12.31.2007

Things will be great in '08

Funny Pictures
moar funny pictures

I can feel it....

EDIT: Yah, I know the pic has f*cked up the page. I'm late and I can't fix it now.

*shrug*

12.29.2007

I've been wondering the *same* thing for years....

"It was always a question of recruiting; you've got to get the players," [Dick Butkus] said. "It was always a question that I tried to figure out: 'Why don't we get good quality players?' But it seems like we have that now, and talking with Ron Guenther, this is like a year earlier than what was expected."
From today's N-G.

I'll be celebrating with year-end festivities over the next few days. I hope to moblog as well. Out with friends tomorrow. NYE party at sagefool's Monday night. Rose Bowl party in Danville with one of my college roommates on New Year's Day.

Intuitively, I predicted a January 2nd hangover and won't be returning to work until the 3rd.

Oh, yah---and two more days until smoke-free is the choice for me.

I'm probably gonna get *real* annoying for a while, so let me apologize in advance.

:)

12.28.2007

And we're done....

Apparently, the Marathon on Prospect and Kirby is closing (or is already closed---haven't seen in open in about a week, I think). Don't know if it's opening back up or being converted into something else or being torn down.

Dom's will close after New Year's Eve.

As will Garber's.

The White Horse closed a few weeks ago. Sorry I didn't get to that one sooner---the N-G link is already truncated.

Anything I miss?

We do have some new stuff I'm happy about this year---Body Shop, Carmon's. I've heard mixed reviews of The Timbers (in the old Ned Kelly's building in Urbana), so jury is still out on that one.

Maybe I'll have to see if anyone want to grab some Dom's before it closes....

Found out about the Marathon when I went in to buy...*cigarettes*.... Only a few more days to go and then it's smoke-free for me.

And the rest of Illinois' business establishments.

Honestly---it freaks me out a bit that Chantix is using a *turtle* for its marketing campaign.

12.27.2007

Paris Hilton news you're gonna *love*

Grandpa Hilton just announced he's donating 97% of the Hilton fortune to charity.
Jerry Oppenheimer, who profiled the Hilton family in his 2006 book "House of Hilton," has said Barron Hilton is embarrassed by the behaviour of his socialite granddaughter Paris and believes it has sullied the family name.
Sounds like the money will end up buying more than hair bleach and video cameras.
The foundation supports projects that provide clean water in Africa, education for blind children, and housing for the mentally ill. Its aims, based on Conrad Hilton's will, are "to relieve the suffering, the distressed and the destitute."

12.26.2007

Blech....

This guy. Can't stand this guy. I miss Turpin. Call me a codger, call me averse to change, but don't have this guy call the games.

Please.

I can't *listen* to him. His laugh drives me insane. And I know how ridiculous that is for me to say with my cackle and all, but *I don't make a living with my voice.* It's kinda like when someone pointed out a former basketball coach's lisp to me. I never actually heard it before. After that, I couldn't hear anything but.

Why this guy gets a big old article in the Trib's online vehicle is beyond me.

Wait---I know...it's because when people tune into the game they'll want to know who to name in their complaint letters?

Thank goodness Musberger is doing the game on the idiot box. I can listen to him.

Well, I guess this accounts for something....

Generation Xers have fewer sexual partners and are less likely to be unfaithful according to some study out of University of Chicago.

First of all, I quibble with their definition of Gen X---they say 1965 to 1985. I always heard it ended by 1980 at the very latest and starting a bit earlier. If you've been living under a rock for the past 15 years, Gen X is basically the generation *after* the Baby Boomers. My guess is that if you are mid-forties down to about late twenties, you're Gen X. Basically, if you're a kid of Boomers, you're Gen X.

Marked as the first generation heavily impacted by divorce, two working parents, the introduction of widespread technology use (home video game systems, mass production of home computers, VCRs, etc.), and other fun stuff, sociologists have now tried to identify sex habits of Gen Xers. As much as people hate labels, there is something about a shared culture. When talking with people I know, it's hard to make pop culture references or compare similarities with those who don't share your history. That Smurf joke is gonna go right over a 20-year-old's head.

A common history can be a shorthand to convey humor or provide an example in a discussion. If you have to explain to someone what "mall hair" means, your context is lost in translation.

I remember a Star Trek episode in which Picard and the rest of TNG cast encountered a species that communicated *solely through shared historical examples.* In order to interact with each other, it was necessary for the two species to engage in a shared event so they had references to work with.

There is a lot of discussion in the Times article about living through the first big AIDS scare and rejecting the Boomer's "free love" ideas, but there's a little tidbit from the article that I think strikes at a different aspect of Gen X "culture," if you will.
According to Laumann, this generation built surrogate families among closed circles of friends in their twenties: the benefit was comfort; the cost, sexual opportunity. He said closed social circles---as depicted in dramas such as This Life on the BBC and Friends, the hit American series---curbed sexual adventures because of the problems of introducing a lover into the circle. “There is a lot of frank talk about sex but surprisingly little action,” he commented.
According to the wiki entry, Google, Yahoo, MySpace, Dell, Youtube, and more were founded by Gen Xers. These all have aspects of social networking---similar to the "closed circles of friends" referenced in the article.

Honestly, I don't know if I believe Gen Xers are having less sex or are less promiscuous, but I can see this tidbit in myself---and other Gen Xers I know. Perhaps it's not a rejection of free love, but rather a more encompassing idea of coupling---less about the individual and the now and more about the group and the future. Because we had to think about sex in the long-term while growing up (AIDS, etc.), short-term isn't as tempting as it once was. Because we endured the consequences of adultery (divorce of parents/friend's parents/BF-GF's parent's), the consequences of engaging in cheating gets entered into the equation.

I don't see mention of porn in this article. Apparently, the full study will be published in 2008, but it would be interesting to see what the interviewees thought about porn. They don't call it a pornbox for nothing....

12.25.2007

Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina!

Apparently, there is actual *debate* about whether to put genitals on NHS interactive body maps across the pond.
























Cuz, you know, there aren't any medical issues with genitals.
























One of the comments to the story had me snorting up my beverage this morning:
If Doctors were educated with the genital-less models they'd get a huge surprise when they ask to pull your trousers down:

Doctor-"Don't worry sir there's no need to be embarrassed I've been trained under new NHS guidelines. Now, let's get this check up started, if you can just pull down your trous---HOLY S**T! WHAT THE F**K IS THAT?! WHAT'S THAT GROSS DANGLY THING AND THAT PATCH OF WRINKLY SKIN UNDER THERE?! EHEHEHEWWWWWW IT'S SOOO GROOOOOSSSSSS! PUTITAWAYPUTITAWAY! PUT IT AWAY!!! ... Ok then if you talk to the receptionist outside she will book you for your next check-up, I'll see you soon, bye."
You know, it wouldn't kill them to throw some pubic hair on those models, either. Yeesh....

12.22.2007

I'm feelin' festive....

Happy Holidays!

AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!!

My internets is crappy. I can't keep a connection. For the past 18 hours, I been restarting and restarting and restarting. Sometimes (like 3 times) I get internet. Sometimes I get squat. Even when I *do* get internet, it drops me shortly thereafter.

Kinda hard to do my Christmas research without internet.

I'm I the only one?

P.S. While writing this post, I lost my internet. Again. Right after I called Insight and they had me re-start my modem and everything worked fine.

*sigh*

And now it's back.

12.21.2007

*Big* news via Smile Politely

The Common Ground Food Coop is moving from the IDF to a place to be named later.

Just the other day, a co-worker was bemoaning the loss of the Strawberry Fields deli. According to Smile Politely, the CGFC's new location will have a deli---plus twice the current space, 20 parking spots in "one of the two downtown regions," and more local produce and products. The new CGFC will open this summer but we'll find out where it'll be located next month.

Even better news?

I discovered by reading their past newsletters that my favorite lip balm is probably being sold at CGFC. I've been lost without it.

:)

And...if you haven't subscribed to the Smile Politely feed---you should.

12.18.2007

So....

I haven't blogged in a while and part of it is because I'm busy but part of it is because I'm pondering something.

I subtitled this blog "A meandering mix of serious and not" when I started it because I had no idea what I wanted to focus on. I have a lot of interests and I didn't want to pigeon-hole myself. And I like the mix of shit I put up here. And I'm grateful to have so many friends and co-workers and fellow bloggers and strangers read this blog. Really---I post stuff because I want to share things I find interesting. I'm always happy when someone else finds it interesting as well.

But that's sort where I've run up against a wall. I want to blog about stuff that might make people uncomfortable. I used to write a lot. I enjoyed it. But I stopped at one point in the past because my writing upset people close to me who read it and, in some cases, it made my life hell. So I stopped writing. Probably not the wisest decision in retrospect, but live and learn.

This blog, while neglected often but never forgotten, suffers right now because I want to do more personal blogging on it. And I don't mean personal blogging in a "Bridget Jones' Diary" way, but more like I want to put more of myself in my writing.

Here's an example. I'm planning on quitting smoking soon. I've quit before and, since I'm quitting again, you can tell it hasn't taken yet. Some friends called me on my quitting plan by asking me simply "What's different this time?" I couldn't really answer. Another question they asked me was "What is it that I want to achieve by quitting?" Another valid question that I, frankly, couldn't answer at the time. But after pondering it, I have the beginnings of an idea. And those ideas are more than just about quitting smoking. But delving into all that is personal---and that's why I've been hesitant to post stuff lately.

I'm wondering what people who read this blog are expecting when they visit and if I should just start a second blog for that kinda stuff.

But my other brain says---no, post it all *here.* Why should I have two blogs to neglect when I can have one blog with lots of varied content---just like me. Sure, I post political stuff and tasty tidbits and bizarre inside jokes. But I also post stuff about music I like, trips I take, and odds and ends I run across. None of that really fits together---other than the fact that it's all stuff I post.

Why should my personal writing be any different? Why should I segregate it?

What do *you* think?

Reminds me of the patio chairs at Cowboy Monkey

I would wet myself laughing at anyone who bought this purse:























For those of you who can't read it---it costs $31,000. I joked the other day that my purse shouldn't cost more than the amount of money I've got in it. In this case, we'd have to throw in my car and everything else I own....

From my favorite guilty pleasure, Jezebel.

12.16.2007

Let's put engineering to good use....

Apparently, English papers run lots of stories about bras. Who knew?

This article brings up a discussion I had a lunch today with a couple of women:
Researchers from the University of Wollongong in Australia said: "A consequence of current bra design is that the brassiere straps bear much of the load generated by breast momentum during physical activity.

"As breast mass increases, breast bounce momentum also increases, placing large loads on the straps and, in turn, excessive pressure on the wearer's shoulders.

"Apart from strap-related pain, many females, particularly large-breasted women are restricted from participating in physical activity due to exercise-induced breast pain associated with excessive vertical breast displacement."

They have now designed a special fabric with in-built sensors to detect movement as women walk and jog.

This could help manufacturers produce more comfortable bras.

The fabric was tested on two women, aged 30 and 39, with size 36D and 38DD bra sizes respectively, as they walked on a treadmill at 4mph and jogged at 6mph.

Movement of the chest during walking ranged from 0.4 inches to almost one inch. But when they ran, the larger woman's chest moved by up to 2.7 inches compared to the smaller woman's which moved up to 2.1 inch, the study found.
I don't care *what* sports bras promise, unless they're made outta steel, they ain't gonna help when you run if you have "breast mass" of *any* kind.

12.04.2007

For some reason, this sounds like the beginning of a great horror flick

AT&T is phasing out pay phones by 2008---65,000 pay phones in 13 states will either be removed completely or sold to independents. From the Chicago Tribune:
These days there are no visible pay phones along Michigan Avenue from the Chicago River to Ontario Street. The closest phones are on Ontario at LaSalle Street and are owned by Schaumburg-based Express Telephone Systems, a five-employee outfit that operates roughly 600 public phones in Chicago and Milwaukee, according to company President Mike Simon.

Simon said pay phones remain important for public safety, especially in emergency situations when cell phone networks suffer major disruptions or overloads, like on Sept. 11.

"We're just trying to survive and provide a good service I think is necessary," Simon said.

He acknowledged that the boom in cell phones has caused pay-phone traffic to drop off sharply, but Simon said the real culprit is the growth of toll-free dialing. Simon estimates that 70 percent of calls made from pay phones and 80 percent of call time are toll-free calls. On his pay phones, it costs 50 cents to make a 10-minute local call.

...

Because most people carry a cell phone in a pocket or purse, few bother with putting 50 cents into a public phone to make a local call. Five years ago, AT&T stopped allowing people to make long-distance calls from pay phones using coins, requiring that they use a credit card instead.

Ward said that much pay-phone traffic these days comes from people whose cell phone batteries have gone dead or who are getting poor reception, as well as from people who don't own cell phones.
First of all, the whole credit card thing for calls seems like a great way to *lose* business. Second, I can think of a slew of occasions upon which having a pay phone nearby has saved my hide---before and after the time of cel phones. Cel phones don't always work, batteries die, coverage can be poor in some areas, etc. and so forth. I hope that perhaps the independents that buy these pay phones can keep them around.

12.03.2007

Finally some *fabulous* news for Champaign

In today's N-G there's an article by Mike Monson about Champaign's new draft transportation plan, Champaign Moving Forward. Apparently they had an Open House November 27th, but I never heard of it. I actually hadn't heard of this plan either, but I work with and know *several* people who either bike or walk rather than drive. We've discussed the sorry state of bike travel in Champaign.

Part of the problem lies with few safe routes to cross arterial streets. Crossing Prospect is a nightmare, and Kirby, Green, Springfield, and University aren't great. Let's not even discuss Bradley.

If you want to put your two cents in about this plan, there is an online comment form you can use. You can also download the plan from the CMF website and read it. They've got some good maps in it---including one pointing out my biggest pet peeve, "Existing Pedestrian Facilities." That's fancy-talk for sidewalks, if you couldn't decipher it. It's not light reading---the draft Champaign Transportation Plan is 106 pages long. It's definitely worth checking out.

12.02.2007

Famous Male Shag Fest

I've been tagged by Ryan over at Steam Room Quantam Mechanics for this survey. I gotta admit---for a dirty old lady, I didn't know a lot of these guys on the list. I can't believe neither Ryan *nor* moon_grrl bolded my absolute *fave* hot guy: David Boreanaz.

*sigh*

The rules:
1. Bold the names of guys you'd definitely shag.
2. Italicize the names of guys you might shag after a little persuasion.
3. Leave the guys who don't do anything for you alone.
4. Put a question mark after the guys you've never heard of.
5. Strike the guys you wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.
6. Add three of your own at the end.

01. Stephen Dorff
02. Wesley Snipes
03. Denzel Washington
04. Samuel L. Jackson
05. Hayden Christensen
06. Ian Somerhaulder ?
07. James Van Der Beek
08. Ashton Kutcher
09. Sean William Scott
10. The Rock
11. Brendan Fraser
12. Oded Fehr ?
13. John Hannah ?
14. Hugh Grant
15. Colin Firth
16. Liam Neeson
17. Daniel Day-Lewis
18. Leonardo Di Caprio
19. Billy Zane
20. Harry Connick Jr.
21. Sean Astin
22. Dominic Monaghan
23. Karl Urban ?
24. Vin Diesel
25. Paul Walker
26. Joshua Jackson ?
27. James Marsden ?
28. Shawn Ashmore ?
29. Hugh Jackman
30. Will Kemp ?
31. David Wenham ?
32. Viggo Mortensen
33. Elijah Wood
34. Tobey Maguire
35. James Franco ?
36. Alfred Molina
37. Harrison Ford
38. Sean Connery
39. Shane West ?
40. Stuart Townsend
41. Richard Roxburgh ?
42. Ewan McGregor
43. Jonathan Rhys Meyers?
44. Christian Bale
45. Jared Leto
46. Colin Farrell
47. Ben Affleck
48. Josh Hartnett
49. Bruce Willis
50. Billy Bob Thornton
51. Dennis Quaid
52. Jake Gyllenhaal
53. Patrick Swayze
54. Keanu Reeves
55. Gary Oldman
56. Tim Roth
57. Steve Buscemi
58. Michael Madsen
59. Rick Yune ?
60. Pierce Brosnan
61. Robert Carlyle ?
62. Jonny Lee Miller ?
63. Jude Law
64. Matt Damon
65. Clive Owen
66. Ryan Phillippe
67. Benicio Del Toro
68. Johnny Depp
69. Orlando Bloom
70. Sean Bean ?
71. Eric Bana
72. Brad Pitt
73. George Clooney
74. Mark Wahlberg
75. Jason Statham
76. Edward Norton
77. Ben Stiller
70. Owen Wilson
79. Vince Vaughn
80. Joaquin Phoenix
81. Russell Crowe

82. Billy Boyd ?
83. Paul Bettany ?
84. Heath Ledger
85. Mel Gibson
86. Jason Isaacs ?
87. Alan Rickman
88. Kevin Costner
89. Christian Slater
90. Antonio Banderas
91. Tom Cruise
92. Ving Rhames
93. John Cusack
94. John Malkovich
95. Charlie Sheen
96. Kiefer Sutherland
97. Emilio Estevez
98. Rob Lowe
99. Matt Dillon
100. Kevin Bacon
101. Adam Brody
102. Andy Serkis ?
103. Alan Cumming
104. Josh Groban
105. Sean Biggerstaff ?
106. Zach Braff
107. Harry Sinclair ?
108. Gerard Butler ?
109. Marton Csokas ?
110. Jeremy Sumpter ?
111. Sean Patrick Flanery
112. Cillian Murphy ?
113. Hugh Dancy ?
114. Ioan Gruffudd ?
115. Mads Mikkelsen ?
116. Enrique Murciano ?
117. Jamie Bamber ?
118. Craig Parker ?
119. Dean Cain
120. James Marsters
121. David Boreanaz
122. James Spader
123. Kevin Spacey
124. Al Pacino
125. Jim Caviezel ?
126. Josh Holloway
127. Will Smith
128. Matthew McConaughey
129. Patrick Wilson ?
130. Milo Ventimiglia ?
131. Jason Dohring ?
132. Brandon Boyd ?
133. Tom Welling ?
134. Sean Maher ?
135. Tré Cool ?
136. Billie Joe Armstrong
137. Mike Dirnt ?
138. Adrienne Armstrong ?
139. Jason White ?
140. Matthew Fox
141. Peter Sarsgaard
142. Derek Jeter
143. Travis Fimmel ?
144. Michael Vartan
145. Rob Thomas
146. James Purefoy ?
147. Michael Rosenbaum ?
148. Jensen Ackles ?
149. William Fichtner
150. Patrick Dempsey
151. Ace Young ?
152. Francis Capra ?
153. Ryan Hansen ?
154. Robert Pattinson ?
155. William Moseley ?
156. Ryan Gosling
157. Nicolas Cage
158. Leigh Whannell ?
159. Wentworth Miller ?
160. Jack Davenport ?
161. Michael J. Fox
162. Kevin Federline
163. Liam Cunningham

164. John Barrowman ?
165. John Rzeznik
166. Sendhil Ramamurthy ?
167. Stephen Colbert
168. Jon Stewart
169. Brandon Flowers ?
170. Henry Ian Cusick
171. John Krasinski
172. Michael Trucco ?
173. Benjamin McKenzie ?
174. Adrian Pasdar ?
175. Jeremy Piven
176. Justin Timberlake
177. Naveen Andrews
178. Vincent Cassel ?
179. Adrian Paul ?
180. Gabriel Byrne
181. Adrian Grenier ?
182. Daniel Craig ?
183. Nathan Fillion ?
184. Adam Baldwin
185. Ed Quinn ?
186. Eric Szmanda ?
187. George Eads ?
188. Omar Epps
189. Jared Padalecki ?
190. Christian Kane
191. Jeffrey Dean Morgan ?
192. Geoffrey Rush
193. Brandon Routh ?
194. Chris Lowell ?
195. James Callis ?
196. Justin Chambers ?
197. Michael Muhney ?
198. Matthew Goode ?
199. Bradley Cooper ?
200. Burn Gorman ?
201. Christopher Eccleston?
202. David Tennant ?
203. Tom Felton ?
204. Daniel Radcliffe
205. Rupert Grint
206. Kevin McKidd ?
207. Gaspard Ulliel ?
208. James McAvoy ?
209. Zac Efron ?
210. Jonas Armstrong ?
211. Ed Speelers ?
212. Penn Badgley ?
213. James Lafferty ?
214. Bryan Greenberg ?
215. Chace Crawford?
216. Joe Jonas ?
217. Toby Hemingway ?
218. Dane Cook
219. Travis Wall ?
220. Brad Paisley
221. John Mayer
222. Blake Lewis ?
223. TR Knight
224. Hugh Laurie
225. David Duchovny
226. Damien Rice ?
227. Ozzy Osbourne
228. Tim Daly
229. Matthew Rhys ?
230. Robert Downey Jr.
231. Goran Visnjic
232. John Corbett
233. Michael Emerson ?
234. David Hewlett ?
235. Robert Knepper ?
236. Nestor Carbonell ?
237. Robert Sean Leonard ?
238. Zach Gilford ?
239. Paul Rudd
240. David Sutcliffe ?
241. Christopher Gorham ?
242. Andrew Simpson ?
243. Henry Cavill ?
244. Daniel Vosovic ?
245. Max Minghella
246. Steve Carell
247. B.J. Novak
248. Rainn Wilson

Just in time for the holidays

Apparently, you can recycle your wine corks. Right now, Yemm & Hart Green Materials aren't paying for corks, but if they can make a sellable product, tiles for flooring or walls, then previous donors will receive "preferential pricing" if and when they do start paying for cork. They are based in Missouri and here's a photo of the finished product.

























A friend recently had natural bamboo floors put in and I think they are lovely.... I could see her putting cork tiles in as well. I doubt these tiles will be widely available anytime soon, unfortunately.
This program, as of the end of September 2007, has collected about 346,667 Lbs of corks. In terms of Wine Cork Tiles 36" square and 1/4" thick, one ton of corks will make approximately 4337 square feet of tiles.
I would think they would want a much larger supply before paying for corks. But don't think this means they *won't* succeed. They have done this before.
The recycled materials produced by Yemm & Hart are wholesaled worldwide to dealers and/or end users. The materials are also converted into a variety of specialty and promotional products. In addition to the production of materials, the business produces restroom partitions, counter tops, contract furniture and store fixtures all from 100% recycled materials.

My *hopeful* prediction....