Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Good day, rough night

So yesterday evening was a cluster-F.  First, the person who was supposed to come get a chair that we are giving away asked if she could either come at 830 or today.  We decided today would work better because I had an errand to run anyway.

Errand:  Nightingale and I went to the jewelry where we got our wedding rings in hopes that we could get some jewels added to hers.  They told us it wasn't easy (read: possible) to do so and they wouldn't advise it.  But they did talk us into getting them cleaned.  I went to pick them up based on their Yelp hours but unfortunately they have new (or perhaps Winter) hours that meant they were closed before I even got out the door.

Before that though:  my car battery had died over the weekend and I used Nightingale car to jump it.  It died again yesterday morning.  I tried to jump it again but no luck.  so I need to get a new car battery.  The Pep Boys is just around the corner but I do not want to pay for a tow, so I think I will have to buy the battery and try my luck installing it.

So to make the evening not a complete failure, I stopped off at the nearest Liquor Store and got some supplies.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Quick post-Thanksgiving Day recap

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year. We are falling into a pattern where we host Thanksgiving and the Adamas host Christmas.   In order to avoid spending a lot of unnecessary hours in the kitchen we order either the entire meal (last year) or the side dishes from Whole Foods and just heat everything up.

There definitely was a sense of egg shell walking this year related to the election of course. Everyone behaved but you could cut the tension with a knife.

I had a few opportunities to go for a run but did not partake of any of them.  I blame it on the fact that moose and squirrel spend a portion of the night with us and this causes me to sleep in pretzel like positions when Boris decides to sleep perpendicular to the bed.  But if we are being honest, I just haven't been all that motivated to run these days.

I also haven't been motivated to write either here or at ChicagoNow either.  I don't know why but I do know enough not to force it.  I have a few draft posts that I am slowly working on but otherwise, the Motivation Muse and her Creativity Cousin have left the building.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

20 miles to go

According to DailyMile I have logged 280 miles this year.  Not nearly the 450-500 i wanted.  With 38 days left in 2016, I'd have to run 5 miles each day to approach that number.  I may try to bring that 280 up to an even 300 but I am also trying to rest my knees and joints.  Face it, I'm old and I have arthritic knees and if I want to be able to run with Moose and Squirrel, I need to save all my runs.

Nov 15

Nov 23
I will move on to more swimming as it is easier for me to get swim in versus a run during my lunchtime workout.  My weight has definitely crept up although it's not at it's historical high.  I think I once was at 220 back in 2003 or 2004.  I doubt I'll ever get back to my fighting weight of 190 but if I can stay under 210 through the holidays perhaps I can then get closer to 200 by the time Spring arrives.  My theory is that humans are designed to store, not lose fat over the winter.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting ready for winter

We are supposed to have a very snowy winter and that means the kiddos will be stuck in the house a lot, even with a few jaunts out to MSI or other places if the weather permits.  I am rather pleased with how ready for winter we are with respect to putting away our lawn furniture and other garden items. 

We moved into this house in Dec 2012, so we didn't have to do much in terms of putting anything away.  In 2013, I misjudged how quickly things go from decent fall weather to Too-Fing-Cold to do anything outside.  In 2014, Moose and Squirrel showed up and I didn't have time because it was hard to find anyone to hold the babies while I could get to the stuff.  Same with 2015 it seemed.

This year I worked on it gradually over October and November when the temps were still comfortable.  In order to get things done, I need to have daylight, energy, appropriate weather and someone else dealing with my kids.

On Saturday during naptime, Nightingale and I made some purging and organizing decisions.  We decided to get rid of some paintings that have been sitting in the attic for 4 years.  We also are putting her three dresser set (family heirloom*) in the attic, making more space in the basement.  The dressers are better used in the attic because we have all sorts of kids clothes of various sizes in plastic crates which aren't as easy to find. 

* by heirloom, we just mean they have been in her family a long time, they are hardly valuable antiques.

Yesterday after we got up, we got out of the house relatively early.  We took the bus (Boris loves the bus and Natasha enjoys it too) to Alps for breakfast. Nightingale was worried it might be too crowded but we were there so early there were plenty of available booths.  Which is good because we don't want to annoy anyone with our noisy kiddos unless we absolutely have to.

It was too cold to play in the playground at the nearby park so instead we rode the bus back to the HIP and went to Target.  We were trying to get a spare Pink Teddy bear that Natasha has taking a liking too and we found a close approximation (same one, just this year's model) but didn't get it because it wasn't the same one.

We took a different bus home which let us get on a 4th bus.  We managed to get home in time for lunch and naps. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mid Morning Thoughts on the Day After

This is what I wrote yesterday on my personal Facebook Page:

This election has been like a ride at the amusement park but not in any of the fun ways. First the election season was like the long wait in line for that ride, with the first candidate announcing their bid to the primaries being just getting close enough to see the ride.

The Conventions would have been you getting into the housing structure of the ride, with no realistic chance to turn back.

Finally Election Day came and you are about to get on that short whirlwind ride that lasts 24 hours but you will remember for years to come. But you cannot enjoy the ride because instead of Delightful Fright, your have a stomach ache from the Hot Dog Campaign ads and the Cotton Candy flow of election news.
The only thing left to do is finish the ride, throw up and hope you feel better tomorrow.

Some sites I follow that have thoughts about the post election. 

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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

WFH Days return, sort of and The Bears aren't quite dead yet

I don't have an official WFH Day at the new gig like I did at TopFive, but I have been doing more WFH on Fridays.  As my boss pointed out, since I'm remote anyway, it really doesn't matter whether I'm at my home, the office downtown or even a Starbucks as long as I'm reachable and available. 

I do try to get too much extracurricular activity done on my WFH days.  It's because it's really the only time I have the trifecta of daylight, energy and kid-free environment.

So this weekend I focused on a few small things.  I did some prep work for potentially getting our foundation masonry painted.  And I put away some but not all of the deck furniture and garden items that need to come in for the winter.  It was strange having a 70+ degree day on Sunday, it felt like a summer day. 

I also had someone come over and mount the basement TV to the wall and fish a few network cables through the wall so they are not as unsightly.  I like this crew and would hire them again, perhaps if I ever decide to run network cable throughout the house or build that LAN closet I dream about. 

NFL Update: I knew someone would notice what I mentioned last week about there not being too many blowout teams and the Bears having a pulse.   I started writing my thinky-thoughts about it here, but then turned it into a ChicagoNow post because we need a break from all the Election Related posts. 

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The Story of my Smart TV purchase

In 2014, I had been researching Smart TVs with the intention of getting a 60 inch Samsung model.  I didn't care too much as long as it had a quad processor.  I was looking at the type that could be upgraded later.

However, in mid-May, Sears had a pre-Father's Day sale which had 65 inch which was actually cheaper than the 60s I had been researching.  Buying it was a no-brainer.

I decided to get the TV mounted to the wall because Moose and Squirrel are at the age were they will try to touch the TV and I do not want them to have a TV (especially one this size) fall on them.

I was going to find a cheap dresser and hack it into a TV console first then get the TV mounted above that.  Now I have to do it in the opposite order but that won't make much difference.  In fact it might be easier as now I know what my upper height limit is.

Long time friends unfriended: It doesn't surprise me to discover that someone has quietly unfriended me, it does surprise me that it hasn't happened on a larger scale.  What does surprise me is when I notice that two people who were like "peas in a pod" aren't friends anymore. 

In two of my old circles, it looks like two ladies who were pretty tight back in the day had a falling out or something.  I say this because neither of these people are the type to clean out their list of people who they don't interact with (else I'd be gone) and if they did, they wouldn't have eliminated one another based on said Sisterhood.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The last 24 hours have been exciting for Chicago

The last 24 hours have been a whirlwind of activity for Chicago in general and House Icarus specifically.  My kids went Trick o Treating for the second time in their lives, though they probably
don't remember the first.  We made the rookie mistake of giving them too much candy.  So not only did Boris throw up dinner, but both he and Natasha woke up in the middle of the night fully wired and ready to Par-tay.

The Bears gave Vikings a beating, which as I said before, I expected them to, not so much that the Bears are vastly improved but Minnesota is finally being exposed for over-achieving this season.

Cubs fought to stay alive by winning Game 6 last night in resounding fashion.  I noticed that they lost 1 game in the NLDS, 2 games in the NLCS, and now 3 games in the World Series.  I'm hoping they will win tonight, but even if they don't, they have done a lot to put to bed goats, black cats and curses. 

I suspect tonight's game will be a lot of small ball.  Get a man on base, advance him to scoring position.  Lot's of pitching changes to get desired match ups.  Since the Cubs do better when I don't watch, I might just not tune in until the last inning.  Honestly, this staying up so late isn't doing me any favors.

Over the weekend we got family haircuts at a place not too far from our house.  I'm always looking for a good haircut options and since I don't go to my inexpensive place in the burbs anymore, Halo was turning out to be too much of a dent in my wallet.

We put away some of the toys to make room for more toys.  And yesterday my cousin texted me to tell me that they were about to pick up a baby they were adopting, born on Oct 26th.  So yay, more cousins. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

At least one good thing about the Bears

The Chicago Bears have done fans two big favors this year.  First, they got their sucking out of the way early so any delusions of a post-season run were put to death early.  Second, thanks to their quirky schedule, they got their prime time games (SNF, MNF, TNF) and out of the way early as well so that blue collar Grabowskis like me could get their yard work and other fall projects done while there is still some warm weather and daylight left in the Autumn afternoon.

A 3rd Favor would be not being a distraction to the Cub's amazing World Series run.  If the Cubs do force a game 7, then I'm convinced they will win the series (obviously if they don't they won't).  But I'm sincerely pleased with how far they have come and just making it to the WS certainly undoes a lot of the bullshit about curses and Steve Bartman and the Cubs being the Cubs. 

Back to the NFL for a minute.  We are at the mid-season of the football seasons and while there are a few teams with good win records, this is the first time in a while I can recall that the majority of the teams seem to be within a game of .500.  That's tot to say that a 3-5 team is gonna make a Super Bowl run.  But if you are in a lousy division your chance of getting to the playoffs isn't as bad as your record. 

In today's' NFL it is hard for even a good team to make the playoffs, let alone go deep.  How many 9-7, 10-6 and even the occasional 11-5 team stay home while some 8-8 team gets to go because they won their division. 

Update:  Before beating the Vikings yesterday (which I felt they would do with Cutler or Hoyer), this year's Bears were a 4-4 team disguised as a 1-6.  They really should have won the game against the Colts and the Jaguars.  They probably should have won one of the first 3 games of the season too but that is just being too much of a fan.

Now they go off to their Bye Week which hopefully allows everyone to rest, the injured to heal and Cutler to get more practice since allegedly he was held out of practice during the Hoyer experiment. 

I think they do okay against their remaining opponents.  Just well enough for Fox to keep his job.  Cutler to audition for his next team and exact a decent draft pick for a trade.  Hoyer can be our starter next year as long as they draft a decent quarterback to develop and groom.  But the owners being who we thought they were, they probably will screw this up too.