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

3:06 PM Friday, February 1, 2008
Ah, February. What a month. Some of my worst months were Februaries, but I'm sure some of my best were as well. Would be interesting to plot over time. Anyway, another month down in 2008. Last night was going to take the el home, but saw that traffic was moving on LaSalle, so walked over and took the 135. Big mistake. 1:45 later, I go grocery shopping. There was a point that the bus seemed to break down on lower Wacker just before getting onto lower Lake Shore Drive. That would have been awesome to deal with. But some revving of the engine, gears engage, and we made our way slowly North. Picked up a premarinated pork roast and zucchini and squash for dinner, and put it in the oven, since Tracy had a 2 hour drive home herself. Watched some real estate shows, of course. Actually have meetings set up with some real estate agents next week. Hopefully we'll pick one right away, and go from there. Got to come in a little late today, because of the weather. Not much planned for the weekend, maybe get out and see Russell, but just gonna be Tracy and I for the Super Bowl, since she's working.
10:18 AM Monday, February 4, 2008
Go watch this now. Yes, it's a political speech set to music. Yes that, like Tracy said, automatically gives words more emotional weight. But the words themselves, well, wow. And yes, it took a music video to turn me on to Obama. Looks like he's a tech friendly candidate as well. So fitting that I see that the same day the Giants win the Super Bowl. Yes they can. That was a pretty exciting game. Annoying that the DVR stopped at the 3rd down of the Patriots last possession, and the overlap with the House recording missed the last 3 downs of the game, so Tracy and I missed the actual clock winding down. But still. Wow. Food was good, but not that good. Tracy and i were both disappointed overall with our culinary spheres. I'm definitely out of practice with my pastry making. That's sad. As for the rest of the weekend, watched a bunch of movies off the DVR, Three Kings, Breach, and The Lookout. Moved some stuff upstairs so the condo is a bit more open. That's pretty much it.
2:38 PM Tuesday, February 5, 2008
That's in reference to Super Tuesday and Mardi Gras falling on the same day. Planning on voting tonight, while my polling place is still in the building, that is, until I move, whenever that may be. Met with Adam Garvey, real estate agent with The Brad Lippitz Group, and arranged some showings on Saturday. Got flights booked for an anniversary vacation with the Cases. Had leftovers for dinner, watched Carpoolers and Welcome to the Captain. Started watching Scratch on the iPhone. Oh, and probably because of all the real estate, how to sell, tv shows we've been watching, we started rearranging living room furniture last night. Actually opened up the blinds last night as well, and all those windows does make the place look pretty big. And the piano and the tv limit furniture layout.
2:44 PM Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Meeting with Jason went well last night. Got through some stuff. Which is good. Weather never really got bad, so that was also good. That was pretty much the night. Tracy made some guacamole and some beef wellingtons for dinner. Watched some real estate tv shows, some cooking shows. This morning probably marks the third time in a row I've made it out the door only to see my bus pulling away from my stop. I could run for it, but that's not my style. Finished watching Scratch and started The Freshest Kids on the way in. It is really nice being able to watch stuff wherever I am. Very nice. Oh, played the lotto yesterday, didn't win. Jackpot's up to $122 million for Friday.
1:31 PM Thursday, February 7, 2008
So Lent is here again. No meat yesterday, went with a tuna salad sandwich for lunch and a Margherita frozen pizza for dinner. Good thing to look forward to? Possibly more sushi in the next 40 days. Snowstorm fizzled a bit in Chicago proper. But my mom got stuck in Detroit on her way back from the Philippines, and my dad was on his way to the airport and turned back before they decided to shut down McHenry county because of whiteout conditions. And here in downtown Chicago? No problems. Actually, might have been the fastest bus ride home since the holiday inbetween week. So that was nice. Otherwise, watched some real estate tv shows, a bit of Employee of the Month. I did turn off Spotlight on the MacBook. I thought something was off, and I think my email archiving and migration might be cause it fits. And I think it's running cooler. Maybe. After I get all my email uploaded to Google Apps I'll turn it back on. I did finish transcoding Alias for the Apple TV. Next up I think is another set of movies, before moving on to all 10 seasons of Friends.
3:14 PM Friday, February 8, 2008
So mom got home really late on Wednesday night. That's good. Otherwise, not too much going on. Tracy made a goat cheese, sun dried tomato, roasted red pepper sauce for the pasta I boiled and the turkey brats I cooked. That was good. Watched Cashmere Mafia. And more real estate TV shows. I should get around to listing all the different ones, but there are so many of them. Tried using iTunes built in convert to iPod/iPhone transcoding from the Apple TV version of the transcoded DVDs, but takes way too long. I should compare it to a DVD transcode, but I'm pretty sure it's much slower. So that means double rips for when I want to bring stuff with me. Actually looking at 8 or so properties tomorrow, just a quick run through them all. Hopefully we'll find one we like. Otherwise, maybe do some painting of columns this weekend, but not much else. Lots of sleeping. Forgot to mention that RCN is switching to all digital, which means more HD channels, and that I need to get a STB for upstairs.
12:55 PM Monday, February 11, 2008
Well, after looking at 8 properties on Saturday, we're narrowing the field. So that's good. Also good is when Tracy and I both agree on the place we do like. Hopefully we'll get another showing in this week sometime. Definitely exciting. Friday night Tracy made vegetable risotto. We watched Eli Stone and Peggy Sue Got Married. Saturday went house hunting, had a late lunch/early dinner at Wilde Bar & Restaurant, and napped and watched some TV. Sunday ventured out into the cold, did some window shopping, dropped in on Russell, got a snack at Whole Foods, did some grocery shopping. Tracy made a pork loin for dinner. I ended up finally making Chocolate Mousse, but not early enough to eat. Waited 30 minutes for a bus this morning, and there was definitely a big backlog of people waiting for buses. Worse than the last time I saw a backup like that. Can't wait until the weather gets nice enough, or I get courageous enough to start biking again.
12:33 PM Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Picked up a bottle of wine, some strawberries on the way home from the Belmont stop last night. It'll be nice living closer to Kafka Wine Co in the future, hopefully. Also living closer to the Belmont stop as well, as I wouldn't be waiting for bunched up buses, instead waiting for bunched up el trains. Watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the last episode, and of course, some more Real Estate TV Shows, and Tracy made her eggplant and ground turkey lasagna. Updated the MacBook and Mac mini to 10.5.2. No problems there. Supposedly the new software update for the Apple TV is now available, so I'll have to download and try that out tonight. This morning, had a much better commute by leaving 15 minutes earlier, and managed to finally finish Quicksilver (book), and started up Candy Girl again, figured I needed something lighter to read. Not sure what's next after that, but definitely something light. Maybe Ender's Game? Oh, also picked up some chocolate Skittles, because I was intrigued. And now I never have to get them again. They ain't so good. I forget what chocolate flavored candy I do like, but that isn't it. Gotta remember to play Mega Millions tonight. $150 Million.
9:29 AM Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Updated the Apple TV to the Take 2 software upgrade. It's pretty sweet. Haven't tried the AirTunes support yet, but that was a nice pleasant surprise. Also haven't tried the HD rental yet, but looks really easy to do. Even to the point that I might look into getting rid of cable. Almost completely. At least the premium channels. I'm looking forward to the day when the weather is really bad, and there's nothing to watch, so we just pick a movie to rent and there it is. That's just slick. Also, there's support for 5.1 Dolby Digital surround. Just have to figure out how to get DVDs transcoded to take advantage of that. Figure I'll only transcode the movies that need the sound, like The Matrix. Tracy brought her car to the dealer last night, so was late getting back due to the all the traffic, which meant I had to make dinner. I went with chicken in a bag, a recipe by Jamie Oliver. It was ok, but I don't think I put enough salt, or thyme. It was a little too bland. Or maybe not enough butter. Today Tracy has to go and pick her car up (she got a rental from them in the meantime) so I get to make dinner again. I think it's gonna be stuff cabbage, if I can pull that off. Watched some TV last night as well.
2:59 PM Thursday, February 14, 2008
Made dinner and another mess in the kitchen last night since Tracy had to go pick her car up. Made stuffed cabbage, or, in this case, meat wrapped in cabbage. It was pretty good. Sounds fabulous right now, since I'm fasting for a blood test tonight. It's a physical for life and disability insurance. Exciting. Can't wait to eat after that's over with. Watched Smallville, a little bit of Deja Vu, had Cocktail going in the background while cooking. Also made some Apricot Jell-O, and I might sneak in the pineapple or cranberry flavors this weekend. I'm definitely stocking up the movies for this weekend since Tracy's working. Looking forward to Starter for 10 which is playing on some HD channel, as recommended by Jenkins, and Crank is also premiering this weekend.
2:00 PM Friday, February 15, 2008
I don't like fasting. And I can't believe that I did the Master Cleanse, and I could never do it again. Anyway, physical went well, and I forgot I had to pee in a cup, which always takes me forever to do. If I had remember I would have been hydrating as soon as I got home. Tracy made steak and caprese for dinner. We just split a T-bone, Tracy got the tenderloin, I got the strip. Good stuff. Actually ate at the table without the TV on. Watched some Deja Vu and some House Hunters. Also downloaded and compiled the newest dev version of Handbrake to transcode The Matrix with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound for the Apple TV. Found out this morning that it works beautifully. Now that means retranscoding all the stuff I had, but I'm gonna wait for an official stable release for that. I think I have over 100 DVDs and a couple different TV seasons done, so that's exciting. Started reading Bringing Down the House again, which is great. Checking out 907 W. Roscoe again tonight. Plan on watching movies and doing a couple loads of laundry tomorrow, then out to dinner with my parents and Tracy, I think we're going to try Magnolia Cafe in Uptown. Sunday, lunch with Russell at Kuma's Corner, more movie watching.
12:07 PM Monday, February 18, 2008
Yup, I'm 31 now. Anyway, Friday night had a second showing of 907 W. Roscoe. Still really like the place. Forgot what we ended up having for dinner, something Tracy made of course. Watched some House, Cashmere Mafia and Eli Stone. Saturday sent Tracy off to work, and finally finished off Deja Vu while doing laundry, then Where the Money Is and Blood Diamond, which I really thought was a great movie. Made myself a nice traditional Filipino breakfast of Spam, eggs and fried rice. Parents came in to town and we went to mass before meeting up with Tracy after work to head up to Magnolia Cafe for dinner. Good stuff there. On Sunday, watched Gray Matters and Starter for 10 before biking off to meet Russell for lunch at Kuma's Corner. Had the Sloth, which was a burger with a Cuban sandwich on top. It was good. And yes, it knocked me out for about an hour after I got home. I did get caught in the rain on the way back, which was funny, because I started the ride with sunglasses on because it was sunny. Watched Crank, Tracy came back, started to go for a walk, but couldn't get over to the lake because the underpass was flooded, so just picked up some stuff from Whole Foods for dinner. Rented the HD version of No Reservations on the Apple TV, which was pretty seamless. Except that it didn't download completely by the time we started watching, so we had to wait at the last 15 minutes for it to finish downloading. Other than that, super easy and pretty nice quality. Tracy tried making homemade mac and cheese, but it didn't turn out like she wanted. I made her some chocolate covered strawberries, and I had a slice of Black Forest cake from Whole Foods. Overall a pretty good birthday. Right up my alley. Catchup dinner with Leah at Sai Cafe tonight. Oh, and happy birthday to my dad today.
10:34 AM Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sai Cafe is so good. Seriously. Awesome. Good catching up with Leah. Walked all the way down to get the 151. It was pretty cold out. Helped my dad with setting up wireless at home, because Al and Nicole got him a new computer, a 20" iMac for his birthday. He moved the old iMac G5 to the kitchen for my mom, and at one point, I was iChating with them both, one in the study, one in the kitchen, and me in Chicago. We're supposed to do another iChat this weekend with my brother, so that'll be fun. And I was Remote Desktop'ed into the iMac G5, since that's were the ports are being forwarded to, but then used Leopard's built in Screen Sharing to connect to the new iMac to help out with some networking things. That's awesome too. Oh, and totally forgot about that Wedding highlight video, so converted that so I can carry it around on my iPhone. Which also reminds me that I need to get in touch with our videographer and see if he's finally up to ours. Meeting with Jason tonight.
2:40 PM Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Meeting with Jason went fine last night. Got some things to discuss with some other advisors. Other than that, Tracy made roasted chicken quarters, fingerling potatoes, and green beans for dinner. She was watching Blood Diamond when I got home, too. She had one of my days on her day off, curled up on the couch, laptop, watching movies. That's my wife. Got another showing of 907 W. Roscoe tonight with another advisor and our agent, Adam, and then some discussion afterwards. Could be that we're falling out of love with that place. Maybe. Wait and see. But damn if that 1/2 bath on the roof wasn't so cool. Handbrake released a new version, with support for 5.1 surround sound. So, started ripping DVDs to start transcoding, again. Pretty much gonna do 'em all over. Not sure, but reading through some forum posts at the Handbrake site, there's some settings that might allow pretty good quality for both Apple TV and iPhone watching. So maybe I need to do some testing and find that out before starting to transcode.
12:13 PM Thursday, February 21, 2008
Yes, we still like 907 W. Roscoe. So we're still moving on that. More news as it comes along. Otherwise, leftovers for dinner last night. Watched The New Adventures of Old Christine and some other real estate shows. So pretty low key there. As for transcoding, supposedly the iPod-HiRez preset in Handbrake should give good Apple TV results as well as ability to play on the iPhone. So gonna try that out to see how it goes. That's pretty much it.
11:37 AM Friday, February 22, 2008
Tracy picked me up from work yesterday, and we drove up and went to a Home Depot. We were looking at Trex, to see what that's all about for the roof deck, and also to look at lighting fixtures, and outdoor furniture, and paint, and other random stuff. Then we went up to Los Nopales, because Tracy had a craving for Mexican, and I wanted to try it out based on Akira's recommendation. It was good, but not the best ever. There was, I think, a hint of seafood flavoring or something in the rice, which of course set off Tracy's allergies, so that wasn't good. Maybe we'll have to try it in the summer instead. After that, just a couple TV shows and bedtime. We're headed out for dinner with my in-laws tonight, to show off the photos we have of 907 W. Roscoe. Headed out to Woodstock at some point this weekend for my parents anniversary. Also want to check some stuff out at Abt Electronics.
2:23 PM Monday, February 25, 2008
Friday night took the Metra out to Orland Park for dinner with the in-laws. Ended up at P.F. Changs, as everything else had like an hour wait. Pretty good stuff, they now have these mini desserts for $2, so it's not too much at the end of the night. Got back to their place and showed off some photos of 907 W. Roscoe. Saturday April dropped by after work, Tracy made her ham, I made eggs with tomatoes and onions, and we watched Yes We Can and Kitchen Confidential. After April left, Tracy and I went out to the 'burbs to check out The Great Indoors looking for light fixtures. Then we went to Abt Electronics to check out appliances, and I'm glad Tracy likes that store as much as I do. We wandered through all the kitchen models, drooling at all the stuff. Best detail? Anti slam drawer hardware. Then we went looking for The Glen, which Tracy had read about in the paper, and we eventually stumbled upon it, and ended up eating at Flight. Another long wait, except the kitchen bar was open. So we got to have dinner looking into the kitchen. Like pretty much in the kitchen. It was awesome. Best part was when the expediter called out a string of medium rare entrees and said it sounded like a real restaurant or kitchen or something. Anyway, ate too much that night as well. Sunday drove out to Woodstock for my parents 35th wedding anniversary, and they ended up renewing their vows at a mass on Sunday afternoon and had a reception at St. Monica. Lots of food there as well. Then, capped off the evening with a family iChat, wishing my brother a happy birthday as well. A pretty full weekend all told.
2:01 PM Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Waiting for the bus to go home last night saw the rain turn to snow. Always nice when it does that. Also always results in a very pretty snowfall, as snow falls pretty gently, sticks to trees, and piles up on branches. Best snowfall I ever saw was like that, and I spent the afternoon after I got home from high school just watching the snow fall. Anyway, I had my head down watching The Fifth Element so I had no idea how much snow had fallen by the time I got home. And it was pretty substantial. Got our first bill for life insurance, and didn't know what the monthly cost was going to be, so that was interesting. Made me go and create a personal budget in Numbers, which is absolutely awesome. Things I wouldn't have even bothered with doing in Excel, I'm totally willing and able to do easily in Numbers. Did some exercises last night, made some mac & cheese and kielbasa for dinner, watched Cashmere Mafia. Transcoded The Matrix for Apple TV and iPhone, to compare and contrast with the existing 5.1 Apple TV version. I did The Fifth Element wrong, so I had to try it with something else. As for news on 907 W. Roscoe, we're getting ready to put an offer in, and looking for a lender as well.
3:05 PM Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So getting a mortgage, not even getting a mortgage, just trying to find a lender, has got to be the most annoying part of the home buying process. Ugh. Anyway, finished up watching The Matrix last night, and the transcoding for Apple TV and iPhone looks good, so I'm starting with the entire season of Alias. Also came up with some shell scripts to make it easy to do a bunch of rips with Mac the Ripper and then do a batch transcoding. By my rough calculations, it should complete around this time next week. Awesome. Also bought an upgrade to iBank last night. Love the OFX downloading, and of course only 2 of my accounts support it. Also love the iPhone integration. Means I'll actually be able to keep track of my cash expenditures. Meeting with Adam tonight. Started watching Center Stage last night. Also watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
4:36 PM Thursday, February 28, 2008
Put in an offer last night on 907 W. Roscoe. And now the waiting begins. Think we've found a lender, too, and going with Wells Fargo. So that's exciting. Kind of unnerving. Went grocery shopping after working with Adam on the offer, picked dinner up, which was ravioli and a vodka cream sauce, to which Tracy added onions and peppers. Watched some Eli Stone. I did my exercises. I did make some chocolate covered strawberries for Tracy again, and I'm having trouble recreating the smoothness from the first couple of times I did it. And, a quick Google search later: it's wet strawberries. So, all I have to do is clean them and pat them completely dry beforehand, or not wash them at all. And dark chocolate covered blueberries aren't all that good. The blueberries are for some sort of breakfast grain. Started reading Neuromancer on the Sony Reader on the bus again. Always good, no matter how many times I've read it. I think the next one will definitely be Ender's Game. That is, unless I start watching Alias, since I'm now on Season 1, Episode 18. It's been transcoding since 10:27am yesterday. Only 91 more episodes to go.
2:00 PM Friday, February 29, 2008
The leap year day. Surprised I hadn't written before on the elusive February 29. Looks like there was a musing from 2000, but that was also during my break from Daily Dose. Anyway, sellers came back with a counter offer last night on 907 W. Roscoe. We've countered back today, and waiting to hear back. We did start looking at other properties, to hedge our bets, and to guard ourselves if we don't end up getting it. Tracy made stir fry for dinner last night, using soba noodles. Watched The Office rerun, and some more real estate shows. Otherwise, pretty low key, just sort of in a holding pattern, waiting to go through all the steps until we know if we got the place or not. Tracy's working this weekend, so watching more movies. Might get out for some exercise on Sunday, got a haircut tomorrow, and that's about it. Planning on making some shrimp dish of the peel and eat variety tonight, something with Old Bay, something to remind me of that place in West Palm Beach just over the bridge from that one year of BOTB.
Archive of <February> <2008> [reverse chronological]