Archive of <January> <2008> [reverse chronological]

12:44 PM Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Happy New Year and all that jazz. Monday night headed up to Lakemoor to Missy's, Lisa's friend, for New Years Eve. Picked up McDonald's for dinner on the way up. It was snowing, but it wasn't too bad for driving. I've been in that neck of the woods before, just never went that way to get there, up 53 north to 12 north to 120. First time going by Deer Park, which is a nice area. Played Celebrities, had some champagne, did some talking, had a good time. Finally headed back around 3:30 yesterday, stopping for lunch at Panera Bread before heading down Lake Cook Road to 94 instead. Ended up doing some grocery shopping at Dominick's, which was very empty. Kinda nice doing grocery shopping when it's empty. Also, because of the route we took, ended up driving by 3 shopping malls that had Apple Stores, Deer Park, Northbrook, and Old Orchard. I find that amusing. Tracy made some chicken soup last night, watched some Two Guys and a Girl. Wore my new wool pants since it's freezing today. Doesn't block the wind as much as I thought they would. Might have to just go with some long johns instead.
11:14 AM Thursday, January 3, 2008
So, Jesse told us on New Years Eve about this website, Calorie Count. And now Tracy and I are addicted. Go figure. I give myself till February until I've given up trying to keep it updated. But it'll be interesting until then. It does help, to actually keep track of what you eat. In other New Years resolution type stuff, I reorganized a couple cabinets in the kitchen, so instead of just shoving things onto shelves after grocery shopping, there's a little order to the madness. Next up would be the spice and oils and sauces cabinet. Tracy made meatloaf for dinner last night, and leftovers for lunch today. I'm also trying to stay hydrated as well as I did while I was on the Master Cleanse. Just watched some more Two Guys and a Girl. No watchable reruns were even on last night. A bunch of the episodes are out of order, so that's a little annoying. And Tracy and I are wondering whether to go for a CD or go with Apple stock with some Christmas money. The Apple stock is tempting, but no guaranteed. High risk, high reward.
10:30 AM Friday, January 4, 2008
So I've kind of been fighting off a cold for the past couple of days, and well, it's almost done with, (knocking on wood). I actually thought I would have gotten worse, but I actually got better instead. Go figure. I think the whole hydrating thing helps a bunch. Not to mention I think it helps with my weight. Tracy made steaks for dinner last night, with some broccoli, which was awesome. She just used the grill pan, no oven to finish it off, and they were cooked perfectly. Watched random stuff on TV, including the end of Music and Lyrics. Which was funny because Tracy was just chatting me about that song yesterday during work. Going to try out the Muvico Rosemont 18 tomorrow to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Already bought tickets, and picked out seats, since we're going with the VIP reserved seating. Looking forward to that, the 4K Sony digital projectors, the love seats, and the food, which include Dungeness crab quesadillas and Parmesan-Truffle fries. Hopefully the experience is as good as it sounds. And then I'll have a new favorite theater.
10:13 AM Monday, January 7, 2008
Ok, I've got a new favorite theater. Muvico Rosemont 18. It's awesome. The Sony 4K digital projectors. Premier section: reserved seating, 21 and over, concession serves hot food (like Parmesan truffle fries) and alcoholic beverages, and huge comfy love seats. Seriously awesome. Totally worth the extra costs. Too bad it's not that close. Friday night Tracy just made chicken adobo for dinner, and we watched TV. Saturday had a haircut, then went out to Woodfield before going to the movie theater. Sunday watched Unaccompanied Minors, did the weekly shopping down Broadway, and did some work on the bikes. I should be back to commuting by bike pretty soon. Need to put some handlebar tape on the Sprint and I could probably start using the mtb since I put slicks on it already, except I still need a rear shifter. I did put inline brake levers on the road bike, so I can brake from an upright position. That's pretty cool. But while I was getting my hands dirty with the bikes, I wondered what it'd be like if Apple made bikes, and how easy it might be to work on them. Even though they're pretty simple machines, I'm sure there are ways to make it easier to use or maintain, of course with a cost increase. Oh, and I've been uploading my old email to the Google Apps account for I've got archives going back to the end of 1998, which is pretty cool. Headed out to Boundary Tavern & Grill tonight to watch the BCS National Championship game with the boys.
1:02 PM Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Odd, thought I had updated the Memex with yesterday's current events, but I guess not. Anyway, beer, food, and company was good last night at Boundary Tavern & Grill, not so much for the game though. Sorry Russell. Got to see some people I haven't seen in a while, like Bryan and Bjorn. Bryan was actually nice enough to give me a lift home. Other than that, not much. Waiting for Macworld San Francisco 2008 Keynote next week. Watching Eureka on the iPhone on the commute. That's about it. Oh, RCN might be switching over to SDV, but I might have skipped over that, and so we might be out of luck until we get a new box. Whoops. I'll have to call in for that one. The good news will be when the switch is done we'll have more HD channels, including the Food Network and Universal. Doesn't really bother me too much since I'm all about the Apple TV anyway.
11:24 AM Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Ok, so the RCN SDV switch, or maybe not SDV switch isn't happening till January 15 or February 9, but either way, we need a new DVR, as the one we have is pretty much gone. Although I might have broken it myself. I think the coax cable was a little loose, which didn't seem to be the problem because it could still get basic cable and local HDTV stations. Just no cable guide. Tried the trick of resetting and downloading the firmware, but ran into some issues. Hopefully, they'll just switch the 6412 for a 3416 or something at the service call scheduled for Thursday early evening. But I think I'd be fine without cable. Really. The Apple TV works out pretty well for me. Tracy had Sunday's episode of Desperate Housewives on the DVR, but in case it can't get fixed, I bittorrented it, converted it with the turbo.264 and Perian, and put it on the Apple TV. Super easy. Probably should have just bought it from iTunes Store. Found out about Motor Row Lofts in the South Loop from YoChicago Article, and Tracy and I are hoping to go check it out this weekend. She also made dinner (pork chops and green beans) last night. Did some exercises, (adding the jump rope actually turns it into a real workout), and watched some Two Guys and a Girl.
11:31 AM Thursday, January 10, 2008
I get to leave work early to be home for the RCN Tech visit this afternoon. Yay. Otherwise, just another Wednesday yesterday. Tracy made a chestnut soup and a chicken asparagus pasta for dinner. We watched Two Guys and a Girl. That's about it. Bus riding is always interesting. I usually take the third bus that comes in the morning, as the first is packed, the second still has standing room but the third I'm usually able to get a seat. I usually only wait for the second bus on the way home. In the mornings it's always fun to see 4 152 Addison buses starting their routes at Addison and Lake Shore, oh, right after each other. I always thought the bunching occurs due to traffic and having to pick people up, but no, there's definitely some routes where all the buses leave together at the same time. I noticed the 147's going down Lake Shore today, first one was packed, the one pretty much right behind it? Available seats. Can't wait until they enable GPS tracking via the website for all buses.
2:06 PM Friday, January 11, 2008
That was quick. RCN Tech came 8 minutes early. Replaced the old DVR, a Motorola Dual-Tuner DVR High-Definition Set-Top DCT6412 with a new Motorola DCH3416 Host Set-top. Took like 10-15 minutes. He also checked signal strength I'm guessing. I was back up and running by like 5:15pm. Awesome. Wish I could switch my work hours, and work earlier in the day, and leave earlier. The commute was just so much nicer. Whole Foods did have some sort of food, welcome to the neighborhood thing in the lobby last night as well. Tracy snagged some samples, not a meal, just a taste. I did some exercises, then got to make macaroni & cheese and kielbasa for dinner. Finished watching Knocked Up and watched some more Two Guys and a Girl and the episode of Desperate Housewives. Found out that Tracy's gonna start working weekends, starting next weekend, so might head out to Woodstock after checking out the Motor Row Lofts on this Saturday instead of next weekend.
10:43 AM Monday, January 14, 2008
Friday night Tracy went out to her parents house to visit and so she wouldn't have to deal with Friday night traffic into the city. She did bring back some lumpia and some groceries. I just had some leftovers and watched Resident Evil and The Fast and the Furious, sort of a preview of this coming weekend when she's working. Saturday we had breakfast at the North Coast Cafe, which was ok, then looked around for best rates on Certificate of Deposits, and ended up scheduling a financial adviser meeting with Chase for today. This was before we went down to take a look at the Motor Row Lofts, which are pretty sweet, and might have kickstarted the real estate process for us. After that, we came home for a bit before heading out to dinner at Coast, which was pretty good. I'd never had fatty yellowtail before. We picked up some sake since it's BYOB, so it was a pretty short night for us. Watched some Two Guys and a Girl before bed. Sunday drove out to Woodstock to visit my parents, and I upgraded my dad's iMac go Leopard and iLife '08 and iWork '08, and removed their old email accounts to the non-Google Apps Had some good food, talked to my brother, brought some food back, and I watched Clerks II. Also watched some football.
2:34 PM Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Followed the There's Something in the Air (Macworld San Francisco 2008 Keynote). Nothing got me too excited. Although I haven't seen a MacBook Air in person yet. I'm surprised that leaked though. Apple Stock as expected tanked today. I'd say the biggest surprise? Full studio support for movie rentals. I wonder if they'll open it up for TV Show rentals. I think that'd take a big chunk of NetFlix subscribers. Not sure what pricing you should have for it though. Want a Time Capsule. Glad I'm getting free software updates for the iPhone and the Apple TV. Otherwise, eh. Went and had some introductory meetings with a Mortgage Officer and a Financial Advisor at Chase. Opened our eyes a bit more. We're probably going to go with Lisa and Ryan's advisor. Find out more after we meet with him at some point. We are going to get a find out how much we can afford, what we can get preapproved for. You know, so we have a price range to work with. We finally finished up Two Guys and a Girl last night, and it's a little sad not having Pete and Berg and Sharon and Johnny to watch every night anymore. Tracy made dinner, some pasta with some of my mom's chicken that we brought back.
11:25 AM Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Yes, I want a MacBook Air. No, I don't need one. Moving on. Apple stock continues to tank. Sign of a bigger trend, or just a good buying opportunity? Good question. Watched the pilot of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles last night. Not sure I like the action for an hour show. I seem to look for humor in my TV shows. I'll give it a couple more episodes before I give up on it. Finished up transcoding season 1 of Alias and plowing through Season 2. Upgraded the iPhone to 1.1.3 last night. I actually find the customization of the home screens a little annoying, mainly because it's in a flow grid, and I can't place icons wherever I want. Otherwise, the location mapping feature in Google Maps is pretty darn cool. Also working on getting any intros and guided tours onto the Apple TV so I can see it all pretty like. Hopefully the Keynote will get processed as a podcast soon so that can get downloaded.
12:28 PM Thursday, January 17, 2008
So, watching Cashmere Mafia last night, and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Notes from the Underbelly, someone from Kitchen Confidential was on each of those. The owner's daughter on Cashmere Mafia, the sous-chef on Terminator, and the female head chef on Notes. Oh, and the rookie on Bones as the psychologist. It's good to see them getting work, since Kitchen Confidential was so good. Speaking of that, odd to see Anthony Bourdain back on the Food Network with A Cook's Tour, except I think it's all old stuff back from 2001-2. I wonder why they're bringing that back? Otherwise on the TV and the DVR are house hunting shows, what you get for the money, stuff oh HGTV and stuff. There's a lot of shows out there like that. Definitely. Speaking of which, we're meeting with another financial advisor probably this weekend. Kind of growing up I think. Also finished up watching Eureka on the iPhone on the ride home yesterday, so I'm back to actually reading via the Sony Reader on my commute.
3:00 PM Friday, January 18, 2008
Need some coffee. Last night Tracy made pork, lima beans and asparagus for dinner. We watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which got a lot better in the second episode. So it's still on the watch list. Downloaded the podcast version of the Macworld San Francisco 2008 Keynote, turned it into a regular Quicktime movie so I could put it with the other Apple related videos when synced to the Apple TV. I'll have to watch it this weekend sometime. Wore long johns to work today, because it's supposed to be freezing, but it's not that bad. Of course I say this before leaving for the day. Dinner with the potential financial advisor at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant on Saturday and chili and football watching at Bryan's on Sunday.
1:24 PM Monday, January 21, 2008
Leftovers for dinner Friday night, watched It Could Happen to You and 30 Rock after exercises. I did get intrigued about Tabata, from this blog from the Ultimate Talk RSS feed. 20 seconds of exercise, 10 seconds rest, for 8 cycles. Sounds simple. Haven't tried it though. Saturday, started redoing all the wiring for the home theater, which meant I did some rewiring for the computer network as well. Didn't finish up that project until Sunday. Did go with Russell to Hot Doug's for the first time. And yes, it was everything I heard about and more. Awesome place. Hung out at Russell's for a bit, got to see Marla before getting a ride home. Then, dinner with the financial advisor, or maybe it's more like a financial planner, at the Chicago Firehouse Restaurant. Good place. A little drafty, but good. Sunday wanted to use the blueberries, so had to do some grocery shopping for supplies (just milk and butter). Made a blueberry loaf to bring over to Bryan's, and took the 152 over. Hung out, caught up a little, and the blueberry loaf went over well. The chili was good, the tres leche from Pierre's Bakery was awesome, and then Bryan made a fabulous bread pudding. Probably the best I've every had. It wasn't too dense to too sweet for my tastes. Just about perfect. Oh, and watched some football. Caught the 80 to get home. About 30 minutes each way. Oh, and restarted the document filing project from long ago, since we need to compile stuff for the meeting on Tuesday night. Oh, and selling the iMac G5 to Bryan to use with his new iPhone, which makes Tracy happy because I get rid of another computer from the house. Real Estate for us continues to be a moving target. We've pretty much completely written off Motor Row Lofts due to the neighborhood, as walking around is too important to us. We do like our current neighborhood, and if only someone would buy and convert the warehouse on Broadway just north of Addison to lofts, we'd be set. Otherwise, maybe no to a loft. As always, wait and see.
1:10 PM Tuesday, January 22, 2008
While gathering documentation and statements for the meeting with our new financial planner tonight, it was enlightening. I actually looked at the Social Security mailing, and it showed my taxable income going all the way back to 1994. That's a long time ago. And I'm continuing to push my email archives up to Google Apps, which is fairly slow going, but I have stuff from '98 and '99, which I decided to peruse. That's a trip down memory lane. Also it'll come in handy for my Ultimate Timeline. Lots of ultimate related emails from back then. And, I think that started more reminiscing so I started reading my own Musings from the start. That's just good stuff right there. I actually miss how I used to write, but don't want to be what I was in order to write like that. If that makes any sense. So with selling the iMac to Bryan, I've got an LCD arm that needs a computer. Also threw in the old school bluetooth mouse and keyboard. So less junk, or more like making room for new junk. The Cube is now just sitting, powered off, as a bookend. But just have the Mac mini and the Macbook left. And I think the mini is overheating, but I need to start logging temps in order to test that out.
3:35 PM Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Yup, found a couple really cool web things. I've always wanted to make a 3-d web browser, where you travel through space to get to the next site. You could use traceroute to find the spots along the way, and then use some db somewhere to map IP blocks to geographic locations. Someone's done it, at least with traceroute and Google Maps. See Visual TraceRt Tool. It's pretty sweet. Hmm, maybe a Firefox extension, oh, and Google Earth, that can do flythroughs, hmmm. The other thing? EveryBlock. Hyperlocal news aggregation. Seriously cool. Other than that, meeting with Jason went well last night. We're apparently in pretty good shape. So that's good. Had some frozen pizza for dinner last night. Watched Carpoolers, and some real estate TV stuff. Also trying to figure out what's wrong with the Mac mini, and it might be EyeTV issues, probably from trying to use old preferences. We'll see if I can get around those.
3:20 PM Thursday, January 24, 2008
Late night last night, with having to do some work after hours. Ugh. Tracy made crab cakes and kani su for dinner. Watched some real estate and Cashmere Mafia. I also watched Art School Confidential. Oh, and did my exercises as well. Still fighting with the firewire enclosure and the Mac mini, although I've narrowed it down to the enclosure, since the drives on the first bridgeboard aren't mounting. Ugh. Should have just gone with more Mac friendly devices. Might have to break out the Cube, because I don't think that guy had any issues connecting to the enclosure. The Bus has been interesting the last couple of days. Long waits before an available bus comes by. On the way home last night we stopped and picked up riders from another bus that was stopped on Lower Wacker before Lake Shore Drive. Not sure what happened there. This morning the bus didn't get on to LSD at Belmont, opting instead to go down to Fullerton. And that was after waiting 30 minutes for a bus with available seating. Lots of people walking North, hoping to get to a bus before it filled up. Probably the most people I've seen yet. Awesome.
12:52 PM Friday, January 25, 2008
Weekend. Awesome. So the firewire enclosure is just not making me happy. I was hoping using the Cube would make all the drives show up, but that's not the case at all. One of the bridgeboards definitely is sketchy. Wonder if I should just replace the board, or switch concepts entirely and go with individual enclosures. Hmmm, I'll just spend the weekend trying to get it to work again. And then make a decision. I also need to do an extended hardware test on the Mac mini, as it seems to be freezing up around 9:48am. I can tell because I get it to show the clock in the screen saver. And that's the time it shows when I get home from work. So the computer problems mean that I haven't been transcoding anything for the Apple TV, can't really sync up the iPhone because music/TV shows/movies are all on the enclosure served from the mini. So that's awesome. Tracy made Salisbury turkey steak, mashed beans and green beans for dinner last night. Watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I'm starting to enjoy more, and most of High Fidelity. Not much planned for the weekend, maybe check out some open houses, take a walk around the neighborhood looking at real estate, that's about it.
8:13 AM Monday, January 28, 2008
Not much went on Friday night, but Saturday made waffles, watched some movies, and went out walking. Checked out neighborhood real estate, got some coffee, stopped off at the Gap, picked up another blazer on sale, came back then headed out to try and catch a movie. Apparently, a lot of other people wanted to catch a movie on Saturday night as well. Wanted to see 27 Dresses, but sold out, so we just decided to go to dinner instead. Tracy had a craving for a French bistro/cafe, I think from watching A Good Year, so I suggested Brasserie Jo. So we started heading over, but checked out places along the way, and came upon Kevin's, which reminded us of Nolita, so we tried it out. Eh. Then homeward bound. Sunday, more walking around, found a new place to get pastrami reubens, The Bagel - Restaurant and Deli, picked up a book from Borders, did some grocery shopping. Tracy made BBQ ribs in the oven that were pretty good. Oh, also fixed the Mac mini. I think Perian was part of the problem. I did clean out the insides of the firewire enclosure, so that might have helped as well. Also added smcFanControl2 to spin up the fans, and that helped with the random reboots while transcoding. Also finally looked up Handbrake issues, and it's the queue that's causing the problems. So, the mini is back up and running and stable.
9:34 AM Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I've taken to updating my Facebook status all the time. Partly because I can because the iPhone Facebook website is super easy to update, and, well, just for giggles. Since they did away with the default "is" part of the status, I'm trying to be more active in my descriptions, like writing a resume, but a side effect is that it seems like I'm writing in the third person, which I am. But it's odd nonetheless. Anyway, I just updated my status to updating Facebook to writing about Facebook. Which is awesome. Tracy made chili last night for dinner, and she'll be eating it for the next week or so. I finally got around to trying out a recipe for pumpkin loaf, so I don't have to buy it from Starbucks anymore. I've got 3 to try, and this first one is good, but not dark or dense enough. I am still working on Book 1 of The Baroque Cycle. Ugh. Can't wait until I'm done, and then I can move on to something that doesn't take any thought. Maybe some Harry Potter, or Ludlum. Oh, and I did transcode The Freshest Kids and Scratch for watching on the iPhone. Might do the same to The Unit, and get Mad Men as well.
12:14 PM Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Walked by a couple other properties on the way home from work yesterday, 3052 N. Sheffield and 831 W. Buckingham. Both pretty nice. Working on getting a mortgage pre-approval and finding a real estate agent. Then comes the legwork. Gotta love the internet though. Best real estate search site so far? Urban Real Estate. Block Shopper is also pretty sweet, as they include market time in their search results. Of course, I don't know exactly what market time is, but it's probably days. Anyway, found another one at 645 W. Briar Pl.. That sounds interesting. Aside from that, watched more real estate tv shows, Tracy made a version of chicken marsala, and that's about it. Since the queue doesn't work in Handbrake, I figured I'd try writing shell scripts to use the command line version, and just need to find the time to create them. Then it'd off to the races for the rest of Alias to finish transcoding.
4:18 PM Thursday, January 31, 2008
I'm not good at tagging, adding keywords, categorizing. Makes it hard to look at the data or content that I create. Anyway, just figured I should start looking into adding keywords to the photos in iPhoto, and get around to uploading more photos. Haven't done it in a while. Pretty much was looking for a more up to date photo to use for my Facebook profile. So walked by 645 W. Briar Pl. last night, and it's in a great location. Down the street from Cupcakes, and we've been doing a lot of walking/shopping down Broadway. Otherwise, it looks a little smaller from the street than the other places. Actually meeting with a real estate agent on Monday night, and playing phone tag with another agent, but both our phones seem to go straight to voicemail, which is weird. Of course, AT&T is having some issues, which means I can't use Visual Voicemail, which is just a hassle. Anyway, hopefully we'll finally get in touch, and we can sit down and meet. Or, maybe we'll just go with the one we were able to get a hold of. I was surprised that it snowed pretty much all day today downtown, but pretty light stuff. Snowstorm tonight, and I need to guess which way (Bus or El) will get me home with the least amount of aggravation. I did catch the 3rd of 3 135's this morning, but then we proceeded to sit at Belmont for like 10 minutes or more, probably to get back on schedule. Stupid. Tracy made stir fry last night, I brought it in for lunch, and we watched House last night.
Archive of <January> <2008> [reverse chronological]