screw it, I'm taking a sick day

I all but collapsed as soon as I got home last night, to the point where I wasn't even up to sampling the latest bottle of rye that the wife brought home for me. So rather than going into work and feeling like shit all day I decided to stay home and recouperate before I got worse.

That doesn't mean I shouldn't take the dog out first to get her tired though, so out we went after driving the wife to work.

We had a good time this morning, even though I just realized I still have to go out to pick up more dog food later. Shit.

In the meantime, I'll have a bit up about the whiskey as soon as I try it. The more whiskey in the house the better.

Current beer-scale: 1.3


drink drink drink, sleep...not so much

Well that nearly worked.

After not sleeping at all Sunday night, a few beers and whiskeys followed dinner in an attempt to at least get drunk enough to if not pass out, think of things more pleasant than work when it was time to sleep.
It worked for a few hours. In the middle of my 2nd whiskey it struck me how much I enjoy watching "Castle" and how for a procedural it's pretty great. Conan seemed to hit his monolog out of the park. I made it into bed and happily closed my eyes to call it a day.

What I didn't plan for was not being ready to start today when the alarm started. I'm not quite hungover, but I'm not exactly well-rested either. Oh well. Maybe some pizza will do a better job soaking up all the beer I'm planning on drinking at dinner tonight.

Current beer-scale: 5.5


Recipe for disaster

No sleep and temps in the 20's, yeah I'm not very happy right now. Earmuffs and a hipster cap were not cutting it out in the elements.

The sun is out but all I could think on the way in this morning was "Y U NO MAKE IT WARM?" The internet has ruined me.

Waking up at 1:30 this morning to think about work to the point where I had to get up and walk around the apartment didn't help either. I knew I should have had that nightcap last night. Something I will remedy tonite. And tomorrow night. And so on.

Current beer-scale: 9.8



So I heard the terrifying sound of someone's plastic bumper collapsing as it crunched into another car on the way home yesterday. I didn't quite see the actual collision but could definitely tell bad news was about to happen as I rode up behind the cars in question.

I left a little late last night and traffic was pretty cramped so I was taking it easy. Webster in particular seemed especially backed up but I was almost to Clybourn when I saw someone stuck in line at the light who couldn't decide between the straight/right lane or the left-turn lane. They were more out of my way than most cars are at that intersection so I didn't care, but there was a lady in a minivan who was in a bit of a hurry next to me. She punched it to zoom around the guy just as he decided he wanted to get into the left turn lane and went to pull over.


At that point I heard it more than saw, but wasn't surprised it happened. Since I didn't really see anything I didn't feel bad when I didn't stop and just headed home. I don't know if the lady that got hit stopped to trade info, and I don't really care. They were both varying levels of idiots, and I was freezing my ass off and needed to get home. Besides, I was just lucky they both didn't want to turn right instead in front of me.

Current beer-scale: 6.66


Holy crap

It's back to winter lately, with snow overnight that was thankfully not still on the roads when it was time to head into work this morning. With the sun out I could at least pretend it was late-March instead of early January. Too bad I had to pull the tights back on this morning. But I haven't completely shaved my beard yet for a reason, and March in Chicago was exactly that reason.

In the meantime, we're trying to complete a short sale as buyers and the sellers are driving us insane. Waiting for the bank to approve the contract is one thing--the sellers still trying to add conditions and wedging in a clause that would still give them possession after closing was something else. Something enough to have us ready to terminate the deal. But it seems like their reps talked some sense into them and the deal is still on. Until the next crazy thing happens.

On one side I understand why they might be tempted to make things a little more difficult; it must suck to realize you can't afford the place you've got a mortgage on and have to let it go or get foreclosed on. A sale might be hard under normal circumstances, but a short sale ramps up the pressure by leaving dates completely up to the bank while you're scrambling to figure out what's going to happen next.

The good news for us is that our lease isn't up until July. We can sit back and wait, but if any more crazy comes from these people we're going to start to wonder just what kind of shape the place is going to be in once the deal finally closes. I would imagine the frustration at having to lose money on a place would make it awfully tempted to put a few boot prints through the wall. Hell, when this latest crap happened I was so mad I was ready to walk away completely, which made me even madder b/c I love the place and desperately want to move there. Which is why we got involved in this insane process in the first place.

Deep breaths. Whenever it happens, it happens. In the meantime I've got beer at home and plenty of whiskey to back it up. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 7.8


Man did I get absolutely dropped today. It was funny, but there are times when I wish I could shift on Frankenbike.

Someone came up behind me on Lincoln this morning, passed me by running a red but stayed within striking distance. As soon as I had the green I stomped on the pedals to catch up. Managed to pass the guy, which he didn't seem to take too kindly but I threw him a grin so I think he got that I was just messing around. He shifted to catch up but I managed to hold him off, until he shifted twice more and pulled away. A fun couple of blocks but it took more out of it than I thought it wold.

I needed something to pick me up this morning though. It's crappy, cloudy, damp, and if I had my way I'd still be home with the dog versus down at the office. Shit's gotta get done though, and sometimes I'm the only one with a shovel.

Current beer-scale: 6.3


New u-lock time too

So I guess winter finally killed my piece of crap Master lock. It took forever to get the damn thing open last night, and once I did and rode home I couldn't get it back open to check it out. So yeah, time to spend more money. Fucking wonderful.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


New whiskey time

This past Saturday night I tried a new whiskey, Redemption Rye whiskey. Let's just say that I drank a little more than usual with my dad couch crashing, and this stood out as one of the better drinks of the long weekend.

It stood out enough to pick up a bottle the next day. In fact, it stood out enough to walk down Clybourn to the nearest Binnys and pick up two bottles, one for me and one for dad to take back to MI where he and some work buddies have been building a whiskey collection for a while. It was a good excuse to get out for a while, plus the walk afforded us to drink more once he found out Goose Island had some beers worth trying.

I left the rye closed all of two days and opened it tonite. I was already a few drinks in when I tried it on Saturday and that probably colored my impressions slightly, but it stood up pretty well on its own too. At $27 its not in the same class as Templetons but definitely a big step up from the Beam I pick up so I don't drink the good stuff too quickly.

One thing that did make me laugh was the whiskey scent that escaped as soon as the plastic seal came off the metal cap. No fancy cork for this whiskey. The scent was pleasant but convinced me to put the entire bottle in a decanter that hasn't seen much use lately.

With a couple of ice cubes my drink tonite didn't quite live up to my first impressions from Saturday but there's a lot of potential. Hell, by the time Saturday night was done I was loving the Beam rye straight so I think just about anything would have gone down smooth. But there's a warmth in the initial sip that stays with you even as the ice starts to thin things out. The rye's spiciness does a lot to compensate for the overall sweetness of the whiskey that's actually only aged two years.

I stopped after one but it's only Tuesday so there's plenty of time left for an old fashioned or two in the next few days. Anything that helps you get to the weekend can only help. All in all a good purchase that might be my go-to spirit to have on hand from now on.

Current beer-scale: 7.0


Holy crap that was a long weekend.

My dad was in town, but got in Thursday night and crashed on our couch. We dumped our futon when the 2nd bedroom got converted to a trainer/treadmill room so there was literally nowhere for him to be but he was still here from Thursday night through this morning. And it was business as usual Friday, the wife and I still went to work and I rode while he went to the Field. Saturday we went to MSI, yesterday we took a walk to buy some rye and stopped for a few afternoon drinks while the wife worked out. And he got up at 5:30 this morning to head to the train. Not too crazy but enjoyable, at least at parts. So if you heard a crazy-looking older man talking insanely loud in a museum, pizza place, liquor store, microbrew, or just out walking a dog, I'm sorry if you were offended or annoyed. Especially if he was talking about gun control or conceal/carry laws.

But Christ almighty it feels like Friday was a week ago. We slept with the door closed to keep the dog from bothering my dad but she'd still get up every hour to see if she could go out to get pets from him. By the time I was putting my crap together for today I felt so out of it you would think I had taken a 10 day vacation, not a two day weekend.

So it's huge cup of coffee time again. Last week flew by b/c I didn't want the weekend to be here, now I have to convince myself this week can do the same. I have new whiskey to drink this week too, so I have that going for me.

Current beer-scale: 3.3



So I made it all of one day before I found myself flying a middle finger. It's second nature at this point, which is why I should try and give it up or at least tone it down a bit.

What's shocking is that I didn't give it to the bike snob that snuck back up behind me after I passed him this morning. I'm pedaling along at a regular pace, passing the guy with as friendly an "on your left" as I can manage in the scattered snow. And I don't think anything of it until he catches up to me as I'm starting back up at light that had just changed to tell me he thought my back tire was low. At least he thought it was, but upon seeing it up close (again thank you, b/c I passed you once already) it seems to be fine.

Great, my tire's ride-able, I'm pretty sure I knew that since I check the pressure before I leave in the morning. But he can't help but ask if I'm riding a carbon belt drive. Nope, I say, just a regular junker. Oh, he says, it must be all the rust making it look like one solid piece. That made me laugh, as again I passed him and went on my merry way.

That's why I don't start conversations when I'm riding.

Current beer-scale: 6.5


in for a dime

in for a dollar.

Man did I need my huge cup of coffee this morning. After sleeping like crap and slogging through the neighborhood I was looking forward to actually feeling warm.

With Fat Tuesday in the rearview I was debating whether I should give anything up for Lent this year. The charm of withholding something from myself that I immensely enjoy wore off some years ago but it never hurts to try and be a better person for a while. More than going without, I've tried to change behaviors I'm not particularly proud of in the past.

This was more fun in college, to see if I could go 40 days without beer or soda or anything else I enjoyed on a regular basis. But this year is going to be difficult. I've decided to try and curb my use of my middle fingers while out on the bike or walking the dog. Talk about something I do on a regular basis. It seems like I can't commute to work or take the dog out without some asshat rolling through a stop sign, texting through an intersection, or just plain being a douche. I usually feel completely justified in my judicious use of a middle finger salute, but it never accomplishes anything. People will be jerks whether or not some other idiot is flipping them off. So for the next 40 days, and possibly even longer, I'm going to try and slow my roll a little and be cool.

I wouldn't bet money on my not giving anyone the finger until Easter, but I'll do my best. I made it through this morning at least.

Current beer-scale: 4.9


The shift is starting

Or rather, the shit.

Got honked at this morning for standing at a stop light at a red light. Apparently I was in the way of someone who wanted to turn right and needed me to move. Should I ignore the no turn on red signs and step out of my dedicated bike lane area, just to let some dick in a car turn? I didn't think so. He got a shrug and had to wait another 15 seconds. After which he gunned it through the light. Color me impressed guy, you sure can stomp on a gas pedal with the best of them.

As ready as I am for nicer weather I have come to enjoy the quiet of being one of the few bikes on the road lately. But my commute's going to get a lot longer in the near future, and I'll gladly put up with more people in bike lanes with me to get the sun out longer.

Current beer-scale: 8.1


out & about

You would have thought that a two day work week wouldn't leave me restless but it sure as hell did by yesterday afternoon. I had dug out of my workload by the time the day was over but even now I'm having trouble shutting down the work portions of my brain. There's too much going on in there right now.

So like usual I wanted to take a longer ride last night to clear my head. Too bad conditions weren't really in my favor.

The ice was gone, but it would have almost been better with a layer of ice evening things out.

Things get pretty ridiculous at various points of the path with the lousy shape it's in. I was walking to avoid what I thought was the worst of it, but then I actually saw the worst of it.

This could have been an action shot, as two guys came screaming up and realized what they were about to run over. Probably for the best that they managed to stop and walk as well.

Unfortunately a couple of extra miles didn't realy do the trick. At this point I should just hop back on and tool around the neighborhood b/c I'm already back to thinking about the next week of work. Hopefully catching up on "Justified" will help with that. Then again, some beer would probably help too. You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.

Current beer-scale: 6.6


Holy christ that was a long trip. 16 hours of driving in a day and a half, 832 miles.

The bridge this morning just before we went over.

And one the wife took while we were actually on.

Finally, why don't we have these in chicago? Probably what I miss most about living in michigan. Family? High school friends? No, cheap burgers.

Current beer-scale: 6.4