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

11:30 AM Tuesday, September 4, 2007
On the way home Friday night dropped by Home Depot and picked up a DeWalt corded drill. Fit into the pannier too, which was nice. I should probably start packing some sort of rack strapping system for times when things won't fit into the panniers. So got home, drilled some holes, found some anchors to put up the floating shelves. Ended up redrilling and remounting the shelves on Monday, but that's besides the point. And we started watching Heroes with the steak and potatoes Tracy made for dinner. Saturday made some waffles, watched more Heroes, and did some more cleanup. Sunday watched more Heroes, went kayaking through Kayak Chicago up at Montrose Harbor, did some grocery shopping at Whole Foods. Tracy made pork chops with some sort of sauce/glaze that included orange juice, and a lemon sauced chard side dish. My contribution? Stove Top stuffing. I did try and make a chocolate/coffee duo of mousse, but couldn't find a real coffee mousse recipe, and tried winging it, and combining two different onces, and failed pretty miserably. Maybe I just need to find a basic mousse recipe and stick with it. Monday finished up season 1 of Heroes, did more paperwork cleaning, watched some TV. We had bison burgers on the grill pan for dinner, which we originally had planned to try and grill out with. Tracy picked us up some Pastrami Reubens from Sam's Deli for lunch. Today is Tracy's first day at her new job, so I'm gonna try and make dinner. Except she'll probably end up beating me home, even though she's coming from Indiana.
4:25 PM Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Made a return to cooking, so Tracy wouldn't have to after her first day back on the job, except that it wasn't working, it was orientation, and she got out early. Anyway, I roasted some chicken pieces and some zucchini and made some risotto. Risotto takes way too long to make, like 45 minutes or so. Good, but annoying. Watched Feasting on Asphalt after dinner. That looks like it was a fun show to make, driving around and eating. That's it. Also got to go to bed early last night since Tracy had to get up again. It's the start of early bedtimes for the Abando household from now on. Very nice, I've been looking forward to it for a while. Also, started reading the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson on the Sony Reader. Pretty interesting so far. Today tried to keep up to date on The Beat Goes On, Apple's press event about the iPod family. Speaking of which, I found my receipt for my original 5GB iPod while doing paperwork cleanup over the weekend: November 16, 2001 from the Woodfield Apple Store, roughly a month after it's release. That's awesome.
11:43 AM Thursday, September 6, 2007
I put the old iMac G5 in the kitchen. It just fits under the cabinets, and the white color scheme fits in pretty well. This will come in handy for recipes and keeping me entertained while stirring risotto for 45 minutes. Also, I plan on hooking up the EyeTV 500 to the Cube on top the of AV Rack, which means I should be able to watch some TV via CyTV. Somewhere down the road, I think I'd want to get a SlingBox of some kind, so you can be watching something on TV, and then when you check on food in the kitchen, you won't have to pause it and won't miss a beat. That's the plan anyway. In the meantime, I'll be able to keep using Google Reader while keeping Tracy company in the kitchen while she's cooking dinner. She made some chicken in tomato sauce for dinner last night, which was some filipino dish apparently. It was good, of course. Today's her first real day on the job, starting at 7:30. Awfully early. Rode in today using my new Arkel Tail Rider, a rack trunk, instead of the panniers. Smaller, and easier to carry off the bike, for when I'm going to Home Depot to get an RF Splitter and air conditioner extension cord after work.
10:51 AM Friday, September 7, 2007
Oh, 3 years later. Got an RF splitter from Home Depot on the way home, which I find myself doing since it's on the way home via bike, which was easy because I didn't have to worry about my panniers cause I carried the Tail Rider in with me, which is why I got it. So, with my splitter, I plugged in the EyeTV 500 to Argon sitting on top of the AV Rack next to the TV and to the cable outlet, and a short time later, I have lots of channels. Took some time to fully associate the channels with guide data from TitanTV, but got the ones I wanted. Awesome. What does this mean? With my disk enclosure, I should be able to record an entire seasons, and with the software, it will automatically encode for the AppleTV and import to iTunes, which will automatically sync with the AppleTV. Of course, this is only one tuner, so we're stuck if we have more than one season long series to record that's on at the same time. Awesome. I've been wanting to do this since I got the EyeTV back in October of '04. I'm planning on doing this for any NBC shows, since I won't be able to get them off the iTunes Store, like Heroes. Now if only it could cut out commercials automatically like MythTV supposedly can? So besides that, I tried out CyTV which allows me to watch the EyeTV across the network, so that the iMac in the kitchen can now watch TV. Seriously awesome. And only 3 years late. Tracy made a pretty good pasta with mushrooms and zucchini, and of course I needed some meat so I broiled a chicken breast and a plum tomato as toppings.
11:22 AM Monday, September 10, 2007
Friday night headed over to RWIP for a Tea & Strumpets reunion type thing, which really was just an excuse to go over and eat some of Bryan's food, and see Raz. Saturday did some more cleaning, took down the computer desks in the second bedroom, filtered some more paperwork, then headed out to the Windy City Wine Festival which was pretty cool. Nice grassy area, $25/10 sample sizes, I thought a good amount of booths. Tracy wanted to go because we'll be out of town this weekend and can't go to the Wine Crush in Old Town. Afterwards, we stumbled over to Brasserie Jo for some French fare. Classic Steak Frites, so good, Tracy had the rack of lamb, like butter. And the mussels and escargots was tasty as well, along with the warm baguette. I was a little disappointed that they didn't have a tartar as an appetizer, cause I wanted Tracy to try it, but they only had it as an entree, and I wanted cooked steak instead. Sunday was more cleaning, and vacuuming, and throwing stuff out and putting stuff away as we had the Russells over for a couples afternoon to watch the Bears. Good company, but bad game, and they didn't put Garrett Wolfe in. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Sarah brought over the Hanky Panky's, which were tasty, and Tracy made a couple dips (guacamole and a roasted pepper) and meat on a stick. But the place with most of the stuff gone, well, it seems empty now. Nothing in the hallways. The second bedroom is quite expansive. I do still have more boxes of stuff to go through, and I still need to get to the HazMat and electronics recycling center (only open on the first Saturday of the month, and Tuesdays and Thursdays) to get rid of some old stuff, but seriously, so much old stuff is gone. Like a clean slate. It's nice, and about time.
1:56 PM Tuesday, September 11, 2007
So my RIZR no longer wants to iSync with Carbon anymore. Annoying. Makes me want to just run out and buy an iPhone. I know that would sync up perfectly. I should have just gotten another Sony Ericsson instead of a matching RIZR. Of course, that was during a lull in product releases. Or maybe I just should have stuck with a lower end phone that had full support in OS X. Anyway, just more frustration until I can get my mitts on an iPhone eventually. Of course, because we'll be dictated by contracts, that I'll sign up about a week before upgraded models come out. At least it'd work. So besides trying to get that working, again, had a pot roast for dinner last night that Tracy started on Sunday night, watched How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine, and Idiocracy, won my first ever matchup in fantasy football, which means I'm gonna goof off for the rest of the season, since I don't have to worry about going winless. I did figure out that I can use the MacBook to export EyeTV programs off the Cube, since the Cube is way too slow. Not quite as seemless as I'd hoped. Weather's definitely colder, fall's on the way, and I need to find stuff to wear on the bike ride to work. Gave up all my ultimate related cold weather gear, so I need to go shopping again.
11:41 AM Wednesday, September 12, 2007
The weather gets colder, and I start wearing pants while riding my bike and thus is a reason for getting a shaft drive: I had no worries about getting chain marks or grease stains on my pants. Anyway, besides pants, rode with a hat under the helmet and a hoodie. Got a little warm towards the end of the ride, but totally worth it. Definitely have to start wearing the hat, maybe even gloves. Thought I was coming down with some sort of head cold last night which I attribute to the lack of headwear on the commute the previous two days. Aside from that, it's quite nice for a brisk bike ride in the cool morning air. Took part in my Fantasy Football League's first trade, the usual, selling low and buying high after week 1. Standard fare for a newbie. I did make dinner last night, a pulled BBQ chicken, au gratin potatoes from a box, and frozen corn. Pretty good, although something in there did a number on our bellies. I blame it on the potatoes from a box. Also used CyTV to watch the Food Network while cooking. Quite nice, except for the overly loud fan in the iMac G5. Watched some Veronica Mars with dinner as well. Grocery shopping and laundry tonight.
12:26 PM Thursday, September 13, 2007
Somewhere past 2 months of biking to work, which roughly puts me at around 400 miles of commuting so far, and the one thing that kills me? Freaking headwind, sometimes both ways. Of course, this is Chicago, the Windy City, but still, kind of annoying. It'll be interesting in what to wear/pack for commuting for the next couple weeks as Chicago tries to figure out if it's summer or fall or winter or spring. Also need to look into cooler weather cycling wear. Tracy made a stew from the leftover pot roast from Monday. We watched Bones and No Reservations Las Vegas and I did some work from home. Didn't get around to doing laundry, hopefully, tonight.
11:58 AM Friday, September 14, 2007
That's how much change had collected over the years in the living room. Seriously, that's a chunk of change. Did that when we went grocery shopping last night. Impulse buys? Eel roll and a small apple pie baked in a bag. Tracy made stuffed bell peppers for dinner, as usual sans recipe, but we looked it up after and just needed to cook them twice as long in the oven. Next time. We watched 30 Rock and The Office with dinner, then did a late night laundry run, since she's working now and isn't around during the day to do laundry. And that was my first time back in the laundry room, well, probably since May. Watched Dreamland while doing laundry. First time in a while that I've just flipped to some random movie and watched it the whole way through. Also it was a little artsy, but good. Something about that Justin Long guy seems very personable. Went with the Tail Rider on the commute to work today, thinking of stopping to do some shopping on the way home. Thinking of getting some baskets so I could, for example, stop at Binny's and pick up some Xingu on the way home when I don't have my panniers. Headed out to Kansas this weekend for my cousin Rosanna's wedding. Early flight tomorrow, later flight Sunday night. Also happens to be Wine Crush weekend, so it's sad we're missing that.
1:00 PM Monday, September 17, 2007
Went out to Kansas for the weekend for my cousin Rosanna's wedding. Good time, interesting time. Flew out early early early Saturday morning, getting in to Kansas City International around 8am. Find out I get to do all the driving for the weekend. I was hoping to get some sleep on in the back seat. Oh well. Driving was super easy, a Toyota Sienna with 7 people total, and my dad's new toy, a Garmin nuvi 200w. It's really cool. Using it this weekend, to find a couple different shopping malls, hotel, and airport, well, made me wish I had one back in college and for any other frisbee trips taken throughout the years. But got in to the hotel in Topeka around 9:40am or so, missed out on a tour of some kind for wedding guests, took the car shopping since it was freezing, and pretty much no one expected it. Picked up a $6 messenger bag from the Gap, which is better than the $100 or so I was looking into for a Timbuk2. So I've got a man bag again, and it's actually pretty manly this time around. Had lunch at some BBQ Steak chain place, which are all over the place. Went to the wedding, reception, which was a little odd because a) no dancing, and b) ended around 7pm or so, while it was still light out. So my parents had us go get some wine at a liquor store, and pulled some chairs together in the lobby (kind of an atrium, or indoor promenade, I think Kansians like their promenades), and chilled with some relatives for a while. Tracy and I watched another wedding reception in the hotel, which we dubbed engaged and underage, and how the bride spent more time out in the atrium than in the banquet hall. There was another reception as well, our age I guess, which we called the taupers, cause that was the bridesmaids' dress color. Called it an early night, and got some sleep on. Didn't make it to free breakfast in the morning, went to mass, then drove back towards the airport and spent a couple hours in a shopping mall, and lunch/dinner at another BBQ/Steak chain place in the mall. Watched my fantasy players not win. Only an hour delay at the airport, and got to see the Bears win and Wolfe miss his chance at scoring a fantasy point because Grossman can't throw a screen pass. Drove home after arrival, picked up a slice of pizza on the way, and tried to catch up on my online reading. Quick, busy, full weekend for sure.
4:18 PM Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So leaving work yesterday, get down to the bike rack, pick the bike up off the rack, put it down, notice that my front tire is flat. Odd. Wasn't flat this morning. Change the tube. Pump it up. Seems a little flat a block away. Pump it up some more. Get all the way up to Wrightwood, notice it's going flat again. Don't feel like trying to patch it. Pump it up again. Make it to Wellington. Pump. Cornelia. Pump. Home. Patch the tube. Put on my Marathon Plus Kelvar belted tires for puncture protection. Heavy, a little hard to put on the first time, but eventually get the knack for it. Use the bike stand again. Still awesome. And no problems on the ride in today. Feels slower though, since the tires are heavier than my previous ones. Also, hot spell. I was getting used to wearing pants on the way to work, now I have to back to shorts and change in the server room again. Had Hamburger Helper for dinner last night. Watched K-Ville, which was good if predictable, and I don't like the use of the shakey-cam, no surprise there.
11:30 AM Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I got a Sony LocationFree Base Station LF-B10 with my Sony Points, thinking I could use it instead of CyTV on the iMac G5 in the kitchen to watch the same stuff the TV is watching. But I didn't do my homework, and the Mac software, which is made by IO-Data, doesn't work with the newer base stations like mine. Awesome. Oh well, I can just use my PSP around the house instead. Not yet. Didn't seem to be a way to set it up via the PSP. Actually, now it looks like the PSP is slightly off, as I never got a Network Selection list. So then I install the the Windows software under Parallels. Doesn't run because of some DirectX issue. I read today that I just need to get the updated version from the Sony website to get it to run. Great. If this was an Apple product? say like an Apple TV? Plug in, turn on, shows up in iTunes, and easy schmeasy. Not so much for Sony. Ugh. We'll see if it actually ends up working. Still biking to work. Went grocery shopping last night. Had salad for dinner. Watched New York episodes of Bizarre Foods and No Reservations.
11:55 AM Thursday, September 20, 2007
Finally got the LocationFree working last night, no help from the Sony support website though, and all the help from a couple different forums. Upgraded the Windows LocationFree player to get it working under Parallels Desktop after reading on the Parallels forums. After that found out on the PSP forums that I needed to download the registration file from the base station's setting webpage to get the PSP registered. So yes, it's working now, and it's actually pretty sweet. I want to try it out outside the home, but I need to find a free open hotspot to log on to. But being able to watch my DVR from anywhere with a network connection? It's pretty sweet. Tracy made dinner, again, a rolled up skirt steak with turkey, cheese and rosemary over a salad. I made some almond jello, which wasn't solid enough by dessert time. So that'll probably get eaten tonight with the teriyaki leftover skirt steak she started marinating last night. Watched Zoom, the other kid superhero movie. Not bad, but not very creative it seemed. Not as good as Sky High.
12:24 PM Friday, September 21, 2007
Friday. Beat Tracy home last night, so I got to cook dinner. Just cooked the teriyaki beef and wrapped some asparagus with some sliced beef as well. Good stuff. Watched the pilot of Back to You, another predictable sitcom, nothing too knew there. Also watched a little of Beauty and the Geek. Parts of that show make me sad that there are actually people out there like that. Ended up watching The Office instead, to get all excited about the 4th season next week. Expect a lot more TV show notes as the new season is starting up. Got lots to record on the DVR, and I want to pick a couple series to record the entire seasons of using the EyeTV, and I just need to decide which ones, because it's easier to record them all and watch them en masse in the spring, until I get a Mac mini to replace the Cube at least. Maybe Heroes? Lost? Chuck? The Unit? Reaper? Maybe I should do NBC shows only, since I won't be able to get them via iTunes? Decisions, decisions. Got my 6 month eye checkup after Lasik on Saturday. Still good there. Gonna do some shopping afterwards. And that's about it.
10:34 AM Monday, September 24, 2007
I'm a neophile. I like new stuff. Especially information. Especially tech information. And I've become addicted to Google Reader. I use it way too much. So, I'm cutting back. For now, I'm gonna try and see if I can just quit cold turkey. I may, after a week, just unsubscribe from all the feeds and pick a few to keep track of. We'll see. But there's not really anything I need to stay that up to date on. Hope I don't get the shakes. Otherwise, another relaxing weekend. Friday night Tracy made a pork, squash and green bean dish with coconut milk and we watched some Veronica Mars. Saturday went out to the 'burbs to get the eyes checked on (they're OK) and some shopping out at the outlet mall in Aurora, dropped by her parents place to say hello, picked some more stuff up at Orland Square, drove back in a had dinner at that Tapas place on Halsted and Cornelia. Watched some more Veronica Mars before bed. Sunday did some grocery shopping, laundry, watched Flushed Away and Fifty Pills and had lamp chops for dinner.
1:39 PM Tuesday, September 25, 2007
So even with cutting Google Reader out of my diet, I'm still online an awful lot. Well, last night I had FantasyCast open to check on Vince Young (on my Speaker City Flag Football League, while Tracy and I watched Monday Night NBC, Chuck, Heroes, and Journeyman. All three right now are must watches. Chuck and Heroes are self explanatory, while Journeyman was a surprise. Started out like a confusing time travel, but made the jump towards the end that I'm totally interested now. I'm a sucker for teases of things being bigger than what they seem. Although, that seems to be a trend these days. Just had leftovers for dinner. Oh, and VY didn't pull it out, and I lost by 2 points, an interception. Time for me to take it a whole lot less seriously. Oh, and I thought I had really bad leg cramps yesterday, left calf and right quad, but it hurt again this morning when I was going down the stairs, so maybe I actually did something to them. Odd. Oh well.
2:30 PM Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Bones and House were great last night. Bones set up what appears to be a season long mystery, which is right in my wheelhouse, a possible Illuminati conspiracy, and House is just good. It's got the funny stuff, which is funnier than most sitcoms where the funny is strained. It's much better, I think, when it's just part of the character. Maybe because it's more believable? So Mondays are locked up, and now Tuesdays too. Doesn't look like Wednesdays will be full up though. But not sure. Last night Tracy brought home some pancit made by a co-worker for dinner and cooked up some portabello mushrooms as well. She also started marinating some chicken adobo for tonight. Didn't get rained on the bike commute yesterday, and it was cool enough today to forgo the panniers and just go with the trunk bag and ride in pants. Need to start looking for colder weather cycling gear, namely some sort of windproof jacket, although I did some some Pearl Izumi arm sleeves which could have come in handy today.
11:36 AM Thursday, September 27, 2007
Been a while since I got some DVDs. I had a longstanding order at Amazon for TV Season DVDs which I got yesterday. So I finally have an official copy of Kitchen Confidential (tv show), Season 2 of The Unit, and Season 4 of Las Vegas (tv show). So I went ahead and started transcoding Kitchen Confidential for the Apple TV. I'll do it with the rest as well. It just so much easier watching via the Apple TV than on DVD. No need to change discs, just point, click, and watch. Just wish I had a faster machine to do the transcoding. Other than that, had chicken adobo with rice and a cucumber salad for dinner, and Tracy was craving granola cookies so I jumped on that (since she doesn't crave desserts all that often) and whipped up a batch. We watched K-Ville, How I Met Your Mother, Private Practice, Glutton for Punishment and Back to You. I'm about ready to move Back to You off the list. All our TV Shows seem to be hour long shows, which just takes up so much time. We bumped Kitchen Nightmares for Bionic Woman on the DVR, so that clears up a slight logjam.
2:52 PM Friday, September 28, 2007
Finished off transcoding Kitchen Confidential (tv show). That only took about an hour and a half per episode. I'm processing The Unit and that takes 4 hours per episode. Seriously. Should take 4 days to process all the episodes. That's annoying. Wish I could get a faster machine, or some magic method of faster transcoding. After that, maybe the first season, and then maybe Las Vegas (tv show), or I could just watch those via the DVD player. Tracy went grocery shopping after work yesterday, and she made chicken alfredo and a broccoli salad for dinner. We watched Bionic Woman, The Office, The Big Bang Theory and 'til Death. Might be finally going to see Superbad tonight. Couples dinner at Gale Street Inn tomorrow night. I've been trying to make some trades in the Speaker City Flag Football fantasy league, but either unfair blockbuster trades that were vetoed or just no takers. It's getting boring, and I'm losing, so I want to roll the dice. Oh well. And NEWSFLASH: Just got a trade acceptance from Whitney. Now it just has to pass league approval. Wheels turning people, wheels are turning.
Archive of <September> <2007> [reverse chronological]