Monthly archives: June, 2017

Getting better (relative) at filling them. Five pounds of Polish sausage ready for the 4th of July.

Today in Exercise:

The title says it all.  It was humid.  Good run, though.

I got out of bed at 8:00 and spent the first hour of my day knocking out some homework.  I read two chapters for Global Economies and added my two cents to the discussion group.  I hate discussion groups.  I’m not an audience participation kind of guy.

After the homework I knocked out my run.  Showered and now I have an hour before I leave for a family visit.  Unfortunately, one hour is just not enough time to make the bed or put the dishes in the dishwasher so I’ll have to just leave those chores for my wife when she gets home from Flywheel.  She likes doing things.  I like not doing things.  It’s a good marriage.

Late afternoon I’m going to make a new batch of sausage (Polish this time) and then late night (11:00pm) I’ll ref a hockey game.

It’s great to be alive.

Martini of the Night

Top  That’s my wife sitting in the president’s seat in the mock Cabinet room.  She has collected a few of those pictures. This was at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids, MI today. My wife is determined to go to every presidential museum and, for some reason, drag me along too.  We’ve been to six of fourteen museums so far and she plans on making me go to Iowa for Hoover’s in August.  Hooray! 

[truth be known, I really enjoy them.  I’m a bit of a history/politics buff and they are hella interesting. But, I enjoy bitching about it even more]

Bottom left:  My reward for driving 6.5 hours roundtrip to visit a presidential museum.

Bottom right:  Yes!  Although, you probably wouldn’t actually join an Borderline Classical Anarchist/Libertarian Party so they don’t really make a coaster for me.  But this one works.

And now we’ll have some pizza, watch a show (currently binging Leah Remini’s Scientology show and loving it and Leah…the nails alone are worth it), read a book and, most importantly, NOT BE INTERRUPTED BY A KID.

Tomorrow is another kid-free day.  I’ll go visit my dad, do homework, ref a hockey game and still not have any kid duty.  

It’s even greater to be alive than usual! (until McFizzle comes back on the 5th).  

New sausage stuffer came today. Sadly, I don’t get to use it until Friday.

It’s bad enough I have four hours of class tonight but tomorrow the wife is making me go with to Grand Rapids to visit the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum.

I don’t think I’m gonna like an empty nest.

Things I Like Wednesday


Lorde’s new album Melodrama:  It didn’t get a very good review in the WSJ. Obviously, I’m not her main demographic, but I liked it.

White Denim



Black Hammer


Glow (Netflix):  Binged it in two days.

Prime Suspect 1973

Louis Anderson in Baskets – While I’m only so-so on the whole show, Louie Anderson kills me.  The costumes alone…


Today in Exercise.


Trying my best but…

Last night my hockey team lost 3-1.  I was +/- 0.  I was on for the opponents first goal and it was totally my fault.  I was pushing a guy out from the front of the net but I fell down.  They passed from behind the net to a guy now standing by himself and scored.  Sigh.

I was also on for our one goal, but I had nothing to do with it.  In fact, I was in the process of a line change.  Still, it counts!

All in all this was one of my worst games.  I just couldn’t seem to get it together until late in the game.  I don’t know what it was, but I wasn’t even my usually not-so-good.

This is only my fourth real game in decades.  I’m not supposed to be good.  I play in a beer league with a bunch of 40+ benders.  Still, it annoys me when I’m not good.

A few months ago I read an article about Tom Brady’s devotion to The Four Agreements.  I read the book and, while I’m not touchy feely and could leave most of the book’s Toltec crap aside, I did like each agreement.  I’ve repeatedly reminded myself to always do my best.  As it goes “Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

So I know I gave my all last night.  Still kind of stinks that my best isn’t good enough.  I’m trying to let it go.  Trying.  Not succeeding, but whatever.  I did what my best.

I heard from McFizzle for the first time since he left.  He loves it.  One of the first things he told me (read: text because it was all iMessage) was he plans on majoring in International Relations in Communities and joining the Peace Corps. 

 [side note:  some 20 year old German student who is majoring in International Relations in Communities and working the summer in Rwanda probably has no idea he just changed the course of a 15 year old’s life by hanging out with him for a day].

He sent me the above picture.  First I thought, “how cool” then the dad in me took over and I thought “uh, back the fuck up…there are no bars between you all!”  So far that has been a highlight.  He also talked about some volcano, an orphanage (which is when he decided to join the Peace Corps), Ugandan Mangos, being called “muzungus” which means “white people” and visiting the equator.  Tomorrow or the next day they start going on a safari in Kenya.

He’s making the most of it.  He said most kids seem to nap on the bus ride between towns but he just stares out the window.  He told me he loves hiking and really every single thing about Africa.

I hoped he’d have a good time and I’m thrilled, not only that he is, but that he’s making the most of it.

What a trip. 

Little Money leaves for his adventure in Panama on Wednesday.  Hammerette decided to stay at camp one week more.  That’ll mean an extra few days without kids, but really I’m bored.  My own school starts Wednesday and I have three classes this summer so it’ll be busy again soon enough.  Not Africa, Panama or camp busy, but still.  Also, they do have plenty of openings for teachers in the Peace Corps.  I wouldn’t mind spending a year in Thailand or Myanmar teaching English once the kids are in college.

Today in Exercise – Longer run

I wanted to quit after mile 2.  Then again during mile 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7.  You can pretty much assume I want to stop running within 10 minutes of starting.

But, I’d feel like quitting, look down and my jiggling tire around my waist and keep going.

Finished the eight scheduled/planned miles.  Now I’ll sit on my ass the rest of the day.  Still not sure about this marathon thing, but at least one more week of training is done.

At the NHL draft and Fan Fest

Wilson: You can’t handle the truth!

Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by dogs that bark. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Trixie the Cat? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom.

You weep for Fluffy the Rabbit, and you curse the Labradoodles. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know – that Fluffy’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives; and my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.

You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall – you need me on that wall.

Friday Flashback: Chicago Marathon breakfast. Look at all those Tumblrs!

Today in Exercise

Stick with the plan…or else.

I decided to try to rearrange my schedule to do my longer run today.  Here’s the stupid thing.  I did that so I’d be rested for my crosstraining.  Yeah, the least important workout took priority over the most important workout.  Stupid is as stupid does.

On top of that, I did my last long run 5 days ago, so not enough time in between.  I ran Wednesday and Thursday and then reffed hockey late last night.  I’m tired, it’s hot, I don’t have enough carbs, but sure let’s run longer today.

Nope.  I ran 4 which is one more than I was supposed to run.  I’ll stick with my schedule.  Rest tomorrow (it’s our block party anyway) and run longer Sunday.  If that means my legs are tired for hockey, so be it.

Fortunately, I have my Divvy app on my phone so I walked over to a bike rack and turned it into a mild brick.

Now, rest day begins.  I really don’t know about this marathon.  I’m just not excited to run long all summer.  Or even Sunday.  It’s boring.

Take 2.  Not exactly because last time I made chicken sausage and this time it was Lousiana Hot Sausage.

1:  First I ground the pork butt

2:  Mixed in the spices

3:  Gross.  That looks like pig intestitines soaking in water.  Well, that’s because those are pig intestines soaking in water.

4:  Took me a while to get the filling going right.  Finally figured it out a bit more.

I fried up a small piece of uncased and was a wee bit disappointed.  It was delicious and perfectly spiced, but it really tastes more like a spicy breakfast sausage.  That’s fine because I’m a big sausage and eggs fan, but I wanted more of a dinner sausage.

Not sure if my math is right, but each sausage should be about 5 oz.  I made 16 sausages from 5lbs of meat.  Is that right?  If so, they’re a wee bit big I suppose.  I’d rather have 4-1′s instead of 5-1′s, but such is life.t  I will perserve.

Next time I’ll try either brats, currywurst, polish or regular Italian sausage.  At least I’m figuring some stuff out.  I should make a mean sausage by the end of the summer.

And on another topic:  McFizzle is landed safely in Rwanda, got his visa and they are on their way to their campground.

And then it hits you…

Holy shit, my kid is in Uganda.

Psychopaths drinks their coffee black, study finds

Psychopaths drinks their coffee black, study finds

Travel tracking

This is longer than following an Ironman online.

At the moment, McFizzle is in the run. He’s finished the swim, T1 layover in Montreal, bike, T2 layover in Brussels and is heading for the finish line. According to the flight tracker he is over Egypt at the moment. He makes a brief stop in Uganda (that’d be the part I sit on the curb having a pity party) before a final sprint to Rwanda.

Dang that’s a long travel.

Meantime, I walked ¼ mile to a coffee shop.

Today in Exercise

They say the track was rockin’
A goin’ ‘round and round
Yeah reelin’ and a rockin’ what a crazy sound
Well they never stopped runnin’ till the moon went down three miles.

Apologies to Chuck Berry.

Two down, one to go.

Long travel day for McFizzle:  Chicago ➝ Montreal ➝ Brussels ➝ Kigali.  It’ll take about 30 hours.  They have a long layover in Montreal and are going to a museum to fill the time.  He’ll be in Africa (Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya) for two weeks before making the same trip back.

Pretty cool adventure.  Meantime, I’m sitting on the couch reading a paper.

Martini of the Night…

The end of the school year calls for a martini.  Yes, I know there will just be another school year next year.  Yes, I know next school year will be worse because my daughter will be in the all-important-for-CPS 7th grade, but still, a martini is worth it.

This was a long year.  Freshman transition for younger son, junior year with SAT/ACT/Subject matter tests for older son.  Easy for daughter, but then again, she’s perfect.

All of it is minor nuisance and first world problems.  Not even first world problems because they aren’t problems.  Just a good life I’m fortunate to be able to lead at the moment.  It won’t always be easy so I’ll take it all in gratitude.

Tonight I’m going to sip this martini, eat the pizza I just ordered, keeping picking out Blister in the Sun (which annoys the wife, side benefit!) on the guitar and watch the Cubs game on a gorgeous cool summer night. (and pay no attention to the fact my younger son is flying tomorrow to the site of the latest terrorist attack)

It’s great to be alive.  

(and then I’ll re-start counting Whole30 tomorrow)


The school year is over.  Finally.  June freaking 20th.

Both sons are on the CTA (one on the bus, one on the L) heading home.  Done and done.

Daughter is officially done, but she blew off the last two days of school to go to camp.


Let summer break begin!

No victory celebration…

Last night, our two hockey teams faced off for the first time.  


We got trounced.  I could make excuses, but they are just a better team.  Actually, that’s my excuse.  They’re a better team.  

So we didn’t win the No Talent Ass Clown Cup.


Although I’m not sure why the winners get the No Talent Ass Clown Cup.  Seems to me the no talent ass clowns are the ones that lost 7-1.  (I was -2 so not too bad).

We play them again in three weeks.  I’m sure you can catch the game on ESPN 8, The Ocho!


The benefit of Hammerette going to camp where a mom of BFF works is pics of the kid.  Looks like it’s going well.

(and no shortage of ego with the kid….when you click on the picture that was sent it shows a few seconds of video including her saying “I’m so cool” after the snap)

Summer of Encased Meats…

First try didn’t turn out so well.  I tried to make chicken sausage.  The grinding and seasoning was no problem.  The filling the casing was not easy and did not go well.

With five pounds of meat I wound up with 5 large sausages and a lot of wasted, broken, slimy ones in the trash can.  I could not get a flow going into the casing.

I don’t know if it was the chicken, the casing, me (probably it was me).

I’ll cook these up and have them for breakfast the next few days.  After that, I’ll probably just make some breakfast sausage not encased.

After that, I’ll make brats and see how that goes.

Oh well.  I never thought I was an encased meat savant so it’ll take me awhile to figure out how to do this.  Plus, it’ll give me time to save up for a smoker!

UPDATE:  I don’t think the chicken was cold enough. Still my fault, but next time I’ll know to keep the meat even colder.

Today in Exericse:

My five mile scheduled run turned in to six and a half.  Oops.  I decided to run to the bus pick-up for my daughter’s summer camp.  I would’ve been closer to six, but I goofed up and ran past it and had to turn around.

I made it in plenty of time to see her off.  This is her first sleepaway camp and other than maybe two nights in 12 years, the first time she’ll be sleeping away from home.  She’s only made one or two sleepovers at friends’ houses.  She’ll be fine, and in fact she’ll have a blast.  She gets bored at home in two seconds so all the activities and campers will be heaven for her.


On the plus side, the only sleepovers she’d made have been at her friend C’s house and that’s who she’s going to camp with.

And yes, my wife took her for mani/pedis yesterday, hence the bright white nails. Sigh.

One down, two to go.  McFizzle still has school Mon/Tues but he leaves Wed morning.  He has to be at the airport at 3:45 a.m.  He’ll only be gone two weeks and he’s the child most used to being away.  

Meantime, I’ve sat around reading, playing guitar badly, drinking coffee and got in my run.  It’s not even noon.

It’s great to be alive.

Staring contest between Wilson the Wonder Dog and Popcorn the Gerbil.

Pay no attention to the school supplies which will probably sit on my daughter’s floor the entire summer but I’m going to pretend and post that this is unusal messiness in her room so I don’t appear to be the slacker father you all know I am.

Hockey Night.

My team had a scimmage today and I brought along The Hammer, Little Money and DJ McFizzle.  Fun time and the first time all four of us played together.

And you read her sweater right.  My wife plays on the Mother Puckers.


I’m beat…

Last week a co-ref asked if I was free to work a few games.  He said they’d be reunion/scrimmage games.  Nothing big.  I like the exercise, money and experience so I agreed.

Turns out they weren’t just scrimmages.  It was Team USA Masters for an international competion this summer in Israel.  OK, insert Jewish athlete joke here.  Whatever, they could bring it.  They were high-A level playrs and faster than the normal A level I’ve reffed before.

There was a game last night and I was not happy.  All the players couldn’t have been nicer, but they were FAST and powerful and I spent more time trying not to get killed by a skater or puck than reffing.  Goal #1:  not get killed.  Goal #2L get out of their way. Goal #3: call the game.

I was already tired from running, but keeping up with these guys was exhausting.  I was a little bit less dead for this afternoon’s game, but still felt it from the first minute. There is a reason higher level games have three or four refs instead of two.

As I said, the players were great and didn’t give any crap about penalities called (or not).  They play at a much higher level so there was no BS stickwork or crap.  Although they played longer periods, it went quicker because they don’t go off-side or ice the puck (unless for D reasons).

It was fun, decent pay and great experience.  Tonight I have another men’s league game to ref and it’ll seem like slow motion in comparison.  I’m still dying for a break on my legs, but it’ll be fine.  The last thing I want to do though is half-ass it so I’ll have a double espresso, handful of Advil and suck it up tonight.

In the meantime, I’ve got “flat Ross” up against the garage wall drying out for my own scrimmage tomorrow and game Monday.  Tomorrow the boys and I are playing.  I’m still trying to get my wife to play, but she doesn’t want Hammerette to be bored/alone in the stands.  I think she’ll be fine and the fun of all four of us playing together would be worth bribing Hammerette with Steak N Shake after (although the team is BBQ’ing).

The weekend is starting off nicely.  

It’s great to be alive.

Yikes!  Talk about lost in translation.

Little Money’s partner agency in Panama went from the “Ministry of Social Development” to the “social development abortions.” 

I don’t know about you but calling people “abortions” probably isn’t the best way to kick-off working together.

So close….

Older son, Little Money, is basically done with junior year.  He had his last final today.  He still has to go to school tomorrow, Monday and Tuesday, but he has no homework, no tests and nothing to do.

Daughter has tomorrow and that’s it.  Grades for her were due Wednesday so she’s been bored this week.  School isn’t officially over until Tuesday but she’s skipping Monday and Tuesday to go to camp on time.

Younger son, DJ McFizzle, still has finals tomorrow and Monday.  He has to go to school on Tuesday but they aren’t taking attendance.  I don’t know why you’d go to school if they don’t take attendence (see: my four years in undergrad at UW-Madison), but he’s going to go.

I’m ready for them all to be done.  I’m also ready for them to leave for a bit.  Hamerrette leaves Sunday, McFizzle on Wednesday and Little Money the following Wednesday.  It’ll be the first time in 17 years the Hammer and I have been alone at home.   

Then, she’s going out of town for a high school reunion so I’ll have the house all to myself.  Yeah, there will be no Whole30 no pizza/no booze those two days.

Meantime, I sort of cut out early.  I cancelled my substitute assignment for tomorrow.  I’m going to ref a hockey game instead.  I did pick up ½ day on Monday so it’ll all even out pay wise (I’ll get more for reffing an hour long game than I will ½ day subbing).


To paraphrase the great US Army soldier, John Winger:  

 Barry Larry Terry, you are a madman. When you stole that racoon, and your friend tried to make it with the racoon. I want to party with you, cowboy. But the two of us together? Forget it!

Today in cooking…

1)  Last night I made some hamburgers, but this time I added some prepared mustard to the ground beef.  (I didn’t have powdered).  It was awesome.  Provided flavor, tang, bite.  I will never make them again without.

2)  At lunch, I figured out how to cut waffle fries with a mandoline.  I baked some regular chips and fried some waffle chips.

3)  This is going to be the summer of sausage.  I plan on making all sorts of sausages at home.  No reason.  I just like sausages and it seemed like a fun way to spend some time.

Today in Exercise: The Slow30

Tonight I will ref a hockey game. My legs aren’t happy about that. My wallet will be, though. I took three days off work so I’m contributing even less than my usual minimal contribution to the household.

I have a few off days from running. Tonight I ref. Tomorrow I ref two uptempo games. Saturday my team is having a scrimmage. Good cross training.


Drop off…

The Festival: Have a great penultimate day at school.
Hammerette: huh?
The Festival: penultimate. Second to last.
Hammerette: [eye roll] Stop that. Just say second to last.
Joke’s on you, kid. Eye roll all you want but you learned a new word.
I’m an annoying father. Probably could’ve just stopped after “annoying.”


You’re never leaving…who are you kidding?

I have come to that realization.  I won’t ever get to leave this city for good.

First, my wife loves her job.  She won’t retire when she hits 60.  She’ll do the job until she dies.  

Second, by the time my wife is at retirement age, the State of Illinois will be bankrupt and her pension will be taken.  I have little faith she will actually get her pension.  So, it’s a good thing she loves her job because she’ll be doing it until she dies.  

Third, because of Chicago and Illinois’ financial situation, it will be nigh impossible to sell our house once we are retirement age.  Nobody will want to move to this town because it’s in the toilet.  We’d have to sell it for less than we could buy something elsewhere.  I don’t want to be 65 years old and take out a mortgage.  Like a junker car when you can’t afford a new one:  we’re just gonna have to drive it into the ground.

None of the above even touches on family situation in town.

The only thing I like about this town is the lakefront and now there are shootings and stabbings there on a regular basis.  The one beautiful spot is being ruined too.  Sigh.

Nope.  I’m never going to leave this city.  I’ll ride it down to the rubble.  I will, however, save my entire teaching salary once I have a full-time job and use it to rent a place for 10 weeks each summer.  I’m going to pick a different country each year and live there and have the kids, wife and anyone else who wants to come visit for extended weeks.  It’s my compromise.

I will still dream that one day I can leave here.  It must be so nice to live somewhere without high crime, corruption, financial mismanagement and green spaces with fresh air. 

Today in Exercise…

I ran down to the lake and back.  I did not get shot or stabbed at the lake so it was a successful run!

I kid.  That part of the lakefront is tame.

Sad reality:  I’m happy my older son will be in a remote village in Panama all summer because it will be safer than hanging out in Chicago.  Same with younger son in Africa.  Granted, my boys tend to be homebodies, but everyday the paper is filled with stories of people being armed robbed at the L stations they use.  It almost seems like a matter of time.  I can’t wait to leave this city and I really hope once my kids go off to college they don’t return to this city/state.

Anyway, back to my run.  It hot.  85 with “real feel” in the 90s.  Sunny.  It’s basically Chicago in summer so this’ll probably be the last time I mention it.

Short story:  I ran 4 miles.  It was fine.

It’d make life easier…

People should wear buttons that say “Yes, you are supposed to tip me” or “No, you don’t have to tip us.” I never know who I’m supposed to tip.

I’ve been waiting all morning for people to pick up my daughter’s luggage for camp.  Two college kids in a moving truck pull up, grab two small duffle bags I handed them, put them on the truck and that was it.  Was I supposed to tip these guys?

Frankly, I’d prefer a more European system where a restaurant just charged me a service fee and there was no tipping.  I don’t want to tip the cab driver, barber or masseuse.  (three things I don’t actually use so it’s no big deal).  Just charged me 15%-20% more and be done with it.

But now, since they came at the end of the window, I’m off to run 4 miles in 90 degree heat before the t-storms come.


Things I Like Wednesday


The Leftovers

Dear White People (Netflix):  The Hammer and I binged this last week.  It’s interesting. 




Wonder Woman


Outlaw Platoon by Sean Parnell  [a guy I was in homeroom in HS with, who is now a Col (gen?) in the Army recommended this book about a platoon in Afghanistan]  I enjoyed it, but if you read Generation Kill (which I did and loved, the TV show too), it’s the same thing in a different war.

Richard Nixon: The Life by John Farrell.  Fascinating.  One of the best biographies I’ve read in a long time (and I do tend to read a bunch of them)


Sparkling Ice:  Sorry to the brand, but I am addicted now to Sparkling Ice, Vita Ice and generic brands too.  It’s kind of shocking how much of this I can drink in a day.


Divvy:  After taking a year off, I re-activated my Divvy account.  It’s nice being able to grab a bike anywhere I want, not worry about it getting stolen or broken, no worries about locking it.  Plus, bonus exercise!  

Someone in my ‘hood felt stabby today. #noreally #stabbing #chicago. #sigh

Today in Exercise…

No work today for reasons.  I’m not complaining.

I ran three miles after I dropped the kids at school.  My legs were dead from last night’s hockey game.  I didn’t sleep well because I was actually sore.  My legs and back.  It’ll take another week before I’m used to it.  Meantime, as much as I would’ve liked to take today off, I knew I didn’t want to fall behind for the week and I did want to run while it was a bit cooler and not raining.

Total distance: 3.2 miles

Total time; 30 minutes

@thereluctantrunnner  You and Pee-Wee.  Two rebels in a world that can’t handle it.

The face of the team leader in penalty minutes. #roughing #probertlives

Thank the heavens for the afternoon…

I subbed in a 7th grade classroom today.  The morning class was about the worst class I’ve ever had.  Just brutal.  No respect for themselves, their classroom, their education or anything.  It makes me sad to see.  I get 13-14 year olds have attitudes, but these kids were nihilists and not in a good way (if there is one).  Like I said, made me sad.  Made me also think that my former colleagues in the criminal defense bar won’t run out of clients anytime soon.

Fortunately, the afternoon class restored my faith a bit.  Polite, interesting and interested, did their work and were a pleasure to be around.

Can you guess which is the gifted class and which is not?

I think I only have one more day subbing this school year and it’s in a 5th grade class I like.  The one nice thing about being a sub, in addition to choosing when/if I work, is picking what class/teacher I want to sub for.  I guarantee next year I won’t be at this school for the 8th grade.  I already have a mental list of schools or classes I will or will not go to.

I’m worried that once I become a full-time teacher that luxury is gone.  I could (and will) get stuck every now and then with a hell class for a whole year.  Or more!

Questioning my career choices.

It starts today…

The “off-season” was good to me, but not kind to my gut.  I haven’t run consistently (read: more than 2x week) since the last Chicago Marathon.  I skate a lot, but not enough to keep up with the food, martini and sitting I’ve been doing.

I like to try out different things, so today I’m going to try to do the Whole 30.  No pizza, no booze will be hard, but the rest shouldn’t be that hard.  I do love me some cheese, so that’ll be a chore, but not as big a chore as continuing to carry around this tire on my waist.

No goal weight.  Just want to feel better about myself and make running a bit easier.


I’m usually fairly organized, but for some reason I’m all over the board when it comes to getting my teaching license.

I took my main test (passed) but still have to take two subject matter tests.  Tomorrow I will register for those and take them in July.

I need to take two undergrad classes for my endorsement.  I’m signed up now for a human geography class online but I detest the class.  Don’t like it at all.  AT ALL.  I think I’m going to drop that one and take a different class (also online) through the school I’m getting my Masters.  Better, it’s a global economics class that satifies human geo.  I like econ, so more better.

I also am signed up for an Econ class.  I like that.  I have no idea why I never took an econ class in college given my fondness for econ. 

I finished one prereq education class (Educational Psychology) and I’m taking my second, and last, prereq this summer. 

My plan is to spend the last week of June-August “in school.”  I’ll get up each morning, go for a run, have coffee and then walk down to the library and knock out a chapter or two of each class.  Once I get these prereqs done it’ll be easy sailing for two class in fall, two in winter, student teach in spring and be licensed and looking for a job in summer.

Meantime, I have one more week of subbing.  I’m signed up for M, W, F and I’ll find a job for Thursday.  Tuesday I’m taking off because I have a hockey game at 10:40 pm on Monday night and will be tired.  

Today in Exercise

Out before it got too hot and early enough to sit on my ass all day and rest.

I think I’m getting the itch again.  2010…2014…2018?

And again with the same nightmare…

About 2-3x a year I have the same nightmare.  Literally, like wake up screaming or panicky.  It’s always about the same thing, though last night was much tamer than normal.

I dream that I’ve buried a body and someone is going to find it.  Usually it’s in the floorboards, but sometimes it’s been in a wall.  I could blame reading Poe as a young child (thanks, Mom!) ) but the deed is less nightmare than the guilt and worry about getting caught.

Last night’s dream had my old law partner filling Coke cans with off-brand soda and selling it.  The Feds busted him and I was worried he’d implicate me.  I didn’t do anything, just had knowledge and that isn’t enough under the law, but I still woke up in a panic.

Here’s the odd thing.  I hope it is obvious that I never killed anyone and hid their boy.  I did prosecute on appeal some people who did that, but I never did it myself.  In fact, and this isn’t a humblebrag, I’ve never really done anything illegal or “wrong” in my life.  I don’t lie, cheat or steal.  I may not answer a question, but I will never lie (even little white lies).  I pay every cent of taxes and reported all the cash I made as a lawyer.  In short, I have absolutely nothing to be guilty about or worried about, and yet, a few times a year it’s the same dream.


Friend’s beer garden

Today in Exercise…

I went with The Hammer to an exercise class.  We added a bit of exercise by riding Divvys to and from the class.  That added about 40 minutes of light cardio.

The class was Signature Row at Iron+Oar.  I’ve done the class before and enjoy it.  It’s different.  Half rowing, half weights.  I was so tired heading into class.  I did not want to go.  I need a rest day not an exercise class day.  But, I felt a lot better for having gone.

I’ll now spend the rest of the day like this…

Grocery store

Sit on basement couch (cooler in the basement) watching the Cubs game and playing guitar badly (the only way I know how!) Fall asleep on couch.

Go to have a few beers in a backyard with a few hockey families.

Watch Doctor Who when I get home and go to blissfully to sleep.

As always, it’s great to be alive!

Because it’s great to be alive!

*and my “martini playlist” was interrupted by a son who wants to watch episode two of Leah Remini’s scientology show.  (again, as a public service, always wear a condom)

Put a fork in me. I’m done.

Last night I reffed three adult games. They were mixer league and not very fast, but it was still 3+ hours on ice skates skating around. My legs were beat from the running and my own hockey game before those games and didn’t feel any fresher after.

Still, I needed (mental health reasons) to run today. I worked half-day in a fantastic third grade classroom and came home for a bit before I have to get my daughter. It’s about 85 degrees and perfect sunshine. It was a good schvitz.

I have a about an hour before I leave for kid duty, but then I think it’s pizza and martini friday. More mental health reasons.

It’s great to be alive!

3.3 mile run with my shorts on backwards. #crazyoldmanunlocked

And an update…

Since I’ve been gone….

1)  I’ve started back at work-ish.  I’m switching careers from lawyer to stay at home dad to teacher.  I’ve spent most of this school year substitute teaching in CPS.

2) I’ve also started working toward my teaching license.  I am in the beginning of a masters program (one class done) which should end next June.  I have to take two more tests, two undergrad classes and all my masters stuff.  If I stay on track (not too likely), I’ll student teach next spring and get my license in the summer.

3)  Older son has spent most of this school year taking standardized college admission tests and going on college tours.  Younger son is just about done with his freshman year (different high school) and is going well.  Daughter, as usual, is perfect in every way.

4)  The kids have great summers planned.  Older son is going to Panama for seven weeks.  He’ll be living in some remote village in the Azuero region and doing a service project.  Middle son is going with a high school group for two weeks to Africa.  Daughter is going to sleepaway camp for the first time.  I’m staying at home and picking up as much work as I can to pay for their adventures.  Sadly, the wife and I only have 3 days when all of them are gone at the same time.  Still, it’ll be the first three days in the house without kids in 17+ years.

5) Wife is still great and still hasn’t wised up she could do better than me.

Back to the basics.  Training blog.  Not sure if I’ll line up for Chicago Marathon ‘17, but I’m registered and training starts now.  I haven’t run consistently (i.e. more than 2x month) since the last marathon.  I’ve been skating a lot and doing some exercise classes, but mostly I’ve been lazy and overeating.

So here we go…

First thing I thought of…

Read a story today that Sears is closing more stores, bringing the total near 250..  First thing I thought of was…

Dr. Joseph Dolan: You know, it’s a shame about Ed.

Fletch: Oh, it was. Yeah, it was really a shame. To go so suddenly like that.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was dying for years.

Fletch: Sure, but… the end was very… very sudden.

Dr. Joseph Dolan: He was in intensive care for eight weeks.

Fletch: Yeah, but I mean the very end, when he actually died. That was extremely sudden.

Sears is just taking forever to die.  Just pull the plug already.

Where he’ll be…

For those of you interested, the pin is where the Older Son will be all summer.  Azuero Peninsula, Panama.

LIfe is good



Louis Prima on Spotify


It’s great to be alive.

General Update


Family is all good. My wife and older son are out in Washington D.C. looking at two colleges. Last college visits for awhile.  They’ll be back tonight.  For those keeping track, his first choice remains the same.

The kids all have about three weeks more of school. The daughter is going to miss the last day to head to camp for two weeks.   It’ll be her first overnight camp. Younger son is leaving the day after school ends for a two week trip with a high school club to Africa. The rest of the summer he’s off except one week he’s going to a local college to take a game design/coding class. Last week in June the older son leaves for seven weeks doing community service in a remote village in Panama.  I’ll be staying home taking all the ref gigs and summer school sub jobs I can to pay for their travels.

Wife is still doing well too.  Working, charity x2, playing hockey.

In the last few weeks we’ve celebrated my nephew’s graduation from med school, my father’s 80th birthday, parents’ 55th? anniversary and a few other nice things.   This weekend we have Meat Fest (so excited!), a BBQ at the house for older son’s summer program group and some exercise classes, chores and ref gigs.


My longer stint in K is over. Thank God. I’ve been picking up 3-4 days per week at various schools. This week I only worked twice (see wife out of town). All good.

This week I’ll finish up my first class towards my Masters in Education. I still have until June 2018 until I finish, but knocking it out as a I go.  Next up I’ll take another Ed class and an econ class.  The Human Geo class is killing.  Not because it’s hard or uninteresting (it’s actually fairly interesting).  I just don’t like the online class.  The chapter quizzes seem disconnected from the text, or at least minor, almost asides, of the main point.  A lecture would help focus (at least in the beginning) the issues.  Oh well.  Gotta get that done.  I swear Human Geo didn’t exist as a separate class when I was in college.  Why can’t I get credit for some sociology/anthropology class I took in college?


Haven’t run consistently in a long time.  Since the marathon.  I’m supposed to run it again this year, but I’m not sure.  If I don’t start running this week, I’ll have to bag it.

Meantime, I go to a gym two times a week for strength training and I’m still skating a few times a week, either reffing hockey or playing now.  I need to do more (and eat less).  The lack of exercise shows on my gut.

I started playing on a hockey team.  A co-ref and player asked if I was interested in playing over the summer.  The rink is not too close to me so it’s doable over the summer when I can sleep in a bit and I don’t ref there so no conflicts.  We play Monday nights.  We had a scrimmage and I’m happy.  It’s my level (not good) and the players are all close to my age.  Fun group of people too.


I’m still making progress on the 1001 Album challenge, but it’s been slow lately.  I’ve been able to listen to more these last two days off work.

Still reading.  Every now and again (see, last two days) I’ve picked my my guitar or banjo for a little bit.

Longer term plans:

I’m getting resigned to the fact I’m never going to actually get to leave Chicago.  My new plan is to leave for the summer once I’m working full-time and the kids are in college or done.  The plan is to save up a big chunk of my salary and each summer rent an apartment, house, cottage, yurt, whatever in some other country.  Italy one year, Sweden the next, Japan after that.  Who knows.  My wife will come for as long as she can take off.  The kids can come visit for a week, two or however long their job lets them off.  Any friends who want to come can do that too.  I’m just going to live in that town for two months and sightsee, sip coffee at cafes or eat gravlax or sushi or whatever the locals do.  I’ll leave a week after school gets out and come back a week or two before.

The wife thinks it’s a cool plan, but I’m really good at making plans and not so good at actually doing any of them.

That’s it for a bit of an update.

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