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

You have new Picture Mail!

Rainbow over the South Side

You have new Picture Mail!

This tiny fish was just born yesterday in our tank.

The Old Comiskey Park Home Plate

This is where the old Comiskey Park home plate was, directly north of current day U.S. Cellular Field. Many great names stood at this spot: Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Shoeless Joe Jackson....the list goes on and on. Eighty years of history summed up in a small pentagon. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Audio Blog for Aaron

this is an audio post - click to play

North Street vote postponed

this is an audio post - click to play

Zap2016

I finally got around to installing the Palm Desktop on my laptop, and, lo and behold, there was this awesome game on the CD I'd never seen before. It's called Zap 2016, an old school spaceship shoot'em up. Perfect for killing time on the Treo 650, not to mention getting a little agression out. I highly recommend installing it if you have the room in your internal memory.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Global Warming is here! It's so hot right now. I don't have a thermometer here in the condo, but I'd wager it's over 85 degrees in here. Fortunately I'm rather cold blooded, so I am not overly uncomfortable.

Still, it's only June, and it will inevitably get warmer. At some point I will have to break down and turn the air conditioner. Egads! I still think the electric bill will be less here then it was at the North Steet house, given the fact that it was the worst insulated house in Tinley Park.

So how will I beat the heat? Do my runs in the morning before it gets too hot, and putting a box fan on the end table to cool me on the couch. If I stay in the fan's air flow, the wind chill makes it a manageable 74 degrees. So stay cool and get ready to move inland before the oceans get too high.

-th

Thursday, June 15, 2006

North Street Development Petition is in today's Star

The petition that 's circulating Tinley Park to reject the current North Street redevolopment made the Tinley Star today. Heather Finney and Norm Sheehan were quoted in the article, and my former neighbor Trustee Dave Seamen was too. The petition, which will probably be presented soon at an upcoming Trustee Meeting, should also come at the same time that a vote will be held on the financing for the North Street development. Expect to see some fireworks.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Running update: Did a 3 mile run on Monday and a 1.5 mile run today.....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Still More on North Street

The North Street project got some more ink in the Sunday edition of the Tinley Star. Apparently, the 20 million cost of the parking garage put Tinley over the "comfortable" figure of 3 million dollars a year in financing. Three million dollars a year is "comfortable"? Exactly how much property tax revenue to they think the North Street project will be pulling in? I heavily doubt 3 million dollars per year, especially at first, which means that the project will payed for by you and me, the underappreciated Tinley Park taxpayer. You just have to love politicians, even local ones, who think that their whole purpose in life is to blow our hard earned money for projects that ensure they'll get elected again. I've got a wacky idea: How about the developer pay for some of these improvements, since they are the ones benefitting from them? I mean, come on, 48 million dollars in infrastructure improvements for a 65 million project? That doesnt' exactly seem like a good return on investment to me.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Thursday, June 08, 2006

More on Tinley Park and North Street in Southtown

Well, it turns out that Tinley Park just couldn't afford the parking garage for North Street. I think they couldn't afford all the negative publicity that parking garage was costing the village in the quest to take land from the Dennis family. Whatever the story is, the fact remains that eminent domain threat is over, and Peter Dennis will keep his home. The story isn't over though. Tinley Park still wants a parcel of the Dennis family property to align the end of North Street with 67th Street. The way it sits now there is a little juke as you have to go right, then left, as the street ends. The other reason they want the land is that the controversial movie theater needs the extra 50 odd feet the street realignment would provide. Tinley Park will probably make an offer very soon on that parcel to get the project moving. Indeed, Tinley Park is proposing a July 18th vote for a financial package backing the project. So mark your calendars and come and out to tell our esteemed leaders what you think about this project as it moves closer and closer to reality. Whether it goes through or not, I'm proud of everyone that spoke up on this issue, denying the Man a victory over the oppressed.

Don't know what you got til it's gone

I lost the Internet for a few hours on my phone today, which was slightly irksome. It did come back, finally, as I came home from work. I never realized how much I used the Web on the Treo until it wasn't there. All of a sudden it seemed like, "Geez. I spent $450 on this phone and all it can do is make some phone calls?! I could've kept my old phone!"

The moral of the story, of course, you don't really get a chance to appreciate something fully until it's taken away. I now realize I need the Internet on my phone, that it is not just some trendy luxury. From checking in on the White Sox to checking my gmail, I use the mobile web more then I ever dreamed. It really is the ultimate time killer for those times your stuck at the airport, the grocery store, the restaraunt, or traffic. It's well worth the $15.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Victory against the Eminent Domain threat!

  • I was estatic to learn in a Southtown article that Tinley Park has thrown in the towel and abandoned plans for the three level parking garage for the North Street development. The Dennis family homes will be safe now from being taken from the them. This is a tremendous victory in the fight for property rights. Apparently the powers that be just want to get the project going at any cost, even if it means that the old Central Middle School lot will handle the overflow. This really suprised me as the village was keen on using that property for development. Way to go Dennis family for standing up to the Man and fighting to keep what is yours.

Good White Sox Game

I was thrilled to hear my dad had tickets for tonight's White Sox game against the Tigers. The sox were 2.5 games back going in, so every game counts. I got off work at 4:00 on headed to my dad's house, which I hadn't seen in a while. My dad's Suburban was nowhere to be seen, replaced by a rented Cadillac. I didn't think much of it at the time, but what a difference a car makes. Once my brother and Uncle Rick arrived, we were off. That Cadillac had some pick up to it. We bailed off the Ryan at 67th Street and proceeded to take State street up. The caddy moved in and out of traffic like a dream. We covered the last thirty blocks to the cell in no time. I think my Dad should retire the Suburban as it was some of the best driving I've seen in years. I was glad my dad trusted me on the State street detour, because it served us very well later on the way home. As for the game itself, I really didn't think the Sox we're going to win, especially after Garcia served up three home runs and we couldn't drive a guy in with scoring position to save our soul. But lo and behold, Alex Cintron, my new favorite shortstop, belted a 3-2 pitch into the Bullpen Sports bar to give the Sox a 4-3 victory. I hadn't heard that place so loud for a regular season game for a long time. It was electric. After the game we sat in the lot for a good 15 minutes then finally made it to 33rd Street. Instead of going north on LaSalle, my dad cut around the traffic dude and took us back to State Street! Here we were, 4 white guys in a rented Caddy driving through the middle of the hood. It rocked! We made it to 67th street in no time and the Ryan had cleared up! Yeeeah! The perfect end to a perfect night at the Cell! GO Sox!

Friday, June 02, 2006

I'm now on youtube!

If you haven't been to this website yet, you should really go. It's called youtube.com and it's great for all the amatuer video content in the world. I'm now a member and I will begin posting all my videos that used to be up on my old website. I'll let you know when I'm done.

Running with Rush

I ran another 6 miles on my 1.5 mile loop. You'd think four laps would get boring but it doesn't. I partially attribute this to listening to Rush Limbaugh on my Treo 650 during the run. I stay informed on the events of the day while I get my body into some form of shape. If only he would quit taking callers on the show......

Ben Wallace rejects Shaq

Did you guys see this? Here's a video at youtube.com that shows Ben Wallace impressively rejecting Shaq. It's the best block in the history of the world as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Condo update

Well I'm officially out of the old house. Not a moment too soon as Regis has assigned Harry to collect the rent over there. The word on the street, for that's worth, is that the whole North Street development is gummed up not so much by the Dennis family eminent domain case as it is by the house in the middle of the block. There is a petition circulating against the development too, probably in response to the Oak Park Avenue businesses' petition. As for the condo, it's going very well. We moved the last of everything on Tuesday. Roxanne has made it feel like home. She makes such wonderful dinners, and she does a great job cleaning the condo. She washes my clothes, washes the dishes, cleans the bathroom, everything. Thanks Roxanne! While I miss the couchmobile (now just a couch) and the gorrila shelves, it's nice to have a dishwasher, washer and dryer. The location is great (McDonald's and Jewel are close by) and I love the fact that I don't have to cross Oak Park Avenue or the train to get to work now. All in all, life is fairly good.