3:36 PM Monday, January 3, 2022
Wow, surprised I missed posting my monthly update the last 2 months of 2021. That's worse than usual for me. Let's see, have been borrowing my parents car because Jackson's indoor soccer practice conflicts with Lucy's swim practice, and too far and too cold to do any biking for that. Also means we've been fitting 2 cars in our garage, which is a tight fit. Mostly kept up with the Apple Fitness+ 10 minute HIIT workouts, but that finally trailed off towards the end of the year, and I haven't picked it back up yet. More sporadic right now, once to twice a week maybe. I also joined Movement Wrigleyville the bouldering gym at Clark and Addison. Jackson and I went with Dave and Hudson once, and I liked it, and they had a grand opening deal, so I pulled the trigger. Been going once a week, only short 30 minute sessions, but pretty good workout. I'm enjoying it. Even got myself a chalk bag and a set of shoes. Oh, right, Halloween. Tracy and I went as Molotov Girl and Free Guy from the movie. And no one recognized us. Kids went with inflatable costumes, Jackson getting carried by an alien like Hudson and Lucy with a jet pack. We were supposed to host a halloween party for the Six Families, but got cancelled due to one of the families getting COVID, so only met up with the Thorngren's. Tried out Crumbl Cookies for the first time. Drove down to Wicker Park location with Lucy. Pretty annoying with traffic and parking, so from then on just paid for delivery instead. Had it I think 3 times so far, so maybe need to take a break for a bit. Had a random weekend night out at Lucky Strike with some of the Six Families. I like bowling, but don't think I could do that on a weekly basis. Saw a feral cat sleeping on the chair on our porch, so made an enclosure for the winter with insulation and straw and a camera and temperature sensors and everything. But haven't seen the cat back since then. I even got catnip and put it in there. Made crack pie and a pumpkin pie layer cake for Friendsgiving with the Six Families. It is or was McRib season, so I've had it maybe like 3 times. Kids got vaccinated. I got my booster. Jackson had a bad reaction after his second, so he got sent home sick that day. I also got wiped out by my booster (walk in to CVS). Jackson had to self quarantine during Thanksgiving break because of a close contact with COVID positive. Timing worked out well though, so didn't miss that much in school days. Figured out how to store pictures of vaccine cards and bring them up on my iPhone via Shortcuts. Finally made it back to Sushi+ conveyor belt sushi. As good as I remember it. Went to a Winter Solstice party with the Six Families. Started researching and getting whiskeys. Got more glasses. Trying to make clear and fancy ice for cocktails. Had to get new Christmas lights for the fence. Next year have to get real garland for the fence. Also might upgrade to Twinkly lights for the tree. Sous vide a tomahawk for Tracy's birthday. Did Lucky Strike for Jackson's birthday. Successfully roasted the turkey without setting off the smoke/fire alarm. Christmas eve at my parents, Christmas Day at Tracy's parents. Watched Spider-Man: No Way Home afterwards. Had a belated original Friendsgiving when the Cases came on an impromptu visit. Went ice skating at Gallagher Way. Jackson likes it. And got a true date night out with Tracy while the kids slept over at the grandparents. And now it's 2022.
9:42 PM Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Fall means Apple Events, and at the September one they announced an upgraded iPad mini. So I implemented my iPad upgrade plan. I handed down my iPad Pro 11-inch down to Lucy, ordered up a iPad Pro, 12.9-inch (5th generation) and a iPad mini (6th Generation). The 12.9 is pretty much my laptop replacement. I use Jump Desktop to remote in to multiple machines, Windows for work or Mac mini's for home. I've gotten used to it, so much that the 11-inch feels small. The iPad mini is now my general use, couch, out and about device. Which means the iPhone has moved down to probably the lowest used device on the chain. I didn't like how my iPhone 11 Pro looked next to my nice flat sided devices, so I'm upgrading to an iPhone 13 mini too. Figure I can get by with the smallest sized iPhone for now. Not gonna get much use with the iPad mini in play. Other than that, I discovered /r/cocktails, which is probably a bad thing. Found out about Paper Planes from there, so that might be a new favorite drink. And now I've got to get more Amaros. Lucy's still swimming. Jackson's still playing soccer. He had a tournament out in Montegomery, IL at a giant sports complex. It was like an hour or an hour and a half to drive out there, depending on traffic. Weather didn't cooperate, so games were cancelled on Saturday, which Tracy didn't find out until she got out there. Sunday games were postponed multiple times, but they did eventually play. But his team's doing pretty well. Only got about a month left for the fall season. Lucy's finally got a meet coming up, but they're over capacity, so she's in open division, instead of her age groups. School's school. Work's work. Social calendar is filling up for the fall/winter though. Got some ideas for cocktails to premix. Oh, been doing Apple Fitness+ HIIT workouts, just the short 10 minute ones. It's been rough, but good. Getting a good sweat on. Also doing it pretty much every day, so think it's helping.
9:52 PM Thursday, September 9, 2021
I missed my Daily Dose anniversary post back on August 5th, but that just makes this blog being 21 years old. Old enough to drink. Crazy. Hard to believe I'm still writing, albeit not anywhere close to being daily, after all these years. Wonder if I'll ever get under the hood again to change anything, or if this will keep chugging along. Anyway. Happy Belated Birthday blog.
11:35 PM Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Been busy. Tried making up for the lost pandemic year, thinking it was mostly over, but guess it wasn't. Made a couple trips to Lakeside Inn with friends. Found out some of my old Magic: The Gathering cards are actually worth some money. Put up another hanging shelf in the garage for the cargo box. Much nicer in there. Did my first escape room for Elliot's birthday party. Fun. So fun we did it again when Tracy's brother and family were in town. Actually set off some big fireworks on the fourth of July. That last big one was unexpected, but pretty cool. Kids finished school, had camps over the summer. Lucy was in the Chicago Jr. Lifeguard camp, which she did on and off throughout the summer. She had a week of Stingray (her swim team) camp, and then did a sleepaway Nike Swim camp at Hillsdale College in Michigan for 5 days. Got to see and hang out with Russell and Sarah for a night. Finally. Jackson did Blaine summer camp for a couple weeks, and a P2 Soccer camp for a couple weeks. Started playing Exploding Kittens (thanks to the Brizzolara's) at Lakeside the second time around. Got our own set shortly afterwards. Went to Orlando for 10 days with Tracy's family, stayed at a couple Marriot resorts. Pretty much pool time the entire time. Didn't go to any amusement parks, except for Discovery Cove (no dolphins for us). Got our first COVID rapid test the day after we got back. All negative. Finally got around to donating blood again. Previous attempt got cancelled, so took me a while to rebook an appointment. Went camping again, and Kelley and Hudson joined us for a day. Kind of have a regular spot at Kohler-Andrae Wisconsin State Park. And then Lucy did the kids triathlon last weekend. And the kids are back in school as of yesterday. I actually went into Numerator's new office at 24 W. Washington for the first time. Finally setup the computers at my desk, and took home a bunch of my personal effects because they're moving to a hoteling desk setup. Not many people there at all. But a very nice space. Tempted to start going in more often. Also forgot how nice it was to have big monitors and lots of screen real estate. So just ordered up some to see what fits at my kitchen desk. Making a dent in the list of movies I need to watch. Oh, and I've given up coffee. It's a special occasion type of thing. So yeah, busy. Going to try and get back to a normal schedule of some sort now.
9:11 PM Monday, June 14, 2021
Chicago's open again. Phase V. It's definitely weird being fully vaccinated and having things seem back to normal. We went to a party last month, and we hosted a small party last weekend, all maskless. We even went to the Old Town Art Fair on Sunday, and it was like nothing happened. Super crowded. Crazy. Will be nice when the kids can finally get vaccinated too. Gotta recap May since I forgot to post my monthly update. Finally setup standing playdates with Hudson for Jackson on in school days (Thursdays and Fridays). His parents and us alternate which place they go to, so only 1 parent has to pick them both up. Lucy had a pretty low key birthday. Made her a Milk Bar carrot layer cake which was pretty good, and got Publican delivered. She really liked the steak. Trying to keep up with home workouts. Added in an oblique workout, along with the pyramid workout and plank workout. Finally finished The Maze Runner series. Jackson plays in the AYSO Region 418 Spring season with his same team. He likes it. He even tried out and made Northwinds SC, the AYSO Region 418 travel team (not sure which level). That was a bit of a surprise, since he hasn't been playing for that long. Started making cocktail mixers. Made a Rhubarb cocktail that's been a favorite (brought it to the party). Made a couple batches for friends (at cost) for their Memorial day plans. Maybe a side business? Also got a bottle cutter, trying to make vases for Tracy's plants. Not quite as easy as it looks. Not quite even all the time. Finally ordered food from Cho Sun Ok Restaurant, the korean BBQ place on Lincoln that always has a line out the door (found out because they're tiny on the inside, not that many tables). It's good. Had the car serviced (couple of recall services), ended up taking too long so I got a rental (Forester) for the day. Big car, but same cockpit, so the UI felt small. Went on our first camping trip of the year, and first time at Buckhorn State Park in Wisconsin, just north of the Dells. Delayed it by a day, because temp at the site dropped to 35 on what would have been the first night. Used the Rhino Rack cargo box for the first time. Max speed of 70 meant I camped out in the right lane. Definitely weird to do that. Campsite had water access, so Tracy rented kayaks for us. Getting them from the rental place to the site was a little difficult since we didn't have J racks for the car, but we hacked something together so it worked. Only had to return one because Tracy and Lucy kayaked across the lake to return one. Used a sleeping bag, so didn't get too cold. Having the cargo box at the site was nice, didn't have to trek back to the car to store food and trash. Bugs weren't too bad either. I got an inflatable pillow at Cabela's on the way up, since we also had to get a fishing rod since we forgot the kids rods). Much easier packing compared to the full size pillows everyone else had. Hoping we all have smaller ones for the next trip. Instead of Arby's, stopped at Culver's on the way home. Might be the 2021 place to stop on camping trips. Best onion rings I've had in a while. Went to our Cubs game for the year. Pretty nice day for it. Moved my desk off the kitchen table and over to the kitchen desk area, which I finally cleaned and organized. Been ordering a lot from Amazon lately. The hanging shelf works well for the cushions, and worked well enough that I ordered another one for the cargo box (better than the pulley system which hangs down too low. Starting to see the appeal of Tik Tok. It's super easy to get sucked into it. Lucy's started posting (making her own pop its (which is another fad I don't understand) or of Banana our leopard gecko). For the hosted party made more cocktail mixes, including a watermelon basil for margaritas, and a blueberry/mint to go along with the blackberry/sage (which I had previously made for the camping trip), for bourbon or gin fizzes or spritzes, and the rhubarb/rosemary from before. Watched a bunch of stuff including Beartown, Girls5eva, For All Mankind Season 2. Finally watched Knives Out and Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn). And just today figured out how to get the back door from sticking (the hinges have adjustment screws on them) as well as figuring out why the sliding door wasn't smooth (besides the rails being dirty, one set of rollers were rusted, so ordered a replacement set). So I guess I've been busy. Kids got a week of school left. And then summer begins. Lucy's got a couple swim camps, and she's gonna be a junior lifeguard. Jackson has a soccer camp and a week at Blaine summer camp. And we have a surprising amount of vacation planned. Should be a good summer (which hopefully won't be marred by any resurgence of COVID). Fingers crossed.
4:33 PM Monday, April 26, 2021
Got my 2nd shot of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine last Thursday. Ended up taking a sick day on Friday as I didn't sleep that well and felt pretty achy (like the flu). But that only lasted a day. So now just waiting a couple weeks until I should be fully vaccinated. Yay. Only thing that really changes I think is hanging out with other vaccinated people indoors without masks. Just in time for summer. Went to a house in Austinburg, Ohio for Spring Break with the Cases. Once I arrived, didn't leave the grounds until the trip was over. We let the vaccinated ones out to get food and supplies. But fun, relaxing, and they brought a new toy: Oculus Quest 2. Tried it out once for like 15 minutes, and then I knew I had to get one. So we do. And it's amazing. Aside from having to create a Facebook account for it, and of course spending on accessories and games, but a lot of fun. Now trying to evangelize, because it really is amazing. It's like the future. Like the Metaverse or the Oasis or the Matrix. Seriously cool. Also on the trip we did a Zoom magic show with Justin Willman (from Netflix's Magic for Humans). Pretty cool. Still working on the 30 day Micro.blog photoblogging challenge. I think I'm 4 days out from completing. Fingers crossed. Been ordering a bunch of Steingold's lately. Good stuff there. Keep getting the bagel and lox. One recent weekend we did 3 orders in 5 days (dinner, then a couple days off, then lunch then breakfast). Soccer's started again for Jackson. Getting conflicts with Lucy's swim practice, so have to bike instead of choosing to bike. Also got one of those garage storage pulley systems to hang the cargo box for the car. Gets it off the floor, but it hangs pretty low, so not the greatest. Thinking maybe one of those hanging shelves would be better? Ordered one to see. If not, the shelf could be useful for storing the patio couch cushions when it's raining. Finally got Jackson to use headphones for remote schooling, so it's much quieter when he's home M-W.
7:54 AM Monday, March 22, 2021
Found out last week I'm eligible to get the Covid-19 vaccine in the most recent phase (1B+). So I've started checking availability sites. Haven't quite escalated to checking pharmacies or suburban locations. But apparently I have an underlying condition, so that's kinda cool? Weather's been warming up, so actually been spending time outside. Back to stooping as well. At least when it's sunny. Not sure if I'm expecting another snow before summer or not. Kids are in hybrid learning. Different. Thursdays and Fridays are so quiet now. It's crazy. Hoping it's good for them to be around other kids in school again. I think Jackson's doing well with it. Haven't made a cake in a month or so. Got a couple coming up though. Doing pretty well keeping up with my home workouts. And staying hydrated. Next health issue to tackle is my irregular sleep schedule. Need to get more regular with that. Did get a cargo box, a Rhino-Rack Zenith Cargo Box 400L. Easy enough to get on and off. Need to find a storage place in the garage for that one though. Trying to burn through the rest of my wood pellets from the winter. I didn't keep them airtight, so they aren't the best anymore. But still keep things warm I think. Last week for HelloFresh. Going to try out Blue Apron next. Did another Power Red blood donation, still no Covid-19 antibodies. I failed to complete the February 2021 Photoblogging Challenge. So I'm trying to complete it on my own. Got to reach April 8 to make it.