Thursday, July 21, 2016

Hot Children in the City

While we had a relatively mild winter, there were still days that were too cold to let the kids outside to play.  Now that's summer we are having a small heat wave, which also makes it too hot for the kids
to play outside.  It's not so bad when they are at daycare during the week because they have activities to keep them busy.

But on the weekends its just us.  We like to have them outside because it burns some of their energy and they sleep better.


Speaking of sleep, ever since we got the new mattress in January one of both of them has been sleeping with us.  It's not because of the new mattress, that just marks when I recall it starting.  It seems something broke after that last trip to Gross Pointe because they have been sleeping with us every since.

Well we did get one night of uninterrupted sleep this week but we knew it wasn't going to become a pattern.

I mentioned that I had joined the gym next door.  I have about a week left on my trial membership.  So far all I've really done is use the facilities to swim, shower and run twice on the indoor track and once outside. It's a nice facility but the problem with gyms is if you go too cheap you get riff raft.  If you go too expensive, you get entitled frat boys who forget there are other people who use the same facilities.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Adventures in Dog Sitting

Since both our cats passed away, we have been pet-less.  While we wish our cats were still with us, we do realize the utility of not having pet-related expenses while taking on the costs that human kids bring.  Still, we do intend to have pets in our house again someday.  Nightingale wants a dog and I want cats, one black one while, so we will likely get them at more or less the same time so they grow up thinking it is perfectly normal to live together.

But I'm soo cute!


To that end, as a test of the situation and to help a friend out, we agreed to dog watch Reiley K. for a good friend of mine.  We have Reiley for two weeks and it has already proven to be very educational.  She is still technically a puppy and as such hasn't been trained not to use the bathroom in the house or not try to take the kid's stuffed animals or pacifiers. 

Still, she's a good dog and we enjoy her company.  I am also glad that there is a end-date to that company because we are not ready for a dog right now. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independance Day to everyone

The 4th of July has fallen on a Monday this year which makes for a nice 3-day weekend.  The days off from work go quicker than the week days at work.  That's another universal constant. We had a relatively relaxing weekend because we didn't try to get too much done besides spend time with the children and enjoy the nice weather.


Today is also the 7th anniversary of the day I met my wife. A lot of things had to move into place for that to happen.




Of course people are concerned about Brexit and all that  it means there and the parallels in the November presidential election this November.  Strange Times.

Update:  I think Ed hit the nail on the head once again.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Whats' Been Happening Lately

With summer in full swing and our traveling plans over -- at least the ones I know of -- we are shifting gears toward enjoying all the city and our neighborhood has to offer.  We've gone to the Farmer's Market and finally got our kitchen knives sharpened.  We still need to do the steak knifes but at least this gets us through the cooking.


Since some days are too hot to play in the yard, we are spending some time in our basement.  This means i really need to work on some of the projects I've been deferring now.  I want to mount the TV to the wall and also hack an old dresser into a TV stand.  IF I'm mounting the TV, why do i need the stand you ask?  To hold the peripherals of course.

What I have not been doing is enough running.  I don't really have a Before Work because we are too busy trying to get the kids ready for daycare and us off to work.  After Work is spent getting the kids fed, bathed and put to bed.  Once that is over, it's really too late to go for a run or workout.  We are usually exhausted and just want to enjoy some down time  before bed.

Nightingale and I have started riding our bikes to Jeff Park terminal so that counts as some exercise.  We prefer getting on the El there versus Irving Park even though that station is closer. The downside is that in the evenings you can end up waiting a long time for the next 56 Milwaukee bus.

One of the things I've figured out in the last week was how to take the Pedway from the Washington Blue Line Station all the way to my office.  So when the temperature is hot, humid and Hellish, this comes in handy.  We had to switch to Washington because of the repairs at Lake Street causing a logjam on the stairway.


I joined the gym next door but am having buyer's remorse.  Even with the company discount it is too expensive for a guy with kids to indulge in.  Plus the likelihood of me using the membership enough to justify the cost is unlikely, see Moose and squirrel. 

I have 30 day trial membership and I'll see how it goes.  We get complimentary evaluations with a PT who will help us develop a personal program to achieve our goals.  If I continue the membership, I have to buy a 3 month block so maybe I'll invest in that and see if I cannot bring down some of the weight with pool on Friday and a lunch time run or two during the week.


Lastly, on the work front the new job has, as expected, gone from Honeymoon Phase to I-Like-It-75%.  It's great to be downtown again with a less stressful commute.

But my main coworker is a tad on the anal retentive side and very nit-picky about things that really don't matter and really brings me down.  I'm hoping this is just a phase and things will level off but based on the movies I've seen before, that doesn't always happen.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

A grand investment

This month I put just about $1000 in home maintenance and upkeep.  I had to have the leaky garden faucet replaced on the side of the house.  This after just having the faucet in the back fixed the previous month.

Next we had a large infestation of ants that somehow found their way into our house.  We've had small amounts of ants before when we had cats because their food attracted the bravest of the eusocial insects.   This year The City finally removed the dead tree in front of our neighbor's house that housed multiple ant colonies.  I suspect it was Moose and Squirrel leaving food crumbs all over the place which invited the displaced ants

 So I grabbed an Angie's List deal and got a 1-Time Interior and Exterior Pest Control Treatment deal

Next up we had the opportunity to get our front porch stairs column repaired so we took it. 
Before

Before

After

After


Finally I upgraded our router and I'm counting that as home maintenance because so many devices throttled our internet bandwidth.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Introducing our new router

In spite of the fact that our cable modem/router worked perfectly fine, I opted to invest in a fancier model that has a few more bells and whistles.  


With all the iPhones and iPads and other smart devices in addition to the standard laptop and PC I need to connect to the Internet I decided it was time to buy a more robust router based on positive testimony from a friend.  

There was also a domestic tranquility element involved.   


 This is the speed result from some point far from the router

 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Almost mid-year report on running goal

My goal for this year was to run 40-45 miles a month give or take.  I got off to a decent start but missed the mark in April and totally failed in May with only running X miles.


Jan: 46
Feb: 33
Mar: 41
Apr: 33
May: 17
Jun:  5 (thus far)
175 miles thus far in 2016.

Forgetting about 45 and settling for 40/month for now, I'm starting June off with a deficit of 30 miles and when you add in the 40 for June, I'm needing to get in another 65 to hit 240.  I don't expect to get much mileage in this weekend while we are in Memphis for a wedding.

Honestly even if I do establish some running consistency this month, I wouldn't attempt to go from averaging 35 miles a month to 75 miles, that would be too hard on this poor old body.  So I will need to make up the deficit over several months or re-define the goal.

ON the plus side, taking the month of May off seems to have done wonders for the knees because they don't ache like the usually do during a run.  I did run a 10K last month and did quite well for not having run for 3 weeks beforehand.