Jon and Pat Celebrate 50th Wedding Anniversary

(posted 8/6/2022) - It really doesn't seem that long ago that I'd just been discharged from the Army and had ask Pat to marry me (spoiler alert she said yes!). I'd already applied to and been accepted at UIC and would spend the next years using up those wonderful GI-Bill benefits and getting a degree in Computer Systems Engineering.

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Geneology and Dogs - We Visit Casey and Mattoon

(posted 3/31/2022) - Drove down to Casey for a 4-day Geneology Marathon with Loistel Summerville and a visit with Lori and Jeremy Morton and their dogs Daisy and Nala. Also got to visit with Tom and Char Royal for a bit and see their new home in Mattoon. All in all a very nice visit.

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Pat Retires as Bookkeeper after 23 years: Leslie Closes Their Doors

(posted 12/11/2021) - Pat started working at Leslie Car Wash in fall of 1998 as their bookkeeper. She retired this year; as the business also closed its doors for good.

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Pat and I Are Getting Covid Booster and Flu Shots

(posted 10/18/2021) - Pat and I both have had mild colds this fall which delayed our getting Covid19 Booster and Flu shots. We should be going in to the local Walgreen's before the end of this month for vaccinations.

Speaking of Covid19 I've included a PDF link to a large survey in the US by KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) that shows that lack of health insurance is the strongest predictor of non-vaccination.

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Austin Wallaces Visit Us in Glen Ellyn

(posted 8/11/2021) - Matt, Payton, and Dylan flew in for a week's visit. We had a delightful time catching up after being separated in 2020 due to pandemic risks.

I admit to being pretty lazy about taking photos these days - but luckily Pat used her smartphone to grab a few shot which I've included here.

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Remembering a Very Special Dog Named Rudy

(posted 6/4/2021) - Rudy was Matt and Holly's first dog -- but he spent a lot of time with our dog Tom and we saw him as our first grand-dog. He passed away this week after living a long and storied life. He will be missed by all who had the good fortune to know him.

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The Democratic Administration and Democratic Congress Have Delivered 1.9 Trillion Dollar American Rescue Plan

(posted 3/16/2021) - Following the bi-partisan supported 2.2 Trillion dollar CARES act, the 1.9 Trillion dollar American Rescue Plan represents a comprehensive second stimulus to our ailing economy. I didn't post this in my soapbox section because it is news not opinion.

However, unlike CARES passed under the Trump Administration (which received 416 Yeas in the House and 96 Yeas in the Senate), the ARP act received 219 Democratic Yeas in the house and 50 Yeas in the Senate. No republicans voted Yea.

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Samwise Gamgee is Coming to Glen Ellyn

(posted 10/20/2020) - Last Sunday we drove up to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to look at three almost 5-week old Labrador Pups. They were all beautiful little guys. When we were introduced one padded over to a bush and started eating leaves, another headed for the gate on the patio, but Samwise walked over to us and made eye-contact. That was all it took. He's the smallest of the 3 male pups but seemed the most human focused, with a nice calm puppy energy.

We will go back to pick him up in 18 days (a Saturday); driving the 190+ miles back to Oshkosh and his home at the Gypsy Miracle Kennels (a hunting dog family farm).

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A Socially Distanced Back Yard Bubble Fest

(posted 5/31/2020) - Kat, Arya, and Tyrion came over today and played outside in our backyard while we sat on the porch. I took a few photos of them: Kat had a really cool giant bubble maker and Arya was intent on chasing down bubbles.

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A Video Collage from Jon and Pat's Most Excellent Adventure - September 2019

(posted 10/10/2019) - So Pat has been wanting to visit the Churches, Farms, and Graveyards of her Scandinavian ancestors on her father's side (Great-Grandfather Norway, Great-Grandmother Sweden) for several years now. With the passing of Tommy Two-Shoes we found ourselves free to schedule a 10-day visit this September.

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RIP Tom the Dog

(posted 6/25/2019) - Tom the Dog, age 10 yrs, 2 Months, and 4 days passed away quietly at his home this morning. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He was with family when he passed, having walked into the backyard under his own power 15 minutes before his death. He had become weak but was still fully alert and engaged (barking at the mailman the day before). Over the last two days of his life he declined going on our daily walks; instead sitting by the front door with my wife when I went out. He was there to greet me with a tail wag when I returned. Now he is still, but in my heart and mind he will always be waiting for me to pull out the leash so we could 'see what the world has to offer' on any given day.

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Video from an 8mm Movie Film - Kids Winter 1982

(5-3-2019) - I have lots of 8mm movies that have been gathering dust from the 50's through the early 80's (before we all switched to cam-corders and later smart-phones). Recently I bought an inexpensive 8mm movie scanner and started digitizing the film frame-by-frame (its automated).

The scanner generates 720x480 DV quality images from the 8mm film at 2 frames/second. The original 8/super8 cameras used 16-18 and 22-24 frame rates so basically a 3 minute reel takes about 30 minutes to scan. Then the MP4 file has to be edited to look and sound decent; so add a typical 30-45 minutes on top for adding 'modern' scene transitions, backing-track music, titling and such.

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Grandparenting Is Really Fun

(Posted 10-8-2018) - The older I get the more I enjoy being a grandparent. Watching your children become parents and seeing them through the eyes of both parent and grandparent brings a special poignancy to one's life.

I look forward to every holiday more than ever. These are often the time of family gatherings and grandchildren bring with them such a wonderfully fresh perspective! Across generations I see birthdays, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Years Eve over-layed with memories from my childhood, from my time as a young parent, and now as a grandparent observing my children and my children's children.

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Casey, IL: WEIU Does This Is Our Story Segment

(posted 4/3/2018) - Tell and Pearl (Wood) Hurt raised their five children near Casey, IL. Zola (Hurt) Delp, Earl Hurt, Doris (Hurt) Sweet, Janice (Hurt) Wallace, and Phillip Hurt all lived in and around Casey for many years after their children had started families of their own.

WEIU (Eastern ILlinois University) has done a number of in depth This Is Our Story segments on nearby towns depending heavily on story tellers and documents provided by family members from each town. Casey is a particularly interesting example of growth of communities around the terminus of the Cumberland Trail in east-central Illinois.

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The Texans Visit in August

(posted 9/5/2017) - Matt, Payton, and Dylan flew out for a week during the middle of August. John and Kat Parker were able to visit a lot during that week so that all three grand-kids got a lot of face time. Everyone had a great time!

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Celebrating 90th Birthday with Uncle Phillip Hurt

(posted 5/8/2017) - Pat and I drove to Phillip's Wilmington, IL residence last Saturday. The three of us then drove 145 miles to West Lafayette to visit Dick and Edna at University Place Senior Living. We all had a very nice lunch (along with Beth Goodrick who happened to be visiting when we arrived).

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Arya Rose Parker Arrives on Winter Solstice - 2016

(Posted 12/22/2016) -

After laboring through most of Tuesday (Dec 20th), Kat delivered a beautiful baby girl on the morning of the 21st - the day of the Winter Solstice.

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Vero Beach 2016 Was Lots of Fun

(posted 5/17/2016) - Returned Sunday from a 1-week vacation in Vero Beach FL. We rented a house just off the beach and enjoyed catching up with Phil and Patsy, Katherine and Edna, and Kat 'n John.

Dogs Tom and Tyrion were in attendance as well. This is Tom's second time in Vero; while Tyrion is a first timer. He seemed to really enjoy the Florida environs (see video below).

Phillip celebrated his 89th a few days early with all of us (Cake and Ice-cream) - since we won't get to be there for the actual B-day in Houston on the 13th. He can still blow out his candles with no problem.

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Just Returned from Visiting Pat's Aunt Arline in Cali

(posted 11/18/2015) - Had a very nice time in Dana Point, CA this weekend. Pat and I flew out on Friday and returned Monday. We did an AirBnB in Dana Point and spent Friday evening, Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon visiting with Pat's Aunt Arline (on her Dad's side of the family).

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Just Returned From 2-Week Tour of East-Coast

(posted 6/11/2015) - We returned the 6th, having spent 14 days catching up with kin in Florida, Maryland, and New York. We left on May 22nd and drove to Vero Beach, Florida arriving Saturday afternoon. Pat had rented a beautiful summer home (with enclosed pool) for a week. We used it as a gathering place for multiple get-togethers and spent a lot of time lounging around the pool, drinks in hand!

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Wallace Christmas Season Travels

(posted 12/28/2014) - We've had a nice holiday season. On the morning of the 12th we stopped off at a rehab center in Indianapolis to visit my cousin Edna and husband Richard. Both are undergoing physical therapy and seem to be recovering nicely. They are hoping to return to their home in Vero Beach shortly. From there we drove on to Memphis and visited with the Blairs (Holly's folks) for two days. Then we drove down to Houston for a great four day visit with Uncle Phillip and cousin Patsy. We celebrated my 67th birthday on the 14th (the evening we arrived) with a really exceptional cake that Patsy made from scratch. Needless to say it was fully consumed in short order... Thanks cousin Patsy.

On the 17th we drove to Austin and visited Matt, Holly, Payton, Dylan, and Rudy. Jerel and Betty got in from Memphis later that day.

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Finishing Our Basement -- a Five Month Project is Complete

(posted 10/2/2014) - We had our final inspection yesterday and are now officially done with our basement project which began in early May.

Pat took pictures along the way and posted them to our facebook page. I grabbed some of her photos and am re-posting them here along with my own comments. I especially wanted to journal our experience with some newer products targeted for the DIY community doing basement finishing/remodelling.

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Local Hawks Pay Us a Visit

(posted 7/13/2014) - A family of Red-Tail Hawks lives just south of us in the tall White Pine that has been a favorite nesting place for almost a decade. Their young are starting to hunt now -- I got some pictures of them as they visited our yard for a bit.

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Finishing Out our Basement

(posted 5/6/2014) - It's been 5 years since we moved into our new home (built on top of the location where we'd lived since 1977). Pat and I have talked about finishing out the basement over the years, but it never was a pressing need. Now we've taken the plunge - so that I can move all my piano keyboards (2), guitars (2), amps (4), mics (3), and various recording devices (2) along with half a dozen stomp-boxes and controllers out of the loft and out of Pat's office area. The plan is to create a music room in the basement where I can permanently keep my 'stuff.' We'll also continue to keep our large elliptical machine, weights, and workout bench down there... and add a TV-room for kickin' back with a 70 inch screen and good sound system.

To that end I put together a permit plan design which the village has recently accepted. We've hired out electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and fire-sprinkler work and will shortly be starting the rough-framing that needs to be done before the other trades can do their thing.

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Enjoying Some New Sound Gear

(posted 3/3/2014) - I've been adding some new sound gear of late -- I started back in May of 2013 with a digital looper which allowed me to easily build up multi-instrument recordings (one stereo track, but you can do unlimited overlays). Then in October of 2013 I got a Midi-controlled 4-voice harmonizer so I could actually do harmonies with myself in real-time. Now that's a lot of fun.

The next big step came in December when I got an analog chord-controlled 2-voice harmonizer which allowed me to sing harmonies while playing my guitar. I could now use either Midi keyboard or guitar and sing along in real time with nice harmony.

But wait --- it gets even better ...

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Our Texas Visit (Dec 14th-22nd)

(posted 1/8/2014) - I've been lazy and just got around today to putting together a video from our visit to Matt and Holly's home ...

We drove down with Tom the Dog, spent a week visiting the kids and grandkids, then swung down to Houston for a nice visit with Uncle Phil and his daughter Allyson.

I put together a swf style streaming video from Dec 18th, which you can view by clicking on the Read More button.

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John and Kathy Parker Wedding Video

(posted 11/5/2013) - First a happy birthday wish to my wonderful wife, Pat... we're now both eligible for Medicare! I guess that makes us special (or just old)...

We got back Monday from Seattle where we attended daughter Kathy's wedding to John Parker. We both had such a great time; Pat arranged a weekend rental of a 5-bedroom house just 15 minutes from the wedding venue. Isn't the internet a wonderful thing?

The Wallaces (1st and 2nd generations), Grobes, Sorianos, and Barbara Ward all stayed under one roof (across three floors). Our grandkids were there, as well as our grand-niece Aanya. It was so much fun visiting with everyone and babysitting the kids.

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Kathy Wallace Wedding John Parker

(posted 9/30/2013) - On November 3rd our daughter Kathy will become Mrs. Kathy Parker. We are flying out to Seattle for the wedding; staying 3 days.

It's been almost 6 years since we last visited Kat in Seattle, though she has visited with us several times each year (Mohammad should come to the mountains, right?).

We are looking forward to the festivities, though John and Kathy are starting to feel the pressure of last minute details as the date draws near.

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Obituary - Janice Anthen Wallace

(posted 7/27/2013) - My mom passed away here at home on Monday, the 22nd of July. Pat created an obit which I've copied here ... gonna miss mom; but it was time and she died peacefully in her sleep. I feel relieved that her long and full life ended with dignity and without any anguish. Obituary follows ...

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Enjoying the Summer!

(posted 7/5/2013) - Well, summer's definitely here -- weather in the Glen Ellyn area has been great. Enough rain to make everything grow like crazy, and yet days are clear and pleasant for the most part.

After turning 65 I did the Medicare Baseline physical and found my blood pressure was up (140/80) and my cholesterol (triglycerides high, HDH low) was running over 200. Also, found out I had what is known as a frozen (right) shoulder which I started noticing symptoms of in late November. Happy to announce that my BP is now averaging 105/65, and I've dropped 15 pounds. I'm supposed to go back for a follow on blood draw to check cholesterol levels in September - but I'll be very surprised if it isn't back in a good range.

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Visiting the Wallaces in Round Rock, Texas

(posted 3/7/2013) - I flew down to visit Matt, Holly, and Payton end of February, staying 5 nights. Daughter Kathy was also able to fly in from Seattle and stayed 3 nights.

We had a great time getting together; Payton has gotten so much bigger and is walking everywhere now.

As an additional plus the weather in Round Rock reached daily highs between 65 and 80 degrees which sure beats Chicago and Seattle weather this time of year.

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I've turned 65 ...

(posted 12/16/2012) - Reached the big 65 this year (Dec 14th). Probably the biggest transition was moving off of my rather expensive retirement (group) health plan and onto single payer Medicare + Mutual of Omaha plan G Supplemental. Pat and I spent many an hour reading online information and then talking with agents (United Healthcare Service, Blue-Cross Blue-Shield, and Mutual of Omaha) before making our initial decision.

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Christmas is Coming!

(posted 12/1/2012) - Everyone around our neighborhood is putting up Christmas decorations. The weather has been great for stringing lights and tinsel; many clear, cool days with variable sunshine.

Pat and I normally don't even think about trees, lights, and other miscellaneous decorations until after the 14th (my birthday). But over the last couple of years we've been moving our decorating activity forward a week or two. Expect a tree and tinsel at the Wallace's next weekend!

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Payton's Halloween Honey Badger Costume is a Hit

(posted 11/5/2012) - Holly posted a cute video of Payton in her 'Honey Badger' Halloween costume on Facebook. I couldn't resist editing that video into a remix of Randall's popular video 'The Crazy NastyAss Honey Badger' and the 'Honey Badger Swag Rap'. Hope you enjoy it (I know I do).

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Our Kids Visit Us Over Labor Day

(posted 9/13/2012) - Matt, Holly, Payton, and Kathy were in for a week over the Labor Day Holiday. Pat and I really enjoyed having the house full of 'kids' and a very special grand-daughter!

We all also went to the Hurt Reunion held in Kankakee this year. Though hurricane Isaac threatened to cause rain across Illinois that Sunday, it turned out to be very pleasant by the river (no mosquitoes) with pleasant breezes offsetting the humidity. Pat and I took lots of pictures and some videos.

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Jon Has a New Acer Tablet

(Posted 7/30/2012) - I was so impressed with Pat's smartphone, which is Android 4 based, that when my son Matt pointed me to a Woot sale on refurbed Acer Iconia A200 tablets I made an impulse buy. I love this 10 inch tablet!

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Pat Has a Smart Phone!

(posted 7/8/2012) - Pat is officially hip; she just got a Samsung Galaxy Nexus smart phone! In addition, Matt helped her quickly get up to speed on the best features and apps on this Android 4.0 based device.

Pat is visiting Matt, Holly, Payton, and Rudy in Round Rock this weekend. Payton will be 7-months old this month -- and she is really growing up fast.

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Summer's Here -- Backyard Photos

(Posted 6/20/2012) -- OK, so I guess summers not quite officially here, but it's been in the 90's and sunny the last few days and it sure feels like summer has arrived.

Pat and I have been spending time sitting under our shady backyard (ornamental crab apple) tree these last few days. Yesterday I grabbed my camera and took a few pictures of our Tiger Lily's, Wave-Petunia's, Calibrachoa (aka Million Bells), and Geranuiums.

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Matt, Holly, and Payton Visit Memorial Day Weekend

(posted 6/1/2012) - Matt and Holly flew in with 5-month old daughter Payton last weekend. Matt was best-man at a childhood friend's wedding and we got the benefit of seeing them and our grand-daughter for several days!

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Tom Celebrates His 3rd Birthday (a Week Late)

(Posted 4/29/2012) - The Pantaleons were able to bring Jack over for Tom's Birthday Celebration this Sunday. We all sat on the patio while the dogs played in the back yard.

They boys got treats and lots of running time -- Tom got a special chewey-bone gift after Jack went home to finish off his birthday.

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Summer Comes Early to Glen Ellyn

(posted 4/5/2012) - Well there's no doubting that we've had an early spring. The Magnolias have already bloomed and dropped their flowers and are greening up nicely. I've already mowed the lawn and will have to again today.

Warmest season on record -- but so far very pleasant (80's in March can feel pretty nice as long a they are not followed by 100's in June-July-August).

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Payton Blair Wallace Makes Her Movie Debut

(posted 1/12/2012) - I flew down to Round Rock to visit my new grand-daughter last week. Also got to visit with Rudy (the dog) and the kids. They were pretty busy being new parents; but I think it suits them. Payton is well loved.

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Welcome Baby Wallace!

(posted 12/18/2011) - Matt and Holly had a beautiful baby girl at 2:14AM this morning. They have not finalized on a name (there are several in the running) at this point, so we'll just call her baby for now.

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A Pleasant Thanks Giving Day at Home

(posted 11/25/2011) - My mom came over yesterday afternoon to celebrate Thanks Giving with us. We had a tastey meal with all the traditional turkey fixen's. Then we retired to the living room, lit a fire and spent the next 5 hours reminiscing about years gone bye. All in all a very satisfyfing day.

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Visiting Susan Bodett's Home

(Posted 9/11/2011) - We shared a wonderful afternoon and a great dinner with Susan Bodett, her sister Sharon, their mother Fran, and Susan's close friend Jane (and husband Rich).

We took Tom along for the afternoon, and were delighted to find that Susan's 8 year old golden retriever Mocha and Jane's 9-month old english retreiver Denali were quite happy to entertain him, as the accompanying photos attest.

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If You Are a Conservative, This Is Probably News to You

(Posted 7/29/2011) - Normally this post would be an entry into my Soapbox, but I feel this is pertinent Wallace family news. I keep hearing from folks who are conservative minded (not a bad thing, as I'm fiscally conservative, and socially centrist in my views) that the Obama administration needs to be reined in because it has increased federal government spending to a point that we risk the equivalent of national bankruptcy. I'm here to say to all that harbor this sentiment -- you're dead wrong on the facts!

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Kathy Wallace Web Journalist for Seattle's Dlist Magazine

(Posted 6/17/2011) - For the last 4 years daughter Kathy has been a regular feature writer for Seattle based DlistMagazine. Her column is called "Details" with topics running the gamut, from tips on dating etiquette to a survey of current artificial intelligence projects.

Recently her magazine employers have approached her with the suggestion that she also do a web journal linked from the magazine's website .

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Jon, Pat, and Tommy Drive to Round Rock Texas

(Posted 5/1/2011) - We just got back from a 10-day sojourn in Texas. Matt and Holly moved to their new home in Round Rock in late February. Since Matt's birthday is April 28th, we thought we'd visit and celebrate his 33rd.

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We Celebrate Tom the Dog's 2nd Birthday!

(Posted 4/17/2011) - Today was Tommy's 2nd birthday. He has lived with us since he was just under 6 weeks old.

We invited the Pantaleons to bring Tom's brother Jack over to visit again this year. The two dogs picked up playing where they left off last year -- instantly recognizing one another.

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Home Alone -- We Left Tommy and Went to a Restaurant Today!

(Posted 3/20/2011) - First day of spring, and to celebrate we left our 90 lb. Lab Tommy at home by his lonesome for the very first time while we went out for a nice meal at Danby's Station in Glen Ellyn.

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We Got Snow Smacked!

(Posted 2/3/2011) - Tuesday afternoon the blizzard started and kept up all night long. By Wednesday morning when the snow stopped we had an additional 20" of the white stuff on top of the four inches already on the ground.

The weather persons are saying this is the third largest storm in 50 years. We even had lightning and thunder during the blizzard (so called thunder-snow) which produced extra accumulation. Welcome to Chicago lake effects!

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Matt, Holly, and Rudy Move to Austin

(Posted 1/9/2011) - Matt accepted a new position with Dell Computers based in Austin, TX over the holidays. He starts work Monday the 10th. After enjoying a last Christmas celebration and New Years revel, they packed up their belongings (well actually the movers did) and said adios to their home of 2+ years in Roscoe Village.

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Christmas Day Celebration at Jon and Pat's Home

(Posted 12/26/2010) - We had a very nice Christmas Day. Matt and Holly got back from Austin, TX Christmas Eve around 5:30PM and stayed at our place overnight. Kathy flew in from Seattle Christmas Eve morning and also stayed overnight.

Christmas morning around 10AM I drove over to my mom's place and brought her to our home. We all sat around the fireplace and enjoyed good conversation before opening our gifts. Then we sat down and had a very nice Christmas Dinner, with more good conversation.

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Dinner at Jan's - We Put a Log in the Fireplace!

(Posted 12/6/2010) - Yesterday Pat, Tom the Labrador, and I had a nice mid-day meal at my mom's place. I took over some logs and tried out her fireplace for the first time.

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Matt and Holly are Married!

(Posted 8/28/2010) - On Friday, August 27th, Matt Wallace and Holly Blair were married at the Ravenswood Event Center in Chicago.

It was a perfect early Fall evening and as the sun neared the horizon the minister led the couple in their vows. The ceremony was immediately followed by a great meal and much merriment. We had the hall till midnight; and everyone danced and talked the evening away!

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Jan Wallace Moves to Wheaton, Casey Home Sold

(Posted 8/9/2010) - This April my 90 year old mother decided she wanted to simplify her life by moving out of her home and into an apartment. The obvious choice was to move to a place near us (in Glen Ellyn, Il). Pat and I looked at several upscale apartment complexes within a few miles of our home and made a recommendation to my mom in early May.

We moved her into The Willows of Wheaton end of May (renting a truck and moving her just before Memorial Day).

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Kathy Wallace Graduates from University of Washington

(Posted 6/14/2010) - Kathy graduated with honors from the University of Washington last Saturday. She received a B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.

We flew in for her graduation and enjoyed celebrating with her and Nate. The graduation was in the Huskies Stadium outdoors -- hosting 5000 graduates and approximately 25,000 family and friends!

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Democrats Pass Health-Care Bill

(Posted 3/22/2010) - Normally I don't put political events into my news postings, but today's news will be an exception to the rule. The passing of a Health Care Reform Bill by the Democrat controlled congress is a political event of special importance, for reasons that go beyond the obvious health care impacts and industry regulation changes.

I found a brief opinion editorial Here that I think sums up my viewpoint better than I could elucidate it. I've pasted the entire op-ed into my news item for posterity...

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Rudy and Tom Enjoy our Backyard

(Posted 2/28/2010) - Two weekends ago Matt, Holly, and Rudy came to visit. It was such a pleasure watching Tom and Rudy run around the backyard; kickin' up snow as they raced around like 4-legged offroad vehicles.

Of course as soon as I walked out onto the porch with my camera both dogs stopped running around like dervishes and came to greet me. The only way to get them moving again was for Pat and Holly to throw a Frisbee ... here's a flash video of the result.

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First Christmas in our New Home

(Posted 12/27/2009) - We are celebrating our first Christmas in the new house (we moved in late January of this year). Holly, Matt, and Rudy came over Christmas Eve and we all enjoyed home-baked Sugar Cookies and Gingerbread Cookies (along with pizza and pasta).

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Two Birthdays in Casey

(Posted 11/11/2009) - Pat and I drove down to Casey last week to celebrate her 61st and my mom's 90th birthdays (Nov 5th and 7th respectively). It was a lovely bright, warm weekend. We got my cousin Lisa (once removed) to sit Tom while we all went out to a nice restaurant in Paris, IL Friday night.

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Jack Goes to His New Family

(Posted 07/27/09) - Jack the 14 week old Labrador has now moved to his permanent family. We fostered Jack (Hoover) with our Tom Bombadil until his 'pack' was ready to receive him.

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Sean, Anju, and Aanya Visit Us in Glen Ellyn

(Posted 7/2/2009) - Last Sunday Sean and his family were in town visiting his dad. They stopped by for a few hours to see our new home and meet the puppies. Jon got to meet Aanya, Sean and Anju's 10-month old daughter. She got to meet the pups who fell in love and wanted nothing more than to lick her all over (though they were constrained from this endeavor to some degree by Jon). Aanya loved the dogs and was very calm with them, while obviously enjoying their attentions.

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Pups at 10 Weeks - Going Strong

(Posted 6/24/09) - Pat and I have been babysitting 24/7 for over 4 weeks now. The puppies have more than doubled in size and are able to run almost as fast as us. I've been taking them walking every morning at Lambert Lake, a shaded, tree encircled 3-acre pond less than a mile from our home. I take them off leash and walk around the pond. They have also learned to walk behind us on their leashes -- so it is actually fun to take them out around the neighborhood when it isn't too hot.

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New Pups in the Wallace House

(Posted 5/26/09) - We visited the Whistling Winds Farm in Russellville Indiana on Sunday to look at some 5+ week old black Lab puppies. We found two we really liked and bought them both! We are fostering one of the puppies until the end of July, when he will move in with his permanent family (friends of Pat's who asked us to find them a dog).

So, we now have the equivalent of two babies in the house. We have been tag-teaming the night shift, since really young pups operate on 2-3 hour cycles of sleeping, waking, pooping, drinking and eating, then running around.

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The Passing of Strider the Wonder Dog

Posted 4/13/2009 - Our beloved faithful companion and friend Strider died on Easter Sunday at Village Green Park after an afternoon session of 3-way Frisbee with Pat and I. We had just completed our activity and were leaving the park when Strider stumbled and could not rise. I cradled his head as he closed his eyes and took several last breaths before he lost consciousness, dying of an apparant stroke in about 2 minutes. He showed no signs of pain or fear and was with his family when he passed.

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Rudy the Dog Moves in with Matt and Holly

(Posted 3/22/2009) - Matt and Holly have adopted a one year old Lab-Beagle mix named Rudy and the new pack seems to be doing very well.

On their way back from picking up Rudy at a kennel in Kankakee Matt and Holly stopped by to introduce us to their new family member. Rudy met his 'uncle' Strider and enjoyed his first visit to Glen Ellyn's Village Green Park. He possess some strong retriever genes because he likes playing Frisbee and catches a ball quite well (though the release part still needs a little work).

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Living in Our New Home

(Posted 01/31/09) - We began living in our new home January 16th, 2009. We completed moving out of our apartment Tuesday the 27th. At this point we have only a storage bin (10x15') in Naperville to clean out and we will have all our belongings under one roof again!

It's great to be home again -- if you'd like to read about our saga (7 months from tear-down of our old home to moving into our new home) click here. Our project journal documents every phase of our new home's creation -- along with lots of in-progress photos.

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Thanksgiving at Matt and Holly's Home

(Posted 12/05/08) - Matt and Holly hosted this year's Thanksgiving celebration at their new home in Roscoe Village. Holly's folks (Jeral and Betty) drove up early in the week and were integral in helping prepare the delicious meal we all enjoyed.

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Matt and Holly Buy a Condo in Chicago!

(Posted 10/16/08) - Matt and Holly moved into their new home Wednesday, the 8th. The 3-bedroom, 2-bath unit is new construction in Roscoe Village(on Belmont).

Matt and Holly (along with help from Pat Wallace and Jeral Blair) managed to drive 2 cars and a 24-foot moving van from Dallas to Chicago. They left Monday night and got in to Chicago Tuesday evening.

After Matt closed on the Condo Wednesday morning, Jon, Pat, Jeral, and four helpers from the Leslie Car Wash moved them into their new digs.

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Kathy Visits Us in Glen Ellyn

(Posted 03/17/2008) - Kathy flew in Monday the 10th from Seattle for a short visit. We drove down to visit my mother in Casey that afternoon, returning to Glen Ellyn Wednesday afternoon.

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Christmas Tidings from the Wallaces - 2007

(Posted 12/28/2007) - Matt flew in the Friday before Christmas and stayed through the 27th. Kathy and Nate flew in on the 26th after visiting Nate's family in Connecticut. We all had a nice Boxing Day Christmas Dinner at Outback SteakHouse, then did a near Midnight gift opening.

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Jon and Pat Do Texas

(posted 11/20/07)- We drove to Dallas Texas to visit Matt and Holly last week. The weather was great the whole four days we visited. The Uptown neighborhood where they live is a wonderful area with great stores, restaurants, pubs, and tree-lined streets that make walking a pleasure. We very much enjoyed seeing their city.

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Matt Wallace's Sports Blog -

(Posted 09/26/07) - After publishing an American sports oriented webzine titled Knuckleballers for 6 months in the fall of 2005 Matt Wallace and his fellow 20's something co-contributers fell prey to the demands of their day jobs. Knuckleballers languished with no new content being submitted. Matt removed the web-content (about 40 articles) in mid-2007.

I'm happy to announce that he and fellow writer Dan Wiederer have decided to enter the web-log scene and have begun offering their views on sports at

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Kathy Wallace Feature Article Published in Seattle's Dlist Magazine

(Posted 7/1/2007) - Kathy has found her way into print again as a featured columnist in the June publication of Seattle's Dlist Magazine.

Her two page reflection on the trendy "energy drink" known as Red Bull and its lifestyle implications are worth a read!

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Canon Digital Rebel XT DLSR Camera: Why I'm Very Happy With This Camera

(Posted 5/13/2007) - I recently decided it was time to replace my film SLR camera with a Digital SLR. I've owned a digital fixed-lense zoom camera (Kodak DX7590) which has SLR like features for about 4 years and love its photo-quality. But it suffers from shutter-lag, between shot processing delay, and an inability to swap lenses (every lense brings its own personality to a photographic scene).

I researched all the major DSLR brands (Canon, Fuji, Nikon, Minolta-Sony, Olympus, and Pentax-Samsung) and each has feature sets, lense combinations, and pricing that make them viable candidates. In the end it was the collection of SLR lenses that I'd purchased for my Nikon SLR, and the particular characteristics of the Canon lense mount that determined my choice.

Read on for this photographer's take on the joys of reusing your old lenses with a new digital SLR body.

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Christmas Holidays Wind Down -- The Wallace Kids Return to Seattle and Dallas

(Posted 12/28/2006) - We all got together and enjoyed a nice 4-day visit this year. Matt flew in from Dallas on Saturday before Christmas and Kathy and her significant other (Nate) flew in from Seattle on Christmas Day.

The kids flew home today after a bustling pleasant reunion.

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Kathleen Wallace Story on Finn McCool's Published in Playboy Magazine

(Posted 11/14/2006) - Kathy received her first paycheck as a writer this month, from none other than Playboy Magazine. Her piece about Seattle's Finn McCool's was published in the magazine's College Bar of the Month column.

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The Wallaces Fly 3700 Miles to Take in a Play

(Posted 9/25/2006) - Jon and Pat Wallace enjoyed an evening at the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre in Stratford upon the Avon on the 19th of this month.

We watched as the RSC performed The Tempest. The wizard Prospero was played by Patrick Stewart of Star Trek fame.

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A Visit to Kat in Seattle

(Posted 6/23/2006) - Installation of a Wireless Router, Photo-Printer, and Webcam were the perfect excuse to visit Kathy in Seattle, Washington this week.

I found Seattle a wonderful city with lots to see and do. The weather was ideal, sunny and in the mid-70's during the daytime, dropping into the high 50's at night.

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The Wallaces in Austin Texas

(Posted 05/24/06) - Pat and Jon visited Matt in Austin Texas to celebrate his graduation last Friday. Matt Wallace graduated from University of Texas' McComb's School of Business, receiving an MBA!

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Video Chat Comes to the Wallace Family

(Posted 4/18/06) - The Wallaces (Glen Ellyn and Casey) now have Video Chat capability! Over Easter Weekend we installed a Web-Cam and a freeware Video Chat service (CQPhone) on Jan Wallace's Computer.

We are now able to call anytime between the Wallaces in Glen Ellyn, and Jan Wallace in Casey and connect into a full-duplex voice and 30 fps video chat with each other. And it doesn't cost a dime! We both have broadband service that supports TCP/UDP signaling point to point.

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Jan Wallace Connects to MediaCom Broadband Data

(Posted 3/8/2006) - After 6 years of dial-up service Jan has moved to broadband. Her cable television provider, MediaCom began offering $43/month broadband data (3.8mb/s) this year.

Read on to get the particulars of one customer's journey to high-speed internet access.

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Rose Anderson Passes Away Febuary 6, 2006

(Posted 2/8/2006) - After she was diagnosed with acute kidney failure at age 83, already suffering from a chronic heart congestion condition, Rose chose in home Hospice care and settled in to die.

It took about a week. During that time we saw an amazing thing: Hospice nurses, aides, and administrative staff made the last days of life painless, dignified, and were filled with obvious love for humanity. If you are unfamiliar with Hospice Care, read on to hear one family's viewpoint.

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Rose Anderson Chooses Home Hospice Care

(posted 2/4/2006)- Pat's mother, Rose, has recently experienced severe kidney failure. Since she also has a chronic congestive heart condition she chose not to undergo extensive dialysis sessions in an attempt to squeeze a few more months out living in the hospital.

Rose has opted for paliative treatment (for pain only) using Medicare Hospice services at home. We give thanks for the safety-net of services our society currently provides to patients who would die with dignity.

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Jon and Pat Drive to Pittsburgh to See the London Globe Theatre Group production of Measure for Measure

(posted 12/20/2005) - The Wallaces enjoyed an evening in Pittsburgh, PA watching the last showing of the London Globe Theatre Group's production of "Measure for Measeure."

We left Sunday morning and drove the 480 miles from Chicago to Pittsburgh with only a stop for a mid-day meal and gas. After checking into the downtown Westin, and eating dinner, we were off to the new O'reilly Theatre in the midst of Pittsburgh's busy Cultural District -- a short walk from the hotel.

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Matt Wallace Has Opened an Online Sports Web'Zine

(posted 10/3/2005) - Matt has embarked on a side-career as a sports column editor and writer! He and 7 of his old college friends have opened a Chicago Sports centric web'zine.

They publish weekly commentary, humor, sports betting lines, and late 20's something angst as it relates to professional and college sports.

Much of the subject matter is Chicago Teams directed, even as the contributing staff have fled to the east coast and beyond.

If you like the site don't forget to add it your favorites (bookmarks for non-IE browser users) and revisit often. Just click on the image to the left to visit.

It is a fast changing, hard-hitting website: never wanting for opinions expressed with passion. Note that there is an "archives" page where you can catch up on all the featured articles or just browse the stories by writer.

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Pat Buys a New Ford Focus

(posted 7/18/05) - Jon and Pat visited their local Ford Dealer, Packey Webb, and took advantage of the Ford Family Plan and Factory Rebates to purchase a 2005 Focus SES today.

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Jan Wallace Diagnosed with Gastric Ulcer

(posted 06/28/2005) - A Gastroscopy determined that Janice Wallace is suffering from two mild gastric ulcers, which account for the elevated C-reactive protein levels (inflammation indicator) in her blood serum.

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Janice Wallace Goes on a High Caloric Diet

(posted 6/15/2005) - My mother has been feeling very poorly since May 16th. She was admitted to hospital for dehydration and severe pain and nausea twice in May. After a number of tests (blood, CT-scans, biopsy of temporal artery, echocardiogram) found no positive indications of disease, she was advised to go on a high protein/carbohydrate diet intended to replace the 15 pounds she lost in the last month.

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Matt Takes a Summer Internship in Austin, TX

(posted 6/1/2005) - Matt has taken summer internship with Motive Communications, Inc. in Austin, Texas. Motive provides Internet and LAN management services.

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Kathy Wallace Working at CowGirls, Inc. in Seattle, WA

(posted 4/10/2005) - Kathy tried out for an opening as choreographer for the CowGirls, Inc. dancers in Seattle and was offered a job. The position also requires that she train to become a bartender.

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Rose Anderson Moves Back Into Beacon Hill Apartment

(posted 3/16/2005) - Rose Anderson completed her post-surgical recovery at the BH Health Center today, and is moving back into her Beacon Hill Apartment.

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Kathy Wallace - Living and Working in Seattle Washington

(posted 12/17/2004) - Kathy has taken a job working for an AFL-CIO/PAC in Seattle, doing both clerical and field canvassing work for the organization. She moved to Seattle, with two friends in November; and finds the city very much to her liking.

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Kathy Wallace Moving To Seattle, WA

(posted 11/4/2004) - Kathy and two friends have loaded up their belongings in a U-haul and are driving to Seattle, Wa today. They've rented a 3-bedroom house in the outskirts of the city and will be driving there over the next 3 days.

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Matt Moves to Austin Texas to Attend UT McCombs Graduate Business School

(Posted 8/8/2004) - Matt Wallace moved from his Chicago Apartment in WrigleyVille to the Savannah Apartments north of downtown Austin Texas this week.

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Great Time in the UK -- but Good to Be Home!

(posted 5/30/2004) - Jon and Pat have returned from a 10-day vacation in the UK. They visited London, Edinburgh, Stirling, Inverness, and toured the high-lands around Glencoe.

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Matt's 26th Birthday Celebration Held at Chicago's ChinaLite Restaurant

(Posted 5/01/2004) - Matt Wallace turned 26 on April 28th. He and the family got together at ChinaLite (in WrigleyVille) this weekend to celebrate.

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Matt Wallace Accepted to University of Texas School of Business

(Posted 4/1/04)-Matt Wallace has been accepted to the University of Texas at Austin's 2-year MBA program. Matt will be attending UT McCombs School of Business starting this fall.

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Jon, Pat, and Strider Drive to Show Low Arizona

(Posted 5/29/2003) - Pat, Strider, and I decided we needed some adventure in our lives, so we packed up my mom's Ford Focus and lit out for a little cabin in the White Mountains of Arizona on May 21st.

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Shooting the Moon -- with a Digital Camera Connected to a Telescope

(Posted 4/15/2003) - Now that the weather is warm I decided to try out my telescope coupled to my digital camera. Yesterday after dinner I packed up my scope, tripod, and camera and drove over to Lambert Lake (just a few blocks from where we live). Here are some pictures I took which I think bode well for future outings.

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Pat Gives Up Smoking After 38 Years of 2-Packs a Day!

(Posted 2/13/2003) - Pat has stopped smoking for the first time in 38 years! She has now passed through 43 days without a ciggie. I think it is worth sharing both her philosopy, and her methodology for smoke cessation.

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Used Car Owner Blues - or How I Learned to Live Out of Warrantee

(Posted 1/12/2003) - Here's proof that a pensioner's life isn't all about clipping coupons and smelling roses. The '86 Sprint I inherited when my mom wisely went upscale with a snazzy 2002 Focus ZX3, finally acted its age. The symptom: No go between idle and about 2000 RPM. This kind of a flat-spot puts you at the side of the road if your car has an automatic transmission; but luckily the Sprint is equiped with a manual transmission.

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Jon and Pat Celebrate 30th Wedding Anniversary at Greek Isle Restaurant

(posted 7/22/2002)- Pat and Jon celebrated their 30th Wedding Anniversary one day early (on Sunday 7/21), so that they could get together with Pat's mom, Rose; and their kids (Matt and Kathy). Their children each brought their significant others (Terese and Derek), so there was a very nice group for this special celebration. They ate a leisurely, delicious meal at the Greek Isle restuarant -- where these photos were taken by Kathy.

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Pat and Kathy Bond in Britain for Two Weeks!

(Posted 5/30/2002) - Pat and Kathy have just returned from two weeks in the British Isles. They split their time between England and Scotland. I know they were actually there because between them they took over 400 pictures. Kathy loved Edinburgh, and partied mightily (as in all through the night)

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Jon and Matt Back from Great Golf Vacation in Florida!

(Posted 4/16/2002) - Matt and I just got back from Ft. Lauderdale. Pat made our flight reservations on Spirit Airlines, whose prices were quite reasonable ($200 round trip each). The other advantage was that Spirit's gates are at the O'hare International terminal, so the delay getting checked in was actually less than at the larger domestic carrier's gates.

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Jon and Kathy Climbing the Walls (In Naperville)

(Posted 1-26-2002) -Bought indoor rock-climbing passes at a Naperville health club. Kathy and I have gone 3 times and it is an incredible workout. We use auto-belays so we can't easily tumble (the rope will automatically go taut if you fall, sorta like a seat belt).

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