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

1:15 PM Monday, December 1, 2008
Yup, snow. It's here. And my shoes aren't waterproof, like I thought. I should get some. Had another Thanksgiving on Friday night, leftovers from home. Watched Private Practice with dinner. Saturday ran errands, met up with my parents for dinner at Think Cafe. Finished up the evening watching How I Met Your Mother in bed. It was a lazy sunday, since the weather wasn't so great. A little cleaning. We were those people though, and drove the 2 blocks to Jewel and Treasure Island. But we picked up a lot of supplies. Played some Wii Sports and Wii Fit, and Tracy's a whole lot better at most of the games than me. Especially tennis. Spaghetti for dinner. Oh, and finally put up one of the wall mounted bottle openers. Very handy. Also tried adding more meta info, this time to Las Vegas (tv show) Season 2, but MetaX crashed 2 episodes in. That's why I don't like doing complete TV seasons. Annoying. Just realized 2009 is right around the corner. And before you know it, it'll be 2010. Where's my flying car?
2:22 PM Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Want to tweak the wireless network at home a bit. Not sure how, but there's definitely some things to try. Maybe get the Apple TVs on an 802.11n network. Maybe. Also started thinking about cable management in the 2nd bedroom. Lots of photos oh Flickr on how to do that, but mostly it's about keeping cables off the floor and somehow hidden behind the desk, usually in some sort of trough. Not sure what to use for the trough. Might make a Home Depot run to try and stumble across something. Also, my parents brought out my scrapbook back on Saturday, so I pulled out some old yearbook photos. Those will be going up on Facebook at some point. It'll be part of an album to help define how I know my Facebook friends. So basically it'll be St. Mary School, Marian, and maybe a couple NU photos, and then team photos from Union Crew, Kaze and Scandal. In life, played some Wii Fit last night, watched Heroes with dinner, transcoded The Long Kiss Goodnight.
12:39 PM Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Flickr. Facebook. Twitter. Daily Dose. Delicious. Now maybe Tumblr. Not to mention the accounts that aren't updated, like MySpace, Orkut, LinkedIn, Loopt, BrightKite, or Pandora. And those are the ones I remember. I like Facebook for keeping track of people. I use Flickr for photos. I use Twitter for random thoughts, more like a mini-Musings for me. Daily Dose is still my online journal. Delicious for links. So what would Tumblr be for? The only additional things it might provide are quotes and chat logs, and maybe audio and video, which I don't post at all. So maybe I won't use Tumblr, too redundant. Also, the new Amazon Mobile app for the iPhone has this cool feature where you take a photo of something you want to buy, and sometime later you get a possible match on the store for that product. It uses Amazon Mechanical Turk to do it, which is to say, Amazon pays people to look at photos and pick products that match the photo. Crazy. Of course, I just signed up for Mechanical Turk. Anyway, life stuff: Wii Fit and Urbanathlon training last night. The training is awesome, and hopefully I can keep it up this time. It's just a great full body workout. Watched House and Bones. mac & cheese for dinner, anything else would have taken too long. Tempted by Crisp, but didn't want to venture outside. Might actually buy some Crocs. Yup. Really.
4:19 PM Thursday, December 4, 2008
So I'm trying out Tumblr as a personal public FriendFeed. I like the idea, but it seems to choke on feeds occasionally. Makes me wonder how hard it might be to roll my own? Dropped by the old home yesterday, picked up mail and stuff, and a black PowerMate that I got off eBay. Paid through the nose, but they only made the black one for a year maybe. And I never pulled the trigger, and should have. Anyway, I use the black one at work, so it blends in a little. Wish it had a black USB cord as well. Otherwise, the parents Christmas presents arrived as well, so when we have dinner with them in a couple weeks I'll bring that out to them. Played some more Wii Fit, Tracy made mechado for dinner, and we watched Smallville and Samantha Who?. I've started thinking some more about organization in the second bedroom, consolidating cables, reorganizing cable modem, router, access points. That's my big project for the weekend.
3:17 PM Friday, December 5, 2008
I picked the wrong day to wear a base layer. That would be yesterday. I thought it was cold then, boy, was I wrong. I decided to forgo them today, because I was too warm in the office. Whoops. I got stuck on the Addison Red Line stop, waiting for a southbound with enough space to get on. That didn't happen until 30 minutes and 4 trains later. And I saw a relatively empty train pull away when I was about a block away. Awesome. Totally awesome. Anyway, hoping the ride home is much quicker. As for the usual, played Wii Fit for a bit, did more Urbanathlon training, maybe this weekend I can actually do the recommended number of sets. Tracy tried out a brine for a turkey thigh, which was pretty good. Watched Eli Stone and Grey's Anatomy. Supposed to go to Mike and Amy's engagement party tonight. As for the weekend, household chores, since Tracy's working, and the cleaning out of the second bedroom. Otherwise, trying to keep warm.
1:06 PM Monday, December 8, 2008
Tracy ended up taking a half day or so on Friday and calling in sick on Saturday, so I had to try and take care of her a bit. We did go to Mike and Amy's engagement party on Friday night. A fairly early night, but Tracy wasn't any better on Saturday, so she called in, slept some more. I made grits and bacon for breakfast, and we spent the day on the couch. I did do laundry, and took a nap. I ended up having to make a quick run into the office to check on a server, and picked up Crisp for dinner on the way back. Also made a grocery run to get Tracy some tea. Sunday she went in to work, and I tried out the stove top griddle for the first time, and I love it. Also caught up on The Unit. Vacuumed. And finally got around to doing cable organization for the desk in the second bedroom. Only have to figure out where to put the printer. Did watch a little bit of No Country for Old Men and Tracy, like everyone else, was disappointed in the ending. Wonderful piece of storytelling. Like a Neal Stephenson novel. Oh, and currently transcoding all the James Bond movies, which I got in some Gold Box deal from Amazon.
3:22 PM Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Dropped by the old home yesterday on the way home to pick up more papers and gifts for the parents. Did the body test on the Wii Fit, did some Urbanathlon training, had meatloaf for dinner, watched Desperate Housewives, Private Practice and 30 Rock. Checked on the MacBook churning away on the James Bond transcodes. I think I want to do Veronica Mars next, and maybe some random movies on the Mac mini. Oh, the 802.11n network is holding up just fine, and streaming to the Apple TVs is much better. Much faster. It's nice. And coverage is just fine with the single Airport Extreme Base Station. Same thing with the 802.11b/g network via the Airport Express. I've been looking for an iPhone app to test WiFi strength as I walk around, so I can see if I can control iTunes music from the roof. But no such luck yet. Maybe a reason to actually code something?
3:55 PM Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The clear lenses on my sunglasses have come in handy from time to time, and not just with biking. For example yesterday, as the rain turned to snow, and was driving a little, the glasses saved my eyes a bit. I've also gone back to using eyedrops, as the eyes have been a little dry lately. Never hurts. Last night played a little Wii Fit (not losing any weight whatsoever). Watched Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and The Big Bang Theory. The James Bond transcodes are almost finished, and I decided to start transcoding the Pixar movies I have. Also decided to try putting meta info back on the Las Vegas (tv show) Season 2 episodes again, and hope MetaX doesn't crash again. Just another Tuesday.
11:44 AM Thursday, December 11, 2008
I really like Facebook. I like the relatively clean lines. I like how easy it is to find people. I like that lots of old classmates are on it. And that it's easy to get in touch. I just really wish the social timeline hadn't gone away. That would be interesting to see now that I have more friends from way back (elementary school). But I can't add multiple levels of schooling to friend detail. I haven't had the courage yet to start up Alumni groups for my classes yet either. Maybe. Or for some now defunct ultimate teams. But it's mostly used by me for historical purposes. Reconnecting. Not so much with present day stuff. Interesting, at least for me. Anyway, i think I've figured out when I need to leave the house to get a trouble free commute. Now I just need to stick to it. Gotta make a dry run to the Millennium Park train station for the Indiana South Shore line that I'll be taking tomorrow night to get to Tracy's holiday party in East Chicago. Awesome. Made a wine run after I got home from work last night, got a red and a white from Kafka, then up to Treasure Island to get some Marsala, of which there are sweet and dry versions in small bottles, so I got both. Which Tracy used to make Chicken Marsala. Watched House and Eli Stone.
10:56 AM Friday, December 12, 2008
So, wandered East after work yesterday, to see the deal is with the South Shore Line. I take the steps down at Randolph and Michigan, and then enter this gleaming, new, Millennium Station with a Cinnabon and other food court specialties. I had no idea this train station existed. I'm impressed. It was all shiny silver and curvy, like from the future, like a space station. Got myself a ticket for tonight to East Chicago, then started wandering through the Chicago Pedway, which connects to the train station. No idea where I was, but knew that I was headed West. Ended up at Macy's on State Street. Seriously, pretty cool. Picked up some odds and ends from Macy's, took the bus back to the old home, picked up some more stuff before walking home to watch the Bears. So got Tracy's holiday party tonight, then headed out to shopping in the 'burbs and dinner the my parents tomorrow night.
2:32 PM Monday, December 15, 2008
I used to cross state borders all the time, driving, flying, all that stuff. It would be funny to count the number of times I've been in Indiana. But it's been a while. So taking the South Shore Line Friday night to East Chicago was a trip. I don't remember the last time I went into another state via ground transportation. But it was super easy. Met a bunch of Tracy's coworkers, and I got to see where she works. Saturday made crepes and bacon for breakfast, then headed out for some shopping on the way out to Woodstock. Stopped by The Arboretum of South Barrington to check out the Arhaus there. Also stopped by a Trader Joe's on the way home. After mass, my parents took us out to Le Vichyssois for an early Christmas dinner, since my dad's going to visit the Philippines over the holidays. Good stuff there, as always. After dinner, worked on setting up a Time Capsule and an Apple TV for them. Sunday, we went for a run around the neighborhood before breakfast at Angelo's, then drove down to Aurora Outlets for some shopping. Did some additional shopping on the way back in as well. Lots of shopping. Which I guess is the season. Had some steak, from my mom, for dinner, and watched some TV. And now it's 30 degrees cooler than yesterday, and I'm trying to stay warm.
4:07 PM Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Snow party maybe. Total snow storm right now. Sweet. Feeling a little under the weather, or maybe the start of a cold. Something, coming down with something. I think it starts with a mucus backup in the head, sinuses, and a headache. Didn't do much of anything when I got home last night, just curled up on the couch. Watched some YouTube. That Mario Kart Love Song is impressive. Watched Get Smart, an Apple TV rental that was going to expire in 4 days. Tracy made some roasted chicken for dinner, using a new mini roasting pan that we got over the weekend. Going to Market Track's holiday party tonight, at 10pin. And really snowing. Something like 4-6" today.
4:35 PM Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I guess the holiday season makes me social. Bowling was fun last night, and I think it's one of those things that I'm tempted to get into. I have a nice curve going on, so it at least looks pretty. Maybe someday. Anyway, public transportation made it easy for me to get home, but it took Tracy 3:15 to get home. Seriously. Ugh. Hope it's not that bad tomorrow night. Tonight I'm headed out to Sweets & Savories with Leo (tall), Akira and Bryan. I think I'm out of the woods with whatever sickness I thought I was coming down with. But of course I'm sure I'll come down with it after I said that. I'm loving the biking leg warmers I got over the weekend. I use them as, well, leg warmers. I feel like it's better than long underwear, don't get as hot, and pretty easy to take off if I do warm up enough. They do tend to slide down sometimes, especially after sitting for a while, so it kind of looks like I'm pulling up my stockings sometimes.
3:18 PM Thursday, December 18, 2008
Passed on another boys night tonight, due to the weather forecast. Instead, I'm going to make sugar cookies for my wife. Sweets & Savories last night was pretty good. Had the Kobe Burger, beef tallow fries and truffle mac & cheese. Fries I think were my favorite. There were other things on the menu that I also wanted to try, so I want to take Tracy there at some point. The only odd thing was showing up early and being the only person in the restaurant, besides the hostess/bartender/waitress. Definitely odd. But the place was maybe half full by the time we left. Haven't been exercising at all recently, can't remember the last time I even weighed myself on the Wii Fit. Maybe tonight, but I'm actually still sore from bowling on Tuesday. I should be finished up transcoding season 1 of Veronica Mars, and The Matrix trilogy and the six Star Wars movies. Maybe some Kevin Smith movies and the Friends series next. 22 minute sitcoms make for pretty quick and easy Apple TV viewing while waiting for stuff.
3:32 PM Friday, December 19, 2008
Well, storm rolled in later than I thought, but I still stayed in, fearful of too long bus commutes. Tried out some Wii Fit with the balance board on a riser, to make it a little more physically challenging, which was successful. Tracy made chicken adobo, I made sugar cookies following Alton Brown's recipe. Good stuff. And not that many. Watched Private Practice and How I Met Your Mother. Finished transcoding season 1 and started season 2 of Veronica Mars. Finally started up again, just to mark all the spam as read. Otherwise, not much going on. Tracy's working tomorrow, I've got to clean some stuff, and get a haircut, and then take the train out to the 'burbs cause the niece is coming in to town. Think we're going shopping on Sunday as well. I should probably get some boots, as the waterproof shoes I have now don't really have high tops, so the slush gets in. Oh well.
12:48 PM Monday, December 22, 2008
Really really really really cold. Luckily, I found my facemask, which will come in handy, and I also have my balaclava hanging out in my bag, but I don't think it's gotten to that point yet. And I need to get over any thoughts that I look goofy wearing it, because warm is better than stylish and cold. Friday night Tracy and I went to dinner at Kanok, no movie. Saturday, while Tracy worked, I had a haircut, picked up breakfast from Whole Foods, and cleaned up the second bedroom. Then took the El down to the LaSalle Station for a train to Oak Forest to get picked up my Tracy on the way out to her parents to visit Baniella. They weren't coming in till later, so stopped at Portillo's for dinner, did some shopping, then waited for them to come home. Sunday hung out with the Argaos for the day, did a little bit more shopping, watched Burn After Reading before coming back into the city. Hard to believe it's Christmas in three days.
4:34 PM Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Wow. Christmas. 2 Days away. Go figure. More snow. Watched the Bears game last night. Put meta info on the Veronica Mars Season 1. I had leftovers for dinner and Tracy made a spinach dip for her potluck at work today and chili for dinner. She's also headed out to visit her family after work today, and I'm doing errands. Still contemplating Christmas presents. I know. Kind of late. But I'm just so bad at it. Other than that, I'm trying out crossword puzzle applications on the iPhone. I feel like my language has slipped a little, or maybe I'm not exercising my brain all that much, or something. Exactly. Also finally just went ahead and did 2 sets of the week 1 of Urbanathlon training last night. Sore today. Good stuff though. Oh also did some tweaking to the garage door, which apparently needs to be done for temperature variations. And set the thermostat to a constant, instead of fluctuating. But from others, I hear setting it to fluctuate is better. So maybe I'll do that instead, just a question of whether to have heat in the morning or not.
3:39 PM Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Ah, Christmas eve. The eve before Christmas eve I did some cleaning. Finally canceled RCN service at the old place. Need to drop off the DVR at their office at some point. El ridership seems to be moving to holiday levels, pretty empty, lots of seats. That's kind of nice. Tracy went to her parents after work, was contemplating staying out there due to the weather, but came back in instead. And I had to vacuum and clean the range/oven. Wish we had a giant sink, maybe an apron, or a big laundry type sink to work in. Probably need to do another round of cleaning before the New Year's Eve. Headed out to the in-law tomorrow, my mom's coming down as well, and then I'll come back with my mom into the city, Tracy'll stay there, and then my mom and I will drive to the airport early in the morning the day after Christmas to visit Al and Nicole.
12:22 PM Wednesday, December 31, 2008
So the trip to Austin went well. Very relaxing. Good times. Good to spend time with family. Didn't really go to Austin, mostly stayed at Al and Nicole's house, eating, watching stuff in their awesome media room. Did have a great dinner out at Cool River Cafe and a very good lunch at Mandola's Italian Market. The drive to the airport last Friday was a little slippery, and our flight was delayed for like 1.5hr, but we got out. Got home last night and started prepping for the party. So, year in review? Maybe. But it's been a good year. Next up, 2009.
Archive of <December> <2008> [reverse chronological]