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

10:08 AM Wednesday, August 1, 2007
So we did make it to the Chicago Outdoor Film Festival last night to see Written on the Wind. Pretty good movie, with the guy from Unsolved Mysteries and Airplane! in a more serious role. Rather interesting to see. I showed up after work around 5:45pm and snagged a great seat pretty close to the screen. And we managed not to get any chairs to sit in front of us while waiting the 3 hours for the movie to start. Impressive. We snuck wine in, like a lot of other people, which was a Moscato D'Asti, which was supposed to be for Bellinis. Really sweet. Tracy made finger sandwiches of mozzarella and sun-dried tomato pesto, almond chicken satay, salad rolls, assorted cheeses and some brownie bites. Pretty good picnic spread. We do need a new picnic blanket though, as the fleece one we're using now isn't really suited to it. Other things to note: it really was humid, and as the sun went down and the temps dropped things got damp. We rode bikes and used the free Chase Bike Valet service at Monroe and Lake Shore Dr. Awesome. The ride back was sweet, and probably my longest non-stop ride, up the Lake Shore Path. Pretty quiet, lights on, cool enough, just cruising. Very nice. Got my bike tools, but realized I need a torque wrench. Al and Nicole are coming in to town tonight for 10 days or so. Only plans so far are I think family dinner on tomorrow night, Fogo de Chao on Friday night, and the Chicago Architecture Foundation River Tour on Saturday morning.
9:37 AM Thursday, August 2, 2007
Another bike ride, more creaking, but I actually fixed it this time. Ended up the front gear box covers are screwed on too tight? when I loosed them up a bit, no more creaking. Didn't even have to try and take the cranks off, or peer into the bottom bracket. Which is good. Still want to eventually. Next is trying to fix Tracy's first gear on her bike. It's slipping. So riding in this morning with no creaks? Awesome. Just need to find the intermittent rubbing from my front fender, and then it'll be nice and quiet. Of course, when I figured that out, something else had to break. A new firmware update for the Sony Reader came out a couple days ago, so I tried to update via Parallels last night. No go. Seemed like I had bricked it, too. Not good. So I brought it in to work, did the firmware upgrade from a real Windows XP machine, and no problems. Kind of annoying. Maybe I should look into Boot Camp? Maybe when Leopard rolls around. Tracy made spaghetti for dinner last night, I tried to make a peach cobbler, but burned the top a bit when I tried to brown it under the broiler. Turned out ok though. Watched and caught up on My Boys. Dinner with the family tonight upstairs.
11:32 AM Friday, August 3, 2007
Biking is much nicer when it's quiet. However the bike started to creak a little bit again on the way home last night. So yes, definitely need to take the cranks off and take a peek into the gearbox. Al and Nicole are in town, and the whole family gathered in the upstairs condo for dinner last night. Good stuff, home cooking, and dessert from Ambrosia, a bakery, err, Euro American Patisserie out in Barrington. Had my first cup of coffee for the day before dessert. When I don't go out to get breakfast and munch on granola bars in the morning, I don't get coffee. Gave Nicole some display cables since she had to give a presentation at some medical conference something or other this morning. Got to see photos of their new house, or something like it, in Austin. Looks great, and can't wait to visit after it's finished. Watched Burn Notice before bed. Even though there haven't been that many episodes, I'm starting to get tired of it. Not sure if it'll last for me. Headed to Fogo de Chao for dinner tonight, Chicago Architecture Foundation River Tour tomorrow morning, and headed out to the burbs on Sunday for Tracy's parents 35th wedding anniversary.
11:58 AM Monday, August 6, 2007
Friday night dinner at Fogo de Chao was good, too good. Couldn't do much else afterward. Did stop by the Apple Store to play with the iPhone for a bit before catching the bus, oh, and we stopped to get some popcorn from Garrett Popcorn Shops. Tracy and I watched Burn Notice before heading to bed, which was a good idea, as sleeping with all that meat in the belly would have been a bad idea. Saturday made our way down for the river tour, which was pretty informative, at least about the buildings. Had a slight mixup with the tickets (had 2 for July 28 and 4 for July 4), but that wasn't a problem at all. We stopped by Fox & Obel thinking of having lunch there, but they were switching over from breakfast at noon and wouldn't have any hot dishes available for 45 minutes. So we wandered over to P.J. Clarke's for lunch. Did some shopping at Water Tower Place before heading up for mass at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Family split up after getting back to the condo, and Tracy and I watched Last Holiday before gathering upstairs for dinner, which ended up being Joy's Noodles for dinner, with a pizza as well from Marcello's. Watched a couple episodes of Seinfeld off my brother's iPod output to the TV before bed. Sunday met up for brunch at Ann Sather's before heading out to the 'burbs. Also snuck in a nap. Tracy measured out the hallway closet and we brought wood out to cut for additional shelving. All in all, a pretty full weekend.
4:07 PM Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Can't seem to cook anymore. Biked to work and back. No issues. Still haven't gotten rained on since putting on the fenders. Got home, wanted to make yakitori from a recipe I read in Google Reader except I forgot to star it, so I couldn't remember where it was from, or how long ago. All I remember is that it had honey has an ingredient. So I used some other Food Network recipe instead. Didn't use fresh ginger or scallions, and used too much of the powdered stuff. So dinner didn't turn out so well. Watched The Prestige. That's kind of a depressing movie. Funny to see or know so many of the Batman crew working on that one, but still, pretty sad. No biking today, going to Piece tonight for a gathering to see Matt Flynn who's in town. Also thought it'd be raining, so that's why I also didn't bike, and also because I wouldn't want to lug around my bags with me off my bike. But of course it didn't really rain, and I might have been able to get away with using the handlebar bag. Oh well. It's still hot out and wouldn't be nice to get all sweaty for going out. New or upgraded iMacs announced today, along with iLife and iWork '08. I'll eventually get the family packs, maybe when Leopard rolls out. No need for it now.
9:53 AM Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Good to see Matt Flynn again. And the rest of the guys I hadn't seen in a while. And Piece too for that matter. Good pizza and beer. Always hard to hear though, so lots of shout talking. My throat didn't feel all that good when I got home. Ended up watching an episode of Entourage before bed. Screwed up trying to fix the stuttering DVR for Tracy who was watching Like Water for Chocolate. Ugh, annoying. Now have to wait until the 19th to record it again so she can finish watching it. I bet a TiVo HD wouldn't have those problems. Tempting, of course, but that's more spending that needs to be curtailed. Headed out to the 'burbs tonight for another family dinner, this time at Yu's. Hopefully traffic won't be as bad as the last time we tried to get out to the 'burbs for dinner with the family.
11:37 AM Thursday, August 9, 2007
Dinner at Yu's was good last night. The crab in black pepper was pretty good, very tasty, enought to just go ahead and eat some of the shell while I was at it. I even ate the eggplant, because it was crispy instead of mushy and soggy. I left work early to leave early thinking traffic would be really bad and it would take forever to get out there. Also I was hoping to ride home in the rain finally to see how my fenders hold up, but no, it stopped raining by the time I left work, and it only took 45 minutes or so to get out to Schaumburg for dinner so I was impressed. Another cool thing about Yu's is the windows to the kitchen, so we got to watch woks at work. Maybe someday in a fancy kitchen I'll have a wok burner or something. That'd be awesome. Made it home easy as well, watched an episode of My Boys while I had to do some work stuff.
1:33 PM Friday, August 10, 2007
Had a slight front fender issue with my bike before leaving work yesterday. Kind of annoying. Wish I could put cantilevers (brakes) on it instead of the calipers I've got, but no luck. Or maybe I just need some long reach calipers. Or I'm just making stuff up. Anyway, I just tightened it up and no problems. Although my fenders are definitely the cheaper sorts, so I may have to look at some SKS ones eventually. But I ended up leaving much later from work, and it was nicer leaving downtown, but not so much when I got up into Old Town and Lincoln Park. Lots of cars stopping in the bike lane, cabs, parking, waiting or so on. I also switched out the lenses on my sunglasses to the RC30, just to try it out. Seems to, as they say, enhance depth perception. Things seemed sharper, that's for sure. Tracy made dinner, porkchops with a dry spice rub, sauteed spinach with cheese and garlic, and sauteed peppers and onions. Watched some of Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy before we actually turned off the TV. Tracy started organizing the gift list/thank you notes again. Oh, earlier this week Tracy put up some additional shelves in the hall closet, so now I have a place to put my panniers instead of in the hallway. Much nicer. And this weekend I get to finish the closet up with another shelf up top, which will be nice. For Saturday we'll try and finally open up a joint checking account, and Sunday maybe see the U.S. Women's soccer team play New Zealand at Soldiers Field. Besides that we need to actually do the thank you notes and I need to start clearing out the 2nd bedroom. That pretty much means I just need to throw out a bunch of crap. Oh, and we're gonna try and finally see Transformers tonight. Which is why I didn't ride my bike in.
10:03 AM Monday, August 13, 2007
So Transformers is really good. A quality summer blockbuster. Can't wait for the sequel. Or, if the CGI becomes cheap enough, how about a TV series? That'd be awesome. Now I'm hoping that the G.I. Joe movie that's been fast tracked will be as good. Tracy and I went after meeting up at the Apple Store where I was playing with the iPhone again and the new iMac, except I never got around to trying the new iLife or iWork. Guess I'll just have to go back. After the movie we just went to dinner next door at Niu Japanese Fusion Lounge, which wasn't too bad. It's pretty new, and service shows, but still, pretty nice. We saved up room cause we went to oENOlogy, a wine and cheese and chocolate bar at the Hotel Intercontinental. That was pretty nice. Tracy found a nice cheese with truffle in it. The Dark Chocolate flight was very tasty, and paired well with the Champagne flight we shared. Saturday was pretty busy as well, finally opened a joint checking account at Fifth Third Bank, picked up some cilantro at the Nettlehorst School Farmer's Market, breakfast at Melrose Diner, then some housework. Cut off the visible screws in the bathroom from the closet install, tried installing a new top shelf in the hallway closet, had to get a planer to make it fit, started switching out the light switches. Tracy made a roast chicken for dinner, I finally got some sherbet, watched Practical Magic and I converted some more books for my Sony Reader. Sunday made waffles for breakfast, finished some switch work, watched The Marine, finished Syriana, Entourage, Burn Notice, Feasting on Asphalt, some Food Network. Still have to purge the 2nd bedroom though.
12:16 PM Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Forgot to mention yesterday, but got a phone call on Saturday from Rory's First Kiss casting, that Tracy and I went out to one Saturday a while ago. And we're gonna be extras. Seriously. Granted, I won't be able to write anything about it, confidentiality agreements and all, but wow, there's a chance I could be up on the movie screen sitting at a table in the background, or walking across the street. And I get to find out what it's like making movies, or at least a scene, hoping it's a scene with some principals. Anyway, that's this Sunday. And they had lost Tracy's paperwork, but I think we managed to get her included as well, so that's awesome. It would have been a little annoying to be there 6am-6pm by myself, gawking at the filmmakers. That's why I spent some time converting books for the Sony Reader over the weekend. Rode in the morning, after the rain stopped. It was quite cool and not busy at all, which was nice. Didn't get stuck behind any slower cyclists, got passed by a couple though. And fenders work! No spray up the back, feet were almost completely dry. We're supposed to go to Movies in the Park tonight, hoping the weather holds up. Last night had some macaroni & cheese and Kielbasa for dinner, and watched No Reservations, Bizarre Foods, Good Eats, and Human Weapon.
4:58 PM Wednesday, August 15, 2007
So old movies are really good, if a little slow in parts, at least for my MTV attention span. Got to Movies in the Park around 6pm, got a much closer spot, Tracy showed up soon after, and we settled in for a couple hours to wait for Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid to start. Some guy in front and to the left of us had a whole portable DVD setup, watching some John Wayne movie and he had two sets of speakers. Odd. Also lucked out and got no folding chairs in front of us. Just need to pack it in to make sure there's no room for a chair. That and get a bigger blanket. Ride back was nice and slow, just cruising on up. Today got to have lunch with Bryan over at Elephant & Castle. I had the bangers and mash. I love that stuff. I love English pub food. I was really interested in the Ploughman's Platter. I need to get there when I can drink a nice pint as well. Looks like I'll get to ride home in the rain today, so that looks like fun.
11:53 AM Thursday, August 16, 2007
Not a real rain on the way home, maybe a slight drizzle. Again, disappointing. I like riding in the rain. Otherwise, pretty uneventful. Did some exercises while Tracy made moussaka for dinner. Watched Slap Her... She's French and the end of Batman Begins. Converted Piers Anthony Incarnations of Immortality for the Sony Reader. That's pretty annoying. Most of the books are scans that were OCR'd, and it's annoying to have page numbers and/or page headers and footers to delete. I just wish I could just buy these as eBooks instead. Hopefully someday.
3:03 PM Friday, August 17, 2007
Finished up the Death Gate Cycle last night. Always a good read. Did some more conversion clean up on the Incarnations of Immortality series, and did Silver Tower by Dale Brown. That's what I'm currently reading. Maybe the Piers Anthony stuff after, or William Gibson's new Spook Country. Or finally get around to the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson. Love my Sony Reader. Full week of commuting by bike completed today. Next week I might try bringing a weeks worth of clothes on Monday and stop packing the panniers every day. Except I like being prepared by packing heavy. Read somewhere about using Tyvek underneath tents when camping, and realized we could use something like that for Movies in the Park or other picnic type situations. Just leftovers for dinner last night, and watched Man of the Year.
12:11 PM Monday, August 20, 2007
Friday night came home to Tracy getting the meat out of Snow crab legs for crab cakes. Those were good. I started digging through old emails, working on my Ultimate Timeline page, and came across the old Paganello photos from my first trip. That was a while ago. Also managed to get the names of all those players from that first year. Wonder where they all ended up. Saturday did some housecleaning, wrote a few thank you notes. We need to figure out a storage design for those closets in the second bedroom. Also I got rid of a bunch of stuff I had been packratting. Next step is the old computer/electronic stuff to bring to recycling. It's really all about letting go. Some of the stuff I might try and get on Craigslist, but I've never sold anything there before. Made some crepes for lunch. Meatloaf for dinner, watched the end of Scary Movie 4. Sunday did that extras thing. Don't have to do that again. Not sure when I'll get around to writing about it, because of the whole NDA thing. Got some delivery from Chen's for dinner, and they forgot the teriyaki chicken, so they had to send it back out. Definitely need to find someplace to drop off old science and math textbooks as well as some novels, and find some time to get out and drop off electronics at some point.
12:10 PM Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Had my first flat (back tube)on the way to work today. Didn't have any issues replacing it, which was nice, considering it's the first time I changed a tube on a bike, any bike. I did find the little thorn/metal shard that caused the flat. I wonder if I had my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires if that would have happened to me. Also, I replace my Schrader tube with a Presta valve one. I like it better. Also I just used my hand pump and not the CO2 inflater. I need to remember to bring my pressure gauge and at least 2 tubes with me from now on, since I'm carrying all my stuff anyway. Didn't take too long, and the longest part was getting the rear fender to not rub at all. So that was exciting. Last night moved some of the storage stuff around in one of the second bedroom closets for organizational purposes. And I'll start using the label printer. Watched some TV with leftovers and some garlic fried rice by Tracy. Got to do something tonight, but completely forgot what. Also need to prep for the Speaker City Flag Football Fantasy League Draft tomorrow night.
12:05 PM Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Rode the bike in to work yesterday, but Tracy picked me up, and I put my bike in her trunk for the ride up to Tango Sur for dinner with the family cause Scott was in town. Lots of meat, and pretty good, but nothing spectacular, and it was kind of loud in the restaurant. Some of us got Cold Stone after for dessert, and I wanted some Dairy Queen but the line was out the door, so I just finished off Tracy's Cold Stone instead. Watched My Boys before taking my bike out of her trunk and back together again. Front fender is rubbing again, which is really annoying. That front fender also made it harder than it could have been to put the bike in her trunk. Rode in again today and tonight will be heading over to Vessel Ideation for the Speaker City Flag Football Fantasy draft. I splurged and got the ESPN Draft Analyzer, because I didn't want to have to think about the draft. I wanted to draft based on height, specifically short players, but there's no easy way to pull that sort of info together. Oh well. Had some computer issues, did a Carbon backup, got Argon back up and running, except either Cyrus or Postfix is dying and can't send emails or something, so my home IMAP server is down for a while. Not sure what I'll be doing about that yet.
11:11 AM Thursday, August 23, 2007
Yup. Did my first ever fantasy football draft for Speaker City Flag Football. Interesting. The ESPN Draft Analyzer was providing some rather interesting suggestions, and a couple times I went out on a limb, so it should be interesting, that's for sure. I did draft short a couple times, and I went young as well, so we'll see how that pays off. Which it won't, but is entertaining, at least for me. Now of course I get to try and keep track of all that, which means I will know the players on my roster very well, and no one else. Definitely will be interesting. Finally got back my Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 7 back from the Wangs, not that I'll be watching it anytime soon, but good to have it back. Gave Akira back his Battlestar Galactica DVDs that I had borrowed but haven't watched yet. Now I'm a little annoyed with getting Heroes from the iTunes Store because the DVD set has the extended pilot. I wonder if they'll offer it for free from the iTunes Store. Also gave Carlo the old Kaze tattoos. Riding back from Vessel Ideation was a long ride for me, pretty much straight up Halsted. No problems, but I definitely need to get the fenders on properly. They're rubbing, again. Ugh. I might have to take off the fenders just to see what it's like without them. I should also go for a ride without panniers to remember what that's like. I made it home last night about 5 minutes before the sky opened up. As I was riding North, I kept seeing lightning flashing, but it never started raining. Watched some Veronica Mars (Tracy's started watching it) before bed.
3:31 PM Friday, August 24, 2007
Totally got caught in the second storm last night. There was a lull after the first one rolled through, and I thought I had enough time in the gap, but it started coming down somewhere north of North and Wells. It was awesome. I was all lit up, which was fine, but the rain started coming down. Seriously, I had a blast. Bike just cut through puddles. One thing I needed were my sunglasses with clear lenses, cause the pelting rain didn't feel so good on the eyes. Otherwise, I can't wait to do it again. And the panniers? Everything was completely dry. Love it. I should probably grease and lube stuff up this weekend though. Otherwise, Tracy made some chicken and pasta with some Porcini mushrooms, which was pretty tasty. Watched some more Veronica Mars. Setup a pickup time for my dad to finally get his TV from Akira on Saturday. I was looking forward to riding home through the rain again, but doesn't look like the weather's gonna cooperate today. Oh, and riding home, came across a fallen tree on Cornelia between Halsted and Broadway and another 2 blocks away on Pine Grove between Addison and Brompton. Wow.
12:25 PM Monday, August 27, 2007
Let's see, Friday night nothing too notable, Tracy made dinner probably, watched some Veronica Mars I think. Saturday finally hung up that circuit design wall candle holder thingie in the bedroom. Very nice. Also finally put the light switches back in the wall receptacles. Then went with Wilson and my dad to pick up the TV my dad bought from Akira way back when for their upstairs condo. No problems getting it down the back stairs of RWIP, into the Santos minivan and on a cart and up to my parents' condo. Looks good. Would look better with HD, and I probably have to work some cabling magic, since some of the reception on the lower channels is pretty bad. Not sure if the OTA HD receivers I have might work or not. We'll see. Also brought up the PS2 and the single DVD player I had, which means a couple less things we have in our place. Went to mass and had dinner upstairs as well. Played a bit with my godson. First time really that KJ and I have interacted one on one. He's adorable. Sunday went to Dim Sum with the Tongs and the Argaos since Sanya was in town. Even that early it's good stuff. Phoenix now has this picture menu with English names for dishes which is a great idea. Watched some more Veronica Mars and did some more purging in the closets in the second bedroom. Moved the boxes out and filled the shelves in the closet with wedding presents and took down the homemade shelves in the room. Definitely got rid of a lot of wires and old electronics, which I need to take to the recycling center. Getting closer to actually having a usable second bedroom. Finally saw The Departed last night and second to last episode of Entourage for this season. Forgot to mention that I ran into Jess this morning riding down Wells. It was nice to see someone I knew and catch up a bit.
3:41 PM Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Another Monday. Rode the bike in, rode the bike home. Having air in the tires is a great thing. Always seems to take me a little while to get the pump seated correctly. Kind of annoying. Did my exercises, dinner by Tracy: red beans and rice with sausage and garlic and rosemary infused corn. She's also stopped letting me make desserts again, and this was after I saw the chocolate cake episode of America's Test Kitchen. Maybe in a couple weeks. Tracy did paint the wall out of the kitchen in the hall to match the others, as well as one of the pillars in the living room. And she did laundry. Man, am I gonna miss that when she goes back to work. Then we settled in to watch some Veronica Mars. I think 3 episodes last night after dinner. It's good stuff. Tonight gonna try and head out to Kuma's Corner to see Cho and Brady. I will try and eat beforehand though, don't want to get caught jockeying for a table. Also, not sure if I should try and bike over, as there aren't any real bike lanes out that way.
11:30 AM Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Rode the bike out to Kuma's Corner last night to meet up with Cho and Brady. It was interesting. I'm totally used to riding with panniers, which lower the center of gravity and increases inertial mass. So when I was riding last night without them, bike sway when out of the saddle seemed exaggerated. Otherwise, nice night for a bike ride. Getting there I did a loop around Wrigley since there was a game, going North to Grace and over to Southport to Roscoe and straight over that way. Roscoe Village seems like a nice quiet place to go, and after that it was a pretty wide street. Came home via Belmont riding with Tun for most of the way. I think that's my second social outing via bike. Very nice. Also eliminated a creak or something by tightening the left front gearbox. Also found the source of the clinking, a loose something on the rear axle, probably put together wrong when I had to fix my first flat last week. Definitely need to take the time to take it apart, clean, and lube stuff up. Watched an episode of 30 Rock before bed after I got back with Tracy.
11:18 AM Thursday, August 30, 2007
So the old 22" Cinema Display I had hooked up to the Cube? Going away. It's amazing how much space that opens up when a huge display goes away like that. I'm gonna try and hook the cube up to the TV, which means I don't need a monitor to take up space anymore. For the rest of the home servers, if any, I end up getting, they'll definitely hook up through an existing TV. I really don't see a need for a real monitor anymore. Especially with laptops. Speaking of which, Carbon is getting a little long in the tooth, which is sad considering it's just over a year old. Which means I missed my chance on getting AppleCare for it. Which is fine. I had dropped it a while back, and put a small dent in one corner so that the wrist area is slightly raised on the right, not a lot, but enough. Anyway, part of that wrist area is starting to flake a little. Annoying. I wonder how much a new case might be? Probably too expensive. Might as well start saving the pennies for a new one. Maybe one to match the iPhone I'll eventually get. Otherwise, had chili for dinner last night, Tracy had made it last night when I went out to Kuma's. Watched some TV, Glutton for Punishment, The Office, Scrubs, Bones. Tried to set the Cube up, but that's gonna take a lot of playing around with to get working. And it's not as quiet as I thought it was. Stupid hard drive whine. Definitely have lots of old electronic stuff to sell or recycle.
3:30 PM Friday, August 31, 2007
Last night tried to hang some Crate & Barrel floating shelves above the TV area, but the old cordless drill I have is too weak, and the Dremel I was using doesn't have a big enough chuck for the drill bit I'm using, so I get to go out and buy and new drill today. It is tempting to get a fancy DeWalt cordless with those big honking battery packs, we think the reliability of a corded drill is worth the inconvenience. I mean, it's just going to be used within the confines of the condo, so I won't be that far from an outlet. Got picked up by Tracy around lunchtime to make a run to UIC to drop off CD jewel boxes and DVD cases at a recycling center. That was a nice break. It's weird to be on a college campus again, in a student union having lunch. Not much planned for the weekend, more household stuff, more cleaning, more throwing stuff away. It's also Tracy's last weekend before she starts work again on Tuesday.
Archive of <August> <2007> [reverse chronological]