Saturday, 27 December 2003: Whoever said vacations are easy is about to get his/her butt kicked... courtesy of me.
To recap... Katie and I spent the 23rd with my parents in Naperville, the 24th through the 26th with her mother's family in St. Louis, and the 27th with her father's family in McHenry, IL.
Packing, unpacking, repacking, driving to and fro... aye carumba. Big families are anything but easy. I need a vacation to recover from vacation.
Thursday, 25 December 2003: Okay, so this one is going to be posted a bit late. Deal with it.
Merry Christmas everybody!
Wednesday, 24 December 2003: I do realize that this post is actually going up on the site a day early, but I've already got a post up for today (December 23) and I wanted to give Santa a chance to shop while making it look like my post was "timely".
So, Santa, below you will find my Christmas list for this year. Very simple. You need only go to one store and I'll let you pick which one you actually go to (but for the sake of time savings, I have linked my list to an online store)... [dead link to the Apple Store's iPod section]
I would prefer the 40GB variety (third option on the page linked to the picture above) along with the optional FM radio transmitter so I can play this in my car without having to worry about buying a cassette deck to plug it in with. And you can engrave it with my name on the first line and my e-mail address on the second line for no extra charge.
I realize that this isn't exactly the most inexpensive gift around, but that's why I'm only asking for one gift. I'm a big boy. I can handle only opening one present. Unless, of course, you want to wrap the FM transmitter separately. But I won't be picky.
Heck, you can even forego wrapping and just stick the thing in my stocking. I'll leave extra cookies and, if you'd like, you can make my apartment your final stop and I'll leave a six pack of your choice of beer so you can kick back and get loaded after a long night's work. Feel free to watch some movies on the flat-screen TV while you're relaxing. I'll even tape a football game or two for you because we all know Santa's a big football fan. Especially of the Bears.
Oh, and because I'm such a selfless person, if you could give the people of Chicago a nice Christmas present in the form of a World Series title for the Cubbies in 2004, that would be nice as well.
That's all I want Santa. And I've been good this year. So long as you, like myself, view "good" in strictly relative terms. Save your coal for President Bush. I can't say that he's been quite as good.
Thanks, and have a safe flight. Remember that we're on an orange level terror alert right now so prearrange your flight path with NORAD so you don't have to worry about outrunning any surface-to-air missiles. You might even be able to arrange for an F-18 Hornet escort to facilitate the issue. I'm just thinking about your safety, big guy.
Tuesday, 23 December 2003: Here's Brian with another installment of what he has re-dubbed The Bears Breakdown...
I am trying to be skeptical with Rex Grossman, but it is getting damn hard! The only pick he threw was off the hands of Marty Booker, and then they both redeemed themselves on the next series with a bomb and Booker actually pulling away... from Champ Bailey! The defense played well, but only well enough to stay in the game. Paul Edinger was 2/4 which, in the friggin' wind off the lake, ain't that bad (I say that because I couldn't feel my toes, I wonder if he could feel his). A-Train played well with a beat-up O-line and Dez White played like Dez White: one amazing catch after a drop.
Rex could very well be the next Bret Favre, and I say that because the GM of Green Bay said Rex reminded him of Bret when he drafted him. Seeing Rex scramble to his left, throw back across his body, into traffic, a bullet on target makes me drool at the possibilities.
Here is the thing though-
This winning streak gives some false sense as to the coaching staff's ability. Is Dick Jauron's ability to lead the cause of the winning streak? Does John Shoop know what he is doing now? Clock management is still an issue because at the end of the game the Bears couldn't get more than one play off before calling a timeout, TWICE! Sure Edinger made the kick, but they could have gotten one play closer, or they should have called a timeout with one second left in order to not kickoff to the Redskins and have a possible runback!
I think that keeping the staff next year would be a decision made based on the last five games of the season and not the duration of their last five years. Remember the whippings we've gotten from the Packers? Expect at least two more if Jauron is still around next year.
Monday, 22 December 2003: I took this past Friday off from work because I had to use up a few vacation days or lose them at the end of this calendar year. So, before I left on Thursday evening, I looked at my wall calendar and realized that the day I return to work will be December 22. Yes, that is today and I am still in shock that there are only three more days left until Christmas. Where did this month go? Okay, where did this entire year go? This is mind numbing. It took me a while to recover from this realization.
Sunday, 21 December 2003: I finished one of the better books that I've read this year... The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. Wow. You want to talk about a great book with some good action and incredible insights into one of the most revered religious icons of all time, then read this. It's been on the best seller list for the better part of this year and for good reason. I've been intrigued by the premise since I first discovered this book at Borders several months ago and I only recently picked it up and read it.