8:45 PM Sunday, January 1, 2023
Going to try and bring this blog back to where I started it; like Twitter. Finally watched Step Brothers. Exactly what I expected. New Years Dinner with the family at Jaleo, then made reservations and had a 2nd dinner at La Pizza & La Pasta at Eataly.
8:42 PM Monday, January 2, 2023
Rather simple New Years Day (Observed). Got back to my Apple Fitness+ 10 minute core workout, and Gravity Push-Up Workout. Took a couple naps. Finished up Artemis. Nice fast read. Moving on to Project Hail Mary. Sous-vide a ribeye for dinner. Worked my way through the rest of NYE champagne in cocktails. Back to work tomorrow.
4:32 PM Tuesday, January 3, 2023
Was contemplating setting up a Mastodon server, abando.social, so I could at least have an account. But it’s been so long being off Twitter, I’m not sure if I want to go through the effort. Maybe I will, just to say I have. I am slightly curious to see if it’s like it was during my early days on Twitter.
8:33 PM Wednesday, January 4, 2023
Got Tsaocaa for dinner, picking it up when I got Lucy from swim practice. I’ve forgotten the sauces we didn’t like, so just got their golden original and the cheesling. So good. Felt like I slept well and a good amount last night, so surprised when I took an hour nap this afternoon. Trying again to cut out coffee.
4:14 PM Thursday, January 5, 2023
Just got some molds for ice spears. I know it’s cheating, and they aren’t clear, but I did the directional freezing technique to make clear ice (large cubes and spears) and it was just way too much hassle, especially to just filling molds and placing them in the freezer. Works well enough for me. In other news, went to get mealworms for Banana but came back with super worms. Will go back tomorrow and get the right ones.
11:21 AM Friday, January 6, 2023
Jackson’s been asking to make water you can play with, so I finally ordered a spherification kit from Modernist Pantry. Excited to see what I can make, like 30 years after it was first popularized. Who knows, maybe I’ll start making some foams next? Made hard boiled eggs yesterday, I thought for myself, but then Jackson ended up eating all but one. Also decided to limit Amazon purchases to once a week, instead of whenever I think of something. Also going to try limiting delivery to a single day, which is more work than it probably should be. Lucy’s got a swim meet this weekend, excited to see how she does in the 1000 Free she’s doing for the first time. Jackson’s got his first game of the winter season. Also got to take the Christmas decorations down.
5:14 PM Saturday, January 7, 2023
I got a pair of Merrell Nova 2 Mid Waterproof to replace my Merrell Atmost Mid Waterproof which started falling apart (like plastic pieces falling apart on the inside. These are my winter waterproof shoes, and the Nove 2 Mids look like sneakers, but they’re waterproof. Haven’t had to test that feature yet, but they’re plenty warm for the winter. I also ended up getting a pair of Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof as a true replacement hiking boot, but not sure how much use those will get. Jackson had a super early soccer game this morning which they won. I was off on doing the in-game reporting in TeamSnap. Watched the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. FA Cup game (it’s the random Premier Club team I’ve decided to follow (mostly because of their name/logo. Noticed that Wrexham A.F.C. is making a surprise run at the FA Cup. Guess that means I should watch Welcome to Wrexham. Gotta love a cinderella story.
8:19 PM Sunday, January 8, 2023
Lucy swam the 1000 yard freestyle event at her meet this weekend (Saturday evening session). First time, and she qualified for regionals in it. First in her age group (of which there were 3) but more impressively 4th overall (from boys and girls 11-17). So that’s very cool. Turns out they had electrical problems today so the 2nd day of the meet was cancelled. But then her and Alex decided to do a self practice session at the gym anyway today. Guess she likes swimming. Christmas decorations are down and put away in the garage attic. Opens up some more space in the storage room downstairs. Leaves the parlor very empty until Tracy puts her plants back in. Went to the O’Tooles Solstice party last night. Good times as always. Impressed that Jackson wasn’t asking to leave earlier. The earliest he asked was around 9:30, but then he decided he wanted to stay longer so we didn’t leave for another hour. First time drinking beer in a while (since I’m usually a cocktail/whiskey person), my body was not happy with that choice. Kids go back to school tomorrow. Lucy starts her orthodontics tomorrow. Back to the grind.
9:49 PM Monday, January 9, 2023
Made it back to Movement Wrigleyville today. Apparently, according to Swarm, haven’t been there for 3 weeks. And it showed. Forearms got tired pretty quickly. Also, Kava app didn’t seem to retain the sends I put in. Kind of annoying. Also was there early enough that it was nice and empty. Was also surprised at my footwork today. Was kind of nice. Jackson had his basketball game tonight. They got killed. Other team had a really good player, another tall player, and a bunch of shooters. Tracy’s looking for a Spring Break destination for us.
7:03 PM Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Been a long time since I’ve since daily doses like these in the CMS for the site. Today was Amazon Delivery Day for me. Annoyed they can’t put everything in a single or at least consolidate some of the boxes, I got 3 boxes, and 2 packaging envelopes. But understood that they’re probably coming for various warehouses throughout the country. Already got stuff in the cart for the next order, basically a bunch of Sonic Comic Books for Jackson. Will be nice when/if he starts reading bigger chapter books. Wonder if he’ll go down the Rick Riordan rabbit hole when they read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief later this year. That’s a good 5 books that series, then another 5 in the Heroes of Olympus, then the Kane Chronicles and Magnus Chase series. Speaking of reading, I’ve started Ancillary Justice. Hoping I can keep my reading up throughout the year. I think I started strong last year too.
2:33 PM Wednesday, January 11, 2023
I’ve started keeping one of each type of cocktail glass in the freezer, ready to go. Actually seems like it’s making a difference. And yeah, I’m back on the cocktail kick, instead of whiskey. Had one called First Lady from The Educated Barfly that was very tasty, even though I haven’t tried it with fresh basil. I opted for a basil simple syrup I’ve had, and it was quite good. Doesn’t look good since it has matcha in it, but still, delicious. I got to use the new ice spears for this one in a collins glass. Had a Naked & Famous last night because I just got some Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, and it was also delicious. The chilled coupe I think helped this one too. And the other week I got grapes from Jewel specifically so I could have an Enzoni. Makes me wonder what other cocktails you could replace a sweet vermouth with muddled grapes as well. Oh, and how could I forget the Jungle Bird from earlier this week. So good I had another one. Quite tasty. Which I guess is a Tiki drink.
8:48 PM Thursday, January 12, 2023
Was looking back to see when I did the Paganello/Philippines trips almost back to back, and didn’t have any records here, or in my Memex or Musings. Had to dig into my personal journal in Day One to get confirmation it was in 2000, and actually forgot that we also went to Jim Schanz’s wedding in between. So that March/April was like Philippines for a week, then back for a week, then a weekend in Florida, then a week or so, then a long weekend in Italy. Those were the days. Young, dumb, with almost zero responsibilities. The following year that time was multiple Vegas trips with friends, then with family, then an Spring Break Reunion frisbee tourney in Florida. Definitely seemed like travel came in spurts. Didn’t do a good job spreading it around the year. Watched Jackson’s Hip Hop class performance that got delayed from the snowstorm before Christmas break. That was fun. Too bad he doesn’t want to keep it up.
10:01 PM Friday, January 13, 2023
Friday the 13th. Can’t say I’ve ever had superstitions I watched out for. Or lucky charms I kept around or certain behaviors or articles of clothing that I thought would affect my performance or those of the team’s I might be rooting for. Did some laundry, tried getting my wool cycling caps cleaner. I realized as I grow my hair out, that I’ll mostly likely need to start wearing caps to keep my hair in check. Also went ahead and ordered an Anders Erickson dad cap. Coudln’t think kof a sports time I should get a hat for. I don’t think I like the Numerator cap, Makes me wonder if I have a Northwestern Ultimate hat somewhere, that I didn’t cut down into a visor.
8:03 PM Saturday, January 14, 2023
Went to Jackson’s soccer game this morning, even though he slept over at Hudson’s with Serafina last night. Jackson’s team lost 0-4. Did not play well. Jackson didn’t play well. He went back to their house after the game with plans to meet up for lunch. I drove back home (Lucy and Tracy were at the gym), so I ended up walking down there. Nice day, and I need the exercise. Had The Crepe Shop for lunch, the Lox, which was delicious. Also a cortado, which was served in a Gibraltar glass. That was cool. Lucy and Jackson are sleeping over at the grandparents, so Tracy and I are headed out to Roister for dinner. Think this counts as my birthday dinner.
9:46 PM Sunday, January 15, 2023
Finished up The White Lotus Season 2. Wonder where Season 3 is going to be set. Floriday? Caribbean? Costa Rica? France? Started watching Halo. Not the best idea considering I just started Ancillary Justice as well. Probably going to finish it up today, so now need to find a nice palate cleaner of a show. Put a bunch of shows on my Plex watchlist, and I’ve got a lot to catch up on. Also just found a Plex version of Spotify’s Wrapped yearly review. So for my users, expect that sometime soon. Dinner last night was pretty good. Had a hearth reservation, so bar type seating with a nice view of the kitchen. Probably end up doing some work tomorrow even though I think I have the day off, but I do have a meeting scheduled.
4:48 PM Monday, January 16, 2023
As my palate cleanser I’ve started watching Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan from the beginning (even though only Season 3 is new to me). Can still get kind of intense, but “grounded” in the real world. Driving my parents to the airport tomorrow. Hopefully early enough that traffic’s not bad coming back in. Rained today, a little unexpected for the middle of January. I saw a couple fat squirrels chasing each other around a tree today. I’m sure they weren’t expecting this weather either. Had an Amaretto Sour last night. Really really good. Had a little bourbon in it. Wouldn’t have expected it, but it was quite tasty. Hair’s actually long enough to put it into a tiny little top knot. I’m on my way. Got a drawer for my desk at home. It’s pretty nice, fits all the stuff I want to get off my desk, but it’s pretty tall. I had to adjust the desk height so I wouldn’t run into it with my leg. I think that has the added benefit of making me have better posture at my desk. Hopefully it doesn’t annoy me too much.
9:55 PM Tuesday, January 17, 2023
Drove my parents to the airport this morning. Never really go to O’Hare at 6:30 in the morning on a weekday, so the amount of traffic was surprising to me. Managed to get out and back in a little over an hour. So way less than expected. My turn to drive the Northwind kids to and from practice today. Took a little bit longer to get the kids since we’re in the middle of the two. Only 2 minutes or so late to practice. Bought my first YouTuber merch for myself, an Anders Erickson Dad Hat. Fits well, so probably going to be the hat I’ll continue wearing while my hair grows out. Although I realize now that I might want a white hat for when the sun’s shining down. Also, I’m used to cycling caps, so the brim (while normal sized) seems huge to me.
8:01 PM Wednesday, January 18, 2023
Just realized my left AirPods Pro isn’t charging when placed in the case, unless I play with placement, slightly twisting it. Not sure if this is just a way to get me to buy the new version. Never mind. I just looked it up, cleaned it out and adjusted the contacts, and it’s charging. Oh well. Weather seems off. Warm and lots of rain today. Not mid January weather that’s for sure. Another pretty good workout at Movement Wrigleyville. Treating my climbing sessions more for workouts than climbing skill progression. I’ll take what I can get, for the first 15 minutes, then it’s about raising the heart rate.
8:41 AM Thursday, January 19, 2023
Not sure how long ago it failed, but had a drive go bad on my Drobo 5D. Good that it was only 1 and I didn’t lose the whole volume, but nice that it was just a drop in replacement with one of my spares. At the same time, I was almost hoping I’d lost it, because I’m over the Drobos. I’m fine with the plain external hard drives I’ve got, with BackBlaze backups, but have too much to do any onsite backup. Not sure if the next step is to try and consolidate, which means I’d need around 104 TB to mirror my current setup, but I’m going to need headroom. I’ve got 5 TB runway, so not pressing. Planned on doing my fake bike commute to work today, but had to have a couple meetings instead. So I’ll take a break after the next couple of meetings for some exercise.
4:17 PM Friday, January 20, 2023
Who knew regular exercise could lower high blood pressure? Yeah, actual working out with an elevated heart rate actually lowers my blood pressure. It’s only been like a week, but almost immediate results. Kind of nice. Although riding my Miyata 610 makes me miss my Raleigh Carbon Clubman. It was almost the perfect bike for me. Carbon frame, nice and light, color matched factory full coverage fenders. I just needed better rack mounts to have been perfect, but oh well. Wonder if my indoor riding will bring back my outdoor riding desire.
5:08 PM Saturday, January 21, 2023
Happy early Chinese Lunar New Year! Headed out to a dinner at one of Lucy’s swim teammates to celebrate. Didn’t make a cocktail, but I did look one up, the Bunny Money, which sounds good, but I didn’t have a chance today to get some Kikori whiskey or all the juices that go into it. Maybe tomorrow or later this week. This whiskey itself sounds pretty good, so don’t feel guilty about getting a bottle of it. Jackson had another early soccer game which they lost. They scored early on a PK but no real shots on goal after that. No real chances. Lucy had a distance meet as well, getting 1st place finishes in the 200 breast, 500 free, and 400 IM. Pretty cool. Jackson’s got a birthday party and a sleepover tonight, so that worked out well logistically.
9:22 PM Sunday, January 22, 2023
Jackson managed to make his first basket today on his basketball team. Granted the team they were playing against wasn’t that good, but yeah, finally scored. Still waiting on his first goal in soccer. Not sure if that’s ever going to happen. Surprised myself by actually continuing to exercise on the weekend, with another indoor bike ride and core and pushup workouts yesterday and today. Usually I take the weekends off, but actually felt good to keep it up. Woke up to snow this morning. Didn’t stick, but still, looked nice, like it was winter or something.
4:50 PM Monday, January 23, 2023
Decided to stop listening to and supporting via Patreon the Do By Friday podcast. Just got a little too annoying, and figured I’m not gaining much by listening. So I’m really just now down to Daring Fireball, Reconcilable Differences, Accidental Tech Podcast, Upgrade+ and Top Four. That’s not many at all. Since I don’t commute by public transportation for the last couple of years, my listening definitely dropped. I think that’s when I stopped all The Ringer podcasts, and also when they went behind the Spotify appwall (I only use Overcast to listen). So now I’m only really listening while walking to and from Movement Wrigleyville, any other walks in the neighborhood, or in car rides after dropping kids off at practices or before picking them up. Also, had some issues with my Meross smart devices dropping off the network and being unresponsive in HomeKit. Frustrating. Once Matter devices come out I wonder how many I’ve going to buy as replacements for existing devices.
10:17 PM Tuesday, January 24, 2023
Used to be the only way to get Magic Trackpad 2 abilities on Windows was to use Magic Trackpad Utilities. But found out today, when swapping out a PC keyboard and mouse for a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad, that there’s a new option available that turns it into a Windows Precision Trackpad. So that’s pretty cool. Don’t remember how long it’s been since I last checked on the possible options for it, but still cool that there’s new options available. Hari’s getting long enough to have to put conditioner in. Jackson’s definitely following in the Abando footsteps: in his basketball game yesterday Coach Matt was giving him defensive assignments (of the best player on the other team). So that’s pretty cool. Wonder if Jackson will keep playing though. Started up the 20 minutes Apple Fitness+ core workouts. The first couple of workouts don’t seem that hard. Wondering if they’re going to ramp up. And there’s definitely not as many, so not sure what I’m going to do after I complete them all. Got another heart rate monitor to help track cycling workouts. Impressive that it pairs so easily without any on/off/pair buttons to worry about. It’s like how these accessories should be.
8:54 PM Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Completely lost my home network configuration. Forgot why I went into the data center, and noticed my UniFi Cloud Key Gen2 Plus was blinking white. I couldn’t connect via the apps or the website to the Network app on the controller, although the Protect App was up. Reboots didn’t seem to work. Found out how to boot to recovery mode. Disk check was fine. Tried booting without a hard drive, but that didn’t work. Found another spare 2.5” drive and it booted right up. However, it didn’t see any of the network devices. I have a feeling something was tied to the HD identifier or something, so I ended up doing a factory reset. And the backups I though I was doing? I think it was just on device, in the network app itself. I wonder if it’s still available somewhere on the HD, assuming it’s still good. I’ll need to see if that’s a better option. Otherwise, I factory reset and adopted all the UniFi devices so at least the family could get back online. And now I have to try and remember all the settings, dhcp reservations, port forwards and everything. I’m guessing I won’t remember all of it. Might be a little screwed.
9:52 PM Thursday, January 26, 2023
You know what I’d like? Some sort of way to compare regional pricing on whiskey. I’d love to know if any of the places I might be traveling to will have better allocations or pricing on whiskey that’s just way too expensive here in Chicago. Like where can I find Eagle Rare 10 Year Bourbon for under $100 near Chicago? How long do I have to wait for the bourbon bubble to burst? Or how long do I have to wait for the effects of the Buffalo Trace Distillery Expansion to reach me? Another 10 years from now? That’s when I’ll be able to get Eagel Rare for MSRP? Ugh, Alcohol purchasing is so weird now that I know a little about it. Got a bottle of Kikori Whiskey today to make some Bunny Money Rabbit Lunar New Year cocktails. Got to get a bunch of different juices to make that one though. By itself, the Kikori is pretty good. For some reason I’ve had a hankering for grapes. The green seedless ones I’ve been getting from Jewel have been super firm and crisp. They’re really nice. Still working through rebuilding my home network. Most of it seems to be working enough that I’m not pressed to fix the rest.
10:34 PM Friday, January 27, 2023
Finally got Serafina’s gift of Beat Saber redeemed. Slightly annoyed that the gift purchases expire, and that there’s no straightforward way to redeem a gift in the Meta Quest app. Finally figured out that for any game, you can use the 3 dots menu to get to Buy as a Gift or Redeem a Gift. Anyway, good to know. Definitely have to figure out how to get all 3 of them (Hudson, Serafina and Jackson) in a game at the same time, since they all have one. Wondering if I’m exercising too much. I was barely able to climb today. Didn’t last that long, couldn’t really advance in any of my projects. It’s been over a year and I haven’t progressed that much. At least the 4x4s I end with is a good workout. And I feel lit, so I am getting some sort of exercise out of it. Wanted to get the apple and carrot juices I needed for the Bunny Money cocktail, but didn’t have any at Jewel today on the way back from the climbing gym. Also didn’t get the gyro I wanted (just too late to walk over to Mangi’s Fast Foods). Also means I didn’t get over to Trader Joe’s to get more cookie butter. Early start tomorrow since Jackson has a 7am soccer game. But at least he’s on a bye week for basketball.
9:23 PM Saturday, January 28, 2023
Snowed today. Feels like winter. Started watching Invincible today. Also started Welcome to Flatch last night after finishing Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 3. Up super early for Jackson’s 7am soccer game. They lost, 2-4. Heard Premier 2 won 8-0. Makes me feel bad for Jackson. Makes me miss watching winning soccer, although I wonder if it’s good soccer. Still working though remaining network issues. Currently trying to rebuild the pi-holes.
7:34 PM Sunday, January 29, 2023
Finally got the Pi-holes setup again. Went with imaging the SD cards with the newest build. Much easier than the multiple release upgrades I was trying. If I had a cheap way to upgrade to SSDs instead of SDs, I’d try and do it, but would have to do more research. Not sure what else I’d use the Raspberry Pis for though. Realized I also had old configs from the Edge Router Lite or original USG Cloud Key, so I think I can recreate any missing port forwards. Didn’t realize the kids have Friday off. And can’t believe it’s already February in a couple of days. Crazy.
8:41 PM Monday, January 30, 2023
Been feeling more tired lately, after increasing my exercising. I even took the weekend off to try and recover, but my bouldering session this morning was pretty short. Not sure if the move up to a 20 minute Apple Fitness+ core workout is the issue, doesn’t feel like it is. If anything it seems like 2x10 minute workouts put together back to back. Anyway, I’ll keep chugging along. Finally setup the port forwards on the network, so I think that’s everything back to the way it was, and mostly documented too, so if I ever lose it again, I can recreate it quicker. And Cloud backups are enabled and I just created a new one. Finished off Invincible last night. Not sure if I read the comics or not, seemed familiar. Started The Queen’s Gambit today. Also watched some more Welcome to Flatch. I like it. Hair’s getting long enough where I can start feeling it on my neck. Although that may just be because of how short I’ve kept it for decades now.
10:24 PM Tuesday, January 31, 2023
Board party this weekend. You remember that TikTok trend about butter boards? And then the variations on that theme? Six families theme party. And I’m trying to come up with a batched cocktail to bring. Not sure what cocktail could be related to boards. Was thinking something wood related? Smokey? But might be leaning toward just finding something I have an almost full bottle of and finding a cocktail to use that. I am thoroughly enjoying The Queen’s Gambit. Wondering if I should read the book after finishing the series. And makes sense that February starts tomorrow, since it’s freezing now. Seems about right for Chicago.
10:10 PM Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Only 334 more Daily Doses to go. Starting to track my cocktails on my Micro.blog account. So now that’s handling cocktails, books, and pet peeves kind of. Still want to get a Mastodon instance up and running so I can join the party. Although I just took a gander at mastodon.social, and it seems a little depressing. Kind of weakens the appeal. Might just take me a while to do it though. Drove Tracy downtown for a doctor’s appointment today, so preordered and picked up Sprinkles. They managed to forget 3 cupcakes (out of 14), but it was like 1 out of a box of 6, and 2 out of another box of 6. I wonder if it was because I picked it up slightly early, and they weren’t finished packing it? Called in to get it fixed, and going down tomorrow to pick up the missing ones. Might get more too. Like for me. Left a couple carrots outside, because I saw a bunch of bunny tracks in the snow. Hoping they’re gone in the morning.
7:40 PM Thursday, February 2, 2023
Not sure if I’m going to get a Groundhog Day viewing in this year. Could if I have trouble sleeping or just want to stay up. The kids don’t have school tomorrow, so kinda feels like I’m off tomorrow too. Went and picked up the missing cupcakes from Sprinkles this morning. They even threw in an extra Raspberry Chocolate Chip, which I ate, and it was delicious. Didn’t run over and get more Cheesecake Factory. I was tempted to run into the LEGO store for funsies, but just went home stopping at Trader Joe’s for cookie butter and ended up getting a bunch of frozen stuff.
11:02 PM Friday, February 3, 2023
Found a Redbreast 21 for $300 so I pulled the trigger. It was at the Foremost Liquors on Lincoln and Peterson. Saw it on the top case, had to do a double take, and still wandered around just in case they had anything else. They actually do have an E.H. Taylor Barrel Proof for $400 which is tempting, but maybe I need to try it before I buy it like next year. But the price, which I didn’t believe until it got rung up, is a full 25% cheaper than all other current places. So yeah, happy early birthday to me.
11:56 PM Saturday, February 4, 2023
Booze board success. Sleepy.
10:02 PM Sunday, February 5, 2023
Just edited last night’s post to make it a Saturday night post, so I can keep up my streak. Also tried making a couple edits (I did NOT barf). But yeah, six families had a board party (based off that viral TikTok from last year about the butter board) on Saturday night. Tracy did a goat cheese board, Lucy did a rice board with Spam, pickled radishes, Kewpie and Ketchup/Sriracha, and I did a booze board (like 11 different cocktails in little sample bottles on ice in a cake pan (wouldn’t leak). Thanks to Sonya for the idea, but it went over well. And I liked making all the different kinds, instead of trying to make 1 or 2 batched cocktails. Interesting to see which ones went over well. Lots of options at the party, but I gotta be honest that all of them except Lucy and Tracy’s didn’t really follow the concept completely. Lots of boards with containers of spreads and dips and beautifully arranged items, but none really did the spreadables on a board, and you actually wipe food off the board. Anyway, it was all good. And yes, drank a little too much. Finished up The Queen’s Gambit, and decided to start up Orphan Black. Yesterday Jackson had a 7am soccer game, so we were home before Tracy and Lucy actually had to leave for Lucy’s math competition. Jackson and I went out to H Mart (needed seaweed and pickled radishes for the rice board). Got a bunch of stuff. Realized Spam and pickled radishes are amazing together. Put Pokemon Go back on my phone, hadn’t had it since I nuke and paved back in November. Then started to notice my battery dropping a lot more, so off it went.
10:26 PM Monday, February 6, 2023
Jackson had his first playoff basketball game today. They won! It was a 4-5 (they were the 5th seed), so a pretty close game, I think 12-8. Drove the girls to school this morning. Was much quicker than usual, or at least felt that way. Went climbing, as usual. Sanded the shoes down, so better, but still think it might be time to upgrade the footwear. Lots of calluses on the hands. Gotta remember to sand them down. Super tired today though, had to take a nap. Tired physically too, so the workouts were hard to get motivated for. Finished Ancillary Justice, and decided to finish the series, so moving on to Ancillary Sword.
10:04 PM Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Too tired again today. Took the day off of exercise. Wondering if I need rest more? And it’s not like I’m losing weight. So trying to get a good night’s sleep tonight. Hopefully I’ll feel more refreshed tomorrow for my bouldering session? Drove the kids to soccer and back today. No parking, so didn’t stick around. Went around looking for threaded rods and couplers for a home project. Of course what I did find didn’t work, I needed a metric thread. So, came home and in 5 minutes found and ordered on Amazon.
8:52 PM Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Didn’t exercise again today, but feeling much better, like I’ve recovered. I should be able to get back on the bike tomorrow. Picked up Chipotle for the kids for dinner tonight. Surprisingly expensive, like I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t ordering 2 of everything. Granted they got guacamole on each of their dishes, and a side of chips and guac, and drinks, so all that guac adds up, but still. And Jackson and I got some Dairy Queen for dessert. Of course I had to get a banana split to stick in the freezer. So much better that way. I had ordered a used Wattbox 600 off eBay, had to send the first one back after the seller sent me another one which I thought was working, but turns out it isn’t. Tempted to just keep it and see if Sapient Home can just do the RMA for me. Think it’s time for them to come out and deal with some issues anyway. Also, super annoyed with a few of my Meross HomeKit devices. They stopped being accessible, even though they appeared to be on the network. So I’m trying a 2.4 GHz IoT only network, and so far seems to be working, but they always seem to work well when they get setup again. So wait and see. But I’m trying out a Ubiquiti SmartPower Strip to see if that’s more stable. The Ubiquiti stuff has been mostly bulletproof, so here’s hoping.
7:27 PM Thursday, February 9, 2023
Actually used my parents care enough that I had to fill it up. I was running all the way on E, got the light to show up and everything, but don’t think I figured out how to show miles to empty. I just assumed the 20 miles when I saw it a couple nights ago was too low. Slightly worried that I’d run out before I got to a gas station, but I made it just fine. Also got to use Apple Pay from my watch to pay, which is always nice. Also got to use the Webster bridge for the first time since it reopened to get to Mariano’s. Impulse purchases today: Häagen-Dazs ice creams (White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle), a shrimp cocktail, spring mix, and watermelon juice. Started up watching Lost in Space (2018) while I was on the bike trainer for my indoor bike ride. Yeah, I started exercising again.
10:08 PM Friday, February 10, 2023
Since I’ve only really got a couple podcasts I listen to that put out weekly episodes, and because of the NBA Trade Deadline, I started listening to The Bill Simmon’s Podcast again. Still entertaining, even if I haven’t really been keeping up that much on the sports ball world. Picked up dinner from TSAôcAA, even though Lucy skipped practice today. Only been like a month since the last time we got carryout. I’m working my way through the cocktails made for the various six families parties through the years, so I know which ones to make. Makes me want to try riffing and creating new cocktails (mostly to try and get around using fresh juices). Got a couple UniFi SmartPower Strips (6 outlet). Super easy to get on the network, and then again via a plugin and homebridge into HomeKit. Even gives me PoE switch port power control. Should have just gone that direction in the first place.
11:55 PM Saturday, February 11, 2023
Made it to my first Chicago Auto Show, hitching with Jackson along with Dave, Hudson, and Serafina. Interesting. Just lots of cars to look at. Don’t think I saw many concept cars. I feel like most interesting was seeing which companies were the busiest, and it seemed like Lexus, Subaru and maybe Jeep were the winners. Unlike Jackson’s soccer team, which landed a draw. Watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever this morning. Pretty good. After the Auto Show ended up at Gina’s house for dinner. Probably ate too much. But a good time. Pretty quiet Super Bowl Sunday for tomorrow. Just have Jackson’s playoff basketball game. Otherwise, I think I’ve got some work to do.
3:48 PM Sunday, February 12, 2023
Jackson’s Neighborhood Boys and Girls Club Basketball team won their semifinals against the #1 seed today and heads to the championship game tomorrow night. Crazy. They’re peaking at just the right time. They came out on fire in the first half, shooting 66% at one point, and built a pretty insurmountable lead. Even if the score didn’t reflect it, that was a very intense game, felt like a nailbiter even though it ended up 23-11. Jackson had some good lucks, and played great defense. The team had some really pretty plays with passing that lead to easy buckets. Pretty fun.
10:14 PM Monday, February 13, 2023
Well, Jackson’s team couldn’t buy a basket after coming out on fire last game. Only managed to score 4 points after the barnburner yesterday. Maybe took 12 minutes before the first basket was scored by the other team (3rd place regular season finisher). But hopefully they had fun. And Jackson didn’t immediately dismiss playing again. So we’ll take that as a win. Stayed up way too late last night. Decided to start watching all the movies Ant-Man has been in to prepare for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania on Friday. Oh, found the oil filled radiator heaters I got like 5 years ago. Started using them in my basement office. Just means I can’t waste money on a fancy infrared electric heater that looks like a fireplace.
10:41 PM Tuesday, February 14, 2023
Went to Jewel after dropping Lucy off at swim practice to pick up stuff for the lunch she has to bring for her field trip tomorrow and I noticed a number of individuals walking through the store with flowers, or cards, or picking up something sweet. Funny. Also, the Jewel on Clybourn and Wrightwood might be my new favorite Jewel for it’s selection. I should probably try some more to compare, but it’s definitely got stuff that my local Jewel on Southport does not have. Rode the xtracycle over to help my mom with a DocuSign issue. First time on a real bike ride in a while, and realizing it’s completely different from training. I’ve got to ramp up the training a lot. Also from Monday, I realized I get 10% off equipment at Movement Wrigleyville. Next month it’s time to upgrade my shoes.
10:16 PM Wednesday, February 15, 2023
So it’s February, right? It’s supposed to be freezing, and maybe some snow on the ground, or a lot of ice. Instead it was like 50° yesterday and like 40’s today. Crazy. At least a storm’s supposed to roll in tomorrow, so we should get some more snow. Started Avengers: Endgame last night because Ant-Man is in it, but felt like I needed to watch Avengers: Infinity War because it really does feel like one big movie, even with the 5 year time jump. Just realized Jackson doesn’t have a soccer game this weekend. A little annoying because he’s going to miss the following weekend, so wish his bye matched up with my parents anniversary weekend.
7:00 PM Thursday, February 16, 2023
Winter storm rolled in today. Well winter weather rolled in. Sleet and snow and cold temps. Much more fitting for February. Finished up Avengers: Endgame and watched an episode of What If? and the last episode of Loki in preparation for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania tomorrow. Haven’t seen an MCU movie on opening weekend in a long time, if ever. I’ve even checked out the menu at the Alamo Drafthouse already so I know what to get. Gotta start looking into what to do for storage for Plex. I’m rapidly running out of space again. Might be time to do a bigger upgrade? Not sure if I should do a new box or just more external storage. Leaning toward storage because it’s cheaper.
10:48 PM Friday, February 17, 2023
Watched Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania today, 11:20 showing. It was a Numerator Recharge Day, so no work. Coincidentally it was on my birthday. First time at an Alamo Drafthouse, and pretty nice. Had a Breakfast Club (amazing), and a Coke. Move was pretty good too. Was nice only having to stay away from spoilers for like a day instead of months waiting for a new movie to come out on digital or streaming. Really curious how they eventually pull off Secret Wars, but hey, they made M.O.D.O.K. believable so I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise a pretty quiet day. Strange to not have to get up early for Jackson’s soccer game tomorrow.
9:41 PM Saturday, February 18, 2023
Lucy had a swim meet this weekend so it’s just me and Jackson all weekend. Went out to breakfast with my parents for my dad’s birthday at Eggsperience Cafe. Been a while since I’ve had an actual, real, sit down breakfast. It was nice. Don’t think I can do coffee though anymore. Had me a little jittery. But the Denver omelette was good. Then we went to the Jewel on Broadway so my parents could do some grocery shopping. And I think it’s better than our Jewel on Southport. They have the Doritos box of only regular and the Fun’yuns box. Also took Jackson to Lucky Strike Social for some arcade time. Realized I should have brought my iPad Pro to do some stuff while waiting. Had a Bohemian Bramble (way too sweet) and some BBQ Boneless Bites (pretty good). After a nap at home, ordered lamb chops for Jackson from Bodega Sur. It’s just really good.
8:29 PM Sunday, February 19, 2023
Jackson and I managed to survive the weekend. Even got to be a little productive, going to the public library today and getting Jackson his first library card. His first borrow? Well technically it was on my card, but it was a book about Kiss (apparently they’re doing one of their songs for the music through the ages program at Blaine). Finally figured out how to log in to my Chicago Public Library account, and put my library card back in my wallet. Not sure if I’m going to go back to borrowing books, or if I’ll just keep buying them. Went and got Forever Yogurt for dessert today. Been a while since I’ve been back there. Was half tempted to drive by or walk by our old place. Just realized I probably could have biked around today, but just ended up driving instead. I’m getting lazy.
11:02 PM Monday, February 20, 2023
Got my hands on some watermelon liquor, strawberry liquor (and also creme de cacao and creme de menthe). Currently workshopping a watermelon basil margarita and a strawberry rhubarb martini. Think I might have cracked the martini, but need to get it out in front of a wider audience. Not sure if there’s enough rhubarb flavor in the finished product. Think I’ve got a lot of work for the margarita though. Harder because I have an existing working recipe, but now trying to see if I can replicate it without the fresh watermelon juice/puree. It’s interesting stuff, trying to get it to work. Also wondering if just by swapping out the tequila for rum you get a daiquiri. Got some climbing in this morning. Busy gym probably because of the federal holiday. Always feels nice when I’m able to figure out a work issue relatively quickly. Working on cleaning out data center a bit. Also going to try install ChromeOS Flex on the least old Intel iMac that was sitting on the floor in there. Could be interesting.
10:47 PM Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Discontinued Xfinity cable service today. Surprisingly easy. No hard sell to keep it. Think the next step is to see if there’s any way to lower our AT&T bill for the 4 phones, 4 iPads, and 2 Apple Watches.
11:31 PM Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Went to Old Fashioned Magic at the Koval Distillery last night with the six families and the Spauldings. Really good magic show, and really good cocktails. I’m definitely going to have to go back for the cocktails. And thanks to my parents for watching the kids on the school night. As it was, almost everyone had to head home to put kids to bed. Next party will be around St. Patrick’s day. Headed out to the ‘burbs tomorrow after school for my parents 50th wedding anniversary on Friday. My brother and his family is flying in tomorrow. Also happens to coincide with Lucy’s regional swim meet this weekend, so going to go out there with the family to watch her as well. Didn’t exercise today. It was raining, so didn’t want to walk to the gym, and too lazy to drive. Just wanted an excuse because I wasn’t up for it today. Not sure how much weight I’m going to put on this weekend but I’m sure it’s gonna be a lot.
10:49 PM Friday, February 24, 2023
Yeah, I missed yesterday’s post. Busy. Drove out to Huntley to stay with by brother Al and his family and my parents before my parents 50th wedding anniversary celebration today. So I was off my schedule. Stayed at a pretty new Hampton Inn in Huntley. Dinner at Bistro Wasabi. Good stuff. Jackson and Luke got to swim after dinner in the indoor pool. Tracy and Lucy drove out this morning to get to the anniversary mass, but were having CrossTrek problems. I think the battery was just loose, so tightened some stuff up and seemed to be all fixed. Did the first reading at the anniversary mass. Saw lots of people I hadn’t seen in forever. Lunch was at Green Garden. Lucy and Tracy had to leave early for regionals. We didn’t make it out to see her one event tonight, but we’re planning on going out for her later events tomorrow morning. She did manage to drop 6.77 seconds off her 200 BR, which is pretty cool. Which also means she made the 13-14 regional cut already, which is even better. So instead of driving 40 minutes down tonight, we went to Fogo de Chao for Al’s birthday. The one in Oak Brook was really nice. Next time we’ll make sure to go with Lucy and Tracy.
9:40 PM Saturday, February 25, 2023
Family got to go and watch Lucy’s meet today. Only actually caught 2 of her events, the 100 BR and the 200 IM. The 200 IM was nice because it was the last event type of the morning session, so got prime seating. We missed the first event of the day (500 FR) because that’s way too early and the 50 FR because they were running early, so I thought we had 10 minutes but when we got to the viewing deck she was already swimming her heat. Got a couple 6th place finishes (in 100 BR and 200 IM). Ended up taking a nap after getting Chipotle for lunch with everyone. Luke and Jackson swam at the hotel pool, and Al and I just picked up Giordano’s for dinner. Didn’t think I’d eat, but after smelling it in the car on the way home, was starving. Headed back out to watch 3 more of Lucy’s events with my parents (again not going to make it out for her first and the first event of the day, 50 Fly) tomorrow morning. Al and fam flying out in the morning, so they’ll be out before we’re up. Pretty good weekend.
10:31 PM Sunday, February 26, 2023
That was a fun weekend away. Definitely felt like vacation. But it’s nice to get back to your own shower and bed and couch and TV. Went out for dinner, again, capping the weekend off at Bodega Sur. Meant Jackson got lamb chops for the 3rd time in 4 nights. Definitely the best of the 3. Although we figured out it’s mostly because of the sauce at Bodega. It’s a demi-glace of some kind. Also had myself a couple Pisco Sour cocktails, quite tasty. Finished up season 2 of Welcome to Flatch. I like that show. Starting tomorrow back to the diet and exercise routines. Also, I think I’m switching to decaf (don’t think I can just give up coffee again).
9:40 PM Monday, February 27, 2023
Apparently I was tired from the weekend vacation. Took a nap today. Didn’t go climbing (I used the excuse that it was raining this morning and I didn’t want to walk in the rain). I did do an indoor bike workout, but didn’t get to that until late, and then completely spaced and didn’t do my core or push-up workouts. Got a lot of leftovers to work through in the fridge. Tried out Anders Erickson’s Brown Derby recipe, and it was really good. It was even better with the strong proof bourbon. Wanted to start watching a sitcom, preferably one that was complete, but something new, but instead started Jupiter’s Legacy.
10:43 PM Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Definitely getting back into the groove of things, even though it was only really a 3 day weekend, it felt like much longer, in a good way. Back to another indoor bike ride and followed up with an Apple Fitness+ 20 minute core workout and my usual Gravity Push-Up Workout. Felt good, but it does take a while. Drove the kids to soccer and back. Went out to Target to pick up a couple things Tracy didn’t (because the Elston location was out of coconut milk and she forgot to get the Guiness). Actually got some work done while waiting for soccer practice to end. Guess it’s springtime in Chicago now. Surprised February was as mild as it was, weatherwise.
10:32 PM Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Back to Movement Wrigleyville. Took it a little easy today, more like it was really hard, so I couldn’t do too much. Only took like a week and a half off? I paid attention to my footwork today, and turns out my shoes are fine, it’s just my technique is horrible. So I’ve got to work on that. Really enjoying Jupiter’s Legacy. Probably going to pick up the digital comics once I finish up the series tonight.
7:52 PM Thursday, March 2, 2023
Was tempted to just skip exercising today. But powered through and did my indoor bike ride, core and push-up workouts. Tired though. Also trying out some homegrown cocktails, mostly with Kikori and asian flavors like lychee and Midori and ginger. No winners yet. Went ahead and bought all available collections of Jupiter’s Legacy, Circle and related series. Different than the Netflix series, but pretty interesting so far. Makes me sad it got cancelled. Feels like the Dante’s Inferno to Amazon Prime’s The Boys Volcano, or is it more Deep Impact to Armageddon.
10:44 PM Friday, March 3, 2023
Guess all I needed was a full night’s sleep. Felt nice and well rested for bouldering today, and went ahead and did core and push-up workouts as well. Had some chicken patty sandwiches for lunch. I’m a fan of them, on white buns with mayo and tomatoes. Got Jackson’s early soccer game tomorrow (7:45am), at least it’s not the early one. Lucy’s got her Chicago History Fair to go to tomorrow, and there was some interest in going to the global McDonald’s, but we checked the menu and there’s really only a handful of global items. Which is a little disappointing. I wonder how often they rotate so I know how often to check.
10:55 PM Saturday, March 4, 2023
I actually cooked dinner tonigh, real dinner, and not just mac & cheese & keilbasa like I did last night. I went way back and cooked the Puff Pastry Beef and Zucchini stuffed Tomatoes. Had to do a bunch of shopping to get supplies, Jewel for most of it, then had to head to Wild Fork for the meat, and finally Whole Foods for the Madeira and demi-glace (instead of veal stock). Last time I made Treasure Island was still open on Broadway and I was living on Lake Shore Dr. Turns out I can still cook ok. Jackson won his soccer game this morning. Bookends the indoor season with wins. They were much better playing out of the back today. Good to see some progression.
10:13 PM Sunday, March 5, 2023
Installed ChromeOS Flex on the old iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2010). Pretty impressive. Pretty snappy on 13 year old hardware. Would be curious to see how it benchmarks against the Chromebook Lucy uses for school. Not sure if I should bring it back up and put it on the kitchen desk again. I wonder if the kids could use it for school stuff. Pretty lazy day otherwise. Watching lots of Lost in Space (2018). I guess sci-fi is my favorite genre. I did manage to get out and get Jackson’s a trifold for his Living Wax Museum project. And started to help him typing stuff out.
11:28 PM Monday, March 6, 2023
I’m back to Pokemon GO again. Might have put it on a couple of weeks ago, and this time it stuck. Worked out well because I had a couple Rocket Special Researches stacked, so was able to knock out 2 of those at one time. Also just realized I can use Daily Incenses when I walk to/from Movement Wrigleyville. I ended up skipping exercise today, partly because it was raining, and partly because I was waiting for a Sapient Home service call. Turns out they’re coming tomorrow instead. Definitely stacked the issues for them to deal with, and hoping they can knock them all out in one go. Going to try to stop working/reading in bed before sleeping. I’ll move the charging cables for my iPads out tomorrow. Still undecided on moving the ChromeOS Flex iMac back to the kitchen desk or not.
10:17 PM Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Been staying up way too late the last couple of days. Need to have a good nights sleep for a change. Home lighting control is back to normal and hopefully the home speakers will be nice and stable after a service call from Sapient Home. Pretty much a firmware update visit, and the hoops required to do that. No internal upgrades necessary, or even recommended at the time, which was a little disappointing. Always nice having new things to play with. I still have to get on with putting in shelving for the hallway closet on the 2nd floor. That’s my home improvement project for the year. I’ve got 10 months left, so hopefully I won’t procrastinate for too much longer.
8:15 PM Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Was down between Belmont and Diversey on Halsted today, and there’s just so much to shop, eat or drink. I had an appointment at uBreakiFix]] for the old iPhone 6S Plus, and prices weren’t too bad for a battery replacement, and also for the iPhone 6S screen and battery replacement, so I went ahead and left those there to get fixed. Then checked out Binny’s, cause it was close. Would have eaten at 2d Restaurant]], but they were closed on Monday. Figured I was close enough to finally check out Dom’s Kitchen & Market (I had time to kill before picking up my parents). That place is pretty cool. They had napoleons as a pastry to just get. So I had to get one. Then went down to Fullerton to come back up and stopped by Mochinut and got some donuts and boba tea. All really good places, all in a little over an hour.
7:47 PM Thursday, March 9, 2023
Had my annual well visit (aka yearly physical) at One Medical. Funny, when I asked if there’s been any differences or changes after getting bought by Amazon, she just said they weren’t going to be a drop off point. Could have been handy. Anyway, I’m at the age when I got my first colonoscopy referral. So that’ll be fun. Otherwise, everything checked out. Labwork won’t get done until June, closer to my nephrology appointment. Just reminds me I need to get back on my exercise schedule again. I’ve been off it for a couple weeks now. Next week I’ll start it up again. Promise. Helping Jackson with his Living Wax Museum project, mostly with creative design, but I’m probably going to have to do some more work with him this weekend on it. Hopefully it comes together as planned. Also, old iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus are back in fighting condition. Guess that means I could really get back into Pokemon GO if I wanted to, although my interest is waning again.
10:36 PM Friday, March 10, 2023
Did the pickup/dropoff shuffle with the kids practices today. Drive up to drop Jackson off at soccer at Chicago Futsal Academy, then drive back home, get 15 minutes, then drop Lucy off at swim practice at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness, then drive all the way back up to pick Jackson up, and then home for an hour and forty-five minutes, before driving back down to pick up Lucy. And I didn’t have any podcasts to listen to, so my car music lately has been other country’s hip-hop playlists in Apple Music. Today it was Russian. Next up want to try some Ukranian. Don’t just have French, but Paris and Marseilles lists. Italian’s fun too. Indian’s a trip. Finished off Lost in Space (2018) . I thoroughly enjoyed it. Started Orphan Black up again, but then ventured off to try The Last of Us, mainly because I have a podcast in my feed with spoilers for the first four episodes that I want to clear out. First impression through the first half or so? It’s depressing. Not sure I can take an apocalyptic show right now.
10:06 PM Saturday, March 11, 2023
Pretty lazy Saturday. Did finally exercise a little, got on the indoor bike trainer for a bit. Watched some Orphan Black and The Last of Us. Found some wireframe Windows UI templates to use for Jackson’s Living Wax Museum project. Steeped some Tanqueray with Earl Grey for Earl Grey Marteanini’s. Oh, trying to use Tdarr to convert Plex library to h265 to save some space. Currently just trying a sample show, and tried using a couple other machines (Windows iMac and a MacBook Air) and didn’t have any luck, the shares off the server didn’t hold up.
9:53 PM Sunday, March 12, 2023
Went to Itoko for family dinner tonight. Drove down, because it was cold and drizzly, and we’re lazy. Got seated upstairs. Stairs themselves had a very short rise, or at least felt that way. Wonder if that was a Japanese style rise. Upstairs was nice and airy. Also noticed a couple other families with younger children than ours seated. Recommended to get 3 small plates per person. I went with an Ume Boy Traveller cocktail to start (ume and whiskey highball), while Tracy went with a Yuzu Dropoff I think (yuzu and gin). Kids got melon Ramunes. Started off with edamame. Ordered up a bunch of stuff, I think my nigiri pieces came out early, all very high quality, and quite tasty. The Waygu Tataki came out early too, and it was very tasty, heavy on the wasabi in the sauce. The beef just fell apart. Tracy got the XO Scallop hand roll (liked it so much she got it again) as well has half a King Crab hand roll (also very good but very expensive for quantity). Kids avocado and unagi cucumber makis were good size and good as well (they liked it so much they got another round at the end). We got an A5 Beef Maki, where Lucy and Tracy got the A5 Beef on the outside, and I got the salmon cucumber maki that was leftover. Still really good. Kids got ramen (good, but have had better). We also got the robata slider (like sausage in a bao bun) which I liked. The gyoza (filled with foie gras and pork) were quite tasty, some lattice of melted something on it. Good, but not amazing like expected. For dessert the kids got the brown sugar boba taiyakis off the kids menu and Tracy and I split the match semifreddo with donut and chocolate ganache. I thought Tracy would like it more because it wasn’t on the super sweet side, but still very good. Overall I really liked it. High quality at high prices. Definitely only a special occasion place going forward.
7:35 PM Monday, March 13, 2023
Hopped on the bike trainer today, did my 20 min core workout and push-up workout. Tired now. Also did a quick walk to The UPS Store to do some iFixit returns since I did uBreakiFix for the iPhone 6S instead of trying to do it myself. Had a visit from Corey from Sapient Home to check out any upgrades or changes required, and I guess a couple of things are no longer supported, but they’re letting me slide without upgrading because I’m savvy enough to troubleshoot or find workarounds if necessary. But things like the video switch and streaming audio source hardware is end of lifed, so when they die, no replacements. Also just realized our TVs are all 4K (although from 2015), which makes the system change a little more palatable since new TVs aren’t required. Interesting.
10:10 PM Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Went ahead and did indoor bike trainer again today since we went to Jackson’s Living Wax Museum at Blaine. Pretty impressive. I feel bad I didn’t go to Lucy’s. Guessing I was going to the office at the time. Just took a detour and tried seeing if I mentioned Lucy’s Wax Museum project in the Memex, and couldn’t find one, but did read over March 2019, and wow, did I eat a lot back then. Full breakfast, lunch, and dinners. And I wasn’t really exercising back then either. Had some HomeKit issues this morning, eventually resolved by rebooting access points and home hubs. Very annoying though. Nice and stable for a pretty long time, and then, right off a cliff. Realized I need to start conditioning my hair on a regular basis. It’s long enough.
10:40 PM Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Went bouldering today after a short break. And yeah, paying attention to my footwork, and the feet tend to stay put more that I’m actively pressing more. Still can’t quite do most V4s, but I’m trying. Got the 2nd annual Irish Whiskey tasting coming up. Lined up the bottles today to make sure I’ve got enough, and I think I do. Just need to start buying ingredients for the foods. Slowly plugging along to The Last of Us. Hard finding time to site with Tracy in front of the TV at the same time. I’m plugging away at Orphan Black, and decided I needed something lighter to mix in, and started watching the third season of Mythic Quest. I also have Ghosts (US) in my currently watching section, I’m halfway through the 1st season I think, but a lot of it’s repeats for me since I did watch a lot while Tracy was watching it. Oh, moved HBO Max and TV up to the top row of the Apple TV interface, bumping Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video down. Besides those two, Netflix, Plex, and Hulu remain in the top row.
10:53 PM Thursday, March 16, 2023
Went on the prowl for white pudding today. Didn’t find it. Got some good stuff at Dom’s Kitchen & Market. Wasn’t as busy today. Maybe because it was the start of March Madness? Or because the weather wasn’t nearly as nice as the last time I was there? Or maybe I was just early enough to avoid the lunch rush? Any way, I was able to park in the parking lot. But no white pudding. Tried Whole Foods, nothing there either. Tried Paulina Market, some blood sausage, but no white pudding. Did get some Irish bangers though. Will have to try Gene's Sausage Shop & Delicatessen tomorrow. Fingers crossed they’ll have some. Since I don’t have cable TV service, I couldn’t use the NCAA app to watch March Madness, so I signed up for YouTube TV, and that worked like a charm. Will probably cancel after my 2 week free trial, but now I know that’s what I should use. Wouldn’t mind a daily pass or a weekly pass even, so I could get the Super Bowl or the Oscars, or any other live event that I’d want to watch. But nice to know the option is only a couple click’s away.
11:40 PM Friday, March 17, 2023
Spent most of the day in and out of the kitchen. Started the Guinness Irish Stew at 8am. Double batch wouldn’t fit in the slow cooker, so have one batch there and the other from the range. They definitely came out different, so it’ll be interesting to try them tomorrow. Found some white pudding at Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen, along with some Kerrygold unsalted, actual Heinz canned baked beans and another Napoleon (I like it better than Dom’s Kitchen & Market. Finished making the cake too, eventually. Jackson was feeling a little under the weather, so he skipped soccer practice today. I also skipped exercising.
4:34 PM Sunday, March 19, 2023
Yeah, not going to predate an entry to pretend I got a post in yesterday. Had an Irish Whiskey tasting last night at home, and well, had one too many. Been a while for me. So wasn’t even close to thinking about writing up a post. The Guinness Irish Stew was good, the Irish breakfast was even better. Definitely going to keep that one in the rotation. Also, thanks to Andy, have a lead on a Gold Spot. Although right now not really in the mood for it.
10:46 PM Monday, March 20, 2023
So I think I might be getting sick. Maybe whatever Jackson has/had. Feels more like just congestion, dry throat. Not sore, no fever. Maybe I’ll test for Covid for the fun of it tomorrow. I did manage to go bouldering this morning. Not my best work, but doing work. Walked all the way over to Paulina Market from Movement Wrigleyville to get more Irish Bangers. Since I used the ones I got for the Irish Breakfast, needed to get more for bangers and mash (already got the mashed potatoes and onion gravy from last Friday). And then after that stopped by Jewel to get a couple other things. It was a lot of walking. Did about 3 miles today. That doesn’t seem like much though.
8:31 PM Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Yeah, think I’m sick. No fever, more head cold sinus congestion. Been a while since I’ve had one of those. Been wearing a mask though when I was out and about today. Went to Apple Lincoln Park to get Lucy’s Beats Solo3 Headphones repaired/replaced (the right side stopped working). Went to Whole Foods and picked up some breakfast pastries. Picked Jackson up early from Ten Pound Cake so he could go to soccer practice. Picked up Gold Spot from Binny’s after dropping Lucy off at swim practice. All times I wore a mask. Been a while since I did that too. Actually felt pretty good to wear a mask, good for whatever thing I’ve got. Even had a cup of tea (thoroughly enjoy the steam off the cup). No exercise, and will try for an early bedtime today.
8:02 PM Wednesday, March 22, 2023
No real chainge in illness. Been using lemon steam to help a bit. Just trying to loosen up the head congestions. Wanted donuts this morning after dropping Lucy off at school this morning. Didn’t want to wait until Dip and Sip opened at 8, so just stopped at Dunkin on the way home. Hoping I’ll get a chance at some point though. Working through the leftovers in the fridge. Making good progress. Otherwise, no real updates.
7:45 PM Thursday, March 23, 2023
Feels like the illness is on its way out. Post nasal drip coughing is occurring, and that's usually a sign it's ending. It's usually the most annoying part though, so I slept on the couch last night, to sit up more, and so I wouldn't annoy Tracy while sleeping. Got Lucy's Beats Solo3 Wireless headphones back from Apple Lincoln Park; just a complete replacement. Funny enough, the price if it had not been under warranty is just about the same price they cost on Amazon. Go figure. Typing this update on the iMac (21.5-inch Mid 2010) in the kitchen running ChromeOS Flex. It's coming in pretty handy. Pretty speedy for all my Gmail and web browsing needs. Getting Jackson squared away with soccer camps. We got him and Hudson signed up for the FC Barcelona Soccer Camp (https://camps.fcbarcelona.us/), and also another week at Blaine Summer Camp. Lucy's going to a Nike Swim Camp, this time to Wisconsin at Lawrence University for a change. And she's doing junior lifeguard camp again. And her new team is doing two-a-day practices over the summer, but not sure if she'll manage that.
5:34 PM Friday, March 24, 2023
So definitely the tail end of the sickness, but this is the part where I cough so severely that I feel like I’m going to vomit. Hopefully it doesn’t last too much longer. Doing the lemon water steam breathing (makes me think of the scene in Crocodile Dundee with the cocaine. Maybe I need to do that (with the towel over the bowel, instead of just a measuring cup and my hands. Upgraded some more IT infrastructure at home. Finally got a color laser printer, a Brother HL-L3210CW Compact Digital Color Printer with Wireless. Prints fine from ChromeOS. Don’t have to restart it after every print job. Also got an OWC ThunderBay 8 disk enclosure. Using it as JBOD, right now with a single 16 TB drive. Should future proof Plex storage for a while? Need to make sure telegraf is running properly on the server and sending drive stats to influxdb for display in grafana. Would have been nice to see drive space usage over time. Also feel like I really need to setup Mastodon. Keep hearing good things about it.
10:11 PM Saturday, March 25, 2023
After thinking I was on the tail end of whatever this is, it’s turned back into a dry cough. Not sure if I need to drink more water. But I’ll try. I do enjoy the lemon steam head baths. Quite nice. Would be nice to just be finally over it. Got Stan’s Donuts for breakfast this morning after dropping Lucy off at her last Stingrays swim practice. I’d forgotten how big they are. I think I’m fine with Dunkin and maybe Dip and Sip for the occasional changeup. Managed to pick the kids up from Northwinds SC tryouts without my wallet or house keys. Managed to get gas and snacks using Apple Pay on my watch. Had instant ramen for dinner. The heated liquid feels pretty good. Think I’ll do an egg drop soup tomorrow, or maybe that container of Dom’s Kitchen & Market that’s been in the fridge for a couple of weeks now.
11:32 PM Sunday, March 26, 2023
Next show Tracy and I are watching together? Station Eleven. Guess we have a type. Took care a small handful of tasks around the house. Sometimes it’s nice to mark some things off a todo list. One thing I’m super happy that I finally figured out: how to make the checkboxes appear on the client organizer our account has us fill out for taxes (and yes, I haven’t completed it yet). But go figure, I needed to install the Wingdings font (manually copied from a Windows machine to iCloud and then installed with iFont via a device profile. But instead of jumping through a bunch of hoops, saving or printing the pdf to pdf to get the checkboxes to be visible as I fill it out on my iPad, I just had to install a font. Jackson lost a tooth today. Feels like it’s been a while since he lost one. Not too much tooth fairy action going on here.
11:19 PM Monday, March 27, 2023
So I think I’m going to go back and setup abando.social mastodon server. I think you can just do it without setting up without an email service on the backend. It’s just going to be my account anyway. But it’s interesting, reading through a social network again. Not sure if I’m getting anything out of it. Can’t say that I am. Not sure if I’m going to keep it up or not. Maybe it’ll come and go. Like a curiosity. All that’s left of the sickness is really this dry cough. I’m definitely drinking my share of hot tea, trying hot water steam breathes over the stove top. Nothing seems to change it up, just short respites. Whatever, I’m done with it. Might try exercising tomorrow, and see how I do with a cough.
10:20 PM Tuesday, March 28, 2023
So yesterday the passenger side headlight on the car stopped working. It’s LED and steering responsive (headlights turn when you’re turning). So can’t just replace the bulb. So I went out this morning to get it checked out, and have to get the whole unit replaced, which is $$$$, and they didn’t even have the part in stock, so couldn’t get it fixed today. So hopefully they’ll get it in and we can get it fixed before Spring Break. And since I was up in the neighborhood, picked up some Jolibee fried chicken. Just realized it’s all thighs and legs. No breasts or wings. Go figure. No options for sides either with a 10 piece bucket, just 2 containers of gravy. It’s like they finally realized what the people always chose.
11:30 PM Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Keep thinking it’s 2 days in the future. Yesterday felt like a Thursday, and today maybe like a Friday, or even a weekend since the kids were off school. Throwing me off. Spring Break next week is probably the cause. Still got my cough from post nasal drip or draining sinuses or whatever it is that I’m dealing with. It might have been a while, but I’ve definitely been through this before. I even remember trying to work through it in college. Always annoying. Would really like to be able to sleep through the night as well. Maybe that’s what’s causing my week day detachment. Not sleeping well for a week or so, that could be throwing me off.
11:30 PM Thursday, March 30, 2023
Okay, finally figured out how to create one, well, how to use the Marketplace at Linode to create my own Mastodon server at https://abando.social (). Which means I have my own account which isn’t going anywhere. That is until I break it, or don’t use it enough to justify running an instance. But yeah, kind of nice. A little weird though, I’m still wrapping my head around the fediverse, and how when I moved my account from @eabando@mastodon.social over to @eric@abando.social, and I imported my following list, I didn’t just get all the posts I had been following. Figure there’s got to be a way to back populate those. Oh, realized another way I might stop running my own instance: too expensive because it’ll eventually get too big. Thanks to Rick, realized I had to reboot my Plex server this morning. It was all wonky after the macOS update. Only have to get Lucy’s devices updated before I can do the Home Upgrade of the underlying architecture. Probably should wait until after we get back from spring break though. Don’t want to break anything.
9:21 PM Friday, March 31, 2023
Got the call this morning that the dealer received the headlight assembly, so I brought the Crosstrek in to get fixed and serviced. Nice and straightforward. Also nice they had availability all day for service. And definitely going forward will call in to get an appointment, since looking online shows the next available appointment is 4 weeks away. Anyway, all good now. Good timing since it was raining today when I drove Hudson and Jackson to soccer practice. All the thunderstorm warnings and tornado watches were just that, as it didn’t actually rain too hard, at least in our neck of the woods. Finally got this website into git, didn’t realizing I’m still running Resilio Sync on the server. But I’m not running it anywhere else, so kind of useless. Will take me a while to figure out how to get it back up and syncing to another machine. Not sure if I want to do that. Also, my Linode instance has been up for over 2 years now. Been a while, and might actually be time to revisit it all. I fell down this rabbit hole because I needed a header image for my Mastodon profile, and wondered if I could reuse one from this website. Turns out I’m still using super old gif in old school banner sizes. Then I started looking into vector art applications for the iPad, although I think I used Photoshop to create those original header images. But just now I wondered if I could create them using SVG. So another rabbit hole. Down I go.
11:59 PM Saturday, April 1, 2023
So I didn’t actually write this at this time, but rather 24 minutes in the future. Figure this was close enough to count. Think I’m all packed up for our Spring Break trip to New Orleans. Should be fun and interesting. Panda Express for dinner with my parents. Had to drive a bit through some remaining Cubs traffic, and I’m not looking forward to this season. Really annoyed with iCloud Drive. Works great with my iPads and iPhone, but my Mac mini? Pretty much non syncing. Super annoying.
10:51 PM Sunday, April 2, 2023
Here in New Orleans. Had a Po’ Boy for lunch, delicious. Along with a sazerac. Great start. Walked down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Not kid friendly. Found some nicer streets to walk down and around. Ended up at the Mississippi River. Got some beignets. Pool time for the kids. Out to Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar for dinner. Enormous oysters, Still Austin bourbon flight. Good day 1.
10:28 PM Monday, April 3, 2023
Got to see the swamp today. Got to see a handful of alligators, racoons, and turtles. Rather interesting. Lunch at Willie’s Chicken Shake, fried catchfish. Napped the afternoon away. Took the Charles Street Trolley to dinner, ended up at Tacos & Beer. Really good Mexican. Ended up getting drinks at the hotel bar, Holmes.
10:20 PM Tuesday, April 4, 2023
Found my happy place in New Orleans, the Sazerac Bar in the Roosevelt Hotel. Had my first Ramos Gin FIzz. Yummy, and I’ll finally try making it at home. Hoping I get to go back later this week. Went on a paddleboat tour this morning. Managed to drop and break my Fujifilm X-E3, and lose part of it and the 55-200 zoom lens off the side of the boat. Kept most of the body so had all the pictures. Maybe a blessing in disguise. I’ve been thinking about upgrading, and it was 6 years old at this point. So I think a Fujifilm X-T5 is in my future. At least I’ve got all my other prime lenses still. Went in the pool for the first time this trip. My longish hair is pretty annoying. Will be much more manageable once I can keep it in a bun or a ponytail. Some pizza from Willie’s Pizza and Wings hit the spot for a late lunch. Twilight walking ghost tour was interesting. Nice to hear some background on Voodoo, aside from the references I read in Neuromancer and Wild Cards . Dinner at a little hole in the wall Italian place called Frank’s Restaurant. Nothing special.
10:56 PM Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Changing of the guards. Got to sleep in, which was nice. Got breakfast downstairs, had a nice breakfast sandwich. I’ve been drinking coffee all week. And not eating a lot of fruits or veggies. Although Tracy was nice enough to order me a fruit cup with breakfast when she saw how small my sandwich was. So that was nice. Had to scramble to pack, think we forgot Jackson’s pajamas, since we switched hotels. Jackson went with Hudson and Dave while I helped bring our suitcases to the JW Marriot. Then I went back and joined the boys for a trip to The National WWII Museum. Pretty cool, and could have definitely spent a lot of time there, watching and reading, but since we had the boys only hit up the guns, airplanes and tanks. Chilled a bit before Dave and Hudson left for the airport. Met up with the Thorngrens and went to dinner at Kingfish. Had some rice and beans and southern fried chicken, which was pretty good. Not sure what other New Orleans cuisine that I haven’t had yet, but haven’t seen turtle soup yet. Finally got some beignets at Cafe du Monde, and yeah, they’re pretty good. Finished the night off with drinks at the lobby bar while the kids hung out up in the kids room.
11:50 PM Thursday, April 6, 2023
Got to sleep in again. Repeated breakfast, although at a different location, at Ruby Slipper. Had their Peacemaker bennie (Eggs Couchon and Chicken St. Charles). Pretty good. While waiting for a table I went back up to check on a couple things we forgot at the Hyatt Centric, but couldn’t check in the room or something. Took a bus out toe Lafitte for an airboat bayou tour. Saw more alligators this time. Wish we had splurged and taken the smaller airboat instead of the bigger one. Napped when we got back. Dinner was pretty good at Luke’s, and we left the kids again and went back to the Sazerac Bar. Was able to try an official Brown Derby (I like mine/Anders Erickson’s better) and a Paper Plane (better than mine)
10:46 PM Friday, April 7, 2023
Another day to sleep in. Worried about rain/thunderstorms all day. Took the street car out to Tacos & Beer for lunch. Street cars were also super packed. After the Thorngrens got on, they told us to take the next until Tracy was screaming out to the Thorngrens and then he let us on. Good tacos. Then it started raining, which put a damper on plans to walk around the Garden District. Audibled and went to Mardi Gras World. And of course it stopped raining. Back to the hotel with a brief stop for beignets at Benny’s. Then some swimming at the hotel (cold). Another Lyft to dinner at Saba and got a nice little Garden District tour on the way out. Food was amazing and ate too much before heading back. Looked for Belle Epoche, but they were closed for a wedding, and ended up at Patrick’s Bar Vin.
10:12 PM Saturday, April 8, 2023
Home. Actually slept through the night, and got up to pick up breakfast takeout from Streetcar Cafe. Normal diner food for the most part. Took the trolley out to The National WWII Museum. Busier than when I went earlier in the week. Got in the 2nd time for just $7, since we came back within a week. Did the Arsenal of Democracy and The D-Day Invasion of Normandy exhibits that we missed last time. Lucy and Emmy went through another section. Way too much information, could go back and spend a couple of days there easy. Ate at The American Sector for lunch again, one last shrimp po’boy. Then back to the hotel to pack before heading out to the airport. Security was pretty long, but no issues, except I was supposed to take all my electronics out of my bag, which was different from just having to put big electronic devices out separately like when we flew down from Midway. I guess next time to err on the side of caution and take everything out always. Made it home with no issues to a nice clean house and food in the fridge (Thanks Mom and Dad!). And now bedtime in my own bed after a shower in my own shower.
10:12 PM Sunday, April 9, 2023
Pleasantly surprised. Not sure what I was expecting from New Orleans, but I’d go back. It’d probably be even better without kids, as the main draws are the food, drink, and The National WWII Museum, all not necessarily kid friendly things. Loved the Sazerac Bar. Would be willing to spend all my money there. Did I mention I spied some Pappy Van Winkle on one of the shelves? Oysters, local to the region, were amazing. Very very tasty. There’s lots more cocktail bars and restaurants to drink and eat through. Until next time. I haven’t run the numbers yet though, but I think it was a pretty expensive week. And tomorrow, back to the grind. Gotta get back on the exercise horse, and a proper regular diet. Hopefully won’t be too jarring.
10:53 PM Monday, April 10, 2023
Back to the grind. And grind it was. Dealing with some work stuff so didn’t have time to go to the gym this morning. If I can’t go in the morning, I won’t go. Then was planning on indoor biking, but got hungry instead, so had some lunch. I did try out rucking today, throwing some 10 lb plates in my Bullet Ruck and going for a brisk walk. Got me a little workout. Might keep trying that out. I don’t think I’ve mentioned how much better a hairbrush is for my hair right now. No tangles, and I even get some volume. It’s nice. Got some waves going on.
9:35 PM Tuesday, April 11, 2023
Think I need to figure out docker-compose for my various containers running on the Ubuntu box. About time I guess. Mostly because I need to update to newest, and also because that seems to be the preferred way to run them. Finally sent tax prep stuff to the accountant. Actually feels early this year. I’m a whole 7 days early. First time taking Lucy to swim practice at Latin. Pretty easy, and it was a Cubs Night game. Picked up Mariano’s and Nando’s Peri-Peri and Binny’s Beverage Depot after the drop off. On the way because I didn’t want to take LSD home. So I guess Binny’s will still be on the way home. Tried my hand at a Ramos Gin Fizz tonight. Not as good, not ever in the same ballpark as the one from Sazerac Bar. I’ve got to try a couple more recipes, and probably have to shake more too. Also got back on the indoor bike today. Baby steps.
4:14 PM Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Went bouldering at Movement Wrigleyville for the first time in 3 weeks. I’m out of practice and it shows. Didn’t even manage any V3s. Seriously out of shape. Also managed to rip 3 flappers on my right hand at the end. So yeah, might have to take another break, or see how climbing with band-aids is. Then I decided to get some Do-Rite Donuts & Chicken, glazed, cheese danish, and a hot coffee with cream and sugar. Good, but think I still just prefer Dunkin for my raised donuts. Ended up eating those late enough I skipped lunch. Drove the kids to soccer practice and waited there. Nice but windy.
8:13 PM Thursday, April 13, 2023
Jackson lost his scooter, so he took his bike out today when playing with Finn and started trying to learn how to ride a bike. Makes me feel like I’ve failed as a biker myself, that my 9 year old hasn’t started biking yet. But he’s starting now. And had a couple runs where he seemed to get it. Probably headed out this weekend to try some more. Found a baseball/trucker hat I’ll probably be wearing all summer long, as my hair gets longer and longer. It’s a Blaine hat, might be a little small, but looks cool. Better summer hat than the Anders Erickson dad hat I got. Oh, got a couple ruck plates, so planning on doing another ruck tomorrow, since I don’t know how long it’ll be again before I got bouldering. Want to wait until my flapper holes heal up. Tracy cleaned up the back patio for a mom’s wine night, so looks pretty good. Also, started season 4 of Orphan Black, and seems like it’s getting a bit more crazy and off the rails. Wonder where the 5th season is gonna go.
10:02 PM Friday, April 14, 2023
I’m all in on UI Protect. Just switched over the 2 remaining indoor cameras (a Foscam and a Eufy) over to G3 Instants like the other indoor cams. Went pretty smooth. Had to do some homebridge tweaking, and finally updated the docker image it was running as so I can actually update to the newest version of the plugins I’m using. All in all, might keep me running smoothly for another year? Also got another UAP-AC-Pro for use on the porch/parkway, where I might be spending more time now that the weather is nicer. Getting much better performance and stability so far, compared to when I was trying it with a UAP-AC-Lite. Also made a little stand out of LEGO so it sits up and pointing out the window. Yeah, bit of a spending spree, so got to rein it in for the rest of the year. Got to go in to Lane Tech for the first time today to pick up Lucy early. Curious what the rest of the school looks like. Would love to wander around in there.
10:49 PM Saturday, April 15, 2023
Had to drive out to Edison Park for Jackson’s soccer game. Couple of things: turns out Jackson’s allergic to pollen and spring stuff, so he had itchy eyes and a running nose, so that affected his play; and they won today. I think they moved down a division since the fall. Maybe. We’ll see tomorrow for the 2nd team game in the same division. I guess Edison Park isn’t really a suburb, but took 30 minutes to get out there, and probably even longer to get back, and we didn’t even take the highway. Also weird because I didn’t have a camera and didn’t take any photos. Games seem longer when I’m not taking pictures the whole time.
8:57 PM Sunday, April 16, 2023
Ok, I really need to start using docker-compose to keep my containers up to date. Just used it to update abando.social to Mastodon v4.1.2 and it was 2 commands. That’s pretty cool. Maybe it is time to update this site, or at least the plumbing maybe? Jackson’s soccer game was unpleasant today. Cold and rainy. Not fun at all. And they lost. Weather definitely different than yesterday, about 30 degrees different. Assuming it snows overnight or in the morning, that’ll be just about complete opposite days like 48 hours apart. 84 and sunny to 32 and snowy. Go figure. Finally making progress on the giant pile of laundry from vacation and the last week.
8:05 PM Monday, April 17, 2023
Finally got my new camera, a Fujifilm X-T5. Reading through the manual and charging it up. Gonna have to see if I need to update firmware on it, or on any of my lenses. I haven’t checked on those ever. Excited to have a real camera again. Bigger but feels lighter than the Fujifilm X-E3. Also realized I was supposed to send the X-E3 in for service/repair check. I thought I was waiting on a box they were going to send me, and no, they sent a shipping label that I need to print out and pack myself. Went on a pretty long ruck today, something like 4 miles, but on and off with shopping stops in between. Not sure if it’s a real workout, but I like it. I might have to upgrade my shoes and get another ruck plate, eventually. We’ll see. My flappers look fairly healed, so I might try bouldering on Wednesday. I put my indoor cycling trainer away, so I might try and get outside and bike tomorrow.
7:57 PM Tuesday, April 18, 2023
Just now I dropped Lucy off at swim practice and took the non LSD route home so I could drop by Dom’s Kitchen & Market to pick up one of my favorite desserts, and they were all out. No Napoleon for me. I’m not sure why it’s one of my favorites, but it is. I think I tried making it at home, but wasn’t any good at it. I also realize my other favorite is cheesecake, so maybe I need to try combining them into a cheesecake napoleon. Sounds tasty. Oh, wait, maybe toss in another of my favorites, and turn it into a Black Forest cheesecake napoleon. Hmmm, the wheels are turning. Went on an outdoor bike ride for the first time in a while, actually since I got hit by a car (not including bike rides on the xtracycle to pick up food or bring Jackson to soccer practice and games). So that’s like a 2 1/2 year gap. Took me long enough. I should probably plan out a route before hand though, instead of just winging it. Also made sure to go in the middle of the day so no sun blinding drivers at any point. Definitely more defensive biking too. But gonna try and keep that up. Maybe even go back to the fake bike commute to work again.
7:40 PM Wednesday, April 19, 2023
Did another ruck today. Gonna give my flappers the rest of the week to finish up healing before attempting bouldering again next Monday. I did figure out how to attach my 10 lbs ruck plate to the 20 lbs one, so I’m did 30 lbs today. I’d have to say it feels great the rest of the day after the backpack comes off. Also glad I’m finally using a GORUCK bags for its intended purpose, in this case an old style 10 L Bullet Ruck. I recently watched both Pacific Rim and Pacific Rim: Uprising, so I figured I should complete it and started watching Pacific Rim: The Black. Finished season 1 (only 7 episodes) and only 30 minutes, so they go quick. Also decided to start Glass Onion, since there’s a podcast episode in my queue on it.
8:04 PM Thursday, April 20, 2023
Back outside for another bike ride today. Wore a jersey and a bib. It was hot out. But nice and brisk and a little windy by the lake. Did a short little 10 mile loop. Will eventually try and extend it out a bit and do more of the Lakeshore Path. But nice. DIdn’t want to go out while it was raining (whereas before I would relish going out int he rain on my bike). Was scared of it being slick out. I’m definitely on the more cautious side now. Got my spare 2 batteries for the Fujifilm X-T5 so I’m all kitted out again with a “real” camera again. Time to start taking some pics.
10:11 PM Friday, April 21, 2023
Totally spaced and screwed up my Knotwords and Wordle streaks. I should be able to get my Knotwords back since they have that nifty (complete a new 7 day streak and we’ll forget you missed a day) workout. But annoyed, very slightly, about the Wordle one. Oh well. Can’t even say I have this Daily Dose streak either, since I’ve cheated multiple times and predated entries. Shhh. Still trying to figure out what to post where, just in terms of Mastodon vs. Micro.blog. Thinking Micro.blog is more bloggy, while Mastodon is more conversation, ephemeral, feeling/emotional, maybe political? Not sure. Anyway, got to bike Jackson to/from practice today due to some logistical errors. A bit much after rucking earlier today. But did get to try out Little Goat Diner for the first time. Good, but not what I expected. I guess I was thinking more diner, less Goat, but still good. However it has me craving some actual diner food. All that’s left for that spot is to try GGs Chicken Shop.
11:07 PM Saturday, April 22, 2023
Almost forgot about posting. Did a short ruck this morning to pick up Dunkin. So not sure if that counts at all. Introduced Lucy to French Crueller. She likes ‘em. Finally folded my pile of laundry. Only took 2 weeks. Took Lucy out to do some birdwatching homework. Got to try out the Fujifilm X-T5. Pretty sweet. If I got into birding, I’d want an even bigger lens, but don’t think that’s going to happen. Still got some pretty cool pics of birds. Also, it was pretty cold out. There was even some hail. Dinner with my parents at Sushi+ Rotary Sushi Bar. Didn’t have my saba or Spam nigiris out on the conveyor belt, so had to order. As soon as we did, started seeing them come out. Movie night at home, finally watched Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers. Pretty good, and way too many in jokes on screen, in the background, or mentioned in passing.
9:10 PM Sunday, April 23, 2023
Not enjoying this spring season of soccer so far. Although we’re 1-2-1, and we had 1 game in absolutely beautiful weather, the other 3 have been cold, and 1 of those was absolutely miserable because it was cold and rainy. I even wore my lined pants to the double header today, and a winter coat, and was freezing. Should have sat and put a blanket on. Not really doing the pictures/game commentary well though. Often missing things. Wondering if I should actually start using dictation to do the game updates. Headed to St. Louis next weekend for a soccer tournament. Hopefully the weather will be warmer down there. Finally watched The Mitchells vs. the Machines. Pretty good movie. Very enjoyable. Also starting to make some real dents in my Redwood Empire Cask Strengths. Think I’ll go back to Old Grand-Dad Bonded Bourbon and Rittenhouse Rye Bottled in Bond for cocktails. Maybe stop with completing distiller brands.
10:23 PM Monday, April 24, 2023
Went bouldering today, and still have all the skin on my fingers. So I’ll take it as a win. Took it easy though, nothing higher than a V3 and only did one of those, and didn’t end on a 4x4. Figure I’ll take a week to ease back into things, and start ramping stuff up next week, if I can still ramp stuff up. I did use a headband while climbing. Hair’s long enough that I need to do it. Had my favorite meal, longsilog for lunch. Used some old rice finally. Pretty good. Better than mixed greens, that’s for sure. Also did an Apple TV+ workout as well. Been a while. Felt good though. Moved my mat down to the basement, and used my iPhone to Airplay to the Apple TV instead of using the big iPad for it. Worked out pretty well. Annoyed that I still can’t use my Apple Watch directly with the Apple TV. I guess the bluetooth isn’t strong enough to reach down the hall. If only it could just use WiFi to do it instead.
11:43 PM Tuesday, April 25, 2023
Did a bike ride (and missed a work meeting because of it) and did my Apple Fitness+ core workout and tried to do my Gravity Push-Up Workout. Both were really hard today. Bike ride not so much. I probably dressed appropriately for the weather on the ride, but could have gone either way. Picked up a mophie Wireless Charging Vent Mount with MagSafe from the Apple Lincoln Park store, for upcoming trip to St. Louis this weekend for a soccer tournament. Borrowing my parents car, which doesn’t have Car Play, so needed a better mount for my iPhone, and that one looks like it’s got a pretty secure method for attaching to a car vent. We’ll see. Dropping Lucy off for swim practice was fine, the ride home after that is super annoying. Night Cubs game could explain some of it, but if you were trying to head West, it was slow. At one point Apple Maps said I had 900 ft to go on North Ave. and my estimated arrival time was 9 minutes. Also, thought about taking Lake Shore Drive on the way back after picking her up, but audibled when I saw the stopped traffic northbound right before we were going to get on, so thankfully was able to loop back around and go up Lincoln instead.
8:40 PM Wednesday, April 26, 2023
One benefit of dropping Lucy off at Latin is shopping on the way home to break up driving through traffic. Today I picked up some Vanille Patisserie, because it was sort of on the way as I zig zagged home. Been too long since I’ve been back, and they were already putting stuff away, but still managed to get some treats. Went back in and took some pics of the labels, and took some time to make a collage of the 4 I got as I waited for traffic to clear up a bit. Skipped exercising today. Too tired (took a nap in the morning). Sipping on a Bourbon Renewal at the moment. Not a bad cocktail. Pretty much just working my way through any cocktails that take 2 oz of bourbon or rye.
7:45 PM Thursday, April 27, 2023
Did Jackson and my laundry. Got my parents car. Installed a MagSafe car mount. Put chairs and a blanket in the back. There’s already an umbrella back there. Camera batteries charged. Firmware upgraded. Still have to pack (gotta bring a whole range of stuff, just in case). Don’t forget bathing suits. Wonder if I should bring some whiskey, or a premixed cocktail? Weather looks decent, mid to low 60s, high 50s. Supposedly some wind on Sunday. Drive down will probably be annoying, deal with traffic and construction. Expecting to come back by afternoon on Sunday, think we won’t make the finals. Ordered Jackson a tourney t-shirt, just getting it delivered so we don’t have to deal with it. A little surprised he actually wanted one. Not sure if we need to bring a cooler for snacks or anything. First travel soccer tourney (not counting the ones in Montegomery) since I missed out on last year’s. Hopefully it’s as fun as it sounded last year.
11:11 PM Friday, April 28, 2023
Down in St. Louis, or outside of it for Jackson’s soccer tournament. Drive down was fine, leaving during rush hour was annoying. Took 1.8 hours to go 55 miles out of the city. All in, took 5 1/2 hours? Normally should take 4 1/2. Didn’t get to the hotel until after 10pm. But pretty easy drive. Nice that Jackson had headphones on the entire time, so I got to listen to podcasts the whole way down. The phone mount worked great, no issues there. Tried out the cooling fans in the seats for the first time. Pretty nice. Even on the lowest setting and wearing pants could feel it. Schedule is pretty nice tomorrow, first game not until 11:15, and at the main set of fields. Only about 10 minutes away. Same location for the afternoon game. Sunday game is in a separate location, but also not too far away. Hopefully it’s a fun weekend.
11:12 PM Saturday, April 29, 2023
So Jackson’s team tied their first game today, 0-0, and won their second, 3-1. My normal game reporting wasn’t working because my cell reception was so poor. Thought I had done it for the first one, but when I checked before the second game, everything I wrote was gone. So at least I got to concentrate on watching and trying to take photos. It all depends on our first game tomorrow to see if we have to stick around for a 3pm final. Half hoping they don’t, cause it means getting home late, but then again, would be nice to get another win on the board. Good getting to know some parents of teammates. Ended up at a hibachi restaurant for dinner, so that was fun, if late. Lunch was really good as Westport Social, and there were plenty of games to keep the kids busy. I’d saw pretty successful so far.
8:24 PM Monday, May 1, 2023
Had to take Lucy to get her first orthodontic appliance (Herbst for those that know, which wasn’t me up to 4 days ago). But yeah, dropped her off at the office, walked back home for a work meeting, then walked back to get some info on it and pick her up, then brought her home, then took the car over to Ashland Tire & Auto to get the flat fixed, which only took 17 minutes and $35, and then back home for more work, before heading out to get Lucy soup from Panera Bread for lunch. Then finally a breather before settling in for more work. So no time to exercise today. I’m actually a Level II CPS volunteer, because I’m helping chaperone LTAC’s bowling unit. Got to walk the kids to and from Waveland Bowl for only 2 classes out of the whole month their doing the unit. Will try and get some exercise in by rucking over and back, cause work’s slammed right now. And there’s a chance I’ll be getting my hands dirty and helping with a server move into our CH2 data center this weekend. So what I should also be doing is making sure I’m getting plenty of sleep, since I might not on Saturday night. So I thought after the St. Louis tournament it would quiet down, seems like the opposite. Things seem to be ramping up. Like constantly. It’s getting tiring.
9:17 PM Tuesday, May 2, 2023
Got some exercise in by rucking over to Lane Tech to chaperone an LTAC bowling unit at Waveland Bowl. Pretty easy volunteer effort, and was actually able to get some work done too in the short time we waited. Also had a pretty good day at work, getting some stuff done with only a few hiccups along the way. So far feels pretty smooth. Fingers crossed it keeps that way. I could use some smooth sailing.
9:38 PM Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Back and legs were sore today. Not sure if that’s because of the rucking from yesterday, or the illness that’s slowing going around. Lucy sort of had it this week, but not sure if her aches were from dry land workouts or the flu. At least she doesn’t sound sick anymore, so relatively quick recovery. Today was a decent day at work, got things done. Always nice when that happens. Fingers crossed there aren’t more issues that come up and we can go back to cruising on that process. Decided to just start serving up my “good” bourbon. I never super liked the “good” bourbons I “collected”, so just going to offer it up, or even use them in cocktails. I’m talking supposed bourbons of the year candidates for 2022, like Remus Repeal Reserve Series V and Bardstown Bourbon Co. Discovery Series #7, Calumet Farm 16]. Moved them from the back of the shelf to the front. I’ve also made good progress on clearing out my cask strength Redwood Empires.
9:51 PM Thursday, May 4, 2023
Thought about going for a bike ride, or even doing an Apple TV+ core workout, but felt sore and decided to skip. I really need to get back on a workout schedule. Instead, I ate lunch, including Talenti Gelato Layers Peanut Butter Vanilla Fudge for dessert, and watched Orphan Black. And you know how I thought work was going smoother? Well, completely forgot about another issue that I was supposed to be looking into. But I think I got it figured out in time. Hopefully. Was Lucy’s chauffeur today, driving her to school, then picking up her and Julie and Phoebe. Drove her to practice since Tracy planted one of the parkway beds today, and then picked her up since Tracy was sore and tired. So yeah, lots of driving. Also I get to take her to her swim meet tomorrow, since she actually gets to go and participate in the Friday events, but it’s early enough she’s got to go right from school, and Tracy doesn’t get off early enough, although she tried to switch schedules to do so. Had a nice little Mastodon interaction about the Star Wars CCG, when I took out and looked through, then looked up, and found out it’s still thriving, which is crazy. I think I liked the Star Trek CCG better anyway. I need to find my Netrunner CCG and Illuminati: New World Order CCG cards. I think I liked those the best.
10:01 PM Friday, May 5, 2023
Got to take Lucy to her swim meet, Friday night events. Didn’t have to stay until the end. She dropped time in both her events (granted her entry times were probably from last summer), but still. Also, north campus at NU is so completely different. I should have tried walking around to see what things look like, but I think I would have gotten lost. Probably needed to do some more work while I was there, but maybe I’ll do some more this weekend.
9:10 PM Saturday, May 6, 2023
Pretty quiet Saturday for me. Stayed in bed for a while this morning. Also took a nap. Took Jackson out for bike riding lessons. Getting closer. Biked out to Tea Ninja, got a medium Lychee Slush with 0% sugar and boba. Perfect. Refreshing. Tracy and Lucy brought back McDonald’s for dinner, had a Big Mac, been a while. Only got 4 more episodes of Orphan Black. Tatiana Maslany is an amazing actress. I only see all the characters she plays, don’t see her playing a bunch of clones. Impressive. Lucy’s getting used to her Herbst appliance. She’s happier now that she can actually eat more. Good to see. That first couple of days were rough.
9:41 PM Sunday, May 7, 2023
Biked Jackson up to Foster for a double header today. They won the first game and tied the second. Jackson didn’t play all that well, at least not as well as he did at the tourney last weekend. But every now and then getting some real glimpses of quality football with the team. Nice to see. They didn’t get any ice cream between games, so we had to make sure to find one on the way home, which we did. Pretty warm out and didn’t cool off until after we got home. Finally hydrated some water gel beads/balls and tried out Jackon’s Gel Blaster. It’s pretty cool. No idea how it would feel to get hit with one (or multiple), nor do I know where we could play with it besides our backyard. Not something you can really use indoors, nor would I feel comfortable running around the alley or neighborhood with them. Suburbs maybe? Or find an actual place (like paintball or AirSoft)? Down to 2 episodes left of Orphan Black. Really tempted to just plow through the last two, but should probably get ready for bed instead.
10:54 PM Monday, May 8, 2023
Walked over to Movement Wrigleyville and did some bouldering today. Trying to get back on my exercise schedule. Took it easy at the gym, and want to slowly ramp up to where I was again. Stopped by Jewel and got some stuff (the usual salmon and cut melon, ice cream and popsicles, and pineapple juice). Did my 20 minute core Apple FItness+ workout and the Gravity Push-Up Workout. I did get some wasabi to put in the premade mashed potatoes to go with my salmon for lunch. Pretty good. Tried out a Perfect Martini for happy hour. Not bad. Finished up Orphan Black. Looked for the comic books, couldn’t find them, but found the Podcast and now I’ve got something to listen to for a while anyway.
10:45 PM Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Rucked over to Lane Tech to do my second and final chaperone stint for their PE bowling unit. It was harder than usual. Didn’t actually work this time, but got some other finance stuff done. Stopped by Trader Joe’s on the way home and picked up some Ube Mochi Pancake Mix. Try and make some of that this weekend. Oh, think the Crosstrek might have another flat, same side, rear tire this time. Currently lower pressure than the others, which is what happened with the previous flat. So going to bring it by Ashland Tire & Auto tomorrow to see if it actually is or not. Would be annoyed if it was the same screw or nail that caused the previous flat that had fallen out and then managed to run over it with a different tire.
8:26 PM Wednesday, May 10, 2023
Chauffeur again today. Drove Lucy to school. Dropped her off at swim practice. And going to pick her up shortly. I guess I didn’t pick her up from school this time. Bought a couple soccer balls today, since Jackson lost his, well, forgot it at Blaine Field when he and Finn went over to play (I think on Monday). Figure it’s gone. He said it was starting to fall apart too. Got a size 4 and 5, just in case. No idea if they’re any good, just wandered over to Play It Again Sports and bought the orange ones. Guess I could have done a little more research, but oh well. Should be good enough. Started watching The Mandalorian Season 3. Listening to Orphan Black: The Next Chapter podcast. It’s really well done. Didn’t think I’d enjoy listening to a story, but turns out I do.
9:03 PM Thursday, May 11, 2023
Still drove Lucy to school this morning, she woke up super late but wasn’t late to class. Jackson on the other hand was late to school because. Got out for a bike ride today, up to Hollywood and down to Roscoe on the Lake Front Path. Hopefully back on a routine. Lucy didn’t go to practice today, so no driving to or from, although if I did I was going to try and stop by Dom’s Kitchen + Market for a Napoleon again.
9:52 PM Friday, May 12, 2023
Even though Lucy was up early enough to take the bus today, ended up driving her to school anyway because we had to wait for her lunch to finish reheating. Northbound Lake Shore Drive is opened up, although I don’t think they’re done yet, since the manholes are still higher, but done enough. Driving back home after picking her up only took 13 minutes to get home. Coming back from dropping her off picked up desserts from Dom’s Kitchen + Market (no Napoleon), and dinner from Small Cheval for the first time. Pretty good stuff. Didn’t realize they had milkshakes though. Watched more of The Mandalorian. Didn’t go climbing, but did do a core and push-up workout. So at least I got those in. Tried a new cocktail, Paris is Burning, after seeing a reddit comment about it in a post about the Earl Grey Marteani. Pretty good, and it’s a Mezcal drink too. Thinking I should start stocking a dry gin and a botanical gin, for when cocktails call for one or the other.
11:57 PM Saturday, May 13, 2023
Just sneaking this one in. Jackson’s team won their first game this morning, special thanks to their guest players filling out the roster and scoring majority of their goals. Second game was cancelled. Got to go to Candyality twice, once with Lucy to get birthday presents, and then again with Jackson for ourselves. Got some sushi for the first time in a while. Still no Napoleons at Dom’s Kitchen + Market. And got to see Ryan who was in town for a conference. Oh, and Jackson got a little bit better at riding a bike.
10:58 PM Sunday, May 14, 2023
Took Jackson to Blaine Field for more bike riding practice. He’s definitely getting better. After I brought the bike back I put a stem extender on. Curious if that’ll help or not. It might be a little small for him already. Biked down and back to Verzany Patisserie for Tracy’s pastries (when she went earlier the line was out the door). Got Sal’s Trattoria for dinner, and have a bunch of desserts in the fridge. Fridge is pretty full, but doesn’t seem like it’s food. Day kind of felt like it slipped away on me.
9:47 PM Monday, May 15, 2023
Lucy had her Ortho-K appointment today at Village Eyecare down in University Village, so had to pick her up from school and drive through traffic to get there. Surprisingly the 90/94 traffic wasn’t the bad part, it was Western. Then we had some food and snacks (Mario’s Italian Lemonade Italian Ice was amazing and Lucy had her Mochidog and Mochinut), then I went to go drop her off at practice, and drove through traffic on LaSalle, but that was ok since we were killing time. Then I had the bright idea of taking Lake Shore north, which was OK, until I tried getting off at Irving Park which was backed up a ton, so I thought I’d get off at Montrose, but all exits north were super backed up. So I went all the way up to Granville before turning around and coming down Clark and Ashland. At least I got some gas on the way. But wow, was that annoying.
10:49 PM Tuesday, May 16, 2023
No exercise today. A little too much work. Or just a little lazy. Probably more lazy than busy. Finished The Mandalorian Season 3 today. I liked it. True to the title. Didn’t feel like a slog at all. The buddy cop episode was amusing. Will be happy when they finish repaving Lake Shore Drive in both directions. I’m not sure how long it’s gonna take me to take the kids to soccer tomorrow. Wait and see I guess. Looks like I get to do a little data center work this weekend. They’re moving servers from the NJ datacenter over to the CHI one. Should be fun getting my hands dirty with some physical labor again. Just hope it won’t be too late.
10:57 PM Wednesday, May 17, 2023
Jackson’s officially a cyclist. Able to start by himself, turn both directions, come to a stop. Very cool. Definitely relieved. Granted, not sure how long until we can bike as a family anywhere. Probably have to wait until his next bike I think, which actually won’t be too much longer. Adding the stem extender helped I think. Aside from that, I did my Power Red blood donation. Had a big breakfast, came home, had a big lunch. I did skip getting McDonald’s for dinner when I got the kids dinner after soccer practice. Even though those fries smelled amazing (I admit I stole a couple out of their bag). Started watching The Peripheral. Only seen the first episode, but so far so good. I did not read the book, and I’ve done a pretty good job keeping away from any spoilers, so fresh eyes. And I’m liking it. It’s funny, but taking a little to get used to the regional accent, to the point I’m tempted to put on subtitles. And then they go to London and it’s a different accent that I’ve got to get used to. Either way, it looks like what I thought a William Gibson novel would look like. That’s a good thing. It feels right.
10:58 PM Thursday, May 18, 2023
I like rucking. It’s just walking with a heavy backpack. I guess kids ruck all the time these days. Also, if you ruck to a coffee shop to work, and put your stuff in your backpack and use the bathroom, you don’t have to worry about someone running off with your bag, because it’s got 30 lbs in it. Would be amusing to see someone try. Anyway, chaperoned the last 2 periods of LTAC bowling unit today. Actually got some work done in those 2 periods too, so it was productive too. Lucy just barely beat me home, since I rucked home and she took the bus. Have I mentioned The Peripheral is really good? Only bad thing is the length of episodes, and the accents (makes it hard to understand sometimes).
6:05 PM Saturday, May 20, 2023
Out last night partying. Out tonight working. Glamorous life for me.
10:11 PM Sunday, May 21, 2023
Super sleepy. Hopefully I sleep well tonight. Snuck in a couple naps, however short today. Picked Jackson up and took him to his soccer game up in Skokie (they got killed, playing with few subs vs. a very full team, they wore their whites, and it was hot out). Quick stop at home before dropping him off at Whirlyball for a Lasertag birthday party. Ate when I got home, took a short nap before picking him up. Got another nap in while he went and played with Jackson Grady. Actually had to do a little work to make sure my little area worked after the servers moved data centers. Tried watching Avatar: The Way of Water, but don’t think I’m conscious enough for it. Tried out Taco Moro II (new place over by Domino’s for dinner. It’s ok, needs more seasoning though. Hard to believe school’s ending soon, feels like that snuck up on me pretty quick.
11:52 PM Monday, May 22, 2023
Still not on a regular sleeping schedule. Napping too much and not getting to bed early enough. Not good. Means I’m still kind of out of it, not necessarily firing on all cylinders. Hopefully I can catch up soon, or get back on schedule. I did have to go out to get some lab work done after I dropped Lucy off at school. Forgot I had to give a urine sample, so bought a bottle of water and chugged that. Worked though. Stopped by Dom’s Kitchen + Market on the way home and got breakfast/lunch and finally got another Napoleon. Yum. And a cappuccino, which was pretty good. Realized they have Doughnut Vault stuff there as well, so that’s good to know. The blueberry danish was fabulous too. Reminded me of the ones I used to get up at the Mozart Cafe in Evanston.
11:47 PM Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Thanks to Dave, went to a Cubs game today, and took advantage of our location. Met up at our house and walked over to Wrigley Field. Pretty cool. Feels like the game goes much quicker because of the pitch clock. I wonder if hitting percentages have gone up because of rushed pitches. Anyway, lines are still pretty annoying, but also took advantage of the little stands outside on the right field balcony, instead of using the concourse. Nice respite from all the work lately. Still nowhere near on a good sleep schedule, stealing naps where I can. But looks like I might be able to hit the hay soon.
5:52 PM Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Napped a lot today. Trying to catch up on sleep. Ran some errands, picked up a new 3 bike trunk rack instead of the 2 bike rack we have now. I think if we want to bring 4 we’ll have to upgrade to a hitch based rack, which means getting a hitch which we don’t have. Picked up some resupplies at Binny’s. Getting tempted by all the different gin options though, lots of variations, but trying to stick with a good mixing gin, since I’m never drinking it straight. Also got some mealworms for Banana.
8:48 PM Thursday, May 25, 2023
So my self hosted Mastodon server, http://abando.social (), ran out of space today, because I never set up any maintenance jobs for it. So finally figured out how to do that today. Next step is to figure out how to put media on S3 like object buckets, instead of the filesystem. But that’s for another day. But that’s one of the drawbacks of hosting my own, instead of joining someone else’s. Next up in Mastodon world I think would be figuring out relays. I think. So when I want to do more exploring or find what’s trending maybe? After dropping Lucy off at swim practice, I swung by Binny’s, again, mostly to waste time so I didn’t have to deal with traffic. But ended up getting Tip Top Cocktails Negroni. A little too sweet for my taste, but perfect size and much higher proof than others. Just ordered the party pack too, which is just a variety pack.
10:00 PM Friday, May 26, 2023
Back at Lakeside Inn for the weekend. Been a while, but feels like coming home. Same room we had the last time we were here, 2 years ago? Had a recharge day from work, but still did a little work. Finally finished Avatar: The Way of Water. Hard to believe they’ve got 3 more movies lined up, all the way through 2028. Got a new tire for the Crosstrek. Impressed that was taken care of in like 3.5 hours at Ashland Tire & Auto. Loved that I could just leave it and walk home the 2 blocks and come back and pick it up when it was done. Used a new bike rack, the Yakima FullBack 3-Bike Trunk Rack. Need to get the Yakima TopTube adapter for Lucy’s bike, but works ok without it. However, probably need to get a hitch and a hitch bike rack if we’re going to try and take 4 bikes. Worked out this weekend because the Brizzolara’s could take Jackson’s. Didn’t do a good job packing, forgot random stuff, like spoons, an extra bike lock, board games like dominos or Mahjong, or a cooler backpack. Just poor planning.
10:23 PM Saturday, May 27, 2023
Tracy managed to get out and pick up some pastries at Whistle Stop, while the rest of us slept in. Felt good to sleep. Tracy then went out with the Brizzle’s to Skip’s European Farmer’s Market, and I eventually got the kids out of the room and down to the beach. Just wanted to check it out, then Tracy came down after they came back and then I went up and got the rest of our stuff and brought it down and Brizzle’s joined us. I made a couple trips and brought down firewood (with the Freighter backpack so it was super easy) and pretty much had a fire going all afternoon. Went in the water once and tried doing a beach run with Lucy, since she’s got a triathlon coming up, but crazy just watching her take off down the beach while I’m just barely able to job. Ended up cooking hot dogs and sausages on sticks over the campfire. Sonya drove us out to OInk’s Dutch Treat for ice cream. I went with Sicilian orange sorbet and raspberry sorbet. Stopped off at Barney’s and got more buns and chips. Then sat down and played Escape from Iron Gate Pretty fun and Julia ended up winning. Probably got more sun today than I should have. And pretty sore, I was not prepared for those steps to the beach, even though they put in new ones at the top by the road.
10:32 PM Sunday, May 28, 2023
Biked 2 miles over to a farmer’s market. Jackson biked too. Pretty simple ride for his first long one, although there was a hill he had to walk up. Otherwise, pretty good. Then back down to the beach for the day, sausages for lunch and dinner, s’mores down at the beach, actually got in the water, super cold, Oink’s for a Rush Hour milkshake, and then back for Exploding Kittens. And ordered some pizza for delivery, which was pretty good. And all the kids each won once, and the adults were shut out.
9:41 PM Monday, May 29, 2023
Yet another beach day. One last hurrah before heading home. Lake was super calm, no wind to speak of. Water was still freezing, and a bit cloudy before the sun broke out. Still managed to get in the water one last time. Of course had a beach fire, roasted more encased meats and made more s’mores. Didn’t get Oink’s Dutch Treat on the way out, just stopped for Chipotle for a late lunch. Nice to be home though. Think I did something to my wrist biking yesterday, it’s a bit sore. Hopefully doesn’t last too long. More rotation issue than anything.
8:39 PM Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Trying to get back into things after vacation. Feels like I’ve been out of it for a while, and not really in a routine at all. Still sore from the steps at Lakeside, and the wrist still hurts, so no bouldering or biking for a bit, at least until it stops hurting. Also being sore will take time off from any rucking, although I think the little I did beforehand helped. Also the freighter backpack was absolute genius and came in super handy. So I guess I won’t be getting back on a routine anytime soon. And then summer break is coming fast, and camps and stuff are going to screw with routines as well, so might just have to scratch all that off the list and take what I can get when I can get it.
10:20 PM Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Had to drive Lucy to practice today, after a Cubs game, and early for dry land, so I decided to waste time at World Market so I wouldn’t have to sit in more traffic. Wasn’t necessarily planning on buying anything, but then found Slow & Low Rock and Rye and Coffee Old-Fashioned, so I had to get them. Also got a Crunchie and a Violet Crumble. Also randomly got Hawaii’s Best Hawaiian Haupia Mix (think it’s just coconut gelatin). But the prize was finding Nick and Nora glasses. They’re tiny and cute, and I’m breaking them in with The Last Word and Division Bell. Also got a snifter, because I didn’t have one. Also got some random New York Seltzers, to see if the kids like them, and a single serve sake, and some odd flavored Ramunes.
9:58 PM Thursday, June 1, 2023
June. Wow. Starting to plow through Succession. Such bad people. Like The White Lotus. Having an issue with the refurbished Fujifilm X-E4, so sending that back for repair or replacement. And to think I was starting to warm on having 2 real cameras. Weather feels like summer. Did I mention we have bunnies in the parkway? Tracy mentioned something the other day and I was like, no way, so I went lifting up the tiny little plant she said they were digging around, and low and behold, a tiny little baby bunny was moving around in there. Like tiny. Hope they flourish. Always fun to see bunnies in the neighborhood.
9:56 PM Friday, June 2, 2023
Drove the kids to soccer practice today, and sat and did some work and occasionally glanced up and watched practice. Premier 2 and 3 practiced next to each other and eventually combined for a scrimmage. Seemed like a pretty sizable gap between the two. Premier 2 definitely playing a team game. Makes me sad for Jackson that he’s missing out. I feel like he’d do much better with a more cohesive team. At the same time I understand that he doesn’t take it super seriously, and rather enjoys playing with teammates. But yeah, definitely easy to see the gap when when they combined players for the full field scrimmages. Curious what next year’s 9v9 is going to bring. Also interesting to see Aiden playing defense, from what I remember of him at the end of last year, he was great in the midfield. But I haven’t seen them play all at all, so who knows. Tried putting velcro on the outdoor sofa cushions. Well, tried them on 1 cushion. Failed miserably because it wouldn’t stick to the cushion. Maybe try from fabric glue? Also thinking of trying some carabiners on the cushions and checking to see what structural attachment points I could stick rings to on the couch. Only need it at the back to keep them from sliding forward.
9:18 PM Saturday, June 3, 2023
Since the cameras are either on the fritz on out for repair, I just watched and commented on Jackson’s soccer game today. Thought we were going to be short handed, but we weren’t. Thought it’d be hot out and we’d be sluggish, but it was actually cool by the lake. They scored out the gate, and thought we were in trouble. But then coach Yuri subbed in Graham and Sebastian who scored immediately and the flood gates opened. We even pulled a player, and then managed to score a couple goals after that. So a pretty good day. Biked out there, no issues. Watched Jackson Grady perform a School of Rock set at The Cubby Bear before hand. Pretty cool. And finished Succession. Think I’m going to listen to the official HBO Podcast, at least of the final season. Curious what it’s like. Had a craving for Panda Express so picked some up for the kids and I tonight.
9:46 PM Sunday, June 4, 2023
Did some house chores, another load of Jackson’s laundry to wash his jersey which he needed for 2 more games today. Biked up for this first one, on the bad grass field. It was against the same team as yesterday’s, and they won again, coming alive in the 2nd half. Jackson’s also dealing with hives. Not sure what triggered them, but they seem to be going away. Will probably be taking benadryl for the next couple of days just in case. Anyway, biked home for a couple hours after picking up lunch from Windy City Gyros before poorly choosing to drive up for the 2nd game (hard to find parking). They ended up losing that one, but got to play on the turf for the first time in a while. Tracy came and watched too. Both games I didn’t have a camera so got to continue watching and provide commentary for the game. Tracy ended up grilling burgers and sausage for dinner, then we watched a bunch of Fresh Off the Boat because Lucy was actually watching it on the TV instead of her phone. I went out with Jackson and got some Dairy Queen and I made the banana green curry pound cake again.
10:44 PM Monday, June 5, 2023
Was a Lucy chauffeur day again. Took her to school, picked her up early (at lunch and she only had advisory after), the took her to swim practice and worked a bit at Starbucks before picking her up and taking her home. Picking her up early from school meant I didn’t get to watch WWDC 2023 Keynote live, I waited 2.5 hours until it was available to stream from the beginning. I did manage to not get anything spoiled. Lots of sherlocking, some interesting things in the OS feature quilts, and the One More Thing. I say I’m not going to get it, but I am excited for  Vision Pro. I’m excited for the groundwork they’re laying. I’m excited for when the hardware catches up to the “vision”. Feels like they nailed the UI part. And if Disney pulls off anything in their pitch vid? Well, really cool things in store. So I’m typing this on my iPad Pro now, but in a couple years? I’d just slip on my  Visions and start typing something out on the table, or just dictating it (more likely typing), and submitting with a tap of a finger on my thumb. Although I do see the “Black Mirror” future possibility, with my entire family sitting around, all wearing them. How different is it when we’re all on our iPhones and iPads now? I can’t imagine wearing one to capture moments, but makes me hope the next iPhone has 3D capture capability. Or they come up with a wearable 3D camera to to capture those moments, instead of having to use the  Vision Pro. Either way, seems like the future. I don’t think I thought of the future when I saw the iPod click wheel. Definitely thought of the future when I saw the iPhone and iPad. Didn’t think of the future until I actually used AirPods Pro. But definitely feel like I’m seeing the future with  Vision Pro.
8:50 PM Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Nephrology followup today. They switched over to My Chart, which is nice. Also, it’s my biannual visit to Tous Les Jours, so picked up a bunch of stuff and got an ube latte. Like a lot of stuff. And I managed to eat most of it, although Lucy had a couple. Did not have to drive her to school this morning, and only had to bring her and Spaulding to practice, they gave her a ride home. Did pick up Crumbl for Lucy on the way home, got in the way of a biker when I pulled over into a parking spot (whoops, deserved that bird). Also picked up Jackson from Hudson’s since I was out and he was still there. Had a breakfast sandwich for actual breakfast.
10:20 PM Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Actually worked outside the home but not in the office this morning. Went to Dom’s Kitchen & Market, got a cortado, a couple donuts, and sat down and did some work using my iPad Pro. Pretty productive, didn’t have any meetings because it was an internally quiet focus morning. Surprised at the amount of people plugged in, like they’ll be there for a while, or were even there for a while. If I did that more often, I’d eat so much pastries. But definitely nice. Forgot my Airpods Pro so had the ambient sound of the coffee shop. Really might have to do this more often. I’ll have to try Bombastic Cafe to see how it fits. Jackson had a late game today, cooler for me, more so than I expected. Ended up losing 1-3, but found out the opponent was undefeated this season. One more practice and 2 more games and Jackson’s season is done. Oh, and school’s out.
8:35 PM Thursday, June 8, 2023
Lucy’s got a triathlon this weekend in Grand Rapids, so I had to teach Tracy how to put the bikes on/off the car bike rack. Also ended up ordering the Yakima Top Tube adapter so their bikes will fit better on the rack. Also did a quick tune-up on Lucy’s bike. Thought I screwed up her shifters, but managed to get it back to a better than before state. Was definitely worried there for a second. Had to pick up the swim kids from morning practice. They were awfully chipper for having a 2.5 practice that started at 7:05 on the first day of summer vacation.
9:25 PM Friday, June 9, 2023
Tracy and Lucy are over in Grand Rapids for Lucy’s triathlon, so just Jackson and me holding down the fort for the night. Had to go out this morning to REI to pick up the Yakima Top Tube adapters for their bikes. Worked so much better (handlebars not running into wheels and stuff). Drove Jackson to practice today (lazy and didn’t want to bike). Cooked spaghetti for his dinner, and did a walk down to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for dessert. Pretty relaxed Friday.
10:08 PM Saturday, June 10, 2023
Fairly lazy Saturday. Did got out and get Crisp and Tea Ninja. Lucy ended up finishing 1st in her age division (19 under Super Sprint) at the Grand Rapids Triathlon. She actually came in 2nd but winner was DQ’ed. Also she was first overall in the swim for all age/genders in that distance. So that’s pretty cool. Wonder if she’ll be moving up to the Sprint distance next year. Might need a better bike for that, or maybe just use Tracy’s. They didn’t make it back until 5:30, just before I took Jackson out for his second to last soccer game of the season. They ended up losing, but playing pretty well.
6:27 PM Sunday, June 11, 2023
Jackson’s Northwind 2013 Premier 3 2022-23 season is now over. Ended the season on another loss, 0-5, completing a streak of 4 losses to end the year. They definitely played better yesterday. Again only had 2 subs. Weather was cold and windy. Not fun to watch. Not like yesterday. Alex’s mom correctly remarked how much better they play on turf compared to grass. Makes sense since they only practice on turf. Also they wore white, which I still think looks wrong for them, but at least this year they wore them twice. Jackson got worse as a midfielder as the season went on, think he started playing less there and more defense, so that probably had something to do with it. Anyway, next year should be interesting, moving up to 9v9. Been having issues with my iPhone 13 mini for a while, so decided to go ahead and nuke and pave last night. Didn’t do a restore, and working through downloading and configuring only what I need.
10:03 PM Monday, June 12, 2023
Drove Lucy and Alex Spaulding to morning practice. Worked at the Dom’s Kitchen & Market on Wells St for a bit. Freezing, and much bigger than the one on Halsted. Felt more impersonal. I like the one up by us, even though it’s so much smaller. Anyway, picked up Alex Wang and Lucy early to get back in time for Ten Pound Cake summer camp. They made triple chocolate muffins. Also, I think we know 10 out of the 24 possible campers. So that feels pretty cool. Then a relatively full house, with Alex, Emmy and Lucy and then Jackson, Finn came over for a bit. Then Jackson went out with Eli, met up with Jackson G while Lucy went to evening practice. Crazy summer days. Tracy’s taking the plunge and upgrading her iPhone. We haven’t been synced on upgrades for a while. I’ll probably upgrade myself after the iPhone 15 Pro comes out this fall. Going back to the Pro series. The mini feels nice, but just doesn’t perform as nice. Also getting my Aeron chair back from Tracy. Feels pretty nice.
5:40 PM Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Probably not going to get myself on any sort of regular schedule, for exercise anyway, until summer is over. Probably have a couple weeks here and there where I can try, but then it’ll get broken up by something. I guess I hsould just start grabbing time when I can. Only had to pick up Lucy and Alex from morning swim session, and then was pretty much home all day. Went out to drop Jackson off at the Grady’s, and did a quick Jewel run, and got back in time for the bread pudding in the oven. Started watching The Magicians. I think I watched Season 1 a long ago (just checked Trakt and it was 7 years ago). But only made it through 1 season. Kind of makes me want to read the books again? Also want to read Percy Jackson & The Olympians again, since Jackson just finished The Lightning Thief in school, but he doesn’t want to read the rest of them. So I might instead.
9:22 PM Wednesday, June 14, 2023
Managed to get out for a ruck today. Walked down to Wrightwood and back on Greenview. Felt good and weather was pretty nice. Kind of had to do some exercise since I ate too much otherwise. Another breakfast sandwich, some donuts, then after some buttered noodles and chicken and mushrooms. So yeah, ate too much and just did an hour of exercise. Have to get out and do more. But still completely off kilter in terms of scheduling. Work is a little struggling because of it.
10:40 PM Thursday, June 15, 2023
I’m really enjoying The Magicians as a TV Series. While I kinda wish they did a more faithful adaptation of the first book, I’m ok with how it’s turning out. Curious to see where they go from here, as I just started season 2. Feels like it’s going to take me a while to get through the next 4 seasons. But we’ll see. Finally tried a sushi burrito from Tai Chi Bubble Tea. It was quite good. Just kind of a big enclosed maki, but very tasty. Gotta find a place that makes them around here, so Jackson can try it.
10:05 PM Saturday, June 17, 2023
Dropped Lucy off at Alex’s since Junci is taking them to swimming camp in Appleton tomorrow. And they’ll be gone until Thursday. So only a one child family until then. And Jackson was pretty much out all day today with Finn, so quiet in the house. I lounged about in bed until noon, watched The Magicians, slept, on and off. Quite nice, since I didn’t go to bed until 4 last night. Trying to work my way through the leftovers in the fridge. We’re actually down to 1 of those plastic pint containers, so that’s how many leftovers we have in the fridge. And a lot of desserts to go through.
11:59 PM Saturday, June 17, 2023
Tracy got her deep purple iPhone 14 Pro today. Transferred all her stuff over, seems to be working pretty well. Very heavy compared to her old 11 Pro and my 13 mini. Had the Thorngrens over, got Smoque BBQ for dinner. Was going to get Smoke Daddy, but they were not accepting delivery or pick up orders through Door Dash, and tried calling but think they were too busy post Cubs game. I did sneak in another ruck today.
9:06 PM Sunday, June 18, 2023
Built LEGO Galaxy Explorer 10497 while watching multiple episodes of The Magicians. Realized later that I should have just been watching The Lego Movie instead, but oh well. Got Burger King for lunch and Papa John’s for dinner. Wanted to get Slurpees but the machines at the local 7-Eleven were busted. Not a bad Sunday.
9:45 PM Monday, June 19, 2023
Jackson’s first day at FC Barcelona camp went well. He’s on the same team with Hudson and Serafina, so that’s good. They get lots of water breaks. So that’s good. Just not looking forward to the hour drive each way tomorrow. Hopefully it’ll all be worth it and they’ll learn all sorts of good stuff. Ended up at Gina’s house tonight, since that’s where the kids ended up. She set out an impromptu cheese board, I brought over some Tip Top Cocktails. So a pretty nice Monday overall. I should have done more work, but it was a day off, so that’s better than nothing. And of course watched a couple episodes of The Magicians.
9:32 PM Tuesday, June 20, 2023
My turn to drive out to Schaumburg. After dropping them off I went to Woodfield Mall. And Stayed there for 5 hours. I got Starbucks for breakfast (surprised they were open at 8:20am), got a seat, did some work until 11 or so. Got up, did a loop checking out what was new. Of course I stopped in the LEGO Store, fairly large section of LEGO ICONS and Creator (AFOL, i.e. Adult Friend of LEGO) sets, which were all really expensive. And huge. The new Ninjago City Gardens looks amazing. Wandered into Apple Woodfield, and ended up getting a Starlight Solo Band (my current charcoal one has a small tear in it, and I figured I should get a replacement sooner rather than later. Surprised at all the stores that were open. Not as bad as I expected. And I think a large number of stores that were Japanese ish? I think they had kanji after the titles. I then got a Cinnabon, because I can’t remember the last time I got one, and then headed to the food court (which I discovered on my walkabout) for another hour or so of work. Headed back and watched a little of their scrimmages (a little surprised I was able to find them). Traffic wasn’t overly bad both ways. Almost made it all the way home before they asked for Wendy’s. Went to the one by Lane Tech, and then I suggested bowling at Waveland Bowl, since it was right there, and we had time to kill before they each had to go home. Turns out they only lasted for 2 1/2 games each. Then back home to our place, when Eli and Finn showed up for a quick Nerf battle. After they went home, the 3 Barca teammates went to Blaine to play some more soccer. To be 9 and have boundless energy.
9:39 PM Wednesday, June 21, 2023
Felt like a recovery day, didn’t think yesterday was that stressful, but I guess a day at the mall took a lot out of me. Got another one tomorrow. Did get a chance to exercise today, did a core workout. Moved back upstairs to the guest room, just feels better than doing it in the basement. It is, however, much hotter up there. Also a pretty hard workout, but I don’t know if it’s more that I haven’t done it regularly for weeks or a legitimately hard one. My Auntie Agnes is in town briefly, so got to see her for a little, when I got my parents car again for the drive tomorrow. Good to see her again. Had to do a little tech support to get her on wifi at my parents condo.
10:14 PM Thursday, June 22, 2023
Spent another day at Woodfield Mall. I like going out there. I don’t like the drive, but I like going to the mall. After my morning work session I did the exercise walk thing (50 min/1.77 miles) around the mall. I felt old. Would have been funny if I rucked it instead. Another Starbucks breakfast, and no full size pretzel dog at Auntie Anne’s, so I settled for a cup of the mini pretzel dogs. They had frozen lemonade, but just went with a regular. Didn’t get anything else today. Brought the Fujifilm X-E4 and took some pics of the kids at soccer camp. Wonder if they came out ok. Traffic was worse today coming back in compared to Tuesday. We also went all the way in to Fullerton because Tracy had the great idea for them to go swimming after camp. Worked out well, they ate some food, played in the game room, played in the pool, played on the playground, had a water fight, went back in the pool, ate again, then the moms showed up, and ordered some drinks. Pretty good day. And got some work done too, so it wasn’t a complete loss.
4:42 PM Friday, June 23, 2023
Almost last day of getting up super early. Last day for Jackson, but I’m getting up to bring my mom and Auntie Agnes to the airport tomorrow morning, so one more day for me. Just worked from home. Basement office is not nearly as cool as I thought it would be. At my desk it’s 77° We do keep the house at 78° though, but I just figured it would be cooler down here. Went out to run some errands; Target for body wash and ended up getting the new Zuru X-Shot Skins Pro Series Longshot Blaster, the North Buena Deli and Wine Shop and picked up the last bottle of Redwood Empire Bottled-in-Bond Grizzly Beast Straight Bourbon Whiskey on the shelf, and then Curious Creatures for some mealworms. Still sore from the core workout on Wednesday. Hopefully will settle in to a routine in the next couple of weeks.
11:04 PM Saturday, June 24, 2023
Went and saw Colin Jost at the Chicago Theater organized by the Hein’s with the Johnson’s and the O’Tooles. Dinner at Atwood, which was good. Ended up taking the Brown Line home.
9:02 PM Sunday, June 25, 2023
Biked down to Verzany Patisserie with Tracy for brunch. Got a pretty good chicken salad on a croissant, rhubarb danish, and a cortado. It was hot out. Then a couple hours later had to bike over and pick Jackson up from my parents condo. Except it was the Pride Parade. I though there were pedestrian crossings at some major streets, but didn’t look like there was anywhere I could at Grace or Addison. So I ended up biking all the way to Wilson to cut over to inner Lake Shore Drive down to my parents condo. Then back up, this time to Lawrence, and over to Clark to get home. Then I biked Jackson again down to the gym for some pool time with Hudson, before biking home so he could pack up and then I biked him over to Hudson’s for a sleepover. Then I biked back, and plopped myself on the couch for a few episodes of The Magicians, a pint of gelato, and an Old Fashioned.
10:43 PM Monday, June 26, 2023
Still not on one. Dropped Lucy off at lifeguard camp (didn’t go to swim practice today, either morning or evening). She did come in 2nd in the Beach Flag competition, which is pretty cool. She is going to morning practice tomorrow, and lifeguard camp. Wait and see if she wants to go to evening practice too, but I’m guessing not. Maybe try and ease into a full day of exercise? Almost like she’s working out for a movie role or something. Finally picked up a bottle of Eagle Rare. Just gave in and got it. Still working through the extra Irish whiskeys from the St. Patrick’s Day tasting. Always fun discovering an existing process that changes a new process I had been working on at work. That itself was a discovery of a new process that went in without me knowing that affected stuff I worked on. Trying out a starlight solo loop as a watch band. My black solo loop has a nick in it, so figured I’d replace it earlier than later. Also finally cashed some MetLife dental insurance checks. So annoying.
9:45 PM Tuesday, June 27, 2023
Yeah, not going to get on any sort of schedule for the summer. Drove Lucy down to practice this morning. Got some work done. Did an Apple Fitness+ core workout and actually did my Gravity Push-Up Workout. Before I knew it I had to go pick Lucy up from Lifeguard camp, and then there was a chance she might go to evening practice, but opted not too. Hudson had been over, and Dave came over and they ended up staying for dinner, and then Kelley showed up as well, but she had things to do. I also had to make pancakes and bacon for Lucy and Alex between morning swim and Lifeguard camp tomorrow. I did manage to find some time to make the banana ice cream. Again, still not exactly what Jackson’s looking for, but it was pretty good. Made Pisco Sours for happy hour, and then Ocean Waters for dinner (quite refreshing). So yeah, don’t think this is a normal Tuesday for summer. Also the Canadian Wildfire smoke and haze is crazy. The campfire smell all day so weird.
9:29 PM Wednesday, June 28, 2023
So I think I remember having to do something for 3 weeks to get into a routine. I’ve now done a core and push-up workout 2 days in a row. So now I only have to do it 19 more days to get into a routine. Disappointed with the pancakes I made for the girls this morning. They were really dry. Definitely needed the butter syrup. At least I used up the rest of the Bisquick. Made the pancakes and bacon on the griddle. Never making bacon on the griddle again though, as the grease trap doesn’t actually trap all the grease (there’s space for grease to get by it). This was Lucy’s first full day of all 3 athletic sessions, morning and evening swim and lifeguard camp. It’s impressive. I don’t know how she’s doing the outdoor lifeguard camp with the low air quality. No asthma for her either. But I took a walk from Latin to Vanille Patisserie, and my throat feels all scratchy, like I’ve been smoking.
6:58 PM Thursday, June 29, 2023
I’ve got like 3 hours left in the day, but I don’t think I’m going to get my workouts in. Instead, I’m in a Dunkin wasting time before picking up chicken wings and boba from Tsaocaa for dinner and then driving back to Latin to pick up Lucy and Alex Spaulding. By the way, traffic in Chicago is a mess, at least here on the near north side, with LSD closures. Like crazy stupid busy. Like 40 min to get to Latin from home today? That’s like 2x the normal. Anyway, not looking forward to the drive home. Stayed up way too late last night, probably because of the nitro cold brew I had while waiting to pick up Lucy yesterday. So what am I doing today? Another cup of coffee. Just not learning.
10:21 PM Friday, June 30, 2023
I did get my workouts in, granted at like 5:45pm. The whole driving Lucy to/from practices and lifeguard camp is a bunch of time out of the day. Trying to squeeze in additional exercies (boudlering or bike ride or rucking) just seems out of the question for the summer. Been making quesadillas for Jackson’s lunch lately, trying to make sure we get rid of the flour tortillas. Made a BBQ pork one today which was pretty good. Tried making a pizza type one, that didn’t work at all. Got Coalfire for dinner and matched it with Aperol Spritzes and Limoncello Spritz. Family movie night: Nimona, which was pretty good. Tracy was confused at me getting out movie candy and popcorn for it.
7:29 AM Sunday, July 2, 2023
Disney have a party, didn’t go out, wasn’t swamped with work. I even went to bed early. Just no excuse for missing a post yesterday. Not even going to predate this one to make it seem like I made it in time. It’s a full 7 hours late. Fairly late Saturday of a four day weekend. I did manage to do my workouts. Had make your own Spam sushi for dinner, and Tracy made a spicy scallop for her and Lucy. I watched more of Tha Magicians. No actually work on anything though.
10:50 PM Sunday, July 2, 2023
Made waffles for breakfast. Made The Chewy after lunch. Actually did/doing some work. Surprised at how not cool the basement is, compared to the rest of the house. Surprising. Always figured the cool air would work its way down, or being 3/4 underground. Probably should spend some time tomorrow cleaning up my little office space. And spend some time cleaning up my kitchen desk area. Basically need to clean up all my little places around the house. Family played Acron tonight. Been a while for that. And now on Sunday night it’s nice to think that the weekend is only half over.
9:08 PM Monday, July 3, 2023
Finished up The Magicians (tv show). I felt like it was a pretty good adaptation. Maybe because it’s been a while since I’ve read the trilogy, so i only have a vague recollection, but I thought it did a pretty good job. Pretty happy that I watched it. Next up in my book series adaptation is Shadowhunters. Not sure this is going to be as good. Lucy did go to lifeguard camp today, so dropping her off actually got me out of the house. Also went to Mariano’s for some grocery shopping. But otherwise, on the couch all day. Although I did get up enough to do my workouts. So that’s good.
9:51 PM Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Got McDonald’s for lunch today, just trying to be as American as possible. However, finally got all the fixings I needed to make Pimm’s Cups, so was drinking those instead of beer. Not sure what a 4th of July American cocktail would be. Tracy made steak and grilled veggies for dinner. Went to Jewel twice today. Finally folded and put away my laundry that’s been sitting on the floor in the bedroom for a while. And still slowly working my way through Shadowhunters
8:43 PM Wednesday, July 5, 2023
Ok, I’m calling it, the winner in the Twitter replacement is Threads. It’s got the brands, it’s got the masses. It’s going to replace the bird site. I wonder how long it’ll be before you start seeing Threads handles instead of Twitter handles on web pages and, the sign that it’s a true replacement, on TV ads. Although I don’t remember the last time I saw a TV ad. So I wonder what the handle will be on Super Bowl ads for next year. Anyway, I’ll keep chugging along with my single user Mastodon server/account, and hope it doesn’t end up like App.net, which I don’t think it will. Hoping it remains early stage Twitter, before it hit the masses. So that Threads is for everyone, and everyone else’s Mastodon keeps for the techies. Other than that, trying to stay on routine with core and push-up workouts. Not sure when I’ll be able to get out for anything beyond my body weight workouts.
11:13 PM Thursday, July 6, 2023
Finished setting up old iPhones as PoGo machines. Removed all extraneous stuff, have a nice simple home page, added folder of guides to grunts and leaders. So, just have to start going again. After dropping off Lucy and Alex Spaulding at evening practice, I took Clark home and dropped by Binny’s to pick up some Tequila since we’re out. Managed to get my hands on a bottle of Henry McKenna Single Barrel, which was unexpected, but hard to pass up, especially at MSRP. That’s the nice thing of shopping at Binny’s, retail vs secondary pricing.
8:34 PM Friday, July 7, 2023
I guess today was a cheat day. Ate a Chicken Pesto crepe from The Crepe Shop. Had Noodles & Company pad thai with shrimp for dinner. And salmon over romaine with cucumber for lunch. 3 square meals. Made myself a frozen Planter’s Punch via Educated Barfly, who taught me to use xanthan gum in frozen drinks, which is pretty amazing. Also, don’t use a metal straw when drinking frozen drinks.
11:51 PM Saturday, July 8, 2023
Finally cut out some of the drywall to confirm the leak issue in the guest bedroom. Just took a reciprocating saw to it and cut enough out to check. Tracy’s not gonna let me get on the roof to try and install a vent cap, so gotta try and find a roofer that will do it. Might be a little hard to explain. Anyway, looks like there’s 2 up there that might need caps or hoods. Besides that trying to put up Nanoleaf Canvas as work lighting above my basement desk. Hopefully it’s bright enough. I’m hoping it will be. Otherwise, maybe I’ll let. the one of the kids have it? Biked up and got Poke Burrito with Jackson for dinner. Thought they had an eat in area, but I guess they’re strictly carryout. Weird. Also got some bubble tea at T Square Cafe since we had time to kill before the burritos were ready. Not bad, but I just like the (I’m guessing Americanized) slushie type drinks. The burritos had way too much rice, but otherwise pretty good. Also finally solved the Rubik’s Cube for the first time in my life by following instructions from the internet. Just have to start memorizing the algorithms so I can do it without having the instructions (https://ruwix.com/the-rubiks-cube/how-to-solve-the-rubiks-cube-beginners-method/) up.
9:14 PM Sunday, July 9, 2023
Think I’ve got better lighting for my basement desk/office. Hung up the Nanoleaf Canvas, and seems to work pretty well. I think it’s bright enough. I am a little curious what the eventual Nanoleaf Skylight will be like, but who knows when that’s coming out. Had a water battle with Jackson in the backyard. Wasn’t even that hot out, and the water guns were awful, and the water balloons were just ok. Looking forward to Tuesday when the Amazon order of the X-Shot Fast Fill guns show up. Watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. Not bad. Getting better at the beginner’s solution of Rubik’s Cube. Just need to memorize the algorithms.
9:27 PM Monday, July 10, 2023
Lighting feels better at my basement desk/office. And more open since I removed a spare cabinet forming a pseudo half wall. Still got some cleanup to do, and run some extension cords, but feeling pretty good about it. However, couldn’t really get into a groove at work, with the kids interrupting me, needing to be fed and stuff. Will be nice when they have camps again, and especially when they start school again. Still got in my exercise, although I did it in the basement since I haven’t cleaned up the guest room from drywall and stuff on my mat. Tomorrow I guess. Definitely gotten used to using the exercise mat though, the basement carpet isn’t nearly as nice. I did get out for a change and do some work at a Starbucks, while Lucy was at evening swim practice. Actually was able to get some stuff done. Wondering how long my work laptop would last if I took it to a coffee shop.
9:47 PM Tuesday, July 11, 2023
Ran out of space on abando.social (https://abando.social) again. Guess my free disk usage script wasn’t working. Still got to figure that out. Might have to make a reminder to do it manually until I get it figured out. Trying to ge the algorithms memorized for solving a Rubik’s Cube. Might be getting better/faster at it. Currently have the 2nd level algo about 50% memorized? Did some work at a coffee shop (Coffee Joint, which I’ve always wanted to try). Got a couple things done there. I also cleaned up my lighting wiring at my desk, so that’s a little more organized. Still gotta put away all the empty boxes and stuff I took out of my space. Took the kids out to 7-Eleven for free small Slurpees. Went to the one on Montrose, and they had 5/6 flavors up and running. Didn’t get a chance to exercise today, but I did do some biking, so I wasn’t sitting all day.
9:53 PM Thursday, July 13, 2023
I am more productive and focused when I get out of the house to work. Today I brought Lucy and Alex to evening practice and went down and worked out of Dom’s Kitchen & Market (because no parking by Latin). Bad thing is that I always get a coffee and some sort of pastry or donut. So not entirely healthy. But I was able to figure out an issue that was discovered in an export at work. So that’s good. Planning on driving them in the morning as well, and then finding another coffee shop to work at. I’m supposed to be on vacation next week, but I’ll only probably take a couple days off instead of the full week. I’m even planning on going in to the office on Wednesday (since it’s a SuperCharge week, and my manager’s coming in to town).
11:34 PM Thursday, July 13, 2023
Almost have 2nd level algo memorized for Rubik’s Cube solving. Just keep doing it over and over. Like a much bigger fidget spinner. Decided to start exercising earlier in the morning, almost before work starts. Been getting up that early anyway. Roof deck camera was offline because the GCFI outdoor outlet had been tripped. Will have to remember that trick. Had a tornado watch, actually multiple ones, this evening. Even heard the sirens go off multiple times.
10:09 PM Friday, July 14, 2023
Finally realized why I feel better or more productive when I go to a coffee shop to work, instead of using my basement office. Because coffee shops have windows, and it’s daytime, and there’s sunlight, as opposed to the basement corner not near any windows, and the ones that are have the shades down for privacy. I’ll have to put the shades up the next time I’m working to see if that helps. Maybe I should have tried getting a super cheap TV during Amazon Prime Days and tried the fake window trick. Maybe next year? Or maybe even Black Friday? Working from a coffee shop is nice, but then I’m drinking coffee and having a pastry every day. Not great for the diet. Got Pasta Al Gusto for dinner tonight. I keep forgetting how good that place is.
8:56 PM Saturday, July 15, 2023
Was using the MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2020) a lot today. It's pretty cool. Installed and used mutt on the host for abando.social (https://abando.social). Think I've got the free disk usage commands working in cron. Ended up getting a bunch of treats after dropping Lucy off at Alex's for the ride to Regionals in Riverside. Lucy dropped time in her 400 IM, but got disqualified for turning over too much in her back to breast open turn, but then she got qualified, and moved up a place to 7th after being seeded 8th (out of 8). Had another water gun battle with Jackson in the backyard. Watched a lot of Shadowhunters. You know, fairly normal Saturday.
8:43 PM Sunday, July 16, 2023
Got a couple long overdue tasks finally completed today. Well, sort of. The side of the house security light has been on day and night, so I finally took off the light sensor that wasn’t working, and just kept it off. Gotta decide next steps, but I think at least a Shelly relay to be able to control it from HomeKit since it doesn’t have a switch anywhere that I know of. Also finally think I focused the alley security camera. Not going camping this week, since Lucy has a lifeguard competition on Wednesday, and she had Regionals today, so we would have only gone for Monday and back on Tuesday. Not really worth it. Guess we aren’t going camping this year. Also I took the week off work, but I’ll probably end up working anyway. I’m actually planning on going in to the office on Wednesday, since it’s a SuperCharge week. But it’s also HackDays, but I figure I should show my face. Also means I’ll get some Krispy Kreme and probably some Magnolia Bakery goodies. So that’s something to look forward to this weekend.
11:12 PM Monday, July 17, 2023
So without camping, we had a Solo Stove campfire and s’mores (at least for Jackson). Probably try and keep up the campfires for the next couple of days maybe? To try and mimic camping. Got a couple more electric water guns. The glock looking ones are probably the most fun, but least responsible looking ones. I got a 2-pack, and one of them didn’t work, so doing a return. Hopefully both in the next set work. But now shouldn’t have to get any more, although the Spyra does look tempting, however expensive it is. Did some work today, had to fix an issue I introduced while fixing a different issue. Also took up the shades in the basement, so it’s marginally better working down there. Might be tempted to get some Lutron shades installed so it can be actually useful. I think I am going to have to look into that Ikea LED Panel fake window thing that I saw online somewhere.
10:15 PM Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Had another Solo Stove campfire, and more s’mores for Jackson, and we had Hudson over as well as his parents. Pretty good Tuesday. Headed into the office tomorrow for the first time since September 19 last year. Crazy it’s been that long. Did a ruck this morning after dropping Lucy off at practice. Pretty rough, since it’s been a while, and my hands swelled, maybe because the rucksack was too tight? Anyway, felt good although the balls of my feet feel like they got blisters. Getting a pair of Goruck Ballistic Trainers which should be much better for rucking going forward. Watched The Flash, which was OK. Felt like there were some inside jokes with lines in the movie being about the actor. Self referential. Finished season 2 of Shadowhunters, and then realized that Season 3 is a full 22 episodes.
10:48 PM Wednesday, July 19, 2023
You know what’s nice about the office? All those windows and all that light. Really pretty nice. Odd to have the desk that I do have, smack dab in the middle of engineering. Good to see Jay and Dave though. Funny to see Sonya on the Brown Line on the way in to the office. Disappointed that the Krispy Kreme at Block 37 is closed, and the selection at Magnolia Bakery wasn’t all that good after work today. So less of an incentive to go into the office, but it’s still a pretty nice office. Maybe once the kids start school again I’ll start going in more often. Pokemon GO was pretty productive though, a near constant GPS drift hatched a couple eggs, and there’s so many stops. I was able to complete the 15 research task research task today, pretty much on my way home. Got a little walking treadmill for my standing desk at home, so hopefully that will help. Certainly can’t hurt. Tried a couple frozen versions of cocktails using sugared alcohol, and don’t think I’m a fan.
11:29 PM Thursday, July 20, 2023
Just realized we had a staycation this week. Except for Lucy, who still had lifeguard camp and swim practice. ANd except for when I went in to the office on Wednesday. Jackson and I went out for breakfast, walked around as we waited to pick up Lucy from morning practice. Later we went to the beach together, well, again, except for Lucy who was at lifeguard camp. Had lunch at the Dock. Super windy at the beach though, had to really stretch out the sun shade and keep it closer to the ground. Hoping it’s not super stretched out after today. But yeah, pretty relaxing week, staying home on vacation.
10:33 PM Friday, July 21, 2023
Got a pair of {GORUCK Ballistic Trainers]] yesterday, and took them out for a spin this morning after dropping Lucy off at practice and before picking her up. Amazing what a proper pair of footwear does for exercising. Also, I think I got better at rucksack fit, as my hands didn’t swell up this time. They’re a very light grey, so had to order some more Darn Tough white socks so I don’t look as old as I feel. Tempted to get a water weight bag so I can ruck on vacation. For a relatively simple exercise, it feels good. Got some work done, even though I’m still officially on vacation. Got some treats from La Fournette. Not bad, and I think they provide some pastries to Dom’s Kitchen & Market. Next to try is Cocoa & Co.. Probably next week.
9:46 PM Saturday, July 22, 2023
Went rucking again today. That’s 2 days in a row. Feeling it. But feels good. Shoes definitely making a big difference. Still working on getting the Bullet Ruck 10L to fit right. More driving today though, dropping and picking up Lucy from Alex’s. Ended up getting dinner at Kubo Chicago, a Filipino place. Last time we went was back in Oct 2017 for dessert. This time we went with Hudson, Dave, and Kelley, and went for actual dinner. Food was pretty good, and Dave and Kelley actually liked the halo-halo. First time for everything.
9:10 PM Sunday, July 23, 2023
First time on the 606 today, out with Dave and Kelley and Hudson and Serafina. Took Jackson, had to put the bike rack on the car, but pretty easy. Also, why don’t they make cars with built in bike racks? Or at least an an option? Anyway, pretty cool, even though I’m sore from rucking. In-Laws came over, while Jackson and I were out, but came back in time for dinner. Had a pretty good night’s sleep, and will try and get a little bit on schedule. Will be nice this week with Jackson going to Blaine summer camp.
10:14 PM Monday, July 24, 2023
At least I didn’t have to drive Lucy to morning practice, but did drive her to Lifeguard Camp, then an early pick up because she had an Ortho-K follow up that I drove her to. Did get some Mario’s Italian Lemonade out of the deal, which was fabulous. Then she had an Orthodontist followup before I had to drive her and Spalding to evening practice. So yeah, lots of time in the car today. Also picked up some potting mix for Tracy, some Crumbl Cookies for Lucy, and dropped Jackson off at Blaine camp in the morning. Busy busy busy.
9:06 PM Tuesday, July 25, 2023
Only had to drive Jackson to the pool after camp for some swimming with Hudson and Serafina. That was nice. Worked by the pool for a couple hours. Finally got my Shelly order, and put a dimmer switch on the vent fan in the basement. Works, but when I first tried using the Shelly plugin in Homebridge, homebridge wouldn’t start, or crashed immediately upon startup. So I need to figure that out. Will try and install the relay on the side house security light. I also put a spare WeMo Plug on Lucy’s desk lamp, since she leaves it on. I just have to remember to turn it back on after I turn if off. Too bad HomeKit can’t officially run Shortcuts, or I could have it automatically turn back on after I turn it off. Updated Apple OSes on the remaining Apple devices in the house, except for Tracy’s and Lucy’s phones, since I don’t have all the time access to those.
10:04 PM Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Got a DIRIGERA hub to control my 1 FLOALT light I’m using as a fake window. Pretty nice, although I didn’t realize it only gets to 4000K color temperature. Wanted it cooler for more business/office like environment. But it’ll work for now I think. Only had to drive early in the morning on drop off Lucy so she could go to her lifeguard competition. Weather felt hot and sticky for 7am. By the time I walked Jackson to camp at 8:15 it was much cooler and much more comfortable. I guess that’s because the storm was rolling in. Ended up picking up 3 other kids from camp (Serafina, Hudson and James). Not like camp isn’t enough, but they want to spend even more time together. Intro’d them to Acron, which was pretty fun. Getting annoyed at our home Wi-Fi. It’s been acting up lately, especially with my iPhone 13 mini. Pretty annoying. And this is already with multiple restarts of the access points. Got Indian food delivered, since that’s what Lucy wanted for dinner.
11:01 PM Thursday, July 27, 2023
Not doing well on getting to bed at a decent hour, shifting work to later in the evening. Not good, but figure I can sleep more on vacation. Did the early morning drop off for Lucy and Alex Spalding for practice. Had to take Jackson since Tracy had tennis this morning. Did a Jewel run as well to get stuff for Jackson’s lunch. Also got some Starbucks for breakfast. Getting the basement office dialed in even more. Brightened everything up, and matched color temps as best I can. Still thinking I’ll get the Nanoleaf Skylight when they get released. Loving the Adventure Week in Pokemon GO. Actually finding Archens and Tirtougas in the wild. Also did drop off for evening practice as well, but this time I also picked up Alex Wang. And ended up taking Clark both down and back up for a change. No Cubs or concert traffic meant it wasn’t that bad.
8:48 PM Friday, July 28, 2023
Was Lucy’s chauffeur again today. Drove her to swim practice. Picked her up and brought her home. Drove her to lifeguard camp. Picked her up from lifeguard camp. Drove her and Jackson to get Cold Stone Creamery, and then got some Mochinut since we were in the neighborhood. And then drove home. So a surprising amount of driving. Also did some walking for Pokemon GO stuff. Completed a bunch of Collection Challenges across the family accounts. Stopped by Whole Foods and picked up some maki for me and the kids. Stayed up way too late last night trying to do some work, so was a little off trying to do some work today, but then it’s last day before vacation, so didn’t want to implement anything and then leave. Started organizing camera and charging stuff for the trip. Just got a GoPro HERO10 Black. Needed a new waterproof camera, so figured why not try an action cam. Excited to try it out.
11:44 PM Saturday, July 29, 2023
All set for vacation. Think I’m switching to a Peak Design Field Bag as a purse. Not sure if I’m just carrying too much stuff, but the Peak Design Everyday Backpack 20 is too small. But I hope we’ve got everything. Dropped off Banana for boarding at Curious Creatures. Hopefully he’ll fatten up on crickets while he’s there. Got Small Cheval for dinner. Really easy to order pickup and bike over and get it. Been watching Shadowhunters while prepping and packing. Only got a couple episodes left, which is annoying because I’m having to choose between sleeping and finishing. Guess I’m choosing finishing.
9:01 PM Sunday, July 30, 2023
Of course procrastinated last night, finished Shadowhunters, didn’t get to bed until 2:30, at which point I figured it was a good time to install Flighty and check flight info, at which point I found out our flight from ORD-DEN was delayed, and we’d most likely miss our connecting flight from DEN-LIH. So I tried looking for alternatives, tried getting in touch with United support online, but no luck, then tried calling in and there was a 2 hour queue, so I figured we’d just find out at the airport. So when we got there eventually they said to try making it, because at that time there was a 15 min layover, instead of the 1.5 hour. So we check bags, go through security, get some breakfast, wait at the gate, and it gets delayed again and now like a -22 min layover. So I eventually get in line and managed to be the last person to get rebooked (went with a whole new set of flights for tomorrow, ORD-LAX-HNL-LIH) instead of just going to DEN and then trying to get something the next day, like DEN-LAX-HNL-LIH. We also get hotel rooms and food vouchers, end up keeping our bags and hopefully checked in for us in the morning, and head over to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare for the night on the shuttle bus. This was like 11:30am. Got some lunch for the food place in the hotel, took a nap, walked over to the Fashion Outlet mall and got some Tea Ninja. rearranged our reservations, at which point I realized our connecting flight in DEN was also delayed, and we probably would have made that connection. Instead, I get a Cinnabon. Dinner at the hotel bar/restaurant and try and update all the things. Fingers crossed I’m writing this tomorrow from Kaua’i.
12:00 PM Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Finally sitting on the balcony in Kaua’i. Only took us 2 days to get here. Was a 20 hour door to door travel day yesterday. All 3 of the flights were delayed, but our connecting flight from LAX - HNL used the same plane as the ORD - LAX, so we weren’t going to miss the connection. We did miss our HNL - LIH connection, but United helpfully rebooked us to the 5:30, except the original 4pm was delayed enough that we could have caught it. Either way, I’m currently typing this out on the balcony overlooking the pool and ocean. Already missed a daily update, so not sure if I’ll keep up the dailies, but I’ll try.
1:18 AM Wednesday, August 2, 2023
Breakfast brunch, pool walkaround, pool time, lunch by the pool, more pool time, dinner at Eating House 1849. Tired and full.
4:05 AM Thursday, August 3, 2023
Went to Little Fish Cafe for breakfast. Long line, moved quick and açai bowls were good. Stayed for about 2 hours there. Headed to Spouting Horn Park to see spouting horn. Then headed over to Hilo Hattie, ended up buying a bunch of stuff for Lucy, and Tracy and I got a matching Hawaiian shirt and dress, along with a matching shirt/ dress so the kids would match each other. Stopped by TJ Variety for bubble tea and halo-halo. Stopped by Walmart too, the kids got Spam singles. Went to the pool for 1.5 hours before heading to the Luau. Tracy and I got drinks after at Stevenson Library. Tomorrow will most likely be a pool day for the kids.
2:39 AM Friday, August 4, 2023
Back to the pool for most of today. Breakfast buffet, food at the pool, but dinner at Mama Lucy’s, recommendation from all the filipino staff we’ve talked to at the Grand Hyatt. Valid recs, food was good. Went over to Duke’s for some Hulu Pie for dessert. Wait longer and don’t have to deal with traffic coming back from Lihue. Saw the hotel’s hydroponics garden. Tracy’s got ideas. Funny they took up 2 tennis courts with horticulture though. Did eat or drink too much today. Didn’t spend too much time in the water. Kids got much darker today though, possibly even sunburnt, especially around the eyes. Going to blame the goggle wearing, specifically the taking on and taking off with rubbing off the sunblock.
3:50 AM Saturday, August 5, 2023
Went on a Na Pali coast boat tour today. Really cool. Got to go into a couple sea caves. Saw some dolphins, including some bottlenosed (not a common occurrence). Snorkling was good, turn’s out Jackson like’s it. 40 minute drive out there and back though.
4:29 AM Sunday, August 6, 2023
Lucy and Tracy took surf lessons this morning. I took pictures and videos. And they managed to get up on their first tries, and did pretty well overall. I took over 2K images/movies and about 50% came out (in focus) and maybe 10% were good enough for Tracy. So probably par for the course. Went to Kickshaws for lunch, had some pretty good sandwiches. Finally got some shave ice at Uncle’s. Afternoon nap, and a quick swim before dinner at Duke’s finishing up with more Hula Pie. Then we went night swimming finally since the kids have been asking to go for a while.
3:50 AM Monday, August 7, 2023
Went as far as Wailua today, and tried out the Musabi Truck. Rice to meat ratio isn’t up to my preference. Made it over to Wailua Shave Ice which was pretty good, best one so far I think. Not too sweet. Then a much needed nap. Went to mass in the morning. Got more pool time in before and after getting Naruto Noodles for dinner. Not nearly as good as the Kickshaws from yesterday.
4:23 AM Tuesday, August 8, 2023
Went mountain tubing at Kauai Backcountry Adventures in the afternoon. Pretty cool. Fairly fast too. Surprisingly adventurous. Stopped by a 7-Eleven on the way there, got some Spam musabi. Pretty good, but still too much rice for our taste. Pretty relaxing morning, got to do some reading on the patio, which was pretty nice. Ended up getting pizza for dinner, only place to have seating for 9 last second.
12:00 AM Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Headed home. Flying east so going to lose some time. Red eye through Denver. So update on the other side.
8:56 PM Wednesday, August 9, 2023
Redeye’s annoying. I’m super tired. Hopefully will get to bed early and stay in bed for a while. Hopefully the jet lag won’t be too bad. Finished reading Ready Player One and started Ready Player Two again, and watched the movie this afternoon. Tracy’s started watching Florida Man, and it’s interesting.
10:01 PM Friday, August 11, 2023
Went out for beers with some dads last night, so missed updating. Darn it. Shucks. Started plowing through The Bear though when I got back, and today. It’s a pretty good show, and it does do a really good job showcasing Chicago. Thoroughly enjoying it. That and it’s like sitcom length. Took Lucy to Lane Tech for Quick Start makeup day. Started finding out about Jackson’s friends homerooms. He’s back with Jackson Grady this year, so that’s cool. No Hudson though, again. And actually sounds like Jonah won’t be in his homeroom this year, maybe for the first time at Blaine.
9:39 PM Saturday, August 12, 2023
Thought I was just going on a bike ride this morning with Jackson and his friends, but ended up at Shore Club for brunch which was amazing and definitely want to go back, and then a longer bike ride north to the Waveland softball fields for an Australian Rules Football tournament. I ended up getting a beer with Dave and Gina at Clock Tower Cafe, which was nice. Haven’t been back there in a long time. I did get a flat though, and I didn’t have a spare or all the tools to replace it on the Sprint, so I just walked home while Dave took the kids back to our place. Ended up ordering from Farm Bar for dinner. Good but heavy stuff. Lots of leftovers. Also made a frozen old fashioned, which came out pretty great, so that’ll go into rotation with the frozen negroni.
12:10 PM Monday, August 14, 2023
Missed another daily post. Went out to Retro on Roscoe last night, ended up at Piazza Bella Trattoria & Osteria with Dave and Kelley and Gina and Tracey and Ronan and Emersyn and Serafina and Hudson and Caleb and Bob. Good food, good times. Kids ending up doing a sleepover at Serafina’s, so ended up over there for a couple drinks to end the night. Did manage to get Jackson into Ten Pound Cake, although Gina and Kelley didn’t get Fina or Hudson in, even though we were all doing it on our phones outside the restaurant as the clock struck 8pm. Trying to get back a little on schedule, did some exercises this morning during a work break, might try and do some walk working later too.
10:53 PM Monday, August 14, 2023
Plowed through The Bear in 5 days. Really good. Like really really good. I think my favorite episode so far might be Forks. But I care. I want them to make it work. And it’s annoying that they can’t end on a high note. And I really hope the creators get to do the full run they want. I hope they get to complete their vision. It’s just so good.
9:22 PM Tuesday, August 15, 2023
Both Jackson and I had trouble sleeping last night. And Lucy’s also been having trouble getting to bed as well. Don’t think it’s jet lag. Tracy’s pretty much back on schedule and back to normal. Just everyone else is off. Last days of summer break winding down. Scrambling to find Labor Day plans. Beach afternoon on Friday. Again, last hurrah before school starts next week. I’m slowly working my way through Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Wondering if I’ll actually make it through all 5. Also realized I haven’t watched John Wick 4 yet, so maybe I should redo that series. Or maybe I should go back and just do some reading for entertainment again.
8:52 PM Wednesday, August 16, 2023
Feels like at least a Thursday. Anyway, took off work a little early and went and watched Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem with Hudson and Kelley and his Mimi and Jackson at the Alamo Drafthouse Wrigleyville. Pretty good movie. Really liked the music. I got mozzarella sticks. I guess I’m on a kick lately. Then went to Lucky Strike Social with the boys so they could get some arcade time in, since we were there and it was open. Also noticed the Kilwin’s closed there. Didn’t go anywhere for dinner though, just brought Hudson back to our place.
11:13 PM Thursday, August 17, 2023
No exercise today. Did vacation laundry, at least the first load of my stuff. Then I had to take Lucy and Alex to The Catcade which was pretty cool. Lots of kitten playtime, not so much a lot of cats sleeping, at least for us. Other guests got the sleeping cats and kittens. A few ventured into our laps for pets. Lucy got one purring. After that, made it home to meet Jackson for the Blaine Meet and Greet. Got to meet Ms. Evans. And Jackson got to run around with his friends. I ended up taking a nap when I got home before running out for Panda Express and Toons for dinner (kids and Tracy respectively). Then finished the night off with a couple episodes of The Summer I Turned Pretty. Well, not quite finished. I’m actually doing some work now.
10:24 PM Friday, August 18, 2023
Well, last beach day before school starts. And more like afternoon beach day. Made it out by 2pm or so. Heard/watched the Thunderbirds practice. Not that warm out. By the time I got in the water, it was freezing when I got out. So didn’t spend too much time in there. Did use the GoPro today though. Kids got their hands on it so there’s lots of videos with commentary. Should be interesting when I download it all. Maybe some of it is usable. I think I lost the beach equipment crown to the Johnson’s. Think they’re better prepared with more stuff. Didn’t bring enough clothes though, could have used a real sweatshirt, or even some pants. And forgot my lantern. Last weekend before school starts!
9:44 PM Saturday, August 19, 2023
Slept in, went to Verzenay Patisserie for breakfast, just Tracy and I, since both kids went to sleepovers last night. Picked up some food from my parents, then home. Well, I guess not completely lazy because I did some yard work. Cut the front yard with the trimmer. Been a while so it took multiple passes. Like 4. Jackson’s coming down with something. Hopefully just a summer cold. Walked over to CVS, then a later trip to Jewel. Felt like a Sunday, so kinda nice there’s another day to the weekend.
9:14 PM Sunday, August 20, 2023
Finally got around to last minute school shopping. Ended up at the Staples in Glenview, managed to get almost everything except a calculator coming on Tuesday (in purple) and pack of colored copy paper. Had lunch at Hackney’s on Lake, which wasn’t nearly as good as I remember the Hackney’s on Printer’s Row from way back when. Went to a Target on Dempster which was a tiny one like the one on Ashland, so after getting gas went to the one on Howard. Much bigger. Lucy got some clothes there. Then had to bring Lucy to Glazed Expressions for a last day of summer pottery session with Lucy and Isabelle. Then we went to Dick’s to check out cleats for Jackson, so I know of a brand/style that fits him, so when he out grows his current cleats, I can have it queued up. Did use the AYSO coupon on some shorts for Tracy and some Prime. After coming home, had to head back down to pick Lucy up and then got some Tea Ninja and checked out a cool Japanese coffee shop that just opened, Omi. Need to try it out one day. Maybe do some work there? Also picked up a smiley face cookie and a black and white cookie from The Bagel, but those weren’t that good, so now I might have to go on another quest to find some good ones. Tracy made bread salad for dinner, and kids are all packed for the first day tomorrow. Looking forward to it.
10:15 PM Monday, August 21, 2023
Pretty quiet for most of the day at home. Got some work done. Got some exercise in. I’m trying out BetterMe (the Instagram ads got me). So we’ll see how that goes. Wasn’t too hot today, which was nice. Forecast looks bad for Wednesday and Thursday. I guess the Northwinds preseason camp isn’t that exciting or useful, or maybe that was just the first day back. Wait for at least post 1st week before I start asking questions about a 2013 Premier 4 team, what that means, and other questions. Went to the Dock to celebrate first day back at school and soccer, and it was actually pretty chilly out. Wind was coming in off the lake. Back to the grind.
8:08 PM Tuesday, August 22, 2023
So besides BetterMe, also getting some walking in on the treadmill at my standing desk. Trying to work off that summer weight. Funny that I probably weigh more during the summer than the winter, and that I’m more regular with my exercise routines then. Otherwise nothing too interesting. I do have to clean up and organize the kitchen desk area. I think I need some sort of photography equipment shelving, maybe some clear acrylic curved shelves for lenses and bodies?
8:35 PM Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Quads are sore from the BetterMe workout. I haven’t done lunges in forever. Did a straight hour long treadmill walk. I did figure out a couple things at work, which was nice, since I also just found out they had layoffs and among those affected were some legacy employees. Now apparently there’s only 3 of us old guard left, granted with 60+ years experience combined, but still. Pretty hot out today. Only lost power for like 10 minutes. Timing was inopportune, just as I was coming back from the grocery, so had to park on the street for 10 minutes. No idea what this year’s Northwind’s season is going to be like. There’s currently 22 players on our roster (official max size is 16), and there’s a Premier 4 besides the Premier 3. So not sure if we’re going to officially split into 2 teams, or just continue having a huge roster play both games? My current (fingers crossed) hope is that they move Jackson and some others back up to Premier 2. But that’s probably not going to happen.
9:52 PM Thursday, August 24, 2023
So the BetterMe calisthenics is a 28 day program, and I'm 4 days in. Think I'll try and do 28 days straight. That means I'll have to do it when we go to Saugatuck for Labor Day weekend. Hair is starting to get annoying. I put it up into a ponytail today. And went out in public. It's that bad. I'm also already thinking about the hairstyles, and I feel like I have to make a choice early on, do I try a full on mullet, or everything else? Because there aren't many options after doing a mullet. Maybe a rat tail? But lots of options if I keep it longer on top for longer. 2 months or so to think about that. Had a coach/parents meeting for Northwinds 2013 Premier 3, got some clarification on how this year's going to work out. Enough players for 2 teams, but still get to practice together, but have separate game schedules. Also get to have another tourney in November. Home field is UIC because it's 9v9, so needed a bigger field. Winter will be 7v7. That's pretty much it.
10:04 PM Friday, August 25, 2023
Did a little work and called into the All Hands from The Spoke & Bird this morning. Had a Monte Cristo and a cappuccino. Then walked down to CH2 Data Center, got a full regular badge, then met some coworkers for a tour of our space. Was supposed to get the 2nd full regular badge, but they ticket had to go through a couple other steps before that could happen. Found out we had a 2nd cage that I wasn’t aware of. But yeah, always cool to see the data center. Got my 5th day of BetterMe in, along with an outdoor 1 hour walk after I drove the kids to soccer practice. Got a chance to talk with Austin. I tried jogging for a bit of the walk, but nope, body isn’t ready for that. Made me think I should try, gasp, a couch to 5k program. Might be worth it. Might need it. Also made a watermelon gazpacho yesterday, and it’s delicious. Quite refreshing. Only missing the dill from the recipe, wondering what that would add to it.
10:41 PM Saturday, August 26, 2023
Not sure what it is with soccer and shopping malls, but it’s a thing for me. Took Jackson out to Aurora for the Chicago Development Showcase at the Stuart Sports Complex for the day. He got assigned the 2 games today, 10am and 5:30pm. Even though I made a comment about factoring in time for parking and walking to the fields, I was still 15 minutes late to when he was supposed to be there. Did my usual photo and game tracking (this time through PlayMetrics). Going to take a while to get up to speed on posting in the new app, but getting the hang of it. First half was rough, down 0-3. Big field, lots of space, rusty. During the 6 hour break, took Nicky with us to the Chicago Premium Outlets. They played on the playground, got some lunch at the food court, more playground while I did some shopping. Then his mom showed up after his sister’s game finished, hung out for a bit, got some Auntie Anne’s, then Jackson and I started heading back, stopping off at Target and Walmart on the way back to the fields. Got some foam dart blasters, but couldn’t find any Pokemon cards to get. 2nd game was pretty bad. Other team was pretty good. Then back to the mall for Tea Ninja (although they ran out of tapioca) and crepes for dinner. Fairly smooth drive home. Was going to try and post some pictures to the game chats, but realized I take bad pictures. I need to up my shutter speed and figure out if there’s a sports mode I can use. Things I should have realized 2 years ago when I started taking sports photos. Anyway, was gone for like 13 hours today. Going to enjoy a pretty lazy Sunday, but I’ll have to fit my exercise in since I skipped today.
4:20 PM Sunday, August 27, 2023
Got back to exercising today. Legs are sore though. Saw that Jackson's soccer team won their game today, which is great, but disheartening, since Jackson hasn't had a win in a while. Also saw that P2 won their first game and lost their final, so some wins on the weekend. Got plenty of sleep last night, which was nice. Walked around Taco Fest for a bit, not too long though. Didn't actually eat any tacos though. Jackson tried 3 different al pastor, which he liked. Maybe he'll switch his orders going forward to that from steak. Now just relaxing, like I wanted to, and Tracy's going to grill tonight. Might be cool enough to have a fire too (if I can scrounge up enough wood).
10:03 PM Monday, August 28, 2023
Since it’s cooled down, I went out for a ruck today after my BetterMe calisthenics. Been tired lately even though I’m getting plenty of sleep. Maybe the daily exercise is wearing me out? Just goes to show how out of shape I am. Currently taking suggestions on halloween costumes that a) take advantage of the hair I’ve been growing out and b) is part of a couples costume.
8:50 PM Tuesday, August 29, 2023
No rucking today, just a long walk. Also found out Tracy and Lucy are doing the Hot Chocolate 5K, so now Jackson and I are also doing it. And now I have an actual goal for doing the Couch to 5K program. Looks like we did it back in 2008. Funny we actually have the jackets, and it was back when it was done up in Lincoln Park, instead of Grant Park. Should be interesting. Started putting my Nanoleaf Shapes to Daylight to add even more daylight to my basement office. Think it’s a good idea. Although my Meross Light Strip behind the monitor works fine, I’m wondering if I should switch over to a Nanoleaf version so everything matches. Still can’t wait until the Nanoleaf Skylight comes out. Although I’m wondering if I’m going to replace the Nanoleaf Canvas I have ceiling mounted or the Ikea FLOALT LED Light Panel, or maybe both?
9:22 PM Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Another day, another workout. Did my ruck after dropping the kids off at soccer practice. Decided to switch back to the SwagMat silicone wedding ring, although it doesn’t quite match my to my moonlight watch band. Maybe I’ll switch back to the black band until I get a light gray ring. Had quesadills for my food today. I keep getting surprised at how good they are.
9:56 PM Thursday, August 31, 2023
Another day of exercise. Another hour walk. Probably the most consistent I've been with exercise in possibly ever. And just 2 weeks in. BetterMe I feel has great workouts, but the app sucks compared to, say, Apple Fitness+. When I'm starting a workout, I have no idea what equipment I'll need if any. Their voice over instructions to the exercises don't always match the video examples that play. Audio level jumps around. Not sure if I'll keep it after the subscription ends, or after the 28 day challenge ends, or if I can find another workout app/service that will be what I'm looking for. Started watching Secret Invasion. Pretty crazy revelations halfway through. I had to watch it because I got spoiled with some headlines, so I know the big twist coming, but that also means I'm looking for stuff as I'm watching from the beginning.
9:09 PM Friday, September 1, 2023
Work Recharge Day. Did my exercise, leg day which was pretty hard. Then wasn’t looking forward to the ruck today, but rewarded myself with Dunkin on the way back. Watched another episode of Secret Empire, really want to finish it up. Packed up. Left after Lucy got home. Took a while to get here. My old school route through Hyde Park was a poor choice due to the presidential library construction. And I get to correctly say, Thanks Obama! Had our usual Arby’s on a road trip. Great place at Saugatuck Lodge. Gonna be a good long weekend.
9:17 PM Monday, September 4, 2023
Ugh, missed two updates in a row. Time flies when you’re having fun. Spent the weekend in Saugatuck with Jackson’s friends’ families. Good times. Stayed in a rental house right in downtown which also had a huge pool, so that’s where the kids were pretty much the entire weekend. Did get out to the beach one day, dragging the boys kicking and screaming, and turns out they had fun. Got ice cream a couple nights. Grilled one night. Lots of talking and drinking late into the night by the pool. Brought only 3 batched cocktails, a half bottle of clarified pina colada, jungle bird, and Five Points Pavilion. Also rediscovered my love for fudge thanks to a Kilwin’s close by. Anyway, back to the grind tomorrow. Supposed to start Couch to 5K tomorrow. And it’s going to be hot out. Also didn’t exercise the entire weekend, so the BetterMe workout is going to hurt tomorrow.
10:07 PM Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Started Couch to 5K. Pretty easy start. Hoping I can keep it up. Picked a pretty hot day to do it. BetterMe workout wasn’t too bad, still a good workout. Just core. It’s the arm or leg workouts that kill me, since I don’t really exercise those at all. Finished Secret Invasion last night. Started Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Season 4 tonight. Still trying to get back into the routine of things with the kids back in school.
8:22 PM Wednesday, September 6, 2023
So the BetterMe workout today was really hard, compared to anything that came before it. Seriously included a minute of narrow pull ups, followed by a minute of wide behind the neck pull ups. And 3 sets. After no build up to that at all. Seems incongruous. Anyway, safe to say I didn’t come close to doing the full minutes on those. I guess things to aspire to. Went out to lunch with Tracy on her day off at Social Club Chicago. Quiet on the beach today. Brought my iPad Pro and did some work while we were down there too. I really should just head into the office more often to work.
8:18 PM Thursday, September 7, 2023
Really not used to daily exercise. Did a BetterMe workout and did day 2 of Couch to 5K. Not necessarily a super hard workout, but still, super tired. So glad I'm taking tomorrow off. And I'm only 3 days in after like 4 days off. Tomorrow is off because I'm donating blood. Apparently I missed setting a reminder to make an appointment when I became eligible to donate again, so happy they had openings tomorrow.
10:43 PM Friday, September 8, 2023
Another successful Power Red donation. Takes about 30 minutes for me from when the needle goes in to when it comes out. Also happy that Nutter Butters were back in the recuperation area. Also stopped by Tous Les Jours on the way home to pick up some treats. Took the kids to soccer practice. Watched a little of Jackson’s, and I’m pretty excited about the new coach. I’m hopeful for the season. Finished up Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan. I could keep watching that until he ends up president. Just read that there’s a Ding Chavez series in development. Wonder if that would backdoor into a Rainbow Six series? Would be interesting to see.
10:43 PM Sunday, September 10, 2023
Dinner at the Grady’s last night, and a little too many cocktails with Champagne, think I can’t hold my bubbly. So that’s why I missed posting last night. Also yesterday dropped and picked up Lucy from her Cross Country race at Horner Park. She ran. I, on the other hand, haven’t run since Thursday. So way off schedule, again. Tried making cereal milk panna cotta for the Grady’s yesterday, but it never set. So I added more gelatin today, and it’s more set now than this morning, but still hoping it sets up some more. Took Jackson to his soccer game today down at the UIC fields. Haven’t been down there in maybe 19 years. All turf now, and lots of condos and bars and restaurants. Quite a bit different. Went to Midnight Circus tonight. Always a good show. Biked up and back. Including Jackson.
9:27 PM Monday, September 11, 2023
Alright, new week, another chance to get back on schedule. Another rough BetterMe workout, lots of push-up variations this time. Finally did Day 3 of Couch to 5K, even though it was raining. Used my new Merrell Fly Strike GTX since they’re waterproof. I’m guessing I’m not doing it right, since my running intervals are at an 8 minute pace. Good workout either way. Started the 3rd season of The Witcher. Going into it with a vague recollection of what happened, considering I finished Season 2 back in February 2022.
10:11 PM Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Watched the Wonderlust (September 12, 2023) Apple Event this afternoon. Probably going to upgrade watch and phone again. Probably go Apple Watch Ultra 2 and iPhone 15 Pro in Natural titanium color (hopefully they’re color matched). But not for a couple of months. Only did a BetterMe workout today. No ruck. Drove Lucy and Spalding to swim practice yesterday and today. Nicer that it’s later, less traffic. Also opened my bottle of Malort today and had a Hard Sell. It’s actually a decent cocktail. Definitely going on the menu for the halloween party.
8:35 PM Wednesday, September 13, 2023
Cleaned the washing machine today. For getting things clean, it sure is disgusting. The drawer dispenser for detergent was moldy, the drain pump filter smelled absolutely awful. Then ran a Tub Clean cycle with CLR which took 1:30 and the rinse and spin to clear it out. I gotta do that more often than however long it’s been. New week for the Couch to 5K program. Right knee made a lovely clicking sound at a couple points during the run. Hope that’s not a bad sign.
11:02 PM Thursday, September 14, 2023
Took the Crosstrek in for service, and it totally makes a difference. Car feels like it’s running smoother. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Took the time to get my exercise in, walking to and from Bond Coffee Collective. Also did some actual Pokemon GO on the go. Spun stops, explored KM, hatched some eggs, did a raid. Apparently I need to activate Activity Sync every time I switch accounts. Used to be enabled across account switching before. Picked up some Jolibee for the kids. Went to the Blaine Open House, got some clarification on Jackson’s homework, and celebrated Serafina’s birthday. Pretty busy Thursday.
9:24 PM Friday, September 15, 2023
Stayed up way too late last night, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I blame it on going to the Blaine Open House and a birthday party after, and not having that down time. Or, I just got too much sleep (which means just the right amount of sleep) and I needed to go back into a my normal deficit. Either way, pretty tired today. Still got my exercise in. Turns out the MacBook Air we have can't run Fortnite, and I think I'll just start using it more myself. Not sure what for, but why not. Curious what normal battery life might be on it, compared to never worrying about the iPad. Remember, this is I think the last Intel MacBook Air, so it's like 3 years old at this point? Almost tempted to get a new Apple Silicon one when I refresh my tech stack later this fall, but just unnecessary. Tried carbonating milk today. Not good.
10:17 PM Saturday, September 16, 2023
Got a HDHomeRun Flex Duo yesterday, and set it up in the data center, and with the Antennas Direct ClearStream FLEX only picked up a couple channels. So I moved it to the office today and I get all the available broadcast channels. Set it up in Plex and I’ve got live TV again. Crazy. And only a relatively small one time price. Figured I’d be good with old school ATSC 1.0 since there’s no NextGen (ATSC 3.0) broadcasting in Chicago, well, except for channel 26. Went to Serafina’s birthday party at ClimbZone. Watched a lot of The Witcher.
8:24 PM Sunday, September 17, 2023
Jackson’s soccer team got a win today, first one in a while. And they wore white. Got Joy Yee’s for the 2nd week in a row, so easy since he played at UIC fields again. Other than that watched some live NFL. A nice pretty lazy Sunday.
11:15 PM Monday, September 18, 2023
Did the updates to my Apple devices today. Not sure what if anything I notice yet. Nothing’s jumping out. Maybe stacked notifications for iPad, but that’s about it that I’m noticing. Looking forward to using continuity camera the nice time we have a family FaceTime. And I have to figure out a Call Poster for myself. Other than that, back to exercise and eating leftovers. I forgot to mention that a month ago was this blog’s 25 anniversary. Crazy.
10:09 PM Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Legs were sore this morning, thought it was just from the workout yesterday. But turns out I’m sick. Not sure what, might be the flu. Running a fever too. Feels like the flu. Hoping it’s a quick 24 hours like usual. So pretty uneventful today.
9:34 PM Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Yeah, think it was just a 24 hour flu. Feeling much better today, still not 100%, but better. Did a walk to do some returns, so got some air and exercise. I’ve started trying the hair wash every other day, to not dry out my long luscious locks. I went 2 days and it got too oily, so every other is the limit. Working my way through the John Wick series, just started up Chapter 4. It is crazy to think that the first 3 at least has been a week or two. I’m guessing the 4th there’s some sort of time jump, so he could heal. At least I hope so.
1:29 AM Friday, September 22, 2023
So feeling better, but still figure I should take it easy, so not exercising, and instead I took a walk and got Dunkin for breakfast this morning. And instead of the usual 2 donuts, I got 3. Then, for dinner got Epic Burger and Buffalo Wild Wings. So yeah, not smart. Traffic is more annoying on Thursdays, and driving both ways for Lucy’s practice is pretty annoying. Next time I have to I’ll just work at the Starbucks down there instead. Or Dom’s, since they’re also open that late. Just have to see what parking is like down there around those times. And now, staying up late, doing some work, but more so just trying to relax a little after a frustrating evening of driving.
10:40 PM Saturday, September 23, 2023
Definitely weird going back to places I played ultimate more than 2 decades ago, but this time as a soccer dad. The UIC fields and surrounding areas is so much nicer than when it was brand new and we started using it. It’s turf too. And today Jackson guested with Premier 3 out at Schiller Woods. Seriously, trip down memory lane going back there. But mostly how I remembered it. Although I did just go down Irving Park, so I’m not sure what it was like up Cumberland, which is how I usually went there 2 decades ago. Anyway, time passes. I finished up watching the John Wick series. Watched the 3rd season of The Witcher. Started watching Star Trek: Picard. Saw season 1, but never saw season 2, so starting there although it’s been a while, and I was slightly lost. Still not back 100%, but getting closer.
9:35 PM Sunday, September 24, 2023
First of Jackson’s soccer game with his actual coach. And I am looking forward to this year. Really like this guy. Really looking forward to what he can teach the team this year. And hoping we get to keep him. But he put some players in different spots than they’ve been used to playing, trying them out. He’s got them holding shape, and bending a little based on where the ball is in play. He’s got the back line pushing up, a lot, to keep the pressure on. And very active coaching in game. Putting them in the right places. Seriously awesome. Absolutely fun to watch. Very much looking forward to this year. I did make the poor choice of chow mein instead of chow fun for our Joy Yee’s order. Next time. We’ve got 2 more games down there this fall. Otherwise, got another nap in after we got home.
7:05 PM Monday, September 25, 2023
Drove Lucy to school. Worked from home. Exercised. Thinking I should maybe invest in some actual running shoes, like New Balance, since they have wide sizes. Picked up some mealworms from Curious Creatures. Got some Thai food for lunch from TAC. Watched some Star Trek: Picard. Took a nap. Tried a Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini (it’s good). Just another Monday.
9:41 PM Tuesday, September 26, 2023
Decided to not do any additional walking inbetween days of Couch to 5K. Just taking it easier. Still doing BetterMe. Already on Day 23, not sure what I’m going to do after I hit day 28. Maybe I’ll just repeat it? Or try out some other workouts? Otherwise, same old same old. Tried on some costumes with Tracy, think we’ve got some plans made. Still have to get a couple more to get I think, and a couple more for Jackson too. Something about Halloween costumes, I like having them. That’s why I need to get on fixing the guest room closet into our costume closet. Think I’ll try for Thursday, when I have to drop off and pick up Lucy from practice. Although I have to bring Jackson since Tracy’s going out that night.
7:23 PM Wednesday, September 27, 2023
So week 3 of Couch to 5K, and not sure if I'm getting any better. Skipped a lot of the BetterMe workout today, all the hanging leg raises and parallel bar knee raises. Can't hang long enough, and the pull up bar in the closet door frame is super awkward. Also, who has home access to parallel bars? Anyway, skipped probably about 2/3 of the workout. Only had to drive Lucy to/from a cross country meet at Horner Park. Traffic was pretty annoying westbound.
10:05 PM Thursday, September 28, 2023
Out for the evening. Dropped off Lucy at swim practice, brought Jackson with. Went to Home Depot and picked up supports and clips for the wire shelves for the costume closet. Went simple instead of a variable height thing. Makes sense because that fits the shelves we still had, instead of trying to buy a completely new system or trying to retrofit the shelves into an inexact system. Anyway, expensive, but I’m hoping to get it up sometime this weekend. Dinner at Chipotle and then down to Whole Foods to see if they had anything and to waste some more time before picking up Lucy from swim practice. Much more productive than driving home and driving back. Next Thursday maybe more closet system stuff, this time for the linen closet that’s also been on my todo list for this year.
10:43 PM Friday, September 29, 2023
Might have gone a little overboard and setup a chicken nugget taste test for the soccer kids. Before they came over after school, I picked up Chik-fil-A, McDonald’s and Wendy’s nuggets and fries. Surprisingly the winner was Wendy’s, as evidenced by the empty containers after I dropped them all off. Super sore after the workouts today, mostly in the obliques for some reason. Don’t really remember doing much with those today, but whatever. No soccer games this weekend. Downloading a bunch of old shows to Plex, astonished what’s available out there. Sounds like Lucy’s came down with something, hoping it’s just the 24 flu like I had, and she’ll be back up and about tomorrow.
9:40 PM Saturday, September 30, 2023
So September’s gone. Really sore from yesterday’s workout. I guess all those squats and lunges did a number on my butt. Workout today was way too hard, too many pull ups and dips. Anyway, one more day for BetterMe, and then I’ll have to figure out what’s next. Maybe it’s time to start going back to Movement Wrigleyville. Went out to in-laws for father-in-law’s 75th birthday. Been a while since we’ve been out there. Stopped at a Spirit Halloween on the way out, and Tracy got some costume supplies. I’m hoping to get the costume closet set up tomorrow so I can figure out what I have left to get for my matching costume.
10:51 PM Sunday, October 1, 2023
New month. New day. Walked over and got some McDonald’s for breakfast. Don’t really get it all that often lately. Been craving a McGriddle. They forgot a sausage biscuit with egg and cheese from my order though. That sucked. Took the kids out to H Mart, got a bunch of stuff. Ran into Tun at Home Depot. Good to see him. Used the griddle Al got me as a gift. Works pretty well, but we had no idea what the temp is. Also need to restock our firewood with real firewood, and not chopped down trees from parkways. Also got the shelves hung in the costume closet. Need to hang up all the costumes next to see just how many we have.
10:23 PM Monday, October 2, 2023
Had to take Lucy to an eye doctor appointment this afternoon, so broke up the day a bit. I did manage to get a run in, even though it was pretty hot out. Go figure it’s October 2nd. Took Lucy out early (she just missed Advisory/Study hall), and that made the drive down much easier. Amazed how much a difference 45 minutes makes. Drive back up was pretty bad though. Annoyed that Mario’s Italian Lemonade is closed for the season. Today would have been a great day for it. Got our usual Mochinut though. Took a little time to try and clean the Solo Stove griddle we used last night. Not easy to clean. The most effective method was heating it up and then applying water and scraping with a wooden spoon. The kosher salt method wasn’t efficient, even after I brought out the cleaning brushes attached to a drill. Definitely needs some seasoning now.
9:23 PM Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Finished up Star Trek: Picard Season 3. Definitely just Star Trek: The Next Generation Season 8. Makes me wonder if they should do final seasons of all the other shows too. Then again, I had to look up a bunch of stuff because I didn’t watch Deep Space Nine and Voyager and Enterprise and Discovery. Next up? Chernobyl.
10:20 PM Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Not sure if I can do Chernobyl. Might be a little too heavy for me right now. Tempted to do Ahsoka instead, although it does seem like I’ll be able to hold off without any spoilers. Got Popeye’s as a snack for the kids today. The nuggets are good, real nuggets of chicken. And they have wings now, and those were pretty good too. Kids still like Wendy’s nuggets better though. Need to try Sonic next. I would say Burger King, but the one close by on Irving Park closed down like last week. If I had known I would have walked over to pick it up one last time. Not sure if it’ll come back, or if I’ll have to console myself with the Culver’s that’s opening up on Addison.
7:47 PM Thursday, October 5, 2023
Finally completed the BetterMe 28 Day Calisthenics workout program. Only took 45 days (there was a week of sickness, probably took a bunch of weekends off, and took 5 days or so to do the last one). Anyway, not sure if I want to try it again? I think I have access for another 45 days, so maybe. Then I’ll try something else out. Did some long walks to do returns today, so got a little more exercise too. And then walked Jackson down and picked him up later from Hudson’s. So yeah, lots of walking. According to my Apple Watch, 7.24 miles worth. No driving today since Lucy had a cross country meet after school and didn’t go to swim practice.
9:56 PM Friday, October 6, 2023
Wanting to make a Milk Bar layer cake for the Canadian Thanksgiving, but haven’t put the recipe in Paprika yet, nor do I know what I need to get. Maybe I’ll make something else? Not sure when I’ll be able to get around and get all the stuff. I’ll try and input the recipes tonight, that’ll make it easier to find out what I need to get. Spent the evening driving around after dropping Lucy and Alex off at practice. Got a bunch of shopping done. Decided to put app limits and downtime on my Screen Time for my Apple devices. Haven’t been sleeping enough lately, so I think it’s time.
10:27 PM Monday, October 9, 2023
Well, I missed Saturday because I was baking (until 4:30am). That’s because I didn’t start until like 8pm, and I was watching movies, and I couldn’t find the acetate I use during cake assembly. Sunday I missed updating because we went to the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration at the O’Tooles that I brought the baked goods to. The grapefruit pie and apple pie layer cake were both pretty good. Big fan of the grapefruit pie, although the presentation leaves something to be desired. Jackson had a couple soccer games this weekend, got killed on Saturday to Ronan and Finn’s team and only lost by 1 to one of the undefeated teams in the league on Sunday. They played so much better on Sunday, like night and day. Had to bring Lucy to the eye doctor to pick up some soft contacts as backups for when her Ortho-Ks aren’t working well due to allergies.
10:05 PM Tuesday, October 10, 2023
So figured out the shelves in our costume closet aren’t normal closet wire shelves, they’re actually closer wire pantry shelves, which just means the regular closet rod supports don’t work. So had to return those, after dropping Lucy and Alex off at swim practice, which was fine, because traffic northbound on Lake Shore Drive looked bad. Got something different, but not sure if it’s going to work. It will involve trying to get a 89” closet rod through the existing supports somehow. Started Only Murders in the Building. I’m hooked after the first episode. Had another Malort cockatil, The Forced Retirement. Not bad. I might put it on the menu. Thinking I need to try the classy version of the Jaeger bomb. I think I have Jaegermeister.
9:56 PM Wednesday, October 11, 2023
I guess it feels like I’m jet lagged. Sleep schedule is all off. Body feels tired during the day, and get more energy after dinner. Not good and conducive to a normal lifestyle. Got my run in today. Thinking I should look into New Balance sneakers, since it kind of feels like the shin splints might be acting up on me. Definitely don’t want those again. Started looking for thermal tights to wear, as I think I’m going to keep up running as exercise. We’ll see if it’s just another fad for me, or if I’ll keep it up long term. Thoroughly enjoying Only Murders in the Building 2 episodes in.
9:36 PM Thursday, October 12, 2023
Got some firewood delivered from Firewood Chicago. They also took a couple logs that I couldn’t cut up into firewood from the tree that was taken down on the parkway. So that’s one thing off my to-do list for this week. Only a couple more. I had a bunch of stuff in my Apple Store bag, kind of waiting for a 256 GB iPhone 15 Pro in Natural Titanium to have a more definite delivery time or even Apple Lincoln Park same day availability, and lo and behold, it was available for pick up today. And I didn’t order it. I actually said no. I’m not even sure I’ll even do the upgrade to the 15. I went ahead and emptied the bag, so I won’t get tempted again.
9:39 PM Friday, October 13, 2023
Did my Couch to 5K today, managed to do it while it wasn’t raining. Also managed to pick up Jackson in a gap in the rain as well. Took him to soccer practice, while there was a break in the rain. He did get rained on, but got to do nothing but scrimmage in little games. He even got to play against Jackson G. Even stuck around after practice to kick the ball around with me.
8:54 PM Saturday, October 14, 2023
Made waffles for breakfast. Watched Chef and The Chef Show. Drove Jackson to his soccer game. Wasn’t raining, but still windy and cold. They managed a tie. Missed out on the after game team outing for Hudson’s birthday party at Lucky Strike. Got some bowling in.
10:19 PM Sunday, October 15, 2023
Got the closet rod hung in the costume closet. Got a couple shelves mounted in the linen closet. Funny that everyone in the family is wondering what we’re going to use it for, which is funny, because it’s a closet that apparently no one else wants to use. Anyway, probably going to have to get different supports since the shelves are just short enough that the end supports don’t quite work. Ordered up food for the halloween party. Played some soccer at Lake View School Park with Finn and Hudson. Successfully signed Jackson up for another quarter of Ten Pound Cake. That in itself would have made for a successful Sunday. Stayed up way too late to finish Season 1 of Only Murders in the Building. I got spoiled just because I saw how the guest was on a podcast for recapping the last episode of Season 1. So that’s annoying, Hopefully I can stay a little more in the dark for season 2. Made a Super Simple Syrup and tried it in a whiskey sour. Not bad, but seems like not quite as foamy. But probably good enough. So I can stop using egg whites. Next up for molecular mixology? Foams.
8:35 PM Monday, October 16, 2023
Had to drive Lucy to/from swimming today, so stuck around and did some shopping. Got some more organizers, hopefully for my photography equipment to go into and away. Hit up Binny’s to get another Monkey Shoulder because Tracy finished up the last one, and lo and behold, they had a Blue Spot for MSRP. Lucky lucky day. So completed the Spot set, aside from some different Green Spot cask finishes (of which there are 3 different ones). Also hit up Home Depot for those supports for the linen closet shelves. And currently at Dom’s Kitchen & Market waiting for Lucy to finish practice before picking her up. Got another day of Couch to 5K in. Thinking of how to organize and clean up the basement for the party. Lots of stuff to put places.
8:40 PM Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Started cleaning/organizing the garage and the crawl space. Probably going to have to store some of the bikes in the crawlspace. Also need to look into mounting the pulley system to mount the xtracycle on the ceiling somehow. Went back to Dom's Kitchen & Market. Got another Napoleon (I love those things), but will wait to eat that one until tomorrow, because I had a pint of Green Tea Haagen-Daz with lunch. Gotta start figuring out what I need for the drink menu for the party this weekend. Wondering if I should start a menu book.
10:01 PM Wednesday, October 18, 2023
Got the xtracycle hanging from the garage ceiling. Hoping it stays up there, and is high enough that my parents car fits under it. All set to pick up Al’s Beef and Loaf Lounge chocolate cake on Friday. Still gotta clean the baseement, bathrooms. Should probably test the projector and the fog machine. Oh, and print and laminate the drink menus. Think I’ve received all the stuff for my Steampunk costume for Haunted Soiree. Gotta try it on and check with Tracy’s to see if we need anything else. Other than that, I think we’re set. Hopefully.
7:32 PM Thursday, October 19, 2023
Well, there’s a car under the hanging xtracycle in the garage now. It stayed up all night, so figure it’s stable. Just hope it stays up and doesn’t fall. Lucy skipped practice to do homework. So got to stay home and not drive around. Just picked up Popeye’s for dinner. Still gotta clean the basement more, starting to shove things into the crawlspace.
10:14 PM Friday, October 20, 2023
Not much left to do. Basement’s pretty clean. I was able to move my desk into the crawlspace. Threw out a bunch of old Nerf darts. Picked up some foods for the party. Made the drink menus and recipe sheets. Cleaned. Hopefully haven’t forgotten anything.
9:37 PM Monday, October 23, 2023
Didn’t realize I missed posting Saturday and Sunday. Had to give a ride to a couple of Jackson’s teammates on Saturday. They lost again, but they played well. Lots of good passing. Quite enjoyable to watch at times. Halloween Party went well, bartended a bunch. Next time I need more glassware (specifically coupes), forgot to prepare the espresso, need more lemon juice, and full bottles of base liquors. And a mocktail or two on the menu. Also, for the drink menu, go back to spirits instead of brand names, or have a glossary at the bottom. But overall went well. Cleaned and stuff on Sunday. Jackson had a birthday party to go to so was gone all day. Back to work today, but on the iPad Pro. Took my desk out of the crawlspace, but didn’t put it back yet. Didn’t realize how much I’m wearing the carpet down with my chair, so thinking I need to put something down.
8:43 PM Tuesday, October 24, 2023
The big tables at Dom’s Kitchen & Market is really good for working. Just the right height on chairs and table. And I get to eat and snack. Anyway, that’s where I am waiting for Lucy’s swim practice to finish up. Tracy got lunch from GG’s Chicken Shop for the first time. It’s pretty good. Setup my desk again, switched chairs back with Tracy so I’m back on my HAG Capisco. Used it more as a stool today, higher up. Kind of nice. Also finally figured out how to get the MacBook Pro in Windows to not sleep when the lid is closed, which makes it much easier to slide into the under desk mount. Since I started listening to The Rewatchables again, I’ve watched So I Married an Ax Murderer, Toy Soldiers, and just started The Rock. Good times. Also I’m running out of drive space for Plex again, so time to get more. Last time was 16 TB in March. That’s not a good sign.
9:36 PM Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Feels like a Friday. But it’s a Wednesday. Probably because the kids are off the next 2 days, so that’s why. Lucy’s got another Ortho-K followup tomorrow, and a haircut. Then Lucy has a birthday party on Friday and another on Saturday. Jackson’s got his last game of the season on Sunday. Did another Couch to 5K run, still right around a 9 minute mile.
10:51 PM Thursday, October 26, 2023
Had to drive Lucy around today. Followup with Village Eyecare, no problems, dry spots going away with allergy drops. Tried out Two Shades Cafe for cortado, but the danish was too thick. Picked up Mochinut but no mochidogs, just the mochinuts, and bubble teas. Stopped off at Target for some random food snacks and birthday presents. Short time at home before walking Lucy to a haircut then more walking for me to get additional gift cards for birthday presents. Did get Cafe Tola empanadas for lunch though. Good stuff as always. Picked up dinner for the family from Noodles & Company, before driving Lucy down to swim practice and doing some work while at Dom’s Kitchen & Market. Actually pretty productive down there, figured out why the counts weren’t as expected on a historical export.
9:41 PM Friday, October 27, 2023
Did my Couch to 5K on the track at Lake View High School. Different, but didn’t have to worry about stop lights and traffic and walk signs. Wouldn’t mind keeping it up, but there’s school during the day so I don’t I’m allowed to. My iPhone Pro 15 choice is back in stock at Apple Lincoln Park. Holding off again, waiting for a good time to do in person pickup. So if it’s available on Monday still, I’ll probably do the order. Got to meet a couple Lane Tech Academic Center parents at the birthday party I had to take Lucy too up in Evanston. Also did some work at Patisserie Coralie (the old Cafe Mozart location). That was weird. And of course had to pick up a couple treats from Bennison’s too. Don’t know the next time I’ll be up there. Picked up White Castle for lunch and dinner on the way home. Hung out with my parents for a bit, as they dropped food and the car off. Didn’t actually have to drive to/from swim practice, which was nice.
8:48 PM Saturday, October 28, 2023
Actually out for the Haunted Soirée. Definitely weird actually going out for a Halloween event. Dressed up in Steampunkish costumes. Dinner at Bocadillo Market. Pretty good Spanish tapas. Oh, typing this on my new iPhone 15 Pro. Also got an Apple Watch Ultra 2 along with a bunch of other stuff. Upgrade year.
9:40 PM Sunday, October 29, 2023
So slowly working through all the sign ins and issues with switching phones. But the new one is pretty sweet. Definitely smoother all around, bigger, but not so much bigger. Screen is quite nice, and I think I’m noticing the refresh rate. Very pleasant. Took Jackson to his last fall season outdoor game. They played the other Northwind Premier 3 team, and they lost, 0-3. Guess they really are Premier 4. Still, first half was promising, they were playing well, and as usual, missing a striker. Picked up Joy Yee Noodles for the last time probably this year, then actually went up to the Target in Uptown to get body wash, eggs, and Pokemon cards, and then to Curious Creatures to get some food for Banana.
10:02 PM Monday, October 30, 2023
Dressed up as Danny Rojas for Trick or Treat on Southport. Came out pretty well. Hair really did it. But way too cold. Only lasted 1:45, was home by 6pm. I did my Couch to 5K as well this morning, wore thermals all around. Did the job well enough. Didn’t go until 1pm or so, so warmest part of the day. I’ll be off my training by 1 week, since the Hot Chocolate 5K is this Sunday. Actually I would have been perfect if I hadn’t gotten sick and had to pause for a week. Ended up watching the Apple Event (Scary Fast (October 30, 2023)). Nothing pressing for me.
10:36 PM Tuesday, October 31, 2023
On actual Halloween, didn’t dress up at all. Wasn’t feeling it today. Probably freezing my butt off yesterday made it hard to want to. So was pretty warm following the boys around. Finished up around 7:00pm, which seems early. But it was getting cold, and houses were running out of candy. We ran out of candy probably around 6:00pm. Might be find just hanging out at the house next year.
9:07 PM Wednesday, November 1, 2023
Thought things would quiet down after Halloween, but got a busy weekend. I think the weekend after next is quieter before a soccer tourney weekend and then Thanksgiving. This Apple Watch Ultra 2 is quite big on the wrist. And I shuffled the Apple Watch 8 down to Jackson and took back the Apple Watch 5 for my night/sleep watch, and it’s really nice how small and light the Apple Watch 5 Titanium is comparatively. I am thoroughly enjoying the iPhone 15 Pro. I feel like the screen is smoother, but that actually just might be the Pro-Motion. But I should be good on upgrades for another year or so. I guess try and save the pennies for Apple Vision Pro.
9:52 PM Thursday, November 2, 2023
Pretty standard Thursday. Lots of image problems at work, which was pretty annoying. Forgot to put Apple Cash back on Jackson’s Apple Watch so he couldn’t get Dairy Queen this afternoon. Went with him after dinner to get some though. Got it back on his watch, so he’s good for now. Finished up Season 3 of Only Murders in the Building. Not sure what’s next on the docket. Maybe I’ll just suck it up and power through Chernobyl. Gotta do it at some point. Been seeing a lot of Brooklyn Nine-Nine clips on Tik Tok, maybe that’s what I’ll clean my palette with while watching a nuclear disaster unfold.
10:40 PM Friday, November 3, 2023
Laundry day, 2 loads, only folded the first. No carpool for Jackson’s soccer practice, so just me and him. Nothing but scrimmage today. Decided to watch The Fast and the Furious series from the beginning. It’s 22 years old at this point. Crazy.
9:46 PM Saturday, November 4, 2023
Running related stuff today. Drove Lucy out to Cross Country City Championships in Humboldt Park. First time in that park. Seems nice. Pretty cool, but calm and sunny. Ended up creating the LTACXC base with our blanket (we didn’t have a tent or a flag or anything. Lucy came in 13th, so no medal, but team came in 2nd, so they did get shirts and medals. Boys came in 1st, so that’s cool. And that was the morning. Then after Tracy got off work we took a Lyft to Navy Pier (or at least as close as traffic got to be too much and we audibled at Grand and walked the rest of the way) for the Hot Chocolate Run Expo. Picked up our coats and bibs. Not much in the way of free stuff. Got some treats at Te’Amo even though they ran out of boba for the kids’ drinks. Carbo loaded at Eataly to end the night. Early morning start for the 5K I’ve trained 9 weeks for (to complete, not get a PR at). I imaging it’s going to be pretty crazy tomorrow, and they even have us in all different corrals tomorrow, which is pretty annoying. I wonder if we can all just start together, or they’re going to rigorously enforce the corrals. Find out soon enough.
9:27 PM Sunday, November 5, 2023
Long day. Early start, out the door by 6:15am. Hot Chocolate Run. We were too slow for Lucy, and then Jackson and Tracy were too slow for me. Lucy wants to do it again. Next year we’ll make sure Jackson does some training and gets actual running shoes. But yeah, pretty cool. Been a while since I’ve done a fun run. Definitely a little different, there were 55K people there today. That’s crazy. Then this evening had friendsgiving over at Gina’s. Ate way too much. But good times.
9:01 PM Monday, November 6, 2023
Recovery day. I think Fall Back DST affected me more than usual. I’m getting up at like 4:30-4:45 the last couple of mornings. Made sense when I had to get up for the Hot Chocolate Run. Maybe I should go ahead and get up that early to start my day. Maybe go for a run? Maybe do some work? Think I’m used to the size of my Apple Watch Ultra 2. That first week it was really big, now it feels pretty normal. The old Apple Watch 5 for sleep tracking now feels small. Moving to a Starlight Solo Loop and a white silicon wedding band.
8:20 PM Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Tempted to just make it 3 because Jackson’s got a haircut on Friday. Still have to do research to figure out what hairstyle I’m going to go with. Wish I had more ethernet drops around the house, specifically in the dining room which is currently the classroom. Would be nice to have Jackson’s iMac wired. Dealing with a right leg strain of some kind. Maybe adductor? Massage gun helps. But figure I should take it easy at least for a week. I’ll try again next week.
9:20 PM Wednesday, November 8, 2023
Soon. Plowing through the Fast and the Furious series. Just started Furious 7. Why wasn’t this ever a TV series? Just got a pair of windproof running pants, even though I’m not currently running. But they look awesome. Can’t wait to try it out. Still getting up too early and not going to bed early enough, although it’s marginally better. Still not good enough. Tried a Long Island Ice Tea out tonight. Boring, but it definitely hits you.
8:18 PM Thursday, November 9, 2023
Went ahead and made an appointment at Floyd’s Barbershop for tomorrow. Definitely getting chopped, did some research and think I’m going to ask for a low drop fade, with and still slightly undecided about what to do up top. Maybe just leave 2-3 inches and style as desired? Or shorter and textured? Combover? Don’t think I want to do a pompadour. Definitely want it shorter though. Short enough it won’t get in my eyes. Also means I’m committing to getting regular trims. Started using the foam roller on my leg, along with the massage gun. Seems to be working, or maybe it’s just enough rest and recuperation that it’s getting better. Excited to start running again.
9:38 PM Friday, November 10, 2023
My head’s cold. I got a haircut today. It’s short. And styled. But yeah, definitely going back to wearing hoods and hats. But yeah, 1 year’s worth of hair growth, gone. It’s weird. That’s all.
10:03 PM Saturday, November 11, 2023
Finished up the Fast & Furious series so far. Even included Hobbs & Shaw. Actually looking forward to that sequel, if they ever make it. But seriously, watching that series back to back to back it’s pretty crazy how crazy their activities get over time. And how their hair styles change over time. And that the series has been going for 20+ years. I’d totally watch a prequel series, like Dom and the gang starting out. Also the supposed all female spinoff? I’d watch that too. You know what else would be good? A spinoff with just the Shaws. Or even a prequel of the Shaws. I wonder what the red string murder board would be on how all the characters are related and who’s actually behind it all (how funny would it be if it ended up being Papa Toretto after all these years) and how many people have been double crossed and who is actually evil and how evil they are and how many deaths aren’t actually deaths. It is sad that Paul Walker died, and they didn’t want to kill off the character, so not having Brian around for everything since 7 has been sad. Kind of wish the technology would be good enough to bring back the character digitally and the family would allow it to give the character a great write off with everyone else at the end of the series. Also can’t wait for the eventual reboot with all their kids.
10:16 PM Sunday, November 12, 2023
Got to dog sit today for a bit. The Wang’s Sasha, who we traded Lucy for this afternoon. Since Tracy had to come back and work, Lucy had to catch a ride with the Wangs on the way back in (didn’t get home until 9pm), so Tracy took Sasha home. Kinda fun having a dog around. Annoying though to have to clean or watch to make sure she doesn’t eat any random stuff on the ground. And she’s surprisingly strong on dog walks. Ate a lot of leftovers out of the fridge. Had the holiday dinner with my parents last Friday night at Buona Terra Italian Ristorante. So those were some leftovers that were eaten, along with some Eataly, and some fried chicken from Chop Suey Hut that my parents also dropped off the other day. Managed to hang some additional shelves in the linen closet yesterday, but didn’t get the oven cleaned like I was supposed to this weekend. Gotta try and fit it in before going to St. Louis next weekend for a soccer tournament. Weather actually looks pretty good for it, which I’m pleasantly surprised at. Hip’s feeling better, so think I’m going to start running again tomorrow. Thinking just longer slow runs on MWF, and 4x4’s on T-Th. Or switch those depending on how I feel. We’ll see.
9:59 PM Monday, November 13, 2023
Started running again after a week off. Doesn’t seem like a long time, but my body’s definitely feeling it. Definitely think I should look into real running shoes. Not sure if my feet hurt because of the shoes or because of my feet and running. I’ll have to get some to find out. But guessing it’s going to take me a while to build up the stamina. I’ll probably hold off on doing anything more intense than running for a couple more weeks. Try and build up to it again. Head’s been pretty itchy, or just I’m getting used to having short hair again. It just feels cooler. Getting colder in my basement office nook, so I’m thinking of breaking out the electric blanket and heater again. I still haven’t dialed in clothing for temperature yet.
9:30 PM Tuesday, November 14, 2023
Jonah had his birthday party at Sluggers tonight. First time there. First time in a batting cage. Wow am I bad. Had a couple beers, had some pizza. Not a bad Tuesday night. Hudson’s gonna join P4 for the tourney this weekend, which is cool. Surprise practices the next couple of days. Can’t believe we’re headed down to St. Louis in a couple days. Hard to believe it’s Thanksgiving next week.
9:31 PM Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Drove Jackson and Hudson to a tourney team practice today. Weird being up there at Foster Fields. There’s no nets on the goals. Also had to pick up Lucy and Matilda from swim practice, so a bit of driving around today. Also managed to go on a run today. Officially only 1 more day of Couch to 5K training, and then I have to pick what I want to do to maintain or elevate. Definitely easier driving around and parking for practice. Just not a lot of people out today. Or maybe it’s because of the upcoming breaks and stuff. I also squeezed in a Jewel and Target run today.
10:22 PM Thursday, November 16, 2023
The other day I forgot where I put my iPhone 15 Pro, and figured I’d ping it from my Apple Watch Ultra 2 and track it down, but I had forgotten that they do precise location finding. So I was able to wander around the house, following the prompts, until I found my phone in my closet. That was really cool. Had totally forgotten about it. Will be really nice when all the devices have it. Jackson’s birthday today, and he had to go to soccer practice. Didn’t get to open up and setup his new PS5 until after, and now it’s just downloading Spider-Man 2 (video game) which apparently takes a while. It’s pretty impressive. Curious to see what Remote Play is like.
11:08 PM Friday, November 17, 2023
Drove down to the STL with Dave and Hudson for a soccer tournament. Left at 3:30 and got to the hotel at 10pm. Of course stopped for dinner and gas/coffee on the way. Same Chalet hotel as the spring. Hoping it’s not too cold, but I did bring a lot of cold weather stuff. So we’ll see. Got to use a mobile key on my iPhone to open the door. That’s pretty cool. I think I can use my Apple Watch too. As far as I can tell, only have 3 games, no playoff or bracket play. So far, the only thing I think I forgot was my eBook.
10:25 PM Saturday, November 18, 2023
Lost their first game today, 0-2. Didn’t play well. Had a big gap between their 10:40am first game and 6:40pm second game. Went to Fitz’s for lunch. Good food and soda. Also picked up a 24 pack of asstd sodas. Then had to go to Dick’s to get Jackson new cleats (since the outsole was falling off his old ones). Also took a while to find a swim suit (apparently not a whole lot of choices in November. Side note, the mall was hopping. Found one eventually at Macy’s, but realized after we got back to the hotel that they forgot to remove the security tag. Managed to get it off using the saw on the Leatherman to open it up and pliers to get it off; however, I managed to slice my finger open. Managed to get a band-aid on it, and Austin got me some crazy glue, but not going to open it up again until I get home. Jackson and Hudson got an hour of swimming in, then back for the 2nd game of they day. They played better this time, but managed to lose 0-3. More shots on goal, but no conversions. 1 more game at 9am. Hoping we can at least get on the board. Got some bubble tea on the way back to the hotel for pizza with the team in the hospitality room for the tourney.
11:05 PM Sunday, November 19, 2023
Lost again this morning, another shut out, 0-5. Didn’t score a single goal, only a handful of chances all weekend. And they started out pretty sluggish again. Not a strong showing. Trouble sleeping last night, ended up going out early this morning to get breakfast and a later checkout so we didn’t have to pack up before the game. Got Dave to the airport, and did the drive back to Chicago. Much easier and faster on this return leg. KFire for dinner, which was alright. Worth a try. Finished up Season 2 of Loki. Not sure where that leaves us with whatever MCU Phase it is. Not sure what’s next out of the queue.
11:17 PM Monday, November 20, 2023
Went for my run in the morning, since I didn’t have to drive Lucy to school. Kind of nice to get it over and done with, but maybe I should take a shower after, I kinda smelled all day. But definitely pretty quiet out at 7:30 on days with no school and Thanksgiving break. Not as much traffic, only really people walking their dogs. Took a drive this afternoon, because I thought Lucy had an eye doctor followup, but turns out she wasn’t on the books. Was going to pick up Joy Yee’s in University Village, but they’re closed on Monday, so instead just went to the one by Lane Tech. Got a blueberry freeze with boba and blueberry popping boba. It was pretty good. Different.
11:52 PM Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Quiet birthday for Tracy. After work, kids got some shots (Jackson a flu shot and Lucy the most recent covid shot). Did some shopping at Mariano’s after and went home before coming back to that neighborhood for dinner at Sushi+. We actually remembered our frequent diner cards, and Tracy spun the wheel and got us $50 off. Yay! Other than that, cleaned the basement fridge and the oven. Did a Jewel run to get some milk for Lucy. Otherwise, pretty quiet.
9:40 PM Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Slight work crisis this morning. So much for a quiet Wednesday before Thanksgiving. At least I don’t have to deal with the Black Friday stuff pretty much at all anymore. Took Lucy over for her orthodontist followup, all checked out, and set an appointment for 3 months, again on a day with no school, but after lunch, instead of 9:15 which was way too early for her. Got my flu and covid vaccines this afternoon. So in the household only Jackson is missing his covid vaccine this season, everyone else has one and everyone has had the flu shot. Didn’t get a chance to go running, maybe tomorrow, we’ll see how I feel. Started watching Raiders of the Lost Ark to build up to Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. Just surprised the first one doesn’t get the Indiana Jones and the prefix like all the others. A little annoying when you do a search for Indiana Jones and Raiders doesn’t show up.
10:16 PM Thursday, November 23, 2023
I didn’t do the turkey this year, Tracy did everything. I made some pies for tomorrow’s friendsgiving, but today was all her. I was also a little out of it. The flu/covid shots yesterday did me in, although just about 24 hours later, I think I’m over the hump. Seems to have affected Lucy and me, not Jackson and Tracy though. Only had the in-laws over, so pretty small and quiet. Jackson’s already 100% Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on the PS5, so probably going to have to get the first one and Miles Morales as well, maybe for Christmas.
11:44 PM Friday, November 24, 2023
Prepped for Friendsgiving. Went well. Still ongoing.
10:26 PM Saturday, November 25, 2023
Waffles and bacon and breakfast sandwiches this morning. My turn to do the cooking. Introduced the Cases to Acron. After they left, we went to the mall, today! Out at Northbrook Center, where it was pretty quiet and maybe 30% retail occupied? Nothing like the mall I was at near St. Louis. Got the LEGO Alpine Lodge (Winter Village set for this year) while the girls went shopping. Jackson and I wandered around. I tried on some Maui Jim’s, thinking I need new sunglasses for upcoming vacations. Wanted to eat at P.F. Chang’s but didn’t have a reservation and so it was an hour late. Just so weird how empty the mall was and how packed Chang’s was. Just ended up having leftovers at home.
10:01 PM Sunday, November 26, 2023
Got a little over a month before vacation, so gotta start planning ahead. Also Thanksgiving break was good, but gotta get back to it. Big part of that will be eating better and exercising regularly. But that starts tomorrow, so today went to family breakfast at Crosby’s Kitchen, then this afternoon got some froyo at Forever Yogurt.
10:52 PM Monday, November 27, 2023
Didn’t even get a chance to exercise today, too busy working. Kind of annoying, wanted to get out and running. Maybe tomorrow. I did manage to not eat much, so that’s something. Also stayed up way too late last night (which is like 2 out of 3 recent nights, so I’ve got to get back on schedule there. Basketball started up for Jackson today with a parent run practice, which was nice. Definitely starting to be too many kids to figure out carpooling. Not sure what we’re going to do for carpooling for soccer since P4 has a different Friday schedule than P2. Maybe I’ll just end up driving every time again. Did that the first year he was up there.
9:28 PM Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Got a decent night’s sleep. Work quieted down enough I went out for a run today. Think I actually overdressed. I think I’m supposed to be cold at the start and comfortable at the end. Although I assume the cool down walk would be cold. Today I started comfortable, probably got a little too warm, and was comfortable on the cool down. Probably more appropriate attire for when it’s colder and windier. No carpooling today, just Lucy to/from swim practice. No driving for Jackson either.
10:45 PM Wednesday, November 29, 2023
Found out the drain on our tankless water heater wasn’t installed properly. Apparently it’s acidic, and needs to be neutralized and through PVC pipes. Oh, and it should be flushed yearly. Whoops. I noticed it on Monday, not sure why I decided to look into the mechanical room, but yeah, we got some water damage that we now need to get taken care of as well. Used Rocket Plumbing again, awesome as always. Always fun to get these surprise household expenses.
10:19 PM Thursday, November 30, 2023
Crazy, November’s over. December in mere moments and before you know it, 2024. Fingers crossed it’s a good year. Tried going for a run today, weather was great, but had tightness in my left calf, so cut it short and walked after about 15 minutes. Drove Lucy to school, picked up Lucy and Julia from math practice, drove Lucy and Matilda to swim practice, so a decent amount of driving. Got my annual check up tomorrow. For a while I was good about doing it in July, but I slipped last year to October and even more this year to December. I’ll slip a month or so every year until I get back to July, seems like a good time to do it. Better than now, post Thanksgiving. I guess it could be worse, just after the New Year.
11:04 PM Friday, December 1, 2023
Crazy only 30 days left in the year. Had a checkup and labwork done at One Medical, then picked up Beacon Donuts after. Felt like deja vu getting it, but no previous Swarm checkins. Anyway, they had 11 different types, and I couldn’t limit myself, so I just got them all. Figure I’ll treat today as my cheat day. Worked out because we got Sal’s Trattoria for dinner too. Wet day, made driving annoying, until it stopped raining. Tracy’s trying out Kindles, the newest Paperwhite and Oasis (didn’t realize the current Oasis is still micro-USB). We’ll see which one she picks. Wouldn’t have had to order/return if Amazon Books was still open on Southport.
9:46 PM Sunday, December 3, 2023
Missed an update last night, went out and saw some stand up. Saw Brad Williams at The Den. Dinner at Antique Taco which was really good. After dinner drinks at Tuco & Blondie and a nightcap at home. So yeah, night out. Took Jackson’s to week 1 of i9 Sports basketball at Bell. Interesting. Took Lucy today for her swim meet. Took some photos and actually got to time her 500.
9:39 PM Monday, December 4, 2023
Ordered another pair of GoRuck shoes, this time the GORUCK Rough Runners, for actually running. Waiting on them to show up before I go running again. Also figure that gives my left calf/achilles time to heal. Gotta get back on a schedule. Saw someone who wanted to walk 500 miles in a year using a treadmill desk. Wonder if that's actually doable for me? Maybe I should try for 2024. Cause that's right around the corner. Oh, after getting a haircut, my Blaine trucker hat fits great. Doesn't feel too small. So that's cool.
9:47 PM Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Brought the treadmill out again and did some walk and work today. Also worked on setting up the old MacBook Air Windows 10 for fun. Might be able to bring that out and about for work, instead of my actual work provided laptop, so one 3 years old instead of 10. Still works fine for me though. I just checked and my MacBook Air link says the last one lasted 10 years and that this one should last 10 as well, just 7 months before they announced the Apple Silicon transition. Funny that. Still not sure when I’ll get an Apple Silicon Mac in the house. Have to specify Mac, because I’m currently typing this on an M1 iPad Pro which could probably run macOS no problem. Back to the treadmill, doesn’t seem like 500 miles would be doable. At least I don’t think so. I guess I can try. Can’t hurt to try.
9:16 PM Wednesday, December 6, 2023
Worked from the kitchen today. Started on the iPad Pro and moved to the MacBook Air. Finally got the MacBook Air mostly setup for work stuff. Even figured out how to get runas to work with saved credentials, so I can use SMSS with integrated authentication. Getting decent battery life, so might think about doing some remote work from home (funny). Ate dinner, although fast food tonight. Had a Popeye’s chicken sandwich (wings again for Lucy) and then a McRib (Jackson wanted a Big Mac). That’s too bad because I was trending down on weight, but I’ve also been starving.
10:35 PM Thursday, December 7, 2023
Tried making Bo Ssam. Not sure if I used or had too much sugar in the marinade, or I cooked it wrong, but definitely wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. I did make it over to Dom’s Kitchen & Market to pick up some stuff, and produce is just so much better than Jewel, although I didn’t try Mariano’s. Maybe I’ll head over to Dom’s to work remotely tomorrow. Finished up Raiders of the Lost Ark and started Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Just backgrounding them for now. They definitely show their age.
11:56 PM Friday, December 8, 2023
Tracy got us a Christmas tree and outdoor decorations. I gotta get holiday decorations down from the garage attic and put the tree up. Kind of weird considering it’s quite warm for December. Also went to the Winter Wonderland at Gallagher Way tonight. Gina and Kaye got a chalet, which was nice. Turns out the kids like ice skating. Funny, I think Jackson’s at the same age as when Lucy liked ice skating too. Go figure. I think I’ve been pocket dialing with my phone. Not sure how it’s happening, but weird to see so many outgoing calls in my call list. And I noticed the yesterday that Dip and Sip closed over on Roscoe. Supposedly they’re just moving up to Glenview, but still, sad.
9:23 PM Saturday, December 9, 2023
Tracy did some outdoor holiday decorations. I got the tree up and in the stand and watered. Gotta put lights on it and start decorating tomorrow. Jackson had another i9 basketball game today. Played a bunch of 3rd graders this time. They won. Was tempted to have a fire in the backyard tonight, but got too cold. Otherwise felt like the day went by pretty quick.
11:01 PM Sunday, December 10, 2023
Indoor Christmas decorations are up, Christmas Tree lighting schedule is in. Not sure if I’ll put lights outdoors or not. I guess I should check to see if the HomeKit outdoor plugs still work. Found out I lost a drive for my Plex Server. Had to order restore drives from BackBlaze, That’s gonna take a while to restore once I get those. I think it went bad when it filled up. Whoops. In case anyone’s wondering why a bunch of media isn’t available via Plex, that’s why. Started 7 minute workouts today. Ended up doing it twice, once in the morning by myself, and again before dinner with the kids. Turns out with rest cycles it’s like 8 1/2 minutes total. Gets the heartbeat up. Otherwise a nice lazy Sunday. I’ve also started Knotwords classic in addition to the mini. I might drop the mini, since I got my year streak completed. Also I’ve started Duolingo again. So I’ve got a bunch of stuff now to try and keep the brain sharp. There was another one that had a listening game, that I never did well on, I should track that one down.
10:31 PM Monday, December 11, 2023
Did another 7 minute workout today. So that’s officially 2 days in a row. Back to work in my basement home office. Updated all my devices to iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, watchOS 10.2, macOS 14.2, and tvOS 17.2. Went to 3 different, kind of, grocery stores. Walked to local Jewel this afternoon, then after dropping Jackson off at basketball practice, had to get stuff for Jackson’s packable lunch for his field trip tomorrow, so tried Cermak Produce, which as the name implies had great produce and lots of Mexican consumables, but not a big box grocery store, so ended up going to another Jewel I’d never been to on Kedzie and got stuff there. Also noticed there’s a Chik-Fil-A right there as well. I guess I never go out that way anymore, so no idea what’s new.
11:35 PM Tuesday, December 12, 2023
Instead of my usual Tous Les Jours visit after my nephrologist check up, I tried Mano Modern Cafe. It was busy, at least all the tables were taken. More than half had single people at 2 tops on laptops, so maybe not so good? Anyway, food was pretty good, although I expected more Spam and the pandesal was more biscuity than roll like. The Ube latte was pretty good, not too sweet. Anyway, got another 7 minute workout in with Jackson before dinner. Doing a whiskey survey type thing through ReceiptHog. Go figure it’s about Sagamore Spirits. I’ve only had 1 bottle of theirs, the Double Oaked, but haven’t wanted to get another. Had to drive Lucy and Matilda to swim practice, and traffic wasn’t that bad at all today. Unlike yesterday, when there must have been something going on at the Lincoln Park Zoo because that parking lot was backed up with people leaving when I picked Lucy up.
10:42 PM Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Back on team Panthers for NBGC prep basketball. We got a couple familiar faces besides all the Blaine kids. And we come out with a win (as far as I know). First time watching the game at Revere Park Gym. We were up top, watching from the balcony, overlooking the court through a chain link fence. Interesting. A little annoying, especially since I was trying to take pictures. I drove the kids around today, so had to take them out of soccer early to make it to the basketball game on time. Not sure going forward how many more Wednesday basketball games they’ll make, as the rest of them are at the exact same time as soccer practice.
11:19 PM Thursday, December 14, 2023
Somehow managed to scratch up the frame on my month old iPhone 15 Pro. Not sure how, but pretty annoying. So I put the Apple Silicone Case in Clay on it. Too bad, cause the phone looked good caseless. Took a long walk down to Whole Foods to get some fish. Also wanted to get some white grapefruit, because apparently it’s the season. Which means it’s Brown Derby season. Went ice skating with Jackson this afternoon. Fun to get out on the ice. Grabbed some food at the Christkindlemarket on the way home. After dropping Lucy and Matilda off at last swim practice until the new year, stopped by Binny’s. Wasn’t planning on getting anything but walked out with a Buffalo Trace Kosher Wheat Recipe and a Still Austin Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey Bottled In Bond and some Tiki bitters.
10:00 PM Friday, December 15, 2023
Got 2 of 3 restore drives from Backblaze today, so started the restore process. Putting them on the OWC Thunderbay 8 - 2A drive. Holding off on reinitializing the Elements 5 drive until I have everything restored, in case I have to try and pull something off it. Slow going though. Ran some errands today, had to get a matching Apple Sports Band in Clay for the silicone case on the iPhone. Always gotta match. Wonder if the next color updates will have something closer to the natural titanium. Another thing I realized sbout the official Apple Silicone Case? It’s got additional magnets for MagSafe in it. Made a couple Amazon returns (wasn’t as simple as just dropping them off at Whole Foods, I actually had to package them, had to label one that went to an Amazon Locker location and the other had to go to a UPS Store. Think that’ll be the only returns until after the new year I think.
9:24 PM Saturday, December 16, 2023
Nothing like a rainy December day. Only had Jackson’s basketball game today. Otherwise just chilled at home. Started my 2nd restore of my crashed Plex drive. The 3rd is still building at Backblaze, which makes sense. It was twice as big as the other 2 that already shipped. So far, A+ experience with Backblaze. Was supposed to put up outdoor lights, but rained, and I was lazy.
8:07 PM Sunday, December 17, 2023
Got Jackson into Ten Pound Cake for the spring quarter. Went 3 for 3 for enrollment this year. Pretty lazy Sunday. Did manage to get out and hang outdoor lights. Started using the Armagnac in the snifter. Works pretty well as a whiskey substitute.
9:12 PM Monday, December 18, 2023
Last Backblaze restore drive shipped. After I get that copied over I can reformat the drive that went bad and maybe start using it again? I think I just have to be more proactive and make sure I’m not running low on space. Might be time to try and spin up Influx and Grafana and Telegraf for my home devices. Dropped off and picked up Lucy early from school today (exam schedule and she had Academy last period). Did a 48 hour sous-vide beef short rib and pork short rib and a 24 hour pork belly for Tracy that finally finished up today. Had the ribs today, and very tender, but I thought the pork had much better flavor.
8:34 PM Tuesday, December 19, 2023
It’s that in-between time of the year. Just kind of treading water waiting for vacation to start, but kids and work. Working my way through Obliterated. It’s been sitting in my Plex Continue Watching line for a while. Backup drive is supposed to show up tomorrow. Still shuffling things around to make sure all the drives have enough free space. Got to make some things for various weekend parties and get togethers. Need to put together a shopping list.
11:43 PM Wednesday, December 20, 2023
Got my third and final restore drive from Backblaze and started copying stuff back. After that I’ll have to figure out how to send them back for a refund. And maybe think about another drive for the OWC Thunderbay 8 in the new year. Had to go out and get some supplies for the drinks and cocktails to be made for this weekend’s festivities. Jackson chose playing a basketball game vs. soccer practice today. They ended up winning, 21-8. And now no more games until January. And now I think it might be time to get a basketball hoop for the garage. Maybe this spring.
11:12 PM Thursday, December 21, 2023
Finished up the Backblaze restores. Tried reformatting the Western Digital Elements HD that went bad, and it’s not. So I guess I’ll need a new drive sooner rather than later. Kids are now official off for winter break. Feels like winter break. Doesn’t necessarily feel like Christmas though (weather has something to do with it, 40°, no snow). Finished off Obliterated and decided to start watching Reacher Season 1 before starting Season 2. Lucy’s holding off on watching Percy Jackson and the Olympians until all of Season 1 is available. So I guess we’re not watching until February.
10:53 PM Saturday, December 23, 2023
Late night last night, no update. Adult party, no kids, so out until 2am. No exercise today. Had to get up and take Jackson for a haircut. Then drove out to Oakbrook for brunch with Mike and Amy and family and the in-laws. Then back in to the city, a nap, and then dinner party at the Wang’s with the Spalding’s. So running on empty right now. Got another Christmas Eve out at Mike’s tomorrow, then a quiet rest of the week before vacation.
9:33 PM Sunday, December 24, 2023
Slept in this morning, then out in the ‘burbs. Stopped by Jolibee downtown to pick up some food on the way out to Mike’s. It’s the closest one on the way. Ate some food, watched some football, took a nap. Drive out and back wasn’t bad. Otherwise a nice quiet day.
9:35 PM Monday, December 25, 2023
Got to sleep in again. On Christmas Day no less. Opened presents. Had to get milk, but only place open close was CVS. Ended up going for a run. First one in a while. Used my new GORUCK Rough Runners. Took about 15 minutes to break in, but felt pretty good at the end. Didn’t do a full 30 minute run, but did a handful of sprints at the end. Facetimed with Al and Bo, using continuity camera on the iPhone and the Apple TV (moved it up to the family room for it). Worked well, but probably should have put the iPhone on a tripod closer to the couch for a better view. Also tried playing with Facetime Reaction effects, but couldn’t reliable get them to trigger.
10:30 PM Tuesday, December 26, 2023
Was thinking I’d do some work today, and got up and everything, but wasn’t quite ready yet. So gotta cram a bunch of stuff in the next three days before vacation. Gotta be super productive. Rebooted access points this morning because my iPad Pro wasn’t connecting, but turns out my Express VPN was somehow set to always be connected and was causing problems. But it looked like there were some WiFi issues anyway, even though it was only 8 days since the last restart. Would be nice if I eventually figured out a restart schedule for those. I think I like flannels, so might have to get more of those. And turned Downtime back on for myself. Need it again.
10:02 PM Wednesday, December 27, 2023
Worked, best of my ability, trying to get back into it. Slow going though. Was going to fast, or at least try, but didn’t make it. Just had a bunch of leftovers for lunch and dinner. Did manage to do a 7 Minute Workout though. Started watching Mrs. Davis. Amazing. I’m always late to the good stuff. But only 2 episodes in and it’s already among my favorites. Not sure I’ll finish before vacation, or I’ll have to download it via Plex. Been drinking eggnogs lately. ‘Tis the season and all. Also we had rum and eggs to get rid of.
10:48 PM Thursday, December 28, 2023
Yeah, lots to do, a day left to do it. Snuck in laundry today. Still trying to get work done. Got a haircut. Funny story there, this morning I made an appointment with whoever was available today. When I go, I think she somehow recognized me or asked if my wife was Tracy. Turns out she was Tracy’s stylist too. And she’s now my new stylist too. Did get another 7 Minute Workout in. No runs though, and probably won’t get any in. Not sure if I’ll bring running stuff on vacation. Had to bake Lucy’s gingerbread cookies. And absolutely loving Mrs. Davis.
11:00 PM Friday, December 29, 2023
Think we’re all set for vacation. Not sure I’ll be able to keep this updating while I’m gone, but I”ll try. Trying a couple different things on this trip; using Packing Cubes from Peak Design, using higher capacity USB-C charging stations instead of the old 10 port USB-A one that’s served us well, and everyone get’s their own suitcase. Didn’t get a chance to finish off Mrs. Davis today, but downloaded the last 2 episodes and a handful of other shows via Plex to my iPad mini. Not sure if or when I’ll get around to watching those, but we’ll see. Early start tomorrow. Should be interesting. Hopefully I’ll have time to do a retrospective tomorrow for the year.
7:49 PM Saturday, December 30, 2023
Up early, travel day. Flew to Miami via Baltimore. Slept on the plane some. Still need to catch up. Hoping I do on vacation. Liked having AirTags on the suitcases. Comforting to know that bags made it before even getting to the baggage claim. Baltimore airport was the nicest of the three and it was even under a little construction. They had Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabons, so yeah, winner. Slight delays, nothing too bad. Pretty straightforward. Cool in Miami, so no pool time at the hotel. Gotta make a Target run in the morning before embarking. Dinner at Calista Taverna was great. Ate outside, so pretty cool, but still, really nice area. Food was really good. Now, early bedtime.