Happy Thanksgiving!

We’ve been cooking for the last 3 hours! Finally changed into my “dinner clothes” and ready to sit back and let everything bake! As Teresa is now a vegetarian, I made what is starting to become a traditional dish – Lasagna Florentine. I made a double batch and am saving the rest of the sauce for December. Can’t wait to eat as I haven’t had anything since dinner last night! Hope everybody out there has a fantastic Thanksgiving with their families! Its amazing when I really think about everything we have to be thankful for!


Katty and I decided to do something different this weekend. After having spent most of the day Saturday watching football games – I was dying to get out of the house on Sunday! We decided that going to the theater would be the perfect outing. As it was already later in the day, we had to find something that was in the afternoon – and after some searching we settled on a play called “Transference” at the Mercury Theater – just around the corner from my apartment. I had read the first few lines of a review (my first mistake, I should have read the whole thing):

I arrived at the theater to purchase the tickets, and when the man behind the counter said “That’ll be $82” I was taken aback, but decided that it was something that we had decided to do – so what did it matter what it costs? Its theater! “Acting!” It must be entertaining!

After having seen the play, I can officially retract that statement. This play had to be one of the worst I have seen! It had this low-brow, stupid humor – it was just dumb. I didn’t feel enlightened or even happier upon leaving – I just couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that they can still sell tickets to the show! A family of three left the theater less than 10 minutes after the show started – at about the time the main character, a lawyer, got on all fours and starting barking and acting like a dog (plastic toy in mouth and all). I’m not sure what kept Katty and I in out seats – sadistic curiosity? hoping for a payoff at the end? wanting to get our money’s worth? We were to satiate none of these desires while watching “Transference” – we have now learned our lesson; do more homework when deciding on what show to see!

Just saw this review on the Sun Times – “But be advised: If you happen to be a Baby Boomer, this is the kind of stuff your parents used to like.”


Katty’s live TV debut!

Katty’s first live studio interview on Telemundo Chicago the day after mid-term elections!

Another pre-taped interview on Univision

She will probably kill me for posting these but I just had to as I’m so proud of her for everything that she has done since she started at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights – she did a fantastic job in both of these interviews and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her! Congratulations Katty!

As far as a transcript of said interviews – I think I’ll wait until Google Labs comes up with a live audio translation program!


I don’t have any pictures from this weekend, as I have not yet recouped the losses from the burglary. But this does mean that its time to share the smoking deals I got on replacements! I have ordered a new digital camera and memory card to replace those that were stolen and I’m hoping to get them this week. I ended up deciding on the Canon SD600 once again, as there was nothing else out there with the same portability and features near its price tag. I was tempted by the SD 800 IS as it has the same screen and optical viewfinder, as well as a wide angle (35mm equivalent) lens and image stabilization – but in the end, the SD600 is smaller and better priced! My deal swindling took me to Overstock.com as they had a $30 off $250 coupon and $1 shipping. Though it was cheaper at Amazon and Newegg – I get 4 miles for every dollar purchased through the NWA WorldPerks mall plus another 600 miles for making a purchase over $200 during the x-mas season, plus another 5000 mile bonus for using my WorldPerks visa! That makes ~6700 miles for the one purchase! Easily justifies the extra $8 spent (plus I get a copy of Fahrenhype 9-11 – I needed the $1 purchase to get over the $250 coupon requirement – anybody want it?). Yes I’m insane. Don’t think I didn’t do the same for the memory card! Buy.com had Kingston’s 2gb MiniSD card for $45 before a $16 rebate and Google Checkout’s $10 off $30 purchase which ends up at $19 for a 2GB mini-SD! More room to load the MDA up with maps, video and music! As Bill would say – “Nice prizey!” In addition – I ordered a Boxwave Cleartouch Anti-Glare screen protector for the camera – an absolute MUST for any digital camera toting consumer! Not only does it protect the screen from scratches, the anti glare properties are phenomenal outdoors! I also have their crystal protector on my PDA – reflects like a mofo, but makes the image much sharper.

Speaking of reflecting screens… I was finally able to find an incredible deal for laptops at work. Dell Inspiron 640m, Core 2 Duo T2300, 14.1″ WXGA+ (1440×900), 512mb ram, 60gb hard drive, Dual Layer DVD burner, built in wifi/bluetooth… LOADED with a 3 year Gold warranty. How much you ask? $804 each (after rebate) – we got 5. Suffice it to say, I won’t be replacing my stolen laptop anytime soon as I’ve got this beauty to use! It’ll even play DVDs, videos, MP3s and show pictures without booting the operating system! Only downside is that the WXGA+ screen comes with Dell’s “TrueLife” coating – makes it more of a mirror than a screen! On the PDA the idea works, on a laptop – not so much. On the laptop purchase alone I saved Youth Guidance over $2000 on what we had budgeted! See, this deal scavenging comes in handy every once in a while!

The laptop image links to the NotebookReview.com 640m review

Just what I needed

After a long day at the office followed by some much needed shopping I finally arrived at home. With a sigh of relief I dropped off the groceries and then headed into my room. The first thing I noticed was that the bed was partially unmade. This surprised me, but I figured maybe TK or Dave wanted to borrow a pillow or something. Then I noticed that my computer stand had been moved and that my laptop and docking station were missing.

set in – I had been robbed. I immediately ran into the living room and office and nothing seemed to be missing. I went back into my room and noticed that all of the drawers had been left partially open as well as the closet door. He had searched through everything. Again, panic struck as I wondered if he had found the key to my fire safe. Thankfully the safe was still tucked away and the keys had not been found. One of my pillows was missing its pillowcase – and I couldn’t understand why. Katty then stated to obvious fact that he had used my pillowcase to stash the goods.

Anger followed shortly thereafter as I realized that my digital camera had been stolen along with a ring of Katty’s. I began to jog my memory to see what important data was on the laptop… all of my school work from Northwestern, pictures that I never copied to the server, old e-mails… all gone...  Not to mention the fact that I had just purchased the docking station as well a new DVD rom drive for it. It wasn’t a lot of money – but just made it that much more frustrating.

We should never have left the key outside the apartment – no matter how hidden we thought it was. My current theory is that a delivery person saw the key out of the corner of his eye and decided to come back while nobody was around. I called the police and they wrote up a report. I don’t have renters insurance, so I don’t expect to recoup any of my money – but its not the loss of money that is so infuriating.

Its the violation of privacy, of my own personal space. To know that somebody had been in our apartment – in my room, looking through my drawers… and I’m left to wonder if he made copies of the key… and if he will come back. Later on in the evening, while I was explaining what happened to TK – a police officer showed up. She came with a fingerprinting kit hoping to find some trace of the burglar. No good prints. The best I can do is submit the serial numbers in hope that the burglar tries to sell the stuff at the pawn shop.

Resignation is all that I feel now. Numb to the fact that this happened and that I have to deal with it. I wanted to take a picture of the police officer dusting for prints, when I realized my camera was gone. I jolted out of bed last night thinking that he took my MP3 player as well, it was where I had left it. How long will this feeling last? When will I know for sure exactly what I lost? When will I feel safe again?

They are going to change the locks in the afternoon – but in the meant time the place is vacant… as much as the officer assured me that they don’t hit the same place twice.. I can’t help but to worry

Just what I needed…

Gmail mobile client

Google has just released a Java based Gmail client for mobile phones! This client is much more user friendly than the wap version and it even gives you access to your contact lists!

Some of the new features:

  • Up to five times faster access and use, thanks to automatic pre-fetching of messages
  • Drastically reduced clicks and scrolling to access email
  • Fewer keystrokes for reading, composing, or searching mail
  • Attachments, including files and photos, viewable and automatically resized to fit the user’s phone

I was just playing with it now, and even with poor reception (=slow internet) I was amazed at how well the program worked! The fact that you can view attachments is quite a bonus! With Google Maps Mobile and now GMail Mobile I must say I’m impressed with their mobile offerings!

Remember that even though the application is free, you are responsible for any data charges from your mobile carrier! (gotta love unlimited data plans!)