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

3:35 PM Monday, July 2, 2007
Thanks to Lisa and Ryan for putting us up this weekend. Good times. Flew out Friday night, saw a little bit of the iPhone mayhem at the State St. AT&T store. Still haven't seen one in person, or actually even on the street yet. Got in pretty late, hung out till 3am or so, then sleep. Woke up after sleeping in, which is more than I could do at home, and Ryan had made breakfast. We then headed to the Mall where there was some Folklore festival to check out, except it wasn't like a Chicago street festival, with alcohol and food on the streets. Nope, they had designated areas, named by Ryan as Alcoholland, for food and drink. The rest of it was little educational booths about the 3 different cultures, this year Northern Ireland, Mekong River, and Colonial Virginia. So pretty educational. Then we found out who the Smithsonians were named after, and then wandered up towards Dupont Circle to maybe catch a comedy show, which ended up being sold out, so we followed Tracy in her quest for a bar with a huge beer list that she vaguely remembered from her time there. And she found it. It's the Brickskeller and the beer list is huge. Tracy might have found her new favorite in Xingu, a black lager from Brazil. Afterwards, we went searching for food, and found a nice Indian place. Jackpot. Managed to get the car out of the garage before it closed for the evening with 20 minutes to spare, and then went through a sobriety checkpoint, my first ever, without stopping, because they weren't stopping people yet. Sunday another breakfast by Ryan and then some supply shopping to steam some blue crabs. That was awesome. Then a dip in the pool before heading back to Dulles for the flight home. Odds and ends: I thought I didn't have my sunglasses, so I ended up buying a pair from Target on Sunday, and when I looked for them after we got home, I found them in my backpack. I played with their cats, Honey and Hobbes, all weekend long. EDGE via the RIZR bluetooth tethering to the MacBook isn't that bad. Definitely usable. There was a Southwest flight from Dulles to Midway that left 15 minutes before our Southwest flight from Dulles to Midway. My only frame of reference for DC is from movies like The Recruit or books by Ludlum. One annoying thing about my Sony Reader: having to turn it off when taking off or landing in a plane because it has an on/off switch. Forgot to mention that we got a burrito from Taco Burrito Palace II on the way home, and it was super busy at 11pm on a Sunday night. Crazy.
3:57 PM Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Dinner by Tracy last night was lamb chops with a basil/mint rub/spread, couscous and spinach with prosciutto and caramelized onions. We watched the rest of the The Loop, which is now over, which is sad because it had some pretty sweet HD views of Chicago, but it wasn't that good of a show. But on one episode set on an airplane Sam sits next to Mark Cuban, who was flying coach. Really? Mark Cuban? On a sitcom? How does that happen? Keep seeing previews for New Amsterdam, which looks pretty interesting, along with Kelsey Grammer in Back to You. Also went down to do some bike maintenance, blow up some tires, check on Tracy's brake cables. The regular. Would be nice if I could do it in a backyard, or a driveway, or even in the condo with a bike stand, but nope, down in the garage next to the bike parking lot. Supposed to go check out some fireworks tonight. I'm having a little issue with upgrading the hard drive on the Apple TV, which is annoying, but I'm gonna try a factory restore and see if that works.
12:50 PM Thursday, July 5, 2007
Tuesday night had some coconut milk adobo by Tracy for dinner before heading out on our bikes to check out the fireworks from around Diversey Harbor. Ok place, but the buildings kind of got in the way. I forget if I need to get a bell to be bike legal in the city, but I put one on Tracy's. Wednesday was a lazy day. Got up, kept working on upgrading the hard drive in the Apple TV, made some waffles with one of the many wedding presents we have, and plopped in front of the TV. Finally watched Idlewild, which wasn't nearly as good as I thought it'd be, and ended up falling asleep for the last half or so. Took a nap. Made some beef/pepper stir fry for dinner while watching The Office before bed. Finally successfully upgraded the Apple TV following the Awkward TV wiki instructions. Going to Taste of Chicago tonight. Going to see The Police tomorrow night at Wrigley Field (stumbled across some tickets from a friend of a co-worker).
12:58 PM Friday, July 6, 2007
Went to the Taste of Chicago last night. Got some goat from a couple places, which was pretty good. We were looking for some of the more unconventional food, you know, something that isn't Italian or carnival food, but didn't find too much. The curry fries from Abbey Pub weren't that good, not a whole lot, and not enough curry. So kind of disappointing. And tonight Tracy and I are on the field for The Police concert at Wrigley Field. Should be fun, and I think, my kind of crowd. Also nice that it's down the street, we can walk, and don't have to worry about any kind of parking. We're supposed to look for closet organizers this weekend, checking out The Container Store somewhere. And I'll be pushing to get to the drive-in, even though it is far away. They're showing Transformers and Live Free or Die Hard. Sounds ideal for a drive in set. Was planning on running the Muddy Buddy with Russell for Tony's birthday, but registrations had closed so not this year. Oh, and it's Sandblast this weekend, but I probably won't be stopping by.
11:55 AM Monday, July 9, 2007
Official Photos from JR Geoffrion are available in the Wedding Gallery. With that out of the way, a recap of the weekend. Friday night The Police concert. Awesome. I haven't listened to some of that stuff in a while, and got introduced back in Jr. High or High School by my brother. It was a trip hearing that music live. Seriously. Awesome. Also interesting was the crowd makeup. But the people there were definitely into the music. Also, the crowd in the stands didn't really seem to get into it until one of the more popular songs was played. Then they stood up. We, on the field, had been standing since the start. Took some pictures with the phone, and I'll try and get them up soon. Also, saw my first iPhone in the wild, some guy a couple rows in front of us had one and was taking pictures. Just had frozen pizza for dinner before and after the show. Saturday did a test commute to work on my bike, which was pretty easy. About 30-40 minutes. Not bad. And depending on traffic, faster than a bus or the el. After that, ventured up to Northbrook Court, lunch at Taco Bell, finally played with an iPhone (verdict: I can wait), then headed over to The Container Store to check out some closet organizers. Got one planned out, but had to recheck the measurements because the ones I had didn't make sense. Ended up the closet is kind of misshapen. Tracy's dinner was steak and green beans and mashed potates. I tried making brownies, but ended up over cooking them so they came out a little dry. Watched The Devil Wears Prada. Always odd to see Vincent Chase in another movie. Sunday went up to Wilmette to pick up wedding photos from JR. They look awesome. We'll soon have a link to a more professional online place to order prints from. Then another trip to The Container Store to actually buy the closet organizer, then a trip to Highland Park for lunch at The Corner Bakery while looking at a slideshow of the photos, before picking up the closet organizer and then home. Tracy made dinner of gnocchi alfredo with broccoli rabe and a tomatoe basil salad and grilled chicken breast. I tried to make pecan tarts, but overcooked and caramelized them instead. Watched The Office, Entourage, and Trojan War. Put the Tubus Cargo rack on the bike, setup the handlebar bag, gave it a test run. This morning rode in to work on my bike. Awesome.
10:54 AM Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Need to get fenders on my bike. The commute into work was nice and easy. I'm going to enjoy riding. Riding with panniers makes it a little harder though, but super easy to haul things around. I had checked the forecast, saw that it was supposed to rain, but only a 40% chance. And when I looked out the window, the sun was shining. So I went for it. Of course, around 3pm or so, the skies darkened and opened up and it started pouring. Sweet. Maybe it'll clear up by the time I had to ride home. No deal. So I rode home in the rain, not bother to change into workout clothes. I put my clip on red taillight on the rack, loaded up the bike, and away I went. No problems, except that somewhere along the way I lost the taillight. Whoops. And the dirt up my back from the rear tire without a fender. That kind of sucked too. But other than that, it was OK. I think I need to cut over from Dearborn on Huron or Chicago. The panniers are definitely waterproof, which is good. But I'm gonna like biking. As soon as I get fenders on it. Which might be today. Anyway, after getting home soaked last night, took a shower, had dinner by Tracy, the Filipino ground beef, potatoes and peas mixture over rice, while watching Monsoon Wedding with an Almond Cream Soda which tastes like cotton candy. Took the bus to work this morning which broke down after getting onto Wacker, so I just walked the rest of the way.
3:08 PM Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Got off the el at Wellington on the way home from work yesterday. Was looking for GuS for Tracy at a couple places, and instead picked up Xingu from Binny's along with another sparkling sake. I think that's a new thing. At least to Chicago, but then again, I haven't perused the liquor aisles in a while. Also stopped by Johnny Sprockets to pick up another Blackburn Mars 3.0 taillight to replace the one that fell off my bike on Monday. Leftovers for dinner. Watched Glutton for Punishment on the Food Channel. Fairly interesting about a guy that's uber competative, and in this case, took part in a chile eating competition. The episode I'm looking forward to involves wine drinking and running. Sounds like Paganello. Then I spent a couple hours putting fenders on my bike. Annoying. Don't think it was made for fenders. But I finagled a way, and got them on. Should probably get some P-Clamps instead of zip ties for the front fender. And I looked up the instruction manual today and realized I forgot an additional piece which might help with fitting on the rear fender. Whoops. So, with the fenders on, I biked to work today. No rain forecasted, but I'm completely prepared. Supposed to head up to Hopleaf tonight for dinner with Russell, probably bike up there too. Al and Nicole are in town for a conference or something. Dinner with the family on Friday.
4:39 PM Thursday, July 12, 2007
I like bike riding in the city. Of course I'm late to the party, and I never really took it that seriously before, but it's awesome. It's a great way to get around the city. Up and down to work is easy. Went to Hopleaf last night, just up Clark, that was easy too. Hopleaf is great. Good food, not that expensive, and good beer list. Had myself a couple Ephemeres. Good to see Russell again, hadn't seen him since the wedding. Otherwise, had a teeth bleaching session this morning that ran a little long. Biked in to work, stopped by Home Depot to pick up some bike supplies: zip ties, p-clamps, and loctite. Took a lot longer to find that stuff than I hoped. Was a little worried about the rain, or more like looking forward to the rain today, since I have fenders, but no such luck. That's what I needed the stuff for from Home Depot, front fender attachement. Always nice to cool off in the server room after biking in. Other news? Joined my first ever fantasy football league. Sweet. Should be interesting, for me and my lack of sports knowledge and experience.
11:57 AM Friday, July 13, 2007
Dinner by Tracy last night was the rest of the gnocchi with a mushroom/onion sauce type thing, green beans, and grilled chicken breast. Good as always. Watched The Office, Scrubs, and some Good Eats, cut down my front fender support a little bit, vacuumed. Pretty simple night. Took the bus in this morning, since the family is headed to Nacional 27 for dinner tonight. Tracy and I might try and be extras for Rory's First Kiss, there's a call for extras tomorrow morning. Figure we'll try and hit that before heading out to the wedding of one of Tracy's former co-workers from CVS. I think the Chicago Speedway is getting some use this weekend so that might make travel down 55 a little difficult. Headed out to Woodstock on the way to Lake Geneva on Sunday for another family dinner. Got to start putting together the closet organizer, might get that started while Tracy goes to visit her brother in North Carolina next week. That and watch all the movies that are collecting on the DVR.
12:13 PM Monday, July 16, 2007
Friday night walked up to Nacional 27 after work, had a Mojito at the bar while waiting for the family to show up. Found out that Al and Nicole had their first date there 9 years ago, and there wasn't much up in that neighborhood at the time, and the inside of the restaurant looks pretty much the same. Food was good, as usual, but their sorbets were fresh, too fresh, like the Key Lime was too tart for my taste. Got dropped off at home before the doctors all went back to Woodstock. Saturday Tracy and I went down via bike to sign up to be extras for Rory's First Kiss, then rode up to Bucktown for lunch at the Northside Bar and Grill. Found a couple places that sell GuS (The Goddess and Grocer and Olivia's Market). I think I found Violet Crumble at The Goddess and Grocer, but I haven't tried it yet to be sure. That's exciting. Then back home where I finally got around to making sure that Tracy's rear brake was fit properly and wasn't engaged all the time. So that should make her bike riding experience better. Then we headed south for the Daphne's (one of Tracy's techs from CVS wedding). Afterwards we got some more food from El Mariachi in Calumet City, one of Tracy's favorites from her time down there. Sunday we headed out to Woodstock, had lunch with the family at Chop Suey Hut, managed to spill grease from fried chicken all over myself, napped a bit, then drove up to Lake Geneva for dinner at the Grandview Restaurant at the Geneva Inn. Good place, great appetizers, great food. Would be tempting to go up for a weekend, but it's a little pricey. Drove back into the city, watched some Entourage. Taking forever to import photos to create a Wedding album via Mpix. Rode the bike in this morning, and actually hoping for some rain, so I can see how effective the fenders are.
1:39 PM Tuesday, July 17, 2007
No rain yesterday on my bike ride home. No rain on my way to work this morning. Starting to wonder when I'll get to test out the fenders. Tracy made Nilaga for dinner last night, she's a big fan of bone marrow that turns to butter after cooking. We watched Burn Notice, Tracy worked a little on our wedding polaroid album, and I tried to work a little on where to go for a wedding photo book. And then she had to pack, cause she left today to visit her brother in North Carolina for a week. So, that means I'm on my own for food and entertainment. If it doesn't rain, I'll be headed up to City North to see Ratatouille with Bryan, otherwise, I'll head home to watch stuff on the DVR after getting soaked. Tempted to get a cyclo-computer because I have no idea what my cadence is, but that seems like a silly reason to get a computer, except the cheap ones are pretty cheap.
10:21 AM Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So with Tracy gone for a week, returned to the Fortress of Solitude: closed up the blinds, started watching TV, picked up some bachelor food, frozen pizza, mac & cheese, ice cream, and settled in for the evening. Watched All In, which I recorded because the little info sounded interested, a medical student uses her poker skills to pay her way, and then I started watching, and it stars Dominique Swain, which is interesting, and then in the opening scene there's Mark Cuban sitting at the table. Seriously? That's the second TV entertainment program that I've seen him on, Loop being the first. Weird. Anyway, it's a bad movie. I should have just watched Rounders again instead. Watched Eureka too. Pretty good as usual. Wish they'd put up a season pass on iTunes Store, then I wouldn't have to record it anymore. Also wish they'd do the same for Burn Notice. I actually think things look better from the iTunes Store compared to non-HD cable. Finally uploaded some more photos to the gallery, had a little issue on the server side before. Had to do some work stuff as well, which took longer than expected. Still waiting for the rains to come. Oh, and just had leftover nilaga for dinner last night.
12:53 PM Thursday, July 19, 2007
Didn't get rained on yesterday on the ride home from work. Storms started after I got back inside. No rain this morning on the way in. I probably would have taken the bus if it was raining. Not sure if I'm comfortable walking through the lobby and into the elevator at work dripping water. Mac & Cheese and kielbasa for dinner. Was going to get a gyro, but it was raining out. Watched Beerfest, funny movie. Or course I was drinking a beer while watching. Otherwise, not much going on.
12:10 PM Friday, July 20, 2007
So I finished up my first full week of commuting by bike to work. Awesome. Weather was great today. I decided to skip on the panniers and just go with a handlebar bag. No need for rain gear, and cool enough that I didn't feel like bringing a change of clothes. And it's a Friday. I just need to put on the lock holders on my frame, instead of strapping them to the rack. But I left about an hour later than usual, and I saw way more bikers than I have seen all week. Amazing. Couple things I noticed: I'd say 15% wear helmets. That's just stupid. And maybe 7% stop at stop signs. Also stupid. Mostly backpacks, only a few panniers. Lots of SS/Fixies too. Anyway, I'm gonna try and keep it up. It's a good way to get my exercise in. Especially since I've stopped my Marathon Training. Yeah, I've stopped that, ever since I heard about how Lisa and a friend of Ryan were never them same after running, and that I should listen to my body, and if it hurts, I should stop. So I stopped. And I'm in to biking now instead. My right ankle still hurts, but it might forever hurt, but nothing else does, no impact jarring joints, and I spin in a lower gear (instead of mashing in a higher gear) enough that my knees don't bother me. Biking's great. Watched In the Mix last night, finally got my gyro. Got to go back up to The Container Store tomorrow to pick up one last piece for the closet organization system. Also need to remember to take before and after pictures. I plan on getting some Sparkling Sake from Trader Joe's and check out the iPhone again while I'm up there.
1:29 PM Monday, July 23, 2007
Friday night had leftover nilaga for dinner, watched A Scanner Darkly and The Oh in Ohio. Saturday had to do some work for work after trying to take the existing closet apart. Figured out I needed some paint, and a mini crow bar, so picked that up when I had to go get the last remaining piece for the new closet system, a jewelry box shelf. Also got some garbage cans at The Container Store, picked up some more Sparkling Sake from Trader Joe's, didn't go to Apple Store to play with the iPhone, stopped by a Lowes for the hardware stuff, dropped by REI since it was there and finally got myself a bell for my bike, along with a CO2 inflater. Picked up some Burger King on the way back in. Took apart the closet, which is much easier when you have the right tools for the job. Spackled and painted, watched, Mystery Men and a couple episodes of Veronica Mars. Sunday after mass made some turnovers, let the oven self clean, put another coat of paint in the closet, watched Scarface, then installed the closet system. Interesting that the wall isn't completely flat, it bows out slightly, which means the hanging standards aren't flush against the wall. Amusing. Also, the wall between the closet and the bathroom is very thin. But got it all up and hung everything up. Need to get a nice stepping stool for the closet to reach the high shelves. Had some pizza and watched The Guardian before bed. Need to watch Miami Vice tonight, clean up the kitchen, before Tracy gets back tomorrow.
4:24 PM Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Yay! Tracy's back in town. We're supposed to hit the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival tonight for Double Indemnity, but her flight was a little late, but I think we'll still make it. Last night did my exercises, greased up the bikes hoping to fix the odd clunking sound coming from my bottom bracket, pumped up the tires, made myself a frozen pizza and watched Miami Vice. On the ride in the bike still clunks, so did some research, and might be a loose cup in my bottom bracket. Hoping to figure this one out on my own. Also cause bike shops are supposedly fearful of shaft drives. Also left a little later today, around 7:30am, and saw more bikers, so the increase in bikers I saw is due to the time, and not necessarily the weather or day of the week. Closet is still hanging, which is good. I forgot to take before photos, but I'll take some after photos when I get my camera back today. Also I've started looking for a new digital camera, just looking though. I realized that a large part of what makes a photo look more professional is a large aperture to layer focus levels. Point and shoots, for the most part, I don't think handle that very well, but I could be wrong. Not that I'll be getting a new camera anytime soon.
9:02 AM Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Didn't end up going to the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival last night. Tracy didn't get back till later, so we just stayed in. Ended up watching Little Miss Sunshine and Entourage instead. I had leftover frozen pizza for dinner, Tracy made some sauteed spinach with some North Carolina barbecue pork she brought back. Really need to take a look at my bottom bracket, but I think I need some tools to do it, but first I need to figure out what kind of cranks I have. Probably end up getting some more bike tools including a bike stand, so I can do some more of our own maintenance work. Also, I should start documenting it, since there's not a whole of info available online. Wish I had my own garage or backyard to work in, though.
1:27 PM Thursday, July 26, 2007
Didn't ride my bike in to work today. I'm getting worried about the creaking in the crank. Now it creaks when I put weight on either pedal. Ugh. I'll see if I can drag it over to the bike hut by the Lake Shore Path soon, or a bike store maybe. Besides that, I thought it was going to rain today, which of course it didn't. It's beautiful out. I should have rode in anyway. But the bus wasn't bad. Caught the second in a pack, got a seat. Got to read, which is good. Or course the ride in was never the problem, it's getting home that takes forever. Last night Tracy and I went to the Whole Foods that opened up on Halsted. Awesome. It was opening day for them, so they were pretty busy, lots of people just walking around it seemed, trying out samples, not necessarily buying anything. Definitely be going there pretty often. We made meatballs for dinner, wanting spaghetti, but we didn't have any, so it was some other pasta. Since that's all we were craving, couldn't justify going out for that. Watched Burn Notice to cap off the night. Also saw that Apple stock jumped in after hours trading after they announce quarterly earnings last night. Should have bought in with the $3-4 drop earlier this week. Today, it's up right now around $8.
1:34 PM Friday, July 27, 2007
Went out last night. Tracy made dinner, tapas style: carpaccio, filet, mashed white beans, some bitter greens, corn tomato salad. Good all around. Watched Glutton for Punishment, 30 Rock and part of The Office before Lisa and Ryan showed up. Had a drink, then went out to meet up with one of Lisa's friends, Jessie and Dan (I think). Wandered west looking for someplace to get a drink, found Joe's on Broadway to be too much of a neighborhood bar, Lakeview Broadcasting Co to be too clubby, and ended up at Murphy's Bleachers in time for them to stop outside seating and start to sweat inside. Ended up going back to Jessie and Dan's place just up the street to hang out some more, and play with their dog Teela. Got to tire her out playing tug-o-war, which was awesome. On the walk back to our place picked up some mexican food. Lisa and Ryan just ended up sleeping on the floor/couch. Not much planned for tonight, as I'm pretty tired, and tomorrow heading out to Venetian Night, hopefully early enough to grab some good seats, spend some time outside, play with some friends. Also want to bring the bike over to the little bike hut on the lake shore path across Lake Shore Drive to get the cranks checked out, hopefully tomorrow.
2:06 PM Monday, July 30, 2007
Friday night headed home a little earlier, stopped by Binny's and picked up some more Xingu. Don't remember what was dinner, and I'm sure we watched some stuff on TV before bed. Saturday slept in, did some grocery shopping, made some food to bring to Venetian Night, which ended up being just Tracy and me. We rode our bikes down the lake shore path, up until Navy Pier, when the foot traffic got bad enough we had to walk. And this was around 6:45ish. We settled down in a spot on the grass just north of Buckingham Fountain on the east side of Lake Shore Drive. It was pretty packed already. Didn't end up a good spot to view the boats, not sure where that might be, and we had a partially obscured view of the fireworks too. I'm thinking we'd have to show up in the afternoon to get prime seats. Instead of trying to fight the crowds north on the lake front, we went into the city and took my work path home, up Dearborn over to Wells, Lincoln, and Halsted. Not necessarily the smartest thing to do with Tracy for her first ride through city streets, but we survived. Also ended up using the bigger Back Ortlieb Classic Rollers panniers instead of the front ones I've been using for commuting. Awesome. Between the two of use we could bring a pretty healthy picnic spread by bike. Sunday more sleeping in, watched The Illusionist, went to mass, a couple more grocery trips in there, had some crab for dinner, and watched some of the My Boys marathon in prep for the second season starting tonight. Also finally compiled gift lists and will start doing thank-you's.
2:58 PM Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I think my bike maintenance tools and stuff got delivered today, which means I'll finally get a chance to figure out what's creaking on the bike. Hasn't stopped me from riding it though. Tracy made a crab salad for dinner last night, made me go out and get some bread to eat with it. Watched Entourage (funny because I first heard of furries way back in college) and another episode of My Boys. I showed Tracy how to use the small panniers on her bike, so when she brings stuff down to the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival tonight, she won't have to bring a backpack or anything. Of course that means I'm packing the big bags, which is fine. Helps me to be prepared for any eventuality. Anyway, that's what we're supposed to do tonight.
Archive of <July> <2007> [reverse chronological]