Sunday, September 29, 2013

Full Circle!

We go round and round...

A High Def Chicago on the Horizon


Full Circle.  A year ago I started blogging my life, closing doors in my life and remembering why I moved to Chicago.  It's been a great year and a great learning experience.  Life has taught me many things in that time frame AND, the best part, I think I've finally MOVED ON and reached a goal to finally closing those doors in my life that were negative and toxic to me, not looking back in regret.  Sure, life teaches us things on a daily basis.  I just have to keep learning.  The song that comes to mind for this month's blog theme is "Wheel in the Sky" by Journey.  The picture below in this heading to the blog is taken from an old Nickelodeon TV series show called "The Third Eye" which aired back in 1982 when Nickelodeon was just having its beginnings.  A show on that series was called "Children of the Stones."  I used the painting featured in the series to illustrate a point, not a ritual.  Who here reading even remembers when Nickelodeon shared network space with A&E before it had its own station?  "Eve of Winds, Death of Winds," "The Day of Reckoning" and the Elvish New Year.  I have also used September in my own writings.  Last month, I explained the "Eve of Winds, Death of Winds."  September is the First Month of the year on the calendar system I use in my writings.  September 1, 1989 is the "Day of Reckoning."  I could take time and figure out the calendar reckoning from that point when I first came up with ideas in my writings, but it's easier just to say that September 1 of each year is Elvish New Year.  The picture I posted in my heading is a blend of a very ominous sunrise one Morning last year and the Skyline of Chicago.  Keeping the High Definition Resolution I set forth back in January, I hope to continue and see things in my life "as it has towered."  The picture should tie in with my writings as well for this month.

"The Children of the Stones"
Aired on Nickelodeon's TV Series
The Third Eye in 1982

In the "Third Eye" Series of "Children of the Stones," a father/son team of astrophysicists enter the small town of Milbury, England which has standing megalithic sarsen stones, once used for worshiping "The Great Bear." Predating Stonehenge, the father/son team, appropriately named Adam and Matthew Brake learn the secrets of the town, its 51 "happy one" inhabitants, its Druidic Landlord and about a Time Circle that repeats and repeats.  Trying to complete the circle of time, the circle continues to repeat its cycle endlessly since the beginning of time.  The problem arises when "a spanner is thrown into the works" when, each time, 2 new individuals enter the town and put the "brakes" on the time circle and its completion, so the circle is never complete and the "day of release" is never reached thereby causing the Time Sequence to repeat itself.  The series was too complex to follow as a kid but watching it as a kid, it was intriguing.  The haunting musical chanting score really made this show ominous and foreboding to watch.  Last year, I bought the series to rewatch and I have understood more the complex plot of the series.  This series ties in with this blog actually.  Time, repeating time, and its completion.

Also this month, I started a new section to my blog called "Pointless Observations."  So, the new format will follow like this...


All Roads Lead Through Chicago!

21 Minutes to Circle.  The Circle Interchange, according to Wikipedia is the "nation's third worst bottleneck for traffic jams, losing 25 million hours a year."  Here in Chicago, it is the junction of four roads, The Kennedy, The Eisenhower, The Ryan Expressways, and Congress Parkway (roughly setting at Chicago Coordinates 700W, 500S).  Having come Full Circle from last year, I can say that there have a been a lot of new things happening in my life as other doors have closed.  Full Circle. Like I said last month, it still stands.  If you expect me to be the one that second guesses myself or to come crawling back, forget it!  If you were a true friend, maybe you'd show some concern for what was said instead of blatantly ignoring me.  Again, I don't care anymore.  I'm just giving my 'once for all out of my system' broadcast here.  This month is FULL CIRCLE and I'm done! What really finally closed that door for me last month was the arrogant stance one person used against me, thinking that I was systematically removing friends from your life.  "You have made attacks and comments to many that seem designed to eliminate them from your life."  NNNNOOOOOO!!!!  Do you really know me?  Apparently not.  Well, thank you for opening my eyes after taking that stance instead of wondering WHY I said what I did!  Again, I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!  Good luck with whatever perpetual happiness or cliques you live by!  Last month was the 'be all end all' of all toxic behavior in my life!  With new changes in my life, being more assertive in life and forthcoming has helped me see myself better, see my goals better, and has helped me ROAR...

Thank you Katy Perry for letting me ROAR this month! xx

Circle Interchange

Just Because...

Roar by Katy Perry
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar

Now I’m floating like a butterfly
Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes
I went from zero, to my own hero

You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, you hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake the ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready ’cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me ROAR

Roar-or, roar-or, roar-or, roar-or, roar-or

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You'll hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You're gonna hear me ROAR

So, this is where it all started a year ago...

...and, now, those Doors have closed.  For awhile the threshold was blocked but now the path is clear.

Below are the three foundational blogs I wrote as a starting point here in Chicago and to grow from.  That was a year ago.  Since then, I've been trying to compose a new blog each month.  If you tune into my blog on occasion, you may notice these three blogs in the footer each time.  With September comes Autumn and the time where nature begins to enter into sleep.  What can I learn?  What can I continue to do to grow?  Have I found the "rest" I'm looking for?  What lies ahead in High Definition as the year comes to a close?  There is more out there.  I continue to climb that Tower of Hope each day.

• My Life starts at the Water Tower of Chicago [...]

September 18, 2012, DuSable Bridge, Chicago IL: "The Water Tower is an important Chicago Landmark.  It not only was one of the only surviving structures of the Chicago Fire in 1871 (October 8, 1871), but it serves as a reminder of what remained after the Fire.  It is a reminder of what the City endured and a transition into something bigger and better later on. [...] The people of the town could've looked at Chicago and said, 'Oh, well.  Our city is lost.  Screw it!  Well, that's the end of Chicago.  It'll never be rebuilt.'  They didn't!  They rebuilt the city - EVEN BETTER than before!  Today, Chicago serves as one of the most important economical cities in the United States and remains to be an important 'economical hub' for the country.  The heart of the matter here is the notion of 'giving up.'  The Chicago attitude is don't give up.  Be resilient!  With destruction comes rebirth and growth.  The Chicago heart is live your dreams.  Make them a reality.  Sometimes you have to cut your losses and make something bigger and better in your life.  Fire is needed to refine our lives.  The Chicago matter is becoming that change, living it and excelling in it."

October 8, 1871 was a pivotal moment in American History, mainly in Chicago's history.  Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Amen, FIRE, FIRE, FIRE!  November 15, 2011 was a pivotal moment in Eric's History!  The Wind shifted at me!  In 1871, it was the day when Mrs. O' Leary's cow kicked over a lantern and set the city of Chicago on fire.  In 2011, it was the day where I broke down and cried out to God for help, my own Chicago Fire was burning!  Eric Failing Deletions!  Last year, I made a connection with my life and these disastrous events, The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and The Great Eric Fire of 2011. It mainly started when I took Wendella's "75 minute Architectural Tour of the Chicago River."  That is where this "new attitude" started.  The Tour Guide really impacted me and what he said about Chicago really was where I started to take my goals in Chicago seriously!  After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, look at what happened to a thriving city from that event.  Did Chicago give up and say screw it after that fire devastated and crippled 60% of the City?  NO, and nor should I!  That's where it started for me.  It started at the "Water Tower" that sets near 800 N. Michigan Avenue, one of the only remaining structures from Old Chicago before the fire.  Be resilient!  Live that change.  Part of that change involved closing doors in my life, people holding me back.  It's not to say, "hey I don't care anymore; it's to say hey, I have a life too and I need to make a change in it."  A true Chicago Friend inspired me with the "bring it bitch" attitude originally when I first moved here.  It finally hit home when I went on Wendella Boat's "75 min Architectural Tour of the Chicago River" last September.  The Tour Guide said, "Chicagoans are resilient."  Her sound advice smacked me back in the face!

• Mark 0, 0, 0, 0.  The last 0 is the Time Parameter [...]

September 21, 2012, Ground Zero, Chicago IL: "Quite recently, I've had to re-evaluate my life decisions and some relationships.  Growing up, I've kept few friends in life and I've never been quick to make friends.  The friends I've kept close to me over the years know me on a personal level and know my life.   True friends will always know your mind and how you think, even when you screw up.  Those friends are patient with you and forgiving; no one is perfect in life.  I strive to be that patient and forgiving friend. [...] So, just as State Street and Madison Street respectively set Zero Avenue and Zero Street in Chicago, I believe retracing your steps on the grid of life and forgiveness offer the same points for the soul.  Those same two Chicago Compass Streets also teach us to 'stay on the grid and on the path you are given in life!  You can never be lost if you know the directions.'"

Ground Zero Chicago.  The picture I took here reminds me about a starting point.  It is the corner of STATE STREET and MADISON STREET.  Chicago's Address Grid starts at this point.  I needed to set my goals here metaphorically.  I needed a starting point to make changes in life, to start fresh and navigate through a new direction in my life. Last year, I had a crash course in what friendship is NOT supposed to be and I discovered that a lot of negative and toxic attitudes were holding me back and holding me down, even up until LAST MONTH.  Last month was a turning point for me and I was finally able to LET GO of all that.  The forgiveness came in when I was able to "let go" of all that and move forward with my life.  Forgiveness towards whom you ask?  Forgiveness towards the people that were holding me back!  Far from being begrudging, I [and I alone] had to make that mental change, the change to move on.  I could not let worrying about the negativity keep me down.  It was toxic to the new goals I set forth.  Just as I have moved on in a new direction, the same applied for failed relationships and LEARNING what friendship is and what it is NOT.  It was nice to correspond with a friend about this change in my life.  To sum it all up, the approach she encouraged me to take was "bring it bitch," which I really started achieving for myself.  This was something she told me to achieve way back in May 2012.  I formulated my own attitude in the similar matter.  The next step was actually living it!  I had to set a fulcrum in my own attitude!

"I don't have an Annoyed Attitude.  I have an Illinoid Attitude." Me.

Being more assertive with my life and what I say has taught me more about friendship and goals.  True friends should be more assertive with their friends.  Well, as I have learned, it also backlashes and you begin to really learn who are your true friends.  Do they embrace and show a concern for what was said?  Do they talk about problems?  OR!  Do they feign ignorance like there is no problem and that you're crazy and mean?  Do they take an arrogant approach to ignore you about it?  Therein lies the fulcrum with being more assertive vs. wishy-washy.  There are caveats and you learn who your friends really are.  I kept learning from the day I wrote the original September 21st blog all the way up until LAST MONTH (noted by the White Star Complaint)!  You know what the sad part of this tale really is?  It's the fact that with the backlash, the negativity that you left behind, still lingers and spreads.  Now, THAT'S where the forgiveness and the attitude come in, the change of mind.  WHO CARES?  Say what you may, say what you will.  I DON'T CARE ANYMORE!  You can live in your own toxic attitude.

• Keeping on track and a train of thought [...]

October 16, 2012, Westmont IL.  Getting back on track, with no clear explanation, I was fired from that one job on October 12, 2011 (15 years later).  It was one day before my 38th birthday too.  Herein would end another chapter of my life!  I never understood what failure was with no explanation, but I felt failure in my life again after I had started moving in the "right direction" with my life.  I was being honest with life, paying my bills, helping friends out.  What was missing?  Well, on November 15, 2011, I cried out to God for help!  I had not prayed with such depth and heart for a long time, or had I talked openly with God in years!  On November 13, 2011, I had the dream about Chicago; on November 15, 2011, I had the in-depth call with an IT recruiter in Chicago; on November 15 (and early morning on the 16th), I cried out to God, and... Clickity Clack.  Approaching Downtown Chicago near Halsted Street! ...I truly believe God showed me starting my life over in Chicago at that time!  A new chapter in my life would begin!  It was exactly 15 years later and I only recalled this series of events later and not at the time, including the dream, the talk with the IT recruiter AND the praying!  They say you only recall your dreams precognitively.  This was true, because I put all this together after the events.  The Dream of the Lake, Willow Tree and the Wind is Chicago.  That was my dream.  That wind shifted towards me because it's up to me now to make things happen.  I hate to sound selfish, but I look at that dream again.  First the wind was blowing at a crowd of people near me in the dream; then that wind shifted at me.  It's MY time! approaching Halsted Street."

November 15, ???? is considered my Chicago-versary!  Make note of the day, because purposely no year is attached to it.  There is a reason.  No, I don't see April 29, 2012 as my Chicago-versary when I finally moved.  No, the change and the Illinoid Attitude started earlier than that.  November 15, 2011.  This date plays an important part with "staying on track and keeping a train of thought" in my life.  15 years earlier, November 15, 1996, I believe time froze in my life after I ran away from several problems in my life.  Refusing to step up and make it right, I moved back to Ohio.  I was living in E. Troy, Wisconsin at the time.  I moved back to Ohio on that day.  Time stood still for me from that moment.  How do I remember that day so vividly and with eidetic detail?

Well, the last day I spent in E. Troy, Wisconsin, I took this picture of the sunrise there and had it framed.  I marked the back of the picture with a time-stamp of that Day and that picture has stayed with me since then, reminding me of my decision to "run away" from my problems and its costs. "Dawn over Prairewood.  November 15, 1996."  Ominously, after my own Chicago Fire blazed away after October 13, 2011, I finally broke down one day.  Full of despair, agony and tears, I cried heavenward, wanting to change, but needing the faith to see beyond the Horizon.  It had happened one day after having an 'ominous dream' one night (November 13; the Weeping Willow, Lake and Wind) which I would later recall as being CHICAGO!  Without knowing the dates or remembering the dream, the date I broke down on my knees was enigmatically November 15, 2011.  A new change, and a new faith to see beyond the Horizon.  Yep, after breaking down, crying out to God in agony and tears, I believe I was drawn to the picture I captured years earlier and to remember the day where it all started, and where one chapter of my life ended: November 15, 1996, exactly 15 years earlier.  Making a connection of the date, having forgotten it by this time through the years, I only recall my soul crying out.  Perhaps, it was God Himself.  "Remember that day 15 years ago? This is your 'do-over.'  Don't 'botch' it up this time."

Where are you going?

The basis of this blog was to cover my 15 year Ohio Gap, and using each train stop as a major turning point in my life after Wisconsin.  Starting at Westmont and finally arriving at Chicago Union Station, each stop was an event taking me beyond the Horizon to a new change and attitude.  The course was predetermined, taking me to my final destination, 15 years later.  It was a One Way Train back to November 15 where time froze for me.  I've arrived at Chicago Union Station but this is a big city and there is still a lot happening.  In January of this year, I revisited that VERY SPOT where time froze for me in E. Troy WI.  It was a breath taking moment to stand there once again and embrace the last 15 years all at once with tears!  The journey is never over and the wheel keeps on turning.  Play this loudly!!!

Wheel in the Sky by Journey
Winter is here, again, Oh Lord
Haven't been home in a year or more
I hope she holds on a little longer
Sent a letter on a long summer day
Made of silver, not of clay
Ooh I've been runnin' down this dusty road

The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

I've been trying to make it home
Got to make it, before to long
Ooh, I can't take this very much longer, no
I'm stranded, in the sleet and rain
Don't think I'm ever gonna make it home again
The Mornin' sun is risin'
It's kissin' the day

Oh, the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Wohohohohohohoh For tomorrow

Oh the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Ooh I don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps me yernin'
Ooh I don't know I don't know

Oh the wheel in the sky keeps on turnin
Ooh I Don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Wheel in the sky keeps turnin'
Ooh I don't know I don't know I don't knowohoh
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'
Don't know where I'll be tomorrow
Ooh the wheel in the ske keeps on turnin
Wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'

If people only understood this...

This MONTH had a lot of POWER SONGS related to this section!
"Wings" by 4-Him
"Relivin' Life" by Eric Champion
"God is on His Throne" by Glad
"Roar" by Katy Perry
"Wheel in the Sky" by Journey

I don't care if it's not Heavy Metal.  These were my power songs for this month!


«   »

Крокодилье время.
Даже если крокодил съел вас у вас есть два выхода.

September 1

An awesome Chicago Sunset

[Text Removed: September 29, 2018]"

[Text Removed: September 29, 2018]


Chicago Skyline as seen from the end of Congress Parkway at Columbus Drive (500S)

Making new friends has been really cool lately and it is nice to meet people that have similar interests of mine.  It makes going Downtown to hang out really awesome to say the least.  It's been great to meet one friend that shares a very similar "life pattern" of my own.  It has encouraged me to keep trying and to not give up.  Last month, I posted an article about being Introverted and Shyness.  It's been great to overcome the shyness and build confidence, meeting new people and getting involved with groups.  I will never stop being Introverted but it's good to know that there is a difference in the terms.  I hope and continue on in High Definition, being more confident and assertive of myself...

Windy City Wine Festival

Windy City Wine Festival at Grant Park

On Friday, September 6, I went Downtown to the "Windy City Wine Festival" at Grant Park.  I left when I got home and beat the "reverse commute traffic" on the Stevenson!  Woohoo!  The roads were pretty clear for a Friday evening surprisingly.  Arriving Downtown though, that didn't stop the routine traffic jam at the Circle.  The traffic was its usual jammed bottleneck inbound to the Circle.  I parked my car at InterPark near the "Maddening Knock Building," that is Monadnock Building, or however that name is pronounced, hahaha.  I walked over to Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain after that.  The weather was not hot; however, IT FELT LIKE A WET SPONGE, ungh!  It was just too humid and I was perspiring the rest of the night.  Luckily, I wasn't alone.  There were a lot of uncomfortable people out and about in Chicago, fanning themselves of the humidity.

Windy City Wine Festival
"Wine tasting. — with Sue, Viki, Rhonda."

After taking a few pictures and reaching the Fountain, I presented my voucher and got into the event.  I waited by the main stage for the rest of the group to show up.  While waiting for the other members of the group to show up, I sat down and looked at the booklet handed to me when I got into the event.  It was a booklet with a list of various wines to try.  I marked a few that I was interested in.  Also, when entering the event, I was given a wine glass with 10 tickets to use at the different "wine booths."  The way this worked is simple.  You presented a ticket for each selection at the booths.  Some booths asked for a ticket, but towards the end of the night, no one was asking for tickets.  I used all mine. Just before the group assembled, I took a video of the band performing the song, "Irish Rover," since it's one of my favorite Irish Folk songs!  Haha!

"Love and marriage, love and marriage... ♪♪ "

Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain
"Getting ready to meet for wine tasting."

I finally met up with the rest of the group.  Kurt was not hosting for this one; Sue was though, so she got everyone together as efficiently as possible.  She was good about "broadcasting" locations out through the meetup so others could find us at the event.  There was a mix of regular VA attendees as well as some new ones and old ones.  It was fun to meet some older members that haven't been really active in the group. Everyone was finally together by 8pm.  I also noticed how much sooner the sunsets were too.  Autumn is on its way.  It was a fortunate evening because I got to hang out with the Ladies of Venture Around for the rest of the night!!!  There was one guy in the whole group that night, but he ditched us and went out on his own. HIS LOSS!!!  HAHAHA.  So, just like the "Chocolate Tour" back in April and with Kurt absent at this one, I hung out with the ladies and drank wine with them.  Women like Wine and Chocolate. :D

Oolala!!! What a beautiful group of ladies!!!

We walked around to most of the booths and we were marking off the samples we tried.  I was fine by the end of the night, well somewhat, considering how many samples I tried.  We decided it would be best to take a break later and eat something, so none of us were leaving on empty stomachs.  After having a great evening with the ladies, we decided to walk up Wabash to "Elephant & Castle" for an evening meal.  Rhonda and I went here back in April after the "Loop Movie Scavenger Hunt" and we both liked the food.  Arriving there, we realized how hot it was inside the restaurant and decided to brave the "outdoor wet sponge."  It was still very humid out, uncomfortably humid, ungh!  We all ordered our food and talked about upcoming events and the Cultivate Fest the next day!  After eating and waiting a good while before going home, I took off and got ready for the next day's event.

Elephant & Castle
"— with Sue, Viki, Rhonda."

Cultivate Fest.

On Saturday, September 7th, I went back Downtown to Lincoln Park for Cultivate Fest.  First, I made a pitstop at Kurt and Sue's place in Albany Park.  I finally got to see their doggie, HANK!!!  What a sweet dog!  Very calm and tame! Hank picked good owners!  I was telling Kurt and Sue that you didn't pick him.  HE picked you; you'll be great for him!  Make no mistake about it.  Good dog and it was his first Big Summertime Fest!

Albany Park


Aaaawwwwwwwww!!!!  Look at 'em cute puppy dog eyes!

Chipotle Cultivate
"Cultivating food. — with Kurt, Sue"

...and, Hank!!!

After enjoying some time with Kurt, Sue and Hank, at their place in Albany Park, we were driving to Lincoln Park with Hank.  Kurt dressed Hank appropriately for the meetup with a his black Bandana, lol.  Super Hank!  Sue did the driving to the event - in the event if Hank wasn't going to make it all the way through Cultivate Fest.  The weather was awesome and it wasn't as humid as the day before.  We all met at Benjamin Franklin's statue at the south end of Lincoln Park by LaSalle Street.  The meetup instructions Kurt gave were "...look for a group of people with a dog wearing a black bandana," lol!  Hank will probably soon become the mascot for Ventue Around, hahaha!  Everyone in VA loved him at the event!

A new mascot!

After everyone was assembled, we all ventured off to eat food, lol.  It was about 2pm.  I stopped at the ATM for some cash.  There was one in the park.  Sadly it wasn't Diebold and I told Rhonda that I usually refuse any ATM that doesn't have Diebold labelled on it, lol.  She thought that was funny.  We first stopped to get some Tacos and Beer towards the entrance.  Mmmmm....Goose Island Draft. The Beer was especially good today on a hot day.  I was remarking how I only seem to enjoy beer during the summer when it's hot out.  Generally when it's colder out, I prefer wine or other liquors.  Rhonda and I started with the Tacos and Beer and walked over to one of the tents for other foodstuffs.  I tried the Pulled Pork and Bangers.  The Cherry Lemonade was really delicious too.  We did a lot of walking and we also enjoyed some of the chefs like Carla Hall from "The Chew!"  She was at the event preparing some delicious food.  I told Kurt that Cultivate Fest should've also had Daphne Oz (Dr. Oz' daughter) in this event, the hot blonde on that program!  He agreed! :D

Shiver, Shiver.

THIS WAS AN EXTREMELY FUN EVENT!  The FOOD was delicious, and even the MUSIC there was really jammin' too!  I found a new love for an Indie Rock Band that performed there that day.  "Walk the Moon!"  Great music.  I loved their performance of Shiver, Shiver.  Later that week, I bought the Album!  This is rare of me with music, but I LIKE EVERY SONG ON THE ALBUM!  This doesn't happen often with me!  So, since this month was filled with all sorts of good music, I included "Walk the Moon's" YouTube song Shiver, Shiver here!  Here are some pictures of the event too!  Enjoy!

West Tent with the Chefs #cultivatefest

Viki and Rhonda!  Hank likes the ladies!!!

Later in the day, we finally sat.  Finding a grassy hill near the West Tent where the Chefs were preparing the food, we enjoyed some time just sitting around with Hank and the rest of Venture Around.  I was in charge of Hank for the rest of the time, allowing Kurt and Sue a break with him.  While sitting there, there was a little girl who stopped and fell in love with Hank too.  She was playing "hide and seek" with him.  Aaaaawwwwwww!!!!  Also, ok, I can't tell you how many cute chicks noticed ME with the dog too.    I looked over to Kurt and Sue and said, "I'm taking Hank home with me.  All these cute girls are stopping and noticing me now with your cute dog."  Haha.  They laughed.  "No, you can't have him!"    I almost got away with it towards the end of the night when we were leaving the event and walking back to the vehicle.  Haha.

Sue caught me trying to steal Hank to pick up Chicks! Ha!

Sue took this picture, tagged and captioned it appropriately in Facebook as "Eric trying to steal Hank to pick up chicks! — with Eric Chatham."  I asked her if I could use her picture here, hahaha!  I missed it by that much!  After Cultivate finished, some of us finished the night at "The Golden Crust Pizzeria" on Kedzie.  I ordered BBQ Ribs here but I didn't finish it. Took it home.  Hank was a big hit at this event.  He made it all the way through.

Golden Crust Pizzeria
"Woot! Dinner!!! — Checked in by Sue."

September 11, 2001

In 2001, I was living on S. Carpenter Road in Brunswick OH. I worked at a restaurant then. For years of my life, up until probably 2006 when I finally got into my Career, I'd always have the same type of work schedule, working Wednesday-Sunday, having Monday and Tuesday off. So, naturally, Tuesday was usually my favorite day of the week, well, except that one Tuesday. On my days off, at those times, I'd devote time to writing. In 2001, I had started my hobby of writing fantasy stories, so I had all these ideas. I had even tried getting published a few times in 2000 and 2001 with no success. Instead, I'd just do this as a hobby as I do to this day. Well, that Tuesday, that is where I was and that is what I was doing. I was writing.

It was a crisp day and the weather outside was very warm and sunny, not a cloud in the sky! On my days off, I don't usually have the TV on during the day, and since I was already engaged in my hobby for the day, I did not hear anything about the terrorist attacks until about 4pm. Yes, it was that late in the day. Go figure. At the time, I had Dial-Up networking, so I was not even connected to the Internet either. Well, it came about 4pm. I called my Mom and Dad (for whatever reason I now have forgotten). I think I was asking if I could come by and visit with them. My Dad answered the phone. He was rather quiet as we started the conversation. I asked him if I could stop by. He said to me, "Do you realize what's happened today?"

Naturally, having not known about the attacks yet, I said, "No."

"Is your TV on?"


"Turn it on," he insisted.

"Which channel?" I responded.

"It doesn't matter; it's been on all day."

Now, I was really concerned and as quiet as my apartment was up until that point, turning on the TV, my heart sank deeply into my chest and my ears rang out to the horrifying news on the TV. I was shocked. I saw the coverage and the planes that flew into the World Trade Center. I don't remember how the conversation between my Dad and me finished, but the Stillness of that Tuesday was broken! I thought something disastrous happened Downtown Cleveland! My Dad did mention to me something about a plane altering its course over Cleveland. This was the Tuesday that broke the silence of all the other Tuesdays being off from work! I did not enjoy this Tuesday whatsoever.

After watching the coverage on the TV for a bit, I went downstairs to my neighbor Todd's place to wake him. He worked nights, so it was more than likely he wasn't aware of what was going on. He may've not been going to work due to the events. He was already awake and another neighbor of ours was at his place. We went over to her place to watch the coverage of the attacks that night. I remember buying groceries that day and gas for my Plymouth Colt! I remember how long the lines were at the pumps!  My Dad told me later that when He and my Mom were first married, they lived in New York and my Dad has pictures of the World Trade Center being built in 1973!  Wow.  I'm just as old as the World Trade Center.

I would later include 9/11 and that dreadful day in my own writings. On that Tuesday, after finishing my writing, I included this passage in another writing project, which I had dubbed the "Book of the Morning." It was written later than what I was writing that Tuesday. The part below came later. It was a prophecy that one king made about the beginning and the end of their reigning Kingdom. The mythology of the 'Land of the Free Sea' was a resting place near the Horizon where people went to after they died, a WAITING place of Immortality until the doorway of the Horizon was opened to Eternity. The two towers signified a beginning and and end, described as tears. In this tale, the elf-king saw a vision of the falling towers on the Horizon, where they remain at its doorway for all eternity until the end of time.  This terrible event united us as a nation for a time.  It had nothing to do with the politics or the President.  As a nation, we stood together after that event.  We should remember this always.  United we stand!  We will never forget!  We will always remember!  The Heroes live on and will not be forgotten.  The World Trade Center, The Pentagon and Fight 93 in Somerset County PA!

[Text Removed: September 29, 2018]

September 13, 1992

 The Great Invitation
Luke 14:15-24

15 Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, “Blessed is he who shall eat bread[a] in the kingdom of God!”

16 Then He said to him, “A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, 17 and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ 18 But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.’ 19 And another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.’ 20 Still another said, ‘I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So that servant came and reported these things to his master. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’ 22 And the servant said, ‘Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.’ 23 Then the master said to the servant, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.’”

On Sunday, September 13, 1992, I knelt at an altar at the Gospel House in Walton Hills OH and asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive my sins.  How much did He love me?  He stretched out his arms for me on a cross and died for me!  "This Much."  I remember the day still very strongly.  Pastor Bob Sepkovich was preaching out of Hebrews and Bill Buhrow prayed with me.  I grew up in church all my life.  It wasn't until that day where I realized what a true relationship with God was.  I learned a relationship not a religion!  I still have the bulletin saved from that day.  "He saved me.  At least I could save the bulletin."  My friend, Rich Trigg (featured in Noteworthy of Worthy Notes from August), was invited to go to this church that Sunday through a girl he was dating, so I remember he was there with me too and we talked about the Pastor's message after the service.  I think we went to McDonald's in Independence OH afterwards with his girlfriend.

"He saved me.  At least I saved the bulletin."

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of Godnot of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8, 9. [bold emphasis mine]

We all have heard this Bible Verse before.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

On that very Sunday, the Sunday of all Sundays, I learned the difference between having a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe as opposed to having a religion or "works" as mentioned in the Ephesians verse (doing sacraments, baptism, catechism, works, etc).  God wants to have a personal relationship with us.  That relationship is built on Grace and Grace alone; Grace is only offered by the shed Blood of Jesus on the Cross.  There is no other way we receive this Grace but by that!  I know that this section may find several of you on disagreement, but I am not apologizing for my faith.  While, yes, I've grown up in a Church all my life, I did NOT have a personal relationship with God.  God wants that in us!  He doesn't want our ideology, our theology, our religion.  He could care less about sacraments.  He wants our souls.  He offers us Grace, His only gift to us.  Religion is what put Christ on the Cross; our sins are what crucified Him.  Be that as it may, God's plan for our life is having relationship with him, only offered to us in Grace.  That Grace was bought with a price; Jesus died for our sins.  We are given only one choice to receive His Son!  Take this Invitation with you today and ask God to forgive you of your sins.  That's the first step: Knowing "I am a sinner."  Everyone is a sinner.  Receive Jesus as your Savior.  He is the only One that can save you from your sins.  There is no other way.

2 Corinthians 6:2

"For He says:
'In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.'

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. "

Mentioned in the Last Chapter of the Chronicles of Tristan:

 "...And, lo, that axe was aimed right for his throat. Having been tortured to renounce his faith, Daulky remained pure and strong. Now his life was at an end; just before that axe came squarely down on his neck on the day of his Purification by Fire, he shouted out the name which finally unlocked the Doorway in the Horizon, and that at His Name, all would now bow and pay reverence.

"Yyyiiissshhhaaavvv!" He shouted passionately. Uttering loudly the last words of his God in ancient Cáterneásh, he spoke fervently.  This was the forgotten language, the language of the Book of the Morning, the forbidden book. "Ní-sra augmoách Beshí, 'An Para ám fhairragh rá Óair, ghahíra Ói óda, í na' Óam hIóshamháin iássó gó gcoíseáimh Ói ódh.'  Ói stoárr óda, á nhu gcóa an Para ám fhairragháin rá d'Aómh, nhu gcóa Óam hIóshamháin áal gó ghathirnáin." In English, those words spoken were: "In this for speaks He, '[In] as (the) Time like grant(ed) favor My, heard I you, and [in] (of the) Day Salvation [lit. "Day Saving"] uphold rescued I you.' I tell you, (and) now be as (the) Time like granting favor of God, now be (the) Day Salvation as it (has) towered."

Always remember:

"Mercy is the withholding of punishment and judgment which we rightly deserve. Grace is receiving a Gift which we don't deserve. Our relationship with God is faith. God's relationship with us is Grace and Mercy, and a Cross is what forges this relationship."


Waterspouts on Lake Michigan
near Wisconsin/Illinois border

The Second week of September was eventful.  First, it was hot and muggy, then it turned into Fall very quickly by Friday.  I got up Friday morning, walked out of my apt, and nearly went back for my COAT!  Yeah, it was very chilly, even though there was no cloud in the sky.  On Thursday, we had "waterspout sightings" on Lake Michigan with the formation of a huge T-Storm Supercell.  Friday the 13th was a short day of work so I could take the Ford Fusion in for Maintenance.  Our company is very strict about vehicle maintenance and being on-time with all maintenance.  So, I drove over to Willowbrook Ford in the afternoon and waited for it.  It's got 5000 miles on it almost, so I got the Oil Change and Multi-point Inspection done on the car.  It should be ready to go for other work assignments now that require travelling to.  Getting home finally after 5pm from running errands, I quickly threw my laundry into the washer (there were all open for once), and started getting ready for Monday.  I pulled out the box for my old Television and packed it with my old DVD Player and some old DVDs.  The new TV is great!  The old TV/DVD Player was going to Amy and John (mainly for Amy's birthday).  I packed up my DVDs of "The Hobbit" and "Star Wars" since I now own those on Blu-Ray! :D

Willowbrook Ford
"Ford oil change and multi-point inspection."

On Saturday afternoon, I went out to my Honda to find this . . .

Someone vandalized Blackbeak.

The Home Depot
"Duct tape and plastic."

I can't tell you how angry I was seeing this.  The biggest problem with this is wanting to know WHO and WHY and the other anger of that being of cost of TIME and $$$$?  1. Is there a disgruntled neighbor in my building? 2. Or, is this just a random vandalizing?  3. Or, was it the "wrong car?" 4. Does someone hate Hondas or the Blackhawks? Well, whatever it was, I don't have any known enemies and maybe it's because the car was parked in the same spot at the end of the lot for a week.  There is another Honda Fit like mine (same color) that is often parked in my lot too.  Plus, the neighborhood I live in is both culturally diverse and economically diverse, so maybe someone from down the end of the block?  I don't know, but whatever the case, I noticed it too late in the day on Saturday for anything to be done about it over the weekend, which ultimately interrupted my Work Trip on Monday!  I ended up calling my manager at work and told him that I needed to take care of the car and get it fixed, and that I couldn't let it sit in my parking lot with a broken window for two weeks.  AAA wasn't able to help; State Farm wasn't able to help and the Police weren't able to help.  Calling my manager was the last thing.  He was understandable about the problem and gave me some time to get it fixed.  I went over to Home Depot that night and bought "quack tape" and "plastic" to put over the broken window, since it rained on Sunday.  The aggravation here is the cost of this whole incident and my work being reassigned.  The cost wasn't only in dollars; it cost me time as well.  I don't know if there was anyone else in my building whom had their cars vandalized either.  Just mine!

Bee-sastrous Bees.  I need Beorn stat. . .again!!!

I can now add vandalizing to my lists for breaking a lease at my apt complex.  This list includes problems (starting from the worst) with a 24hr a day Night Club that operates next door to my apt; I'm tired of the constant NOISE next door and not being able to sit in my living room and watch my TV at a reasonable volume level without having to inconvenience my other neighbors -- even on the weekends during the day.  Next on that list is hard to obtain washing machines, and then, temperamental water (boiling hot to ice cold or vice versa), etc.  I have reasons to start looking for a new home now after this vandalizing incident.  Ok, moving into Chicago may not stop the isolated vandalizing incident, but I've been trying to move closer to new friends there.  I've also considered looking in Westmont for a place to live, near the train station on Cass Avenue.  Another misfortune I've encountered at my apt is the return of the BEES.  Yes, the Bee shortage is a natural misfortune, but when they're swarming in my apartment, it's a different story.  It's like they followed me from Brunswick OH.  The week of the 9th, I found and killed at least 5 or 6 of them.  When I lived in Brunswick, I had the worst problem with BEES at my place.  It's rather odd that now they have returned with me all the way out here in Illinois!

Tuesday the 17th, Safelite came out to my car and replaced the glass.  There was an office in Naperville and Berwyn.  It was great that they could do this in my own parking lot, lol.  It set me back financially and for work.  I hope this doesn't happen again.  Next month, I will start concentrating find a new home.  For now, I'll have to deal and hope there is no more vandalizing.  I had to reschedule my business trip to Wheeling WV for October 1st.


Mocking Hills
"Off to Ohio for 2 weeks. >>"

On Saturday, September 21, I drove down to Hinckley, Ohio first, then to N. Canton.  I had a week of school and for the last week of September, I completed this month’s blog in N. Canton and Hinckley.  My last Checkin for this month was at Amy's house.  The beginning of October would have me travelling to Bellaire OH/Wheeling WV for a job assignment.  Getting up on that Saturday, I packed my car for two weeks being away from home.  I also packed my old Proscan Flatscreen TV for Amy.  Getting onto the roads about 11am, traffic outbound from Chicago was just awful, all the way close to South Bend IN.  There seemed to be just a lot of traffic on the Indiana Toll Road.  Passing South Bend, the traffic seemed lighter all the way into Ohio and down I-71.

Exit 161 To 1-71 South Columbus/ I-42

I got to Mom and Dad’s house in Hinckley around 5:30pm Eastern Time.  It was good to see Mom and Dad again.  They had the guest room all ready for me.  Once again, permission to use the room is not so much with my Mom and Dad, but my Mom’s cats.  After getting settled in, I was going to take Dena out for Dinner and a movie.  Actually, she treated me to the movie later.  Mom and Dad talked about their Cruise Trip in the Caribbean the week of Christmas.  I’m excited for them.  It sounds like they’re going to have a lot of fun.  I’m glad they’re getting out to do things like this and to see the world!!!  Mom mentioned stopping over at her Aunt’s in Florida on the way.  They’re driving down there…well…to the cruise at least.  Ha!  After some nice chatting, I met Dena over at Applebee’s restaurant in Brunswick OH.  She was meeting me there since she was in Brunswick, visiting family.  I got there first so I reserved a seat for two.  Finally, she came and sat.  She looked great!  I picked up the check.

Felix and Ms. Thang

Township of Hinckley
"Mom and Dad."

We talked about life, current events and jobs.  I told her that I was going to be in Ohio for two weeks; week one for school in Canton; week two in Bellaire OH.  We talked about our jobs and she was telling me how she was caring for her Mom and looking for new work.  I told her that it wasn’t easy here to find work.  Things were scarce.  I told her that I hope I can stay with Diebold for at least 5 years.  That was my goal.  I even expressed how much I enjoy the company and how I believe that this is where I need to be right now in my life.  She hopes to find a new endeavor soon.  She said, “you are put in one place whether you enjoy it or not; when the time destiny puts you elsewhere, then you are meant to move on.”  I agreed with her sentiment on that.  We start one place in life and then we move on to another place.  We never stay in the same place.  That was true for my life.  In fact I told her, that “knowing you will wake up and start another day is Hope.”  I told her that she should move to Chicago.  She said she would but right now her place is with her family in Ohio.  The destiny thing.  She’s right.

"Dinner with Dena. :)"

Our dinners came.  I ordered the new Honey Pepper Sirloin Steak.  She had Tilapia.  I looked up and she was already done eating her dinner.  Whoa!  She joked saying I was eating too slow, because I was talking.  I told her that I hadn’t seen her in awhile so it was nice to talk to her.  LOL!  After we ate, we talked some more and had dessert.  After finishing dessert, I drove us down to Medina 16 on Reagan Parkway in Medina.  She was treating the movie part.  We decided we wanted to see We’re the Millers.  It looked funny and it was, lol!  Ordering our popcorn and drinks, we made our way into the theater, which was completely empty, lol!  Well, at least for awhile.  We almost had the whole theater to ourselves.  When the trailers started playing, more people started finding seats.  Watching the trailers, we enjoyed some of the movies they had.  I told her that Todd ruined Comic Book movies for me.  Anytime someone has asked me since then, even new friends in Chicago, to go see a “comic book” movie, I get turned off by it right away!  It may take time to finally be able to enjoy one of these again in the future, but for now, I can’t stand anything that has “Marvel” attached to it.  One of the trailers that I found intriguing was the remake of The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  Watching the trailer, the song “Dirty Paws” by Of Monsters and Men played for the trailer and it drew me what the movie was.  Once the big letters of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” displayed, it ALL made sense.  Being a kid, I enjoyed the 1947 Technicolor version of this movie with Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty.  The movie was a remake of a short story by James Thurber (1939).  I never read the short story (probably should) but I enjoyed the 1947 movie with Danny Kaye.  Pockata, pockata, pockata!  Later reading how Thurber paid Goldwyn not to make this movie, I only can see that he was not pleased with the 1947 version.  I enjoyed Danny Kaye as Walter Mitty.  Danny Kaye had a quirky demeanor to his characters.  I can see Ben Stiller in that role!  We both want to see the movie on Christmas.  I don't have any plans yet.

Regal Medina Stadium 16 for We're the Millers
"Movie with Dena."

Enjoying and laughing through We’re the Millers, we finished the movie and I drove back up to her Mom’s place in Brunswick.  We sat in the car and talked for a long time.  She told me things that I never knew about her.  It was a very deep conversation and I was very surprised with some of the things she said.  I won’t share these here, but I learned how we can take things for granted in life.  After our farewell, I drove by Cross Creek Apartments and parked in front of my old building there for a few minutes.  It is a really weird feeling driving by a place you lived at for a long time in the previous chapter of your life.  Heading back to Mom and Dad’s I spent Sunday with them, hanging out with them.  They recorded the first episode of Sleepy Hollow so I watched it with them, since I missed it.  It was very close to the book by Irving.  In fact they reference George Washington and Irving in the TV Show. LOL!  For Lunch, we went to Cozumuel Mexican Restaurant.  I just had Churros and Ice Cream.  I told Mom and Dad that the Mexican food was tastier in San Diego with Wayne, lol.

Cozumel Mexican Restaurant
"Lunch. — with David, Mollie"

Later in the day, we went to enjoy frozen yogurt at Menchies in Fairlawn OH.

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt
"— with David, Mollie."

Holiday Inn
"Getting ready for tomorrow."

On Monday, I drove over to the Holiday Inn on Dressler Road & Everhard Road for school at DEC in N. Canton OH.  I learned later that the class was only 2 days so I drove back to Mom and Dad’s on Thursday.  Checking into the hotel, I got ready for the morning to be in school.  I was taking the Agilis 3 Hybrid Base Configuration class.  This was the last class they were offering this year so I made sure I got a spot in the class.  This class is essential, since our company is heading in a NEW direction next year!  This class is a base and a foundation to that CHANGE!  I hope it proves effective in my own job role as well.  The class was offered to Pro Services department and System Engineers.  I spent the last week doing some online classes for Agilis 3.  On Wednesday, I talked to a co-worker about my future with the company and where I’ll be heading.  He told me that Agilis 3 is the direction of the company now and our focus is with our customers, ensuring that they are all (yes, ALL) current.  The class offered by Diebold was very thorough and there was no test for this class.  There were a few other people in the class and there was a lot to digest.  The course was designed for the two days so everyone understood the material and we all completed the labs effectively.  Everyone had a VM of Agilis 3 copied to their work PC.  Opening the VM with VMPlayer, we were able to complete our labs and all the demonstrations provided by the instructor.  I also learned at lunch with some classmates that this was not only the final class offered for the year, it was the final class in THAT school.  The school is moving to a new location in Little Green OH next year.

One day in class, knowing I'm from Chicago, the Instructor, a die-hard Indians Fan, asked me if I watched the game last night. Thinking I was a Sox fan, he played up the game thinking he was disappointing me in some way. I said, I've rooted for the Cleveland Indians ever since I was a kid! I still root for them and that will never change. He laughed. I told him I don't get in the middle of the Sox vs. Cubs fiasco there and when asked, I throw off the conversation saying Cleveland Indians. GO TRIBE!!!!  The Tribe played the Sox in the AL championship.

This may be my last check-in here at this location...

Diebold Education Center (DEC)
"Job training."

On Thursday, September 26, I checked out of the Holiday Inn, drove back to Mom and Dad’s and finished the work week there.  I finished this month's blog in Hinckley at Mom and Dad's.  Mom and Dad let me stay at the house for a few more days until I had to drive down to Bellaire OH on Monday for work.  So, I enjoyed a weekend with them and a few friends.  When I checked out of the hotel, I almost had to go all the way home.  My apt complex sent out a Maintenance e-mail saying all vehicles in the parking lots had to be moved for a "tree removal service."  I almost had to go home "to move 600 feet."  I posted a note on FB for anyone nearby home to help move the car.  Thankfully, a friend responded to it and said they could help move the car next Monday.  6 of 1 is not half dozen of another, because it's 600 miles to move 600 feet.  THANK YOU, NATALIE!!!

On Saturday, September 28, I spent the evening with Amy and John in Brunswick.  It was Amy’s birthday, and I was going to give her my old TV and DVD player.  I helped John set them up and we watched movies the rest of the night. We watched Employee of the Month.  We first went to Applebee's in Brunswick for Dinner.  It was a great time with them.  Dena was there too so it made it more fun.  Before watching the movie, we enjoyed some time outside in their backyard in front of fire, telling ghost stories and telling joke for part of the night.  One thing I miss about Brunswick orHinckley is the night sky most of all.  It's clearer than back home.  Back home, the sky is filled with a glowing amber color due to the light pollution from Chicago -- even out in the 'burbs.  I was happy to meet with Amy, John and Dena one last time.  Amy also said to me, "Molly's demeanor has changed around you."  Molly is their Collie/Shepherd mix doggie.  She noticed that Molly was acting differently around me.  I told her about Kurt, Sue and Hank.  I told her about Hank and she said that dogs know when you've "made a connection with another dog" as I have done with Hank.  "They sense that you have another dog in your life," she continued.  It was almost crazy but it could be absolutely true!  It was nice to talk about some of the new friends I've made in Chicago too!  When the night was over, we all left, hoping to be together again in the future.

Where my critters live
"Celebrating Amy's bday (and John and Dena) — with Amy"

Telling ghost stories around a fire.  Dena, John and Amy.


And, aww, Hank.

Dirty Paws
Of Monsters and Men

♪ Jumping up and down the floor,
My head is an animal.
And once there was an animal,
It had a son that mowed the lawn.
The son was an ok guy,
They had a pet dragonfly.
The dragonfly it ran away
But it came back with a story to say.

Her dirty paws and furry coat,
She ran down the forest slope.
The forest of talking trees,
They used to sing about the birds and the bees.
The bees had declared a war,
The sky wasn't big enough for them all.
The birds, they got help from below,
From dirty paws and the creatures of snow.

And for a while things were cold,
They were scared down in their holes.
The forest that once was green
Was colored black by those killing machines.
But she and her furry friends
Took down the queen bee and her men
And that's how the story goes,
The story of the beast with those four dirty paws


Of proud parents...

Mollie and David Chatham

My Mom and Dad are the best!  Everyone should be proud of their parents.  I am for sure.  I am thankful and blessed to have two wonderful parents.  To this day, I'm thankful that they are patient with me and my brothers.  They want me to be happy and to find success in happiness.  While I'm not rich, have a big house, or a wife, even, I should be thankful that I have two wonderful parents.  It is a proud moment that they both are still happily married after 41 years.  It is also great to know that they still do things and get out and travel some times, even visiting all their sons living in different parts of the country.  I am so proud of both of my parents!  They only hope and pray for the best in me; they are patient and don't want me to rush my life by but to enjoy every moment of it I can through God's mercy.  I hope and pray I have more time with them and spend as much time as I can with them.  I try to visit and drop in every now and then.  My other brothers do too.  With me in Chicago, Kevin somewhere in the US, and Wayne in San Diego, sometimes it's hard, but we try and cherish every moment we can with Mom and Dad.  We three have busy jobs, so we try!

Of ostracized blood relations...

It's not what you think.  I was recently told this definition of what family is and it makes sense. "You have to alter your definition of the word. Keep what you want, adopt what you love, and leave the toxic to their own caustic lives."  There it is.  It isn't about "blood relations."  I've learned that with my own family and I am proud to be the son of David and Mollie Chatham, and proud to be brother of Kevin and Wayne.  There it is.  Am I missing anyone here?  NO!  Oh, if you include my Mom's cats, I guess that would complete the circle of my family!  I don't have a wife or kids. . .yet.  I don't know when that will happen or even if it will.  I've had some spotty dates and at this point, I've had it with dating for now.  I'm trying to be a better person each day, inside and out.  It will take time, so for now, I'll have to deal without the girlfriend, a wife or kids even.  In God's Time, not mine!  That doesn't give the right for the rest of my family to ostracize us from their lives just because we (me and my brothers) don't have kids. We feel, that is I, my Mom, Dad and brothers, feel like orphans with the rest of our "so called family."

What is family again?  We know everyone in our family has grandkids but some of us don't have that blessing right now.  I count my blessings too, but I don't rub it in with the rest of my family.  If you really knew me, my Mom or Dad, then you'll know we pretty much keep to ourselves and keep meek about our lives.  I am tired of the "pressure" from the rest of my so-called-family to have KIDS!  It's not just me.  My Mom and Dad are tired of this pressure from the rest of the family too.  We're excluded from family functions because we don't have kids to contribute to the rest of the family.  What is family?  Is having kids a pre-requisite for being part of a family?  Well, let's look at that definition again. "You have to alter your definition of the word. Keep what you want, adopt what you love, and leave the toxic to their own caustic lives." So, based upon this definition, anyone that makes kids a per-requisite for a family is NOT my family!  Well, you know, if a family member is reading, "No, that's not how it is," well I can say, "Well, that's how you treat us irregardless as to what you think."  And, to take this one step further, as far as I'm concerned, if I were to finally meet someone, I don't plan on announcing this to the rest of the "family."  Mom and Dad will be the first to know about this, then my two brothers.  That's it!  Oh, wait!  AND, my Mom's cats!

Not everyone is blessed with a wife or a girlfriend at a very young age.  Some people take a longer time to finally find themselves and that special person in their life.  That is my story.  There is nothing wrong with me.  I'm a likable person and have a good personality.  I have spent a good portion of my life hoping to find that woman, but haven't found her yet.  I don't know if I will; for now, I'm just trying to enjoy life with new changes in my life, new friends, new home, new life.  Sure, I would love to share my life with a soulmate; I just haven't found her yet.  I feel like I'm closer to her in Chicago though.  I may not be ready for her yet; just as she may not be ready for me yet.  Things take time.  I was recently encouraged by a friend, where he said don't give up.  It took me a long time to meet someone.  This friend hadn't dated much in life just like me.  He said if it took me this long of a time to meet her, there is still hope for you.  Encouraging words!  Thanks, Kurt!  And, once again, I will say "goodnight to that distant star in the corner of the sky" wherever she may be, and to how much closer I may be to her...

My ship sails ever into the heavenly night sky
Into the sea of stars that are up so high
Towards the distant shimmering star so prominent
I will finally reach you, your light so dominant

You glimmer so radiantly neither waxing or waning
Since the beginning, there you are ever remaining
You bid me to seek you out and find your glow
That your life and spark will fill my soul

You guide my course onward to hold your hand
One day this long quest will reach an end
I've dreamt and seen your beauty from the start
When I looked into your night sky, I see your heart

One day our paths will finally meet
Until then, good night my glimmering star, my sweet.

Karen Sobolewski

Happy HEART Day, September 14th, Karen!

Prayerfully hoping for God's healing hand on a friend's life right now.  Karen's daughter Mandy designed this piece of art below for me one year when I worked at Broadvox.  Since then, it's either hung in my cubicle at work or on the door of my refrigerator.  It's a reminder to pray for her and her family.  Karen was featured in my January Blog, A Resolution in High Definition!

GO TRIBE!!!  As of this blog, they beat the White Sox and have won 2 games against the Twins in the Wildcard games for American League Playoffs.  Bring on the Indian Summer!!

Yep, it's that Time again...

» September 22: Happy Birthday to Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. In the evening, the Black Riders reach Sarn Ford en route Hobbiton. They drive off the guard of Rangers. Gandalf overtakes Shadowfax. It begins...

Lord of the Rings updates start again on my Facebook Page.  A tribute to the first day of Autumn. Here is a clip from the Fellowship of the Ring. IF you've read the books, you'll understand that this small video clip actually covers 17 years between Bilbo's 111th birthday (9/22) to his 128th. And it is on his 128th birthday, that Frodo actually leaves Bag End with the One Ring (9/23).

18 Foods With a "Bad" Rap That Are Actually Good for You

1. White Rice

Some of the healthiest nations, including Japan, enjoy white rice at most of their meals. And research has found that people who eat rice are also less likely to be overweight. While it is true that white rice is more processed than brown rice, the white rice sold in the U.S. is enriched with the nutrients that are lost during processing. White rice has more essential nutrients than brown rice due to this fortification. It may also surprise you to hear that the bran layer of brown rice contains phytic acid, an antinutrient which makes it minerals such as zinc and iron unabsorbable. In addition, brown rice also contains higher levels of arsenic than white rice. Consumer Reports released a 2012 chart showing the arsenic concentrations in specific brands of rice products.

Read more

Of Waterspouts in Lake Michigan near border of Wisconsin and Illinois...

Thursday, September 12

 Of new Television Sets and Blu-Rays...

On September 10, watching my first Blu-Ray of "The Hobbit."

Panasonic Viera S60, 50" 1080p Plasma with Panasonic Blu-Ray Player


With the new Fall TV Lineup, they have a series on now called Sleepy Hollow.  It is based on Washington Irving's book, but with a spin.  Tune in on Fox on Monday nights, and watch Abbie Mills and Ichabod Crane hunt down the Headless Hessian Horseman in the 21st Century.  It's one of the only TV Series I started watching from the beginning!  Abbie is hot!


First Woman to swim Cuba to Florida in shark infested waters

"September 2, 2013 (KEY WEST, Fla.) -- Looking dazed and sunburned, U.S. endurance swimmer Diana Nyad walked on to the Key West shore Monday, becoming the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the help of a shark cage."

Ariel Castro dies in suicide after Ohio kidnappings conviction

Glad this guy is gone...

The man who held three women captive in his home for nearly a decade before one escaped and alerted authorities has been found dead and is believed to have committed suicide, a prison official said."

Amputee boy swims with dolphin with prosthetic tail

A boy from England lived a dream when he swam with a dolphin in Florida. Cieran Kelso, 8, had both his legs amputated after coming down with meningitis when he was just 13-months-old. Cieran's father even designed special fins that let him swim."

We're having a Heat Wave. . .er. . .Heat Day.

CPS had off for Tuesday 9/10 and Wednesday 9/11 for extreme heat. When I was a kid, we had to brave the snow and hot weather for school. Lucky dogs!

Remembering September 11th

Sept. 11 victims' loved ones marked the 12th anniversary of the attacks Wednesday at ground zero with the reading of names, moments of silence and serene music that have become tradition."

Another achievement for Diebold this month

Mobile Cash to target Chicagoland Area.  I was extremely excited and ecstatic when I attended this meeting about "Cardless ATMS."  A major step for Diebold and a proud accomplishment!

Wintrust tests 'cardless ATMs'

"July 03, 2013, Wintrust Financial, which runs 15 community banks that operate in the Chicago area and Wisconsin, is testing technology at two ATMs that allow depositors to pre-order their cash using iPhones or Android devices."

See you on the flipside V'Ger when the Enterprise intercepts you in the late 23rd Century...

Voyager 1 probe becomes first spacecraft to leave solar system, NASA reports

"September 12, 2013 (LOS ANGELES) -- Voyager 1 has crossed a new frontier, becoming the first spacecraft ever to leave the solar system, NASA said Thursday.

Thirty-six years after it was launched from Earth on a tour of the outer planets, the plutonium-powered probe is more than 11 1/2 billion miles from the sun, cruising through what scientists call interstellar space - the vast, cold emptiness between the stars, the space agency said."

And, finally, I thought this story was amazing...

Fisherman Reels in Wallet Stolen 3 Years Ago

"Tue, Sep 10, 2013, Joshua Woods, of La Crosse, Wis., fishes at his favorite local spot along the Black River every chance he gets, and after his most recent big catch, he's not sure why more people don't throw their line in the water there."


RECORD(S): Michael Jackson's Thriller (1983)
CASSETTE(S): "Fat Boys, Big and Beautiful," "Paul Simon's Graceland" and "Billy Joel's Greatest Hits I & II" (1986)
VHS: "Star Trek IV, the Voyage Home" (1987)
CD(S): "PM Dawn's Of the Heart, of the Soul and the Cross" (1991)
DVD(S): "Entrapment" and "The Haunting" (1999)
And now updating this list with...

BLU-RAY(S): "The Hobbit" and "Star Trek: Into the Darkness." (2013)

Which is better?
Waking up to your alarm clock OR waking up 10 minutes before it goes off? Ungh. I'm going with the latter. Secondly, there's nothing worse than waking up 30 minutes before it's time to get up and you have to pee. Do I leave the comfort of my bed and go or do I ride it out and try to go back to sleep? Decisions. Decisions...

• The Google Maps app update doesn't 'swivot' in the direction you are driving. It swivots in odd directions. I like the swivot in the direction I'm driving.

• Do away with timezones

• "I never could get the hang of Thursdays."

• The Diebold Schaumburg office has moved. . .to. . .Schaumburg. I was hoping for Downtown Chicago, so I could take the Metra.

• Route 83 needs to synchronize their stoplights better when the expressway ends at 63rd Street.

• Irving Park, the Neighborhood in Chicago, was named after Washington Irving, the author of "Sleepy Hollow."

Thank you once again for reading.  Even cats go full circle.  Catchacircalater...


September 1: Karen Sobolewski
September 2: RIP Grandma Lombardi (Feb 3, 1992).
September 8: Mary C. Chatham
September 14: Karen Sobolewski ♥♥
September 18: Sue Warmuskerken
September 28: Amy Waters

Can't see my check-ins?
Log into Foursquare and add me as a "friend" to see the details.

Connect to me elsewhere at your own risk.

My Life starts at the Chicago Water Tower!
Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter
Keeping a train of thought and keeping on track.