Monday, June 05, 2017

A little June update

So much going on today and this weekend that I had to make an entry. Let's start with the good things.

Marissa had her first ballet recital. She did pretty well for four years old. Quite frankly, even the high school kids were underwhelming for what I imagine to be years and years of training. The hip-hop kids seemed to have some good skills though. Anyway, the important thing is that Marissa enjoys it, despite getting up for class on Saturday morning. We'll see if that continues at older ages!!

Next up is young master Thomas, who, while mimicking Marissa's dance moves the night before her recital, took a tumble and broke his foot....on the carpet....without any collision whatsoever. Just a freak accident. Two to four weeks in a cast.

Other than not wanting to walk too far on it, he really didn't complain much. All the doctors mentioned what a great patient he was. 

Next up is the passing of yet another high school classmate: Terry Smith. Terry was a really nice kid with whom I played some sports as a kid. He had a dry wit, but was very funny and nice to everyone. It's a loss for all of us. My dad used to coach him in football and Terry always spoke highly of my pops. 

In the world of real estate today, I had not one but two agents set up inspections at homes I was listing, without telling me!! Who does that?? I always go through the agent when setting up inspections for my clients. This why I got into the business: incompetent brokers. Or more appropriately, keeping incompetent brokers away from my family and friends. One of them at least had a somewhat reasonable excuse; her father was hospitalized last week and she had to make an emergency trip out of state and just forgot to let me know. The other guy is just an ass. 

This summer I have three bachelor parties to attend....3!! But, when you're 51 and still playing softball, your 30-35 year old buddies start to get married. One though is only 25 I think...if that, but he's the son of a good buddy of mine that sits next to me at Bears games. So it's going to be a busy summer. Just need Joisey Ken to get his shit together so we can finalize our summer trip with the families! LOL!! Luv ya Ken!! 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bears draft 2017

As I sit down at my computer to type on this cold and dreary last day of April, I was faced with two topics: a letter to the 18 year old Marissa of the future or my thoughts on recapping the just held 2017 NFL draft. The former is not for public consumption, so that would have been in a Word document that would get printed out and placed with my letter to the 18 year old Thomas, in a safe place. Each year now, I plan to write one of those letters and maybe include my favorite pictures. Should be pretty awesome. While I'm trying to get family members to do it as well, they have not complied so far. We'll see.

So YOU get my thoughts on the Bears draft!! Lucky you.

As you may know, the Bears had the #3 overall pick and traded up to the #2 pick by giving away two third round picks this year and a fourth round pick next year. They were most likely bidding against themselves by making this move as SF, who had the #2 pick, had no interest in Mitch Trubiskey (he of 13 college starts out of NC, from where no Pro-Bowl QB's have hailed. The Bears WERE fielding calls from other teams looking to trade up though, but either those teams weren't willing to pay up (most likely) or the Bears didn't want to move.

Here's where it gets more interesting. GM Ryan Pace and the Bears didn't just give up three picks and the #3 pick for Trubiskey, they also TURNED DOWN at least two more picks if they would have moved down in the draft even one spot!! Probably more if they moved down to 10 or 12. So when you hear the Bears gave up four picks for him, it's really at least SIX. That's more than half of an entire starting offense or defense. That's incredible.

Instead, the Bears took Mitch the Bitch and gave up the picks. Then they chose a DII tight end who the scouts say is a "beast" and "demolished" the opposition. Yeah, well a guy who is 6'6" and 275 is going demolish anyone in DII. That's why those other guys are in DII?? Put me in Pop Warner and I'm going to score a 100 TD's too because I'm going to demolish much smaller players. We had a need at TE, though it was one of our lesser needs, but Pace, who worked in New Orleans with Brees and Graham and Sproles before coming to Chicago, is trying to surround his new QB with weapons. We won't be able to stop anyone on defense, but maybe we'll score. Not this year though.

The Bears first fourth round pick was a CB or S out of Alabama who broke his leg last year after tearing his ACL in the other leg two years ago. So he's basically a cripple. Who needs legs to play football??

Their second pick of the fourth round was Pace's "Darren Sproles guy"; small (5'6") sort of fast, who can a midget.

Their 5th round pick was a DII left tackle who projects as a guard in the NFL, but maybe he'll still play left tackle. Oh yeah, he's out of Kuntztown State. I'll let you look that one up.

So a cripple, a midget and two DII players added on to a QB that was passed up by two teams who also needed a QB, but understand that you build winning teams through defense first. Oh yeah, don't forget that NEXT year's crop of college QB's is actually supposed to be talented, unlike this year's. So now, when we are picking top 5 again because nobody we just added will start, we'll PASS on those talented QB's to give this guy a shot. That's terrible. And yes, I said none of these guys will start. The Bears are 3-13 and they just held a draft taking 5 players and none of them will start. Possibly, possibly the TE will, but that's doubtful too.

What they should have done was stayed put and taken Jamal Adams at #3. IF they needed to trade down, it would have depended how far down they went. Adams slid to #6 with the Jets, which was a steal. They could have added a Budda Baker type in the second round and really solidified their DB's. Two third round picks could have netted the likes of Duane Smoot at DE or Daeshon Hall at DE or maybe you take Deshone Kizer in the second round and see what happens. Davis Webb went in the third at QB, so he was an option.

As a season ticket holder who actually has to pay money to see the team play, unlike those Bears fans who can sit at home on Sunday, I want to see a better product on the field now. Not adding any starters in the draft will not get there. My draft grade: D-.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


It's been a while since I've posted and I should include pictures of the kids, but I really wanted to note the changes (mostly physical) that age has brought on over the last few years. While few folks, if anyone, currently reads my "blog" (and I use that term loosely considering the frequency with which I post), I'm hopefully that someone in the future will find these missives and determine them to be of interest. The main reason for my lack of blog posting over the last few years has been reduced amount of time available with Marissa and Thomas consuming time and rightfully so. Additionally, the increased responsibilities with my real estate career, now in it's third year, also eats up time that would otherwise be spent pondering solutions to the great problems of the world.

But I digress. Health. About two years ago my eyes started to change after being stable for the last 15 years since my laser eye surgery when I was 35. Though I have always had some haloing around lights at night post eye surgery, my day time vision was 20-10 for most of the 15 years. When my vision slipped a little, it went to 20-20. After turning 49 though, not only has my far vision slipped further (to the point of preferring glasses to drive at night), but I developed some presbyopia and found that, while I don't have reading glasses, reading up close is tough without very good light and even then it's a struggle. Both of these have just slowly gotten worse over the last two years, but not dramatically.

Last year (February 2, 2016), I had knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus bestowed upon me by a negligent driver on 5/25/2015. The surgeon, Dr. Ho, also performed microfracture surgery which prolonged my rehab stint significantly. Physical therapy didn't stop until early May, so I was a bit off most of the summer while I regained knee and leg strength.

Then we sold the condo at 660 Roscoe and moved out to Mokena. The move took it's toll in the form of allergies, ear infection, sinus infection and colds. Most of the summer I was pretty miserable and the day of the move I almost couldn't get out of bed due to an attack of menieres. Later in the year I finally switched from Claritin to Zyrtec for allergies and have been good ever since.

Also at the request of my PCP, I started taking baby asprin at night, fish oil and niacin in addition to a regular asprin in the morning. After about three weeks of this new blood thinning regime, I was playing softball and caught a ball off the calf. With super thin blood, it blew up almost to the size of a softball!! Needless to say I cut out some of the thinning ingredients, but the damage was done and it took about 2 months for it to return to normal size. It took so long that I went BACK to the doctor a second time to make sure it was okay!

At the time of my blood thinning prescription, I was informed that it was time to get a colonoscopy. It wasn't a surprise by any stretch, but the reviewing the prep left me.....lacking in desire to get it done. Plus, I was sick or hurt most of the year anyway.

So back to the hurt part. Over the summer, after sitting in a awkward position while painting the kids playhouse outback, I managed to tear the meniscus in my left knee. Now it also could have been from the added stress of making up for the right knee not being healthy, so I guess I could relate that injury back to the car accident as well. Anyway, while I was initially incapacitated, the swelling and pain eventually went down enough so that I could play some softball. Running was a problem of course, but I could hit. It needed to be fixed though so I picked November 1st to get that done, just after the Bears-Vikings game on Halloween and during a bye week and an away game or two for the Bears. That allowed me to recover to the point of walking at least before the next Bears game. The Cubs though, after I lived in the neighborhood for 27 years, decided to win the world series, so I wasn't around for the celebration. Bah. I did get to one game against the Giants and one against the Dodgers though.

The impact of aging was not done though. Over the last year in particular I noticed more wrinkles on my face (around my eyes) and on my throat. Not flattering. Then the kicker came on my 51st birthday while in the midst of closing on the condo. After having two slices of deep dish pizza, I was severely bloated and had some acid reflux. Now, I've been taking Prilosec for about 10 years or so and it has really controlled my sour stomach, so well that I never really even thought about it. About a month prior to my birthday though, I decided to see if I really needed to take it anymore and found out quickly that yes, yes I do. It would appear that I developed a peptic ulcer, though my endoscopy has not confirmed that yet. Oh, did I mention I had an endoscopy AND a colonoscopy at the same time? Yeah, fun day. Actually, the day before (really 36 hours) of no eating and only drinking clear fluids plus some bowel cleanser was the most unpleasant part and even that wasn't too bad. The colonoscopy came back all clear and I'm waiting to hear on the endoscopy, though I'd bet dollars to donuts it's a result of H. pylori.

So that's where I'm at now and what I've been dealing with over the last few years (except for gaining about 10 pounds as well).  I'm hoping that this year I settle into some good routines, shed weight and get healthy!!

Now for those kid pictures!!