Monday, February 21, 2011

I've Been Tied Up Lately...

Sorry for the lack of blog posts... I've been super busy the past couple of weeks.

I'll have a major announcement soon.  Most likely will not not have any blog posts for at least another week.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Band Of Brothers

After watching the HBO mini-series "The Pacific" on DVD, I decided to watch "Band Of Brothers" too as it is really the movie sibling of The Pacific.  Band of Brothers was first aired in 2001 whereas The Pacific was in 2010.  So I actually saw these two mini-series in reversed order.

While both mini-series were excellent, Band of Brothers seems to be slightly less edgy.  By this I mean that it had less confrontation of the men against their own men due to the stress of the war.  The men in The Pacific seemed to have more personal issues with the other men in their units than in Band of Brothers.  Perhaps that's why they named it Band of Brothers!

Both movies had their share of gore, but I think in the nine years of time, the film makers have gotten better at it and applied that to The Pacific.

I must admit that after viewing these two mini-series, I really feel an even greater sense of gratitude for all that the men who fought in WWII had to go through.  Every one of them are true heroes.  The next time you run into one of our service men currently serving or who had served our country in the past, be sure you thank them for all that they do or did for our country.  For me, I always offer them a discount on my photography services.  I always have and always will.  It's a small gesture, but it is something I believe they deserve.

I encourage you to watch these two mini-series on DVD.  Go to your local library and borrow the DVD set or purchase them if you'd like to own it.

The images above were borrowed from the internet.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Jennifer Hudson

Have you seen Jennifer Hudson lately?  I borrowed these images from the internet that show "before and after" shots of her.  She looks terrific!

I watched the Oprah Show today and was amazed at how much Jennifer Hudson had lost in weight!  She's gone from a size 16 to a size 6 and has lost 80 lbs.  That's impressive!

I've always liked her.  She's a Chicago hometown girl and everyone here is so proud of her.  A lot has changed in her life in the past several years... winning an Oscar, a Grammy, losing her mom, brother and nephew, having a baby and now losing all this weight.  She keeps going through the good and the bad and has a great outlook on life.  She says that when she does something, she just asks herself if her mom would approve.  I think that's great.  Good for her!

I wish her the best in life.  She's an amazing person and a terrific talent.

Monday, February 07, 2011

The Pacific - HBO Mini-Series

I just finished watching the HBO mini-series, "The Pacific" on DVD.  This 10 part series features the lives of various real-life World War II heroes like John Basilone who was one of the most decorated Marines in history.

This series really opens your eyes to all the things our veterans had to go through for us while serving during WWII.  This movie is GRAPHIC.  I kept thinking to myself, "Wow... this would never have been shown on TV back in the 1960's with all the blood and gore!"  Back then shows like McHale's Navy and Combat! were all the rage.  I know because I used to watch them both.  I told my wife many times in the past that of all the war movies or series out there, I prefer to watch WWII movies.  I'm not sure why, but perhaps it is because it is the one war that I feel the entire country really stood behind.  Patriotism was very high back then and everybody did their part in the war effort.  That appeals to me.

Ever since "Saving Private Ryan" starring Tom Hanks (who also happens to co-produce this movie along with Steven Spielberg), seeing a war movie without some of the gore doesn't appeal much to me anymore.  I think having seen this new style of shooting (handheld cameras moving along with the men as they charge up the beach) and seeing the gore that so obviously had to have happened in real life, I can't go back to see war movies without it.  That may sound a bit morbid, but I think I prefer to see it more real.  Remember too that I come from a homicide background having worked for three law enforcement agencies in the past, so seeing it on the screen is actually less graphic compared to seeing it up close for real.

I'd recommend anyone interested in seeing what WWII was all about in the Pacific to view this series.  It makes you really appreciate the things our fighting men did for us to remain free in this country.  Recently, I lost an uncle and I attended his funeral just last week.  I did not realize he served in WWII as he never spoke about it.  It was told to us during the eulogy at his funeral.  In addition, members of the armed forces presented the draped US flag over his casket, to the family.  It was quite moving to see this ceremony.  That night is when my wife and I started to watch this DVD series.  To me, it was very fitting.

If you get a chance to rent or buy this DVD series, I would highly recommend you do so.   But be aware that there are scenes that are quite graphic.

The photos above were borrowed from the internet.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the Rabbit

"Gung Hay Fat Choy!" - This is the traditional Chinese greeting wishing congratulations and to have a prosperous and good year. Be sure to say this to every Chinese person you meet today!

This lunar New Year is the year of the Rabbit. You would be born in the year of the Ox if your birthday was in 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 or 2011. But remember, each year, the actual date in a lunar year changes, so the change of the year doesn't always fall on February 3 as it does today.

Why not go to your favorite Chinese Restaurant today and celebrate the New Year?

Wednesday, February 02, 2011


Back in 1967, Chicago had a record snowfall of 23 inches.  Click here to see The Chicago Tribune's account of it and photos.

It's hard to say how much snow will fall for this 2011 blizzard.  I have heard reports that we have had at least 17 inches so far and more is coming.  I got up early and was out working my snowblower at 5:20 AM this morning and finished doing my driveway around 7:30 AM.  Normally, it would only take about a half hour to do my driveway, but not today.  The drifts were "thigh-high" and working a snowblower only allowed me to go down a path a few inches wide at a time.  Had I tried to blow out  the entire width of the snowblower, it would have stalled the machine.  Even after finishing the driveway, only an hour later, there was a bunch of new snow on it again.

I know that I will need to do battle with the snow several more times today.  This is the most snow we have had in a long time!

Edit Note: We ended up with 20.2 inches, making it the third largest snowfall in Chicago history.  In 1999 we had 21 inches and the number one snowfall record was in 1967 at 23 inches.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Snow Days

Chicago is preparing for a lot of snow.  It seems kids are the only ones who benefit since they get a "snow day" out of it.  Even libraries are closing early and shutting down for the entire day tomorrow.

I went to two grocery stores yesterday and found a huge line of people there trying to buy food.  The parking lots were full and jammed with cars.  My wife went to get gas and also had to wait in line.  Are people smart to stock up, or are they just panic-stricken?

I didn't buy lots of food, I just got what we normally get.  We have a lot of food in the freezer anyway, so we are in good shape (so to speak.)  But if a little snow is enough to throw people into a rush to buy stuff, what would they do if something even greater were to befall the area?  I can only imagine how it is when there is something like an earthquake or a typhoon or hurricane.  Yikes!

We'll see how much snow we end up with.  Maybe it's a ploy to get people to go out and spend.... what do you think?   :)

Edit Note: The snow is coming down... we are expecting a LOT of snow during this blizzard!!!