Archive of <February> <2007> [reverse chronological]

12:08 PM Thursday, February 1, 2007
So I found out last night, well, the only important thing is that I'll be using DSL to get online after February 12, instead of using a cable modem, like I had been using for the last 7 1/2 years I've been living there. That's the only real valuable information I got out of the meeting last night at my building for the introduction of OnShore as our new internet provider. Other things I learned that aren't important: certain assumptions and stereotypes I might have about the residents of my building are, in fact, true. So there's some basis for that. But it's not everyone. Out of ~700 units, only 180 were signed up with INNCOM, but I have no idea how many were signed up with RCN before they got the plug pulled. Supposedly we're still going with Dish Network, which will probably get rolled out on February 15. Oh, and INNCOM had horrible customer support, which I only called once to ask about upgrading my service and never heard back from them. And it would take a million dollars to rewire the building, which should get done at some point. I'm not worried. I'll still have internet access, that shouldn't get interrupted. It'll still be broadband. I probably won't notice a speed difference. But I should be able to connect to my home computer again. That'll be good to have. Otherwise, dinner was good, some frozen giant crab legs, baked potatoes, and asparagus. Tracy also picked up some chocolate covered sunflower seeds in a candy shell, like M&Ms, but sunflower seeds. Those are addicting. More dance class tonight, learning I think more Salsa.
11:13 AM Friday, February 2, 2007
So I'm really getting married. Wanna know how I'm sure of it now? We got the invitations yesterday from Tag & Company. Great place, by the way, if anyone's looking. But opened them up, they look great, and somehow, it's completely and totally official. I guess it's the first, in my hands, this is really happening, type of moment. I mean, it's physical proof, besides the engagement ring, and the fiancée. I was actually thinking about doing that whole unboxing thing, but didn't want to put everything back in. Anyway, really means I need to get the website completed. Besides that, had more apps at Green Door Tavern before learning more Salsa at dance class. Always fun. Finally got my new HDTV OTA box, a Samsung DTB-H260F High Definition Terrestrial Tuner. Plugged it in this morning, and guess what? I get everything except WBBM. Awesome. Anyway, it totally took care of any multipath issues I had. And I'm now a little less inclined to get every HD channel under the sun when Dish Network finally gets offered in my building. Oh, and also getting my Dad Akira's old TV for the upstairs condo. Figure that's a good way to upgrade without trying to figure out what new TV to get.
1:15 PM Monday, February 5, 2007
Yes, that's with a capital C. Friday night was a surprise going away party for Kevin, who'll be venturing back to the homeland in a couple of weeks. Had a little too much to drink, so slept well that night. A little hungover the next day. All we did was some more registering, this time at Williams-Sonoma. Tried making my fancy dinner for Tracy, since our dating anniversary, which I assume will fall by the wayside after we get married, was on Friday. The Beef Wellington was pretty good, the zucchini stuffed tomatoes were a little bland, and the chocolate souffles, well, those were spectacular as usual. We got caught up watching The Ron Clark Story, about some teacher in Harlem, which we couldn't just record because we didn't have a DVR, so we had to stay up to watch it. Sunday we watched The Debut, a cute Filipino-American movie, starring Rufio from Hook. Then we braved the Cold and headed over the Bryan's to watch the Super Bowl and see the Bears lose. Ugly game. Commercials weren't that entertaining either. Chili was good. Decided to do some computer work since it didn't seem like the Bears were coming back in the second half. Found out I can't VPN in to work at home, but have no issues at places with real internet connections. Thankfully that'll be changing soon with InnCom's exit and OnShore's arrival. Also started really doing some work on the Wedding website. Got the graphics down finally, and just have to work on the CSS] layout and stuff.
1:26 PM Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Snowing, but that's better than absolutely bitter cold. At least my face doesn't feel like it's gonna fall off after walking outside, and snow is kind of pretty. Couldn't really watch TV last night, so spent the night in the data center instead. A little more work on the Wedding website, getting colors down, found and bought the fonts used for the invitation, so that might help with addressing as well as the website. We're supposed to go get wedding bands today, but with the snowfall, it's looking questionable to drive out there tonight. Rummaged for dinner last night, dragging out a chicken breast from the freezer, some spaghetti, some sauce, and some herbs. Quick and easy. The sauce makes it good. I've got to remember to put it into the Memex. 94 days.
2:49 PM Wednesday, February 7, 2007
So this Wedding website is a little annoying. I'm not a web designer. I'm fudge around CSS trying to get things to look and work right, paying no heed to standards, how it might look in a browser other than Firefox or Safari. Don't care about Windows users, don't really think about anyone using a screen resolution lower than 1024x768. I probably should. And probably shouldn't use images for text in the menu. But I do, and it looks alright. Still working on it though. Need to add actual content now. Oh, and I also need make a theme for the Gallery so I can use that with the wedding website. Although I'm not sure if I want to add another installation, or embed it if possible. Not sure yet. Anyway, I did the work on that last night because I didn't drive out to Tracy's as I had planned because I hadn't planned and looked at the forecast. When says it takes 2 1/2 hours to drive what normally takes 1 hour, well, you cut your losses. But, headed out tonight.
3:08 PM Thursday, February 8, 2007
So we were supposed to go get wedding bands last night, but the James & Sons in Orland Park was closed when we got there. The whole strip mall it's located in was closed, I'm guessing due to some utilities problem, I didn't stop to read the signs on the doors. Instead we hopped on over across the street to Jared. They weren't very friendly. Not like at James & Sons. So Tracy did some looking and some trying, but it's a little difficult when she didn't have her engagement ring on her. Then we had dinner at Ruby Tuesday's. On the way out, Tracy commented that we're like an old married couple, especially one in the 'burbs, having dinner at Ruby Tuesday's in the mall on a weekday night. Anyway, we wandered over to Williams-Sonoma and learned a bit about the Japanese knives. Good to actually handle some to get some ideas on size and style. Back at Tracy's, I tried out Gallery for a possible overkill for the Wedding website. Headed back in and dropped something of for her brother. Tonight learning more Tango, not sure yet where we're having apps. Probably stuffing invites this weekend. Hopefully we'll get those out next week.
4:51 PM Friday, February 9, 2007
Apps at Green Door Tavern last night. Apparently it's the place to go before dance class, as we saw 2 other couples there who left for the 7pm class. What's funny is that one of the couples waved to us, well, to Tracy anyway, as they were leaving, like they knew us. We had no idea. Possibly from dance class, cause Tracy thought the guy looked familiar, and I vaguely thought the girl looked familiar, which makes sense in a dance class. But it bugged Tracy until we showed up for our 8pm class, and they were dancing away. And then I remembered they missed the 7pm class for something, and jumped into our class instead. And apparently from the one class they remembered us. Weird. Besides that, I got Tracy a new jewelry holder thingie made out of a Manzanita. It's pretty cool. She also brought over a bunch of pictures to use for our photo montage, which I guess we're doing. I've got an eye appointment tomorrow, and I'll be asking about Lasik. Probably headed out to Woodstock to see my parents, and my mom freshly back from the Philippines, which is only ~$800 round trip via Cathay Pacific if booked in February. Just throwing that out there.
1:15 PM Monday, February 12, 2007
After a weekend working on it, I finally got the wedding website up and running. Of course, let me know of any typos, poorly displaying content, and include OS and browser version info. And I hate Internet Explorer 7. Anyway, to get the full experience use Firefox. And now I know what I would hate being a web designer, because of all the different quirks dealing with IE. Seriously. Frustrating. You also might have had issues up till lunch today, as I tweaked it a little bit. But that pretty much summed up my weekend. Friday night Tracy made dinner and we watched Strictly Ballroom. Saturday would have worked out, but the gym was absolutely packed at 10am, so I skipped out. After my eye appointment, (I'm in good shape for getting LASIK), I went on home to Woodstock to visit my ailing mother. She picked up some GI bug on the way back from the Philippines, so I kept her company on the couch while working on the website. So that was that till Sunday night when I beat the snow home to Chicago. My mom's better, started cleaning and doing the bills. We got Pizza Hut for dinner, I picked up a Whopper for lunch on the way home, went to the teen mass at St. Mary, figured out some more wedding details. We're now under 3 months, at around 89 days. Invitations will go out end of this week. That's a promise. It's more of an issue because we never got around to sending Save the Dates. I'm getting DSL this evening. Which will be nice. Also means for 3 days I will have 2 separate broadband internet connections. No idea what to use those for.
2:15 PM Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Good news, bad news. Got OnShore DSL installed yesterday, but that allows me to VPN to work again. Found out the building is switching back to RCN for cable services. That's awesome. 5-6 months ago we switched away from RCN, gave up my perfectly working HD DVR for the promise of something that never materialized. Now, probably in a couple weeks, I'll be going back to RCN's HD DVR. Maybe they've got new boxes available. That would be nice. Doesn't look like it though. Oh well. Maybe I should splurge and get a TiVo Series 3 and some cable cards? Who knows. Whatever. Figured out how to print addresses on invitation envelopes. So that's closer to happening. Probably start printing out envelopes tonight. Oh, and the weather's pretty bad. Took me a long time to get to work this morning via the bus, so I'll probably hop on the El to get home, and hope it's doing ok.
3:04 PM Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Makes me crave Dairy Queen. Tracy made fajitas for dinner last night. Pretty good. We retired to the couch to watch Gilmore Girls and House in HD with the new OTA STB. So much nicer than analog cable. When I got home after work there were a bunch of RCN vans near the receiving room. Probably just putting back into place all the stuff they took out 6 months ago. Also I wonder if they will provide internet access again to the building, and what that mean for OnShore. Maybe I'll go with 2 connections. I was getting 3Mbps down consistently with the DSL. Only 500Kbps up though. Fixed some content issues on the Wedding website (typos, added story, grammatical stuff). Thinking about custom postage, but no time for the invites, but probably for the thank you cards.
1:35 PM Thursday, February 15, 2007
Seriously. Came home from work last night, saw that RCN had reps in the common room, walked in, 15 minutes later was signed up for everything I was signed up for in September with a promise of install by 8pm that night. Of course, that didn't happen, and I'm supposed to get it installed on Saturday, but seriously, getting cable and internet is supposed to be that easy. So yes, DVR, HD, movie channel goodness is returning. So more movie reviews, TV reviews, more time on the couch. Yay. In the meantime, I really figured out how to print envelopes on the computer, which involved setting the width to the height and the height to the width and changing the orientation to get it printing correctly. I also added print media CSS to the Wedding website, so when printing it out, it should look decent.
1:30 PM Friday, February 16, 2007
Dropped by the Paper Source on Armitage looking for paper to insert directions, since we didn't get direction cards made by Tag & Company, and thinking maybe we should have. Also, we're pretty contemporary with our invites, in that we went with single envelopes, instead of the more traditional double. And yes, I'm using a laser printer for the labels, instead of hand writing or hiring a calligrapher to write them out. Don't worry, it'll still look nice, but definitely not traditional. Oh well. So after Tracy and I didn't find any paper we liked, we moved on to pre dance dinner at Sai. But first we stopped in at Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Wow. I've been meaning to get to one of their stores for a while, but never got around to it. Wow. We like Ethel's Chocolate Lounge, but compared to Vosges, it's like a department store. Wow. So we picked up a couple pieces, and tried some samples. Wow. Moving on. Sai was great, as always. I think it was my first time in the middle room since they redecorated, which probably goes to show how long it's been since we've gone, but seems trendier. Good thing the food is as good as it is. We learned Samba at dance class. Good stuff. Fun. And when we got home I plugged the Samsung STB into the cable outlet, because with RCN pumping signals again, I could use the Samsung to tune some channels until the RCN DVR box comes. So I weeded through the found channels and set up the broadcast networks, and the one movie channel that gets through. It's awesome. So much better than standard definition. Dropped off Puck for an oil change this morning, got a haircut during lunch. Got my follow-up dentist appointment tomorrow, and dinner at Tru for my 30th that night. Meeting the parents on Sunday to buy a new MacBook that my dad's getting for a niece or nephew, for brunch because it's my dad's birthday, and to drop off invites for the Philippines since my dad is heading there at the end of the month and tax forms for the accountant. Then a party in the 'burbs for Tracy's sister-in-law's parents. Busy.
11:39 AM Monday, February 19, 2007
Friday night nothing too exciting. At least that I can remember. Saturday got my teeth checked out, just fine, then had RCN install the HD DVR, a better model than I had, this time a Motorola Dual-Tuner DVR High-Definition Set-Top DCT6416 which I think has slightly bigger hard drive, and a HDMI port if I had a TV that could use HDMI. Also got cable modem service turned on, and I started looking for a load balancer or a bandwidth aggregator so I can use both DSL and cable modem service. But HD is back, and wow, it looks great. The new RCN interface is annoying though. Tracy and I headed up to Evanton to look for paper choices for the map insert for the invitations. Didn't find anything too spectacular. Watched a bit of Maverick before heading out to dinner at Tru. Amazing. Great stuff. Early night after that though. Sunday morning finished up the 7 invites to be sent to the Philippines, met up with my parents, Auntie Luz and Joy at Texas de Brazil for my dad's birthday. Then helped him pick up a MacBook for a cousin. It's really easy to just walk into a store, buy and new laptop, and walk out. Seriously. Too easy. After that, Tracy and I headed down to the southern burbs, ran some wedding errands, then dinner at the Tongs for Chinese New Year's. Finished off the evening printing out the map inserts. I've got to print out envelopes the next couple of days.
2:43 PM Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Oh I love RCN, HD DVRs and Premium movie channels. Watched Date Movie and Eight Below last night while printing out the first set of invites. I'm about 25% done, but at least I've got a method to the madness established. I should be able to pop the rest of these out no problem. As for the movies, Date Movie was understandably horrible. Bad. Good background noise. Eight Below was pretty much what was expected: Disney family fare with animals, slight teary at parts, but quite enjoyable. What I'm finally looking forward to seeing is Doom which gets recorded this weekend. I forget what else, because I've got like 8 or so set to record in the next week. It's awesome. Seriously, I don't know how I was able to watch without HD for those long 165 days. Wow. Weather's been nice. Need to do laundry, again.
9:37 AM Thursday, February 22, 2007
Yesterday was a sick day. Tuesday night did laundry, which was my first time using the new machines in my building. They've raised prices, from $.50 to $.75 for a wash, and from $.25/25 minutes to $.50/first 25 minutes + $.25/10 minutes for the dryer. I mean, it's nice having new machines, and twice as many dryers, but wow. Definitely wish I had an in unit washer dryer, or lived in a building that allowed for in unit washer dryers. Also printed more invites, and I've come to grips with the lack of etiquette that goes along with that. They look nice. Also watched Running Scared, that Paul Walker mafia movie which was good, and The Squid and the Whale, that Noam Baumbach movie that also was pretty good. Wednesday night Tracy and I got delivery from Chen's, printed out more and started stuffing invites. Watched Gilmore Girls, How I Met Your Mother, and Shopgirl. Have I mentioned that I love having a DVR again? Oh, and there's no problem jumping into the middle of a sitcom season. HIMYM is funny no matter how many episodes you've missed.
12:07 PM Friday, February 23, 2007
Had our last group class at Chicago Dance last night after dinner at the Brehon Pub. Apparently they filmed some of Cupid at that bar, which is pretty cool. But nothing special about that place. Just another Irish pub. At dance class we learned more Cha Cha Cha. Fun. Might be the next group class after the wedding. Now we need to pick a song and a dance and start taking the private lessons. Picking up Puck tonight, then headed over to Bucktown for dinner with Russell. Headed up to the Dells tomorrow for the annual indoor waterpark weekend. This is the 3rd year for that. That'll be fun. Happy early birthday to my brother and anniversary to my parents (it's tomorrow for all of them). Otherwise, not much else going on.
2:37 PM Monday, February 26, 2007
For all the weather related travel advisories over the weekend, we didn't run into any of them. Tracy didn't get off work until 10pm on Friday, so I picked up Puck and came down and had dinner with Russell at Silver Cloud. Dropped by to say Hi to my parents upstairs, and chilled waiting for Tracy. I thought about heading up to the Great Wolf Lodge, but called Tony who suggested not to, which was genius. When we drove up Saturday morning, it was only 3 hours, much less than the 4-6 some people drove the night before. Anyway, waterpark goodness followed. I brought along my waterproof case for my digital camera, which worked. I was about to say it worked well, but a waterproof case either works or it doesn't, right? Got some pictures, ate some food, played some videogames, watched some movies, played some ball in the waterpark, rode some slides, bobbed in the wave pool, watched the snow fall. And the snow did fall. But the drive home on Sunday was only 3 hours as well. Tracy and I finished up stuffing and stamping invites, and they got sent home with her today. Just a few stragglers to clarify before sending. Also we managed to find out where we're going for our honeymoon: just a week long cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. Should be fun. So 75 days and counting.
3:16 PM Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Or so it seems. Just another Monday yesterday. Work, drove out to Tracy's, watched some TV (I miss the old interface on the Motorola DVRs compared to the crappy Passport software on the RCN boxes), had some dinner, figured out some remaining wedding stuff. First time in a while it felt like a normal night out at Tracy's, and we weren't wedding planning or organizing or something. It was nice. Granted, when I go out on Wednesday it's for looking at wedding bands, so it's short lived. Otherwise, not much else. I've started collecting Vitamin Water bottles on my desk at work. I'm missing Defense, Rescue, Endurance and Vital-T. Rescue is hard to come by, and I haven't seen Vital-T ever, and it's been a while since I've seen Endurance. Got to make some phone calls tonight, but not much else. Planning on getting a gyro and watching Doom.
12:54 PM Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Last night waited 25 minutes for a bus up to the Magnificent Mile to pick up an Apple USB Modem so I can fax documents from my MacBook which doesn't have a built in modem before hopping on a bus to make it home in time to vote and pick up a Vitamin Water Defense and a gyro for dinner while watching Doom and making phone calls to finish up invitations while watching Just Friends before finishing Doom while eating ice cream before bed and waking up to a humidifier that decided to humidify the floor rather than the air and making my way to work in Puck while listening to NPR podcasts on the iPod before heading out to Tracy's to look at wedding bands.
Archive of <February> <2007> [reverse chronological]