Archive for January, 2004

Let’s hear it for working radiators!

Friday, January 30th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Met up with the landlord to diagnose the heating troubles. Turns out it was two things, one of which I’m still kicking myself for not noticing on my own.

The windows in my spare room have been painted shut since before I moved it. Can’t budge ‘em (not that I need to. I don’t use that room). Looks like the paint let go on the top of one of them, and the upper pane of the window was open about 1/2 inch. That’d be fine if it wasn’t also the window with the missing chunk of wood in its frame. (Ok. A gaping hole letting in below-zero air might do it.)

The second thing that was wrong was that the radiator in the same room needed its little valve cleaned out (insert “valve cleaning” joke here). Luckily, that was a quick fix and all should be well and toasty by the time I return home this evening.

Hooray for landlords who will (a) come fix your stuff two hours after you call them and (b) will completely ignore the horrible mess in your apartment while they’re there. He also gave me a little demo in the apartment he’s working on upstairs of a steam cleaner he just bought. Secretly, I think that’s why he responded so fast. He loves to show off his new toys.

An optimistic thermostat

Friday, January 30th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Steelbuddha & I were having a little chat with our boss, Travis, about the weather. Apparently I’m not the only one working the spin these days.

Travis: “I got in my car this morning and looked at the little temperature thing and it said -11. I looked up at the bank and it said -15. I thought, ‘Mine’s more optimistic.’”

I get to head home over lunch today to meet up with my landlord. I’m hoping he can fix my little heating problem. It’s been 60 degrees in my apartment for the last couple of days, and this morning when I walked into the spare room, I could see my breath. Not a good sign. (Why do I suspect I’ll be spending my weekend putting more plastic on the windows?)

Well, it’s cheaper than drugs

Thursday, January 29th, 2004 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 6 Comments

Guess Boohbah is gonna be some new PBS show. I’m thinking that the folks who came up with it had a long weekend, if’n you catch my drift.

Spin, baby, spin

Thursday, January 29th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

How to tell I’ve worked in the journalism and marketing industries for too long:

The nice weatherlady on the radio this morning said that it was -6F outside (not including the windchill). My first thought upon hearing that: “Oh, cool. I can wear one of my wool sweaters.”

You want a spin on something, I can find it. “Cold enough to freeze to death? Nonsense! It’s just sweater weather!”

Words fail me.

Thursday, January 29th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Looks like Fox is trying for another new reality dating show concept. And gee, this one’s not exploitative at all! *shakes head, walks away* (Link via Cockeyed Absurdist.)

My friend Mike and I were discussing good ideas for new Fox shows the other night. Our winner: A reality show called “The Pit” in which people try to survive against hungry wild animals. It’s kind of a gladiator-style thing, exept the people don’t get any weaponry to help them out. We think it’ll be a winner.

Follow-up: Steelbuddha’s got our IM conversation on the topic.

Duller than watching paint dry

Wednesday, January 28th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | No Comments

Sorry, folks. Life’s been a little dull lately, so I have no bloggety goodness for you. Maybe tomorrow.

Li’l bits and pieces

Monday, January 26th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | 8 Comments

Random musings:

  • CSI: New York. Um, CBS? Yeah, hi. I know you really, really like the overwhelming success of the other two CSI shows, and I know NBC gets away with three versions of Law & Order, but come on already. Enough. What’s next? “CSI: Akron”? Can’t wait for that one. Lots of tire-related homicides.
  • More on Shaun. Saw this little book at the store the other day. Kinda wanted to get it, but for the $10 it would have cost me, I could have gotten more Shaun toys. Toys always win.
  • JNYMACK. Saw that license plate yesterday at the grocery. Made me think of Christyl’s and my friend James in Dublin who ends about every third sentence with “Janey Mack!” I had to smile. (And then, just for kicks and totally separate of that little tale, Brendan uses the phrase on his blog today.)
  • I hate when I like the commercials. Y’know that Office Depot spot with the guy and his cart dancing around and delivering office supplies? The one that uses “Rubberband Man” as its music? I hate to admit it, but it makes me smile when I see it. And then I get mad at myself for liking an ad that uses a black guy with a big ‘fro delivering supplies to white folk as its shtick. Damn the conflict. But the guy they got to play the rubberband man just seems to be having such a good time. (I also wish they’d stick around for a little longer after he stocks the first aid cabinet so we could see the halfwit at the paper cutter hack his hand off, but nooooo.)
  • Yay! Author visits! Ooh. Goody. Two of my favorite authors will be stopping in at bookstores within 1/2 mile of my apartment. William Gibson is coming to Schwartz Books on Feb. 10 and Ian Rankin is coming to Mystery One on March 3. I’ve never seen Gibson before, but I saw Rankin when he stopped in Mystery One last year. He was terribly entertaining. (I suppose it’s too much to ask for him to bring along John Hannah to play Rebus, though, eh? Damn.)
  • Almost forgot to mention it — Steelbuddha has updated his blog template. Go visit and tell him how purty it is.

The Onion: The Movie

Monday, January 26th, 2004 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 2 Comments

So. A film version of The Onion.

Hmm. Not to be too disparaging before I actually see it, but isn’t that just going to be a little like Kentucky Fried Movie, but from the other side of the state? (Which kind of begs the question “What is it about Wisconsin that we produce these things?”)

Please, please, please don’t let this film be as irritating as a Saturday Night Live episode. Please.

A Belated Happy, Happy

Monday, January 26th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | 3 Comments

I was a little too busy being ill on Saturday to celebrate the Mac’s actual birthday, but I’ll make up for it this week.

Happy birthday, little computer companion of mine. Next year I’ll take you out for drinks.

(I’ve got a little over three more years until my 20th anniversary on a Mac. Scary.)

Not much to play with today

Friday, January 23rd, 2004 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 3 Comments

Sorry, kids. I’m feelin’ a bit under the weather today. I’m either fighting off some dread disease or I got hit by a truck last night and just don’t remember it. Either way, I haven’t really had any urge to go find fun little internet morsels today.

I did find this nice link on fun with credit card receipts over at

Enjoy. And have a lovely weekend. I fear I’ll be spending it tucked under the covers and drinking NyQuil, but that doesn’t mean the rest of you shouldn’t be out having fun.

Dammit. There goes another bit of my childhood.

Friday, January 23rd, 2004 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Captain Kangaroo died today.

I am terribly depressed. Even more depressed than when Mr. Rogers died.

New Year’s Day

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004 | General | No Comments

Happy Year o’ the Monkey, yo.

Let the poo flinging begin. (Perfect activity for an election year, eh?)


Thursday, January 22nd, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | 2 Comments

First thing I heard when the alarm went off this morning: The announcer saying “It’s currently -4, windchill -28.”

“Hmm. Brisk,” she thinks to herself, as she hits snooze and crawls back under the covers.

The walk from the pub to the hockey game tonight should be a bit chilly. Sure am glad I brought my hat… as far as my kitchen counter, where I promptly forgot it.

Have I mentioned that mornings aren’t my strong suit?

More old pictures

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 3 Comments

I found another site with old photos of Milwaukee.

Some interesting little finds there. Like this one. You wanna be careful not to get those two things mixed up.

And an early image of the steps up to my beloved Lake Park. I’m still a little bit in awe that I live pretty much halfway between two Frederick Law Olmsted parks. (Though I suspect he’d be hard-pressed to pick his original design out of what Riverside Park has become.)

Huh. A little more Googling reveals that the Journal Sentinel has a nice archive of old Milwaukee photos as well.

The backs of buildings just like this a block south of that location is what I see out the window from my desk in our new building at work. (Trust me — they’re more scenic from the front.)

And here we have St. Josaphat’s Basillica then and now. (For those of you out of town, the dome’s been re-coppered in the last decade or so. Eventually, it will once again patina to a lovely green.)

Soooooo cute

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004 | Design-y Bits, Fun With Teh Intarweb | No Comments

I want all of these cards! They’re so adorable.

Found via the Shop to Drop Bush storefront.

I’m a bad, bad American

Wednesday, January 21st, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan, You Call This News? | 1 Comment

I meant to watch last night’s State of the Union Address. I really did. But I could only take about two minutes of our Prez before I’d had enough. I don’t even think he had the chance to say anything truly stupid yet, but I was already too infuriated to continue watching. So I watched 5 episodes of The Ben Stiller Show instead. (Sorry about the pop-ups there.)

I know, I know. I should pay more attention to politics and less to Ben Stiller (and let’s face it, it’s been a problem for me since TBSS first aired in ‘92), but I ask you — how many of you laughed so hard you made yourselves lightheaded while watching TV last night? Uh huh. And how many of you wanted to throw a rock through the TV and knock out Dubya before he said anything else stupid? Thought so. I think I chose wisely.

Almost forgot this one

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 | Life in Czeltistan | 1 Comment

A little photo for you all from moving week at work. Enjoy.

And in case you’re wondering, no, it’s not unusual to see things like that here at HD. Yes, he’s dancing.

And since someone’s gonna ask, and we found it in the dumpster.

History is cool

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 | Fun With Teh Intarweb | 5 Comments

I had to venture over to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s site yesterday to look something up. Got a little sidetracked by their online photo archives, though and never did get the info I went there looking for. There are some fabulous images in those archives, and not just from Wisconsin.

I was quite thrilled to find photos from the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, including some fabulous images of the world’s first Ferris wheel (and another photo looking through it. I have a fascination with that World’s Fair and I’d never seen a decent image of the Ferris wheel before. I knew it was huge, but man, it’s huge.

Also found a photo of Teddy Roosevelt arriving in Milwaukee. I was hoping to find one of the train itself pulling into the city, as it would have been engineered by my great-grandfather, but alas, there wasn’t one to be found.

I did find something else near and dear to my heart, though — an early photo of the North Point water tower and St. Mary’s Hospital, which is where I was born. I pass by that tower every day and it looks just the same, though the hospital has changed a bit (and will be changing more shortly).

And, since I ran across it and figured he’d dig it, here’s one for Dad.

Really not sure what to do with this photo, though.

Random musings

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 | Bloggity goodness | No Comments

On the way back from lunch today, I was listening to some Hüsker Dü and thinking how cool it was that Bob Mould was blogging these days.

Then I started thinking about how cool it would be if Paul Westerberg had a blog. (Though I strongly suspect it’d be more of a really long screed than a blog.) He could call it “Westerblog.”

Oh, like he wouldn’t have thought of that himself.

Bless their rescue efforts

Tuesday, January 20th, 2004 | You Call This News? | No Comments

Who ever thought I’d be cheering for the Russian army? But here I am, really hoping they accomplish their mission. It’s a worthy one.