Archive of <September> <2006> [reverse chronological]

10:06 AM Friday, September 1, 2006
So my building, 3550 N. Lake Shore Dr., the condo association, which I guess includes me, decided to change cable providers. Fine and dandy. I'm all excited because television service is through DISH Network, which means lots and lots of HD channels. Internet service should be better, but I'll wait and see what the deal is with that. I guess the networking infrastructure is being handled by INNCOM, whoever that is. Here's the kicker: RCN is getting turned off to the building on September 5. I don't get digital cable, no DVR, no premium channels, no HD until sometime in October. Guess what happens in September? That's right, new TV seasons. And guess what I have to do if I want to see the season/series premieres? Actually plan to be around the TV real time, during live broadcasts. Wow, now that I write about it, that's how life was before, shouldn't be that much of an issue now. And not having premium channels? No movies that I can just flip on and watch until the wee hours of the morning? Probably not a bad thing not to have. So it's probably a healthy thing not to have these things, but to be forced by the poor planning and setup of the cable changeover? Appalling. Just definitely getting started on the wrong foot. Not good at all.
Anyway, plans for the weekend: got some rewedding to go to Saturday, one of Tracy's coworkers out in Homewood. Sunday got a family function to go to. Monday might be hitting some golf balls with Russell.
11:55 AM Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Well, I check this morning at 7am and I still had RCN service, so I don't know if that's good or bad. Should be interesting tonight, that's for sure. Weekend recap: Friday night cooked dinner for Tracy, teriyaki chicken, honey mustard chicken, snow peas, all small batches. Saturday did some walking around and shopping, stopping at Tracy's favorite new store, Pastoral, a cute little cheese shop south of Wellington on Broadway. We also stopped off at a French market at the Nettlehorst School on Melrose and Broadway. That night we went to that rewedding, well, the reception part of it. That was fun. Out in Homewood in a huge house, it was a great Nigerian party. Lots of ethnic outfits and music and dancing. Good times. Except that Tracy lost her phone that night. Sunday, lounged about before heading out to Auntie Luz's for the first anniversary of Uncle Lito's death. More food there. Monday I spent in front of the TV, because I won't be there for the month of September, and Russell joined me for Coach Carter and The Greatest Game Ever Played, since it was supposed to rain but actually never did so we could have hit the driving range instead. I finished up with Rent before an early bedtime. Not a bad day off. Since I don't have tv for the month and Tracy's working nights and the weekend, I'll get around to doing some household projects. No distractions.
12:40 PM Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Here's some things I've enjoyed but haven't mentioned:
  • Firefly. Damn good show. Watching it on the PSP.
  • iAlertU. Car alarm for Apple]] portables, like my MacBook]].
  • Nike+iPod. Super easy to use. Armband isn't as annoying as I expected.
  • Dane Cook. Finally saw a bit of his standup from his HBO Vicious Circle Special. Funny guy. I like how he throws in some video game references.
  • ESPN commercials with the Mannings, especially with the brothers on the tour acting like brothers.
So RCN was still connected, INNCOM was having issues and was expected to have their cable turned on by noon today. I'm guess it's still not up because my home network still has the same IP address, which I assume would be different when the turn on their network. Oh well. So instead of an imposed absense from TV, I watched Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Eureka. I'm completely spacing on new shows thought, as the only one I'm looking forward to is Heros. Also trying exercising again, went running this morning. I'll try and keep it up, except for an odd pain on the outside of my right knee. Strange place. Tracy's coming over tonight to pick up my old cell phone, the Sony Ericsson t68i, to hold her over until her desired phone becomes available. Noone won MegaMillions, so that's going up, and I'll keep buying. Did I mention that Firefly is awesome? I apologize to those who tried to get me to watch and I didn't. I'm sorry. I was totally in the wrong. 135 was having some issues this morning, as I watched 2 go by fully loaded by the first 10 people or so at the Addison stop. Kind of annoying.
10:58 PM Thursday, September 7, 2006
Got to see Tracy last night. That's good. Breaks up the 10 days or so that I wouldn't have seen her. And she gets Saturday off, which means we're gonna make it to the Wine Crush again this year. Anyway, watched Broken Flowers, just kind of intriguing as a movie. So another day, still have RCN. Got to figure out how to use mutt again as an email client, this time with IMAP. Ended up at Fox & Obel before watching Invincible with Russell and Bryan tonight. Got lots of movies again that I'd like to see, and I'm way behind on the MovieWatcher points. Oh, got a new backpack, Arc'Teryx Blade 13. It's slim, and black, so it's great for work. Don't have to worry about swinging it around and hitting people with it while on the bus.
12:32 PM Friday, September 8, 2006
Still need to figure out mutt, well, more like figuring out an MTA on Argon. So no email during work hours yet. Actually finished watching an episode of Firefly while burning copies of Kitchen Confidential (tv show) to DVD-Rs for Bryan and Russell. Just found out that Tracy's working next weekend, instead of this one, so that's good. Parents are in town, and we're supposed to get dinner tonight somewhere. Got Arrested Development Season 3 and Lost Season 2, which should take the place of cable if and when it ever gets switched over. Hopefully I'll still have it for Fantastic Four on Sunday night. Got to sneak in a laundry run sometime soon. Was thinking about heading out to Chicago Heavyweight Championships (nee Tune-Up) on Sunday, but probably not, unless Tracy wants to go. Otherwise, just the Wine Crush on Saturday.
5:06 PM Monday, September 11, 2006
Friday night went to Brasserie Jo with the parents. Had Steak Tartare for the first time. Pretty good. The mussels weren't nearly as good as Pizza D.O.C., and who knows if they ever will be, anywhere. Watched some Degrassi: The Next Generation because Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were on it. That was amusing. Saturday went to HB, A Hearty Boys Spot for lunch, but they only served brunch, and went to Roscoe's instead. Then Tracy and I wandered through the Lake View East Fine Art Festival on the way to pick up some stuff at CVS. We dropped by Gap on the way back before heading out to the Wine Crush where we met up with Jesse and Espy. We missed out on the wine tasting portion of the evening because that was only from 1-6pm, so instead, we hung out at the festival, got some beers, had some street food, got some Cold Stone. Oreo, Sweet Cream and Caramel is awesome, since they didn't have Twix. We plowed through a couple episodes of Lost Season 2 as well. Sunday was breakfast at home, Tracy made crab cakes and I went with deep fried french toast, which ended up a bit soggy. Watched some of The Notebook and Relative Chaos and some napping before heading out to Bryan's for his chili. Spicy stuff. Got to see a bunch of ultimate players that I hadn't seen in a while. Oh, also managed to go running Saturday and Monday mornings, so that's impressive. Still working on it though.
2:43 PM Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Well, It's Showtime. New iPods. New iTunes. Now with movies. Overall, I think it's great. Apple's got a pretty rosy looking Christmas season coming up. Seriously. Those new nanos are going to sell like hotcakes. I think that's what people wanted all along. And I have to admit, that black one is looking pretty sexy. It's the lack of silver shiny back that does it for me. Good matchup for Carbon. Anyway, for the movies, no DVD burning. No easy way for watching on TV, yet. Well, except for Front Row, that probably works pretty well. Hmm, I wonder if there's anything that I'd be willing to try it out on? I'll find out when I get home, that is, if my internet works. Because INNCOM finally got around to switching over cable systems, supposed to happen today. And looks like they at least turned off RCN cause I can't get to my home network right now. At least I got to watch Fantastic Four last night. Also means I might do something else besides sit on the couch tonight.
12:06 PM Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Warning: computer stuff follows. I've been using Firefox mostly for web browsing, but I've been trying out Mac specific browsers, well, because I'd like to. So I tried Safari, which is okay, and then I tried Camino, which is pretty damn speedy. But both have one major issue that Tab Mix Plus fixes for me on Firefox: opening original articles from Google Reader via the keyboard shortcut 'v' in a new tab, not a new window. If someone knows how to get this to work on Safari, that'd be awesome. In the meantime, I'll just take Russell's cue and just command+click on links instead. What does that mean? I think I've switched to Safari. I had to use Unify Safari to get rid of brushed metal, but it looks great. I also forgot to mention that Keyword Assistant is no Universal, so I'm back to keywording my photos in iPhoto, and I got around to installing Synergy-classic for keyboard control of iTunes, and the new CoverFlow feature made me download the CoverFlow application which is better than the integrated version. So basically the only non-Apple app I use is Parallels Desktop, and that just for work email. It's great. Seriously. I'm tempted to start clearing out iTunes of all the stuff I've never or never will listen to, stuff that I've accumulated over the years. I also just found out about DVD Assist, some AppleScript concoction that allows for ripped DVDs to be loaded from Front Row. So yeah, all Apple all the time. Oh, and the cable finally switched over, so all analog for me, but the RCN DVR still works, so I was able to watch Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room anyway. I did miss Eureka, cause I don't have a connected DVR, so I'm tempted to start watching that via iTunes. Ok, computer warning over. Weather sure is bleak, ain't it.
1:55 PM Thursday, September 14, 2006
Really, Firefly's awesome. And I really enjoy TV shows that have story arcs, that are self referential, but only when you can watch them one after the other, not waiting a week for the next. Now that I'm on the last episode, I need to watch or get Serenity, which is nice, because it provides some closure to at least one storyline, but there's so much more that could go on. And it's such a great universe too. I'm just enthralled at the storytelling powers at work. So impressive. So after this, maybe Veronica Mars, finish up Lost, all on DVD, which means I might skip out on watching TV live, and just start waiting for DVD sets to be released. It's so much better. And I'm thinking of using the iTunes Store to get Eureka, although I just used bittorrent to get the episode I missed. I'm also impressed that my 400 DVD Changer is starting to fill up, almost all with TV Shows. That's pretty cool. Maybe. Or sad and depressing.
12:39 PM Friday, September 15, 2006
No idea that Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince came out in paperback. Way back on July 25 even! So I picked that up along with Serenity, I just couldn't wait, at Borders last night after Tracy met me for dinner at Wildfire. I got the Horseradish crusted filet and Tracy went with the Filet Medallions Oscar. She had a craving for steak, and I obliged. She also had a notion for some hot cocoa so we stopped at Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop & Soda Fountain, I got ice cream. Went running this morning, and after work headed to dinner with the Argaos at Buca di Beppo. Tracy's headed to Vegas for a Veterans' Day weekend for a girls weekend, so I'll have to do something for myself to match. Got a party at RWIP on Saturday, some laundry that's piling up, and the rest of my projects to finish up. Good times.
2:33 PM Monday, September 18, 2006
Like a crotchety old man. Friday night family dinner went well. Tracy and I then ended up getting The Matador after picking up her first lottery ticket. Good movie, not quite what we were looking for though. Non slapstick light comedies are hard to come by in the video store right now. Saturday started doing some work around the house, finally put the castors on the AV Rack, but I stared out the morning finishing off Serenity. I liked that movie the first time I saw it, in the theater, with pretty much no knowledge of the 'Verse that it occupied. After watching Firefly, it makes the movie so much better. Which is awesome. Seriously. That whole series, with the movie to cap it off. Wow. It's just so good. Then went over to the Russells for dinner on the deck before heading over to RWIP for their first party. Impressively cleaned. It's a great house for parties. But I'm just not suited for that anymore. So I left early, after showing off my casual ultimate shirt to casual ultimate, and took the Russells home as well. Snuck in some laundry when I got home. Sunday, did some running, started moving furniture around. And did some talking on the phone. Caught up with Case, which was great. I miss that guy.
9:45 AM Tuesday, September 19, 2006
Seriously. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Wow. And I wasn't even watching it in HD. Just wow. It's sooo good. I'm totally impressed. It actually makes me want to go back and start watching West Wing. And Sports Night. Wow. Just great TV. So do I keep watching on broadcast? Or wait for the inevitable DVD season set? I may have to keep watching, it was just so good. Really, really good. Also caught the second season premiere of How I Met Your Mother. It was ok, but more drama than comedy. Kind of sad actually. I also watched Class, but that's kind of because I had to make sure I didn't miss HIMYM since I don't have a DVR anymore. Not a good show. Laugh tracks on shows I don't laugh at are very, well, disturbing. Also got the second album from Quinn's Uncles. At first listen, it's much more professional than their first, adn well, it's too polished for my taste. We'll see if it holds up to repeat listenings as much as the first one did. Also realized I could have gotten it via the iTunes Store instead of CDBaby. Oh well. Finished moving furniture around in the living room, now just have to clean up all the cables and stuff. I'll be able to put the AV Rack in the corner after I get an IR Repeater system, which will clean up that corner pretty well. Also have to wait and see what Tracy thinks of the corner setup. Tried to make adobo again last night, this time with ground black pepper, and put too much in. Not so good. Forgot to mention that I saw my first 2G iPod nano in the wild, a blue one on the bus this morning. Totally looks like a Mini.
4:20 PM Wednesday, September 20, 2006
New TV last night: 2nd season of The Unit which isn't nearly as good when it isn't in HD, and the full premiere of Smith. Not bad. But without a DVR that's a solid 2 hours on a Tuesday. Got a little bit more put away around the living room, except I realized I needed a longer component video cable if the AV Rack is gonna be on the other side of the room. After the IR Repeater gets in, it's gonna have a pretty clean look to the place. The only wires that should be around are the speaker wires, which are gonna have to be there, unless I get new wireless speakers. And there's nothing wrong with my current speakers. Someday I'll have to upgrade, but I've had the stuff for 5-6 years, and it holds up pretty nice. Someday to move up to 7.1, maybe dual subs, a 1080p projector, HDMI switching capable receiver, and of course Blu-Ray (which I hope wins the HD war) and a PS3. Oh, and the iTV. Of course. But that's just someday. In the meantime, I'll wait for my HD from DISH Network.
5:01 PM Thursday, September 21, 2006
Tracy and I went to Pasta Palazzo for dinner yesterday. We decided to meet at Halsted and Armitage, me coming from work and she coming from my place, and we'd just walk around looking for a place to eat. I have to admin, I had Pasta Palazzo in the back of my mind, even if she said she'd just had Italian and didn't want it again. So she hops off the bus, we walk across Armitage, go past the bank, stop in front of Palazzo, she looks at the menu, sees the risotto on the daily specials, and we head right in. It's just so good and fresh and simple and enjoyable. Oh, and I forgot it was cash only, so I had to step around the corner for the ATM. But so good. Anyway, walked a bit more north, hopped on a crowded 8 when of course an empty one pulled up behind it. Then we hopped off at Cornelia and stopped in for some Cold Stone. I tried Sweet Cream with Kit Kat and caramel, but no good. It was lacking some punch. I did have a sample of their pistachio ice cream, but way too sweet for me. Headed out to the burbs tonight to watch The Last Kiss.
3:58 PM Friday, September 22, 2006
Maybe, but not quite. The Last Kiss, well, it's a good movie, in the sense that it was well acted, directed, written, but it's, to me, a depressing and distasteful movie. Hits my age group dead on. Takes place in Madison, so it's Midwesterners. But still, ugh. Probably good that it makes me feel something, and that it still clings, like smoke from a bar on me, but I wouldn't want to see it again. And it might be hard laughing at Zach Braff once Scrubs comes back on. Too convincing in his role maybe? Anyway, Woodridge 18 was pretty much empty last night. Only 2 other people in the theater with Tracy and me. I wonder if the season premieres of My Name is Earl, The Office, and Grey's Anatomy had anything to do with that. As long as the weather holds up we're headed over to the Lincoln Park Oktoberfest tonight. Tomorrow got a wedding to go to. Not sure if anything's up for Sunday.
3:06 PM Monday, September 25, 2006
No festival Friday night. Absolutely started pouring, cats and dogs, while on the bus ride home, and then, from the CTA Alerts list, I start getting text messages about all the sirens going off around the city, the first one being in 60657. That's my zip code. And that was as we were pulling onto Belmont. Anyway, figured it be best to stay in. Except we didn't, since Lisa was in town. So she picked us up and we headed out to Lincoln Square in search of German food, but ended up at La Bocca Della Verita since Pizza D.O.C. had a 45 minute wait. After that we ended up at The Map Room, where Missy, April and Scott joined us. Saturday Tracy and I made breakfast, pancakes and bacon, before scooting out to Kaying's Wedding in Elgin (by the way, directions from Google Maps estimated time at 57 minutes, we got there in 58 minutes). In the 4 1/2 hours between the end of the church ceremony and the reception, we wasted time at Woodfield, mainly to get Tracy a shawl or something, but I ended up getting a new shirt and tie, then a new pair of pants, and then a new pair of shoes. Go figure. After gettin ga new outfit, we headed back, this time to Geneva for the reception at Eagle Brook Country Club. Pretty nice. Oh, forgot that we stopped of at a Target to get some pajamas since we were gonna stay out there instead of trying to drive back in after a wedding. Good idea. Good times at the reception. Got some groove on. Also was a designated driver for the evening. Sunday got some food at Jimmy's Charhouse with April and Scott before taking the long way home since the expressway looked really bad. Spent the rest of the day relaxing on the couch before Tracy went to Treasure Island for pork chops and green beans. That and Stove Top Stuffing was dinner. Watched some Lost and Desperate Housewives. Lots of good TV on tonight, How I Met Your Mother, Heroes and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
3:18 PM Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Seriously. It's a new season. And good stuff. And I really really really miss HD. Watching it at Tracy's, well, so much better. We caught up on The Office, Grey's Anatomy, How I Met Your Mother, and Studio 60. Still have to catch the pilot for Heroes. All good TV, but I realized something about Studio 60 that puts it far and away the best of the bunch (not including Heroes, since I haven't seen it yet): it is nothing but good things so far. It's a story about redemption. About the creative process. About saving. About being part of something really special. About homecoming. About doing things the right way. The other shows? Well, they're still kind of funny, but mostly just depressing. It's all about bad situations, events that happened or happen that hit too close to home. About unrequited love, star crossed lovers, and in some cases death. Not so entertaining. But Studio 60, man, it's all about fighting the system. Or the way the system has become. I just love that show. Hate to say it, but it reminds me of Apple. Beleaguered. Left for dead. And a guys that were pushed out come back to roost, and returns it to former glory. It's awesome. Great story line, love that they work in TV, and the Jordan character just reminds me of Steve Jobs. I just can't stop gushing about this show.
2:42 PM Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Came home yesterday to Tracy making dinner in the kitchen. Lamb and mashed sweet potatoes. Good stuff. So I had to follow it up with chocolate souffles. It was alright, but didn't seem all that special. Not sure if I'm missing out on something or not. But I think it might be better cold. But definitely took a while to make, a good 30 minutes or so to whip up, and then a whole hour fifteen in the oven. That's a long time for a dessert. I might have to try one at the next fancy pants restaurant I get to. Try and see what the big deal is. Watched Gilmore Girls premiere and Smith. Also got my long component cables and IR Repeater, just need to finish setting those up. Also need some cable protectors, those things on the floor that allow you to run cables, for speaker wires anyway. Gots to do some cleaning tonight, if the laundry room's open I'll do some loads as well. Only thing that might get watched tonight is Jericho, but I haven't seen the premiere, so maybe not.
11:52 AM Thursday, September 28, 2006
Got the IR Repeater set up last night. It's pretty cool. Reciever and DVD changer is in the corner, little IR sensor in with the center speaker on top of the TV, aim remote at the TV, change stuff on the receiver and DVD changer. Next up is some more cable management stuff. Just don't know how far to take that. Nothing really on TV, so that's good. Did manage to do some laundry last night, but still have a couple more loads to do, probably, tomorrow night. Didn't get much cleaning done, but how's that any different than usual. I guess I forgot to mention a couple days ago going to Dominick's out in Homer Glen. It was really nice. Much nicer than what grocery stores used to be, and approaching Whole Foods niceness. The Jewel by me as well is undergoing some renovation. Makes me wonder if food's getting cheap enough that grocery stores are making enough profit that they can do stuff like this, and have to in order to compete. Oh well.
12:19 PM Friday, September 29, 2006
Last night it was The Office, Heroes and Smallville. HD continues to be so much better to watch things in, although I'd have to say Heroes was much better than Smallville visually. I like The Office, because it's mostly self contained episodes, will a little continuity, and you probably get more jokes if you've been watching. But the other two, just season long serials. This move towards season long storylines, giant mysteries that get unraveled, it actually makes me want to watch less broadcast TV, and just wait for the eventual DVD season sets. Because these shows are so much better when you can watch them like the 18 hour movies that they really are. But making the change away from free television shows to paying for it, well, that's a definite change for my economy. I guess I'd be trading money for time, time in the evenings when I might be watching things every week vs money for a box set to plow through in a weekend or a week. Hmmm, things to think about.
Archive of <September> <2006> [reverse chronological]