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Main | August 2005 »

July 31, 2005

You Need to Check Out Google Moon!

By: The Dude on the Right
When Google launched their map service, at first I was like "What, another map service? Who cares?" Then I messed around with it, and I’m sorry Mapquest, you are losing the battle in my book in the internet map wars. I will say that right now the Mapquest folks seem to do a better job at giving directions, but from the instant I was able to click and instantly drag the Google map, I was converted because I’m usually pretty good at figuring out my own directions. Sure, if I want a printed map that unfolds and I can put in my car, you still can’t beat the folks at Rand McNally, but in all honesty, for my internet world, it’s too hard to spell.

So as much as I love Google Maps, then the folks at Google did something that really brought a grin to my face: They went into outer space.

Well, they didn’t really go into outer space, but they got some images from NASA of the lunar surface (that’s the moon if you didn’t know), specifically around the area of the six lunar landings. So like their normal map service, you can click and drag around the moon, but just as important, you can get some great detail of the surface of the moon. My recommendation for the day, go to Google Moon. Then, incrementally, zoom to the surface of the moon by clicking the "+" button. Eventually get yourself to the closest resolution, and I can pretty much guarantee you will be amused at the detail we have been able to get of the lunar surface.

I did catch some movies over the weekend, so Sunday evening/Monday morning comes reviews of "The Island," "Must Love Dogs," and "Stealth." I also got copies of the new Michael Stanley and Cowboy Troy CD’s, so those reviews should be posted sometime this week, as well as a triumphant return to the concert scene with coverage of Neil Diamond in Chicago. You can use those goofy "Subscribe" buttons at the top of the page if you want to automatically be notified in your "My Yahoo," "Newsgator," or "My MSN" accounts, or updated in your favorite news reader. Thanks for your support!

And one final comment, to my sister of mine, I find it very unsportswomanlike of you, wishing that I get a flat on my bike, as I continue my quest to whip your butt in our contest this time around.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 6:49 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2005

I Got a New Bike!

By: The Dude on the Right
I did something yesterday that I haven't done in three or four years (that last time was on Long Beach Island in New Jersey, known for its summer resort areas and Chowderfest, but it was just a quick trip for some breakfast so I don't really think it counts).  Anyway, I went for a bike ride.  It's not that I haven't wanted to go on a bike ride, it's just there was one essential thing missing - a bike.  But on my last trip to the homestead, my brother, who has two bikes, let me take his old Schwinn World Sport.  I hauled it back to my pad, and finally, yesterday, had some time to load it into the dude-mobile, head to my local forest preserve, and take it for a spin.  They say you never forget how to ride a back, and I guess they are right, but I have to admit I was a little shaky at first.  My first issue, dealing with toe clips, but I finally got adjusted to them, and even though it was one of those multi-use trails, I made it around the trail no worse for wear.

Now this may not seem like anything significant, but when was the last time you went on a nice bike ride?  Me, I used to bike a lot, back in Ohio down lots of country roads, and when I was in college at I.I.T., the Lake Shore Drive bike path was a fabulous ride.  But then my bicycle broke and I never did anything about it.  The other thing is that I have a bet with my sister about some weight-loss issues, and this adds a new weapon to my arsenal, along with my coat rack, umm, I mean exercise bike, and this other crazy contraption that I don't want to admit I own unless I actually get off my ass and use it.  It supposedly worked for a couple of famous personalities, but we'll see on that one, in any case, it really felt good to hear the crunching of the limestone under my tires and have the wind go through my hair under my bike helmet.  After I caught my breath, it was good to hear the Cubs beat the Giants on my drive back to the dude-pad.

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:04 PM | Comments (0)

July 27, 2005

Happy Birthday Mom!

By: The Dude on the Right
Yesterday was my mom's birthday and she turned the excellent age of 79.  It's weird though, these days, because her health isn't nearly the state it used to be just five or six years ago, and for me, it has to do with three things, and she may or may not agree, but part of her decline was a result of a stress test she did a couple/five years ago, too much stress from dealing with my father, and her years of smoking.  Yup, mom was a smoker, and for the most part, other than my dad, you can attribute her health issues to that.  But when you are a woman approaching 75, with diagnosed emphysema, and sure, and you're having some heart issues, do you really give this woman a full-blown stress test and put her on a treadmill?  And that being said, as she's on that treadmill, and she is saying she can't keep going, do you force this woman to keep going, even to the point where you are holding her up?  Go figure, the stress test didn't detect anything. A little later she had an angiogram, and low and behold there was some blockage in one of her coronary arteries.  They fixed that, but a lot of her lung issues started to happen after that stress test, and my theory is simply this, and I'm no Doctor and I don't even play one on TV, but her years of smoking and emphysema left a lot of crap stuck in her lungs.  Being in her early seventies, mom wasn't one to get her heart rate nor heavy breathing up, although helping my dad, she really kept her strength, but with this running and unable to catch her breath on the treadmill, all of that crap blew out of its settled places and headed to the rest of her lungs.  Diagnosed now with what the call COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), she is tethered to an oxygenator 24 hours a day, and as days goes, some days are better, some not so much.  She will be the first to admit that smoking was a bad thing, and for the couple of stories we all hear about of people who have smoked all of their lives and live it long and healthy, for the most part, you will probably end up in your later years like my mom.  Make that choice today and quit smoking, as hard as it may be, because in seeing my mom, she would give up all of those years of smoking if she didn't have to live with this today.  And if you are a friend of a smoker, try to get them to quit.  If they give you crap, feel free to make them contact me and I'll give them a few other things they might get to look forward to as they get older.

With her health issues aside, I will always love my mom.  She probably never fully understands some of the decisions I have made in my life, but she has always been supportive.  She was a great singer, played an organ like nobody's business, but spent her years as a mom and housewife, and all she ever seems to really want for me and my brother and sister is to be happy.  She has her favorite saying now when people ask her how she is doing, and that is simply "Still breathing."  That's all I can hope for everyone dealing with the same things my mom is going through, is to be "Still breathing."

That's it for this one!  I'm The Dude on the Right!!  L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:03 PM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2005

My Problem With Kids and Movie Theaters

By: The Dude on the Right
Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent and I can’t relate, or maybe it’s just that the parents don’t care, but I still find it unbelievable the number of parents that bring kids to movies that just aren’t appropriate for them. My case in point this time being while I was at "Bad News Bears."

Getting to the gigaplex a little early so I can get my favorite seat, I’m sitting in the theater knowing that the movie is rated PG-13, for rude behavior, language throughout, some sexuality, and thematic elements, whatever that last one means. Just as the commercials begin, in walks a dad and I’m assuming his two sons, looking to be about 5 or 6. They proceed to sit a couple of seats away from me, and then dad instructs the sons that they should move because he’ll be back in a few minutes with candy and stuff. What dad doesn’t instruct them is the basic rule in movie theaters – keep your mouth shut, don’t ask questions, and don’t kick the railing in front of you. While dad was gone, the kids went on to do all of those things, and I knew my movie-going experience would be a chore. I hoped, that at least when dad got back, that things might change, but low and behold, I guess dad thought this was his living room.

Yep, I’m trying to watch a pretty funny movie, and Johnny and Billy (not their real names) keep asking dad questions about what is going on in the movie, what Billy Bob Thornton just said, or to pass another Twizzlers. Then of course there was Johnny, or maybe it was Billy, who kept thinking that the cool thing to do because he didn’t understand what was going on during the movie was to kick the railing in front of him. Dad, did, politely tell his son to stop, but these were kids who don’t seem to listen to their parents because he kept at it for most of the film.

I hope you, our reader, are good parents and courteous movie-goers, because damn, we’ve all paid our good money to see this movie. It’s bad enough we think the theater is our garbage can when we toss our empty popcorn bag under our chair, but people, it is not your living room, because I’m not in your living room. That’s how you can tell.

That’s it for this one! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Posted by Rightdude at 7:00 PM | Comments (0)


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