Staying late for steak

I'm staying late tonite at work for a dinner, but I got to pick the menu so my fingers are crossed that the steak is halfway decent and the bar doesn't get too crowded. The potential alcohol is going a long way towards keeping me mellow about staying for a couple of extra hours tonite.

Like any other night I stay late I used this as an excuse to come in late and take an extended commute on the bike. The dog thought it was a good plan.

Since the sun was out I headed south like usual and ended up by Museum Campus just in front of Soldier Field. Good times.

Unfortunately I realized this morning I still have a shit-ton of work to do, both for dinner tonite still and getting paperwork together for our mortage guy, so eventually I headed into the office much earlier than I probably should have considering how late I'm staying. And now I'm wasting time online. Why wouldn't I be?

Current beer-scale: 8.6


For fuck's sake

I know not everyone understands why people bike to work. Hell, I do it and sometimes I don't understand why. Today happened to be one of those days. But with gas still slowly creeping towards $5/gallon and Chicago dealing with the highest gas prices in the country, I don't understand how the holy fuck car traffic could be so backed up either.

I might still drive occasionally, but I will laugh my ass off this summer as gas prices go absolutely nuclear. Picture the clusterfuck on lakeshore drive during the snowpocalypse, then imagine a summer where people are abandoning their cars where they stop b/c they're completely out of gas. And there's me, on a bike, gleefully weaving around some douchebag blocking the bike lane.

It almost puts a smile on my face just thinking about it.

Current beer-scale: 8.9


Good morning for a dog beach trip. Sun, time to kill, more tennis balls than we know what to do with.

Current beer-scale: 6.4



Holy crap. I think someone roofied my flight. My head, it pounds.

Current beer-scale: 1.0


Micro brews!

Ah yeah!
Just b/c we're out in the burbs doesn't mean I can't drink. Add a couple of IPA's to a sampler and I'm feeling pretty great.

Two Brothers has a really impressive setup; they actually have vials of yeast that homebrewers could take home, along with entire ingredient kits. Very home-friendly setup, with some of the least friendly employees I've ever seen. Seriously, the staff behind the bar all looked miserable.
It probably didn't help that the place was insanely packed with people waiting for tables, but once I made eye contact and had a beer I no longer cared. Any night I can get a flight of beers is a good night in my book.
Current beer-scale: 5.6


Spring is in the air

Freds are on their bikes.

So I got passed this morning while I was taking easy over the huge rough patches where the asphalt has been gouged away from the path. It was a guy on a fixie, and he passed on the right (grrrrrr) while giving me the "looking-back-sneer-while-I-pull-away" treatment (grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr).

Of course I don't mind getting passed. I'm fat & it happens all the time. Especially in the winter, I'm happy cruising along and if someone zips past, more power to them. When I get passed on the right by some hipster who thinks he's tough, that rubs me the wrong way. As soon as I was back on the smooth stuff I stomped on the pedals and flew by him. I will admit I shifted too, but only to completely destroy this tool and leave no doubt that he could not catch me.

I felt foolish by the time I made it to the office, since I was panting like a dog after almost-but-not-quite sprinting the last half of my trip on the path. But it was worth it, and being reminded of how fun it is to go fast has probably convinced me to take the path home this afternoon and go fast then as well. I just hope no one I pass calls me Fred.

Current beer-scale: 8.8 and I'm having multiple flights of microbrew this weekend!



Don't ever let something as silly or petty as "being at work" prevent you from making Office Space references when appropriate.

The only thing more appropriate would be knocking down a cubicle wall. Or embezzlement.

Eh, probably not embezzlement.

Current beer-scale: 6.6


fleeting success

Longer lasting failure.

Got to my bike after a long afternoon, had a flat. My luck has been pretty good for a while so I was due, but it still sucked.

I was pissed for a second, then realized I had everything I needed to take care of it. Spare tube, levers, pump, adapter. Like a boss. I was late, but I could still ride home.

All the tools and materials necessary to do a job.

I set everything out and got to work. Ten minutes later, the spare was in and the tire was ready to go back on the bike. I felt great.

For about a block. The spare I had was a patch job and the tire was bubbling by the time I had turned the corner onto Pearson. Wonderful.

So it was time to walk home again, this time with a stop at running away to pick up some tubes. The one remaining rubino I still had on over a new tube and hopefully I can ride tomorrow.

I had been looking for a new pair of tires to put on but hadn't wanted to spend the money right now. As always though, the bike seemed to have other ideas. I'd say next time I'll just buy the damn tires but I won't. It's not like this has happened enough times for me to learn anything yet.

Current beer-scale: 5.9


Lunch bell

Despite making the effort to fill many of my unemployed days with attempting a few day-killer recipes in the kitchen, I would not describe myself as a "foodie." I've come to enjoy food more as an adult now that I realize every steak doesn't have to be charred into oblivion like everyone in my family seems to prefer, that pizzas can be topped with more than just cheese, and that sometimes the dirtier the thai place, the better the satay. But my palate is far from refined, and other than the occasional whiskey, it's rare that I find myself desiring to share my impressions of a certain dish or meal.

But my boss just heard about rick-rolling this morning on NPR and has spent the morning researching various memes, so I don't feel pressed into doing anything more than the bare minimum of work today, so here's a little bit on the new frozen pizza I just tried.

Speaking of pizzas with different toppings, Hawaiian pizza is one of my guiltiest food pleasures in life. It's touristy and in no way representative of Hawaii, but damn is it tasty. The wife hates it, so it's pretty rare that I find myself enjoying one. Occasionally if we find ourselves looking beyond Pequods one of our options is Pizza Capri, which has an outstanding tropical pizza that I highly recommend. One great thing about living where I live is that if you're so inclined, pizza is one item you can absolutely become an expert on. That does make it difficult for something out of the microwave to seem edible however.

Looks promising doesn't it?

In reality, things look a little more dubious but the aroma is enticing. I had high hopes for lunch today and I wasn't let down too much.

Hard to believe, but the microwaved frozen ham stood up well and gave the thin crust a little more oomph. The pineapple came out strong as well, if a little too watery at times. I didn't realize the cheese was low-fat until I took the picture of the box, but I didn't think any taste was sacrificed and honestly, if I'm eating an entire pizza for lunch going with a few lower-fat options is probably a good idea.

Calling this pizza thin might be going a tad easy on it. It was thicker than most wood-burning pizzas are, but didn't really crisp up as much as it needed to. Combine that with a sauce that was lacking as well, and the foundations of this pizza needed some help. Thankfully the above ingredients were up for it.

All in all, for a pizza I stocked up with on a whim, I'll happily eat a couple more of these for lunch. Now if I can just get through the rest of the afternoon without getting rick-rolled.

Current beer-scale: 8.7 & about to polish off a whole mess of Coronas when I get home.


And the pilot is called "the good bike" for a reason. Yes I feel like I'm sitting straight up in a chair for the first few days due to the completely different geometry. Yes it's a little awkward getting used to not having toe clips if I'm not wearing cleats, and yes I get a little nervous about locking it up outside and take a few extra minutes to get to the indoor parking building.

But christ almighty is that bike fun to ride. Passed the doofus who snuck infront of me while I was stopped at a red and didn't hear from him again. Downshifted as I turned onto State and caught every light from Division to Oak. It might not be as much exercise as riding a crappy bike, and it might make me a little more cautious in some situations riding carbon vs steel or aluminum, but it is definitely the right bike for the right situation. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 3.5


So that commute sucked.

That's me walking frankenbike home down Fullerton last night. Almost fell off the bike as soon as I pushed off the curb leaving work when the free wheel spun free. Got a dirty look from the douche who almost ran into me from behind when I slowed down to not run over an old man and his dog crossing the path (did the guy not know what I meant by "watch out for the dog?"). Finally ended up walking the last few blocks when the free wheel seemed to completely crap out. Woof.

Even better, I got to spend most of that walk getting shadowed by the preaching van going "Blues Brothers" on me. Well, not just me, thankfully, but I listened to about all I could stand. At least the walk gave me time to call dutch bike and schedule a tune up for many, many weeks from now. The worst part is if you can't read them, some of the preacher's posterboards actually made sense. All in all the perfect capper to a crappy afternoon.

So the good bike is coming out tomorrow and staying out for a while. Whatevs. At least I'll be able to catch up to the next lycra freak who runs over a dog.

Current beer-scale: 8.6


Roller derby night. Nice.

It was a follow-through on our christmas present to the in-laws--dinner and roller derby on us. Tried a new Italian place by us, didn't love it, but had a great time at the derby.

It's getting crazy popular these days, which is cool to see. We got there just as the first match was getting to halftime, and the pavilion was packed. Enjoyed having a couple of Becks too.

Evidently someone's tried to bring in spikes and/or sticks before. Those crowds can get pretty rowdy. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 6.7


wet wet wet

To avoid any headaches dealing with traffic in the rain this morning I decided to keep things simple and take the lakefront path. Other than the usual nonsense with the Fullerton LSD entrance I was feeling pretty smart until I made it to the Chicago underpass. There was city van in-front of the entrance and a guy in waders heading up the steps telling me the tunnel was flooded.


He said I could slog through if I wanted to, but the water went past his ankles when he stepped in and as wet as I already was, the idea of soaking my shoes didn't appeal to me. So my ride got extended a little as I went down to Grand and took the tunnel over to McClurg. I cut through Northwestern to get back to Chicago and finished up just a few minutes behind schedule. Not too bad. Now I have coffee, and I'm happy playing out the string until I can go home this afternoon. Hopefully my shoes are dry by then.

Current beer-scale: 6.6


close call

After all day on the bike yesterday, I was looking forward to a normal day and taking it easy on the way in this AM. Which worked out, b/c if I had been in a bigger hurry I probably would have been doored out onto Lincoln.

When I got up to the light at Fullerton, Lincoln, & Halsted, Fullerton had a red but Lincoln had just gone green so I turned with the foot traffic onto Lincoln. As I'm turning this lady in traffic whips over to the side about two feet off the curb. With a line of traffic backed up on Lincoln there's no way I can squeeze through if she opens her door which I know she's going to do so I slow down. Better yet, after she throws her door open she tells me to slow down when I give her an 'on your left' as I'm trying to get by. Thank you very much ma'am. I'm glad my face didn't put your door in danger.

Getting doored would have been a good sign that I should have taken today off beyond even how tired my legs are from yesterday. Walking the dog was rough this morning, but as long as I was headed into work it was going to be on a bike. All part of the job I guess.

Current beer-scale: 4.1



Big rides today, with an AM meeting up in RoPo & a long ride back downtown for an unfortunately "can't miss" meeting in the PM. Despite spending an extremely long time in the saddle so far today I'm feeling pretty good, which is more than I can say for frankenbike. I don't think it's had this much mileage in one day since BTD years ago. At least I remembered to make sure the tires were full before I left this morning.

The first meeting was late enough that I could drive the wife to work and take the dog on a longer walk off-leash in a park, my favorite way to start any day of the week. The rain was just starting as I left this morning but stayed relatively light until I made it up north.

Not the best looking day, but not terrible. It started raining harder on the way into the office, which is why I didn't stop to take a picture of the weird old guy in a speedo climbing out of the water around North Ave.

Now I just have to stay awake for a short ride home tonite. I'm torn on the issue of path vs streets; I've seen a lot of lycra out lately on the path but don't really have the patience for a neighborhood ride tonite. We'll see what happens.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


Still cold

I'm at a crossroads in that I have a large ride ahead of me tomorrow but don't know which bike to take. I think frankenbike can handle a 23 mile round-tripper but I'm not quite sure. In any event, I'm happy to have a big ride on the schedule to break up the week.

That about sums it up.

Current beer-scale: 7.6



That Manhattan whiskey was something else. It's damn dark, and felt like the most potent rye in the bar thus far. Unfortunately, after two strong drinks to try and place something I couldn't quite put my finger on I was in danger of getting too drunk to be coherent and finishing way too much of the 375 ml bottle than I had planned on.

That's a pretty stubby bottle. But each drink left me with a question mark in my head that I tried to answer with another sip, only to be rebuffed. My palate's not sophisticated enough to parse everything a whiskey has to offer but I was disappointed I couldn't place what was intriguing me so much. There's more left though so hopefully it will come eventually.

Such a short bottle demanded some measured pours. I didn't have my dropper out but I tried to take it easy. Unfortunately after a few slices of pequod's, two daisy cutters, two labatts, and two whiskeys I woke up at 3 AM with a raging case of heartburn. A the perks of aging.

Current beer-scale: 1.2


Opening day

So it's April Fools' and the Cubs are opening at home in what is hopefully at least 40-degree weather. I will ignore the seemingly cosmic appropriateness of that whole situation with my north-side optimism while it still lasts. After taking a sick day this week I couldn't quite justify taking today off but I do have Old Style waiting for me at home.

It's rare that I would choose to drink Old Style; hell, I rarely even drink it inside Wrigley. Despite past posts on the subject I prefer to opt for a LaBatt from one of the "Beers of the World" stands, especially if I see the chick from windy city rollers vending. But in this case a buddy of mine from Portland called to ask if I could send him some for today, and I could only fit 4 tall boys into the box I had so I held on to the last two. Honestly I've got my fingers crossed that there's a rain delay and the game is still on when I get home this afternoon so I can have one during actual baseball, but I can wait for a Saturday game if I have to.

Current beer-scale: 7.9