Welcome to our web site. For more information about Stephie's art, please also check out artbystephie.com.
For Matt's writing projects, please go to storiesbymatt.net. Enjoy your visit here!

01/30/04: It's three degrees below zero Fahrenheit (and who knows what the wind chill is!) and Kisu wants to go outside to try out her new booties! Check out the fun.

01/28/04: I recently changed the web site to use PHP to pull these little articles from a database. Initially, this meant that I could add items without changing the page itself, which saves me some time. It also gave me the ability to make the change that I did today. As of now, the main page will show only the articles that I added in the last 60 days. This will make the page load faster, which is especially important for people with dial-up connections.

But don't worry! If you really have a burning need to read my comments about how Kisu broke the retractable leash, or anything else I posted since I started this page, just scroll to the bottom of this page and select the month that you want to see (the leash incident happened in July, by the way.) Of course, this doesn't affect any of the special pages, like the Cheyenne Story. Those are still accessible from the menu bar on the right of the screen.

01/24/04: Well, our childhood memories took a beating this week, with the loss of Ray Rayner and Bob Keeshan within a couple days. When I was a kid, I didn't know (nor did I care) that Ray Rayner was based in Chicago (as was Bozo and Frazier Thomas on the Garfield Goose show) but Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers were not. They were just my TV buddies as I was growing up. And while I haven't seen either Ray or the Captain in many years, it still saddens me that they are gone.

At least Bill Jackson is still with us!

By the way, when I was trying to find if B.J. was still with us, I found this cool web site about Chicago Television that looks to have some interesting stuff about the local Chicagoland TV stations, including many of the kids programming over the years, even before my time! I'll have to spend some time going through it, even though it says I "must use Internet Explorer" and I don't as a rule.

(I wonder if they have anything on the theme music to the"All-Electric Magic Lantern Moving Picture Show")

01/18/04: Stephanie's Banana-project buddy Diane came over yesterday, and we went to the show and saw "Big Fish". We went to the matinee and got there as the coming attractions were showing, so we had to sit in the third row. Now, when I used to go to the show a lot, we always would sit in the first couple rows, but that was in the good old days of big screens in big theaters, where the screen was set back a little from the front row. Now, with these megaplexes trying to make use of every inch of real estate, sitting in the first couple rows is almost like going to see an IMAX film, where the screen fills your peripheral vision. It was the first time I can remember having to turn my head back and forth to follow a conversation on-screen. And there were a couple scenes were I couldn't really tell if the camera angle was odd, or if it appeared that way because we were sitting so close. But the movie itself...


It's hard to describe the overall plot without making it sound very sad. A son receives a call that his estranged father is dying, so he and his wife return to his childhood home so that he could try to reconnect with his father, and to get some perspective on parenthood, as his wife is about to give birth to their first child. The father was a traveling salesman, so was rarely home when the son was growing up. And when he was home, he told the most fantastic stories about his travels, about enormous fish and mysterious towns and giants. The son was always embarrassed by these stories, and wants to know the truth before his father passes away.

The sad scenes, where the son stubbornly refuses to believe anything his father says, are offset by the scenes of the father's stories, which are full of the fantastic imagery that you would expect from a Tim Burton movie. Some of the scenes are touching, some are downright hilarious, but all are entertaining as we follow the father from his birth, right up to the end. I can't remember the last time I heard so much sniffling in the theater at the end of a movie. This was one of the best films I have seen in a long time, and I think it's one that's probably best seen on the big screen (just not from the first three rows.) I highly recommend it.

01/08/04: For some reason, I woke up this morning thinking about this little "game" we used to play back when I worked at Dominicks. Back in the good old days before the "bulk" style presentation of produce, everything had to be wrapped, weighed and priced. This meant that on busy days there were up to eight people working in the back room, at two tables facing each other.
    Most of us were music fans (except maybe the guy whose only record he owned was a picture disc of Rush’s "Hemispheres" that was still in the shrink-wrap), so the game consisted of someone choosing a letter, then the two tables taking turns naming bands that started with that letter. The back-and-forth continued until one "team" was stumped, at which time the "winning team" would declare victory, briefly deride the other team, then pick another letter and continue. We obviously didn’t have access to the Internet, or any other reference materials, and there was nothing at stake other than brief bragging rights, but it was a pretty good way to pass the time while trimming cases of broccoli, or traying up grapes.
    They had been playing this game before I joined the department, but the manager always counted on me as his "not-so-secret weapon". He was a music aficionado, but I was more heavily into music at the time, reading as many of the music periodicals as I could, haunting used record stores, and listening to anything I could get my hands on. As such, I knew about many obscure bands that no one else ever heard of. It was somewhat surprising that they rarely questioned me. I knew of some pretty strange band names (Ethel the Frog, Throbbing Gristle, Einsturzende Neubaten), which were real bands, but I probably could have said anything, which of course I never did.

01/06/04: Over the weekend, I was going to make breakfast, but I didn't know what I wanted to make. I really had a taste for breakfast burritos, but all we had were corn tortillas, and the last time I made them using corn tortillas, they split open as I tried to roll them.
Then I had an idea. Sure, I could have looked in one of Stephie's many cookbooks, but this is the "information age", right? So I went to Yahoo and searched on "eggs, sausage, corn tortilla, cheese, and salsa" and the first item that day was a recipe for Sausage and Cheese Chalupas. They turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. (And Stephie concurs.) Give 'em a try.

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