in on me from time to time. Also I would like to say hi to Mom and let her know that yes, I will be going to Aarons National Guard parade tomorrow as they embark on their mission to Iraq. I will have the Treo and will bring back pictures. Until next time

t.h.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Chocolate Runner Blog is back!

Jon the Chocolate Runner is back! Jon is one of my favorite bloggers on the internet. I've been following his blog since I began searching for bloggers entered in the Chicago Marathon in 2004. Jon has been battling injuries but stuck with it and completed the Detroit Marathon in 2005. He has just recently moved from Michigan and is back blogging. Here's to Jon's health and hopefully many posts to come. Welcome back!

Sunday Long sort of long run

Sunday kind of long run Week 1 is complete with a 5 mile run to Structure 32. Despite the name, Structure 32 is not a building but rather an overgrown retention pond that is designed to hold the water of Midlothian Creek if it ever overflowed during one of those "100 year storms". The next time I run by I'll take some pictures so you can get an idea. As Centennial Park is right next to Structure 32, I ran by there as well. I would have run further but I needed to go to Sam's club to get more water and other goodies.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Classless Fans at Wrigley

I'm watching another great comeback by the Chicago White Sox (A.J. Pierzynski hits a two out home run in the top of the ninth) when the game is inexplicably held up. At first I thought Ryan Dempster, who had just blown his fifth save, was waiting for the bullpen to warm up. It turned out the right field fans, without the home run ball to throw back (A.J.'s dinger was somewhere on the street), decided to throw a whole bunch of garbage on the field for five minutes. Thier acts were ignorant beyond description. Attention Right Field bleachers Cubs fans: If you don't like what you're seeing, walk away. Then stay home to protest how bad your team is. Whatever you do, don't expose yourselves as classless bums by throwing your trash on the field while the game is still going on. What you did is completely selfish and made an already bad situation for you team worse. May there be a trash curse on top of your Billy Goat/Bartman curse.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

North Street Foes looking for some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

More press for the North Street project as Mayor Zabrocki was feeling a little heat for his disrespectful treatment of the North Street petioners. By admitting last week that he didn't even read the petition presented to him earlier, he basically said he doesn't care about the opinions of his electorate. The funny thing was that the petition in question actually supported the North Street redevelopment. If he doesn't read the petitions from people that support his agenda, what does that say about the petitions he opposes? This is the primary reason this man needs to be booted from office as he apparently thinks the Tinley Park is his personal feifdom. He has turned a deaf ear to the pleas of the people as he is hell bent on railroading this ill-starred project without any consideration for the residents of the area. Tinley Park would do well to vote this man out at the earliest opportunity.

Sore Three Mile Run

I woke up to a very tight calf this morning, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from getting my run in. It had felt sore on Monday night too, but I didn't really think much of it at the time. By about the first mile it had loosened up and I was starting to run at a decent pace, although since I had left my Garmin Forerunner at home I can't tell you what pace it was. I've noticed that the Forerunner is taking a rather long time to aquire the satellites these days so I think I'll break it out for the long runs or for when I deviate from 1.5 mile loop.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Bluetooth is Slow!

Wow. I've seen some crappy technology before, but this tops it. For whatever reason, using Bluetooth to sync up my Treo 650 with my laptop is the longest possible computer operation known to man. If I had allowed the operation to continue and kept both of the unit's batteries charged, global warming would have come and drowned New York City before my Treo would have been synced. I can't tell how horribly disappointing this is. I really detest using the USB cable since the connection is prone to break unless the cable is seated just so and then the Treo is not moved a micrometer during the syncing process. It makes me long for the olden days of the Tungsten C, ancestor to the modern day Treo, which had Wi-Fi built in. Syncing was so simple and fast it was scary. But with Bluetooth? Besides the fact it is so slow it makes a turtle look like a SR-71 Blackbird, it wasn't exactly a cakewalk to set the whole syncing process up. With the USB cable it's plug it in, hit the button and boom (assuming the cable is sitting just right, of couse!) The Bluetooth way involved installing the Bluetooth software, which was to be expected but the kind of thing Apple does out of the box, and then I had to set up the virtual COM port, which should have been a clue that I'd be in for a loooooooong sync, as COM ports are the slowest method of communication known to man, and then I had to set up the Treo to talk to the laptop. Finally I was all set to go and I started syncing up. Much to my dismay, it took like 4 minutes just to sync my email. Considering I had just synced two hours ago I didn't think it would be an issue. It got much worse though as it tried to sync up my pictures and videos. Mind you, I had not taken a single new video or picture since I had last synced. It should have taken a grand total of two seconds. Seconds turned into minutes though, and minutes would have turned into hours but I finally pulled the plug after I had taken a shower, checked my e-mail, read some Google News, and began transfering all my pictures over from my old computer over. It was still syncing the videos! Preposterous! I could have a transferred a whole month's worth of the Rush Limbaugh show podcasts in that time with the USB cable. What a joke. Bluetooth clearly is still an immature technology. It should stick with its established niche of being a headset protocol and leave it at that. When it comes to anything else, wi-fi is the only way to go to get information transferred sans cables.

2005 White Sox Victory Parade Picture Gallery uploaded!

Well, better late then never. I finally found all of my pictures from the White Sox victory parade and uploaded them onto my Picassa web gallery. I have to say, I love the Picassa web gallery! Where was this a year ago? I know, I know, I could have been using Flickr, but Picassa web edition is so good and so easy to use there's no sense bothering with second best. Google, please keep up the good work being the top software company on the planet. Thanks!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

North Street Petition presentation makes Sunday Star

The North Street development got a little ink in the Star as Jennifer Golz wrote a piece on the petition presentation Tuesday. I'm glad the Star waited for Sunday to print as it gets a little more exposure that way. It would have been nice for the Star to mention when the next vote is, but since they don't I'll do it here: On July 18th there will be a presentation to trustees on the financing, that is, taking of our property taxes to fund this debacle.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chicago Architecture Tour Gallery

I've uploaded some of my pictures of the bridges over the Chicago River along with some of the more prominent buildings like the Sears Tower, Wrigley Building, and Merchandise mart. You can see them here.

Google releases Picassa with web folders

I have just installed the new version of Picassa, Google's photo editing program. The big news is that Picassa can now upload photos into web folders. Here's my first upload, a picture of the Opening Day ring ceremony for the White Sox. I'm really looking forward to using this program to organize all the photos that I take with my Treo 65o, then upload them to share them with everyone. I'll have on the sidebar when it is complete.

Good Education Article

There is a really excellent article by Jay Greene today up at The American Enterprise. This article confirms many things I've been saying about our horrific education system, debunking popular myths like the underpaid teacher, and more money fixes schools. Read it to be properly enlightened on this important issue.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ozzie vs. Mariotti

I hate the fact that Jay Mariotti is in the news. The fact that he is still employed by the Sun-Times, and even more inexplicably, ESPN, is deplorable. He is the worst columnist in the history of sports, and perhaps the worst columnist overall, period. While I could have done legions of research and produced hundreds of quotes chronicling his idiocy, the fact of the matter is that he demanded that the Bulls suspend Dennis Rodman in the NBA Finals. The offense? He wrestled in the WWF. Let me reiterate that. Jay Mariotti, allegedly of sound mind and body when he wrote that coulumn, actually put into print, in a respectable newspaper, demanded that the Bulls that their number one rebounder and defensive player, not be allowed to play in the NBA Finals. He basically said, screw the Bulls, screw the fans, screw Michael Jordan and his quest for his sixth and ultimately final ring, what's more important is preserving the integrity of the game of basketball. Basketball, which after Game 5 of this last Finals, is one half step above wrestling in the integrity department. Jay Mariotti wrote that drivel eight years ago. It was the worst column I have ever read, and I had not read a column of his since, and my IQ is better for it. Enter Ozzie Guillen. You see, Jay had a serious problem with Ozzie for his dressing down a rookie pitcher for not hitting an opposing player (after Ozzie's catcher A.J. Pierzinski was hit twice, mind you). You see, Jay is a linguini-spined liberal who thinks that baseball is above things like retaliation, protecting your players, and just being a man. Jay proceeded to write a scathing column condemning Ozzie and his evil ways, which, against my better judgement, I read. Nothing has changed apparently over the last eight years and it was the second worst column I've ever read. Let me say something about Ozzie Guillen. After my brother Aaron, Ozzie Guillen is my all-time personal hero. Not only did he give us long suffering White Sox fans a World Series title for the first time in 88 years, he has a wonderful personality and tendency to speak his mind. He is the opposite of Political Correctness, which I love to no end. He is a tremendous leader and a fiery competitor. He's fiercly loyal, and protects his teammates as if they are his own family. Indeed, contrary to what a lot of hand wringing columnists are suggesting, he's not losing his team. If anything, the Sox rally around him and just keep winning. Ozzie Guillen has forgotten more about baseball then Jay Mariotti will ever know. He would do his readers a great service if he would just shut up about things he has no clue about. I can't put all the blame on Mariotti though. To quote the great White Sox color man Hawk Harrelson, "someone had to hire him", and worse, there are people still reading him. I won't be one of them.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

North Street Petition presented

A petition calling for a sensible North Street redevelopment plan was presented to the Trustees of Tinley Park Tuesday night. There were 1,690 signatures on the petition. The petition called for a reduction in height of the condo towers, removing the movie theater, and to use existing parking instead of a parking garage. The parking garage in question threatens the Dennis family home and has been temporarily abandoned by the Village. After the petition presentation there were some heated exchanges between petitioners and trustees. Mayor Zabrocki alleged that many people signed just to get the rid of the petitioners. He also contended that most of the signatures came from the downtown area. There were also allegations that the petitioners used forceful tactics. In fact, signatures came from all over Tinley Park, including the West Side, as petitioners went far and wide through the village. Many signatures came from commuters on 80th Avenue station, where few people are affected by the development. Petioners also did not need to force anyone to sign as there is plenty of outrage against the village on this issue. I talked with Peter Dennis after the meeting to congratulate him on his brief respite from the eminient domain threat. Tinley Park still wants a parcel of his land to align the street and he now has an attorney negotiating with the village. While I would contend the old adage "You give and inch they take a mile" still applies, it's his land and he can do what he wants with it. Next up in the North Street Redevelopment saga is a presentation by the finace committee to the Trustees on July 18th. I'll be curious to see how much of my taxdollars they want to give away for this boondoggle.

Dear Tom Clancy: Where is the sequel to "The Teeth of the Tiger"

When I bought "The Teeth of the Tiger", the last Tom Clancy novel, I shrugged off all the poor reviews because I knew that it would be continued in the sequel. While "Tiger" lacked the intricacies of his earlier novels, it still was an informative work on terrorist networks and the threats they could pose. Ever since I read it, I still fear visiting the mall. However, it's been almost three years now since "Tiger" came out. I thought a sequel might be coming out this month, but I haven't seen it. Is there a web site that tells us when new books are coming out? I feel like one day four years from now I'll be at Sam's Club and then it will be there when I least expect it. Mr. Clancy, are you suffering from writer's block? Perhaps I can help. I understand that the war in Iraq is interfering with the Ryan-verse, especially since in your world there is a shady Democrat president that would never have invaded Iraq or even Afganistan for that matter. However, to use baseball announcer Hawk Harrelson's words, you have to "cinch it up and hunker down". Just ignore the Iraq war and write the story. Focus on the terrorism and tone down the politics. I understand that you don't like the war in Iraq and you like writing your non-ficition biographies now. Well, perhaps you should have thought of that before writing the novel. You owe all the people who bought the book a conclusion. At this point I don't care if it's a "Matrix Revolutions" conclusion, just give us some closure. Thank you.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Googleplex is coming!

I was excited to hear that Google is building a facility in Oregon that is so big (two football fields), and so hot (4 story cooling towers are being constructed) that it is widely suspected it will contain the world's fastest computer. What does it mean to you? Well, for starters, Microsofts days are numbered as the largest operating system company. As more and more programs are available online (Google recently released a spreadsheet), more and more people will abandon the desktop for their computing needs. I look forward to the day where I can edit my resume, edit my photos, mix tracks, and run reports all online. Microsoft will have difficulty catching up to Google when it comes to network computing, having spent the last decade milking the Windows/Office cash cow for all it's worth. Little wonder Bill Gates is easing his way out of Redmond, I don't think he wants any part of the Google steamroller. - th

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Rainbow over the South Side