• Getting Closer

    Mickey the Great has just left. He came over today to install the drain for the toilet, shutoff valves on all the pipes in the bathroom and drill a hole in my brick house for a bathroom vent. All the while recovering from the flu. He is altogether deserving of any praise I can heap on him. Thanks Mick! I owe you big time!

  • New Toy

    Yesterday I bought two laptops through the “Give One Get One” program of “One Laptop Per Child”. One of the inexpensive laptops will be sent to me and the other goes to a needy child. Here’s the link:

  • Progress

    Last weekend, we got a lot done. We, being the operative word. Mom, Mark, Paul, John and Jack were all over. They did a ton of cleaning, which was great. Mark helped frame out the medicine cabinet. Then Paul came over and we hung a bunch of drywall. Today, I hung the cement board that goes over the controls of the tub. I have to buy a door so that I know where to end the drywall on the last wall. And then I’ll be ready for tile!

  • Faster?

    Today my dsl from Speakeasy was updated. The installation went ok. The guy from Covad was terriffic. He really knew his stuff and got everything set up properly, though it took a bit of time. The Speakeasy group, on the other hand, disappointed me.

  • House Pains

    I haven’t written much about the house lately, not for lack of work on it. I’m just tired of explaining to people that it’s still not done. I work slowly because I really don’t know what I’m doing. Yes, it is a pain to have to go elsewhere to take a shower, but it’s not the big of a deal.

  • Back to the Default Theme

    As is obvious, I am back at the default theme for the blog. I liked the Beautiful Sunrise theme, but I got html errors sometimes when logging in for administrative purposes. That just bugged the heck out of me, so I went back to the default.

  • Don’t Like This Theme

    I just noticed that my categories don’t show in this theme. So, now I don’t like it. I’m going to have to search for a new one.

  • Possibly Another iPhone Crack

    Janet’s friend Becca is working with a Dutch doctor at the World Boxing Championships going on in Chicago right now. He was asking her about getting an unlocked phone that he could use in the Netherlands. I started laughing at dinner when she mentioned it and told her that I didn’t know about other unlocked phones, but that I could unlock an iPhone, if he wanted that. Becca didn’t think she did, so I asked John and he said that anyplace will sell and unlocked phone, it just costs a bit more. Though today Becca sent me a text message saying that the doctor would like an iPhone after all. I figured. They’re pretty cool. Anyway, if I crack an iPhone for him, he’s going to get me really good (maybe ringside) seats. So this might be fun. He’s supposed to buy it tomorrow, so maybe I’ll see the boxing later this week.

  • Not a Productive Weekend

    Friday night I went to a play at Victory Gardens, called “A Park in Our House”, I think. It was ok. About a family in Cuba in the 60s, I’d guess. I enjoyed it and Janet’s friend Becca and I were saying that we liked this one better than the last one we saw. And it’s true in that this one was easier to follow. Funny thing is, I think about the first one “The Defiant Muse”, more. Though I’m pretty sure that this is because I’m still trying to understand it completely. It was about a writer whose main character seemed to come to life for her. So, it jumped back and forth between real-life and life with her character. It was pretty interesting how they did it, but since there were only so many actors, I wasn’t really sure if it was real-life or a scene from her book. Oh well, either way, it’s great to see live theater.

  • New, New Theme

    The fact that my previous theme didn’t show the year of the post ended up really bothering me. So, I found a different new theme. This one does show the year and has a little menu for searching older posts, which I love. I’ve had this blog for over two years, so the listing of all the months was starting to get a little out of control. My only gripe with this theme is that there isn’t a link to login or for the admin stuff. Right now, I just put a wp-admin at the end of the blog link. I guess I can make a simple page that will take me to the login page.

  • My New Theme

    As is obvious, I have changed the theme of my blog. I downloaded one called beautiful-sunrise-10 and really like the look of it. My one complaint is that the year of the post is not shown with the date. This may end up bugging me more than it does now. And if it does, I’ll probably go back to the default theme, which was ok. The other issue I have is that I’m getting errors like this:

  • WordPress Upgrade Failed

    I tried to upgrade my wordpress to the new version and sadly it didn’t work. I ended up putting the new version in an entirely new directory. But then, I still was unable to change the colors or appearance of the new blog. I then decided that the upgrade was pointless because the main reason that I wanted to do it was to change the appearance. So, the look will remain the same.

  • WordPress Backup

    I’m upgrading wordpress, the software that runs this blog and want to note the commands to backup the database.

  • David Sedaris at GSU

    I just returned from a David Sedaris reading at Governor’s State University. It was great. He was funny as always. I was a little worried because three of my cousins and their husbands came to the show along with my sister Julie. Julie is familiar with David Sedaris’ books, but I don’t think any of the others were. I was nervous that maybe they wouldn’t enjoy it, but I think everyone had a great time.

  • iPhone to the Netherlands

    John’s friend Mark is going back to the Netherlands today. But since his sim chip worked in John’s iPhone last night, he decided to buy himself one before leaving. So, I met him at John’s apartment and we cracked his phone and got it working. One note is that you should have internet access easily available to do this. Whenever iTunes starts, it wants to access the iTunes Store and you won’t get the annoying error messages if you’re hooked to the internet. Also, since we had no access, I had to use my laptop to “Create Network” to make a wireless network so that I could ssh to the iPhone. To do this, I also had to manually set the ip address, netmask and gateway on the iPhone. It all worked, but would have been quicker if we just had a wireless network to use.

  • iPhone and EDGE

    John’s iPhone works fine on the T-mobile EDGE network. Just use these settings:

  • Breaking New Toys

    My brother John got his second iPhone last week. He returned the first one because he got lousy reception from AT&T in his house. Now that he’s living in a new apartment, he tried it again. And, of course, he still has crappy reception with AT&T. So, he asked me if I’d help him to unlock his phone so that he could use it with T-mobile. Sounded like fun, so I was in. (One drawback was that I wasn’t working on my bathroom while doing this.)

  • A Night at the Opera

    I just returned from the first opera in my series for this year. It was La Boheme and I enjoyed it. Not the best opera I’ve ever seen, but good nonetheless. I’ve decided that great operas have three things going for them, great music/singing, a great story and great sets. This one only had great sets. They were truly beautiful. The story is dumb, boy meets girl, they fall in love, girl dies. Nothing too interesting there. The singers were good, but not great. I had a hard time hearing them, at times, over the orchestra. Great singers are always easily heard. Still, overall I enjoyed it. It’s not like I left early. Though, this one had two intermissions and as far as I can tell, they were to change the very elaborate set, which was very cool. The sequence was the first two acts, intermission, the third act, intermission, the fourth act. The third and fourth acts seemed really short to me, but that’s all they needed before changing sets. So that’s the way it goes.

  • Crazy Marathon Day!

    Today was the Chicago Marathon. My sister Julie and I made signs for the people we knew running and went downtown to watch it. It was a bit hot, but as spectators, we stayed in the shade most of the time. We spent the a couple of hours at the halfway point (13.1 miles) where we saw our cousin Greg and Julie’s coworker Cheryl. Then, we biked down to Archer and met up with our brother Paul to watch some more. We saw Greg and Cheryl again and Paul’s boss Roberta. We were heading up to catch up with our cousin who was watching her daughter when we heard that the race had been cancelled. One guy died and a bunch of people ended up getting sick from the heat. I felt bad for the people who did all that training and didn’t get a chance to finish, but it was probably better to stop than to get hurt from the heat.

  • Happy Birthday to Me!

    Today is my birthday, and the annual Mary tradition is to not work, so I’m keeping that one today. I had great plans to go and do something fantastic, but those plans all fell through. So, I’m going to do my usual thing and go downtown to hang out. I also want to go to this new store:

  • Last Day in NYC

    Today is our last full day in New York. It’s been a good trip. I saw two good plays, “Curtains” and “The Year of Magical Thinking”, went jogging in Central Park, visited the Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum and saw some great tennis yesterday. The jogging was cool, though my knee started to hurt A LOT after about three miles, so I didn’t really run all that much in Central Park. Plus, it then hurt for the rest of Sunday, which wasn’t cool for all the walking around that I wanted to do. But, with downing copious amounts of ibuprofen and icing it when possible, I made it through the day.

  • A Year of Magical Thinking

    I’ve just returned from the play “A Year of Magical Thinking” and wanted to put the ideas floating through my mind down before they left me. This will sound jumbled, but I want to get them all down.

  • Best $3 Spent in NYC

    I’m writing from my hotel room in Times Square. Resting up before going to see the closing performance of Vanessa Redgrave in The Year of Magical Thinking. It should be a good show. Last night, we saw Curtains, which was excellent. A big, brash musical. Tonight should be a bit more subdued, which should make a nice contrast.

  • Paul’s Show

    My little brother is in a band and is currently putting on a show that lets a bunch of bands play short sets and some visual artists display their work as well. I went to the first night at The Empty Bottle and it was really good. I liked most of the bands more than I thought I would have. I’m going again tonight with some friends and may go on Saturday as well.

  • Next.

    The more I think about it, the happier I am that I did the half-marathon. I definitely want to train to do another one, but this time to do it for time. I’m pretty sure that I could do it in less than 3 hours, so I’d like to try for that.