October 14, 2007
Susan called this morning to let us know that her husband, Dan, came
home from his trip to Washington, DC with a bad cold, ant that she has
also caught at least a part of it. Cali, on the other hand, has
recovered nicely from her high fevers of last week, with no apparent
At any rate, their planned visit to our house today is off.
I don't understand birds. Yesterday evening, on my way to Lake
Zurich, I saw a telephone line along Route 22 that was so crowded with
birds, sitting shoulder to shoulder, that the telephone line looked like
it was made of birds. There wasn't room for even one more bird. I
pondered about why these birds would all choose to sit on the same
telephone line, and it occurred to me that they were migrating from some
place far north of here, and on their way south for the winter. They
were resting, before starting the next long leg of their flight. No
doubt their leader had picked the place where they could all roost and
As my car passed the telephone wire, the birds all took off in a huge
flock. But, they didn't head south for the winter. They flew east, past
the next section of telephone wire, to the one beyond that, where they
all landed, filling the telephone wire so there wasn't room for another
Lisa writes that her dog Niko continues to have urinary tract
problems, and may be in need of more blood tests and x-rays to find out
if he has additional kidney stones, or what.
Lisa is doing well on her search for a new job, and has two very good
prospects; Sunbelt Rentals and the Billy Graham Evangelistic
Association. She is expecting offers from both.
Michael has organized a golf tournament/fund raiser fo the Women's
Commission, which will take place on tomorrow. This is to raise money
for helping the victims of domestic violence. Lisa is going to be
photographer for the event. She doesn't like golfing, but does like
driving golf carts.
No, I don't know what kind of bird they were. What they looked like
was a very fat telephone wire.
sent some photos taken on the Walk to Cure Juvenile Diabetes, which took
place a couple
of weeks ago.
On the left is a photo of Katie with ... We do not know what it is
she is doing to him at the moment the photo was taken.
At right is her group, which includes Katie ...,
Paul brought William and Aidan out for a visit this afternoon. He
also had Dominick, the German
student who is living for a year with Paul and Diana.
Diana didn't come this afternoon. Paul says she has been generally
depressed since the trip to Puerto Rico to bury he grandfather, with
whom she was especially close. The burial and formal period of mourning
are apparently quite elaborate in Puerto Rico, and the nearly two weeks
she was there with the kids were stressful ones.
kids have grown a good deal since we saw them last, and developed
considerably in the language skills department. As usual, Janet got the
bulk of the attention from the kids, who recognize who it is that
furnishes the toys, games for them to play, and especially the cake
frosting, sprinkles and such stuff, so that while she is cooking
cookies, they can make a glorious mess on the kitchen floor.
Paul was incensed that Dominick, who was attending the most
prestigious high school in Germany, and was doing well in advanced
classes there, was assigned to remedial education classes for the most
part when he started to high school in Palos Park. Diana, whose working
career involved dealing with high school teachers in the area of
handling kids with special educational needs, was equally incensed, and
wound up giving the school administrators what for. Apparently, it did
some good, as he now seems to be in classes more appropriate to his
Paul is not pleased with the low volume of work available in the
architecture business these days. Apparently, as the housing market has
slowed down, the house designing market has slowed down also. If anyone
needs a house designed, or better yet, an industrial building, Paul says
he could squeeze you into his schedule somehow.
John called just after Paul and the kids arrived, to ask questions
about Janet's new house, like, "Is the front door painted red?" I
thought it was. "OK,
John said, I am out in front of the right house." He was phoning from
his car, and sure enough he was sitting in front of Jan's new house,
which is just about a mile from here. He was on his way over to visit,
and used his GPS to find it.
So, the visit with Paul and Dominick and the Kids was shared by John.
brought us a present. He gave us the single cup coffee maker for Fathers
day, and an assortment of cartridges of various exotic coffees to use in
it. This time, he brought some additional coffee cartridges, and also a
fancy rack to hold and display the array of coffees available to be
brewed in the coffee maker. This is not only a handy gadget, it is also
making money for us. John says that Green Mountain Coffee, the vendor of
both the machine and the cartridges for it, constitutes the biggest
holding of his hedge fund, which he sees as having a very bright future.
They have a unique product, and have it pretty well sewed up. And, they
have John giving their coffee makers as presents.
didn't come with John because she was home helping Anna with high school
homework, and Alex was off in Sandwich, Illinois playing with the band.
This left John pretty much at loose ends, so he brought us the coffee
maker, and also brought a CD taken at one of the football games where
Alex played his French Horn in the marching band. He didn't actually
play the French Horn, as they are difficult to operate while marching,
but instead played an E-Flat Mellophone. When I played French Horn in my
high school band, we couldn't afford two instruments, so we played the
curled up French Horns while marching.
October 15, 2007
sent another l installment of cruise photos from her and Tom's trip
through the Caribbean two weeks ago. In particular, I enjoyed the photos
she took of Tom, obviously enjoying himself as the leading actor in the
musical production the
Cruise Director put on using passengers for all the roles. When these
pictures came, I thought they were the photos taken during the actual
performance. However, Pat called this morning and said there was another
group on the way, with the actual performance, including costumes and an
are too many photos to include them all here, so I put them on a
separate page under Photos. Pat's description of the photos is included,
or will be if I can get to it soon.
I will substitute the photos from the real performance as soon as I
Pat called this morning to say she was driving up to see us, and
would arrive along about 7:30 or so this evening. She plans to stay
through Friday, and in the mean time, will give Janet the freedom to go
shopping for stuff for her house, etc., while Pat tends to the chore of
taking care of Dolores and me.
Pat called with a progress report on her tirp up. She has been
driving in the rain all the way (it hasn't been raining here) and is
running behind schedule. She hopes to be here by 9:00 PM, rather than
before 8:00 PM as she had planned.
Janet noted that I had burned out light bulbs in the fixture in my
den, but that they could be changed until spring,
of the Canada geese in the yard. Her logic is sound.
She figured that my desk is not under the light fixture and cannot be
easily reached from the floor. You can't stand on the desk without
moving the computer monitors. So, the step stool is required. However,
the step stool is currently in the garage because it got goose poop on
it when the kids had it out picking apples. The goose poop requires the
step stool to be taken out in the yard hosed off before it can come
inside again, and the current weather is too cold for hosing things off
I did not have the ambition to hose the step stool off during the
cold weather, nor the courage to defy her and bring it in, goose poop
and all. So, I used a technique recalled from my childhood, from before
people could afford step stools. I stood on a chair.
October 16, 2007
Kathy Lincoln called at 10:00 AM to say that she had not received the
package I sent via UPS last Thursday, guaranteed to be delivered by
10:00 AM on Friday morning. I recalled that she gave me more address
than would fit on the UPS label, but thought there was enough to get it
I immediately got out the UPS reciept with the tracking number, and
was on the UPS web site, typing the tracking number into their form
Kathy Lincoln called back to say that someone had just handed her the
package. Apparently it was delivered to their offices as promised. But
it took them two full working days to sort it out and get it to her.
Apparently, it took from 10:00 AM on Friday until 10:00 AM the next
Tuesday for my package of data to make if from the Federal Air Surgeon's
mail room to Kathy Lincoln's desk.
Ed Dowd called to say that the mechanic who is going to store our
boat for the winter wants to schedule its removal from Lake Michigan for
this coming Saturday at 3:00 PM. Ed wants to go fishing in the morning
(last chance to catch a coho), so this will use up much of the day on
Saturday, and I won't be home before dinner time. Probably the
newsletter will get done on Friday or Sunday.
Jan took advantage of the nice weather to do dinner on the grill
again. We had hot dogs, hamburgers (good Bubba Burgers) and one New York
strip steak in the freezer. Because the steak might not have another
chance at the grill this fall, Jan elected to cook it even though there
were two steak-eaters (Pat and me) present. We negotiated an arrangement
wherein both Pat and I would have half a steak plus half a hamburger.
This is the first time I recall ever eating steak and hamburger as a
mixed grill, but it was pretty darned good. Both the hamburger and the
steak were nicely done and tasted very good.
Our only problem was that Pat likes her steaks medium well done, and
I like mine medium rare. This problem was solved early on by cutting the
steak in half. I ate my half while hers continued cooking. The hamburger
was split after the cooking operation was complete.
got her money's worth in the lawyer she hired to represent her in the
purchase of the house. The lawyer is handling the negotiations of
repairs. The owner wants to make a settlement for cash, but Jan would
prefer that he repair the leaking sewerage pipe and remove the small
areas of mold before she takes possession, and the owner wants to rent
the property back from her for a month and a half after the November 15
closing. On Janet's behalf, the lawyer has written a couple of terse
letters, making Janet's case succinctly.
As of right now, things still look good
October 17, 2007
Janet was born in 1961 and is the youngest of three daughters, the
other two of which are both older than she is.
Janet does not love to have parties, so we kept the size of hers down
to a minimum. Pat was here for the week, and Susan came in the
with Jimmy and Cali. Susan brought Halloween decorations, so it wouldn't
seem too much like a birthday party, and an apple pie, which she had
baked using apples from our tree. She prepared the apple pie by baking
it to about 50% doneness before she left home, and baked it about 25%
more of the way to completion at our house. At least this is Dolores'
appraisal. I thought it was a pretty good pie, even if I made the apples
myself (I planted the trees, 25 years ago or so.)
It is always hard to find appropriate gifts for Janet, as she is not
much attached to material things. However, Susan found her a door mat at
Bed Bath and Beyond that she said she was sure Janet would like.
haven't been using the 414 much lately, due partly to the FAA making it
inconvenient to do on an impromptu baiss because I need to have arranged
a baby sitter in advance, and partly to laziness. It takes a certain
amount of planning, which I haven't done.
So, there was no major event when the 414 went in for its annual
inspection an expensiveness.
Apparently, there wasn't much wrong with it this time. I don't think
I remember a time when there was less to be fixed.
The project involving removal of some of the wallboard in the
basement, to get rid of the mold that was forming there, started at 8:00
AM this morning. It is expected to take several days (hopefully
contiguous days) to get the moldy wall board cut out, a new vapor
barrier installed behind it, and new wall board put up, taped and
The problem arose when we had a really record breaking rain during
the night of August 24. Even though our foundation drainage system is in
pretty good shape, it was overwhelmed. Some of our neighbors had serious
problems, as did Marge Burrell, who had deep water in her basement.
golfed with the last two of the UOP golfers to wuss out this season.
We had a very pleasant day at Settler's Hill, the garbage dump that
was converter to a golf course (and a fairly nice one) by Waste
Management Corp. The golf course has outlived the company by a
considerable margin, as Waste Management hit the skids several years
ago, and sold themselves to a little waste disposal company in Texas,
who changed their name to Waste Management, Inc.
I had a good day. Not only did I not lose any balls, I found one so I
ended up with one more than I started with. I didn't use up any tees, as
the ground was very soft, and none of them broke. And, I golfed pretty
well. I was able to remember the secret of success for more than two or
October 18, 2007
Last night the WGN Weather Person was painting a very bleak picture
of the weather we were to expect for today. Literally painting the
picture. He had a big animated map that showed an area of thunderstorms
passing over St. Louis and headed our way that covered most of the state
of Illinois. Not only were there supposed to be
thunderstorms lasting throughout the day today, they were supposed to be
severe thunderstorms with a strong possibility of tornados scattered
around. The northeastern tip of this was supposed to reach us early this
morning, and the residual thunderstorms would last into the night.
Pat had originally planned to stay through the end of the week, and
go home on Saturday or Sunday, but Chris is going to an oral surgeon
today to have four molars extracted, all at the same time. This is a
pretty traumatic thing to have happen for anyone, but to someone with
Juvenile Diabetes, it could be very serious. so Pat thought she ought to
be heading for home today. However, the question of how to avoid driving
through the statewide array of thunderstorms came up.
Much to our surprise, the sun was shining when we got up this
morning. There were clouds around, but no thunderstorms. Pat decided
that, if there was a patch without bad weather, she ought to take
advantage of it, and leave early rather than late. So, she did. She was
out of here by about 9:00 AM, driving her little black pickup truck
She called at noon, halfway through the six hour drive, to say that
she hadn't seen a drop of rain, and was making good progress. She called
at 3:00 PM, or thereabouts, to say she was home. The sun is still
shining here, and the weather people are in hiding somewhere.
While Pat was getting ready to leave for St. Louis this morning, I
was busy fasting. This is the opposite of breakfasting. I had to go in
today for my annual blood tests, which my MD, Cardiologist, Urologist
and FAA busybodies all want to see annually. The FAA busybodies don't
know for sure they want to see them this year, but the other people are
all insistent. For the lipid panel, which determines whether I have any
lipids or not, and if so, how many, in my blood, I have to go without
eating or drinking anything for something like 12 hours. It may only be
8 hours. I forget. Anyway, I was busy not eating until after Pat left,
and then I was exhausted from not eating so I had to take a short nap
before going to Good Shepherd Hospital and turning myself in to the
visit to Good Shepherd was almost pleasant. I scarcely had to wait at
all, even thought they have provisions for handling long waiting lines
of people at both the checking desk and the outpatient lab. The young
lady who greeted me was a phlebotomist, according to her name tag, and a
darned good one according to me. She found one of my submerged, hard to
locate veins and pierced it without my hardly noticing. The only thing
that gave me cause for concern was that, among the tiny vials for
different blood tests, there was one very large bottle, which looked
like it would hold a half pint of blood. I was relieved when she said I
also needed to provide a urine sample.
After the business at Good Shepherd, I had to go in for another neck
therapy session. This one was heavy on the ultrasound treatment, which
seemed to work better than anything else. I am still not willing to
commit to a third miracle cure, but I think things are heading in that
lawyer wrote us an E-mail saying that the owner of the house was willing
to up his offer to include doing the plumbing repairs and mold removal
Janet felt necessary before taking possession of the house, plus give
the same cash amount he had offered originally to fix all of the
problems. And, he is willing to stick with the November 15 occupancy
Jan is now feeling like she is very inexperienced at the house buying
business, as she has worried through each of the details, which, in
retrospect, seem to be relatively routine.
October 19, 2007
morning it was raining when I got up, and cloudy, windy and somewhat
cold. What a Scotsman would call a perfect day for golf. I called the
course to ask if it was playable, and was told that it was, so I headed
While I was on my way, Fred Nearing called Dolores to asks if I was
playing golf. Dolores said yes, so he got to the course shortly after I
did. The RADAR looked reasonably good, so we teed off.
One thing nice about playing golf in bad weather is that the course
is not usually crowded. It certainly was no crowded this morning. I
played reasonably well considering the rotten luck I had with sand traps
and the like. However, my good luck continued, and I did not lose a
ball, and found a couple that other people lost.
Ed Dowd and I are supposed to go to Wintrhop Harbor tomorrow
afternoon to take the boat out of the water for the season. Ed wanted to
go fishing in the morning, which would have meant getting the newsletter
finished up this evening because I would be gone all day tomorrow.
However, while the weather is supposed to improve tomorrow, and we
are expecting sunshine and the temperature to reach the 70s, the marine
forecast is calling for winds of 15 to 20 knots and seas 2 to four feet.
This does not make for pleasant fishing conditions, so we will just
to out in the afternoon to get the boat out of the water. We are just
going to leave the rest of those fish in there until next spring.