Windy City (part 1)

  • Friday – I got up extra early so that I could leave work around 2:00 or 2:30 to beat rush hour out of St. Louis. At 2:00 pm, I got the dreaded email, “Can you jump on a call real quick…” An hour later I finally got off the call. Brenda had everything loaded up, so we were on our way to Chicago well before 4:00, but… not early enough to avoid traffic. It took close to an hour to get from O’fallon to North County. The kids were feeling car sick and wondering how long it was going to take. Once we finally got across the river though, the trip went fine. On the way, whenever one of the kids asked how much longer, I would give them a math problem — take the remaining distance to Chicago, divide by 70 to get the number of hours remaining, then take the remainder, multiply it by 60 and then divide that by 70 to get the number of minutes. Amazingly, each kid only asked one time :). The only Chicago activity the first night was having a few drinks on the rooftop and staring out at the city.
  • Saturday (day) – We decided to do the beach. It seemed like some of the buses weren’t running (probably because of a parade, we learned later), so it took an hour and a few bus transfers and quite a bit of walking to get to the lake. The kids went with the flow and decided it was all worth it once we got there and started building sand castles, digging holes, and playing in the water. On the way, Danielle saw a homeless guy sleeping in a park, so that lead to some interesting conversations. We found a good open spot, but as the day wore on, the beach transformed into a solid mass of people. The sun kept playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds, making for perfect beach weather. About the time we decided to leave, the clouds decided to cool everyone off with a nice shower.
  • Saturday (night) – Lucy picked out the restaurant, Portillo’s. At first I was a little concerned, because it said Portillo’s Hot Dogs, but there menu was pretty complete. I got the Ribs (which the sign says they are famous for), Brenda got a spicy pasta dish with sliced Italian sausage, and Marilyn got a sandwich that consisted of an Italian sausage with roast beef piled on (quite tasty). Allison and Lucy had hot dogs (they claim they were the best hot dogs, but I’ll just have to take their word on that), Danielle had Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Justin had a cheese pizza (although strangely it wasn’t Chicago style pizza). After dinner we strolled around down town, checking out a McDonalds museum (across the street from Portillo’s), and a Sport Authority, with concrete hand-prints of local sport stars.

BREAKING NEWS: Earth Quarantined due to SARS outbreak

By Arnie Geddon (5/27/2003)

The planet Earth has been quarantined by the MHO (Milkyway Health Organization) due to the outbreak of SARS on certain parts of the planet. The disease SARS (Sudden Onset Accute Resperatory Syndrome) spreads more quickly and is more severe in extraterrestrials than in humans. Ironically CNN is reporting that the SARS Virus came from outerspace.

As reported here, SARS is being used by invading aliens as a form of biological weapon, but the aliens obviously did not comprehend the danger of the disease to themselves. For more information on the disease and its affects on aliens, EGI contacted Dr. William Smitzell. Doctor Smitzell offered this explanation.

“As you may know, alien lungs are not as well developed as human lungs and spending all that time in space ships has an adverse affect on ones immune system. Since the disease has been introduced on the planet, it has mutated to a point where it is extremely deadly to extraterrestrials. If this disease were to be transported off the planet Earth, humans might soon be the only intelligent life in the galaxy.”

EGI has learned that fear of SARS has virtually eliminated all alien contact with our planet. In fact since the discovery of the disease, there have been no confirmed alien abductions or UFO sitings. Even last weeks planned invasion of the planet has been post-poned until the disease can be brought under control, or at the very least an alien vaccine is available.

Doctor Smitzell did offer some comforting words. “Be assured that all available efforts are being made to create a vaccine that is suitable for use by aliens. With any luck, normal interplanetary relations should resume within a couple of weeks.”

Friday – iPod (semi)Random 10 + 2
and blog shorts

  1. Big Fat Blonde (The Rainmakers)
  2. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley)
  3. Particle Man (They Might Be Giants)
  4. Keep It Up (Soul Asylum)
  5. Rockin’ at the T-Dance (The Rainmakers)
  6. Violent School (The Dead Milkmen)
  7. Take Me I’m Yours (Squeeze)
  8. Don’t Let’s Start (They Might Be Giants)
  9. Judas (Depeche Mode)
  10. We’ll Inherit The Earth (The Replacements)
  11. Not Sleeping Around (Ned’s Atomic Dustbin)
  12. Suspicious Minds (Elvis)
  • Last Friday I took a vacation day so Brenda could work.  After taking the kids to the dentist, I packed the kids and dog into the van and headed to the lake.  We had fun fishing and swimming and just hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa.
  • The girls have been doing a Girl Scout day camp all week.  They are having loads of fun, but they couldn’t have gotten a much hotter weak to be stuck in the sun.
  • This Friday I came into work early so we can get an early start on our trip to Chicago.  We are staying with Brenda’s sister.  In Chicago, we plan to:

Conclusion of Harry Potter Series Revealed

By Gil Le Bell (7/21/2003)

EGI reporter Gil Le Bell obtained an exclusive interview with J. K. Rowling shortly after the release of the latest installment of the Harry Potter series – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5)”. The interview took place at Ms. Rowling’s home after dinner and 3 bottles of wine. The interview transcript follows:

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I wonder if Frank needs a room mate

via Frank – What level of Hell do you belong in? It looks like I could have gone lots of places, but I ended up with Frank in the City of Dis (I wonder if that’ s where the expression “To Dis someone” comes from? — per Dictionary.com… NO)

The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Sixth Level of Hell – The City of Dis!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Low
Level 2 (Lustful) Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) High
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Very High
Level 7 (Violent) Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) High
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Moderate

Take the Dante’s Inferno Hell Test