Rantings & Ravings

RIP Whitney Houston

Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be.

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on RIP Whitney Houston


Happy Birthday, Mom!

Here’s a little music to celebrate your 70th!

Rantings & Ravings

Comments (1)


Remembering 9/11

I remember it well. The oft-noted blue sky. Shortly after coming into work, some commotion was in the cubicle behind me. The guy who sat there had a live TV feed into his PC, and there was news… a plane had crashed into WTC 1. Everyone from my department was watching the T.V. Some were murmuring about rumours … a small plane, everyone thought at first. I thought “That’s a pretty big hole for a small plane”.

At this point, it was a normal day at a large multinational investment bank on a low floor in a Chicago high rise. All that was about to change.

When the plane crashed into WTC 2, and everyone witnessed it on TV, all the sudden all of the managers standing around the T.V. left.   We all looked at each other with a grim look – this was no accident.  That’s when it dawned on some of us that we were currently standing inside of a target.  Within minutes, nobody of any management level was to be found. We learned later that they had all been called into a meeting with the head of the Chicago office, cross-linked to NYC and our corporate HQ overseas.

When they emerged, they informed us with grim faces that the management team had decided to close the Chicago office, and encouraged everyone to leave. And security was standing next to them… and told us not to take the elevators. They also told us to work our way home quickly by train or bus, but to avoid walking near the Sears Tower on our way.

On the train home, I realized that I had a conference call with a vendor rep. who happened to be located in Hawaii. In Hawaii, the first plane hit WTC 1 at about 2:45 AM, and our call was around 5:30 AM for him.  He, I and a California based rep from the same company got on the conference call line at the same time. “Before we start,” I said, “Do you know what’s happening in NYC right now?” I asked him.


“You’d better turn on the T.V.”

“What channel?”

“Any channel.”

He thought I was kidding.  His mainland-based coworker told him “Actually, he’s right.  You should turn on your T.V. right now.”  He turned it on in time to see the south tower fall. The call was deemed over.

Our company didn’t do any business in WTC, but we had counterparties there. An unknown co-worker was there that day, and he was never seen or heard from again. But, I was safe. None of my friends or family perished that day. It was a rough week coming to grips with all of this, but not as tough as for those who lost loved ones.

I’ll never forget it.

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on Remembering 9/11


RIP Leslie Neilsen? Surely you can’t be serious.

I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on RIP Leslie Neilsen? Surely you can’t be serious.


Done Shopping!

Got home about 8:00 PM, now done shopping (online) for Black Friday deals.  All rejoice at the Black Friday online deals!  Huzzah!

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on Done Shopping!


New Category – Videos

I’ve created a new category – in the current theme, you can choose categories from the drop down menu at the left – so that you can view all family videos posted to this site from one page. You still need appropriate plug-ins to play YouTube videos, blah blah blah…

Also, you can bookmark this page: http://famille.org/?cat=11

Kids & Family
Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on New Category – Videos


RIP Barbara Billingsley

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on RIP Barbara Billingsley


A Very Busy Week…

Between Soccer, Band, and other activities this coming week shapes up to be our worst, as far as schedule overlaps.  A sampling:

– Today: Aaron has a 12:30-2:00 AYSO game in Glenview.  Ethan’s game starts at 1:20, in Skokie, and then he has a birthday party at 3:00 in Niles.  Which is also when Justin’s game starts, and Mike ref’s another game, in Skokie.

– Tuesday: Aaron has a Varsity tournament game, 4:30 to 6:00 in Skokie but Justin has practice from 5:00 to 6:00 and Ethan has practice from 6:00 to 7:00 in Skokie.  Oh, don’t forget about Aaron’s band practice from 2:10 to 3:30.

– Thursday: Aaron Tourney 4:30 to 6:00, or 6:00 to 7:30, depending on standings.  Aaron also has a concert from 7:00 to 8:30, and we have a “Transition to High School” parents meeting from 7:00 to 8:00, and Aaron has an AYSO practice from 5:30 to 7:00.  If he can manage to be in three places at once (and we can manage to get him to all three at once and still attend the parent’s meeting), he can relax and enjoy some cake later because it’s Marla’s birthday.

At least we all have Monday off.  Now I’m off to run kids around to their games (and ref a few…)

Kids & Family
Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on A Very Busy Week…


Happy 70th, John

I’ve posted it all over Facebook, so I might as well post it here too.  Happy 70th birthday, John Lennon.  I do truly miss you.

Hear them shouting all about love
While they treated you like a dog
When you were the one who had made it
so clear
All those years ago.

Hear them talking all about how to give
They don’t act with much honesty
But you point the way to the truth when you say
All you need is love.

Living with good and bad
I always looked up to you
Now we’re left cold and sad
By someone the devil’s best friend
Someone who offended all.

We’re living in a bad dream
They’ve forgotten all about mankind
And you were the one they backed up to
the wall
All those years ago
You were the one who Imagined it all
All those years ago.

Deep in the darkest night
I send out a prayer to you
Now in the world of light
Where the spirit free of the lies
And all else that we despised.

They’ve forgotten all about God
He’s the only reason we exist
Yet you were the one that they said was
so weird
All those years ago
You said it all though not many had ears
All those years ago
You had control of our smiles and our tears
All those years ago

Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on Happy 70th, John


I Made Aaron Salsa!

Here’s a quick break from the July UK Cruise posts.  This summer, Aaron has been participating in a gardening club at his school, McCracken.  Yesterday was the last day, and they were harvesting their garden.  Most of the food went to a food pantry, but the kids got to take home some veggies.  So Aaron came home with two tomatoes, a jalapeno, and some basil as well as some other stuff.  So I’m sitting at the kitchen table, looking at these potentially delicious fresh veggies, thinking what kind of sandwich I would make with them.  Then it dawned on me – something snapped, and I decided that I *really* wanted some Salsa.  With no cilantro, I had to Google “salsa no cilantro” and came up with some great recipes, which included basil instead of cilantro.

The only problem was lack of onions, and the recipe I decided on called for Balsamic vinegar.  I figured I could cheat a bit, and went to the store and bought a red onion and some Balsamic vinegar.  Came home, stuck everything in the blender, and then refrigerated for an hour, and – Viola! – I had Salsa, with (nearly) 100% ingredients grown by Aaron at McCracken.

Aaron tried it, and approves.  The recipe is after the jump.

Continue Reading »

Kids & Family
Rantings & Ravings

Comments Off on I Made Aaron Salsa!