8:54 PM Friday, July 29, 2022
Seriously, 3 whole months without an update? Whoops. Completely spaced on updating here. So Lucy ended up catching COVID on May 8th. Jackson continually tested negative. So far he's still hasn't had a positive test. Finished up watching The Expanse. Pretty good, but sad they didn't get to finish out the book series. Granted it gets pretty out there towards the end. Was pretty good on keeping up with sessions at Movement Wrigleyville up until the trip to Ireland. Then really haven't been for a month, then went back and got a couple flappers (calluses peeled off) on my left hand, so haven't gone back yet. Almost feels like my calluses are all gone. But I was consistently doing V3's before I stopped. So had been making progress. Played Ultimate for the first time in a very long time at the Old vs. Young game at Northwestern. Tracy and the kids came up to watch. Tun and I were the oldest by far. Next youngest was from 2012. Young team looks like atheletes, all tall and stuff. Definitely nothing like the team I played with. Young actually held their own, didn't get blown out. I actually did ok. Actually got a D. Go figure. Didn't hurt myself (no tears or sprains). Right knee swelled up something fierce though. Icing brought it down, but thought it was something worse. It wasn't. Jackson had club soccer tryouts for Northwinds and Chicago City Soccer. Ended up on Premier 3 (which is what he was supposed to be on last year, but I'm guessing got moved up because they didn't have enough to have Premier 2 and 3 last year. But this year, they've got enough. Three of his P2 teammates this year also are moving down. Funny though that Hudson tried out and made P2 this year. So they don't get to play together. Kind of sucks, but after talking to Coach Ahmad, Jackson's got to work on his ball skills. Got a Solo Store Bonfire to replace the fire table in the backyard that was rusting out. It's pretty amazing. Only got to use it a couple of times before it got pretty much too hot to use. Hopefully it gets lots of use this fall. The heat deflector works pretty well. Went camping again over Memorial Day weekend at Buckhorn State Park. DIdn't go up until Saturday, had to get the ranger over to clear out some kids stuff who had setup at our site. Took a while. Chris and Elliot came up and camped with us. Pretty fun. Jackson didn't get a mosquito bite until the last day. Watched Moon Knight. Blainapalooza was fun. Especially because Jackson went off with this friends, and I got to spend time with adults the whole time. Also managed to get rid of a the tiny bottles of Fireball. Found a new favorite cocktail from Cocktail Courier, Five Points Pavilion. Learned how to fat wash liquor (coconut tequila). Watched Severence. Watch that one. Watched The Good Place (some time jumping since Lucy was also watching it and started ahead of me). Kids made it to the end of school. Johnson's organized a beach party on the last day of school. That was fun. Went to Ireland for a week with the Cases. Galway was awesome. Castles are fun to stay in. Company was great. Drank some Guinness and the entire lineup of Spot Whiskey, as well as a Redbreast 21. That's some good stuff. Snuck in to take photos of the Trinity Library. Also checked out the Jameson distillery. But otherwise not that impressed with Dublin, except for Meaghers. Kids stayed with my parents. Went to South Haven, MI for 4th of July weekend where Kelley and Dave and Hudson were for the week. Lucy's been doing Junior Lifeguard Camp at Montrose Beach. Jackson's so far done a Northwinds soccer camp full day for a week, a basketball camp with Hudson for for half days for a week, and just finished up another camp with Hudson at Lakeshore Sport & Fitness full day for a week. He's only got one more P2 Soccer Camp full day with Hudson in a couple weeks, but that's been a lot. Had to drive and drop Lucy off at Nike Swim Camp at Hillsdale College and pick up her and Charlotte later that week when it ended. Did some bourbon hunting while in Michigan because Mythology doesn't distribute in Illinois. Only took an extra hour to get home after dropping Lucy off. Actually made it into the office for the 2nd time since COVID started. It was really nice. Convinced me to get a real work from home space. Tried moving up the 3rd floor, but wasn't good enough. Ended up ordering a real desk and chair from Fully and outfitted what was the LEGO nook to my office now. Today ended up being the first day I worked out of there. Watched The Boys S3. Pretty crazy. So yeah, that's the last 3 months.
9:51 PM Sunday, May 1, 2022
Ok, so now to recap the next 2 months of 2022. Got used to being mask optional for pretty much everything. Was going fairly regularly to Movement Wrigleyville 2-3 times a week for 30 minute bouldering sessions. Felt like I was close to leveling up, to V3. Was pretty regularly doing a 10 minute Apple Fitness+ core workout daily, but that started to slip to bouldering off days. Started just walking to Movement instead of driving or biking. Close enough and warm enough that it wasn't too bad. Started playing Pokemon TCG with Jackson and Lucy. Actually learned the real way to play, got a lot of premade battle decks. Got a couple HexClad pans. Started with an 8" to try it out, liked it, so we also got a 12" one. Replaced our non-sticks that were getting old. They heat up pretty quickly, sear well, and are pretty non-stick too. Tried out some edibles, but didn't have a great effect or me. Read the rest of The Expanse novels. Started watching the TV series. Not bad. Made Guinness beef stew for St. Paddy's day, since Tracy made corned beef and cabbage. Had a Dad's happy hour Irish whiskey tasting before the Mom's Trip to Scottsdale. Went to ClimbZone which was pretty cool. Should probably head back there at some point. Had to drive around the city one day for Lucy's tryout with CWAC then dive clinic at LSF at the Illinois Center. That was a lot of driving around the city for an afternoon/evening. Did try Nando's I think for the first time. It was really good. Finally started playing Acron on the Oculus Quest 2. Fun game for the family. Lucy started wearing Ortho-K contacts, so she doesn't have to wear glasses during the day anymore. Had to drive down to a couple follow up appoints with her. Ended up owing a lot in taxes. Took an intro to rope climbing course at Movement Lincoln Park. Need to go back and get certified as a belayer (if I can remember what to do). Did some rope climbing, but prefer bouldering. Went to Long Beach for Spring Break with Tracy's family. Even though it was cool, kids still swam in the outdoor pools. Managed to get out for a date night. Went to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Went to the wedding of Tracy's cousin. Danced a lot. That was nice. Long day to get back because of a 5 hour layover at the Phoenix airport. Turns out Tracy caught COVID, tested postive the Tuesday after we came back. I tested positive the Friday, which meant Jackson couldn't go to his soccer tournament in Indianapolis. But good news, the kids never got it (and we're like 9 days out from my last positive test). We've all tested negative multiple times so I think we're in the clear. Got a bunch Peak Design bags and stuff. I got a Peak Design Everyday Backpack - Ash / 20 for the trip, and liked it enough to get a bunch of other things. Also buying a lot of whiskeys, but I'm easing up since I'm running out of space. And that takes us to May.
2:23 PM Monday, February 28, 2022
Let's recap the first 2 months of 2022. Kids had a little break as teachers had a work stoppage for better protections and practices with the Omicron variant surge. I do wonder if having that mini strike helped prevent a surge by just keeping the kids away from each other for 5 days. Been taking Jackson to his indoor soccer games at the Chicago Fire Pitch on Saturday mornings. Supposedly they're playing up a level, which explains why they're winless, but definitely a stark change from the fall season. I think they're just slow to start, and with the scheduling, there's no warm up, and they start pretty early, and games are only 45 minutes. It does seem like the last 10 minutes or so they seem to come alive. Been trying to take pictures the whole time, not sure how many of them are any good though. Also been getting way too many Dunkin donuts, since it's on the way back from the pitch. Had a bunch of weekends with just me and Jackson, since Tracy took Lucy to a bunch of swim meets, trying to qualify for regionals, which she finally did at the last meet, and swam in 2 events at regionals this past weekend. Had to shovel a handful of times as a couple snow storms blew through Chicago. Nothing too bad though. Been keeping up with weekly sessions at Movement Wrigleyville. Seem to be plateauing at V2. Usually only do 30 minute sessions, about how long my forearms can take. Still enjoying it. Slacked off on the Apple Fitness+ HIIT workouts, but just recently started to get back into it, supplementing with some core workouts (trying the 30 day core challenge). Oh, I started pipe smoking. Well, trying to start. I've only done it twice, sitting on the porch on a sunny weekend, reading a book. Think it'll be my thing. That and I'm trying to get into whiskey again. Starting a small collection. Started up a 2nd cocktail subscription, Shaker & Spoon. More variety but more cocktails (3 x cocktails, enough mixers for 3-4 services), but no alcohol. Some interesting stuff so far. Also finally turned off the alcohol part for Cocktail Courier, so it's just the mixers for that one also. Had a bunch of parties with the Six Families, or at least it seemed like it. Was actually just 2 (Chinese New Year at the Brizzolara's and we hosted a Super Bowl party). Made some layer cakes; chocolate chip layer cake (amazing), cookies & cream layer cake (just ok), banana layer cake (probably the winner). Switched hands/pockets for my phone/keys. Taking a while to get used to it, but getting there. I was having some pain with my left wrist/elbow/forearm. Wasn't sure if it was related to climbing or phone overuse, but decided to make the switch. Got myself a gym bag (Tom Bihn Old School Carry All)) for bouldering. Had a birthday. Tracy made me steak and I got treats from Vanille Patisserie, mochi donuts from 2D Restaurant, and bourbon from Binny's. And that's pretty much it.
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.