2004 Archive

Feed Me

Mon, 16 August 2004

After goofing around in Blogger a bit I successfully syndicated the content of this glorious web effort. To make it work with my newsreader (NewsGator), I took the Atom feed created by Blogger and entered it into FeedBurner. Now I have this nice little XML Chicklet on my site for all of you who want to stay abreast of my infrequent Blog entries. This website is now a strung together set of cheap ASP solutions to that which is provided natively by MoveableType. I’m running on Blogger (Free), with commenting by Haloscan(Free), with feed by FeedBurner(Free), with website hosted by Catalog.com($35 per year…close enough to Free).

The one thing I may pay for is a small donation to Haloscan so that comments on my blog are actaully emailed to me. That way I won’t miss out when Walt says he can make my site do RSS, or when Mark says Happy Fathers Day.

Posted in: Blogging, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms | No Comments »

How To Be Creative

Fri, 13 August 2004

HowToBeCreative— It’s always good to read other people’s work about the angst involved in the creative process. It saves me from having to spend time being creative in expressing the angst involved in my creative process.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, User Experience Design | No Comments »


Sun, 08 August 2004

It’s finally over…We put our 1989 Honda Accord to rest yesterday. After 15 glorious years of service, she has gone to the wholesaler in the sky. It wouldn’t be fitting to put her down without a tribute. She has, afterall been through the formidable years of 2 people that appreciate her dearly. And so the story begins…

The Honda was Tricia’s first car – taken to University of Buffalo in Fall 1994. At that time it had 40,000 miles and not a blemish. You see, the car had been bought new and babied by Tricia’s mom. Through one means of begging or another, Tricia pryed the car away from its reluctant birthmom and promised to wash it every day. With a hefty parental loan and a gleam in her eye Tricia proudly began her Junior year of college with a car that was the envy of all her friends. In comparison to my 1982 Volkswagen Rabbit, this car was showroom fresh.

Through the streets of Buffalo and Rochester it rode – to late night grocery runs and all night keg parties, from Niagara Falls to Buffalo Bills games. From a remedial job at K-Mart to servant’s pay at the local Tavern. It unpacked the bedroom and packed the dormroom. The Honda was a steady friend amongst the turmoil of Tricia’s transition into womanhood. No hotwiring, no jumpstarting, no swearing.

Little did she know that those early years of carefree fun would set the stage for its eventual demise. After 2 years of driving the salty winter roads, and frigid nights spent without a roof over its head, the Honda contracted car cancer. It started as only a small rustanoma over its right rear wheel. A little sandpaper and some touch up paint and we had it licked – so we thought. Over the years we would watch as other small areas of the paint bubbled. Yet, we didn’t hear a whimper as it slowly began to eat away at the very essence of the steel.

After college, I took to mocking Tricia’s gold and brown beast. I ridiculed it as ugly and practical. My brand new 1997 Ford Ranger was far higher on the cool-o-meter. When we got married, what was mine became hers, and what was hers became hers. So I swallowed every bit of my pride as we finished out her car loan and kept the Honda as one of our 2 family cars. While living in Rochester, we watched in awe as the odometer turned over 100,000 miles. Still strong, still dependable, but the rust began to ravage her body.

When we moved to Chicago in 2000 we crammed a house full of crap into a 2 bedroom apartment, and along with us came the Honda and my truck. As our marriage grew and we had our first child, the day of reckoning came. It was 2001 and we had just finished paying on my truck. For the first time we now had no car payments. What we did have was a 2-seat pickup truck that was useless, and a rusty old Honda with 115,000 miles to cart around our bouncing baby. Instead of doing the orthodox and trading in the rusty Honda for something new, we did the unthinkable. We traded the pickup for a 2001 Dodge Durango kid-mobile and kept the Honda as the wingman. Sure, it was getting up there in years, but we heard legends of Hondas lasting to 200,000 or more. All we had to do was last through the payment cycle on the Durango, and our bold move would pay off.

And so, it did. The Honda went on to sweet retirement duty as I used it primarily to drive 2 miles to the train station every day and left it for dead in the sun and cold. It was the first time that the Honda became MY primary car. Lo and behold I actually fell in love with it. For a car that was that old, it still was as solid as the day I first rode in it. No rattles, no clunks. Was it hard to start on a cold day? Yes. Did the wheel nearly fall off one day when I pulled into a parking spot? Yes. But, overall it was the perfect get-around car. Especially now that we have 2 kids.

On July 31, 2004 we made it to the last payment on the Durango. It was a happy day in our family. We smiled at our good fortune. We laughed as we cranked up the Honda’s 6 disc changer in delight. She had made it. 10 years after saying our first hellos it basked in having accomplished all that her Japanese makers had built her to do.

It was only 5 days later, almost as if it were a terminal patient waiting for the last family member to say its goodbyes, that the Honda gave up her fight. I drove her at 60 miles an hour on the highway and she started to “shimmy”. Not convulse, cough, or sputter, just shimmy annoyingly as I hit cruising speed. It concerned me enough for a visit to the auto doctor, and the prognosis wasn’t pretty. $1200 in repairs were needed for her gimpy front ball-joints. Her belts were severely cracked, her tires needed to be replaced, even the horn wasn’t working anymore.

I was in denial. I called up Tricia and told her the bad news. I said “Can I have the checkbook?” and explained the charges. I began spewing my usual list of repairs and discounts that I had negotiated. Tricia listened intently, then cleared her throat and said in an deep low voice, “Kris, I think it’s time.” In disbelief I went on justifying how this car was going to last 20 maybe even 25 years – that we could easily make it to 150,000. But, she had already made up her mind. “Start looking for a new car.” And that was it. Tricia had already come to peace with a major chapter of her life. The time had come to let the Honda go.

In the grueling search for a new vehicle, always in the back of my mind I was thinking that we would donate the car to a charity and let some other lucky person get some service out of her twilight years. In the end, it didn’t even come to that. We used her as a $500 discount on our new car. It was easier than trying to sell her outright or even do her the honor of donation. But, for us it was just better this way. We put her down, took our last pictures,then drove away in the new car. It seems a fitting tribute to show the Honda what her years of hard work allowed us to buy as her legacy. Our first convertible. Thank you 1989 Honda Accord LX. We’ll miss you. Goodbye.

Posted in: Home, Life | No Comments »

This Land Is Your Land

Mon, 02 August 2004

This is an awesome piece of political satire.

Posted in: Life, Oddities | No Comments »

Pool Pickin

Mon, 02 August 2004

It’s amazing how quickly the second child grows up when there’s a bigger kid around to motivate her. Anna is 11 months, and if she doesn’t start walking in the next 2 weeks I would be surprised. In the meantime, she has definitely figured out how to crawl, climb up on her brother and get in his grill. The boy needed a challenge..now he’s got one. With a beautiful 90 degree Sunday we went to the Lifetime Fitness pool. I just need to burn that day into my memory for safekeeping on those 20 degree days in February. Summer is too short.

Posted in: Kids, Life | No Comments »


Mon, 26 July 2004

On Saturday we made the journey to the Fairgrounds for the DuPage County Fair. As far as fairs go I must say this is one of the more impressive events I’ve been to. We now have successfully introduced the kids to elephant ears. They are still too small for the rides, but the goats, pigs, cows, and baby chicks were enough to them entertained all day. What amazes me the most is how agricultural one of the most affluent counties in the state is. I just don’t know where they shipped in all these animals from when every day in the paper you read how the last specs of farmland have been developed into housing. While we didn’t hang around for the rodeo or the demolition derby, I cn’t remember a more fun fair experience.

Posted in: Leisure Time, Life | No Comments »

Anchor Man

Mon, 26 July 2004

Following on the bootstraps of the last time that Tricia and I actually left the house by ourseles, we went to another 1970’s tribute movie. This time it wasn’t Starsky and Hutch, oh no… it was Will “We’re Goin’ Streakin'” Ferrell in Anchorman. The movie really didn’t start off that funny, but by the end of the short hour and a half I got into the shtick and was rolling on the floor.

I’m just the least critical, easiest to please moviegoer ever. Give me some fart jokes and some polyester suits and you’ve got my 8 bucks wholeheartedly.

Posted in: Life, Movies | No Comments »


Mon, 21 June 2004

Father’s Day was excellent this year. Mason and Anna, with a little help from Tricia gave me a bicycle trailer. So Saturday we had a great ride along Lake Michigan from Navy Pier, up to North Avenue Beach for some sand throwing and chewing ( a favorite 2 year old activity), then to the Lincoln Park Zoo for some animal watching, then back to Navy Pier for some fireworks. It was an incredible display. They must spend some serious money to put that on twice a week.

Posted in: Chicago, Holidays, Life | No Comments »

Starsky & Hutch

Mon, 17 May 2004

I got a chance to see Starsky & Hutch on Friday. I’m very much interested in attending any film that brings 70’s and 80’s era car chase tv to the big screen. If they ever make a movie of the Dukes of Hazzard, Knight Rider, or the Rockford Files, I’m there. Starsky and Hutch was typical Ben Stiller. The hard luck, quirky, slightly feminine, every-man’s hero… just what I needed on a Friday.

Posted in: Life, Movies | No Comments »

Communications Overload

Thu, 06 May 2004

Apophenia describes where all of our behavior might end up. I see her statements as a reflection on the future of mass society. Now I know some people that are on the bleeding edge. They have their cel phone with IM, email, personal website, blog, membership in 10 Social Networks, regular phone, snail mail – many ways of making contact. As that bleeding edge becomes more of an everyday reality for people the social norms of courtesy are completely changing. Respecting your desire to disconnect from the Matrix should be akin to wishing you a good vacation. Go and decompress! Let’s be friends by not being connected. I won’t call that cel phone attached to your hip, I won’t read into your electronic silence. I will turn off my persistence gene. And if you decide to get together with me when you are on communications respite, well then I know that’s the ultimate sign of respect. When you come back I expect you to be tan and ready to hyper-connect 😉

Posted in: Leisure Time, Life | No Comments »


This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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