perfume is a side, not the main course.

The county tax office, when the deadline for taxes is a few days away, is like the DMV on a good day. Tons of people, no organization, and weird smells. As I was filling out the paperwork for my exemption, a woman sat down next to me. You know the type…no sense of personal space when it comes to your sense of smell. My goodness…what is it about really bad perfume and some people? Who can possibly think that this perfume smells good, and then who in that bunch decided it was ok to bath themselves in this olfactory nightmare? What company makes this (and why)? Of course there is no escaping this smell…especially when you are jammed in a room with a bunch of people who are not thrilled about being there. On a slightly better note, I did have the plasure of seeing some diversity…you know, the woman with the feathered mullet, next to the wealthy woman with her Chanel glasses, handbag, earings, and necklace on. I enjoy diversity.

css, a voyage.

Oh my. Well, by blog was getting ugly with all of my leftover CSS problems, so I decided to sit down and figure this out. I have 95% of all this figured out, still some problems with Firefox and the li dots. I am not happy with the word/letter spacing, but who knows. All this CSS work makes me want to redesign my site…again, but I need a break, and I need to focus on making my current one better. So many things that I like. Well, I am burned out. CSS…

another day, another design.

This is officially design #4 for My web sites are always evolving, and I am always trying to build my template library, so here we are again. I needed a PSU blue for my site, and I finally have it. I have not used this blue since 1998, and when looking at my site…all I could think of was man, I really miss one of my fist designs, using this blue.
Anyway…back to business of trying to figure out and simply my css for wordpress.

train the brain! (instead of driving me insane)

OK, so how many times have we all heard this: “I have so many user names and passwords, there is no way I can possibly remember all of them.” The solution (and no it is not to write them down)…remember your user names and passwords. How? Make up a user name/password scheme. How? I have several levels of user names and passwords. From highly secure (bank information) to basic (web site forums, etc). If you have look at everything you need to use a user name and password for, you can figure out what level of security needs to be used with each account. Once you memorize 5-7 user name/password combinations, you will be set. Yes…and 5-7 is on the low end, but come on, that is not a lot to think about in the grand scheme of things. Come on. How long do you end up spending waiting for your password to be rest/sent and complaining about how many accounts you have to memorize? Now tell me about your first kiss. Hmm, you can remember information from past decades, but not for a few accounts that you use monthly? Make it a priority or do not complain.

Dear Joe Paterno,

I had the honor of going to the Penn State v. Wisconsin game last weekend in Madison, Wisconsin. After going to to the game, experiencing the crowd, and the listening to the media…all trying to blame you, I just wanted to write to you and tell you how much of an inspiration you have been to me over the years.

I grew up in New York, while my grandparents lived in Pennsylvania. My grandparents, although never attended college, wanted the best for their grandchildren, and began taking my sister and me to Penn State at the young age of three. I remember one of my first Penn State games…I stood on the seat and was as tall as my parents who were seated next to me. From then on, I always got excited each year to go to a Penn State home football game and to see you coach year after year. Shortly after the public could only request two seats together (from four), my grandfather wrote a letter to the ticketing office requesting four for he could sit with his granddaughters “who are very interested in Penn State”. We were never sure how it happened, but we got four tickets together, and I knew by that point that I would attend Penn State.

I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know that regardless of what the media says, you are, and have been an inspiration to Penn Staters on and off the football field. While my classmates in grade school were doing biography reports on George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, I did mine on you. While the media blames you for a decline in recruiting, I know there are other students at Penn State, football players and non football players that go to Penn State because of you. You are such a presence on campus, and even to me now that I live in Chicago.

When I hear the sports announcers try and point fingers at you about the past few years, I get so frustrated. What most people do not remember is that the media has never liked Penn State. If there was a chance to bash Penn State, the sports casters did. If there was a time to compliment Penn State, they hurried over it and began talking about the beloved Notre Dame. Thank you for not stooping to their level.

You bring Penn State more than wins and losses, you bring and often demand honor, tradition, and respect, something that the media often overlooks. You have kept the uniforms simple. Your football players have one of the best graduation rates of any university (only public university to be ranked in the top ten of graduation rates). Your football players show up to class, take off their hats while in class, travel in suits, and are 99% of the time very respectable and upstanding young men. You spark a great sense of unity and honor in Penn State fans of all ages every weekend.

I will never forget the 1987 Fiesta Bowl where Mr. Testeverde and team dressed up in camo and tried to intimidate the Penn State team as they were getting off the plane in suits before the game that decided we were National Champions. I was shocked then to see the behavior of other atheletes, and have never been so shocked until this past weekend when I was at Camp Randall. To hear the students cheering the team on, and then also cheering against us, using foul language…I was never so disgusted since the Fiesta Bowl. I know you would not have stood for it at Beaver Stadium, and I thank you for that. These past few seasons have been tough on all of us. We all hear everyone’s opinion on why Penn State has had a bad record the past few years, but I all say to them is “how many football games have you won”? “How many football games has your coach won?”. I also realized this weekend, that while those questions are valid, they miss the point that you have always tried to make. It was easier to miss with our winning seasons, but more evident and important now. It is not about wins and losses…it is about honor, tradition, and respect. Thanks for teaching me so much. We have had our good times and we will surely have them again, but in the past few weeks, I have learned an equally important lesson: how to lose with class, and again I have you to thank for it.

About Joe Paterno

loud cell phone talkers.

To the annoying girl on the 523 train that got off at Des Plaines stop after talking the entire non-express train trip…I have something for you….a F*&$)ing clue: everyone on the train does not care about the horrible day you had. As you talked about how nervous you were at work and how you started crying because you could not convert a Word Perfect document to a Word document…I think we all thought you were pathetic. How do I know? I think everyone in your car except for me gave you the super pissed off slow head turn in your direction to give you a hint. Guess like your day job, you just do not get it. I do not understand the phenomenom of loud cell phone talking!!?? Cell phones have a amazing mics and just like when talking to a foreign person, talking louder does not help, it only annoys everyone around you. I do not care if you use your cell phone on the train home, but try to follow these two courtesy points:

  • know your ring. How many people do I have to stare at in order for them to think “Oh, you know that ear piercing ring could be mine!”
  • adjust your ring volume to an appropiate level. I should not clearly hear your ring while I have my iPod on. If you are concerned about missing calls, try vibrate mode and ring.
  • you do not need to talk loudly into the phone. I can usually get away with a level between my normal volume and a whisper. Really. We do not care about what you did today or what you are having for dinner, or that you cried at work because you did not know the difference between a section and a page break.

I think my favorite Metra story of all times in their newsletter was a story about someone who was sitting next to one of these annoying cell phone talkers. Blah blah blah, all the way to her stop. During the cell phone conversation, the loud talker gave the caller her cell phone number so they could call her back. The annoyed Metra rider memorized it, got off at her stop, headed over to a pay phone and called the loud talker and told her what I am telling you. Have some f*&%ing consideration and shut the hell up!

the mysterious b.o.

We are all aware of something called deoderant, right? Well, as I sat down next to an older woman on the train today, I thought all was well. I was coming home early, and had a seat next to someone who did not hog the seat nor talk loudly on her cell phone. A few minutes later, as the train filled up, a sudden scent had me looking in all directions, discreetly. Was it me? You always think it for a second, but without making any direct motions to smell myself, I realized it was not me. In front of me was an older man, hair sprouting from his ears as long as the hideous comb over. He wore his “member’s only jacket” with pride, but was it too hot for him? To the left of me was a guy from India, or somewhere in the eatern part of the world, but when he moved, the smell did not seem to waft over to me. I did not want to look behind me, but every once and awhile the smell would be over powering. After 20 minutes of the investigation, I got off the train, following my number one prospect, Mr. Member’s Jacket…but just as I thought I finally found PE #1, I did not smell anything. Mystery unsolved…foiled! Yes, Clue was one of my favorite games as a child.

thanks gop! (for ruining for a week)

I am a CNN junky, but unfortunately for me, I have to cut back this week due to all the pictures of the GOP Convention. I like Laura Bush, I think she has great intensions, although I would have liked to see more of her in the last four years. I respect Giuliani, and well, Terminator 2 is my all time favorite movie, so I can handle seeing the T-800 Model 101 on stage, but I have had enough of W and the “twins” all over the media. Yeah, thanks for taking time away from getting arrested to show up at the convention. W…as a historian and as a Young Republican in college, I force myself watching some of the convention, and I will watch your speech. I am truly interested in what you have to say, but please…enough of this “compassionate conservatism”. Oh right, compassionate on your terms, with your beliefs. Obviously, what is best for the religious right wing is best for everyone. Please, “compaasionate conservatism” makes me just about as sick as hearing you say “resolve”. Anyway, I cannot wait until your face and your daughters’ is not plastered on and the papers so I can look at them again to keep up on the crazy Russian situations!