Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Whity City tours (Free!)

For anyone who has pined away in wishful reverie over photos of the White City pavilions lining canals of Chicago's 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition, on Tuesday UCLA architectural historian Lisa Snyder is offering the next best thing to a walk through the fairgrounds in all its glory -- virtual-reality models.

See the whole Chicago Tribune story.

Thank You!

Janet is the main contributor to provide comments to the site. We at the Random Thoughts team would like to acknowledge her positive participation in the Blogging process which gives this site some extra meaning. She has her own Blog here.

Also thanks to some of the regular readers like Upper Peninsula Jim. We're glad you're here.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Speed cameras

I really hate the idea of those cameras that take pictures of your car and measure your speed at the same time. If you're going too fast, they send you a ticket. Illinois State Police are using the system in work zones -- I admire enforcing speed limits in work zones, but this just doesn't feel right. It becomes too easy to issue tickets and too difficult to defend against them.

There's a company that sells a spray on coating for your license plates to avoid detection when it comes time to take pictures. I don't' know if it works but I don't think it is illegal.

It's called Photo Blocker.

Happy Birthday to me

Went to Texas Roadhouse for birthday dinner with fiance, mom, friend and an aunt and uncle. Everybody else was out of town. Food was great. They made me sit on a saddle while they shouted to everyone in the restaurant that it was my birthday. Ugh.

I'm tired of just about everything right now. There's no way I should wake up feeling this way on a Monday. I'm just tired of having this heavy cloud of anxiety over me at all times. I can't get away from it. Wedding planning, a change in jobs and many other things. I hate it.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Two week notice

I did it. Man, I have to be crazy. Today's the day I gave my two-week notice. I'm leaving my current job to be a county corrections officer. Yeah, it's a huge step, but it's just a small one on my way to becoming a police officer. I'm worried that I won't make it because it's pretty demanding physically and I am not in the best shape I've ever been in. There are some pretty prominent possibilities for failure, which is scary. With my fiance being unemployed, things could get real interesting by the time the big day rolls around in August.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

A little game

Alright, let's see who remembers what is two days from now -- excluding my mom and anyone who reads these onlines posts of mine.

Blah Blah Blah

Well, today is another one of those days that never seems to end and I have nothing to speed it along. I hate this. I think the worst part is that by the time I get home, I am zapped of any energy and simple tasks become laborious.

I'm feeling better overall though. I was running along this Forest Preserve trail by my house thinking it was between half and a quarter of a mile. Turns out my path is just about two miles long. I felt instantly better off. And it's only running in the academic sense. My feet come off the ground at repeated intervals and I move along. No races here.

I'm experimenting with 1,600 calories a day or less and I seem to be surviving. I swear I am literally drinking about a gallon of water a day and I haven't lost any weight after one week. WTF?

Two more weeks in my current job unless I become terrified of failure in the new endeavor -- there is a chance I won't succeed and will be without a job. Eek. Just as I am getting ready to embrace the summer and enjoy it as much as possible, I now have to contend with the stress this new thing brings about. In response, we're going camping this weekend. I hope it's a chance to leave the stress behind but I doubt it.

Pretty boring stuff, I know. But that's the latest.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On people from Wisconsin...

Those of us in Chicago sometimes poke affectionate fun at our rustic neighbors to the north. We tease them for wearing red long underwear to weddings and other formal events – as an outer garment. We call them cheeseheads and chuckle at the way they chomp their bratwurst, drink their brandy-beer boilermakers, and happily thump their distended tummies. The men too.

--Mike Royko

Monday, June 20, 2005

Need help?

Does anyone know of a business looking for office and clerical help or any other entry-level workers? Let me know.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stupid kids. What the...?

I was reading Blogs from people in Orland Park. Most Blog owners are 14-year-old girls who can't spell and certainly couldn't hold a conversation because of their Internet-age communications skills. Every one of them is Goth, a pretend lush, or a faux whore crazed with one thing on the mind -- boiz. Every one of them talking about life in the most serious of tones and how bad their lives have become. These brats grow up in 5-bedroom houses and with every possible amenity and the best schools in Illinois, but they still manage to rebel against the status quo because their lives are all about pain and suffering. Give me a break. Lose the act.

Sorry about the delay

For lunch yesterday, I went to Herm's Hot Dog and Deli, 409 W. Washington St., Chicago.

These are the best hot dogs I have had in quite a while. Five bucks will get you two dogs with everything. This is a little steep for dogs but this is still downtown Chicago.

Dogs are old-fashioned Vienna Beef hot dogs still in the casing. Most places serve dogs without casings these days. Anyway, they're served in a poppy seed roll covered with just the right amount of mustard, bright green relish, onion bits and tomato bits. Oh, and hot peppers and pickle spears too. This is pretty typical for a Chicago dog but these are somehow better.

I have to take points away for the lack of celery salt -- a must for true Chicago dogs. However, Herm's manages to serve dogs on fresh but not soggy buns. This is difficult for all but the best.

The place is a dump but I don't care about decor unless it's decorated to look old or worn in when the place really isn't like some chain-based dog joints. That's just not cool. Like that one popular place for hot dogs, do you really expect me to believe you're store was built in an old factory? Puh-lease!

We're talking four out of five stars for Herm's Hot Dog and Deli.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Chicago Hot Dogs

Does anyone know any good Web sites that talk about Chicago-style hot dogs? I can't seem to find any that I can take seriously. I found a place not far from work that is OUT-standing. I am going there again today and will give a review when I get back.

Baby Man -- this is just weird

Read all about it: here

About those books I've been reading

So the guy who wrote that book "To Sleep With the Angels" admitted to starting a fire in a church building where he worked as a janitor. Read about it in the Chicago Tribune.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Tough break kid

I found this old newspaper clipping while wading through the net this morning.
Sad, isn't it?

Monday, June 06, 2005

In the crystal ball...

I'm seeing a change in scenery soon between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Looks like it could be scary but rewarding.

Post away

I don't know why, but only Blogger.com members were allowed to post to here before today. I thought I set it up another way a long time ago but I guess I didn't. Therefore, if you want to say something, g'head. It's all taken care of...I think.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Books I read in 2005 (revised)

Here's a list of the books I remember reading this year. I will add more once I remember what they were. This is a lot of reading for me outside of the usual newspapers and trade-related publications. I know there are more.

· “Get Shorty” by Elmore Leonard
· “The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien
· “The Glass Key” by Dashiell Hammett
· “An Honest Writer: The Life and Times of James T. Farrell: by Robert K. Landers
· “Studs Lonigan” by James T. Farrell
· “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
· “Harry Potter and Chamber of Secrets” by J.K. Rowling
· “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” by J.K. Rowling
· “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by J.K. Rowling
· “Sister Carrie” by Theodore Dreiser
· “For the Love of Mike: More of the Best of Mike Royko” By Mike Royko
· “The Hoofs and Guns of the Storm: Chicago's Civil War Connections” by Arnie Bernstein
· “He’s Just Not That Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo
· “To Sleep With the Angels” by David Cowan
· “The Chicago River” by David M. Solzman
· “Devil in the White City” by Erik Larson
· “City of the Century” by Donald L. Miller
· “Before and After Page Design” by John McWade
· “Blues Brothers -- Private” by Judith Jacklin and Tino Insana

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Friends in odd places

The following is a clip from a June 1 Chicago Tribune article about close associates of House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert. I had no idea that my alma matter's Athletic Director was such a pal to Denny. Who knew?

Keep Our Majority Political Action Committee, or KOMPAC is directed by McGovern for an annual salary of $144,000. Longtime Hastert friend, Tom Jarman, the athletic director at Manchester College in Indiana, is on the payroll, as well, though Jarman serves mainly as a traveling companion to Hastert on campaign swings for other congressmen.

I wish I had THIS job

From the New York Post:


Meet the New Yorker with the world's easiest and best-paying job.

Christopher Nelson is getting $100,000 a year to sit in his East Village apartment and watch reruns of "The Dukes of Hazzard."

The Country Music Channel, which airs the backwoods brawls-and-babes show, hired Nelson, 28, to watch it daily and drum up interest with a "Dukes" blog featuring trivia, contests and interviews with the original stars.

His title is vice president of the "Dukes of Hazzard Institute" — the president being The General Lee, the orange 1969 Dodge Charger that Bo, Luke and Daisy Duke tooled around in.

"This is a great job and I can do it right from my home. Any job that's a pants-optional position is all right with me," said Nelson, a transplanted Texan who'd been doing temp work as he tried to kick-start a music and writing career.


I couldn't find the Blog as I don't think it is up and running yet. But check out CMT's "Dukes of Hazzard" stuff. John Schneider actually has his own Web site where he greets newcommers with a friendly "Hello fans." Oh boy.