At First I Wondered “What Was I Thinking?” An Hourish Later My Legs Weren’t Screaming “Frack!”


The Dude on the Right

Today was one of those weird days when I had everything planned.  My normal
morning routine would easily be in place, complete with starting laundry,
reading the Sunday Chicago Tribune while eating breakfast, and, at the same
time, catching up some some TiVo viewing.  Okay, I realized I still can’t
seem to get recording the new "Battlestar Galactica" correct, muttered "What the
frack!", then tried to set up a season pass I screwed up before, hoping it
didn’t miss this week’s episode forever, or at least until the DVD season comes

my Sunday also had a lot of errand-running planned, which, I know, is kind of
lame, but the Sunday also had planned a one hour walk in my favorite
Prairie Forest Preserve
.  I was sort of curious to see how things were
looking after they

torched the place
a few weeks back, except with a slight wind blowing from
the northwest I knew heading north would make my walk back a little easier so I
wouldn’t get to see the result of the torchness.  And I’m walking, and I’m
walking, and I get to the thirty minute mark and realize that I’m feeling good,
my legs feel spry, I’ve got over half a bottle of water left, and I say to
myself, "Self, why don’t you just do the entire loop?  Why turn back now?" 
Then I said to myself, "Self, What the hell are you thinking?  Do you
realize that it will add another hour to this walk and your Sunday is already
scripted."  Then I said to myself, "Self, it’s a gorgeous day, with a
slight breeze, and it hasn’t started to heat up yet."  Then I said to
myself "Self, shut the hell up.  We’re going for the six miles."  Yes,
I’m nuts.

And so I did my first six-mile walk of the year and it felt great. 
I mean, my legs didn’t get fatigued, I planned my water drinking properly, and
it was actually more refreshing walking into the slight breeze on the backside
of the loop than letting the breeze bring me home.  I also got to see that
the crispy prairie was starting to turn green, the recent warm weather has
instantly put trees into budding mode, and sure, there might be one more cold
snap, or a crappy day or five here, but it looks like we have really, finally,
turned the corner into the Spring and Summer season.

also and, the walk was not perfect because there was one miscalculation,
especially since my original plan didn’t include a six mile, one hour and fifty
minute walk, and that was I was wearing jeans. 

I woke up this morning, didn’t get myself a gun
, didn’t figure for the six
mile walk, and haven’t put myself back into "shorts mode" yet, so I pulled on my
Levi’s, put on a t-shirt, embraced the subtle, slight chill in the air, not
thinking that less than two hours later I would be a little sweatier than I
planned, had people on the trail looking at me like "What the hell is that dude
wearing jeans for?", but you know what, at the end of it all, I got to see some
deer frolicking in the prairie, and sure, you can’t see the mallard in the upper
picture of the pond but I did (I so have to bring my better camera gear), and
the burnt prairie is starting to sprout grass.

So what if my running errands
were bumped by about an hour.  So what if I was the dork wearing jeans on a
six mile walk.  And so what if my iPhone photos aren’t up to my normal
standard.  It was a beautiful day, it was great to enjoy it, and it’s
almost time to get my white, pasty legs in some shorts.

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

You Don’t Need “Earth Hour,” You Just Need My Mom.


The Dude on the Right

So, tomorrow, Saturday, March 29th, from 8PM to 9PM, if I want to participate in
"Earth Hour," I’m supposed to turn off all of my lights, but what confuses me is
that at the Earth Hour web
there is a link of what to do when the lights are off, but the link
doesn’t really tell me anything to do during that hour.  And with turning
off the lights are they expecting me to also turn off my TV and my computers,
which I consider essential appliances?  And with turning off the lights,
and as they add, non-essential appliances, which must not include my TV nor
computers because I consider them essential, I think my microwave oven is
hard-wired so how am I supposed to turn that off?  And with turning off the
lights and non-essential appliances (except my microwave), yet leaving my
computer and TV on because I consider them essential, and changing to energy
efficient bulbs, what if, during that hour when I’m trying to change my light
bulbs, I drop one of those new compact fluorescent bulbs, thereby releasing
toxic mercury into the air, how am I supposed to see what I am supposed to clean
up without the lights on?  And with turning off the lights and
non-essential appliances (except my microwave), yet leaving my computer and TV
on because I consider them essential, and breaking that compact fluorescent bulb
that I can’t see how to clean yet breath in the mercury, when I fall down the
stairs and break my leg how am I supposed to call 911 since I unplugged my
cordless phone, which at the time I was unplugging things I considered

Suddenly "Earth Hour" has become very complicated, but, as I
reflect back on my life, I’m thinking none of us need an "Earth Hour" to help us
remember to turn off the lights, we just need our Moms, or at least my Mom. 
You see, my Mom is the Queen at knowing when we leave lights on, no matter what
part of the house.  She will be sitting in her living room chair, see a
large glow as we are leaving the kitchen, and tell us to go back and turn off
the light.  She will be sitting in her living room chair, see a subtle glow
from around a corner, bounced off a door and a ceiling, leaving just a smidge of
brightness on a wall that shouldn’t have a smidge of brightness on it, and say
"Did you leave the light on in the bathroom?"  She will be sitting in her
living room chair, seeing the remnants of light (and I swear light leaves
"remnants" on your clothes, especially when you are coming from the basement),
thus instructing you to go back downstairs and turn off the light in the laundry
room at the opposite corner of the house.  "Earth Hour" pales in comparison
to the "turning off the light" power of my Mom.

Since, though, Mom is in Ohio
and I am here in Illinois, there I will be, tomorrow night, with no lights on,
although my computer, TV, and microwave will still be working.  I’ll be
inhaling toxic mercury complete with a broken leg and a non-working cordless
phone, still wondering what I should do with the lights off because the Earth
Hour web site never gave me instructions on something to do during that hour. 
And if those Earth Hours folks had at least said something like "Plan to be with
the one you love, turn off all of your lights, pretend it’s a blackout, and do
what you would do in a blackout with the one you love," or in the words of
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, "If you can’t be with the one you love, love the
one you’re with!", well, I’m thinking the worst of my problems might begin to
show about three months from now.

You know what, screw that being with the one
you’re with in a forced blackout like this "Earth Hour," and I suppose the word
"screw" isn’t the appropriate word.  Maybe it’s better being curled up at
the bottom of the stairs, with a broken leg, inhaling mercury, knowing my TV,
computers, and microwave still are working, rather than child support some nine
months from tomorrow.

The thing is just listening to my Mom will resolve all
of these potential problems – Turn off the lights and wear a Jimmy Hat (my Mom
is hip, she has an iPod).  Listening to her saves money, and future money. 
Maybe we just need to listen to my Mom rather than worrying about turning off
the lights for an hour and not knowing what to do.

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

Today I Cried a Little. For Me He’s Just “Dad.”


The Dude on the Right

We got snowed-in here, today, in Chicagoland.  Some didn’t, or maybe they
had the proper vehicle, equipped with snow-shoes, to travel the glistening,
white roadways, but I didn’t and the snow-plow people
didn’t show up until around 2PM to get the driveway in my townhouse area
cleared.  Hunkered down in my bunker I did get a little bit of work done in
the morning, but shirking some of my duties I also did some cleaning of the
Dude-Pad.  But that’s not why I cried just a little, as the title of this
blog tells.  Nope, as much as my pad needs a good cleaning, and that does
make me sad, it wasn’t until this evening when the tears came.

tonight, I figured, I would also work to clean up and delete stuff on my
computers, and that is when I came across a picture.

There I was, haphazardly
deleting stuff, when I came across a folder named "Home Photos," and the first
picture showing up was one of a lazy, chubby squirrel.  I remembered when I
took it, back in July, for a blog posted in August, and for a moment I was just
ready to hit the "Delete" key because I already had a

blog, posted, with photos of that lazy squirrel.
  But then I scrolled
through the digital camera roll, and there it was, a photo that made me cry, and
it wasn’t just a little.

And that was a couple of hours ago.

As I have been
working on typing, editing, re-typing, re-editing this blog, I have been torn as
to if I should post the picture, or not, because if members of the "… on the
Right" family view this, they might cry a little as well, but hopefully, for the
world that is forever in the Internet, and in having one of the last pictures of
my Dad, maybe the better picture all of us can go to is an image of him smiling,
with his granddaughter.  And that’s not such a bad thing for the world to

So here it is, the last picture I took of my Dad and Favorite Niece –
His Favorite Granddaughter.

As I have been trying to digitize all of the
pictures I have taken in the old version, that with film, in one keystroke I
almost lost a picture of my Dad.  He’s gone from me now, but with this
picture he will live forever, in the digital world.  His name is, umm,
Frank John Labis, it might also be Frank Joseph Labiszewski, it might
also be Frank John Labiszewski,  For me he is, and always will be, just

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

What’s the Deal with Food? And, Oh Yea, My Niece is a Rocker!


The Dude on the Right

With the passing of my father, and not wanting, yet, to get into some of the
philosophical questions an event like that can bring, there was something that
came up prior to his funeral that I suppose I can understand was important in
the older age of funerals, but in this day and age, especially when my dad
wanted a small, private funeral ceremony, why do some people assume that you
need food and just show up with it, unannounced? And why am I conflicted with
this topic because in the same gesture (by a different family friend) I was able
to remember a dish I love?

Now I’m not saying the bringing food gesture isn’t
nice, but shouldn’t the gesture start with a quick phone call offering
condolences and then tossing in a "If you’d like I can bring you a ham dinner,
complete with vegetables, coleslaw, and a store-bought jello mold in case you
need something to eat?" But no, there it was, the night before, or maybe it was
the night before the night before the funeral (they blend together right now),
that a friend of the family showed up with half a ham, vegetables, coleslaw,
store-bought jello mold, and lots of conversation for my sister to hear. The
issue was that, in the land of the "on the Right" family, we had already planned
for a small gathering of family following dad’s burial by securing a party tray,
which, fine, for this occasion should probably be called a remembrance tray, but
in any case the family refrigerator was already ready to be packed. Somehow, and
God bless Sis on the Right, she found a way to stack, move, renegotiate, and fit
everything in there, including the ham dinner, so that no one would get sick,
and let me tell you, she knows all about the importance of refrigeration and
reheating with
her job in Lunchlady Land!

My confliction on this issue comes because even though the gesture on the
part of our one family friend was nice, but wasn’t necessary, well, a neighbor
baked a small dish of Noodle Pudding, and oh my God, it was so good. I forgot
about Noodle Pudding, haven’t had it in years, and after getting back home found
some recipes on the internet to try (although I should probably just call our
neighbor and get hers, because, can I say it again, it was so good), so even
though one family friend went a little overboard with her food gesture, that
small dish of Noodle Pudding really hit the spot, and as more important in the
time of comfort food was necessary, my mom loved it.

I guess I’m just really confused about sending food to the families of those
going through the loss of a loved one, especially with the joy and
tastefullyness of the Noodle Pudding that came our way, so to alleviate my
confusedness, and because it’s really not long enough for a blog, and because,
during my
"A New Chapter for the "on the Right" Family" blog, I mentioned how my
niece is a rocker, I thought I would include in this post, my niece being a
rocker.  Sorry for the sort of crappy video, but I think it really shows
that my niece ROCKS!

BFF and favorite niece – YOU ROCK!

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

A New Chapter for the “on the Right” Family.


The Dude on the Right

Every family has a change leading to a new chapter in the book that is their
story.  Most of
the chapters progress from things like the start of the book, namely the marriage, to the birth of a
child, to the child’s first words, to the child’s first steps, to maybe the
birth of a brother or sister, and much of the cycle usually stays the same for a
while.  The chapters switch from the innocence of children, to the family
progressing through the years. 
The children in the family grow, to grade school, to junior high, to high
school, and to adulthood.  A new book is started as some of those children
create another family, an offshoot of the original story, yet still intertwined
with the original.

And as the book that is a family’s life is similar
for all, there are so many differences.  There may be an illness or
accident that takes a child away from a family;  There may be financial
hardships that all must deal with;  There may be a divorce where mom and
dad, not thinking of the children, do their best, at any chance they can, to
make their children hate the other parent; and then there are families that, for
most of the time, forget the meaning of family.

But with every family story,
probably, usually, definitely, inevitably, there will come the death of a
parent/spouse.  Sometimes that death comes as a shock and other times not,
most will agree the death comes to soon, but for some it is way too soon. 
With that death the story continues, though, with one character now only in
memory as the next chapter begins with getting back to some normalcy, "some"
because with the passing of a family member things aren’t the normal that was
created a chapter before.  The book that is the story of the family is not
complete with the death of one member, more chapters must be written, until that
day when the book can be closed when all of the members have passed on.

right now you might be saying to yourself a couple of things, things like "Dude,
what’s with the reflective beginning to this blog, and why haven’t you posted
anything new in over a week?"  Well, both the reflective nature of the
opening of this blog and the lack of postings came about because of the passing
of Dad on the Right on January 12th, starting a new chapter in the book of the
"on the Right" family.  In the realm of my being old enough to fully
comprehend and have to deal with the loss of an immediate family member, the
recent passing of my Dad is the first.  I was 11 when my last grandparent
passed away, and even though I’ve been older for the deaths of some of my aunts
and uncles, and yes, their passings were sad, for me this death thing is kind of
new and a lot different to deal with.  Sure, I could probably go see a
shrink to help me "move on" as it were, but what fun would that be and why would
I spend the money when I could just write about here it from time to time.

today’s therapy lesson was two-part.  One was to reflect that as much of a
bummer it is to have my dad die, I realized that my family’s story isn’t done
yet and there are already stories to tell of the days immediately following when
he passed, stories like "What the heck is his name, anyway?", "Who knew driving
to a cemetery could be so much fun!", "What’s the deal with the food?", "Niece
on the Right is a rocker!", "That’s not an obituary.  This is an
obituary!", and "Everyone says ‘Mom on the Right’ is a hottie."  And Mom,
if you’re reading this, don’t worry, one story will remain in the circle of our
family to laugh at from time to time.

The second part of my therapy lesson was
to get back to some normalcy, and what better way then seeing a movie, in this
case "Cloverfield," and write a review.

So the story of the "on the Right"
family continues, and at least right now Sis on the Right has her own
book of her family so that even when the book of the "on the Right" family is
closed, another book will lead people back to our story.

Stories are always to be read, but better to be written, even with a death as part of it.

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

Smoke Detector Nightmares


The Dude on the Right

As I have stated before in some blogs, I sometimes find myself just a tad crazy,
obsessive, or just bizarre.

Case in point…

So the other night I’m sleeping
when I wake up to a familiar chirp.  I knew I didn’t have any 9 volt
batteries in the Dude-Pad so I close my bedroom door hoping to deaden the noise. 
I manage to sleep through the night, waking up every now and then to a chirp,
but figuring that in the morning I could track down which one of my three smoke
detectors the chirp was coming from (I was guessing the living room area because
it wasn’t loud enough for the upstairs one nor quiet for the basement).  I
woke up that morning and got myself a gun.  No, wait, sorry, that’s the
theme from "The Sopranos" and a great song from
Alabama 3, but I
digress.  I woke up that morning to find there was no more chirping. 
Remembering that I failed to change the batteries in my smoke detectors when we
fell back in November, I figured the battery issue might have been caused by A)
My having the thermostat turned down to a balmy 60 degrees at night so when the
detector warmed back up in the morning the chirping stopped, or 2) My humidifier
was messing with the smoke detector, in conjunction with the balmy 60 degrees,
and again, when the detector warmed back up in the morning the chirping stopped. 
In any case I figured it wouldn’t hurt to change the batteries in all of my
smoke detectors so that afternoon I picked up some batteries, pulled out the
step-stool, and changed the batteries in my smoke detectors.  The Dude-Pad
was safe once more, or at least I would hear a fire coming and try to figure how
to get the hell out.

I went to bed.

Sometime about three the next morning:
"Chirp…. Chirp….  Chirp….", and I roll over saying to myself, "Self,
what the fuck?  I changed all of the batteries, what the hell is going on?" 
So I get out of bed, stand under the upstairs smoke detector, hear the next
"chirp" from below me, then head down the stairs to the living room.  I
stand there, in the dark, in my undies, staring at the living room area smoke
detector (because it could still be the basement detector), only nothing chirps. 
One minute.  Three minutes.  Ten minutes later I’m still standing
there, in my undies, and no chirp.  Confused and tired I head back to bed
only to be woken up again, around four in the morning, to new chirps. 
Pissed off I close my bedroom door again figuring that by morning the chirping
will be gone again, and sure enough it was.

Another day goes by, another night
of chirping begins, another standing, staring, shivering, in my undies, under my
living room detector goes by, then I wake up in the morning, don’t get myself a
gun (although at that point I really wanted to shoot my living room smoke
detector, just for the hell of it), and I head to my basement area to exercise. 
And just as I’m about to put my headphones on in preparation for a stationary
bike ride I hear a chirp.  I now know the basement detector is not the
culprit and head up stairs.  I stand under the living room smoke detector
and hear a chirp, only it’s not coming from the smoke detector, it’s coming from
my piano.  I know my piano can’t chirp, I know Steve, my clownfish in the
fish tank next to the piano can’t chirp (although how cool would that have
been), and then I remember my carbon monoxide detector was plugged in, behind
the piano, and sure enough, it was the damn thing that was chirping, keeping me
up at night, and hell, who remembers that your carbon monoxide detector has a
battery in it, let alone that you need to change said battery.  I had one
extra 9 volt battery left from my smoke detector upgrades, popped it my my
carbon monoxide detector, and sure enough, no more chirping.

As much as they
harp on changing your smoke detector batteries when we spring ahead or fall
back, and maybe I’m not paying enough attention to the harping, but as a public
service announcement to you, our loyal reader, don’t forget changing the battery
in your carbon monoxide detector so you won’t wake up, countless nights,
wondering where the hell the chirping is coming from.  Trust me, it won’t
be your fish talking to you.

Just a little tip for the new year.

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

Quit Sending E-Mails that just Disappoint your Friends.


The Dude on the Right

At first I was going to do a blog about "Dancing with the Stars" and how I was
so happy Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough won, but then, by the time I
started writing, I figured it was old news and really, what is there to blog
about other than he won, Julianne is still hot, and I was happy Marie Osmond and
Scary Spice didn’t win.

So I decided to write this blog about an e-mail I
received from my Mom a few weeks ago.

As much as I try and prod her to do so, my Mom keeps resisting my urging her
to write editorials, quips, and just general thoughts for this website. 
She’s a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, she’s a cancer survivor, and she has
grown up through lots of things in this world and has an opinion on just about
anything going on in the world of today.  When I go home to visit, and even
when I call on the phone, she comments a lot about professional athletes getting
paid too much money, saw from the beginning the quagmire of invading Iraq (which
I have to apologize to her, because as much, at the beginning, I tried to
convince her it was a good thing to do as I bought into the political propaganda
being spewed about, but she didn’t buy it for a second and stood her ground and
never has been a George Bush fan), and questions the proliferation of sex and
violence on TV and what it is doing to society, especially our youth, who don’t
have parents to both stop them from watching it, nor be role models around it. 
But in a bass-akward way she wrote something for the web site, in the form of an
e-mail to me and some of her friends a few weeks ago.  She told me I could
use it here, so here goes…

Mom received an e-mail with the following text,
complete with a lot of cute graphics that I’m not going to post here, that

8 angels are sent to you,
You must send them to 8 people including me.
In 8 minutes you will receive something you have long awaited.

Have faith!
Have a good day

Now my Mom, being in a persnickety mood that day, did what the e-mail said,
and waited.  And then sent this:

Well – – the 8 minutes came and went and there has not been any changes or
events to make a difference in my day. When I first got my computer in 2000 I
was gung ho for all the so-called miracles, healing, etc. that were to happen,
but never did.

So – – – – – if I don’t send anything back to you, it just never made
things different in my life, and I am just content to hear from my e-friends
even if I don’t answer back.

Prayers are beautiful to receive and hear, but I figure that for all my
problems that I would have cured and helped, there are so many more people who
need more help than I do and if they were to be answered, God would answer them.
But then at times, I believe He figures I should be able to figure some of my
problems out without His help. After all, He is a very busy God with the mess in
this world (that I’m sure He just shakes His head over that) and with the free
will that God gave us, it certainly is up to us to help ourselves more and be
thankful for all that we have.

May God bless each and every one of us.

I can’t divulge it here, but my Mom’s e-mail inspired a sort of social
experiment I might try at a later date, but I also so love when Mom gets
opinionated because she can do so in a nice way, yet still questioning why some
people probably don’t actually read the e-mails they forward along, just doing
so because it is the thing they do.  My Mom actually took the challenge the
e-mail asked for, and I can only imagine what she awaited for in those 8
minutes, but she didn’t get something she long awaited for.

So, please, don’t
send an e-mail that will lie to my Mom.  I so much like her complaining
about sports’ figures not living up to their multi-million dollar potential than
not receiving something she has long awaited.  And you also know what –
quit sending e-mails that, if they follow the e-mail rules, just disappoint your friends, too.

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

What’s New? A Podcast of: Jessica Alba – I Volunteer, Cicada Sounds, Go Cavs, and Go Away McGreevey’s.

For this podcast The Dude on the Right really, really, really, wants to be put on Jessica Alba’s list for a one night stand, or even a one evening stand. He also found some annoying cicada sounds thanks to Steve Dahl and The Chicago Tribune. The Dude hopes the Cleveland Cavs can win a basketball game, at least with the help of the Michael Stanley Band, and wishes the McGreevey’s would just go away. Gosh he has a lot to talk about in 15 or so minutes.

Tyra Banks says “So What!”, I Say “Just Come, and Celebrate.”


The Dude on the Right

I’ve got two topics I want to blog about this evening.  One was brought
about by listening to Howard Stern the last couple of days when he was
commenting about Tyra Banks’ new "So What!" campaign where you can, as I’m
typing this (nice typo Tyra people),
"Upload You ‘So What!’
  The other is a quick comment about the Olympics.  Sure,
maybe as a blogger I should separate them into two different blogs, but read
about what you want.

So let’s get to the Tyra Banks’ "So What!" campaign. 
It seems Tyra is trying to empower women (and maybe dudes) to be happy and be
one with some self-esteem issues by simply saying "So what!"  On its
surface it seems like a nice campaign, but what bothers me is that, for the most
part, it pretty much only deals with weight issues.  She had women on her
show, wearing one-piece bathing suits, with their weight plastered on them, I
guess as a testament to their being proud of their bodies (if they were that
proud, shouldn’t they have been in two-piece suits?  I’m sorry, I
digress.).  Her website spotlights three women from the show, one who "So
what"-ed that her thighs rubbed together when she walked, another who "So what"-ed
she couldn’t lose the last 15 pounds, and another who "So what"-ed that her
thighs jiggled when she walked.

My problem is that weight should never be a "So what!" issue, and as someone
who continues to struggle with his weight, I’ve joked, thanks to Homer Simpson,
"I’ve been an obese man trapped inside a fat man’s body" many a time, but never,
as self-esteemish as it is, did I ever dream of shouting "So what!" about my
weight.  From the way I see it "So what!" things should be left for things
like "Sometimes I like to pee in the shower," or maybe "Every now and then I
don’t shave my legs for a week," or maybe "Yes, I’m almost 40 and I like ‘Smallville,’"
or maybe "I like to smell my own farts," or maybe "Some days I like to wear
sweats and not do my hair," or maybe "I still watch ‘Survivor,’" or maybe "I’m a
women and have no problem going to ‘Hooters.’"   And I could go on and on.

But do you recognize
something about all of the above "So whats!"?  None of them are really
health issues. 
Having a "So what" attitude about your weight is a health issue, and a life
issue, and if I were Tyra my campaign might be "It’s My Struggle, not Yours" and
not "So What!"  Here’s what "So what!" about your weight might lead to: 
Diabetes, heart issues, cholesterol issues, high blood pressure, higher
insurance costs, depression, and just dying before you want to.

I know there
are two things I need to do to get myself back to being a healthy person, but
for reasons not for here, not right now, I am not progressing at those two
things like I would want to.  But even as I don’t do those two things have
I ever had the attitude Tyra Banks seems to want me to have about my weight,
namely "So what!", because at that point I might as well come back to another
quote I used to joke about, "I’m one with my fat self," and then maybe wonder
when being my fat self would make me have to take at least a half-dozen pills
just to stay alive.

For me I’m thinking I might have to focus a little more on
the two things I need to do to keep me alive a little longer in this world
rather than listen to the advice of "So what!"  Sadly, for other people,
they will say "So what!" for a while, and then wonder why, when they are older,
they have to pop a lot of pills and say "Why me?"

Enough Tyra Banks.

Oh yea,
there’s that Olympic thing.  This blog has gone on a little longer than
planned so I’ll just say this.  The United States Olympic Evaluation
Commission is visiting Chicago this week to see if Chicago would be a better
place to host the 2016 Olympics as opposed to Los Angeles.  Chicago is a
better place.  Los Angeles already has stuff built.  We get to build
new stuff.  Isn’t that what the Olympics are about – New Champions, and new

"If Chicago builds it, they will come.  The World will. 
Come.  And Celebrate."

And if the Chicago Olympic folks want to pay me
for that slogan, I’m up for negotiations, that’s the Chicago way

"So What!" is
a crappy campaign, from Tyra Banks, but for the USOC, hey, just come, and

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

Hurricane Katrina – Worse Than You Think – Please Help


The Dude on the Right

Fine, they are finally starting to realize the magnitude of the disaster that is
taking place thanks to hurricane Katrina, and it’s bad enough with the
devastation in places like
and Gulfport, Mississippi, but I can’t help but wonder, and be kind
of incensed, as to why did it take so long for the major networks to realize
what was happening in New Orleans, in our own country?  Isn’t there one
person there who could have said "Umm, guys, New Orleans is below sea level, the
levee’s are broken and the pumps are broken, that pretty much means New Orleans
is going to fill up with water, that pretty much means that water isn’t going to
go anywhere, anytime, quickly, and that water will be filled with polluted
chemicals, dead bodies, and creepy critters.  We’re looking at a
catastrophe of major, even biblical proportions, maybe we should get on this and
get the public aware of what is going on so maybe they can realize the extent of
the devastation other than the fact that their gas prices going up more than
fifty cents in a day."  But no, the major networks continue with mostly
their normal programming, and the only folks really covering this are the cable
news people.

NBC has announced a

fundraising concert/broadcast
, scheduled for Friday at 8PM EDT, at oooh, an
entire hour.  Alright, that’s kind of a jab, but at least they are doing
something, but my feelings are still this:  ISN’T ANYONE REALIZING THE
DEVASTATED?  I hate to compare this to the World Trade Center attacks, they
are sort of different, yet a lot the same, and maybe even worse.  We don’t
know the extent of loss of life from Katrina, it might only be hundreds, yet it
might be in the thousands, but the difference is the number of people whose
lives have been uprooted, probably for months, maybe even years, and it is a far
magnitude greater than when we were attacked.  Yes, I know the attack on
the World Trade Center and Pentagon were horrific, and maybe it’s because they
were so visual, and maybe at least for those, we had someone to blame, but there
doesn’t seem to be the same American spirit associated with this event. 
You may say something like "Well, they should have gotten out of there, they
knew it was coming," and I say "There are hundreds of thousands who evacuated
and are now wondering when, if ever, they will see anything they owned ever
again, let alone figure out when, where, how, they will work and live again." 
You may say something like "They knew the risk of living where they lived," and
I say "It doesn’t matter where you live, you live within a catastrophic, natural
disaster.  I live in Illinois and we have a major earthquake fault, fine,
more Missouri, but still Illinois, called the
New Madrid Fault
that now that I know is here, maybe I’m not in such a safe place except for the
occasional blizzard or tornado.  You might have a volcano on your horizon,
you might also have an earthquake, you might have tsunami caused by some crap
breaking off a shelf over in Europe or Africa that will level you.  You
never know the risk.

Fine, I’m rambling some for this blog entry, I suppose because it bugs me
that New Orleans and other sites of the Katrina devastation aren’t getting the
attention they deserve.  I’ve got a fun weekend waiting for me, spending it
in downtown Chicago, hitting a lot of the places my friends and I usually hit,
and catching Jimmy Buffett for a couple of shows at Wrigley Field, but right
now, and it will probably hold at times during the weekend, I see a couple of
images in my head.  One is of a dead body, floating in their house or their
attic, peaceful now, but knowing their life came to a terrible end. 
Another is of the people stuck in hotel rooms, even the Superdome, where they
have no power, no plumbing, no water, shitting in a toilet that won’t flush, and wondering how I would hold up. 
The last is that I looked at the block I live on as I was coming home today,
picturing it in my mind if all of it was gone.  It’s not the same as what
they are going through because my home was still there, but hundreds of
thousands of people are, right now, wondering what they are going to do
tomorrow.   For most of the rest of us, we know.

Please donate
From my eyes, this devastation is many times worse than you think it is, at
least, unless, you’ve been watching the cable news channels.  Right now
they seem to understand.  I only hope the rest of us realize it.

This will probably be my last blog until sometime next week, mostly because
I’ll be away from any computer connections and drinking too much.  If you
are pregnant, have a good Labor Day (get it, Labor Day 🙂 ), if you are in the labor industry, have a
good Labor Day, but in any case, remember, think, or pray if it is your thing,
for all of the people impacted by Hurricane Katrina.  They deserve your
support as much as anyone you have donated you help before.

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