A Dimm View of Life

Location: Illinois, United States

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Survivor: Gabon

I can't believe a year ago I told my son I was done watching Survivor. Here it is a year later and we are deeply invested in the latest round in Gabon.

It hasn't been a bad season. They have kicked out most of the pretty girls and the buff fellas. They have one buff fella left (Matty). He had better win all of the remaining immunity challenges or he's going home. That's if the remaining players are smart.

There have been some high points this year. I liked seeing the elephants near camp. Randy was fun to watch. I knew he would be from the opening episode. He didn't disappoint, going down in flames. I can't wait for the finale to watch him tear into Crystal again.

It is too bad Ace was dropped before the jury selection. It would have been fun to see him look Sugar in the eye at the final tribal council, but I don't expect Sugar to make it there anyway, so I guess we have to wait for the reunion where they will say "no hard feelings". (wink, wink)

I'm guessing it goes like this: Corrine goes this week. Matty next week. Sugar the next week. Bob is the last to go. That leaves a final three of Susie, Ken and Crystal. Crystal will have too many enemies on the jury and Susie won't have enough friends. Ken will win out.

That's the Dimm view of Survivor. Let's see what happens.

High School Basketball

I fell asleep. That's my only statement.

My brother has two sons. One has graduated high school and received his four year degree. He's among the working class now and doing great.

His other son is a senior in high school and plays basketball. He's doing great as well.

For eight years, I have gone to see these two boys play basketball over Thanksgiving. Maybe not exactly eight years. Probably six, but both started playing on the varsity while sophomores. It's been fun to watch.

Let me be even more clear. My brother and his boys live about an hour from us. They play in another league in Illinois. The only time they travel close to us is for a holiday tournament over the Thanksgiving holiday. The tournament is played in our home town. It would be nearly impossible to ignore and not go see them play.

This year, they played Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I skipped Monday because I was busy and Tuesday was better for me. I planned to see him play Tuesday and Saturday before I realized the Saturday game would be played elsewhere. Once I realized that, I planned to go Tuesday and Friday.

Tuesday I went to see him play. He played well. My brother was unhappy and the team lost, but I thought he played well. Sadly, the team lost Monday's game as well.

Friday, I went to work planning on seeing the game that night. I might mention now that the games are being played just four blocks from my home.

Somewhere between 7:00a that morning and 5:00p that night, I completely forgot about the game. I came home, kissed my wife and spoke to my daughter. I went upstairs and spoke to my son who was playing on the computer. I then laid down and fell asleep. I woke up about 6:45p and went downstairs.

My wife and I talked a bit about supper and we agreed to order pizza. I was casually looking at the newspaper when it hit me. By this time it was 6:55 or so. The game started at 6:00p. The pizza was ordered. There was no working this out.

I stayed home. We ate pizza. I considered traveling to the game on Saturday, but had other things that needed to be done. Talked myself out of it. As it turned out, they lost Saturday as well. 0-4 for the tournament.

Not that my attendence would have made any difference. I'm not that stupid. Still, I wish I had remembered to go Friday. It would have been my last chance to see him play.

Then again, they play a team about thirty-forty minutes south of here in late January. Maybe my daughter will come with me and we can watch him play, one last time.

Maybe that will make me feel like a better Uncle.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

John Williams - WGN

I just wrote a piece on John Williams, and wrote a bit about being in Chicago this past weekend. One thing I failed to mention in both pieces is how much I enjoy the storefront studio.

This year I had time to spot Steve Cochran and Nick Digilio. In years past I've been fortunate enough to see David Kaplin and John Williams.

As I said yesterday morning, I can't be more thrilled that John is getting this plum assignment. I considered bringing my resume to Tribune Tower Friday, but I was so busy preparing for the meetings I forgot to print one out. You know they would have put off the decision one more day if I had shown an interest in the job.

I remember when Spike took over, he had to abandon certain programming elements from his evening show. I hope John continues to have discussions with Thomas Jefferson and Bill Clinton. I hope he continues to fantasize on what really happened at the Cubs games. I especially hope he continues with his voicemail segment.

Best of all, I hope he continues to be one of the best interviewers this side of Milt Rosenberg. Whether he is talking to Alan Alda or Terry Savage, you know you are going to hear thoughtful questions and worthwhile discussion.

Funny, smart and engaging. WGN couldn't have made a wiser choice.

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Back from Chicago

This past weekend I was in Chicago for the IASB (school board) workshops, etc. I enjoyed myself, somewhat. I missed my family. I ate too much. I didn't sleep well. Other than that, it was a good time.

Seriously, I love Chicago. I love walking up and down the streets to the Hyatt and down Michigan Avenue. I wish I had money to shop! I bought my family some Chicago t-shirts. I didn't have a lot of time for more shopping. In past years, I did my shopping on Sunday, but this year I had to run back home Sunday morning because my wife and I teach Sunday school at our church. Sigh.

After all the meetings and the eating and the driving, I was exhausted Monday. I was surprised I was so tired, but I could hardly drag myself to work and then drag myself home. This was after a two hour nap Sunday afternoon and about seven hours that night. I should have been rested.

Anyway, I think I'm recovered now, just in time for Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday and I'm looking forward to it. Hope you have a great holiday as well!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Alex's weekend

I'm tired. I don't know why I'm tired. I probably ate too much.

It's Tuesday, so the effects of the weekend should be gone. There was a school board convention in Chicago. I am no party animal, so mostly I went to the meetings and workshops and then back to the hotel. My school board friends took me out to eat both Friday and Saturday night. We ate at Giordanno's and the Eire Cafe. The Eire Cafe was excellent, but Giordanno's left something to be desired.

That was disappointing because I had heard so much about Giordanno's. The pizza was merely okay. The staff was merely okay. We had to wait over an hour and a half for a table. I saw parents with small children waiting. The kids looked miserable.

Still, now I can say I've been there. The meetings and the workshops were good. It was worth the trip. Still, I'm tired.

There is a Walgreen's nearby that sells Vitner's Buttered Popcorn. It's not great, but I bought two bags and ate them over the weekend. Maybe that's catching up with me. Or maybe it was the huge dinner at the Erie Cafe. Four of us had the ribeye. It was huge.

So, I am swearing off eating anything today. Got to make room for Thanksgiving. The best part is that I will have my family around Thursday. I missed them so much this weekend. Everywhere I looked I was thinking about their reactions.

It's good to get away, but it's good to be back. Glad the next trip is a year away.

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John Williams - WGN Morning Host

Each morning, after my shower, I get online. I look at several sites, including the Chicago Tribune. Today, I saw the announcement that John Williams will be taking over for Spike O'Dell. I couldn't be happier.

John Williams is a thinking man with an edge. He is highly intelligent and can quit this gig and write for Time magazine if he wants. He also has a great sense of humor that comes out in a variety of great segments.

My favorite is voicemail, although I haven't been able to hear it for ages. He has a number where listeners can call and leave a message for John, usually pertaining to things he has been talking about through the week. Think of it as a comment section on a blog. Then he and the producer piece the different voicemails together with some great music and it makes for some of the funniest moments on the air today.

Anyway, my congratulations and good luck John Williams. You won't need it because you already have everything you need to be Chicago's brightest star!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008


I took my mother to see her heart doctor today. She has trouble seeing and doesn't like to drive out of town, so I took time off work and drove her north.

It takes about an hour from my workplace to her house and another hour to the doctor. Then it takes an hour back to her home and an hour back to mine.

Four hours on the road today.

I'm tired.

Mom is fine. She had an EKG and some blood work done, but the doctor didn't seem too worried. A little concerned, but not worried. She had a heart attack about ten years ago. She's lost some weight this year and watches what she eats.

I'm more worried about her eyes. I'll take her to see the eye doctor in two weeks.

Tomorrow, I'm driving a couple hours to Chicago to attend some meetings as a school board member. It will be an interesting weekend that I am looking forward too. Unless the hotel has a free computer, I probably won't post the next couple days, but I will return.

I'll let you know what I learn in Chicago.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Alex's car

I recently bought a new car. My 1999 Ford Contour had seen better days, and I'll miss it, but it was time. My soon-to-be-eighteen year old daughter has been very patient, living with a license but no car for nearly two years. She has shared and not griped. The Contour is now hers to drive, so I'll get a chance to visit it from time to time.

Now I drive a 2005 Ford Taurus. I miss the cassette player in the Contour. This one has a CD player only. Now I can't listen to "Wait, wait...Don't Tell Me!" on the way to work. I still haven't figured out when I can listen to my podcasts.

Is it me, or do earbud bother you too? I will wear earbuds occasionally, but I don't like sticking anything in my ear(s). That's why I liked using the car stereo to listen to my podcasts. I had time in the car and I can listen to what I want, unlike listening to today's radio. There is no way I am wearing earbuds while driving. It's probably illegal! If it isn't it should be!

So, I am back to scrounging for audio books through the local library. I did miss listening to books, so I'm glad to do that again. I'll let you know what I figure out about my podcasts. I'm going to go crazy if I don't figure out something.


Obama's Cabinet

President Obama? (I can't help it. I love saying it!) President Obama, sir?

What about Bill Richardson? I know you feel like you need to offer Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State job, but what about Bill? He has a better resume. Everybody likes him (except the voteing public). If he's not your vice-president, he really should be your Secretary of State.

Agreed, Hillary is my second choice for the spot, but she's the SECOND CHOICE! Offer it to Bill!

Years ago, he worked on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He worked for Kissinger. He's been to Bagdad, North Korea, Nicaragua, etc. He's been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Three times!!

He's been an United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He was the Secretary of Energy under Bill Clinton.

What more could you want?

Okay, how about this. Let Hillary be Secretary of State during the first term and Bill be Secretary of State during the second term. How's that? Or vice-versa. She can run the Senate during the first term and be your ally there. Huh?

As always, I know you'll make the best choice. Just wanted to let you know where I stand.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President. Have a great day!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

President Barack Obama

I am thrilled to use this title for today's blog. If you had asked me a year ago, or two years ago, if this was going to happen, I would have been hopeful, but unsure. Now it's happened and I am elated.

I didn't vote for Barack Obama because he was black and it would be historic. I didn't vote for Barack Obama because he represented my home state of Illinois. I didn't vote for Barack Obama because he was a democrat and I wanted change. I grew up and spent most of my adult life a republican, rarely swaying from party lines. George W. Bush ended that. I half-heartedly supported John Kerry four years ago. Truthfully, I wanted Bush gone more than I wanted Kerry in office. I didn't get my wish.

I looked at all the Republican candidates. I wasn't going to support someone who hates "certain" people the way Mitt Romney does. I wasn't going to support someone who appears to only spout the party line, such as Rudy Giuliani. John McCain came close to someone I could like, but he became a grouchy, unhappy man before our eyes.

I voted for Barack Obama because he was the best candidate. There was never any question. He ran the best campaign. He has good ideas for correcting what is wrong in this country. Is he perfect? No, but I am hard put to find his faults. Smoking? Yes. Bowling? Can't really define that as a fault. More of a shortcoming.

Every step he has taken has the appearance of being well thought out. He doesn't make "knee-jerk" statements or decisions. He listens to those around him, but he appears to have the final say.

I like Barack Obama because he is smarter than I am and I want that in a U.S. President. I like Barack Obama because he wants what is best for our country.

Now, let's see if I'm right.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Where is Alex Dimm?

Where has Alexander Dimm been? I've been busy.

I continue to work for a telecommunications company. I have not changed positions, although I have applied for other positions within the company.

I am still a school board member, although I am up for relection this year.

I am still married to the same wonderful woman I married twenty years ago. I love her so much.

I still have three children, although one is a senior in high school and getting prepared for college and another is getting married. My son appeared in a local theatre production this past summer.

I lost my father this fall. It still hurts.

I still go to church and I still love to write.

Beyond that, nothing much has changed. I hope to get back to blogging regularly, although my blogging will be shorter. Fewer long essays and more said.

I have missed blogging and hope that I hear from you. I can see that you have continued to check in while I was gone. Thank you.

So, why did I stop? Lots of reasons. Most of them stupid, so there is no sense dwelling. Let's just hope I am back for a long time.

Thank you for your patience. Talk to you again soon.

Your friend, Alexander Dimm

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