Monday, August 31, 2009

Creating Order

Progress on unpacking after getting the new carpeting laid is slower than I would like, but progress is being made. My punching bag is up for the first time in two years!! Yay for me! Unfortunately, I have exactly two months to use it before I won't be able to use it for 6 months. Doh!

LL is moving and so she's dealing with the same type of packing/unpacking issues but on a much larger scale. We've both found that it's amazing how much crap we each have and how much we each can get rid of and not even miss. Most of my stuff-to-be-removed was buried in a large bookcase. So it feels kind of good to reorganize stuff and clean out some crap.

Did you see the "Little" Leaguers from Chula Vista CA beat the Taiwanese kids this weekend? Apparently we had never scored more than 3 runs against a Taiwanese team in the Little League World Series. They won 6-3. By the way, I put Little in quotes because one kid on the Chula Vista team was 5' 11" and 213. That's bigger than me!! The kid was hitting the lights some 125' up and 225' away. Just towering shots. At least he's on the U.S. team!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Free Day??

Saturday was a one day tournament in Rockford in which we finished third out of seven teams, not good, but it's all we needed to do to finish first in the State in NSA (National Softball Association) points. For this team I only play semi-regularly, but I enjoy it and hanging out with the guys as much as my USSSA team (many people overlap). Unfortunately, after going 2-4 with a triple in the first game and not getting a ball hit to me at third, I went 0-5 in the next two games, though I did turn two double plays on defense and made a nice diving stab of another ball. Still, going 1-2 wasn't good, though we lost the last game in extra innings 13-12. Close.

The most interesting pictures from Saturday:

A useful sign, no? Everyone needs to know where the parking lot is located especially in a big complex.

Unfortunately, if you put the sign right next to the parking lot, it's a little less valuable. Doh!

So Sunday was a free day for me. Though I planned on sleeping in, I was up at 7! Crazy. With the day free, I finally hooked up my DVD player to my receiver so I can watch movies with sound. Some complexities were involved after having to take everything apart for the new carpet.

Along those lines, I continued unpacking stuff I had to move and determining what could be taken to my parents for them to sell at a garage sale or for donation. Hitting the gym was on my agenda and it was a nice workout today. Interestingly, except for doing pullups, which I haven't really been able to do all year due to my shoulder injury, most of my workout routine is still in tact. I'm going to miss it a ton after my surgery. Ugh.

On Thursday I went to Staples to buy a mat for underneath my chair at my home computer. While I was there, I ran into this end of aisle display. Odd. I really didn't expect to see something like this at an office supply store.

And I was REALLY surprised to see that they were selling Bumpits, which is possibly the worst commercial and product on television. You put these in your hair to create artificial volume in the back. Basically it transforms you into an 80's Dynasty actress or a really bad 90's porn star. Either way, not a look anyone should be rocking.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just a working man on Friday

Though I don't work 40 hours a week usually, I find myself being fairly busy when I'm trying to plan dinners and golf outings. July, if you recall, was ridiculous with travel and such. Ricardo and I couldn't get together with our significant others any night in August at all!

Why is a semi-retired guy so busy?

Softball of course is partially the answer. One night a week and then at least every other weekend rules out four days out of seven. With Monday, Wednesday and Thursday though, I should still have availability to plan dinners and things. The truth is people avoid Monday's as a going out night so I'm really down to two nights. Thursdays can be taken up with golf (with Bill the Bear and Smitty) and the periodic preseason Bears game. Throw in a fantasy football draft, Cubs game, Sox game, dinner reservations with LL and there aren't many free days left!

At least it isn't always work taking up my time though. Today however, I spent most of the day at the office. Fortunately that's not common. :-)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rainy Thursday

Busy work day, lots of rain, so I'm expecting to be stuck in traffic a good chunk of the day. Ugh. Well, at least it will end before dinner, which is nice.

Hope you're staying dry in your hood!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Busy Wednesday

My day Wednesday is going to be very busy starting with a breakfast meeting and ending with a networking wine/dinner event.

So only one story to relate today. The other week DirecTv sent me a coupon for a free movie for having been such a loyal customer (about a decade I figure). Not much, but it's something. So LL and I selected a movie that DirecTv was offering, The International I believe. Then all I had to do was to send the coupon into them with the movie I want credited. Fine. My bill came the other day: charge for $5.99, credit for $4.99. What? Why am I being charged a buck? Time to get on the horn and call up DirecTv.

Turns out that we watched the movie in high definition and the coupon was only good for a standard definition movie. Really? WTF? That's unbelievable. Needless to say I told the customer service person more than she wanted to hear about how ridiculous that policy was and about "small print" and lack of loyalty to the customer. I definitely got my dollar's worth.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Late and painful entry

Sorry for missing my post last night. After a happy hour business meeting (it really was!), T-Rex Tim and I had some light food and a beer. It was late and I was pretty exhausted due to a solid workout in the afternoon. It's always good to hook up with T-Rex and it doesn't happen enough, though I did just get to see him on Friday at my golf outing, so I shouldn't complain.

My doctor from the University of Chicago called me yesterday to discuss the results of my recent shoulder MRI. Turns out that I have a tear in both my rotator cuff and my labrum, not good. On the positive side, I've been playing with it all year, though the cortisone shot helped me mask the pain for three months. So now I have some decisions to make on surgery, basically when.

If ibuprofen gets me through the tournament this weekend, I'll use that for the next two months as needed. If not, we'll go with another cortisone shot. It's not great to have a cortisone shot in an area that's getting operated on in the next three months as it can hinder the healing a process a bit.

The healing process is going to be quite an issue for me. With just the labrum tear, the recovery time is relatively short. With a rotator tear, you can't throw for six months!!! Six months!!! Ughhhhh!!! For the first six weeks, your arm is in a sling. After that period, you can start rehab. Since my physical therapy sessions covered by insurance are all used up this year, my surgery should be within the last six weeks of the end of year, which means I can start throwing in May/June, which actually works out ok since I don't like playing in the cold weather anyway.

That six weeks in a sling though KILLS my tailgating potential. I'd be solely dependent on my guests loading the car and setting up. Plus there's a football game on Thanksgiving morning that I'd like to play in. So I'm thinking my surgery will either be the second week of November or the week after Thanksgiving. Question is which to choose. Since I won't be able to throw for six months, I'm leaning torwards waiting until after Thanksgiving, but that would mean my arm would be in a sling for three Bears home games and one away game that I would attend in Detroit, not to mention Joisey Ken's visit at the end of December. If I go under the knife two weeks before Thanksgiving, I'll still miss three home games, but the sling will be gone by Christmas. Ohhhh, decisions.

Some flowers on my street that I couldn't resist snapping a picture of:

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Bears Weekend

Friday was the last day of a three day golf week for me. The culmination was Family Rescue's 12th annual golf outing. As the six time defending champ, it's an event that my foursome looks forward to every year. Family Rescue is a great charity that assists women and their children escape from and break the cycle of abuse.

Attendance was down a bit, but there were still 70 golfers I think. Here's a picture of the ballroom we met in after the outing. For some reason, I forgot to take a picture of my foursome. Crap.

Unfortunately we fell one shot short this year at -19 as another team came in at -20. On our last hole, I had a put stop literally one inch short which would have put us at -20. Soooo close. Damnit!

Saturday brought the first preseason game of the year. It was a 7:00 game and the parking lot opened at 3. It seems like 4 hours might have been a long first tailgate, so we got there closer to 4:00, though we were shooting for 3:30. As it turns out, even three hours was too long! Oh the hangover I had today!!

View from the seat: Bears vs. Giants!

The first tailgate crew of the year. LL, Sausage, E Money, Pope, Benny Baseball, Bourbannais Courtney, Cousin Dime, Sara and Blind Mender is kneeling....on his way to passing out.

And who does this look like? LL and I both thought we had seen a ghost. She's a friend of Benny Baseball's date.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

New Carpet....what a hassle!!

First off, it was Ricardo's birthday on Wednesday. I'm not sure how old he is, but let's just say he thought the invention of dirt was a great idea. If you recall, several months ago I went to a flea market outside Soldier Field and bought someone a birthday gift. That someone was Ricardo!

Here's Ricardo with his framed, autographed pictures. If you look, you can see Roy Clark in the middle (from Hee Haw), Lou Ferigno as The Hulk, and the woman who played Marilyn Munster posing in front of the Munster Mobile.

And yes, they were all autographed to Rich! Turns out this guy at the flea market was selling his brothers pictures for him and his brother was named Rich. The idea hit me immediately: find the three craziest photos as a collective that he had, frame them and give them to Ricardo for his birthday. The Roy Clark photo is just disturbing.

Happy birthday Ricardo!!!

Two years ago my basement flooded for the third time and I had to throw out a large part of my carpet, not fully realizing what it meant. So here I am, two years later and I didn't have carpet downstairs until today.

Wow, what an ordeal getting carpet is! First, you have to move everything out of the room where they want to lay the carpet. They don't really have that cool magic carpet they show at the end of their commercials. That meant boxing up all the books and videos on my book shelves and gathering loose items. Then you have to move the electronics....ugh.

If you've been to my downstairs living area, you know that I have my tv, dvd, vcr, receiver, cd player, surround sound speakers and DirecTv box all hooked up. That's a lot of wires running around. My computer has just as many if not more with lights, a camera, also surround sound speakers, a printer/fax, external hard drive, keyboard, mouse and dsl box. Not to mention my phone! So there was a lot of coordination involved in taking everything apart and then putting it back together. It took me 10 minutes just to figure out how to turn the tv on again!!!

Now for the carpet pictures:

The green cement floor that was exposed while the carpet was torn up for the last two years. You can see it goes back to the back bedroom.

The stairs leading downstairs needed new carpeting too. These pictures show the carpet stripped off. Unfortunately they didn't finish the stairs today, so I only have "before" pictures.

The old carpet where the television used to be. The cut in the carpet was from a repair to the cement I had to make.

And how it looks now.

The new carpet!!

The back room is even carpeted again!

The carpet looks whiter in the pictures than it really is. Onward and upward to the next project!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pictures from golfing

Tuesday I headed to TPC at Deere Run in Silvis, IL just outside the Quad Cities. It's a bit of a drive, so we try to play 27 holes, but the schedule at the course didn't allow for it unfortunately. My golfing buddy was Principal Chris, who heads a junior high in the burbs. He grew up in the QC so he knows the area pretty well.

The entrance....

The big bronze Deere and the first hole. The weather was pretty nice most of the day, but it was overcast to start.

Each hole has a placard that tells a little story about that hole, the area of the country, the city or the course in general. They are interesting to read. The 14th hole has my favorite which talks about how the slogan "Nothing runs like a Deere" came about.

This is the rib place we go whenever we play Deere Run. Jim's Rib Haven. Yum!

Half the food!!

Chris going to town and my carnage.....sooooo goood.

After a good meal, we have to have dessert!! Whitey's is THE place in the area for ice cream.

Inside Whitey's.

Sometimes we also go to the pizza place in this picture. They sell pies that are half cooked so you can finish cooking them at home. Good stuff. We were too full to go back for pizza.

It was a fun trip and Principal Chris is good company for such a trip. The food was delicious!!

New carpeting comes on Thursday morning!!! A busy day!!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Golf, Day One

Though the weather threatened to end our golfing day before it began, the charity golf outing I attended today went off without a hitch. Both charity golf outings that I'm in this week have decreased attendance, which is unfortunate, but expected. One of the sponsors of today's event is a good buddy of mine and he said his business is down close to 50% this year. Things are just incredibly slow.

The charity spokesperson said he expects next year to be really bad for the charity (Chicago Youth Programs, an organization that tutors inner city youth after school and keeps them coming back, 85% of them at least, year after year until they graduate high school). Several of their programs have already been cut by the government (State), but they are still hopeful to provide the same quality in their primary tutoring services as they have for the last 25 years.

Our group shot ok and I shot fairly well actually, though I didn't putt well (again!). We had fun though and I did win a closest to the pin contest (about 4 feet from 210 yards away) which earned me a free round of golf anytime on that course (sweet!).

Tuesday it's up at'em early as I head to principal Chris' house and then drive to Silvis Illinois near the Quad Cities. Should be a fun day!!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Another poor softball weekend

It was another lousy softball weekend for the Brewdogs. We were down a few people, but mostly just booted the ball around the field and then hit like wussies. Not good. That's three 0-2 tournaments in a row. We need to get our shit together.

On Monday, I'm golfing in the Chicago Youth Programs charity outing in the burbs at a course called Ruffled Feathers. Good fun. Contractor Mark (with whom I did some work at Morningstar) is sponsoring the foursome.

On Tuesday, it's another golf outing, this time with principal Chris. We're going to the Quad cities, or near them at least, to play the TPC at Deere Run. Nice course and it should be fun. Apparently the last time he and I hooked up for this trip might have been August of 2006, just before I started my blog. Since a search of my blog returned no references to the course, I must not have gone the last two years. So I'll provide a bunch of photos!!

Thursday I get my new carpeting! Finally!! Two years since the flood that caused me to tear it all up.

Friday is another charity golf outing, this time it's mine though: Family Rescue. Very excited to defend my foursome's six consecutive championships. Here's to number seven!!!

And speaking of golf, Tiger Woods lost his first major tournament after leading or co-leading after 54 holes. He had a two stroke lead to start the day and ended up losing by three strokes, though once Yang, the winner, birdied 18 to go up two, Tiger couldn't tie and missed his putt to go down by three. The shot of the day for Yang was an eagle chip-in on the par four 14th to take a one stroke lead over Tiger, which he nursed until expanding it on the 18th.

Let's hope the weather holds up!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Taste the Nation? Why yes, thank you.

Tonight, LL and I attended a foodie event called Taste of the Nation. It was great fun with great food from great restaurants. Don't worry ESDNM, I got lots of business cards. Sepia might be a place to go (just south of Randolph on Jefferson). In addition to all the great food, many mixologists were there distributing their wares. Fortunately for me, Goose Island was there with both Matilda and Pere Jacques. Fine, fine beer. To top it all off, the second floor was full of desserts. Oh my was that good.

I didn't bring my phone, but I couldn't have taken pictures that did the dishes any justice anyway. Let's just say, it was a gastronomic success!!! Thanks LL for getting the tickets!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

August Birthdays

Birthdays are not evenly distributed throughout the year. More birthdays fall in August than any other month. Why? Count back 9 months. Couples are getting busy during the cold holidays. Good for them. The other day I heard this discussion and then today I saw on my Facebook page this long list of people I have friended on FB who have birthdays coming up. Wow. It's like seven people between now and Friday.

Yesterday I was also reading Stef's blog about her pregnancy and it made me think about all of the 7-9 month pregnant women I've seen around town in the summer who are just absolutely miserable because of the heat. If they are miserable, I'm betting their husbands are pretty miserable too. Me thinks I'll take extra precautions during the holidays when looking to have a kid.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cubs Skybox

Tonight I was able to attend the Cubs game against Philly (we lost) and got to sit in a skybox. Though I live about six blocks away from Wrigley, I've never watched a game from a skybox there. I've sat right behind home plate in the first row and across the street on a rooftop and just about everywhere in between, but never a skybox.

In fact, I've sat in skyboxes in five stadiums here in Chicago, including two that have been torn down! That list includes: Soldier Field (Bears), Comiskey Park (Sox) and US Cellular Field (Sox), The Chicago Stadium (Black Hawks) and The United Center (Black Hawks). Now I can finally add Wrigley to the list. Oddly enough, my cell phone wouldn't get reception there. If I went down the ramp to the bathroom, I would again get reception. Guess it should be AT&T Field, then I'd get reception in some of the most expensive seats in the place.

Had a 7:00 a.m. meeting at the church this morning and I'm feeling it now. Time for bed!!

Monday, August 10, 2009


This morning I was awakened by a call from my mechanic (Dave) asking what was wrong with my car...other than the fact that it won't start. Well, that's kind of why I dropped it off Dave. But he was great to take the car in and check it out. Turns out, with 98% certainty, the battery was completely shot. He tested the alternator and it was fine, better than fine actually so he was pretty sure that it was just the battery. The battery I had is still under warranty, so I may take it back and have them put another one in just out of spite.

For dinner tonight I made sockeye salmon (coated with some olive oil and pepper), zucchini and yellow squash pan seared also in olive oil and pepper and some rice pilaf. For dessert we had caramelized plantains over ice cream. Yum. The plantain was really, really ripe and it made the difference in the dish. LL brought over a nice bottle of wine (La Crema 2007 pinot noir) to enjoy with dinner. By all accounts the meal was a big success.

This morning I dug four or five boxes out of a bin behind Starbucks and reassembled them at home. I need to start packing stuff up downstairs so it can be moved easily when they install the carpeting next week. After I put everything back,LL will be able to use the boxes when she moves into a new apartment at the end of the month!

Taiwan Flood

Special midday post. If you haven't seen this video about the flood in Taiwan, you need to watch it. LL and I saw this playing on the television at Grealy's Pub on Lawrence, a local dive with a limited beer selection, but right near the entrance to 90.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

What an awful weekend....sort of....

It was not the best of weekends for me. Granted, there was a highlight of dinner with LL at Adesso (the Italian byob around the corner from me) and some good TV watching with her as well. Unfortunately, the time with LL was in the minority. Maybe I should work on changing that circumstance!

The majority of my time was spent on the softball field where our team (playing mostly against competition a level above us), went 0-4 in two tournaments. For my part, I did not hit well and had a chance to win a game on Sunday, but didn't come through. Crap.

As if that wasn't bad enough, after our first loss on Sunday, my car wouldn't start. Every time I stopped the car, it wouldn't start up again without a jump. Fortunately some gents on the team, pictured below, followed me home from Crystal Lake (over an hour away) until I got to Lawrence Avenue, the exit to get to my mechanic. At the top of the ramp, where I had to stop for the light, the car died again. Great. Most of Chicago was behind me on the ramp. Ugh.

Fortunately, a guy two cars back had a tow line and towed my car about 5o yards to a gas station. He was really just a nice guy looking to help someone out. A true good Samaritan. I gave him my business card and told him to call me because I want to send him something as a thank you (he didn't have a card).

Tim, JC and Sausage (right to left) helped push my car into the spot at the gas station and they were the teammates who followed me home to make sure I didn't have any car trouble. They also doubled back to help me out after I had sent them home from the highway thinking I was able to make it the rest of the way without any trouble. Doh! Thanks guys!!! Lovely Laura then drove me back and forth from the mechanic to the gas station, back to the mechanic and then home (oh, and one more trip to the mechanic since I forgot to drop off a key!). Thank you LL!!

So it was a pretty crappy weekend. However, it could have been much worse. While I hit like crap, I did get one hit on Saturday that kept the game from ending early. And I did make some decent plays on defense, but it wasn't a good softball weekend by any stretch. The team didn't get blown out either. Most of the games were pretty close into the late innings and one went into extra innings.

But it could have been much worse for me with the car too. Any of the four times I jumped the car could have failed and I could have been stuck in Crystal Lake. The car could have lost power while on the highway. The power could have cut just a little bit shorter on the ramp and I'm sue I would have hit another car as I rolled backwards down the steep sloping ramp before I could get the brakes (power brakes) to actually engage. Not to mention the good Samaritan who helped me tow my car could have been just another disinterested and annoyed observer. My tammates could have not been there to help. I could have already used my four service calls from AAA a year that I get, but fortunately, this was the fourth (the event in the Keys counted as two I think). And I'm fortunate to know a mechanic with whom I can drop off the car and whom I trust to make repairs.

So yeah, the weekend kind of sucked, but it could have been much worse.

Friday, August 07, 2009

What's going on?

Sometimes I seriously wonder what people are thinking. Young people without a lick of common sense. Maybe it's just that I'm older and know better now.....I don't know. Maybe I'm just dead wrong. Who knows? Clearly I don't.

Two incidents caused me consternation recently. One person I know got their lower lip pierced. Yikes. Not only does it seem really uncomfortable and impractical, but they also have to take the stud out at work and put in a clear one as piercings are not allowed there. Now I'm not sure what they have in there outside of work, but it just seems like not the best decision.

Another person I know just got married, at 23, at city hall, without a full time job and their spouse is on health leave for work. They've been dating for less than a year. Right after they started dating, this person told me they'd be married within a year. Who says that? And then does it?

I don't know. I just don't know what some people are thinking.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Creature Comforts

There are several creature comforts I enjoy that make me feel.......good....and.....relaxed I guess. Today I was able to experience many of them! What a nice day. The morning started off with cereal and blueberries. Cereal is absolutely a comfort food for me. Coffee as well, though with my Meniere's Disease acting up last year, I cut back on how much coffee I actually consume. Later in the day, I hit the gym and had a nice work out: elliptical, weights and some core exercises. A lot of people don't like to work out, but I don't feel right if I miss working out at least once a week.

For dinner I picked up the ultimate comfort food: Gino's East deep dish pizza. Yum!! After picking up the pie, I headed down to LL's and we watched some episodes of The Office from the season 4 disc set that I bought at Carlos' video store sale. If you have a chance to rent these, you should. There are a TON of deleted scenes with EACH episode. Now I'm not just blowing smoke. I've watched 4-5 seasons of Seinfeld dvd's and they have no where near the deleted scenes.

Pizza and The Office on the sofa with LL.....that's a pretty comfortable evening.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Feeling even better today

Another good night's sleep last night has put me most of the way down the path to recovery. Feeling much, much better.

Since half of the gallon of milk I bought is STILL frozen (the shit won't thaw!!), I bought a small container of milk today to get my cereal fix on and use some of those blueberries. Yum!! Thanks for the smoothie recipes. After a trip to the grocery store, I'm going to try some!

On a completely unrelated note, my right shoulder is hurting again. As warned by a few people, the cortisone shot seems to have warn off. It's a bit better (doesn't hurt AS much) but it's still uncomfortable to throw and I don't have the same pop on them. With our big world series events coming up, I contacted my doctor about options. As of now, we're going to go with getting an MRI to see if there is something torn or other structural damage to the shoulder. What happens next could be any number of things: another cortisone shot, possibly a specific rehab exercise or surgery. The latter option wouldn't happen until February, after the Bears season is over. Can you imagine me at a Bears game in 10 degree weather with a sling? My arm would fall off!!! Plus I couldn't work the grill effectively and more than one drunk seat neighbor would definitely high-five me at some point.

So something shoulder related is in my I got that going for me, which is nice.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Blueberry excess

To continue my recent theme of excess, today I ran across 2 pounds of blueberries on sale for $3 or $4, can't remember which, but it was a good deal. So now I have 2 pounds of blueberries to eat!! Let's figure out how:

1. on my cereal. Plenty of use here if the milk I froze ever defrosts (not going to happen at it's current pace).
2. make smoothies. I like this idea, but I need your smoothie recipes and they need to include blueberries of course.
3. though I like blueberry pancakes, I don't remember the last time I made them. Any other uses that you can think of?

Another 8 hours of sleep last night helped me feel much better today. I didn't even take any Benadryl and slept just fine. We had the playoffs in softball for our league night tonight and it was clear that I was still a bit fatigued as my bat speed was pretty slow. That said, I was able to knock in two runs that put us up by 5 in the last inning of the first game. We gave up four runs that inning to win by one. The next game we weren't so lucky and lost to frequent opponent, Amish Mafia, also in the last inning. We finished third in the league and third in the playoffs, which wasn't bad at all.

A few days off and more rest will be very much welcomed!!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Drug induced sleep

After four softball games in southern Illinois heat (though it wasn't too humid) and a five hour drive home yesterday, today was going to be of marginal productivity at best. It failed to live up to even those low standards however.

When I went to bed last night, around midnight since I didn't get home until after 10, I opted to help my cold-like symptoms with some Benadryl.....or nectar of the gods, but in pill form. It worked great for the prescribed 4-6 hours, five hours to be exact. So I woke up around 5:20 and couldn't breathe real well again. Do I take another dose and sleep for another five hours potentially or do I try and fall back asleep on my own? After trying the latter, I opted for the farmer and as predicted, slept until 10:30. Ten hours of drug induced sleep. Wow. For the record, 5:00 p.m. comes around real quick if you don't get showered and have coffee until 11. It also makes it tough to have lunch at noon.

As a result, I'm feeling a bit better, no doubt and am looking forward to another lengthy sleepfest tonight. Hopefully tomorrow I'll feel almost 100%, but we'll see.

Things I'm thankful for:
#128 those who created Benadryl. Thank you!!!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Sick, schmick.

So when I last left you, I was battling a potential cold and had been run down from a week of activity. Not to be daunted, Friday brought a tailgate with good friend Kels and my Mokena friends, Terry and Sandie. Five or so cars lined up outside Lot F before 5 and went in together for the 7:10 game pitting the Sox against the Yankees.

I know what you're thinking: "if you're so sick, how did you make it to a tailgate?" Well, I had the tickets since May, so I basically just sucked it up. Plus, while I had some post nasal drip, I wasn't feeling particularly bad after I got some sleep.

Terry, as usual, was in charge of the grill. It's tough to get a picture of Terry when he ISN'T near a grill. It was a great night for a tailgate and all the food was awesome. Nice job organizing it Kels!!

While at the game, we headed over to Comiskey's brick paver area and LL found my brick fairly quickly. Here it is:

After the Sox took a solid lead, 10-5 after 7, LL and I headed out to the car as I had to get up relatively early and head south to near St. Louis, 5 hours by car, for the South Illiniois State softball tournament (for the NSA organization which we play in sometimes). Though I'm really just a fill-in on this team, I've played in several of their tournaments this year. For instance the team won second place in the North Illinois State tournament in Rockford or Kankakee.....I wasn't there so I'm not sure.

Anyway, the teams first game was at noon, which I wasn't going to make, but we won 13-2 in quick fashion. The next game was scheduled for 6, but a rain delay caused it to be moved to 7 or so with another game not starting until almost 10:30. Though we finished after midnight, we started the tournament 3-0! I contributed little going 0-3 in our first game and then 2-4 in the second. A good night's sleep and some more batting practice would certainly help....right?

Well it did! Though I was still blowing my nose and sneezing periodically, I felt ok. It was just breathing that was an issue as my nose was stuffed. Then, due to the a/c in the room I think, I developed a nose bleed during batting practice. Ugh. No worries. It stopped after about 30-45 minutes and wasn't a problem the rest of the day.

In our first game Sunday morning, we gave up 9 runs in the first inning to a team called Head First and then played them relatively evenly the rest of the game, losing by 10. Damn. Down to the losers bracket for us. We won our next game though which gave us a rematch with Head First in the championship game. We beat them 23-15 I think, which meant we had to play and beat them again to really win (called the "if" game for some reason). They only had one loss as did we, so that's why we had to beat them twice.

The last game was nip and tuck until they scored 7 runs in one inning to go up 12-5. We answered with 6 runs of our own to make it 12-11 and it was close the rest of the way. We were tied at 17 going into the last inning and we put up 2 runs for a 19-17 lead. Unfortunately we couldn't hold them and they scored 3 runs to win 20-19. A close game and gut wrencher to lose. They were good sports though and bought us shots and beer afterwards. Good fun.

So here's our second place trophy. Nice hardware, but the first place trophy is bigger.

A close up of the inscription.

On championship Sunday I had an on base percentage of .800 (12-15), to bring my overall average for the tournament to .635. Guess the rest and bp helped! Still, my nose was running all day and getting some much needed rest tonight is going to be key. We didn't finish until almost 5 and started with batting practice at 9 a.m. Then I had the 5 hour drive back home. I'm beat and now my nose is starting to get chapped from blowing it so much today. Ugh.