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It’s All Hallows Eve!

Good day! What an apt morn for “All Hallows Eve”, no? Well, not exactly. I mean it’s breezy and the leaves they are a changin’ and a fallin’ but it feels more like the end of April than October, temps-wise. It’s also rainin’ in ChiTownLand, something we haven’t seen in a long time. All things considered, it’s not that bad. Yeah, moms and dads who are taking their little ones out trick or treating, will have to deal with balky kids who don’t want their costumes hidden under a raincoat/slicker/whatever to keep them dry.  Oh yeah, they’ll be carrying bumbershoots, too, if the know what’s good for them.

umbrella

 

And, being that it’s Halloween, aka, October 31st, a Happy Birt’day ta T-Bill, who has officially joined the Old-Farts Club by turning 65, today!

 

Before I get started, some ‘splainin”s in order, in which my computer-ignorance will become fully apparent.

 

For some reason or other, Yahoo thinks I am some kind of Spammer – computer -  whatever and because of that, has been barring me form sending out emails to…what they consider to be…large groups of people. Ours is 24-strong. Hardly “large” but that doesn’t matter. The all-powerful, Yahoo thinks so, therefore it is. Anyway, one thing they sent me said not to send out a large group of emails in a short period of time. So, if you have or you do send me something to “share” with the group but do not see it, it’s because of that restriction…mainly, or, that I just didn’t get around to it.  So there we are.  Hopefully, they’ve seen the error of their ways and won’t put a communications clamp on me again. If they do…though I don’t know how…I’ll find another way to get this out to y’all. Sorry about that, chiefs.

 

OK, enough about me. Sherman! To the Wayback machine! Set it for All Hallows Eve to see what happened on this date in…

1517,   Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to a door of the Church of Witteneberg. When his parents found out they aksed him, ”95?! Why not 100?” Young Martin was never the same.

 

1803,   Congress ratified the Louisiana Purchase, which eventually led to “Luzianne”, iced tea.

 

1864,   In the middle of the Civil War, Nevada became our 36th state, paving the way for the eventual establishment of “Sin City” aka Las Vegas…”Bright light city gonna set my soul; gonna set my soul on fire!”

 

1931,   TV-newsman, Dan Rather was born.

 

1948,   M.O.T.L.E.Y. co-founder, Bill Pierce was born.

 

1952,   The U.S. exploded the first hydrogen bomb on Eniwetok Atoll, just down the seas from “No-Bikini Atoll”.

 

1961,   Film director, “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”, Peter Jackson was born.

 

 

J-CUBED IS IN STIR.

 

-Yet another of Ella Noise’s fine elected officials, JJJ, checked into the Club Fed in Butner, NC, to begin his 30-month sentence. Maybe he’ll learn about “…another kind of love…”, while there. “Squeal like a pig”, Jess?

 

I-390 CONSTRUCTION BEGINS.

-In looking for background info, believe it or not, there’s another I-390 in New York. So, as not to confuse anyone, this refers to Ella Noise.

 

A groundbreaking ceremony took place the other day just east of the “Elgin-O’Hare” Expressway, in ChiTopwn’ northwestern ‘Burbs. As many of you know, this roadway connects neither the town of Elgin nor O’Hare Airport. Rather, local TV reporter, John Garcia said some call it the “IHOP”, in that it does connect the towns of Itasca and Hanover Park. Anyway, this road should be great for local drivers…hopefully…as it will provide a bypass connecting I-90 and I-294. Anyone who has had to use either of those roads should welcome this. I used to. The 17-mile, occasional, 1-1/2 hour commutes were partly responsible for my retirement. I did have other more pressing health-reasons but I cannot tell a lie. Leaving work at 5 and not getting home till 6:00 or 6:30 didn’t help very much.

 

Trouble is by the time it’s finished and all the headaches of the “road-construction” are over; I doubt I’ll be making many runs out that way as this will be years in the making.

 

For the non-ChiTowners, this may seem irrelevant. Sorry.

 

COP-KILLER SENTENCED.

-Normally, I don’t mention these stories but in this instance, an old high school buddy of mine, Rick Francis was the cop who was killed.

 

In 2008, he was killed by some lunatic who couldn’t control herself on a CTA bus. When he answered the call; somehow she was able to get his pistol; shot and killed him.

 

Rick was a good guy.

 

BARRYCARE.

-The beat goes on. Seems Barry did some “over-selling” and his troops did some under-delivering. His opponents are going operatic. What esle is new? We’ll see.

 

Still, I do not buy into the Lunatic-fringe description of it as being, “…the worst thing ever, in the history of the Yewnited States of Amurca…”; The Civil War; slavery; WWI; WWII aside.

 

 

HEADLINE IN THE NEWS…

“Social Security benefits going up – a little”. Yep. A whopping 1.5%, which works out to an average of $19.00/month….or $4.75/week…or $0.678/day. Hey! What’re ya tryin’ ta do? Break the bank or sumpin’? Doncha know we got budget hearings going on? Ya really think the GOPers’ll let THAT go through without a fight? Especially PaulieBoy Ryan, the guy who made it to where he is thanks to Social Security bennies he got when his dad died?

 

LOCALLY…

-Northwest siders beware! A RahmbikinSpeed Camera’s being installed on Central Avenue between Irving Park Road and Berteau Avenue. Why there, I don’t know, as the only time traffic comes even close to the 30 MPH speed limit, is at night. Otherwise, it’s…usually…bumper-to-bumper.

 

Never mind. The Grand and Beneficent Rahmses hath spoken. So let it be written. So let it be done.

 

A FALL/WINTER TIP.

-Is your house old? I mean, like 40-years or older? I ask as ours is …or is near…60. I’d had problems weather stripping the doors, especially the front door, as it has a round-top. Not easy.

 

Last week and by sheer happenstance, I happened to notice a gap on one side of it. Being that I had installed weather stripping about a year ago, this concerned me. Anyway, my doors all have the old “Spring Bronze” weatherstripping, which is intact… though it was “compressed”. So, using an 11-in-1, painter’s tool, I pried the bronze outward on all three of our outside doors. Amazingly, the difference was immediate and has held up, thus far. Granted, it’s only been a week but still, all the grab-assticating I’ve gone through trying to seal those old puertos and the original weatherstripping; installed when “insulation” was a joke compared to now; I’m a happy guy.

 

The 11-in-1 Painter’s tool is available at any hardware store and they vary from 7-in-1 up to, Zeus knows how many-in-1.

 

 

DUCK SEASON

 

“CAPTAIN PHILLIPS”. 3-3/8 Stars

-The mark of any film based on a historical/factual/actual/real occurrence, the outcome of which is known by most - though not necessarily all – who view it, is made by its ability to hold the audience’s attention…despite that pre-knowledge.

 

“Captain Phillips” succeeds…exceeds…in that. The film begins with he and his wife, played by Catherine Keener, in a very minor role, driving to the airport for his flight to Oman, where he will pick up his ship, the Maersk Alabama en route to its final destination, Mombasa, Kenya around the Horn of Africa. This takes them along Somalia, where piracy is prevalent…and his ship is, in fact, boarded by Somali pirates; followed by his being taken hostage and the ensuing rescue by the United States Navy and Navy SEAL Team-6.

 

This short paragraph encapsulates a 2-1/2 hour film, in which Tom Hanks does what he does best…understated/underplayed calm. He is the antithesis of Al Pacino…not that there is anything wrong with that. I find the end of “Scent of a Woman” to have been extremely well done by Pacino. But back to Captain Phillips and holding the audience’s attention.

 

As stated, it begins slowly but within 15 or 20-minutes, things start popping. Hanks’ C.P., is a no-nonsense skipper, who immediately upon boarding the Maersk Alabama, sees a lack of attention to security-measures, which on a merchant ship…in that area…could be fatal.

The -5/8 star is due to the lack of explanation of International Maritime Law, which prevents/prevented merchant ships from being armed with anything more than “fire-hoses”. It would seem they should – at the least – be able to carry small-arms, i.e., M-14s, to protect themselves and possibly thwart a pirate attack. In this instance the Somalis all carried the red badge of courage of the Third World, AK-47s.

 

Once they are boarded, the action among the crew; pirates and Phillips is riveting. There’s a “Hollywood” moment, which isn’t really a “Hollywood” moment, that was cool. I’ll let you decide that for yourself.

 

On the 3-3/8 Stars, other than Hanks; the Somalis who played the pirates and the supporting cast/crew; the open-ocean shots of our Navy ships were, in a word, awesome. Our ships are totally bad-ass; commanded and crewed by pros, who are also bad-asses…good guys but bad-asses nonetheless. I commented to MBH that the USS Bainbridge and accompanying ships

elicited visions of Darth Vader’s Command Ship & Company. I know two of you had sea duty and know about what I speak. In other words, if I were a pirate…or some other dummass …who did something to bring these guys out…once seeing them, I’d think otherwise.

 

Also, though a small part of the film yet a major part of the success, Navy SEAL Team-6, also showed the incredible training

and professionalism of these folks. I assumed it may have been that the producers didn’t want to overplay or focus too     much on the killing of the pirates.

 

Last thing, though it might help, a tad, no need for IMAX for this film.

 

TUBULARY SPEAKING…

 

-”Boardwalk Empire”. Are the jaws of the “Bureau of Investigation” drawing closer to closing around “Nucky”? Is Chalky preparing to “off” Dr. Narcisse? Will Eli betray Nucky?

 

Tune in next time.

 

-”Revolution”. Last night’s show as pretty good. Problem is, we knew/know Bass wouldn’t/couldn’t die. Though they buried him, the show ends with Rachel at Bass’ grave…digging. I guessed that A-aron  and his “nanos” would stop Bass’ execution…he didn’t. MBH said it’d be Charlie. It wasn’t. However, there’s no way the guy could be killed off…not after a season+ of shows. Especially, when he said to Miles that they needed Tom Neville. It should be obvious they’re “getting the band back together”

as they’re on, “…a mission from god”…whomever/whatever that deity may be.

 

Still, it was good. While it does portray the “Patriots” as really evil folks, it does not ascribe this to any particular school of political thought…at least not directly.

 

-”It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!” The Charles Schulz-classic is on ABC, tonight. We may give it a watch.

 

-TCM.

A troika of Edgar Allen Poe-inspired films, “The Pit and the Pendulum”; The Hauted Palace” and “The Masque of the Red Death”

will be shown tonight. Rather than watching these – somewhat – cheesy…almost campy…films, one might be better off reading the stories.

 

One film which I’d love to see would be the light-horror-comedy, “Arsenic and Old Lace”. Oh well.

 

AND NOW…SPORT

 

THE WORLS SERIES.

-Tuned in a couple times; seeing Bahstehn ahead and finally to see Matt Carpenter K’d to win it all for the Red Sox.

 

As have said before, it really is hard watching post-game MLB after having endured two teams just sucking this year…having lost a combined total of 195-games. I mean, it’s even hard for over-the-top-Cubbi-fans, to do a Nyah-nyah-nah-nyah-nyah to White Sox fans, in that their team, while losing 3-games less than the Sox, also lost a total of 96.

 

The two, biggest stories around here, MLB-wise, are The Flubs continued search for someone high/crazy/or stupid enough to take the job to be their manager. The Sox signing Cuban-defector, Sebastian Abreu, who could be YUGE as a power hitter…or another Dave Nicholson, striking out 200-odd times.

 

There’s one other which like an ugly-blackhead, has popped up, which is the war between the Flubs and the rooftop-pirates over the new signage the Flubs want to erect ay the ballpark, which according to their Prez., Rickety Tom Ricketts, will THEN cause the NL pennant to fly from atop the Wrigley Field scoreboard. Uh-huh.

 

-Not only did that Bahstehn win bring and end to the World Series, it also brought an end to – possibly – the most annoying baseball announcer moi had ever heard, Tim McCarver.

 

I blame Dodger announcer, Vin Scully, for this, in how he waxed eloquent over McC’s aphorisms regarding his former battery-mate, Steve Carlton in the early ’70s. From there, like a mushroom on the forest floor and most other funguses among us, he flourished.

 

How to say, “Won’t miss you, dude” other than, “Won’t miss you, dude”?  Perhaps former-Cubs-color guy, Bob Brenly will succeed him. If so, hooray for Santy Claus, as when Brenly makes an observation more often than not, it is far more insightful than just a re-statement of the obvious…a McCarver staple.

 

DaBULLS.

-So much for the “trap” of a “Ring ceremony” game in Miami. They got whupped; giving up 107-points. The Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man, Carlos Boozer had 31, though.

 

Looks like no 72-0 season.

 

DaHAWKS.

-They’ve won their last, two games, which is good. However, if there’s one, glaring difference between this year and last, it has to be in sub-goalies. This year, it’s Nikolai Khabibulian, against whom, I think, I could score! I believe in his two games, he’s allowed 11!

 

As they say, goalies are like kickers. Once they go…they go. Heard a talking-head say there’s another back-to-back set, this weekend and if he’s that bad again, expect him to be gone.

 

THE SOCIALIST FOOTBALL COLLECTIVE.

-It’s the oldest rivalry in football in Green Bay, Wisconsin, this Monday night, with my Green Bay Packehs hosting the Chicagah Bears. It’s an important game for both teams in that it’s a division game which will have a direct effect on the standings in their division. Playoff implications are in play.

 

That said, both teams are hurting. Arguably, DaBears worse-off than Green Bay, in that while the Briggs loss is evened out with the Pack’s loss of Clay Matthews, Jr., on “D”, the Bears without Cutler on offense is YUGE!

 

Yes, they also are missing guys on their “D”, too…not to mention the paucity of times Julius Peppers has played like, well, Julius Peppers. Methinks he’s hurting; just won’t say so…or use that as an excuse. Peanut’s also been hurting. That they are coming off their Bye, normally, should help. It will be interesting to see if it does.

 

-Joe’s Yets! are hosting the Ain’ts. Interestingly, the line has the Ain’ts at -6. Apparently, the Yets! “D”, is better than some think.

 

OK, time to go. Hopefully, this gets sent by Yahoo and I’m out of those doldrums.

 

Remember, any day we can look down at a rose instead of up at its roots is a good one.

 

DaBigFatWat

 

 

 

 

 


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