Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Busy did that happen?

Today I had a client meeting at 10 and it lasted about two hours. That pushed back lunch a bit, which made the afternoon go by faster than expected and meant dinner time arrived pretty quickly. I'm on a BYOB kick, so I used the search function on Time Out Chicago's website that allows you to search only BYOB restaurants. It was pretty cool!

Ricardo had actually walked by the restaurant which we went to, Bonsoiree, on west Armitage. Take a look at their website and you'll notice the menu is extremely limited. It's not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but the food is almost all made from really fresh ingredients and it is BYOB, with only a $5 corkage fee. One of the chef's and partial owner came out and spoke with us for probably 15 minutes while we talked about everything food. Good times. It's a smaller restaurant too and gave us the feeling of eating at Scylla with chef Stephanie. My dish in fact was very similar to, but not as good as, what I had at Scylla on one occasion.

So the top three chefs are always brought out first when brought in front of the judges on Top Chef 4. Yet the chefs always seem unsure as to why they are being called in front of the judges first. No one seems excited when they get called first. I don't get it. Anyway, the challenge was a bit odd, but everyone at least followed the rules this time. In case you didn't see it, the BCD gals will have a full write up about it soon. The chefs had to cook a balanced, healthy meal for four for under $10. Stephanie was again in the worst three dishes and she mixed peanut butter together with tomatoes somehow over couscous which wasn't cooked well. Her dish was lousy and she probably should have been sent home. I hope she gets her shit together after this terrible recent run.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Your body is a temple.....and so is my church.

Had an interesting day today on the eve of el supremo de NM coming to town. In addition to a lot of work and client prep, I had an outstanding workout with Sadist Joel. Last week I forgot to mention that he tried something new with me where, again about half way through the workout while I was already tired, he had me do a pull-up and then drop and do five "explosive" push-ups (where you have to push your body up and get your hands off the floor...sort of like clap push-ups without the clap). Then he made me do it again. And again. And again. Ten times in all. Tell you what, that was freaking exhausting. Well today he stepped it up a notch and made me do two pull-ups each time and 8-10 explosive push-ups. Somehow I managed to do that five times. This was after he had me do as many pull-ups as I could (and I did more than I ever have!). That was just one 15 minute span of the workout by the way. Let me tell you, I'm a bit tired right now.

My other temple, St. Alphonsus church, is under going renovations. I've contributed a significant amount of money to the renovation fund, so I'm excited to see the changes taking place. I thought you might too, so I snuck in today on my way to work and took pictures! Here they are:

This is one of several vaulted alcoves in the ceiling on either side of the church. The main ceiling was too far away for the pictures to turn out. Click on this picture and you can see the bad color and peeling paint.

This is the alter during the week. The floor has been ripped up completely and new marble is going in.

I see this every week and it reminds me that I hadn't taken pictures of the renovations. Now I have!!!

This is the main part of the church, but all of the pews are removed during the week and then put back into place on by Saturday. Unbelievable the amount of work required to do this.

Here's an alcove in transition to the new colors!! It really looks beautiful.

This is one of the higher parts of the ceiling. My pictures of the unfinished spots were too dark.

This is the ceiling above the alter. It really looks majestic now.

Look at the finished product!! Very nice.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Guitar One Rep

Tonight I started my guitar one repertoire class. I like what the teacher wants us to achieve: get better at the chords we already know, do some different strumming rhythms and maybe learn one or two more chords. It seems doable, though I'm pretty bad at the strumming part.....guess that's why I'm taking the class!

Another winter day in Chicago. I was supposed to go golfing, but the rain and 42 degree weather forced us to reschedule. After being outside for softball all weekend, it was a welcome reprieve.

A late update to a previous entry about me buying more expensive wine. I promised to let you know who was causing me to act in such a way. No, it was not el supremo nor was it Ricardo. It was actually the woman from Glen Ellyn of whom I wrote about on Friday. She used to live in California and knew a fair amount about wine, so it was tough for me to show up for a date with a bottle of $10 Smoking Loon (which I actually like!). When making first impressions, my hands were tied pretty much. If you think that it is silly for some reason or shallow, consider how you would feel about a new date who showed up with Boones Farm or Charles Shaw. It's just a matter of degree at that point.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Late Sunday Reporting

Soooo much to write about with just my softball tournament alone, but I'll try to whittle down the details.

First, the top two teams would qualify for the World Series in Disney (the one we played in last year). Second, there were about 40 teams signed up. Third, the tournament was held in Joliet, about an hour south of me without traffic. Finally, the weather was in the upper 40's and super windy. Not very pleasant to play in.

Well, we were down a few players and played like crap in our first game, so we lost pretty badly. Later in the day we won three games and "won" the right to come back and play at 9 Sunday morning when it was supposed to be colder and rainy. I left Saturday morning at 8:30 and didn't get back home until 10:00 p.m. That's a long freaking day. After only about five hours of good sleep, I was back up and heading to the fields again for a nine a.m. game. Ugh. We lost 7-3 unfortunately after being tied 3-3 in the fifth. We just didn't hit well. We were probably a bit tired.

The other big event this weekend was the NFL draft. A month ago, the General Manager of the Bears, Jerry Angelo, said he was going to focus on good character players in the draft. His definition of "good character" apparently includes: one arrest for possession of ecstasy for one player and two assault convictions for another. Nice character Jerry.....if you're drafting for the Mafia.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Why can't more women act like this??

Many of you know that my last significant relationship basically broke up with me over email, though a phone call followed that evening. That was after 5 months of dating and family introductions, the whole nine yards. Probably less than ideal by anyone's standards. Last night, I had an opposite end of the spectrum experience.

A lovely woman from Glen Ellyn and I had met on eHarmony and have had a few dates including time at each other's homes. Glen Ellyn, for those not familiar with Chicago and it's burbs, is about 45-75 minutes away, depending on traffic. Still, I felt we had a lot in common and that the distance shouldn't be a barrier to a potential relationship. Well, I kind of developed the feeling that she, though 38, wasn't ready for a real committed relationship (at least with me) and knew that our meeting last night was going to be "the talk". She took the train in from GE (her suggestion) and I picked her up there and we went to a bar/grill. Three hours later we parted on friendly terms after having the George Castanza "it's not you, it's me" discussion about half way through the evening. We actually laughed a bit about that as we're both Seinfeld fans. And yes, we still had drinks and fun AFTER we discussed not dating.

Anyway, THAT'S how reasonable adults act, or at least should act. You would think that after only a few dates it would be more acceptable to not take the train in from the burbs and just talk on the phone about it. Pretty much the reverse of what she did and what my last relationship didn't do.

So the dating saga continues!

Softball tournament in Joliet this weekend! Should be a great event and if we win, we'll qualify for a tournament in Disney in September.

Here's a summary of my TC4 viewing from the other night:

Isn't anyone else outraged that Lisa and Antonia just completely ignored the rules of the challenge and got away with it?? If Stephanie would have been sent home, I probably would have hunted down the judges one by one. Talk about getting my blood boiling! What's the point of having these challenges if everyone's given a chicken and you can go make a steak? WTF?? Sure, Steph and Jen's dish wasn't great, but that's partially because the followed the RULES. I'm sure they could have made Duck a L'Orange if they knew they didn't have to follow the rules. Unbelievable. So once again the judges proved how ridiculous they are by choosing the wrong group. Antonia or Lisa or Spike have GOT to go next....and for the next two weeks after that.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Car Karma

Last week, my car was parked in it's usual parking space around the corner and down the street from my condo. Unfortunately on this particular morning, every bird in Chicago decided to take a crap on it. These pictures don't do it justice, but I'll display them anyway.

Before leaving for Myrtle Beach, I vacillated about whether to put my car in my parking spot (and risk so much more crapping) or in front of my condo, where my neighbors could actually watch it. I opted to put it across the street, relatively close to the condo (the closest spot available). Upon my return on Monday, I noticed the car was indeed, gone. Great.

Upon further examination, the residents who lived in the building in front of which I parked, had put up moving signs which means my car was towed Monday morning. Ugh. After several calls to 311, the non-emergency number of the city, I found out my car hadn't been "towed" but "relocated". Huge difference! No ticket and no tow company to deal with. As it turns out, they just moved it around the corner and that was it. Whew! Got lucky there I guess. Good car karma kicking in.

Tuesday was Earth Day. In honor of ED, I took a mug to Starbucks instead of using their cups and creating garbage. Having just returned from Myrtle, I had some errands to run and set the rather wide based mug on the passenger seat as it wouldn't fit into the cup holder. After several stops on my list of errands, I went to grab the now less than half full mug only to find it had tipped over at the last stop light. Arrrrggghhhhh. Coffee all over the seat and soaking in fast. I pulled over, opened the trunk in fruitless search of a towel. My softball bag was there though and I keep a towel in it for hot days. So I grabbed it and started patting down the coffee mess. Much to my surprise, it was coming up and not leaving a stain!!! Whoo-hoo!! Good car karma strikes again!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Missed my graduation discussion

...but no one called me out on it. I'll assume you were just mesmerized by my Muscovy duck pictures.

I was going to write about my guitar class graduation!! Yes we have a graduation class....sort of. We practice our one song and after 45 minutes, we were going to get up in front of ALL OF THE CLASSES on Monday night and perform it on a stage. Yowza. The worst part was that we were going to follow the Flamenco dancers. Great. At least we didn't have to follow the belly dancing class. That would have been death.

Now I need to tell you that the guitar classes on Monday run the gamut: guitar one, one rep, two, two rep, three, three rep (I think) and four. Plus a traditional musical class or two. The auditorium was packed.

So we get up there after the Flamenco dancers get a huge applause. Our song was Walk The Line, by Johnny Cash. We had about 15 people in my class up on stage and had a nice arrangement set up with the song where in one stanza, instead of strumming four beats per measure, we only strummed once for dramatic effect. It was pretty cool actually. Not only did we have to play the song though, we had to sing as well! Fortunately, there are some nice deep parts to the song that I could really belt out (and the teacher expected me too after I made the mistake of sitting next to her during rehearsal).

So we took the stage, were introduced and started into it. We played and sang pretty well and got a huge ovation. It was pretty awesome. Everyone in the auditorium really did remember what it was like to only have played for two months before having to perform. I think it helped that we played a song that everyone knew as well.

Playing a song that I knew personally really helped in playing and practicing. It sort of makes sense that you could play a song a little bit better if you know what it's supposed to sound like. The last few weeks has led me to sign up for Guitar One Rep, the next level of classes. Hopefully I'll be able to practice enough to keep up.

Monday, April 21, 2008

End of Myrtle

Sunday was our last day of golfing and the weather was great again. No Stef, I didn't get tan as I lather up with sunscreen when I golf. In fact, the only place I got sun on was the spot on my noggin just above where my adjustable hat strap is in the back of my hat. Crap. My hair has receded all the way back there!! It's getting closer to shaving my head time!

Here is our Sunday course.

Look at that fairway. I didn't get to see too much of them myself.

Finishing my swing.

Yes it is in a drop area after pulling my tee shot left on a par 3. Ugh.

Joisey Ken on the same par 3. You can see how I could pull my shot into the water.

Ken hitting from the pine needles. He was striking the ball well on Sunday.

Here are Muscovy ducks. Interesting little creatures right on the course!

Right next to the ducks were these awesome flowers.

For dinner, we headed to Five Guys Hamburgers as I had seen the review from the Black Coffee and a Donut gals. I tell you, it was pretty damn good. And the fries.....were abundant.

Joisey Ken looking pretty pleased with himself as we wait for our planes at MB airport.

Myrtle Beach: Mecca to Golfers and Skinny Black Guys

Yeah, I'm not the most PC guy you know, but that's no surprise so I might as well cut out the pretense and just jump in! If you're a plus size white woman and you like skinny black guys, head to Myrtle Beach! I swear, I was there for 30 minutes and saw no fewer than 10 couples with larger white women and skinny black guys. Just an observation. BTW, I saw most of the couples at the mall while waiting for Joisey Ken's flight to arrive.

Also, if you're a woman who is into wealthy older guys, you should hang out at the Myrtle Beach Airport (not that big a place by the way). I haven't seen such a homogeneous group of people in one place since leaving Naperville in the early '80's. The age was easy to tell and so was the wealth: traveling to Myrtle Beach to golf on a Thursday afternoon ain't cheap. The age of these guys was probably 40-70. You could have your pick!!

You've all seen golf bags coming through an airport baggage carousel but now envision every other bag being a golf bag. That's what it was like when I arrived.

So there you go, I'm a matchmaker!!

Look at what greeted me at the MB airport. It's no O'Hare. And look at that sky!!

Zoom in on those trees!

Ken on day one at Burning Ridge. He was in the needles but not OB I think.

Even the moon came out!

Day two at Black Bear. Floppy hat Friday!! It was our only early tee time for the weekend.

Crown Park's club house. Some clouds by noon on day three.

Still a very pretty environment to golf in.

Ken told me to take a picture of this hole because it was so pretty. I did. Then I smacked a drive right down the middle of this par 5.

And hit my second shot to within about two feet. I hit the putt for eagle! Sweet!

More on the rest of the trip tomorrow!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Soon folks, soon!!!

Many golf pictures to come and stories of my trip to Myrtle Beach. Tomorrow morning I travel home though and we're off to grab some grub. Sorry about the blog silence. The weather has been too nice to be hanging out in the room writing a blog!!! Plus, when I am in the room, it takes me most of my time to get through the 40+ emails I've been getting a day. Do I really work this much when I'm at home?? I'm not nearly retired!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Made it to Myrtle.

Quick note on today. Got up at 5, on the plane at 7:40, connected ok, made it to Myrtle on time. Joisey Ken's flight was late though due to some idiot who wouldn't move out of the emergency exit row with his kid. Unbelievable. Since we were behind schedule, we missed out tee time by a half hour and didn't get to finish our round. We did get to play 13 or 14 holes though. Not bad. Good to get some swings in.

Forgot to bring my hook up to download pictures, but I'll get to them on Monday. Sorry!! It's beautiful and warm here though.

Ken and I have already had our first divergent political conversation and have survived. We'll see what tomorrow brings!!!

Oh, real quick, the TC episode was when the Vikings and Joisey Ken were in town!! Unfortunately, I got the flu and couldn't golf or go to the game while he was staying with me, but I had friends fill in admirably (Benny Baseball I believe). I know exactly where the TC folks were set up though and easily could have finagled my way in!! Damnit!!! Another episode where all three losers should have been sent home.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Off I Go to Myrtle!!

So today was a busy day, though technically it's not over yet. After being up late (til 1 or so), I was up at 7 and getting started on the day already. Part of the reason, of course, is my trip tomorrow. Since I have to leave so early, everything has to be packed up before bed.

But there were so many things to do: go to the bank, Block Buster (need movies for the plane), a 2 hour noon meeting with the Red Cross, my training session with Sadist Joel, getting keys to the neighbor, practicing my guitar (we're playing Walk The Line for our final class) and then packing.

In addition, my upstairs neighbor let me know that his buddy was going to come by this weekend to pick up some old bathroom fixtures to take to lower income housing for installation. I guess it's an upgrade to what they have, though I'm not sure if this guy does it for free or not, but I think he does. Anyway, I decided to take out my vanity and set it outside for him. The danger of course, revolves around dealing with plumbing. One screw up and I have a leaking pipe for four days while I'm gone. In retrospect, maybe not the brightest thing to do, but it went ok with just one quick call to Manual Labor Mike.

Here's where the vanity was.

This work I had done over the weekend. In order to remove the beams, I had to saw them in half and then take them out one half at a time. The beams left up have things attached to them which I wasn't up for removing yet. Another time!

I read in the Tribune a calculation of OBP (on base percentage). They say it's (hits+walks+HBP) divided by (at bats+walks+HBP+sac flies). This may be a bit technical for non-sporties, so forgive me, but what are sac flies doing in the denominator? They aren't an official at bat, so I guess they are making sure the hitter is penalized for them. It's interesting because we calculate OBP strictly by how many times you reach base divided by how many times you were up. No adjustments, errors are included on both sides, sac flies hurt's really pure. I say that, in part, because sometimes errors are CAUSED by the hitter. You're a speedster down the line and the other team knows it and it causes them to boot the ball or throw it away. Or maybe you hit it really hard and skips off their glove. Plus there's no judgment in our figures. Were you up to bat? Did you get on base? That's all I want to know!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What price wine?

Today I did something I haven't done in....forever: I bought three bottles of wine and it cost me $100. While $30 a bottle (plus 10% tax) doesn't seem like much (I think) to most wine drinkers, it's about twice what I normally pay. However, two of the bottles were gifts (a Gary Farrell Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and a Bethel Heights Oregon Pinot Noir). The third bottle was for me and was also a Bethel Heights. Though I didn't open either of the two bottles I gifted, the wine I did enjoy was another fine Pinot Noir, though I can't remember the name.

My point to all this being that sometimes you interact with people in your life who cause you to move out of your food routine. You've probably all experienced this at some point if you think about it: your first sushi meal (thanks Haywood and Pat!). First Thai food (thanks Joe Mansueto). First higher end wine? First large cheese sample before dinner?

Well, if I start drinking more expensive wine, I'll know who to blame. Guilty party to be named later.

Busy day scheduled for Wednesday as I prepare for my trip to Myrtle Beach. Lots of work, a Red Cross finance committee meeting, my weekly personal training session, packing, guitar playing and some arrangements to be made. A small price to pay I guess.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Today I was reminded how painfully annoying doing my taxes can be. Mind you, they aren't terribly difficult, especially in this modern age of tax software programs (I use TurboTax), but they are extremely detailed oriented. I often wonder how the average non-financially oriented person actually finishes them. If you have a regular job though, maybe it's not all that tough. Throw in a business, a couple of schedule k-1's, some stock sales, tax free income, a bunch of charitable contributions, a SEP retirement plan, non-deductible IRA's, phased out expenses and next thing you know it's actually a pain. It's nice to be done!

Normally I send off my taxes in October after getting an extension (lower chance of an audit) but this year I mailed them a day early!!

Just had the realization that my flight on Thursday is at 7:40 a.m. Not nuts about that, but we're playing a round of golf in the afternoon so if I want to play golf on the east coast in the afternoon, I'm going to have to sacrifice a little! Poor me. I'm thinking about getting a Blackberry before I leave on my trip! I'll let you know if I do.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taxman cometh

Yeah, I finally sat down and did my taxes on Sunday while watching The Masters and the Cubs game. What a fun day! It was cold, but sunny, down here by the lake while I guess it snowed out in the burbs.

Only three more days until I leave for Myrtle Beach! Very excited about the trip!! And guess what's in the lobby of my resort? That's right, a Starbucks!! How awesome is that?

I did some work on my bathroom yesterday and today, trying to get the 2x4 cross-beams which were used to support the old ceiling. To get them out, according to Manual Labor Mike, I needed to cut them in half first and then work the nails out from either end. It actually worked!!

Next on the agenda for the bathroom is ordering the glass block that is going to go into the window slot that had been walled up. Once I have an E.T.A. on the glass block (to be shipped in one piece), I'll take out the vanity and the wall behind the vanity. Getting closer!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Rainy Saturday

The weather was for shit today. Rained pretty much all day and it was about 42. Raw is the best word to describe it I think.

After having butternut squash gnocchi for dinner Friday night (and a bottle of wine all to myself!), I found myself not hungry at all today until about 3:30 or so. Sort of amazing to me really. I did have my whey protein drink this morning because I worked out yesterday and maybe that tied me over. Around noon I headed out to the burbs to go to speed training with some of the guys on the softball team and on the way I decided to have a Power Bar. We worked out for an hour doing speed and agility drills. It's really pretty cool and we've learned how important form is to running quicker. I'm pondering going back tomorrow for another session.

So no breakfast and really no lunch for me today and I'm feeling fine at this point. Let's see how much I eat for dinner!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

A bit too drunky.... make a legit post. Busy day at work, good workout and then booze....soooo sleepy!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Something I forgot

After drinking 50 ozs of beer last night, trying to write my blog entry might not have been the best thing. I completely forgot this little picture that a friend sent me. Try not to think too hard about it or your head might explode.

Cage free. Fine. Got it. Vegetarian eggs?? Huh? Wha....I just don't even know where to start with that one. So if I'm a vegetarian, I can eat these eggs? Huh? WTF??

Well, as near as I can figure, the chickens laying the eggs only ate grains and such. Now, I'm no rocket scientist, but I don't know many carnivorous chickens. I'm not even sure of the last time I heard of a chicken attacking a dog or a kid or something. They only eat grains right??

Which brings up another issue. If the eggs, a product of chickens, are vegetarian because of what the chickens who layed them eat, and they actually contain the makeup of a chicken in the egg, then aren't you essentially eating a chicken? It's all very confusing.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Drawing a blank today......not sure why.

Writing a blog daily seems like a potentially daunting task. For me, thus far, it really hasn't been. It seems like almost daily there's something interesting (at least to me) to write about. Either it's something that happens to me or that I observe or read about.

Some days however, a whole bunch of nothing seems to happen. Today seemed like one of those days even though I had my personal training session. Work and other things kept me pretty busy during the day and then I was glued to the Cubs game (15 innings) in the evening.

Two things sort of stood out: Pikes Place blend every day at Starbucks and Zoi finally got sent home on Top Chef. Again, they should have sent home Zoi (for the fourth or fifth week in a row) and Spike (for at least the third week). At least this time one judge admitted they should send both of them home.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

ETW? Ex-Trophy Wife.

This evening I received an email from my ex wife, she prefers ETW or ex-trophy wife, with an update on her life. She reads my blog periodically so she always knows what's going on with me. So the big news? Well, our annulment is almost finalized with the church....what 13 years after our divorce?? We only filed a year ago though.

But that's NOT the big news. The big news is that my ETW is getting married again! I'm very happy for her because she truly is a good person and we didn't have a bad marriage at all. We were just very, very young. In case you don't know the story, we were engaged at 21 after dating for three months and then married at 23. Fast and young......maybe not the best combination.

Anyway, ETW and her fiance are getting married at the Presbyterian church on Michigan avenue. I've only seen the church from the outside, but it looks nice! Why Presbyterian and not Catholic if our marriage is getting annulled? Well, her fiance was married previously and did not get his marriage annulled so that rules out a Catholic venue.

All my best ETW!!!

Monday, April 07, 2008

Working 'til 6 means there's less "me" time.

It's Monday and that means guitar well as Joe further displaying his incompetence. As much as I'd love to move on in my guitar lessons to the next level, I just haven't been able to put in enough time practicing. With softball season, golf and dating, my guitar practice time will become less and less. It seems like a smart idea to practice more of what I've learned for 8 weeks than to move on and take on more info. Even today in class, the songs that I learned five weeks ago and have practiced at least a little, are a little more easy to play. I'd like to be able to get some strumming techniques down and even basically keeping a four count measure in my head! There's a lot to focus on: left hand hitting chords, right hand strumming, how many beats?, words to the song and then my eyes trying to figure out what the next chord to play actually is! It's not easy, but I'm going to stick with it.

Jesse Ventura is on The Colbert Report.....the guy strikes me as a nut job. Did he freak out at some point and I missed it? He's living in Mexico, appears to have no teeth and is growing long hair down the back of his head for some reason. Apparently he just wrote a book about starting a revolution. The guy seems a bit off to me. Has anyone else seen him recently?

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Brew Dogs go 10-0!!

What a glorious weekend of weather in Chicago. Today, in the burbs at least, it topped out at almost 70. Nice and sunny too. Good stuff.

Our softball team was playing in a tournament out in Sugar Grove this weekend after winning our first tournament of the year and going 5-0 last weekend. This weekend we repeated the feat! We went 5-0 over the two days to go 10-0 on the season in tournament play.

I don't try to tout my play much, but I'm going to make an exception today. In our first game on Saturday, I went 2 for 4. Nothing to write in a blog about. But then I went 16 out of my next 18 in the last four games and was moved into the lead off spot for the last three games. THAT'S something to write about! After having an on base average of .685 last weekend, my OBA was a robust .818 this weekend. That's pretty freaking good!!

Here's our team pic after the win! The infield was limestone, which is a pretty terrible surface to play infield on. It was in stark contrast to playing on the artificial surface of Crystal Lake the week before which was pretty sweet to play on.

Our fans today!! We had....three wives, three girlfriends, four kids, two dogs and then two guys from our other team come watch us. Quite the crowd!! Everyone shows up for championship least if it's the first warmer day of the year!!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Chant! 1-2-3-4 don't march in my neighborhood any more. 5-6-7-8 seriously, get the F@#$% out of my neighborhood.

After softball today, more on that tomorrow I'm sure, I came home and ordered some Chinese food at around 8:30 or so. I mention the time and all because I was at the fields at 9 a.m. and so I had been gone almost 12 hours and we pretty tired. Soooo, I'm walking to the corner of Halsted and Roscoe to get my food and there's a ruckus in the intersection. That's right, a ruckus.

As I approached the corner though, I saw that it's more than a ruckus but a quasi-organized march. There's about 150 people or so shouting: 1-2-3-4 we won't put up with anti-gay anymore (or something to that effect), 5-6-7-8 we will not assimilate. Just like the Borg!!!

Really? Marching against gay bashers in a predominately gay neighborhood?? Is that really going to have the impact you're looking for? Shouldn't they do it down in the Gold Coast or something? Michigan Avenue maybe? Just seemed kind of stupid. It would be like me leading a march around a softball complex in support of playing outdoor sports. Just kind of useless.

Here's my comment on Top Chef from last week which I posted on another person's blog.

FINALLY a show that I was expecting out of Top Chef. Think about what you want to prepare for a day, shop for the ingredients and then make something outstanding. Even the worst dishes weren't bad, just pedestrian. Nothing WRONG with that, just less good. It's amazing what these folks can do when they don't have transport/wait/and cook for 100. Nice show.

That said, I was a little upset that they sent home Miguel and not Spike. Their reasoning actually led to the conclusion that Spike should be sent home (he was clearly the leader on this meal) but then they flipped it and sent home Miguel. Miguel wasn't going to win and maybe he was wishy-washy on this dish, but if Spike isn't wearing a hat every show, tilted to one side like some sort of 1940's hipster-doofus (no offense Kramer), the producers would have sent him home.

Can't Zoe just be sent home for being retarded??

I thought I had Richard in my lineup but didn't!! Arrrghh.

Thinking ahead!

Lots of forward thinking events to consider. Joisey Ken and I are finalizing plans to go golfing at Myrtle Beach in a few weeks! It's an off weekend for softball and should be really nice weather-wise. Of course, hanging out with the newly engaged Ken is always fun. Plans should be finalized by tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, another softball tournament is on the agenda. This will be my last tournament for three weeks, which is good. I'm not much for playing in the cold, but after my success last weekend, I've been told I'll be hitting leadoff in game one Saturday. The unfortunate thing is that we are playing in Sugar Grove which is butt-far west of everything! Oh well. Traffic shouldn't be bad at 8 a.m.

Not much else to report to you today. I had one of the best burgers ever last night at Kuma's Corner on west Belmont. Great food, atmosphere was just ok.

How far into a relationship do you think I should let a potentially significant other know about my blog? Joisey Ken thought 6 months, but that seems a bit excessive. What do you think?

A long night drinking that's why no post last night. I'll fill in the details later today!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


I failed to mention that one of the teams we beat last weekend in softball took second place in one organizations national championship. Yowza.

So I'm reading Peanuts cartoon the other day and it's one about the start of baseball season. I started thinking, as I tend to do before going to bed, have I ever seen Linus or Schroeder or Snoopy ever make an error in a game?? It's always Lucy missing a ball and Charlie Brown getting his clothes knocked off. What's it been....58 years since the strip started and three players haven't made a single error. Now THAT'S impressive.

This could only happen to the Cubs. I love the sculptor's excuse. And then all of those people who didn't notice the problem....unbelievable.

Took my car into the Stef recommended auto repair shop today. This place is OLD SCHOOL! One guy and an apprentice. One lift. Two bay doors, one on either end of the very small building. An old, dirty office right off the work area. Old license plates on the wall. Parts everywhere. Everything everywhere. Awesome. I dropped it off and described the problem. Thanks to Ricardo for giving me a ride by the way!!

It turns out the owner, who took my captive attention as an opportunity to tell me what is wrong with the city of Chicago, Mayor Daley, new cars and new car repair shops, has been in the business for 40 years. Wow. Anyway, he told me what he thought the problem was and told me he'd call me later.

And guess what? He did! AND he solved my problem! AND he only charged me $40! Why? How? Well, it turns out the problem was some lose screws and some misaligned hood bumpers which made a nasty reverberation sound while the car was in drive. Of course I couldn't tell what the problem was, so this was excellent news. No noise on the way home! Yay for me!! Thanks Stef!!!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Move into cash! Move into cash!! April Fools!

Last week I was watching some business show...I think on CNBC if I'm not mistaken and they had three financial pundits on who all were saying how important it was for investors to move into cash. That was about 500 points ago on the Dow and about a 4% increase. Nice call guys. Thank goodness I don't listen to pundits, but it's unfortunate that a good number of investors do.

The interesting thing about today's move though is that it won't be reflected on anyone's quarter end performance report! I wonder how many mutual funds are going to say in their quarterly letter to their shareholders that "subsequent movements in the market have significantly impacted our annual performance." Take a look for it when you receive your communications over the next few weeks and let me know if you come across any.

Had guitar class last night and I'm NOT doing well. I need to spend more time practicing. At this point, I'm thinking I might repeat Guitar 1. It's not expensive at all and I'd rather get some "mastery" of the basics before forcing myself to move on.

Had another training session with Sadist Joel today. It went fairly well, but I was really exhausted at times during the workout. However, I did do a personal best on the bench press! It's sort of odd to say that though as I wasn't trying to max out what I could lift AND I did it five times AND it was after a bunch of reps at lower weights. So my progression was 12 reps @115 lbs (to warm up), 10 reps @ 155, 10 reps @ 175, 7 reps @ 180 and finally 5 reps @ 185. And that was just the bench pressing! In between those sets, I was holding 20 lbs and then 40 lbs of weight and doing jump-squats where you go into a squat and then explode in a jump and land softly on the balls of your feet into a squat again. Repeat 15 times.....for three sets. I was beat for good reason maybe.....that was just the first half hour.

Happy Birthday to Kleveland Kim!! Her birthday is Wednesday.