Sunday, October 31, 2010

I need more weekends like this

It was a pretty uneventful weekend: no softball, no Bears game, no golf, no traveling. It's kind of nice as I don't have too many of these weekends where I'm just hanging around the house. Friday though we went out to dinner with Ricardo and wife Jodi. On of our favorite places to go, Roll-a-Polooza, a BYOB sushi restaurant around the corner from us was the destination. Afterwards we had a beer at a pub at which a friend of Jodi's worked, but wasn't working this particular night. Then we headed back to our place where we played the Seinfeld version of Scene It, a DVD incorporating board game. Good fun, but tough to play while drunk. It's amazing what you forget after a third bottle of wine.

Because of the third bottle of wine, we took it easy on Saturday. The only thing on the agenda was a trip to my parents where they were having a garage sale with a lot of the stuff we had brought out. Unfortunately, though the weather was warm in the afternoon, the morning was fairly chilly so they closed up shop early. Still, they made over $400!! Whoo-hoo!! Plus we have more stuff for them for their next one.

Sunday was another relaxing day. After I went to church and after LL did some grocery shopping, we continued to put stuff away in the kitchen combination project. To the best of my knowledge, it's finished! Progress!! Plus we hung/took down/moved several pictures and mirrors. Still some work to do in the wall hanging area, but again: progress! Plus we swapped out the entertainment cabinets (hers instead of mine) and hooked the TV back up so it's working.

A nice relaxing, but productive weekend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Brushes with Stars

In case you missed some of the comments from the other day in my post about the Bears game, Amy Freeze left a pretty funny comment. Well, my tour of FOX Studio still needs to be ironed out, so I'll be meeting her soon enough. Ironically, the folks at the studio are waiting to hear from her about her schedule before I can book the date.

So that was brush one. Brush two happened tonight at a charity fundraiser for an organization called Kaleidoscope. They help underprivileged kids and one of the cool indirect ways is by getting them involved with art classes. Tonight they displayed a bunch of their art and it was auctioned off (most of it was silent auction). Fortunately I ended up buying two pieces! Here's what I got:

For some reason I can't rotate this picture, but it's going to go great in the condo. It's a picture of the Wells Street bridge sign. I love the matting and the frame too.

Here's the 15 year old photographer, Paul. Nice guy.

Here's the second picture: Piglet!! It's going to look great in the guest bedroom and LL loves pink.

Ricardo's wife, Jodi, used to be on the associate board of the charity and that's how I came to be there tonight. LL was having dinner with a friend of hers from the burbs. The hors devours served were themed from our childhood: PB&J rolls, pigs in a blanket, flies on a log, sloppy Joes in a phyllo dough cup, fish sticks with a dipping sauce, chicken nuggets and bbq sauce and to drink, a rum and rootbeer float (no ice cream). It was outstanding. So the big draw other than the charity, food, drinks and art? Christopher Knight a.k.a. Peter Brady!! He married a gal from Joliet and his wedding planner is on the board of the charity.

Me and Knight. He is actually a pretty nice guy and very accommodating. Jodi took this picture after three other people refused to take it! WTH?? All they have to do is hold the camera and take the picture, but three adult humans were too embarrassed to do it. Seriously? It's Peter Brady not Jesus.

Knight was helping with the live auction items.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More of the same

First, did you see this video clip? It really, really looks like a woman talking on a cell phone. The problem? The film clip is from 1928!!! The hosts say they think it might be a hearing device (like a horn), but it LOOKS like a cell phone and she's TALKING into it!! Weird.

AT&T finally fixed the cut phone lines which the city managed to chop through, probably mistaking the rather large line for a root, though shouldn't they have been avoiding really large roots too?? My service came back up late in the day yesterday, but my wireless router wouldn't talk to my DSL modem so I can only access the internet by directly hooking the DSL modem to my computer. Which means no wireless access in the house and LL uses it when she works from home (not to mention ESDNM would like to use it when he comes in next week I'm sure). The reason I bought this new one, a Cisco Linksys E1000, is because it was supposed to be easy to set up (it was) and it was faster than my old one (it is) and that it hopefully wouldn't crash my computer when I use it (it hasn't so far).

But like my old router, I find myself in the position where I can't use it. Tech support, here I come!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bears putting people in the Hall of Fame!

Yes, the Bears are managing to put people in the Hall of Fame, even during a bad season. Actually, especially because of their bad season. The Hall of Fame called the Bears opponent from Sunday and asked for the jersey of the guy who picked off Jay Cutler 4 times to set a record. Nice. They send players to the HOF, just not their own players.

On Saturday one of my car headlights went out. Not a huge deal for a handy guy like me right? Well, I'm not THAT handy, but still, it's just changing a bulb. Once you know what you're doing, it's actually very easy. When you DON'T know what you're doing, it could take you a little bit though. I kept trying to figure out a way to take the bulb out. Makes sense right? Unfortunately, here's the light I was trying to replace.

As you can see, if I were to try and take out the bulb, I'd really be missing the point. Once I realized what the deal was, after looking at the manual, it took me about 45 seconds to swap it out.

Lesson learned.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Starbucks is good for more than just coffee.

No, I'm not talking about the scones (though they are delicious as well). I'm talking about free Wifi! Though I don't have much use for free Wifi, it is nice when I'm traveling or when the city (who is installing street lights on my block) screw up the phone lines and knock out my phone and internet service. Unbelievable. So here I sit at the Starbucks at the end of my street remembering again one of the benefits of living where I live.

As you recall from yesterday's post, I had a very busy weekend. After softball on Saturday, we were off to a party thrown by an ex-coworker of LL's. This woman, also named Laura, lives not too far away and lives in a genuine house. Yes, mucho denero. Last year we went to the same party and the food was just as good then. Good times, though we drank a little too much wine.

Which segues nicely into Sunday morning and loading up the car for the tailgate for the Bears game. It was an early wakeup call as we had to gather stuff up and load the car and then drive down to Soldier Field to get there as close to 9 as possible. We were a few minutes late, but it was due to Andy (AKA Sausage) being 15 minutes late. He blew out his achilles though and has a handicap placard, so I took it easy on him as we were allowed to park next to my friends over in the handicap section.

It rained a bit on Saturday though the forecast was for extensive rain all day. The forecast for Sunday was pretty much the same, which can ruin a tailgate because they don't let you put up a canopy of any kind. Fortunately we only had a little bit of rain in the morning and that was it for the day.

After some good eats, we headed into the game. Once inside the United Club, I looked for the service counter where they have the lineup cards with players names and numbers on them. When I curse at players from my seat, I like to make sure I'm cursing at the right guy (whether they can hear me or not....but I know they can). As we headed towards the stand, I noticed a woman who looked a bit like Fox weather chick Amy Freeze. If you're a long time blog reader, you'll remember that Amy actually commented on my blog when she first came to town about 18 months ago or so. Anyway, we somehow passed the stand and had to double back. This time I pointed out the woman to LL and said, "She looks a bit like Amy Freeze." LL confirmed it, but also only thought there was a resemblance. Then we get to our seats, look down to the field to where Amy sets up shop for the game (she sits on the sideline for most of the game and does at least two weather forecasts from there) and realize that Amy is wearing the exact same outfit as the woman we saw!! It was her!! Damnit!! I walked right by Amy and didn't even realize it. What a dope.

Then came the Bears game. All I can say is a big fat UGH! Another vastly inferior opponent that we let beat us because of ineptitude. This time the QB decided to help the other team's defensive back set a record for interceptions in a game. What killed me is in the post game interview, the QB said he's played against him before and would throw at him again with no problem. The guy just picked you off FOUR times and set an NFL RECORD!! How freaking delirious are you??? Still, he's not as delirious as our head coach is incompetent. In short, what pissed me off was when Lovie challenged whether a completion for us which was called down at the one yard line was a touchdown or not. Who cares? You have 3, maybe 4 shots from the one yard line. Even though you're 0-9 from the one yard line this year, you just lineup and hand the ball off to your big back that you signed in the off-season and are paying gobs of money to and make him earn it!!! But no, Lovie challenged it, lost the challenge and a time out. Nice. The very next play (a QB sneak of all the stupid plays) was a fumble and a play that should have been challenged, but Lovie has admitted that he didn't want to lose both of his challenges and timeouts so early in the second half. That screwed us....temporarily at least until the next set of turnovers by our pompous QB.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hollywood Story??

It was a crazy busy weekend due to a softball tournament on Saturday and the Bears game on Sunday. Since we also had a party to go to on Saturday night, we had to prepare for the tailgate on Friday night. That meant cooking chili and preparing various appetizers including bacon wrapped shrimp and bacon wrapped dates. So at the end of the day on Friday, we were pretty tired. The weekend tournament started with pool play on Saturday (3 games) followed by a single elimination tournament on Sunday. Since I was going to the Bears game on Sunday, Saturday's games were going to be my last for the year and I really wanted to see if my shoulder was better with rest. It was!! I could actually throw pretty well.

Saturday morning was a bright and early start for me as I had to be at the fields (about an hour away) by 8:45 or so. We were looking forward to our three games on Saturday Unfortunately there was the threat of it raining all day. In fact, just as I pulled up to start taking batting practice (which had already been going on for 20 minutes or so) it started raining. It kept raining for the next hour or so plus and our game was stopped in the fourth inning with the score tied. After about 40 minutes or so, the rain stopped and we started up again. Though I was 0-2 to start the game, I came through with a 2 run, 2 out single to help us win. Our second game was a blowout as we won by slaughter in four or five innings.

Our last game of the day was against a team from the Quad Cities. We jumped to a large early lead, 10-1 or something like that, but they slowly edged back into the game at we found ourselves down 3 going into the bottom of the last inning. We tied it up when the guy who hit in front of me hit a 3-run homer. I singled to keep it going and we eventually loaded the bases with one of our best hitters up. Unfortunately he flied out and so we headed to extra innings. In this organization, we start with a runner on second in extra innings. I'm not sure what happened in the first extra inning, but I think we both scored 2 or 3 runs and remained tied.

This time the guy in front of me made the last out and I was leading off the bottom of our second extra inning. They scored one in the top of the second extra inning, so we had to scratch at least one run. Fortunately I laced a single up the middle to put runners on first and third to start our inning. The next guy hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game, but I was still on first. The next guy drove a ball to right field which the outfielder misplayed and it got by him. Now, I'm not the fastest guy on the fact, I'm closer to the slowest, but I raced around and scored from first with the winning run. Yep, I scored the winning run in extra innings in my last game of the year. Is it a good enough story for a Hollywood movie? Nah, but it was a fun way to go out. The guys won their first game Sunday morning before losing game two, so we tied for third out of 28 teams. Not bad.

Tomorrow, angst from the Bears game.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The week is flying by

Is it Thursday already? Saturday brings a 3 game softball tournament, though it finishes on Sunday while I'm at the Bears game. But the whole weekend could be a wash as it's supposed to rain a good part of the weekend. If it rains during softball, no big deal. The games will be delayed or we'll keep playing, no problem.

But if it rains before or after the Bears game, it plays nasty havoc with my tailgate! If it rains during the game, there's really no problem for us because my seats are protected from the rain, plus we can always go inside the United Club if needed. But if it rains before or after, there's no where to hide. How can a guy cook in the rain?? Interestingly, I don't recall a day that's it's rained before or after the game when I've been present. One game it rained and I was in Vegas for softball. Another day it rained, but I got the flu or some 24 hour virus.

Another neighborhood update: the war on the rats seems to be over! Yep, Basra has seen no activity. And there's nothing going on outside my building either. The pest control folks next door seem to have really worked. It frustrates me a bit to know that it could have been this way for the last two years if the owner wasn't running a slum building. Whatever. At least progress is being made!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The light at the end of the tunnel

There's some construction work happening on my street this week and for a little bit longer probably. New street lights! Interestingly, our much smaller neighboring street has had the new light poles for a couple of years, but our well traveled street had none. The light pole directly outside my condo is going away, not to be replaced at all. The city is going to use a different spacing scheme for the lights and it does not include the current location. I think that's ok, but I'm not sure. There won't be a light shining in my front room anymore, but I think that's good and bad. The street light also lights up our steps and the whole area around our building which is nice.

Can't stop change though.

These two pics are of the old street light positioned in front of my condo.

Here's what the new street lights will look like. Not bad.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Just another day

First off, RIP Tom Bosley. Loved you in Happy Days and on Charlie's Angels. Great work.

Unfortunately I was up at 5:45 in the a.m. today...ugh. I'm just not a morning person and when it's still dark outside, I'm less inclined to be happy about it. But it was my once a month finance meeting at my church and is necessary for good leadership. The meeting went well, our Oktober Fest was a huge, huge success and made more money than any year in the past. That's good, because with a 100+ year old church, we have a lot of expenses! Afterwards, I decided to actually go to mass since I was there already and probably not going to go back to sleep since my cleaning lady was scheduled for the morning.

This afternoon though I was able to get a pretty decent workout in and am looking to get in another one on Thursday. Saturday is my last softball tournament of the year, to my knowledge at least, so hopefully a week and a half of working out will help how I feel about my play. We'll see.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Early mornings.....ugh.

How do you people do it on a regular basis? How did I do it for a decade plus? This early morning stuff is for the birds. This morning I was up before 7 so I could leave for the suburbs by 8 so I could to a meeting by 10. Fortunately traffic was, I can only assume, relatively light as it only (ONLY) took me an hour and 15 minutes to get about 50 miles (since I drove 104 miles on the day I assume it's about 50 each way). The meeting went well, about two hours, and the trip back went much faster since there was no remnants of rush hour.

But the work day was far from over as I headed down to my restaurant client for lunch with LL. While there, I spoke with my client about the recent financing proposal we received. It's really going to help this guy out and in a time when getting financing (especially for restaurants) is not easy. Lunch was great, as usual, and free as the owner bought it for us. Nice!

And the work day continued. Another bank was in the process of submitting a proposal for the restaurant, but their process sort of stalled. After a few messages from me putting pressure on them, we spoke for about 20 minutes and hopefully got the process on track again.

And my work day STILL wasn't over as I was referred a potential client by a bankruptcy lawyer and I had to give him a call to do some fact gathering. Thirty to 45 minutes later, I wasn't sure we were a good fit (he didn't have any money to pay us!), but we still might take him on since there's value in his business being sold.

Throughout the day there were many other work emails and conversations (mostly while driving) related to work so it was a pretty productive day. One that I'm ok seeing come to an end. Unfortunately my monthly church finance committee meeting is tomorrow morning (at 7 a.m.) so I'll be up bright and early again. Ugh.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Piss Poor Bears

What a piss poor game the Bears played today. Ugh. We had a chance this season if we could go 7-1 to start, since it was likely that we'd go 1-7 to finish the season or possibly 2-6. Now we're 4-2 though and we lost to the hapless Seahawks; a game that would be considered a win on most teams' schedules. Now we have the Redskins next week, an iffy game if we can't beat the Seahawks, followed by a bye week and then Buffalo in Toronto. Then the tough part of the schedule hits when Minnesota rolls into town. Ugh.

The tailgate today was fun though as we had 8 people there and weren't far from my good buddies Gar and Jason (who sit in front of me at the game) and the Punke family who sits next to me. It was my first chili tailgate which is always memorable. The chili contains two kinds of meat, two peppers, a sweet onion and three types of beans. Very tasty, though one of my spicier batches. For breakfast we had the regular breakfast sandwiches and sausage with a bloody Maria (made with tequila instead of vodka) chaser. A very good breakfast.

Unfortunately I have a client meeting in Aurora tomorrow morning at 10, which means I have to leave around 8 to make sure I get there on time. Crap. Why did I agree to that meeting??

Friday, October 15, 2010

A day of golf

Today I spent almost the entire day golfing and hanging out with my golfing foursome. The host was a great guy who is now business partners with two other buddies of mine. Good stuff. The club to which he belongs is very nice and relatively close to downtown. If I were going to join a club ($60k initiation and about $10k a year) this one would certainly be in the running.

Unfortunately, I played like crap (again) and what was worse was that I THOUGHT I was going to shoot well. Since I don't have an official handicap, I had to come up with a number (similar to bowling Terri!) that I thought I'd shoot. It turned out that I was the "low man" so I had to give strokes to the other players on certain holes. Then I proceeded to play like crap on top of giving them strokes. Ugh. We were playing for a quarter a point with 6 points up for the taking on each hole and we rotated teammates. One rule in golf betting is that the team who is behind can "press" the bet meaning the point values double for that and future holes.

It came down to the 18th hole and I was trailing everyone by at least 10 points. My teammate and I already had a press on, so we pressed again making the hole worth 24 points and if you birdie the hole, it would be worth 48! The closing hole is a par 3 and I was the only one who hit the green and my teammate and I ended up with winning 20 points. All in all, I ended up winning a dollar, which is better than paying out money to everyone else!!

It turned out one of the guys in the group, Kris, was from Detroit so I couldn't resist telling my Ernie Harwell stories. Good fun.

LL comes home tomorrow!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What the heck?

Another exhausting day today. I'm not sure what's going on other than a lot of driving, work and maybe not enough sleep. It's been a tough week, but the weekend is just around the corner and tomorrow is another round of country club golf!

Before I ramble too much, this page is awesome. Whether you're a sports fan or not, there's some exciting and interesting stuff.

Today a trip to the burbs for a networking lunch, a client meeting and then dinner with my folks. After dinner we went to a band recital for my niece. It was somewhat of a surprise to find out that she's playing the flute! But my being there was a surprise to her, so we're even.

And finally, LL's pooch, Molly The Bad Seed, goes a little crazy sometimes and particularly dislikes garbage cans and bags of things. She'll tip over garbage cans and rummage around as well as rip open bags and do the same. What sets her off? Well, it's pretty random. I've gone to get a cup of coffee and come back to a mess of things, so it's not a being left alone all day thing. I think it's a devil possession thing. Here's what she did the other day when I went to a morning meeting and was home shortly after lunch.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Much suburban driving

First and foremost, all 33 Chilean copper miners are out of the mine and safe! Whoop-whoop!!

Second, I'm watching a hockey game earlier in the season than I think I ever have before. The Blackhawks, in defense of the Stanley Cup, are taking on division rival Nashville. The reason I'm watching has more to do with no football, no playoff baseball and saving shows on Tivo to watch with LL upon her return from Paris, than really feeling like it's time to watch hockey. The hawks just lost as they took a bad penalty with less than 2 minutes left and gave up the deciding power play goal. Crap.

It was a busy work day starting with getting up at 6:30 a.m., getting ready, taking care of the dog and then an 8:30 a.m. pickup of my cohort out by 90 and 53 (took almost exactly an hour to get out there). Our meeting started at 9 and ended close to noon, at which time I took him to the airport. My cohort, let's call him Pickle, did a really good job today. Now, I've HEARD that he was competent and had some specialty in the meeting's topic field, but I haven't really worked with him at all. Rarely do I work with someone and am impressed by what they do and how they do it. Today was one of those days though. Pickle, while not always using the same delivery that I would choose and while having the "analogy overuse" disease which is prevalent in people from New Mexico, he knows his stuff, is detail oriented and because he knew his stuff so well, could really back down a banker who was threatening forcing involuntary bankruptcy on our client. Nice job Pickle.

The afternoon brought an hour long drive back out to the burbs, but this time to my folks' place to drop off another load of garage sale items. Of course first I had to load up the car and then unload the car at their place. Since I saw them earlier this week, it was a quick turnaround back to the city, but not home. No, I had to get some financial information together for my condo building so I didn't leave the office until almost 7.

During my driving excursions though, I did receive news that another client of my had the SBA loan approved by one bank. We're hoping for a competing bank to come through as well so we have a choice, but at least we'll have one approval and for the entire amount for which we were looking. Nice!

So it was an exhausting day. Tomorrow is another trip to the burbs. Sigh.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some Chili

This story is absolutely awesome! I couldn't be happier. Imagine if it were you receiving the injection and having SOME hope of a normal life again. In addition to his stupidity, lack of international presence and God complex, not supporting this work was one of my biggest problems with Bush.

And the Chilean miners are soooo close to being rescued!! It's been two months. TWO months!! What have you done in that time? That was all the way back when LL and I visited Joisey Ken and NYC. That seems forever ago! I've played in 6 tournaments in four states since then and they haven't been out of the ground. Unbelievable.

Today I finally got to the gym for the first time in....what...6 weeks...due to travel and work. It clearly wasn't the best work out, but it was decent enough. Good to get back at it. Hopefully there will be much more to come!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Those damn Chinese!

No, I'm not a racist and I don't dislike the Chinese like I do the French (damn frogs). However, I just read an interesting article that puts the blame of our economic woes on the Chinese. While this theory may have been postulated before, I haven't seen it (granted, I don't read a TON of financial opinions). Make no mistake, this an opinion, but it has some solid info supporting the thesis. In particular, I like that it's pretty easy to follow.

The article, on CNN, starts with China selling us their products and creating trade surpluses (undeniable). It then goes on:

Economists would expect that China's huge trade surpluses with the U.S. must sooner or later cancel themselves out. It's basic supply and demand.

1) China sells us more than it buys.

2) Therefore China accumulates dollars.

3) Therefore China spends the dollars.

4) Therefore the dollar declines relative to Chinese currency.

5) Therefore Chinese goods become more expensive.

6) Therefore Americans buy less from China and sell more.

7) Therefore the trade surplus ends. It's all beautifully self-regulating.

The trouble with the theory is that in China's case, step 3) does not happen.

To keep China's population working -- and to stop China's population from protesting -- the Chinese government must keep the exports moving. To keep the exports moving, China must keep the currency cheap. To keep the currency cheap, China manipulates its banking system so the accumulated surplus dollars never get spent.

Instead, the Chinese lent the dollars back to us. And because the Chinese had so many dollars, they lent the dollars very, very cheaply.

You got a fabulous deal on your mortgage because China's workers were prevented from spending the money they had earned.

This process accelerated through the 2000s, but it went into hyperdrive in 2005, when China's trade surplus abruptly spiked. Bigger surplus, more dollars, more lending. 2005 was the year the subprime mortgage boom began.

China's lending spree translated into an American debt binge. The debt of the U.S. nongovernmental sector surged after 2005 to levels last seen in -- uh oh -- 1929. And from the top of the roller coaster, it's a long, scary ride back to Earth.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Got me some crabs

Friday's outing went better than expected at a tough country club with really tough greens. They cut the greens to PGA Tour specifications, so it was like putting on glass. I didn't 3 putt as much as I thought I would (only 2-3 times), but I also only one putted once. It was just tough to get the ball near the hole and to read the green. When my driver left me, it was all downhill. Beautiful weather though and a great day.

Saturday was spent puttering around the house with some nice long walks outside interspersed because of the continuing nice weather. For dinner I cooked ribs again and we were too stuffed to go find a movie to rent so we did a pay-per-view off of DirecTV (it was Get Him to the Greek).

Sunday brought a panicked packing morning by LL while I just hung out and watched football. What could I do? She was packing for her week long trip to Paris. The weather is supposed to be in the 50's there while it's supposed to be freaking gorgeous here all week. That will help with dealing with not going a little bit.

The Bears played at noon and though their backup QB looked awful, their running game was resurrected and they beat a very bad Carolina Panthers team. We're now 4-1 with two more winnable games on the horizon before the bye week.

After LL left, I headed to Blue Island to The Maple Tree Inn for a crabfest! All-you-can-eat softshell crab, crab cakes, Blue Crab bisque. Yum. All for $25. It was pretty tasty. The dark ball in the first picture is andouille sausage wrapped around a garlic clove. Pretty good stuff.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A nasty trend

Well, I'm not sure two data points is a trend, but it's something. Sunday I played a round of golf in the cold and wind and was 3 over par on the front nine. On the back nine, I blew up. I still don't know what I shot because I was too upset to add. Today I went golfing again at a decent public course (Winnetka Golf Club) just to get some practice in for my round of golf tomorrow at Westmoreland Country Club where I'll be a guest and where I played horribly last year. Today, on the front nine I was 2 over par (37) with only 12 putts (on 9 holes, that's pretty damn good). Then came the turn. On the back nine I shot a 44 (19 putts...pretty awful). Granted, I hit into some bad luck (rolled JUST behind a tree or JUST far enough to put a tree branch in the way) and even hit one shot off a tree...backward! Not every shot was bad on the back, but there were certainly fewer really nice shots.

So what's the problem? Am I getting tired? Last Sunday I think I did since I had been at a softball tournament on Saturday in the cold all day. Today I did walk the course, so that could have made me a bit tired by the end of the round and I was out later last night playing softball. And now tomorrow I can say that I was tired from playing today. just keeps going round and round (thank your Ratt-Out of the Cellar......look it up).

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

An awful, beautiful night

The weather was gorgeous tonight for our last league night of softball. Unfortunately our team got shut out in the first game (that's right SHUT OUT) and thus ended our season. The other team didn't light it up either as they only scored 4 runs and most of those were unearned. Still, it kind of sucks and I had two awful at bats, swinging at the first pitch both times and rather weakly. Ugh. Fortunately there's one more tournament on the horizon. Ahhh, redemption.

My shoulder is shit. Yes, shit. I said it. Shit. Can I throw a softball? Yeah, mostly. No zip at all and it doesn't feel good. I'm hoping that it's because I haven't been able to go to the gym....a problem which will be remedied soon. Still, I was hoping that I'd be 100% by this time.

LL is off to gay-Pari this weekend for the next week. Originally it was only going to be Tuesday through Saturday, but she had meetings added so now it's Sunday through Saturday. Why is Joe not going? I'm not entirely sure, other than it's France. The day after she gets back is a Bears game, maybe that's what I was thinking about. Seems like not the best decision by me. Probably won't be the last bad decision I make though!!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Not a Foodie Blog

Busy, busy, busy. Today I had to do some tax work. Due to complications with my tax situation, I almost always file for an extension (which is automatically granted under our tax code fortunately) which means I don't have to file until 10/15. Estimated payments are still due when they are due, but all the paperwork doesn't have to be sent in for six months. Now, I'm no dummy; I use TurboTax and get my taxes done for the most part by 4/15. The extra six months allows me time to figure out where to make 401(k) and SEP IRA contributions, plus I can digest all the data I entered into the software and make sure I got it right.

But that's not what I wanted to talk about today. Dinner is my topic. Center cut pork chops (with my great rub), corn (low sodium) and a salad. No reason I shouldn't be eating this well every night. Well, tomorrow I have softball so that's a reason. Yeah, I know, I said league play was done for the year but apparently I was wrong. This is the last week as we have playoffs. Unfortunately that delays my return to the gym by half a week. Thursday and Friday I'm golfing (Thursday to practice for Friday's outing) and hopefully I can hit the gym on Saturday.

Thursday night though I'm making ribs again! Always a tasty treat.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Back on the meal wagon

Is that a legit term? Meal wagon? I'm not sure that's right....meal wagon....nah, that's not right.

Anyway, for the last three weeks either my kitchen has been ripped up or I've been traveling or we've been moving. Finally, this week, starting tonight in fact, it was time to get back to home cooked meals. So off to the store I went and came home with bay scallops, broccoli crowns and organic sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, I'm still not great at planning multiple meals when I go to the store, so the only other food items I bought was an acorn squash (always a winner) and a box of cereal (bite size frosted mini-wheats because it was half-off). So I'm set for breakfast and a side veggie, but that's about it. Although I did buy extra broccoli, so I have two veggie sides I guess.

As I start up eating healthy meals again, I'm winding down the softball and golf seasons (how's that for a segue?). One more night of league play for softball and only one more tournament on the horizon (unless we go to Vegas....though I'm not sure if we've qualified for that one). Though I golfed on Sunday, I only have one more outing scheduled....unless the weather is nice in November when Joisey Ken comes out for the Bears/Vikings game. Softball and golf are two of my favorite activities though. What will I do with my new found time? Hitting the gym!!

Eating healthier and hitting the gym....I think I like how this is going to turn out!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Cold and windy weekend

Another busy weekend, but fun! Friday was busy with work, but Friday night LL and i had sushi and split a bottle of our favorite wine. Saturday was a seven team softball tournament in a minor league stadium in Rockford. Yep, a real live minor league stadium! Here are some pics:

Road Ranger is a gas station apparently and they sponsor the stadium. This minor league stadium is actually the Frontier League, which is a minor, minor league.

Here's a bigger picture of the entrance.

A picture from inside the stadium. We got to use the dugouts and everything. Unfortunately it was windy and cold so not many of the stadium seats had fans in them, though LL was cheering on our team!!

Though we lost our first game, we won the next 2 games which allowed us to play on Sunday.

The field itself was ok. Actually, the grass parts were pretty nice, but the dirt portions were awful. It was like playing on cement. We all really thought the field would be nicer. The batter's box in particular was horrible. You couldn't dig in at all. Just awful. Not sure how they play on that field for a whole season.

After 8 hours in the cold and wind though, I opted to go golfing on Sunday instead....which was more time in the wind and cold. Maybe not smart, but I wanted to shoot with Bill the Bear, Smitty and Nick, always a good time. Though I shot a 3 over on the front 9, I collapsed on the back 9 and haven't even totaled my score yet it was so bad. It was awful. I choose to remember the front 9 though which included an eagle! It was a par 5 where I chipped in from beside the green. It's mostly luck, but I'll take it!!

We made it home from golf just after the start of the Bears game. Bill the Bear (who is much less bear like as he had to shave his beard after an unfortunate razor incident), Nick, his roommate Tim, LL and me all met at Houndstooth Saloon to watch the game. It was LOUD, but that's ok for a football game. Unfortunately, during commercials, they played country music! Ugh. On top of it all the Bears played like crap and went down to their third string quarterback. Well, 3-1 isn't a bad start, but I fear they've been exposed: all defense and no offensive line. No running game. Not good.