Hater Tuesday….

It’s been awhile but the nightmare that is my existence demands I download a Hater Tuesday.

Nuun takes forever to dissolve.  That’s top of my list today.

Going to school events.  In violation of the 13th Amendment I am being forced to attend Curriculum Night at my daughter’s school despite having gone for the past 13 years, knowing all the teachers and the curriculum.  In the end, I am “choosing” to go because I would like to stay married and I know in any custody battle she’d make sure I’d get sole custody of the kids and pets.  Nope.  I’ll go, make some sort of ruckus so everyone sees me there*, and then slip out the back.

*I think I’ll sneak in late but bang my foot on a table so everyone stops and looks.  Sheepishly say sorry.  Wait 5 minutes in the back of the room and then sneak out when some slide presentation starts.  It’s more of an art than science.

I ate too much.  I feel sick.

Today I made ribs in the smoker.  First try.  They came out decent.  The dry rub is a bit spicy and there is too much.   It’s a nice crust, but I sort of like less.  In fact, usually when I make ribs I don’t use a dry rub at all.  I spice it up, but not a full-on rub.

I made half the batch dry and the other I put on some BBQ sauce.  Preferred the sauce side, which isn’t a surprise given the above.

Younger son had two ribs and decided he liked them.  He already had eaten dinner so he didn’t eat too many.  I, on the other hand, also had already eaten some leftover pizza around 4 but that didn’t stop me from shoving half a rack in my pie hole.  Fortunately, I have to coach and ref hockey tonight so I might get some of the ribs burned off.




Get a toaster oven!

Oh my stars, that might be the worst suggestion I have ever heard about anything in all my existence.  What am I, someone’s grandma?  Should I knit a toaster oven cozy to go with it?

I don’t think you get this. It’s a torch!  It shoots a little flame.  It’s like a gun that shoots fire!!  FIRE!  In my hand!  Like a GOD!!

 And you suggest a toaster oven?  I don’t care if I never make creme brulee or put a nice color on a sous vide egg, I’ll take a mini-flamethrower over a toaster oven every single time.

Second batch not so good. Mason jars exploded when upon entering water bath.

Freud said there were no such things as accidents…

Early this afternoon was on Amazon ordering a few supplies.  Wants, not needs.  Mostly grill mats (so my sausages don’t have indentations).  I was eyeing a cooking torch for finishing touches on sous vide egg bites and/or chicken,  I decided to forgo the torch as an uber-luxury when I can just finish them in a broiler.

I then started making ribs for dinner.  I popped the three remaining sous vide egg bites under the broiler to get a nice color on top while I applied the dry rub.  I then promptly forgot about the eggs.

I now have three extra hockey pucks from tonight’s practice.  My nice brown top turned into a jet black crust of carbon.  Oops.

Guess I’m getting the torch now.

Summer of Homemade turns into Fall of Homemade. Sous vide eggs bites. #baconandgruyèreeggbites

So let’s talk about today, shall we?  Probably better than talking about those two huge veins in my dome that form a v (for valley) or my third martini in a week.  I think the solution to problems is to avoid them until I either die of cirrhosis or an aneurysm (which I spelled just close enough for auto-correct to figure out what I meant).

Anyhoo, my run stunk this morning.  I was unmotivated for one.  For two, I had a double espresso and a piece of bacon for “fuel.”  For three, it got hot.  I don’t do well in heat.  Like, anything over 72 and I complain. Running over 80 is torture.  I was happy enough I legged out 11 miles, but I didn’t hit 17.  My overall 6 week marathon training program seems to have hit a totally 100% foreseen problem.  Not only was it stupid in the first place, but there is no time to bounce back from clunker runs.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m stupid enough to try for 20 next weekend despite having zero desire to actually run another marathon.  That’s just me.

Anyhoo #2, after the run I Divvy’d back (with my wife who came to keep me company on my failed run) to watch the Bears game.  I’ve already blogged how the Bears screwed me over by being so bad the TB D racked up mega-points on my fantasy team’s bench.  It was worse because once the rout was on my QB (Jameis Winston) just handed it off before leaving for a replacement.  Fucking Bears.

BUT, much like being too stupid NOT to try and run 20 next weekend, I’m also too stupid to NOT watch the Bears again.  Thank God the Blackhawks and Cubs turned it around.

After sitting on my ass watching football (I mean, recovering from a longish run), I had to assistant coach hockey.  The best thing was the head coach was there (he coaches three teams so he isn’t always there) so I basically stood on the ice, watched and learned.

And now, I’m having a wee dram while the kids entertain themselves (read: play video games, to include the daughter  who did go to the play in the park for awhile tonight with neighborhood kids but is back playing Minecraft like it is heroin.).  Pizza is on the way and in the shame only a Chicagoan would know, we ordered thin crust from Malnati’s because my kids are heathens.

Anyhoo #3, it’s great to be alive!

TFW you have Tampa Bay D on the bench this week. #mylifeisanightmare #whenbadthingshappentobadpeople

at Chicago, Illinois

Am I on Punk’d?

Listening to #307 on the list of 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.  Everyday I make a little more progress.  But I’m sure someone is pranking me.  I don’t know if it’s the list maker or Spotify.

People really listen to Kraftwerk?  This is serious?  It’s not a joke?  Autobahn is possible stupider than Fish Heads.

This is painful.

UPDATE: Thankfully that’s behind me.  I’l praying there is no more Kraftwerk on the.  On safer ground now with …It’s Too Late to Stop Me Now from Van Morrison.

How do you like them apples?

Last night the wife and I played hockey.  Our team had a rare Friday night game.

We won 6-2.  Best part?  We didn’t have a goalie!  He fell asleep after work and missed the game.  We played with six skaters and actually won.  Sweet.

I played well.  I did have one horrible mess up that cost us their first goal.  I just misplayed a puck off the board (mostly because I had one hand on my stick, hey now!).

After that I was solid and wasn’t on for their other goal.  I was on for about four of our goals (lost count), including a nice hold at the blue line that led to a goal and another nice outlet pass.  I’ll still give myself a +3 for the game.  Not too shabby in a game without a goalie in our net.

Today I am going to the league scheduling meeting for Little Money’s hockey team.  Neither the hockey director nor head coach could go so I got volunteered.  I think this is going to happen a lot this year.  On the plus, I can schedule the games around my own schedule 🙂 

After that it’s sitting on my butt watching football (both UW-Madison and OSU are on free TV) and then reffing later tonight.  I’m on a roll with my last three games in a row being forfeits.  Now I’m going to bummed if I actually have to ref.

It’s great to be alive!

Great line in one of my all-time favorite movies delivered by one of my all-time favorite actors.

RIP Harry Dean Stanton

Chicago Marathon Planning




I know it’s a little early….but….

Has anyone started a planning thread for get-togethers, supper, etc…?

I’m planning on being in Chicago on Friday late morning/early afternoon and leaving Monday sometime.  I need to be home to pick Monkey up from school at 5:30pm.

I’ll be there Thursday – Tuesday (because I need a fucking vacation and because I can). Thursday I get in early and plan on being a dorky tourist (because I can) and Tuesday I head home early-ish.

The only three things I absolutely have to do are packet pickup (planning on Friday so I don’t have to worry on Saturday) and the marathon (because duh). Then Monday @runsforredvelvet are getting our tattoos!! I’m up for almost anything else for the rest of the time.

@coffeeandmuscles suggested Spoke & Bird again for Saturday which I think is a great idea. Perfect pre-race food and beer for those who want.

I arrive Saturday and will have to hit packet pickup then, have race Sunday (of course), and tattoos at 12:30pm with @breatherunlive and I’m staying with @coffeeandmuscles so I’m up for anything she’s going to! 😊😘

Oh and I leave Monday night.

Wait, what?! Tattoos?  

I will be in town all weekend.  In fact, sadly, I’ll be in town all year unless or until I get shot.  I have a hockey game Friday night, but then nothing until the race (if I do it, still not sure).  @trivialbob is coming in town too.

Book recommendation…

Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

I won’t do a full review because I lack the skills to do so.  This book was unsettling on many levels.  In some ways it reinforced previously held beliefs (read: worldview/politics) and in others in completely shattered my views.  To be honest, and to use language I detest, I’m still actually processing how this book affected me.

Highly recommend this one.  It’ll show up on next week’s Things I Like Wednesday, but it deserves a special mention.

Husker Du Thursday…

R.I.P Grant Hart.

All day I’ll be listening to Husker Du.  

Midweek tipple FTW!

In case you care, the sweatshirt and martini* habit are both roughly over 27 years old.   I like to hold on to good things.

Lesson learned:  I dress in worn out clothes and drink too much.  Mazel tov!

*new slogan: I was drinking martinis before you were born!

Oops, sorry…

That time someone says something nice so you reply but then wind up unloading a 15 “message” rant on something else.  Sorry. 

I’m just in a bad mood because I have to listen to Steely Dan to check it off the 1001 Album list.  I didn’t like them before and still don’t.  I’m up to 528 out of 1001.  More than halfway done.

Recent events in bullet points…

  • The other day I went to help clean the porch of the family whose young daughter died.  They needed room for people coming over.  The mom and dad came out while we were working.  Dad was broken.  Mom is broken too, but she stayed out to talk.  Dad couldn’t even.
  • Again, anything else seems meaningless but anyway…last week I made my 15 mile run.  I’m still on track for my ridiculous build to Chicago Marathon ’17.  I have 17-18-20-Race to go although I might change that to 18-20-13-Race.  Either way, 8 weeks of solid build with no cutbacks is most certainly going to lead to injury.  Don’t do as I do.  This will be in the new edition of “How Not To Train.”
  • I’m officially in my MAT program for my teaching license.  I finished my requirements for a Social Studies – Political Science endorsement and will start the actual cohort in two weeks.  Meantime, against the advice of my school counselor, I’m taking two additional courses so I can get secondary endorsements in History and Economics.  I’ll be a heckuva lot more marketable with a history endorsement and I just plain like econ.  Plus, then a high school could have me teach multiple classes.  Plus #2, the econ I’m taking overlaps the econ I took so I didn’t do much work on the first chapter and nailed a 100%.  The history is US History and I already know a lot of that too.  It won’t be hard to knock these classes out.
  • The program will be two classes in fall, two in winter, student teach in spring and get my license.  If I can find a full-time job, I’ll start next year.  If not, I’ll sub and make more money per day because of my license.
  • I’ll manage the time by subbing (also knocking out my “field work” for the Master classes) and on days I don’t sub I’ll knock out homework all day like it’s my job.   It’ll be fine.
  • Wife and Older Son are heading out of town on CM ’17 weekend to visit a college in Rhode Island.  Things on that front will simmer down after he applies Early Decision somewhere on 11/1.  It’ll pick up again if he has to apply to other places later in winter.
  • If you don’t have a sous vide, get one.  It makes the best steaks ever and is brain dead easy to use.  I mean, the steaks come out looking like professional photos.  I’ve done steaks and chicken so far.  One of the best kitchen purchases I’ve ever made (the Breville espresso maker being THE best so far).  Tomorrow I think I’m going to slow cook some ribs in the smoker (topic change because that’s no sous vide, but I could sous vide them if I wanted and then sear them on the grill).
  • Did I mention my wife and I’s hockey team won 6-1 on Sunday night?  We both played well.  She on offense and me on defense.  I wasn’t on for their lone goal.  It was probably the best game I played.  I don’t know if they gave me them, but I had two outlet passes that lead to goals so I should’ve gotten two assists.
  • And that enough stalling, time to run 8 miles.  Sigh.
  • It’s great to be alive!

And so another year begins….#sublife #techteacher

Never a bad choice. (at Kuma’s Corner)

Sad story…

A former classmate of my younger son (15 – soph) died on Friday night from an allergic reaction.  I can’t imagine the family’s pain.

Absolutely heartbreaking for that family and all the young girl’s friends.  Total quirk too – they had eaten from that place and that dish tons of times. 

We don’t really know the family other than saying hi, but I used to see the girl often walking home from high school through the park by our house.  Always had a smile and would say hello.  So sad.  

My son will go to the visitation this week, and my daughter knows her younger brothers (still at the elementary school.).  My son’s class has had their share of tragedy (parent death from cancer, cancer in a kid, eating disorder), but this tops it all.

And now really anything else I post about runs, family, hockey, reffing, whatever seem meaningless.

I’ll leave it at that.  

Everyday my older son gets letters, postcards and flyers from colleges.  I usually leave them all for him, even when I know he won’t be interested.

This one, however, is going straight in the trash can.*

*He wouldn’t be interested anyway (and not because of his mother’s and I hatred for that place being loyal Buckeyes and Badgers).  He will only go to school in a major city.  Ann Arbor will not qualify.  Neither did St. Louis, Providence, or Pittsburgh.  

He also doesn’t want to go South or West and, for good reasons, won’t go to school in Chicago. It’s only Boston, Washington D.C. or Philly (which isn’t all that major).  Kind of limits his options. [deep breath…it’s all OK…it’s his choice….deep breath] NY is out because of high suicide rate at university there and other issues.

And now, I will sit on the couch until Saturday.

(I wish.  I have to go pick up my daughter at school later.  Kids.  Sheesh)

Nightmare to Dream Comes to True and Back to Nightmare….


The guy came back and killed.it…..

Yeah he did!  I had to take one for the team (read: make my daughter happy) and turn off the game to watch Dance Moms.  I woke up happy to see he scored THREE TDs, have 148 yds rushing and 98 yards receiving.

My lifelong nightmare is over.  Dawn has broken and all is right with the world (except I have two QB’s that BOTH have bye weeks this week because of Hurricane Irma, so I guess I’m back to God hates me.  A whole Hurricane just to fuck with me.  [shakes fist at God])

My life is a nightmare…

Seriously?  The very first play on my fantasy football team and the guy fumbles?!  God hates me.

Season over.

@trivialbob said he’s tapering and I’m here to support him.  That’s the kind of friend* I am.


The use of the term “friend” is for general information only. The use of “friend” should not be construed to be formal legal relationship of friendship nor the formation of a friendship. You should not act or rely upon any designation of “friend.”  Moreover, because I generally hate people, the use of the term friend appearing on this website is not guaranteed to be correct, complete, or up-to-date.












???? Far away, hot, everything wants to kill me.

Historical place without anyone liking history because they’re too busy being rich assholes

the “weird” corner of northeast america


Where David Cameron fucked a pig.

On a sound between two mountain ranges.

West of the Chesapeake, between two rivers. It’s not a fucking swamp, it’s a plain.

Cabrillo, Scripps, Horton and Spreckels.

Lawyers, guns, and money.

Heroin, guns, murder, crabs, and John Waters.

Soybeans to the left of me Corn to the right. And NASCAR stickers on every lifted truck.

Come for the deep dish pizza, stay because you got shot.

The self-awareness is strong…

“Three months and I’ll be a teenager. Haha, have fun dealing with me!”

-my daughter on the way to school today.

Labor Day in Exercise..

For some reason I schedule four today after yesterday’s long run. I’m trying to work it so I do my long runs on Friday now. It’s easier to do it when the kids are at school and keep my weekends freer. Plus, hockey season for my son starts this weekend so that will add a few hours of ice time to my load.

The run was uneventful. I did some chores at home, Mr. Fix-It and yard work. And now, like yesterday, I’m taking the afternoon, the last afternoon before school starts, to sit around and do nothing.

I’ve already signed up for a few substitute assignments and I’m sure it’ll pick up end of September. Meantime, I’m going to enjoy it all.

It’s great to be alive!

Sunday in Exercise

This was a run I’m happy with. First, I’m happy I did it. Last night my hockey team had a party and I had a few too many beers. Oops. Even so, I was up early and out the door.

This was probably the smoothest, easiest 13.1 training run I’ve done. It just felt fairly effortless. In fact, it was supposed to be a 12 miler but I added 1.1 to make it an even half-marathon. I don’t know if I’ve ever add mile(s) because I felt good.

After the run I walked down to a coffee shop for a cup of coffee and a crossword puzzle. Now I plan on falling asleep on the couch watching the Cubs game. Later this afternoon I’m meeting an old high school friend in town for the long weekend for a beer (yeah, I know) at a local brewery.

It’s great to be alive! (even if I have to listen to Genesis to get through my 1001 Album list. God I hate them)

No, Wilson, that’s my martini!

Let’s talk about today, shall we?

First off, I’ll say it.  I wish everyday would be a Tumblr boycott.  My dash was refreshingly free of political stuff.  May everyday be as pleasant!

What did I do today?  Took two kids to two different doctor appointments.  All fine.  

In between appointments I laid in supplies for winter.  Not really, but the local grocery had a pretty nice sale on salmon and pork shoulder so I bought a ton.  I can make a shit load of sausage when it’s 99 cent/lb pork.  That’s what I did.

First I made some Portuguese sausage.


. Came out flavorful.  

Then I made some regular breakfast sausage.  I had problems stuffing it in the sheep casing.  I’m pretty sure it’s because either I was impatient and didn’t let the sheet casing soak enough or I didn’t use enough water in the sausage.  Most likely it was impatience.  No big deal.  I gave up on stuffing it and made three 1lb rolls of it.  Froze those and I’ll just slice off patties like Bob Evans.

In between those two sausages I started curing 1lb salmon for lox.  It’s so much cheaper to make your own than store buy it.  Like it was $6/lb for salmon.  Add in a buck for salt and sugar and it’ll be $7/lb for lox.  I saved the other pound to sous vide later this weekend.

I also read some of a book.  Badly played a few songs on the guitar.  And generally procrastinated doing homework.  

Even though school doesn’t start until Tuesday, a few substitute teaching assignments popped up already.  No way I’m taking a job on Tuesday.  I’m enjoying a morning alone in the house with my best friends Peace and Quiet and then going to lunch for burgers with a few moms.  We’ve done Ramen, Gyros and this semester we’re doing Best New Burgers in Chicago.

I did sign up for one gig already at my favorite elementary school. 

Meantime, tonight I’m going to watch the Wisconsin football game as I bemoan that none of my kids have any interest in going there.  At least they don’t make fun of it like they do my wife’s double alma mater, OSU.

Tomorrow I’m sleeping in, will fail to do the homework I said today I’d do tomorrow, going to play hockey with the wife, Little Money and my team and then a team BBQ.  

It’s gonna be a great day just like every other day of my life has been.  It’s great to be alive.  (gin helps!)

Bonus material: September and October are my favorite months. I don’t like hot weather so making it through August is a blessing.  School, football, cool temps, baseball playoffs, hockey starts, love it all!

Linguiça.#summerofhomemade #sausage

Yeah, I might have issues…

And lie to me if you must but I want validation. Tell me the entire building is building a monument to me for the best peanut butter cups ever and they all are jealous you know me.

Text sent to my wife who took a few peanut butter cups to work for her staff.  She’s yet to respond so I can only assume they all hated them and think I’m a loser (they wouldn’t be wrong about the latter…beat you to it, Karen!).

Oh hell yes!! Homemade ginormous peanut butter cups.

Summer of Homemade – Giant Peanut Butter Cups

I’m not a big sweets eater, but I wanted to try these out.  I could watch Tasty videos all day long and recently they had one where they made a giant peanut butter cup.  Theirs was the size of a cake/pie.  I didn’t want that.  Fortunately, I had some tartlette pans and figured I’d just make the recipe but use smaller pans.  Came out perfectly!

First I melted some milk chocolate (2 cups to be exact) and put that in the pan and up the sides.  I let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so.

After that, I made the filling. 2 Cups of peanut butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of butter. Yeah, these aren’t healthy foods I’m making. I filled the shells with the mix.

I melted more milk chocolate for the top and put them back in the fridge to cool for another hour (or longer).

Once they were done, I popped one out of the tart pan to try. Perfect! No way I could eat a whole one, so I just had two bites and put it back in the fridge. I made six of them so my wife will probably take a few to work tomorrow.

Martini Recap:  Let’s talk about today.

I ran six miles.  Felt good but dang if that didn’t seem long.  

I ran an errand or two, did a chore or three.  

Got a text from my wife there was an active shooter situation at her work.  She was fine and it was nothing really.  Cops chasing a kid who threw a gun in parking ramp at her building.  I don’t know why that’s “active shooter” because there were no shots, active or passive, but whatever.  

Someone called my wife “BITCH” today at work.  Yeah, bad idea.  Unlike most women this guy has probably called bitch, this one threw him in jail for fourteen days for contempt.  The Hammer don’t play.  I wish I had the power to toss people in jail for being assholes.  However, unlike her, I’d abuse it.  I’d be like Oprah.  You’re going to jail!  And you’re going to jail!  Everybody’s going to jail!!

Now we are going to order some pizza from the place down the block and watch a movie as a family. 

It’s great to be alive.

Sadly, I think my main mantra is “it’s just easier not to.”  Pretty much that’s my default position on anything dealing with people.  It’s just easier not to.  Period.  

Kids. Sigh.

Today in Exercise – Timely Run

Tired from a late night playing hockey. But, I got by butt out the door and around and around the track. Glad I did because it started raining shortly after I finished. I would’ve felt crummy if I missed my run.

I’m going to sit on my backside most of this afternoon but tonight I ref my last hockey game until 9/9. Nice little breather that will be.

Summer of Homemade – Nuernberg Rostbratwuerst

Yesterday someone on my hockey team went to a sausage shop and bought a ton of sausages.  A teammate asked if the store had Nurnberger.  For whatever reason, I decided I’d make that next. (I need an ingredient for my “final project.”)

As usual, I was impatient.  The meat wasn’t as cold as it should have been.  It all worked out well, but it could’ve been better.  The seasonings were spot on.

I filled them easily.  I’ve got the hang of that part. Although, the recipe I followed said to stuff them in hog casings, but the internet says these sausages are thin and should be in sheep casings. Whatever, it’s all going in my belly, but next time (and there will be a next time), I’ll make them more traditionally.

I linked them up. I do NOT have the hang of that part. They are never the same size, never the same shape. I gotta work on that.I saved six and packaged up the rest. I’m letting them freeze a bit and then I’ll vacuum seal them for the future eats. If I sealed them now they’d get smooshed.

Finally, I fried up a few and ate it with my homemade sauerkraut. I didn’t make the bread or mustard. 🙂
They were pretty good. They’ll probably be even better after the flavors have set.

Meantime, the ones I had were good and I’m full of rostbratwuerst in the best way (dad joke).

Monday in My Life…

– I spent the vast majority of the day doing Econ homework.  I read five chapters and took four chapter tests.  My goal this week was two per day, so I’m ahead.  Plus, tomorrow morning I can knock out test #5 because I already did the reading.  Fortunately, I pushed through a confusing (to me) section and I’m back on stuff I mostly already know (at least enough to answer the test questions).

– OK.  Now that I think about it, that was all my day not just the vast majority.

– I am now crossing #513 on the list of 1001 Albums.  Everyday I knock out a few more.

– Tonight my fall hockey season starts.  This season my wife is joining my team.  Should be a lot of fun.  Along those lines, my team (not including my wife) had enough interest that we signed up for the Pond Hockey Nationals in Eagle River in February.  In fact, we might have a few teams.  We’ve blocked off at least seven hotels in a place where other players we know are staying too.  Pretty much going to be hockey, beer, food, repeat.

Tomorrow I’ll sleep in (late game tonight), do another two or three chapters of Econ, go for a run and then ref at night.  I’m going to be as sad as the kids when school starts next week.  It’s been a great summer for all of us.

Minor pet peeve.

Notwithstanding the misspelling, d’Artagnan was not one of the “Three Musketeers.”  That’d be Athos, Porthos and Aramis.  In fact, in the first book he wasn’t even a Musketeer until the very end.

Don’t know why but that always drives me nuts.

I’m really hoping my kids WON’T eat this dinner because I want ALL the Korean BBQ Wings.

Recipe dialed in. One more batch needed to perfect presentation. Should have it the way I want it by CM ‘17 post-race beer time.

Driver goes around cones, hits 2 triathlon cyclists on Lake Shore Drive: Cops

Driver goes around cones, hits 2 triathlon cyclists on Lake Shore Drive: Cops


Lazy Sunday…

1.  Slept-in

2.  Started making a new batch of Chipotle Meat Sticks.  They are in the smoker now.  I used a few tweaks this time.  First, I was able to actually stuff them in sheep casings instead of collagen.  I used pre-tubed casings and a stainless steel horn.  MUCH easier.  Second, I added ECA.  That will give them a tang (like Slim Jims).

3.  A friend told me that my favorite elementary school is trying to fill a maternity leave vacancy so I sent them my resume.  Who knows if it’ll come through.  It’s no lose for me.  Fact is, since I’m getting my Masters in secondary ed I really should sub more in high schools, but this opportunity is too good to pass up.  If I get it, great.  If not, no worries.  I’ll just sub there and/or high schools in the city.

4.  Making Korean BBQ wings for dinner.

5.  Rest of the day has been watching the Bears play, Cubs game, reading, sipping coffee and generally taking a full day off from homework, exercise, chores or errands.

It’s great to be alive!

(but we need cookies.  Might have to make cookies later)


Quiet night and the wind blowing just right = I can hear the concert tonight at Wrigley. Not terribly well, but I can hear it.


Well I may not know the fighters tonight but the fight was enough to get my ref game cancelled so I win!

I don’t have to exercise again after my 10-miler. I don’t have to stay up until 1am.

And I still get paid!

Feeling my age

Twice today:

Yeah, I don’t know who that is.

1. Zac Brown Band

2. Conor McGregor and someone Mayweather.

I mean I gather it is a band and two fighters but I couldn’t tell ya more than that.

I’m just gonna sit here and watch the Cubs. Stay in my lane as the overused expression goes.

Saturday in Exercise…

The little patch of green at the bottom of my run is Wrigley Field. The area was hopping already. No game today, but there is a concert tonight. Zac Brown? Not my wheelhouse. I’ve vaguely heard the name, but have no idea what type of music it is. Last night Lady Gaga played Wrigley and the night before it was Green Day. The Ricketts family has really done a nice job with the park and area.

As for the run. It was fine. Not hard but not easy. I’m still probably not going to run Chicago because this build isn’t sustainable, but I’m making progress. The next few weeks of middle distances (12-14-16) will make the decision.

I’m not done exercising for the day. I still have to ref a hockey game tonight. I decided to do the 10 today and ref tonight so I have tomorrow 100% off. Otherwise I would ref tonight and run tomorrow followed by hockey on Monday. I’d like one full day off even if it means skating after a 10-miler. I took a quick ice bath and now I’m relaxing with a latte (perfectly homemade I might add). I think a nap is in order as well.

It’s great to be alive!

Pretty sure this is not how you train a dog not to demand people food. OTOH, he’s a big fan of my homemade sausage and kraut.

Really? Really, some kid of mine? Couldn’t go that last step?

The difference

My daughter, age 12, is upstairs watching You Tube videos of dorm move-ins and decorating.

Both of my sons, 17 and 15, are playing video games and will move into their dorm with all their clothes and other items in Hefty bags and will never give one second thought to decorating their room.

To my utter dismay and yet another argument lost, my daughter was allowed by someone (read: my wife) to buy makeup.  No no no.  She is, again not an argument I won but was agreed upon, not allowed to wear makeup out of the house.

So why the F did she buy it?

I don’t think I’m ready for a teenage girl.

This photo leads to a number of questions or thoughts.

1.  If Money is taking five classes and all are AP, can’t he just graduate and go to college now?  

2.  I wonder who is real father is.  This kid didn’t come from me.  I took one AP class my whole four years in HS.  He’ll take a total of 9.  

3.  Again, if HS are pushing this many AP’s, it’s like Nigel’s amp going to 11.  Why don’t they just make regular and honors high school classes one harder?

4.  My younger son was pushed into AP Human Geography…as a freshman!  What the what?  Why would/should a freshman take a supposed college class?  It just defines AP down.

5.  Oh right, CPS gets more money for AP classes.  Got it.  Now it all makes sense.

Today in Exercise … Oh Thank God Edition

Oh thank God I’m done for a day or two.  My legs are just dead.  Dead.

Nothing to the run other than I was lumbering for the first mile. Eventually my legs warmed up, but after sitting on the couch all afternoon doing homework, they are even worse. Fortunately, tomorrow is a rest day (although I ref at night) and then I have a 10 miler on Saturday (also reffing that night) but I can move that to Sunday for extra rest (but then I’m dead for Monday night’s hockey game).

If you care, the park is beautiful this time of year.

Meantime, Chapter 8 and 9 in Macroeconomics is kicking my ass. It’s all been easy peasy until now. I just am not getting it. I started watching some YouTube and Khan Academy videos and I’ve gotten it now, but there are still some things I’m struggling with. Tomorrow I’ll take the Chapter test and the Mid-Term. Sigh. I think my A is in jeopardy. And all because of John Maynard Keynes. I didn’t like him or his theories before and this isn’t helping.

goldbikinis replied to your photo:

Martini Recap as told by Jacob (he has retired DJ…

Why does he know his own blog alias!

They aren’t blog aliases.  I actually call the older one Money or LIttle Money IRL.  It was his nickname before I had a blog here.  I also call him McFizzle IRL.  He gave himself that nickname when he outgrew Hot Stuff (another self-created nickname). There are hockey refs around town that will call him McFizzle when he’s playing.

I don’t call my daughter Hammerette IRL, but her mother (my wife) is known at The Hammer at work.  She got that nickname early on after the sheriffs ran out of handcuffs/zipties because she was scooping so many probation violators off the floor.  She doesn’t play.

Martini Recap as told by Jacob (he has retired DJ McFizzle because it’s “cringy”)

For once I have nothing to complain about. Life is amazing, with my great child Jacob. The other two I guess are fine. I have been thinking about giving Jacob a early birthday present. I plan on giving him a $4000 gaming pc, along with 10,000 dollars worth of video games. I plan on giving Noah and Rachel coal since they are very bad kids, and don’t deserve to amount to anything in life, instead all their money should be directed to Jacob’s paypal. I also plan on donating my surface along with all my life savings to Jacob. I also plan on getting rid of his bedtime, so he can spend quality time with his video games. 

Note: It was a joke when I said this was written by Jacob, not that it matters since no one reads my blog.

Today in Hobo Style Exercise….

Woo-hoo!  Second fastest time on the Escape the Lake hobo style.  I have no freaking idea what that is, but whatever.  I’m gonna celebrate anyway.

I did look it up and I’m still not sure what is hobo style about it.  The tent city under the viaduct?

I’m happier I Escaped Uptown Without Being Shot or Robbed…regardless of time.  Speaking of which, a woman was robbed yesterday at the L stop my son takes to school.  There have been a spate of robberies in the neighborhood lately.  Sigh.

Anyway, run done.  Hobo style of not.


Summer of Homemade – Sous Vide Steak

Making steak at home isn’t exactly the most challenging homemade dish I’ve tried this summer, but thiBNs was my first time trying to sous vide one.   First off, it couldn’t be easier.  Second, no mess.  Third, it was delicious.  Like the kind of delicious where one of your kids eats their whole portion and is looking over plates for some uneaten bites and this is a kid who doesn’t like steak.  Score.  My daughter had a little and McFizzle tried some.  Neither are huge meat eaters, but admitted this was better than usual.

Next time I’ll try chicken, but if nothing else this will pay for itself in perfect steaks from now on.

Tuesday in Exercise…

On again off again. I woke up with every intention of running today. Within five minutes I decided it was rest day. After another hour or so I was back to running.

Sunday I ran eight and last night I played hockey. I was tired on the ice and my right leg was a bit sore. During the game I took a puck to the left ankle so I was a bit tired and beat up this morning. But, by the time I walked around a bit, had some coffee, I was ready to go.

I still have to ref a hockey game tonight but it’s so low level I won’t work up a sweat.

In case you care, we did win last night, 4-2. It was our playoff game, but the bottom bracket. So, basically we’re second to worst…or third out of four.

The new season starts next week.

Sunday in Exercise…

Busy day today and tomorrow so I was glad I knocked this out. Felt fine. Got a little tired at the end, but was able to leg it out. Meantime, it was a beautiful day along the lakefront and I got to watch the Blue Angels rehearse for the Air & Water Show. And now, the rest of my day…



Today in Exercise

After many years of running and tracking the runs there isn’t much left to say. It was a run. Four miles. No issues. Boring but needed.

Summer of Homemade – Cortado (almost) edition

Almost Cortado for the win!  (almost because I think they aren’t supposed to have frothy foam, but I wanted it).  I’m having this while the Aunt Annie knock-off pretzels rise.

Dream Job – Unlocked!

Found it. Found my dream job.

I was supposed to ref an adult league game tonight at 9:15 but it got cancelled.  Because it got cancelled less than 24-hrs before game time, I still get paid.

Paid for not working.  That’s it.  My lifelong dream of the perfect job has finally come true.

Oh sure, I thought I had it made being a stay-at-home Dad for a few years there, but this is even better.  That was not working but not earning money.  That’s cliche.  Anybody can do that.  I don’t even think you need a college degree.  Heck, it’s probably easier if you don’t.

But now I’m not working AND earning money.  No responsibility, no co-workers, I can work from home, I don’t even have to get dressed.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Not working but also getting money.

It is great to be alive!


Things you never see coming…

When I was in 4th grade, Jon Armajani would sing this entire song in class and act it out.

And now, some 40 years later, my 12 year old daughter has been singing this all day long.

I did not see that coming back in 4th grade.

Martini Recap:

Such a good day.  I spent it running, doing Econ homework*, and puttering around the house.  All three kids are home and it’s was just a great day.  Currently, the wife and Little Money went to see Baby Driver.  I just spent 15 minutes discussing with McFizzle the umami gap between Ritz Bits Peanut Butter vs full-sized Ritz sandwich with peanut butter because that’s pretty much the sort of thing we talk about when not discussing Chance possibly pooping his pants and leaving them in the neighbor’s yard according to Drama Alert (yeah, I’m pretty much stalled at 15).

Tonight I’ve already badly played the guitar and read some comics (The Bunker, Vol 1) and now I think I’m actually going to do another chapter of Econ.  Because who says education and gin don’t mix (hint, not me)

It’s great to be alive!

*First quiz today I got 95% because I’m a BOSS.  Second quiz I got 80% even after googling some answers because I am most definitely NOT a boss.  It’s all just a pre-req to get my teaching certificate so the grade doesn’t matter so long as I pass, but damn, what up Chapter 9?  And damn, Textbook, throw a Classical a bone, you all up in the Keynesian and I’m not down with that….says the Libertarian/Classic Anarchist)

Fuck Chicago


Friend just had their third relative murdered in Chicago in the past 8 months.

I’m telling everyone I know there to move by me for free babysitting of my kids
I mean move here cuz it is cheaper. Less taxes. And safer.

Things like this are why I really don’t miss Chicago too much. The Chicago I knew is gone.

Granted this chart ends in 2011, but even last year’s 700 is below what it was in the early 90′s.  Back in 1970-71 it was over 800 each year and hit 900 in 1974.

My point:  the Chicago you remember may never have existed.  

I don’t want to live in a world without TWSS

A mom of a kid I’ve coached in hockey for a few years now has a Facebook post that is calling out, nay, demanding a certain reply but I just can’t do it.

It’s a picture of the car loaded with luggage (they are taking their daughter to college).

The caption:  Can’t believe it all fit!!!!!

C’mon, that demands a TWSS, but I can’t do it.  To quote Jud Paynter: “T’int right, t’int fair, t’int fit, t’int proper!”

Killing me to let this go.  Maybe I’ll get The Hammer to do it.

Things I Like Wednesday


The Sinner

Ozark (Netflix)


Icarus – Netflix documentary about Russian doping


Tomorrow’s Kin – Nancy Kress

After Life – Marcus Sakey

Today in Exercise….

I love running on the lakeshore path. Felt good to get back there. Overall I felt good on this run. Not good enough to declare I’m marathon training, but good enough that I’ll keep working on a build for two weeks before I decide.

He’s back!

He’s back.  My wife and I picked him up at the airport last night and then the whole family went out for deep dish.  We heard all about his trip and it was all good.  He had a nice adventure and made the most of the experience.

It’s great to be alive!

Today in Exercise….

Today in Exercise – Four miles going nowhere

Little Money Returns….

I’ll admit it.  I’m ridiculously excited that Noah comes home today.  Seven weeks in Panama was a long time but now it seems like he left yesterday.  He has a layover in Houston and gets into Chicago around 8pm.  First request was for Malnati’s pizza.  No problem with that.

Last Week in Exercise

Monday – Played a hockey game.

Tuesday – Rest (out of town)

Wednesday – Rest (out of town)

Thursday – 3 mile run, reffed one hockey game

Friday – 3 mile run, reffed one hockey game

Saturday –  3 mile run, reffed one hockey game

Sunday – Ran 6.4 miles

Wound being about 15.5 miles running and 6 hours of skating.  Yesterday morning I thought about running Chicago.  I haven’t run more than 15 miles in a week, not have I run more than 6 miles, but I figured I have 8 weeks.  Then….I ran the 6.4 miles and it was possibly the hardest 6.4 miles ever.  Granted it was my fourth day of running after three days running and reffing, but still.

And again, because I’m me (i.e. stupid), I plan on running 8.5 this Sunday and then seeing.  If so, I’ll add 2-3 miles each Sunday and just never step back or taper.  I really shouldn’t but I kinda just can’t not.

I have one more hockey game next Monday and reffing will be slower in September before the season starts in October.  Maybe I’ll be rested.  Probably not.  I haven’t had anything but dead legs since 2009.  I’m getting old.  I need one of those lifts that take you up and down the stairs.

Summer of Homemade – Visitor Edition

My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her three kids are staying with us for the weekend.  The kids play together, the women hang out and I get to cook all by myself.  Sweet.

Friday morning I made challah french toast (didn’t actually make the challah), bacon and homemade sausages and some fruit.

Friday dinner I made a mac and cheese casserole (good but I’d probably like a bit more kick, maybe more paprika or a dash of hot sauce) and homemade chicken nuggets (I used to have a great recipe but couldn’t find it.  I made sort of generic ones.  The key to to cube the chicken and then send it ’round the food processor.  It breaks all the muscle so it’s McD’s nugget like).  Both came out well but I made way too much casserole.  Like twice as much.  So, foreshadowing alert, it comes up again.

Saturday morning I made a giant cinnamon roll, scrambled eggs and more bacon and homemade sausages.

Saturday night we grilled out dogs and burgers. I was going to make pretzel buns for the dogs/burgers but my wife and SIL requested soft pretzels instead.  So, I did that in the afternoon.  Not as homemade as the dinner could’ve been, but still enough.

Sunday morning I made pancakes and bacon.  I used a mix.  Sigh.  But, I didn’t eat any.  Instead, I had a lox, bagel and cream cheese sandwich using my homemade lox and bagel and a tomato from our neighbor’s garden.  That counts.

For dinner, I made two kinds of ravioli.  Again, I took a shortcut on “homemade.”  I didn’t make the pasta dough.  I bought wonton wrappers and used those.  I did make the fillings, however.  One was a basic beef in a marinara and the other was crab in a lemon butter sauce.  The crab was tasty but it lacked some presentation because I didn’t have chervil.

All good.

Giant Cinnamon Roll: It’s What’s for Brunch.

Because snark rules, that’s why.

And for the record, I do Bourdain is an asshat too.  (still not a Fieri fan, but I don’t crap on him for being him)

Effective Learning

This month I registered for another year as a hockey official.  Every year you have to re-take the open book exam (100 questions), watch online videos and take quizzes, attend a seminar and pass a closed book exam.  My seminar isn’t until the end of September but I like to get my open book exam and videos out of the way early.  I finished them within 3 days of signing up.

The test is mostly on rules and the videos cover rules but also calling penalties, off-side, icing, managing the game and positioning.  Big on positioning.

I watch all the videos and know about the Golden Rectangle, Golden Triangle and where to stand.

Sadly, for me, the best way to learn positioning is the way I learned it during last night’s game.

I was at the goal line when someone tried to clear the puck from their end with a slap shot around the net.  He was unable to clear the puck because it slammed into my thigh instead.  I came about 2 inches from an unplanned transition to Rosa.  I knew I couldn’t get out of the way, so at best, I covered myself with my hands.  I’d rather have a broken hand than two broken testicles. (yes, I was wearing a cup, but this was a more than decent slap shot.  It still would’ve hurt like hell)  Fortunately, it went a little ways away and I just have a big bruise on my inner thigh instead of an ice pack and suddenly higher voice.

Did I mention I hate on the job training.  Oh well, lesson learned:  don’t stand there.  I should’ve moved up the boards slightly.

Even so, it was a fine game.  I have a total attitude adjustment in the last month.  All good.  I ref tonight at my favorite rink (it’ll be fun) and tomorrow night back at my more-normal rink.  It’ll be fine too because it’s decent teams (i.e. not tools)

Today I’ll do a little Global Econ homework, go for a run, enjoy a little alone time while The Hammer, MIL, SIL and five kids at the house go mini golf.

It’s great to be alive!

Road Trip Day 2

How one gets through a road trip with Jacob. (at Los Aztecas Mexican Restaurant)

Lego Wrigley (at Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory)

Summer of Sausage – Polish. Came out pretty pretty good.

Summer of Sausage – Polish Sausage

OK.  These turned out pretty darn good.  They are on the mild side so I might add a bit more garlic the next time I make them.  And there will be a next time because I bought 14 lbs of pork on sale at Costco.  I’m OK with that because these are very good.

Tonight I’m going to grill one up. I have three jars of sauerkraut fermenting on the shelf that won’t be ready for another few days. So, I guess I should say I have cabbage fermenting. This weekend I’ll probably have a ton of polish with kraut.

I still have some tweaking to go on cooking methods.  You can’t see them too much in this picture but I had them laying flat on a rack so there are rack marks.  I’m going to get some stainless steel rods or wooden dowels to make hanging racks.

My next batch of meat sticks (probably make them next week because I got my ECA in the mail today) and polish will be hung in the smoker.  Don’t know how much of a difference it’ll really make, but I don’t mind trying out things.

Official Press Release from Infinity Channel Swimming…

It’s long so if you want to read about Caroline’s attempted 2-way crossing and becoming the first woman to swim twice from Ireland to Scotland, read more…

Amazing person.

Official press release
2 way North Irish channel attempt Dr Caroline Block 4th – 5th August 2017

‘If you don’t go when your gone you can’t get’

Having planned a 2-way crossing on completion of her North Irish channel one way solo on 6th August 2016 Caroline arrived in Ireland mid July, 2017 ready to go one year to the day.

The current trend for weather on the North Irish channel for the available 2017 tidal windows has been irregular. On 3rd August with the closing of the 3rd window (30.07.17-7.08.17) the conditions were looking far from favourable. Following team discussions the swim date options for this year were limited by her busy schedule so, it was decided in Caroline’s words ‘let’s do this’.

Making use of a forecasted lull in the whether between two low pressure fronts one just leaving Ireland and one in its way Caroline’s start date was set. At 20:04hrs on 4th August, 2017 a few days short of a year from her original solo with a water temperature of 12.9c ambient temperature 12.3c and a wind chill of much less Caroline set off from Robbie’s Point taking choppy water in her stride and Donaghadee Light house blinking to every second beat of her 58 strokes per minute. A positive mindset made swimming at night easy keeping close to the boat and returning half hourly for her feed.

With the sunrise at 04:40hrs on the morning of Saturday 5th August, 2017 revealing the coastline of Scotland a change of goggles helped keep the suns rays from her eyes bringing some welcomed heat to both Caroline and the infinity crew. The choppy conditions arrived, departed and returned and 8 hours in, Killantringan Lighthouse was in view with a North Westerly wind of 6 knots.

Contending with the infamous Scottish tides at 11:36hrs on Saturday 5th August 2017 (swim time: 15:32:25 swim distance: 49.5 kilometres) Caroline arrived to a small stony beach at the bottom of the garden of the beautiful Knockinaam Lodge at the Port of Spittal bay with the Scottish flag bellowing in the wind.

As per the rules of a two way a swimmer is permitted a ten minute break on completion of their first leg. The sun shone with a clear blue sky as Caroline was joined by Pádraig, had a short stop to regrease, eat and focus on her return leg. One way was done and dusted and she was ready to rock for the second leg. At 11:44:10 she was on the move leaving Scottish shores behind. The tide had turned and she headed North West against wind and waves joined by Pádraig until her first feed.

We all knew that this is where the swim would really begin. Forecasts of predicted good weather failed to appear and Caroline continued relentlessly to swim through these conditions including several squals.

Caroline’s simple approach to the swim never altered. Her requests were for factual information of distance, time and sea state allowing her to calculate her performance. This mindset in a marathon open water swimmer is a golden ticket to success. Previous team planning regarding how the swim would progress and how each section would go allowed the plan to unfurl. It was known that at this stage there would be wind against tide but with the actual weather not matching the predicted (Normal in this country) it meant that the seas were heavy slowing progress, preventing the much needed advances North West.

After 63.4 kilometres at 20:07 hrs (5.8.2017) the swim course turned South East at least 7 kilometres short of the predicted target due to the wind and waves. Caroline’s pace and energy levels were as on her first stroke all those miles ago stroke rate: steady 54 spm – attitude perfect.

With the currents pushing Caroline South East back towards Scotland her progress advanced slowly West. Caroline was advised to work with the presenting sea state and conditions against this tide to stem the loss of valuable ground and with the same positive reply she said ‘lets go’. So, for the next four hours Caroline swam against the tide. With 77 kilometes swam, the tides released their grip, weather conditions improved with less chop and further Westerly progress was made, albeit much later than predicted.

At 22:45hrs as Caroline had her feed and a factual conversation with Pádraig laying out all the details of the swim – tide, sea state, distance. It was clear that Caroline was unlikely to make landfall. In amazing physical and mental condition Caroline would swim a further one hour to assess progress and make sure that the agreed decision was the right one. Swimming at an increased pace of 58spm to the light of the moon Caroline and the cold North Irish channel waters danced in tandem weaving through the complex currents the lights of Belfast harbour and Donaghadee tantalisingly close.

At 23:59:01 hrs having swam 88 kilometres just before a new day Caroline whilst ahead and making history happen bowed gracefully to the North Irish channel fully acknowledging the amplitude of the success.

Dr Caroline Block now holds two North Irish channel one way crossings 🙂 the only lady to swim from Ireland to Scotland twice

You better believe it.

ObserversIan ConroyoyGary Knoxox
PilotCharles StewartrPadraig Mallonon

infinity channel swimming with Caroline had agreed media silence to fully focus on this pioneering swim. The track was shared after the turn around point and all the world was watching commenting with their own ideas of what was happening, filling in from the tracker and imagining what it would be like to be in such an amazing place on earth and this valiant swim – every stroke a winnerInfinit NutritionoCoffee Labs Roasters INCNC

Pádraig MalloInfinity Swim Academyty channel swimming Directors personal note:
The team at infinity are amazed at Caroline’s stamina, mental and physical ability during this swim and in her life focus.

Mother Nature did not allow Caroline’s access to Irish shores. Our admiration and respect for you Dr Caroline Block is unsurmountable – a pleasure to partner you for you in a journey into the unknown.


Robbies Point, Ireland
20:04:00 hours Friday 4th August, 2017

Landfall Scotland:
Port of Spittal Bay, Scotland
11:36:25 hours Saturday 5th August, 2017

Port of Spittal Bay, Scotland
11:44:10 hours Saturday 5th August, 2017

East of Belfast Lough, Ireland
23:59:01 hours Saturday 5th August 2017

Total Distance: 88 Kilometers
Total time: 28 hours 55 minutes 01 second

Infinity Channel Swimming
glory comes from daring to begin

This Week in Exercise…

I’m not training for anything for, it seems, the first time in forever. I’m enjoying it. I really have no desire to train, but if that changes, it changes.

Monday: Played a hockey game. 1 hr. We won 3-2 by scoring two goals in the last minute. Pretty exciting game. I was even as far as +/- goes. On for one of ours and one of theirs.

Tuesday: Ran 3 miles

Wednesday: Ran 3 miles

Thursday: Ran 3 miles in the morning. Reffed a hockey game at night.

Friday: Reffed a hockey game at night, but it was a very low level adult league game and there wasn’t much skating involved. It was like 14-1. Ouch.

Saturday: Ran 3.4 miles

Sunday: Ran 4 miles.

Total running: 16.5 miles, 2 hrs 26 min  Total time skating: 3.2 hours

Short runs, some skating, still no strength training.

Coming up I have a hockey game Monday night, but then I’ll be out of town Tuesday/Wednesday and won’t do anything. McFizzle and I are heading to Louisville and Mammoth Caves for a final summer road trip.

Martini Recap

What a nice day!  All the leisurely summer living.

For whatever reason we all had very little going on this weekend.  No running around.  It was very nice.

I ran yesterday and today.  Had a nice BBQ on the deck yesterday with my dad.  Hung around the house doing nothing.

Today I did the last of my assignments for one of my summer classes.  Done with Content LIteracy.  I still have two econ classes but those are online and I love econ.

I watched some Cubs game, played some guitar (loving the Yousician app), did a crossword puzzle or two, walk with the wife, listening to Lolla on the live stream and realized I didn’t like almost any band this year but two so I’m just listening to one of them, Car Seat Headrest on Spotify instead.  At 8:45 I’ll watch Arcade Fire.  So many of our friends are there, but I’m glad we didn’t go.  (now that I think of it, that’s probably why we have nothing this weekend.  Probably blocked it off).  Really, other than Slothrust (who I’ve seen) and Car Seat Headrest no other bands interested me.

There are no more kid camps for the summer so it’s three weeks of sleeping in and bumming around town and the house.  So nice!

It’s great to be alive!!

*I can’t have a Where in the World Are My Kids post because I don’t know where Money is.  I suppose he’s still alive and well in Panama but we haven’t heard from him in two weeks.  I shouldn’t complain because we were lucky to have any texts from him.  We were told we’d have one phone call halfway through (which we did) so all the other times we got to text with him were bonus.  I know that no news is good news because if there was an issue his program would contact us.  I vacillate between it’s good we haven’t heard (he’s totally immersed) or it’s bad (he’s so homesick talking to us makes it worse).  Probably more the former.  He has about 1.5 weeks left in his community before he’ll spend .5 week in the city (Panama City or Chitre) before coming home on the 15th.

Random thoughts…

They don’t make ‘em like Mama Cass anymore.


Nobody has ever swam there and back.  So fantastically excited for CeeBee to finish.   

She’s at 28 hours and 75km.  The current must be tough because the route is a bit curving.

Keep going Caroline!!

Today in Exercise…same thing, right?

Today I ran three miles.  No, this map isn’t me.  It’s CeeBee doing a swim crossing of the North Channel.  She’s been swimming 26 hours so far for a total of 70km.   I can’t remember my calculations but I think 24hr swim = 30 minute run.

You can track her here.

Having fun…

Because he irritated me earlier, I am now sitting in the same room as McFizzle while he plays a video game.  The fun part is me blasting Black Sabbath.

It’s like Kryptonite.  And everytime he asks me to turn it down I turn it up.


Summer of Homemade – More meat sticks!

Last time I made them they were probably 60% pork/40% beef.  This time they are 100% beef and taste pretty darn good. Better than the last batch.

I’m not done tweaking them.  Next batch I’m going with two more changes.

One.  I still can’t get sheep casings to work well.  I think I need a smaller fill tube (twss).  I did manage to get a few of them done in sheep.  The rest are just collagen casing.  Good stuff, but I think the sheep (which are thinner) have a bit more snap.

Two.  I need to add ECA (encapsulated citric acid) to give it a bit of tang.  The local spice store didn’t have any so I’ll need to order it.  Fortunately, I have an Amazon gift card with a few bucks left on it.

Once I get it nailed down, I’ll make a batch to ship to Bob and Pat for a taste test.

Adjectives Matter!


Isn’t there always weather in the area?

Summer of Homemade – Pasta

For dinner tonight I made fresh pasta.  I’m getting better at it, but I still make a mess.  Tonight’s batch came out perfectly.  Very happy.  I followed this recipe, but rolled and cut it with an old fashioned pasta machine.  I don’t have the Kitchenaid attachment.  I also made it fettuccine cut.  For my sauce, I just used garlic, olive oil and parm.  (the kid will only eat Prego so didn’t bother with homemade)

I also made homemade rolls (recipe) because by the time I thought of it it was too late to make a decent loaf of crusty bread.  The rolls also came out perfectly.

I had a sausage (also homemade) as a protein.  The wife and kids had meatballs (store bought because, again, the kids don’t like actually good homemade foods…yet).

Sadly, I didn’t bother with a veggie, but there was fruit for dessert.  I definitely need to get better about adding more veggies at each meal.

I have some pasta dough leftover that I’m going to try to turn into crab ravioli with a butter sauce.

3-4-Hour Chicago Brewery Tour with Beer Flights for One, Two, or Four from Chicago Brew Bus (Up to 30% Off)

3-4-Hour Chicago Brewery Tour with Beer Flights for One, Two, or Four from Chicago Brew Bus (Up to 30% Off)



For those of you going for the Chicago Marathon, this might be fun! 

@trivialbob @coffeeandmuscles @thefestivalabides

It shows as unavailable right now, but will have to keep this in mind!!

We could easily do a walking brewery/tasting tour in my neighborhood.  There are half-dozen or more breweries with tap rooms in walking distance of each other.  Half-Acre, Dovetail, Aquanaut, Metropolitan, Band of Bohemia, Begyle, and Empirical are pretty much in a straight line within a mile total distance. (not in order and don’t hold me to one mile, it might be one and a half)

This is why in Music…[UPDATED]

Even though many of the albums on the list are not my cup of tea, I do enjoy coming across something I thought wasn’t my cup of tea only to find I like it.

Today that was…

#146 In a Silent Way – Miles Davis.    Didn’t think I’d like Miles Davis.  I liked this album quite a bit.

On the other hand, yesterday’s

#130 Scott 2 – Scott Walker

made me want to quit this list and walk into traffic.  Ugh.  Seriously, someone paid to have him included.

Sadly, I know

#171 Scott 4 – Scott Walker, is coming up.

I also know I have a Bee Gees double album to knock out today.  I think that’ll have to be background music while I drive out to watch my wife’s hockey game tonight.

#147 Odessa – Bee Gees [UPDATE:  Lesson learned again.  That was amazing.  Really enjoyed it]

Wilson’s new toy

My wife bought Wilson a new toy recently.  He walks around with it all day.  The wife was happy she got him a toy he likes, until she decided he and I playing fetch with a squeak toy at 12:30 a.m. was not a good idea.  Killjoy!

Apropos of my earlier comments on Tom Ricketts, this was in my Twitter feed today.

Wouldn’t have known about if the parents hadn’t posted it.  i.e. the Cubs [Tom Ricketts] did it without publicizing it.

Martini recipe #1

Last night I tried my homemade compound gin.  Basically, you just flavor vodka.  The only requirement to make it “gin” is a neutral base spirit with a 37.5% ABV and juniper as the dominant botanical.

I followed the recipe here.

I didn’t follow the instructions exactly.  Glad I didn’t.

To recap the ingredients.

750ml Vodka (I used cheap stuff, because I’m cheap)

2TBL Juniper Berries

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

2 Cardamom pods

2 peppercorns

Half a cinnamon stick

dried peel slice of lemon and orange

In the recipe at the link, you put it all together (expect the peels) for 24 hours.  Taste.  Add the peels and any botanical boost you want.  Let sit another 24 hours.

Instead, I let the vodka and juniper berries sit for 24 hours and then added the rest for 12 hours.

It came out OK.  Not great.  The reason it was OK was because it actually had a pretty strong cinnamon flavor.  The first time I made it I didn’t use cinnamon.  I might try again and use 1/4 stick.  Maybe I just had some high power cinnamon, but it was real noticeable in the gin.

I will try again.  This time I’m going to pay more attention.  I’m going to taste the juniper and vodka mix before I add anything else.  I might add more juniper to get more of that taste.  Meantime, I need to find some gin cocktail with cinnamon in it and make that drink but leave out the added cinnamon.  Nah, I’ll just power through the remaining and get to work on my next batch.

I did see another recipe that was supposed to approximate Bombay Sapphire.  It had a ton of botanicals, but what I liked was it had ratios of strong/weak botanicals.  I might just use that as base ratios and try different ones.  Maybe split the 750 into two mason jars and make two different batches.  Or buy two bottles and make four mason jars!  Or…….

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