Wednesday, August 30, 2006

FWIW... I've finally tried Coca Cola Blak. The verdict: I like it.

I hope that it becomes so popular, that it convinces Pepsi to put Pepsi Kona back on the market, because I liked *that* even better. Too bad Pepsi marketed their coffee/cola beverage years before Starbucks took over the planet. IMO, Pepsi Kona was ahead of its time. If they'd test-marketed it AFTER coffee became a national obsession, I think it'd have been more popular.

I'm still processing the fact that I've *finally* gotten a response to one of the ton of resumes I've sent out in recent weeks. It figures that the one I heard back from is a temp agency. Regular companies looking for an administrative assistant take one look at the 12 years of IT experience on my resume, say "Overqualified", and move on to the next resume. Regular companies looking for an IT person see that I haven't worked in IT since 2002, say "No recent IT experience", and move on to the next resume. TEMP agencies look at my experience, see someone who can hit the ground running, and call.

Not that they necessarily have an *assignment* available, mind you. But they do call. I hope this company does better for me than the two I (re-)enrolled with last year. I got diddly-squat from either of them in the months between the end of my temp job at the insurance company, and my starting work at the hospital.

To be fair, THIS agency says they have multiple openings to fill ASAP. I'll believe it when I see it, but at least they're *saying* there are assignments available.

We'll see.

Eeee. The Paperwork Monster almost made me delay that appointment I have set up for tomorrow.

They called back to ask me to bring my Social Security card. I didn't think I HAD one, since the one I had disappeared in a purse snatching about 16 years ago. And even if I did have that one, it had my maiden name on it anyway, so I couldn't have used it.

In my aggravation, I called Mark at work to tell him all this. Imagine my surprise when he told me that I do, in fact, have a valid Social Security card. Huh?

When we got married, I had to go to the Social Security offices and have them change my name. Apparently, they sent me a new Social Security card at that time. Mark normally got the mail, as he arrived home from work before I did. He filed it with our Important Paperwork, which I didn't realize. I checked where he told me to look, and bingo. Instant Social Security card.

I'm still not sure why they absolutely, positively HAVE to see the physical Social Security card as a part of the interview process. I would have thought that bringing my passport would be enough to definitively prove that I am who I say I am, AND that I'm legally permitted to work in the USA. But at least I have a card to show them, and therefore I don't have to postpone my appointment tomorrow afternoon.
NOW we're talking! I just heard back from one of the temp agencies whose job opening I applied to.

They're located in King of Prussia. Unfortunately, I suspect that their JOBS are also located in the suburbs. But if the pay warrants a significant commute, I'll take it.

For now.

I still have the "go back to school and get trained to become a trainer" goal in the back of my mind, and that goal is NOT going to go away. But back-to-school means paying tuition, and paying tuition means I need a steady income to save up some money.

I have an interview with the temp agency tomorrow afternoon. We'll see how it all plays out.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yep. There goes the weather radio alarm. They're announcing a severe thunderstorm warning for Philly now. There are also flash flood warnings being announced for Chester County, meaning that "flooding is imminent or occurring". Translation: Fasten your seat belts; it's gonna be a bumpy ride.

Say, remember the live streaming webcam I found for NYC's Times Square?

Well, I found a site that has TWO streaming webcams from Philadelphia International Airport. Have a look at the links on this page:

Philadelphia International Airport

Actually, if you review the links at the top of the page, you'll find lists of other webcams, too. There are all sorts of things in different countries, including weather cams, cameras at famous landmarks, pet cameras (gerbils seem to be a popular topic), and others.

I'll have to wait until the Christmas season to see one that I'm very interested in. Flyers defenseman Joni Pitkanen is from Finland, and he described in an interview that he grew up very close to Santa's Workshop, which is in Finland near the North Pole. Apparently, it's quite a big tourist draw, too. I'm all kinds of interested in seeing Santa and his elves in action at their world-famous workshop, but unfortunately the camera's not available year-round. But that's one link I'll gladly be visiting once the Christmas season rolls around. :o)

I just hope that nobody who's looking in on the Philly-based webcams see a TORNADO today. We have a tornado watch in effect until 8 PM tonight. That's less severe than a warning, which would be called if someone had actually SIGHTED a tornado. But even though odds are not in favor of having a tornado go through here, it doesn't bode well for the overall weather forecast today and I'm not looking forward to it.

And even as I type, the weather radio is sounding with the warning of a severe thunderstorm warning in Chester County. That means it'll be on its way to Philly; I expect the warning to be sounded for Philadelphia county within the hour.

What's really nasty is that we've had a lot of heavy rain during the past few days. Not only is our ground pretty well saturated, but we're expecting whatever remains of Tropical Storm Ernesto to be sending ITS rain to us over the weekend. I'll be keeping an eye out for pairs of animals lining up to board an ark in the near future.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Don't people ever proofread anymore? I mean, EVER?

I've been wandering through the Philadelphia section of Craigslist, just to see what job openings are listed with the ability to telecommute. I'm interested to see what, if anything, I can do to earn money from home via my own computer.

The list of possibilities wasn't all that long, so it was easy to spot the one with the title "Shampoo Person".

Um, what? Surely that can't mean what I think it means, can it?

So I clicked on the link. Sure enough, it's a job shampooing hair in a salon.

My mind boggles at the thought of how, exactly, a person could perform that particular task via telecommuting. What does the employee do, reach through the telephone until their hands come out of the phone receiver located in the salon? Wouldn't that entail the risk of electrocution of the employee and/or the customer? Do they have to pay someone else to stand there and position the phone receiver so the shampoo person can properly wash the customer's hair? And wouldn't it be easier and more practical to just teach the "Phone Receiver Holding Person" to do the shampooing, and forget about having the telecommuting "Shampoo Person" on the payroll?

Or maybe it'd be even easier for someone to PROOFREAD the freaking post before finalizing it for publication on Craigslist.

Nah, that last one would be too logical. Forget that.

I've regretfully decided NOT to apply for this particular telecommuting job. I don't think my carpal tunnel problems would withstand all that reaching through phone receivers, not to mention the repetetive stress injuries that could result from doing that job for hours on end.

When you run across a pasta sauce -- or "gravy", if you're from South Philly -- and its name is JUST the same as the original spelling of your surname (before one wing of the family Americanized it), it's a sign. Buy it. :o)


P. S. That would be "Mammarella", not "Coppola".

What's even funnier is that we were specifically looking for tomato/basil sauce when we found this. Did I mention it was a sign? ;o)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Interesting. I was just listening to 104.5 FM, the one that was simulcasting content from 106.1 (see my post from a few days ago).

At noon, a man's voice counted down, in Spanish, from 10 to 1. Then he declared, "RUMBA!", followed by a song in Spanish.

Doggone it, I *liked* Sunny 104.5. Now, the final vestiges of doubt are erased; it's definitely gone. :o(

Monday, August 21, 2006

I've just seen my first definitive sign that summer's winding down.

Starlings a few feet from me, in the front yard, have molted a lot of their iridescent, black summer plumage in favor of their duller, brown, spotted winter coloration.

Also, their bills have completed the switch from being bright yellow to dark brown.

There are still some hints of their summer plumage remaining. One bird ventured into full sunlight, which revealed that it still has some of the summer iridescent feathers remaining. But I know those won't be around much longer.

When I was a kid, I'd see my first glimpse of starlings with summer plumage, in February or so, and be pleased to realize that spring was coming. (For that matter, that sight still makes me feel that way NOW. :o) )

But at the end of summer, my first glance of winter plumage, in late August, would feel like seeing a "Back to School Sale!" sign. It'd serve as a reminder that summer vacation was nearly over, and all too soon I'd be back in school with those bullying, miserable excuses for human beings I called classmates. And even though school and summer vacations are things of the distant past, I still feel some lingering sadness when I'm reminded that summer is nearly over.

Or maybe it's just a touch of Seasonal Affective Disorder, caused by the ever-decreasing amount of daylight that marks this time of year. Who knows?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hey... wanna take a peek at what's happening in Times Square in New York City, right this second?

Of course you do. So visit this link and you can watch the live webcam that's streaming video 24/7:

http://www.ppcvidz.com/small/watch.asp?pro_id=639&speed=100

Have fun! :o)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Color me aggravated. I don't have all that many favorite radio stations as it is, and I hate it when one of them falls off the air. I just got a call from Joe M., asking me if I'd seen or heard anything about programming changes to 104.5 FM, as it's currently simulcasting with 106.1 FM. I hadn't, so I took a look online. This was in the Philly Inquirer a few days ago. Let's have a moment of silence for Sunny 104.5, shall we?

Changes in the air at two radio stations

By Michael Klein
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Sunny 104.5 and Smooth Jazz 106.1 went dark at noon today as Clear Channel Radio set up changes at the stations.

WJJZ-FM (106.1) - longtime home of mellow tunes from artists such as Dave Koz, David Sanborn and Spyro Gyra - became "Philly's 106.1" with a bouncy format known in the trade as rhythmic adult-contemporary. It's an uptempo mix of music aimed at adult women. (Sample: Michael Jackson's "Rock With You," Rihanna's "Unfaithful," Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie," and Madonna's "Sorry.")

Philly's 106.1 also will get comedian Whoopi Goldberg's new syndicated four-hour morning show, Wake Up With Whoopi. It starts at 5 a.m. Monday.

Clear Channel, the nation's largest radio operator, is not expected to disclose plans for 104.5 until next week.

In the meantime, the new 106.1 signal is simulcast on 104.5.

"There's an open lane in the Philadelphia market for Philly 106.1," said Manuel Rodriguez, who runs Philadelphia's Clear Channel stations. "We're targeting women - but to try to describe the station with typical demographics doesn't do it justice. We're going for the woman who is too young for B101 and too old for Q102 - both great stations. The station is about women for women. We're talking to - not at them. That's why a superstar personality like Whoopi Goldberg is perfect for Philly 106.1."

Brian Check, Sunny 104.5's program director, is now program director at 106.1.

Smooth Jazz program director/morning personality Michael Tozzi was working today, but many WSNI/WJJZ staffers were let go Wednesday.

A rock format is not considered likely for 104.5. One rumor says 104.5 will be a Spanish format, which would make it the city's first full-time Spanish FM station. A Jersey Shore station briefly tried Spanish dance music a few years ago on 104.9, but it hardly made a rumba in the ratings. Another rumor is a talk format.

Smooth Jazz - featuring a mellow mixture of light pop and jazz instrumentals - started at 1:06 p.m. March 12, 1993, replacing a top-40 rock station called Eagle 106.

Smooth Jazz was 10th in the city in the overall spring Arbitron ratings. The station's demise may leave doctors' waiting rooms silent, save for the murmuring of patients complaining about long waits.

Its last song was the soulful Daryl Hall solo version of "She's Gone." After a pause, 106.1 blared forth with the Black Eyed Peas' "Let's Get It Started," followed by 2 Unlimited's "Get Ready for This" and Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Starting Something."

Sunny 104.5 - known as a light-rock or "adult-contemporary" station - began Aug. 1, 2002, and replaced a marginally livelier rock format called Alice. The Sunny 104.5 moniker had a previous incarnation, from 1980 through 1990.

Sunny competed directly against WBEB-FM (101.1), Philadelphia's highest-rated music station. Its ratings were middling at best.

Sunny's last song was Elton John's "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," a tip to "Here Comes the Sun," which the station played for 21 hours straight when it went on the air four years ago.

Besides the stations at 104.5 and 106.1, Clear Channel also owns urban-contemporary WUSL-FM (98.9), top-40 WIOQ-FM (102.1), gospel WDAS-AM (1480) and urban adult contemporary WDAS-FM (105.3).

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Pittsburgh? PITTSBURGH?!

They filmed a movie set in South Philly in PITTSBURGH? Gaaaah! Somebody flunked geography, big-time!Arrrrrgh!

Read it here: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/s_243687.html

Hip, hip, hooray, Blogger fixed the problem I was having with posting by email! I never did hear back from their tech support, but something told me to just TRY sending the kind of post that was causing problems a few days ago.

FWIW, the photo of the trailer hauling a bunch of yellow taxi cabs is one that I took the day before I left for the AADB convention. I'd just finished making a deposit at the ATM, and noticed that the truck transporting all the taxis was pulled over for I Know Not What Reason. It made for an interesting sight, so out came the camera phone and I took a few pictures of it from different angles. (Since I had to pass the truck on my way out of the parking lot anyway.)

So, since blogging by email appears to be repaired, here's a comment that I've wanted to send for the past couple of days. This week, the Flyers' longtime defenseman Eric Desjardins retired. I tip my cap to him for being a complete credit to the Orange and Black, both on and off the ice, for the past 11 years. I can't say enough about how I respect him as a player, for being our best defenseman for years, and as a person for being the epitome of class, be it during games or in Real Life. If every athlete was like him, there'd never be another bad headline about another sports figure, ever.

Right now, I'm watching Captain and Stanley figure out what to do with a bagful of old cat toys I found, toys that had belonged to Melody and Harmony. I'm sure that at least some of the toys are catnip-scented, even after all this time, because the moment I set the bag down, the boys made a beeline for it.

Captain has been knocking toys out of the bag one by one, and the kitties have commenced cautiously sniffing each toy as it makes its appearance. I can't help but laugh. Right now, they're sitting in the midst of five or six toys, trying to decide which one to play with first. I think they've had their fill of retrieving toys from the bag, in fact, or at least Captain has. As it is, they're already outnumbered about three to one by new (to them) toys strewn on the floor near the stairs and I think that's about as much unfamiliar sensory input as they can deal with for the moment.

Hmmm. As I look at the toys they've retrieved from the bag, I'm thinking that I will have to take that cloth mouse's tail off before I really let them play with it. Both of the cats have been known to eat the tails off toy mice, and we REALLY don't need an unexpected major vet visit.

Oh, and speaking of cat toys. Remember that I posted a few days ago that the new vertical blinds had passed the Captain Test? Well, not only is he not intimidated by them, but he's quite willing to bap them into submission when he needs to. See, when he jumps on the windowsill, sometimes his arrival sets the vertical blinds swinging like a bunch of pendulums. (Or is that "pendula"?) Of course, when he does this. the blinds will then swing back and bump into Captain. When the blinds swat HIM, he swats them right back. Not surprisingly, this causes a chain reaction where Captain ends up jumping around and bapping various blinds that are bumping into him from every direction. I don't know when I've laughed so hard. :o)

The blinds are taking a bit longer to pass the Stanley Test, however. This could be partly because Stanley takes longer to adapt to new things. It's also probably due in part to the fact that Captain has figured out how to hide behind the blinds when Stanley comes and sits on the window ledge or near it. Then Captain comes pouncing, seemingly out of nowhere, through the blinds and onto his brother. I think Stanley will acclimate to the blinds more easily once he figures out how to detect when the Captainator is lurking behind them.

What a pair of fuzzy comedians. I should just videotape them all day. They're far more entertaining to watch than a lot of the series on TV these days. :o)

Yay, joy to the world... My test post went through.

Now let's see if a picture post also arrives safely on the blog.

Test Post. Let's see if this works. I hope it does.

Monday, August 07, 2006

More testing

Test post. If this works, I have found a different way to post by email, which I hope will let my posts arrive without having a fouled-up format.

On a side note, I can't BELIEVE the aggravation I've had with post-by-email for the past few weeks. AOL is still not sending outgoing mail from PDAs. I've had two emails from their tech support saying that the problem is on their end, and that they're working on it. Unfortunately, at this time it's been a month and there's been no visible progress from my end.

The alternative program I've been using to send/receive AOL mail on the PDA is definitely working... EXCEPT that it decides to insert line breaks in strange places. That's why some of my recent posts have looked like a mess, until I edited them tonight and cleaned up the format.

In English: the email Gremlins have been running rampant for the past few weeks, and it's been driving me freakin' bananas.

I hereby cross my fingers and hit SEND. Let's see what happens!

WHAAAAAAT the heck is THIS?

http://imdb.com/title/tt0360323/

Ya know what it is? I'll TELL you what it is! It's a movie called 10th and Wolf, which Joe M. ran across on the Internet Movie Database while he was reading about something else.

People who know me offline and are familiar with the 19148 ZIP code will be well aware why the name of that intersection bears meaning for me. For those who don't know Philadelphia well, that is the name of the intersection where I lived for several years. "Lived", as in "gave that intersection when asked 'Where in South Philly are you from?' ", as well as "gave it to friends as the primary landmark to look for when they were driving to my home for the first time" . I also grew up and spent the first 20 years of my life describing an intersection a block away from there (10th & Ritner) as the Place Where I Lived. (As you can see, when my family moved out of the house where I grew up, we stayed in the same neighborhood.)

In fact, as I have three relatives who live within a block of 10th and Wolf today, I *still* have strong ties to that very intersection.

So when Joe M. called me to let me know that this movie is in existence, I went to check IMDB for myself. It is set in South Philly, right in My Old Neighborhood, and it's about a neighborhood guy's troubles with a mob boss in the area.

Let me tell you how much I DON'T appreciate having my former home depicted as Mob Central to the rest of the world. GRRRRRR!!!*$%#*&!!!

I will, however, make an attempt to see the movie, if only out of curiosity. I'd like to see just HOW much of the portrayal is from the Land of Stereotypes vs. an attempt to represent a neighborhood full of hard-working people, many of whom are of Italian-American descent, who just want to live their lives in peace, and desire neither to cause trouble for other people nor to have trouble caused for them.

I'm also curious to see just how much on-site filming was done. I certainly did NOT hear from any of my relatives, two of whom could stand on their house's front step and look right at the real 10th and Wolf street sign, about the presence of any film crews in the neighborhood. That makes me think that if they DID film in the area, they probably did so during off-hours like late at night or VERY early in the morning, the way the first Rocky movie was filmed.

Sigh. Of all the intersections for them to use as the namesake of a movie that describes mob problems. Dang Hollywood, taking My Old Neighborhood's name in vain. They'd better have given the area a fair shake, or I'll be seriously PO'ed.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

What part of "NO fishing from dock" do these people not understand? Sorry if the resolution on the camera phone doesn't make this clear, but everyone in the above picture except the toddler was either in the act of fishing, or preparing a fishing pole for use. The third sign on the left reads, "NO FISHING FROM DOCK".

Good news. I just took a look at The Other Donna's myspace page. Her profile picture is repaired. It now bears a photo of her, instead of some stranger (emphasis on STRANGE, believe me).

A pox on the fargin' bastages with no lives who play these kinds of prank. I hope their computers blow up.

Well, how do you like that? I just spent quite a while, until about ten minutes ago, trying to troubleshoot a problem that cropped up on The Other Donna's myspace profile. Somehow, it got hacked and was showing the wrong photo in the profile (some complete stranger), and all her profile information was blanked out.

The same wrong photo was listed in The Other Donna's pictures page, instead of the things she originally had there.

Donna was able to get rid of the unwanted content on her pictures page. Unfortunately, neither she nor I has been able to track down how to get rid of that unwanted profile photo... yet.

I'm flying a little bit blind here, because although I do have a myspace page, I rarely actually log in. For the most part, I joined because the Phantoms Phan Club has a page and we have someone who's doing her best to keep it current. I figured that since I'm on the board of the club, I ought to be on myspace, add the Phan Club as one of my friends, and keep up to date with what's posted on the PPPC myspace page. So that's basically what I did.. What I *haven't* done is navigate much on myspace, so trying to determine how to fix a screwed-up profile was completely new territory for me.

What I want to know is, how in blazes did someone tamper with her profile to begin with? So I've been using google to see if I can find any reports of problems with hacked profiles, or solutions for repairing them. The drawback to this quest is that perfectly legitimate alterations to the profile are described as "hacking", and so are underhanded attempts to vandalize myspace content. This is resulting in a lot of unusable (for me) information showing up in the google searches.

So far, I haven't found anything in my searching that fits the description of the kinds of tampering that were done on Donna's page. But I'm going to keep lookiing. If it's a widespread problem, it's bound to become public soon, if the information hasn't already been spread.

BTW, speaking of irksome things happening on the internet... I'm kind of aggravated to see that this email program I'm using to post to this blog is inserting line feeds in odd places. Sorry about that: as long as the problem with AOL's handling of outgoing Windows Mobile mail continues, this is the only program I've been able to use to send email from the PDA. I can't edit blog content from my PDA, I can only post it from here. But when I get online with a regular computer, I'll try and edit out any unwanted line feeds so the format of my posts will look right.

Whew, is it late! On the other hand, although I'd LIKE to say that it's unusual for me to be awake in the wee hours of the morning, unfortunately, that's not the case. Lately, I'm awake at this hour more often than not... and then once I finally do fall asleep, I have a bear of a time waking up in the morning. Well, the Princess of Insomnia will now attempt to get something that resembles sleep. Wish me luck.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

I saw an article in today's Daily News about a 78-year-old man who not only thwarted a carjacking, put the guy who attempted to carjack his vehicle in the hospital. God forgive me, but my first thought was, "You go, sir! Good job".

I also remembered the story that one of my interpreting classmates shared. Back in the late 80s/early 90s, carjacking suddenly became a big problem in this area. Eventually, the problem was reduced when the laws were changed to make the punishments for carjacking more severe. This story happened right around that time frame, since those were the years we were taking the classes.

In any event, one of our classmates told us that her elderly aunt had stopped a young man from carjacking her. The lady had just removed the Club from her steering wheel when the would-be thief approached her and tried to take the car. She responded by whacking him over the head with the Club, fracturing the guy's skull and landing him in the hospital.

I wasn't too far removed from having dealt with having my apartment broken into, as well as having gone to the ER as a result of a mugging, so my first response was, "GOOD, I'm glad she did it! He deserves it!" My fellow students who were listening to the story agreed with me.

But there was more to the story. My classmate said, with obvious exasperation, "But then she felt bad and baked him COOKIES while he was in the hospital! Can you believe it? I said, 'You're missing the POINT here', but she did it anyway".

I had to laugh. God bless her aunt. She's quicker to forgive than I am, for sure... I'd have been more inclined to swat the guy with the cookie sheet, had I been in her shoes. But that's me. ;o)

I have a feeling that the 78-year-old guy from today's news story won't be baking cookies for his would-be car-thief. IMO, though, anyone who thinks they can target elderly people as crime victims deserves whatever they get when their intended victim fights back.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Well, the vertical blinds are installed. Mark did most of the preliminary stuff last night, measuring, installing brackets and screws, and I-know-not-what else. Tonight, he took the old horizontal mini-blinds down, and then I helped put the new ones up. Snapping the main piece onto the brackets was a two-person job, as it's as wide as both of our front windows combined. Then I handed Mark the vertical slats, and he attached them one by one.

The blinds passed the Captain Test not long afterward. Captain sat on the kitty window perch and stuck his head through the blinds to look outside. All was well. Stanley hasn't tried this yet, but I'm sure he will. Just give him time :o).

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I'm trying yet again to send this post... I thought it went through yesterday, but I was mistaken. So here we are: Brief Update, Round Two.
----
After having heard, on a few different occasions, from people who were wondering why I hadn't updated the blog in several weeks, I thought I'd dash off a quick post to mention that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth. One friend made the valid point that since a lot of my more recent (so to speak) posts dealt with losing my job and dealing with depression, that having an unexpected break in posting could create a certain amount of worry.

Fortunately, most of the individuals who I know check in on here to see what's up are people whom I've either seen face-to-face or emailed in the past few weeks. But just in case there's someone whom I haven't been in direct touch with recently: sorry about that! I'm still in one piece.

Part of my problem has been that since I got this PDA/cell phone, most of my posts have been sent via email from the phone. Which is fine, except that there's been a service outage on AOL's mail system... it's allowing AOL mail to go out TO cell phones, but it's having genuine problems sending OUTGOING mail. This has been going on for the past three weeks, and I've exchanged emails with AOL's tech support several times regarding the problem. I also spoke to their live tech support; that was the person who gave me the email address to contact in the first place.

Anyway... outgoing mail problems are the reason why at least three posts from a week ago never got posted. That, plus now blogger.com appears to be having some sort of issue with emailed posts that contain photos. According to status.blogger.com, they're aware of the problem and are working on it.

In the meantime, I had to get creative yesterday when I wanted to send a little camera picture from the Phillies game. Mark and I went to the first game of the doubleheader. Welcome Back, Randy Wolf, a pitcher whom I've always had a soft spot for. :o) It was so nice to see him win his first game back, after not having played in the majors since July of last year. I can't believe how long it takes to recuperate from Tommy John surgery, but then again that kind of operation is pretty involved.

During the game, besides seeing Randy Wolf win, we saw the official announcement that the Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Corey Lidle. They showed Abreu sitting in the dugout with his teammates, and the fans promptly gave him a standing ovation until he came out onto the field and waved back to us all. Then we kept ON cheering until Corey Lidle came out and took a curtain call of his own. Nice guys. I wish them the best. I'm glad I got to be there and join in the cheering.

OK, so that's my quick update for the day. Tomorrow should be interesting -- we get the vertical blinds for the front windows tomorrow. That should make the Kitty Committee happy, since they'll be able to look out the front window any time they please once the new blinds go up. :o)