Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Monday, December 29, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Escorted by Mackenzie, Brendan, Nancy and the grandkidlings, I left Tampa and went to Chicago O'Hare and then down to Peoria. We were, of course, delayed by an hour and 45 minutes from Tampa because the plane taking us didn't arrive till late and then they had to check a problem with one of the wheels.
Finally leaving, I was kind of happy because there wasn't anyone in the middle seat. However, there was a real jerk in the same seating section as me. First, he refused to hang up his phone even after a flight attendant told him it should have already been off. Very important call he said to her, and what was he talking about? His cold and congestion! Then after we got going his overhead light tended to blink out and he became more agitated. He'd flick the light, knock on it and make harrumphing noises. The idiot didn't realize that all he had to do was flip on the middle light and that would have been enough to see what he was doing. God what a creep.
Anyway because of the lateness of our departure it ate up any leeway I had to catch my Peoria plane. Because I had already missed 2 of 3 busiest Fed Ex days at Blick, it was imperative I make it back to work at 9:00 the next morning.
Finally landing in Chicago, I looked at the departures and noticed I had to go to Concourse F from Concourse C. That is no small feat in 15 minutes. Imagine this old guy running around O'Hare with a rather sizeable carry-on, with the wrong kind of shoes, and only minutes to get there.
Finally, I found my gate with about 2 minutes to spare, sweat coming down my forehead, panting like a dog, and someone says, "Peoria?" I huff "Yes." and they say, better hurry, its leaving. So off to the gate I go, give them my boarding pass, and through a couple winding aisles, through a couple doors, and into the cold (I forgot my hoodie in Tampa, so I was cold, too). A person guides me to my plane and I climb aboard. And guess what? We were delayed by 45 minutes. Couldn't find anyone to put the baggage in the plane. Made it to Peoria, and was told by my ride (thanks again Pat) that my truck wouldn't start. There is a picture of the cart with the bags sitting on the tarmac above. Traveling is a lot of fun!
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Brendan and I went to Bloomington on Wednesday night since we didn't want to drive Thursday morning at 2:00 am. We stayed at the Holiday Inn next to the airport and walked over to Wild Buffalo Wings. If Galesburg's is anything (presently under construction near new Wal-Mart/Menards area) like this was, it will be pretty decent. Good food, cold beer, and reasonably priced.
I woke up at 3:00 am and got Brendan up soon after, and over to the airport we went. All was good and weather was cold but OK. Then we got word that there was a problem with the on-board computers. Boarding was delayed by a couple of hours. Brendan had to go up to the information desk and get a pass that put us on a later flight out of Atlanta to Buffalo. But eventually we got going and made it to Atlanta, late but still fresh and roaring to go.
Leg 2: Atlanta to Buffalo
We found the flight and gate from Atlanta and boarded the flight to Buffalo to retrieve little Michael and Alhanna who were being ushered across the border from Canada. I don't remember much from this flight, but it seemed long and I was glad Brendan got a little sleep.
Leg 3: Buffalo to Chicago
We disembarked and scurried to find the kids. We had a little time so we weren't racing. Found the kids, had a good hug as I had not seem them since July of 2007. Michael looked much as I had last seem him, but Alhanna was almost as tall, if not taller than him. Her speech was pretty fluent and was easy to talk to, very much advanced from last year.
Leg 4: Chicago to Tampa
OK, by this time Brendan and I are unravelling. Due to a delay and a longish flight (the pilot had said we would be landing in 15 minutes, but it was more like a half hour) we only had about 10 minutes to find our gate and board. I got a nice dressing down from A Screaming Eagle for being whining and anxious. I'm sure I deserved it. I must have been terrible. Our gate was just down the way a tad so after a pit stop and a brisk walk, we made out gate and flight, and off to sunny Tampa. Michael got a tour of the flight cabin and a set of wings from one of the attendants.
What started at 3:00 am ended at around 11:45 pm. Greeting us at Tampa International was the entire crew of Nancy, Mackenzie and Drew.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I will try to update in Florida, so stay tuned.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The weather will be great, there will be no delays, the border guards won't detain anyone, the planes will all be gassed up and flight-ready, and no one will get tired, weary or cranky. As Brendan says when I get itchy/edgy/nervous/anxious/old-womanish about the trip or anything, "Two to the Wind". Apparently this is Army-speak for "shrug it off" and "what will be, will be".
Concurrently, Missy goes to the hospital on Wednesday morning for surgery and a biopsy, and then will remain there till I return on Sunday and pick her up early Monday.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Go to the site above to check out a new CD by Kevin Henrickson. It is about an elusive dream, a longing for a World Series victory with song titles like:
Santa, I Want a Cubby Pennant
I'll Always Be A Cub Fan
Ronnie the Snowman
Christmastime In Wrigleyville
Clark and Addison
What a Christmas - For When It Happens!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
But my thanks to Pat and Gay who thought about me and asked me to join their families for this special day. Like I have said before, many people talk a good game, but these two guys actually went the full mile. Thank you and it made me feel good.
2. Speaking of good deeds, another past Knox County Academy co-worker, Bob Sheehan, aka, The Mayor, Hizzoner, Superfly, Fifi's Father, went to Toronto, Ontario over the Thanksgiving holiday. He was kind enough to remember I had grandkids up near there and offered to take a box of Christmas goodies up to them, thus saving around $40.00 - $50.00 postage. Thanks Bob, another guy who deserves applause.
3. And thanks to Mark and Holly who hosted a great evening in Aledo for Brendan.
4. I was feeling sorry for myself driving from Galesburg to BFE last night in less than favorable conditions, when I thought about others who have it far worse than me. Tad, my neighbor drives 70 miles one-way each day. Tim goes to Muscatine from BFE. Jeremy drives over to Mt. Pleasant and back each day, and all the other people who have to spend much time behind the wheel when it gets nasty.
5. My fantasy football team is in 1st place. If it works out (and now I'll probably jinx myself), I will have won both baseball and football in one year. My my wouldn't that be a trashtalk coup?
6. I am trying to sell my snowblower. It has started first time since I bought it some 4-5 years ago. I am taking it into work today and got it out of the basement, and wouldn't you know it, it won't start. Must be from the Great Flood of 2008.
7. Mets have been quiet in the off season, but next week the Winter meetings start in Las Vegas. Watch for major signings!
8. I bought a new phone last week, and remember the Peter Principle? I think I have reached the level of my incompetence: I can't access the voicemail messages. They keep coming in (6 at the moment), but darned if I know how to get this gadget conquered. By the way, besides that I love it. It is a Samsung Delve, and it is far easier to text than my old Razr. It is also bigger and feels more substantial when I am talking. It also has internet access and other things I haven't explored yet.
9. Brendan is coming back on the 10th for a few days and look out: Lisa, Marvin, Janine, and Pat, he is looking for you guys.
10. Score: So far two winter storms, and we haven't even exhausted the 1st week of December.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Breakfast guests. Isn't this a cool picture. I thought North Canton was a big city, but here we have a couple deer who found their way to the Gerdes's back yard.
The Dave Matthews band was always playing on Grove street at John and Tarasa's. This summer they had an opportunity to see them in concert. This is how close they were.
Old friends from the "Tiki Days" along with neighbors Lisa and Dave were the Gerdes's who lived on Grove street across the road. We all gathered on weekends and had adult beverages and discussed all manner of subjects. It was a fun time, and then, seeking job upgrades with her work, Tarasa, John and Andrew took off for Ohio. John recently sent some pics.
John and Tarasa are flipping the house and are busy renovating it for sale in the new year. John is a hell of a carpenter, and that means he is good. I am a hell of a carpenter and that is bad. Have a great Holiday season, guys, and if you're in the area let me know.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We had planned to go to Aledo for a drink or two and then back to Burgess so Brendan could have a beer with Marvin and Janine, but, as we could/should have suspected, Aledo was difficult to leave. We met Mark and Holly at Scooters and eventually went over to Beerbellies. Saw a lot of familiar faces and many wanted to thank Brendan for his service, particularly with alcohol.
We got back home at a decent hour, but we were in no condition to stop anywhere else. Next time, Burgess, I promise.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Yesterdays Galesburg Register-Mail had an interesting ad on page three. It reads: "Thank You, To my son-in-law (not either of my daughters) for taking me to the emergency room." Well, that should be a cheery Thanksgiving Dinner.
* By the way, what is that thing in the lower left-hand corner. Is it a pepper? Or pickle? The mystery thickens.
The other is a rather sad one, announcing the closing of the old Skate Palace. We used to take some of the better behaved kids at the Mary Davis Home, back in the day when we were able to so such things. They had fun and the place seemed well run and supervised. However, just a year or so ago when I was working at the Knox County Academy it was a popular Friday night place to go. I can remember talking to some of them on Mondays and they would talk about the fights they intentionally choreographed, just for the fun of it. In fact I usually asked on Fridays if they were going to the Palace and fight, and many would say yes, and they had their targets all worked out. Sad way to have fun, and sad end to a good positive place that seemed to be anachronistic in today's world.