Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In last night's post I referenced a 1944 Park Ridge phone book. These old documents are fun to look through. I found my grandparents phone number in the book (click on the photo for a larger image) and underlined it in red (not in the actual book, just on the photo!) The phone numbers back then were much different than we have today. For instance my grandparents phone "number" was 391-J. Back then you had operators that would connect you - no direct dial. And late at night the operator might have fallen asleep and you would have to drive to the telephone company and knock on the window to wake her up! When I was a child I can remember that we had party lines. You'd go to call your friend, pick up the phone and people were on the line and talking. You'd have to wait, checking the phone every so often, to find when they were off and you could make your phone call. I remember when everyone got their own line and you didn't have to wait for someone to get off to make a phone call. Boy, those were the days! Now we can call from just about anywhere to anywhere using our cell phones. Technology is amazing. In fact my new blog will deal with some of that. I need to get a few more ducks in a row over the next couple of days before I release the blog. ■ More later. ■

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Late night post

10:45 pm - A late night post, because sometimes that all the time there is. I got home about 30 minutes ago from a Kalo Foundation meeting. I drove down to Park Ridge early to have dinner with Betsy and Warren. Betsy is the president of the Kalo Foundation and had some things to give me to do - and I'll be busy tomorrow with it. ■ One of the people at the meeting brought a Park Ridge/Des Plaines Illinois phone book from 1944. My grandparents on my father's side were listed. I took a couple of pictures of it. This same person had a book of photographs of Park Ridge going back to the turn of the century - (1900 not 2000!). One of the pictures was of my parent's jewelery store. Those pictures brought back memories. ■ My back is very slowly getting better. It's really frustrating to be out of commission with this back. Can't bend over to pick stuff up; can't stand, or walk for long periods; it's painful getting to a standing position from a chair . . . just a real pain. ■ The Cubs are losing - make that lost 10 to 7. ■ Time for bed. Night.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Snow! And we thought it was over!

Winter, that is. Yes, we thought winter was over, but here is the proof in a picture - snow. Hard to believe that it's the 28th of April and it snowed. I'm sure I'll have to mow the lawn later this week - snow and mowing in the same week. Somethin' aint right.

The Brain

The picture is of a display that's in my neurologist's office. As you can see it's a depiction of the "Anatomy of The Brain". Down below it says "Shire" and for a moment we thought maybe it was a depiction of a Hobbit's brain! ■ Long-story-short --- it's a meningioma tumor; it's small - about 8 cm; most likely not malignant; I may have had it for years; doesn't think it had anything to do with the headaches I had for 35+ years; and doesn't think it has anything to do with the "dizziness" thing I've been having. I'll have another brain scan in 6 months just to make sure nothing is happening with it. ■ It does take a load off my mind. Now on to other things.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Yes, here I am out shopping. It's not something I do much of. Actually I've done my shopping and now I'm sitting in the car waiting for Holly as she does some grocery shopping. I tried finding a third
party oil filter for my John Deere, but no such luck at Auto Zone. I ended up going to Lowes to get the John Deere brand. Also checked out smaller - read lighter - extension ladders. The one I have at home is too heavy for me and my back. ••• more later ••• 9:30 pm - Tomorrow I have an appointment with my neurologist to see about my brain tumor. I'm crossing my fingers that it's not serious, but my "dizzy" spells make me worried. ■

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday . . . Sunny & cool.

The flower is at the end of our yard. It's one of only a few that came up this year. I think the rest of them have been trampled out of existence. We used to have so many out back. I think we'll have to replant this fall. ■ My back is still out. It's getting better, but slowly. Too slowly and it's frustrating. ■ I've been working on getting my 2nd blog started. There's so much to learn in using the WordPress platform. In the past couple of days I've already installed it; deleted it (on purpose); reinstalled it; and upgraded it from version 2.5 to 2.51. ■ I've invited our next door neighbor over for dinner. His wife and daughter have gone to Chicago for a baby Christening and won't be home until later tonight. ■

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday . . . and then the weekend . . . . .

It's Friday. My back is still out. I'm forced to use two canes to get around first thing in the morning. After awhile I'm able to dispense with the canes, but it's difficult to try and stand for an extended period of time. It'll gradually get better. If just takes time. ■ The headaches seem to be creeping back. Not much, but a little. And then maybe it's this cold I'm developing. Hard to know. ■ I see the neurologist on Monday. Hopefully I have a lot more information about this tumor after I see him. ■ I received an email this morning that one of our old neighbors had passed away. Our sympathies go out this his wife and children. ■

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Grass, cold, back, and software

Strange title, huh? Well, the grass is beginning to grow and it won't be long until I'll have to start cutting it again. That means I've got to get a new oil filter and change the oil in the John Deere. ■ Cold? Not the weather, but I seem to be coming down with a cold. ■ Back? My back went out a couple of days ago. It's getting slowly better, but I have to use 2 canes to get around in the morning. ■ Software? I'm starting another blog and trying to find the "right" WordPress theme to use is tough. There are literally thousands of different themes and with that number of choices it's hard to pick one. Back to looking again tomorrow. ■

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What friends! . . . and what a meal!

We had dinner last night with our good friends, and our entire family. We were only missing Amy, who is in New Mexico right now. It's been quite awhile since we've been able to get the whole gang together. It was great! The photo is of most of the group (I couldn't get back far enough to get everyone in) at Pappadeaux's restaurant. They've got great food. Love eating there. ■ Our children left this morning. Aaron to go back to San Diego and his ship and the Navy; and Libby back to Louisville. I already miss them terribly and it's only been about 20 minutes. ■ My back went out yesterday and then even worse late last night. I'm getting around with the air of two canes. I'm going to keep working on moving it around a little bit and see if I can't speed up the healing process. ■ I deleted and reinstalled my 2nd blog yesterday. I still have a long learning curve with the new platform and lots to do with it yet. I've got a plain vanilla install and I need to customize it. I'll let you know the URL for it in a bit. Stay tuned! ■ 10:05 pm - I really miss my children. They're all back in their respective homes safe, but they're not here. They're not down the street; not in the next town; they're so far away; and I miss them terribly. ■

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


It's Tuesday morning - kind of overcast and looks like it might rain. We're supposed to have a high of around 70. ■ I couldn't get to sleep last night worrying about my brother. I'd left him 4, or 5 voice mail messages, but hadn't received a return call. So, I got out of bed last night, booted the pc and emailed him. He's fine. It turns out he's been having some problems with his Blackberry and Sprint. Seems he hasn't been getting his messages. My wife has Sprint and she gets voice mail messages sometimes 2 days later. Not good. ■ 2:50 pm - My son and I drove to the DMV facility and he got his driver's license renewed. It was going to expire on his birthday in a few weeks and he'd have been overseas at that time - then he'd get back and have an expired license. ■ I'm working on getting a 2nd blog going. It'll be on another platform (WordPress as opposed to Blogger - that's the platform this one is on), but I think I installed WordPress incorrectly. Hmmm . . . so now I think I've got to delete it and start from scratch.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Family & turkey

The grill is ready for the turkey; our daughter is now north of Indianapolis on her way here; the weather is beautiful; and I'm getting ready to launch another blog.... More on that later. ■ 8:50 pm - The turkey is off the grill, eaten, and it was delicious. Turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and potato salad. Yeah, I know, potato salad sounds strange, but it was good. ■ My brother called me on Saturday and left a message. I've been calling him back since Sunday - leaving messages - but haven't received a return call yet. Now I'm getting a little worried. ■ All the children are home right now. Good to have everyone in the same house again. Tomorrow night we're all going to Pappeadeaux's and meet some friends for dinner. Great food. Even better than turkey! ■

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Getting' rid of stuff

Once every couple of years we're able to throw anything out. Well, not anything - no paint, solvents, chemicals, etc., but if you have an old couch, water heater, and so forth you can put it out on the curb and the trash company will pick it up. That day for us is this coming Thursday - so - we've been busy getting stuff ready to go out to the curb. That pink bike you see we inherited when we bought the house - that an a shelving unit were stashed up the the rafters of the garage. Finally 20+ years later my son and I got that stuff down. To get the shelving unit down I had to disassemble it and let it drop to the garage floor. I can't imagine how they got it up there in the first place! ■ It's a beautiful day out. Maybe I'll add on to this post later. ■

Friday, April 18, 2008

The "W"

The "W" is back! My across-the-street neighbor, car-mechanic-supreme, and Obviously-a-Chicago-Cubs Fan -- is back! The "W" for a Cub's win is back out hanging on his garage. It's a sign, and it's a good sign, that summer is coming. Since I don't always listen, or watch the Cub's games, I can always tell when the Cubs have won. ■ It's late . . . more tomorrow . . . . . . .

Thursday, April 17, 2008

On the way home . . .

Our son is on his way home. He'll be here for a week before he has to go back to his ship. After he gets back the ship leaves for, I think, an 8 month WestPac over to the Persian Gulf. It'll be great to see him! I'll pick him up tonight at OHare airport around 9:00 pm. Can't wait. ■ I've been trying to post a scan of the drawing I'm working on, but is having some sort of problem and I've been unable to upload the picture. Maybe it'll work later on. 6:02 pm - Hey, it's fixed. I got the picture uploaded finally. I did 3 sketches of the home from different angles to decide which view was the best. The actual pen and ink is the one in the lower left-hand corner.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Two chairs to be filled . . .

The beginning of our warm weather - and two chairs to be filled . . . . .

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Another beautiful, busy day.

Beautiful and busy. (this is a photo of part of the backyard that
I'll soon have to now!) Back to drawing now. ■ 8:05 pm - The drawing is coming along splendidly. Maybe tomorrow I'll post a scan of it.
■ Had to drop off some stuff at the blood lab and they had to draw more blood for the kidney doctor. I had a buckets withdrawn last week for my regular doc. I'm tired of it already. ■ I stopped in at my local music store on the way back from having my blood drawn. I hadn't been in there since before the holidays. Much too long a time between visits. I used to spend every Saturday afternoon in the guitar store when it first opened. The owner, Buddy, and I used to sit and play acoustic blues just waiting for customers. Those were the days. At any rate Buddy knew about the brain tumor. I learned that one of our mutual friends has cancer. This gettin' old is hard on a body. ■ I've got a pork roast on the grill and I've got to go check it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Sunny skies

(Picture of our home basked in the setting sun.) A nice sunny day today. Blue skies, very few clouds, but still a little chilly. It was in the low 50s, but tomorrow it's suppose to get to 60, and Wednesday 70. The grass is starting to get greener and soon it'll be growing. I've got to change the oil in my John Deere before I mow. ■ I signed up with a free service today that allows/enables you to call a number, speak your message, and it will then translate your voice message to text and email it to you - or to whoever you'd like to email the message to - as long as you've added them to your list of contacts in this service. It'll be great for reminders - you've got something you want to remember, but you're in your car, or at the store - you simply dial the number, tell it you want to the message sent to yourself, say the message, and off it goes - right to your email account. In fact I can even posts blog entries that way. I still need to set that up, but maybe I'll try it. What do you think? ■ I started trying to track my "dizzy spells" today. Kept a piece of paper with my by my pc so I could log them.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Back home

We're back home after a weekend in Green Bay. Everything was nice except to the snow. April 12th and it now only snows - but it sticks to the ground. I understand that it snowed here too, but it didn't stick! Where's that warm weather???? ■ We got home early this afternoon. I started looking at ladders online. I've got a two-story extension ladder that I bought before we moved into this house, but it's just too heavy for me now. I need a shorter, lighter one-story ladder to clean out the gutters - they're all on the first story. I started looking at Little Giant ladders, but they're just too expensive for what I need. Maybe I'll go up to Home Depot tomorrow and see what they have that would fit the bill.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Still snowing

This is a picture of my wife and her mother when we were out having
fish last night. Great fish fry. It's 11:38 am and it's still
snowing up here!

Green Bay & Snow!

As you can see it's snowing this morning in Green Bay. This is just
one reason we don't live here. I'm going over to my brother-in-law's
house to do some jamming. Should be fun.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Dizzy . . I think there was a Tommy James song . . .

I've been trying to kind of track these "dizziness" episodes. I use "dizziness" in quotes as I'm not really dizzy, but that's as close a word as I can find to describe it. At any rate I've been informally trying to tell if it's happening more frequently, or it's about the same; and what I'm doing when it happens. For instance I've had two of them since I opened up this blog and started to write - and I'm simply sitting in my office chair in front of my pc. You'd think it would be related to movement - walking, jumping, running, etc., but it doesn't seem so. ■ We're headed up to Green Bay today for the weekend. I'll probably send a few posts via my iphone while I'm gone - so stay tuned.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Some favorite websites

Just to rest my brain, I have a few fun website that I visit daily, or try to remember to visit. Life In Legacy ( - pictures of famous and not-famous people who have recently passed away. - ( - a website that will tell you if a rumor/story is true, or not. This is a site that people should check before they forward those emails detailing pleas for missing children, computer viruses, pumping gas, etc. The Straight Dope - ( - answers to all of your questions. Really a great read. Dog of The Day - ( - a site I love to visit to give me a good attitude during the day. ■

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Time flies

Time does seem to fly - especially as you get older. When I was a child I thought time moved sooo slowly. Now it just goes by quickly - too quickly. ■ Did a little shopping today. Went to Sam's and got some salt blocks for the deer - just kidding - for the water softener, some non iodized salt, some regular iodized table salt, and some salmon. Yes, I'm smoking salmon again. All Sam's had was huge portions of salmon. I ended up with two large filets to smoke. It's been brining since around 6:00 pm tonight and will be ready to smoke tomorrow afternoon. Maybe I'll post some pictures. I've been smoking the salmon on my grill for the last year as my smoker bit the rust bin. Actually the water pan rusted through. I had dropped it several years ago and some of the enamel chipped away. Finally years later it rusted through. Time for a new one. ■

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Treadmills & toothaches . . . . . and drawings.

There's the treadmill. It's upstairs in our guest bedroom and . . . I used it this morning! It's a start. ■ I'm glad I'm getting this tooth worked on today. Last night the pain was such that my left ear was aching and I couldn't get to sleep. I tried and tried, but the pain was too bad for sleep. I finally got up and took my last pain pill. It took awhile, but finally the pain subsided enough that I could get to sleep. Unfortunately this morning I couldn't get up and feed the dogs, make coffee, etc. I was just buried in sleep. ■ I've got another drawing on the table and I've got to finish that in the next day, or so. Off I go! ■ 7:50 pm - I've been to the endodontist and started the root canal. Oh, joy! ■ Didn't start the drawing. My tooth has been aching for a few days and it just wouldn't let me draw. Ok, I guess I could draw while in pain, but I would sure hope it wouldn't show in the finished product. Excuses, excuses . . . . . ■ It's raining here - has been most of the day - at least on and off. It's coming down pretty hard now. Got to get those gutters clean - still have some of the fall left-over that I didn't have a chance to get before it snowed and froze. ■

Monday, April 7, 2008

View from our patio

This is one of the views from our patio. In a couple of weeks you won't be able to see that white house back in the middle of the picture. The trees and the bushes will have leaves by then and all will be hidden until November. ■ My tooth is really aching. Tomorrow I have an appointment with the endodonist to do a root canal on this thing. I'm dreading it, but at the same time I can hardly wait. ■ Took the new Santa Fe in to have a portion of the seal on the windshield fixed. Part of the seal on the driver's side of the windshield came loose on Saturday and was flapping around. I've got to say I've never seen that happen before. ■ Started up the John Deere on Sunday. It fired right up. I've got to change the oil in it before I use it. That means a trip to Lowe's for a filter. Or I can see if someone like NAPA makes a filter for it. That would be less expensive. I think I'll check on the web and see if there's one that can be used for the LA110. ■ Got the treadmill moved upstairs today - finally. I've been talking about it for a few days. A big thanks to my next door neighbor Steve for his help. Thanks, Steve! Now I've got to use it and start losing this weight.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A warm Sunday

Recycling? Yup, in a manner of speaking. ■ It's a beautiful day today. The temp is 64 and it's sunny. I've finally cleared all of the dogs leavings from the yard! We've done a little raking with some more to go. ■ We're bringing our treadmill up from the basement - where it gets no use - to a spare bedroom - where it will be used! It's been in the basement where it's been "out of sight, out of mind" for too many years. I need to get some exercise. I've put on too much weight, or let's just say I haven't taken off the weight that I need to and want to. ■

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Saturday - Spring cleanup.

It's nice enough for us to start our spring cleanup. My back is sore
from picking up all of the dog stuff -about two months worth.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Doctors . . . again . . .

It's almost 3:00 pm. I've got a endodonist appointment on Tuesday afternoon. I hope I can keep the pain away that long. It comes and goes. ■ Also called my doctor's office and reported on my dizziness. They want to see me at 3:30 this afternoon. ■ I finished a drawing of a business. Not much to draw as the business is so small in the photo I was given, but there were/are a lot of bushes. ■ Off to the doc's . . . . . ■ Back from the doc's. He doesn't know what the problem might be and it's very difficult to describe. At any rate I've got to have some blood drawn and tests run. ■ Going over to a friend's house tonight for dinner. It'll be fun getting out and seeing people. Working at home I don't get to see anyone, but my dogs. Speaking of which, I've got to feed them. ■ It's 9:40 pm. We're back from our friend's house. Had dinner and went in their hot tub. Ok, I didn't get in the hot tub, but everyone else did. ■ My tooth has been aching and getting worse all night. I hope I can make it till Tuesday afternoon.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Late Thursday night

10:15 pm - I'm not normally up this late, but thought I should post something today. ■ I've been working on a drawing of a business in PA. Maybe I'll post a scan of it once I'm done - and I'm almost done. ■ The tooth: it still hurts. I now have the name of endodonist which I'll call tomorrow morning. Toothaches are a real pain. ■ So many things running through my mind, or what's left of it. My wife and I had a great night tonight - just having a beer, talking and catching up. I told her about the dizzy spells I've been having. Nothing big, just sort of short "whoa, what was that?" kind of thing. I didn't have any while I was on the cruise. Maybe stress? I don't know. Kind of weird. The neurologist told me earlier this week that the MRI brain scan I had a couple of weeks ago showed a small tumor in my brain. He thinks it's a (oh, heck it starts with an "m" and I can't remember the name of it) any way it's a small tumor and most likely benign. I hope this doesn't have anything to do with the dizziness. ■ At any rate, goodnight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wednesday . . . and a missing apostrophe . . .

5:50 am - Just listening to the radio and hearing the salaries of the Cubs. I should have been a baseball player! $390,000 is the minimum salary a player can make. The highest paid player on the Cubs will make $16 million and only play in about 34 games. Let's see, how much is that per game played? ■ The Cubs put up a statue of Ernie Banks (well deserved) with his trademark saying of "Let's play two." Unfortunately they left out the apostrophe. Thats life - whoops - that's life! ■ 6:00 pm - That toothache came back today. I had been to the dentist before the cruise and he said that I needed a root canal on the tooth. He prescribed an antibiotic and a pain med. I was able to get rid of the toothache before the cruise and didn't want to make an appointment for the root canal before we left. Long story short I've been searching my office for the piece of paper with that dentist's name and number on it all afternoon. I haven't found it yet, but the office is getting a needed cleaning and organizing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Every once in awhile it's always fun to take a look and see what countries my visitors are from. While most are from the U.S. there a quite a few from Canada and the UK and a smattering from the rest of the world. ■ I'm working on two drawings. One of a business and the other of a house. The one of the business is on my drawing board right now, but I should finish that one in the next day, or so and then begin work on the one of the house. ■ I'm also testing 3 different pieces of software that help you to capture and organize all those "things" you have floating around - ideas, things to do, miscellaneous tidbits of information, etc. Two of them are web-based while the third is both web-based and also has a portion that is installed on your pc. ■ Oh, and it snowed again today. Nothing stuck, but it did snow.