Wrap it up

So that's it for 2012.

Not too shabby. 3100 miles, with some serious new baby time off. And I haven't even had to get the beater bike out yet.

Now I just have to sit back and wait for the bowl game.

Current beer-scale: 7.8


snuck in a few miles there

Nothing like laughing maniacally as you ride home after more than a few drinks.
Had to leave the office party a little earlier than I would have liked to get to Iron Cycles and pick up the trek after its tune-up.  Still managed to have a handful of whiskeys before leaving, more than enough to get me in bad shape today.  But riding home was fun.

Bike rides great, good to have it back.  Too bad it's going on the rack for the rest of the bad weather.

Current beer-scale: a low 4.1


it's time

To class this bitch up a bit.
Current beer-scale: a reception-friendly 7.6



Yeah, it's a silly concept but my office's cookie day is actually pretty fun.
When else can I make my office smell like whiskey and not have anyone call HR?

Too bad I've had way too much sugar by now to a)pay attention to anything and b)not crash in about 5 minutes.  Awesome.

Even better, I still brought everything in on a bike, b/c the next two weeks are full of late nights and office parties that will keep me on the train, and I might as well bike while I can. 

Current beer-scale: 5.1


Not too shabby

Today puts me over 3000 miles for the year.  Not bad for missing most of April with a baby popping out and some trips in Sept and Nov. 
And it was a good week to have that looming, b/c I was dragging ass and needed some motivation to get going.  I'd expect I'll be taking some extra time off in the next couple of weeks now that I've hit the goal for the year.

Current beer-scale: 7.9 and a Dark Knight blu-ray party tonite.


I'd buy that for a dollar

It hit 70 degrees yesterday.  On Dec 3rd.  It's still in the 50's today, and the sun is actually trying to come out.  It won't last, but I'm loving it while it's here.

What I don't love?  A little boy who doesn't understand that getting less than 4 hours sleep is starting to push his father over the edge.  But then I realize that I'm honest to god someone's father, and that freaks me out enough to wake me up for a while.

Current beer-scale: 7.9.  Where's my Dark Knight blu-ray?!


life's too short

To find matching socks all the time.
Shit I must have been tired this morning.

Current beer-scale: a Friday 8. fucking 8


Hey saddlebags

If you pass me on the right just to run the red at a six-way intersection, I should have the legal recourse to punch you in the face as I pass you. Especially when it happens at every. single. light.

Seriously man, you're harshing my holiday buzz.

Current beer-scale: 6.3



Oh, is that what I'm supposed to do in pajamas?  Why would I want to sleep daddy?

Seriously, the kid is killing me.  Ear infection #3 and no sleep in three days.  If ND wasn't number 1 for the next 45 days I would have been killing people on the drive to the pediatricians' office this morning.
This is the face that will haunt my nightmares.  If I ever sleep again.

 Current beer-scale: a Monday high 8.7


ND 12-0!

 I will NEVER get tired of seeing this.

There's your Heisman candidate right there.

Current beer-scale: 9.9999999999


head on a swivel

Back on the bike this AM, head on a swivel for a Friday.  No one's paying any attention at all, making it an interesting ride.  Felt good to be back on the saddle though.  Completely different experience than driving, especially considering it took an hour to get to the daycare at the end of the day last night.  I would have been way faster on a bike.  And I will be today, as early as humanly possible.

Current beer-scale: 7.8


mush damn you

Yeah, I was part of the problem today.
Going to the police academy this afternoon, in an area where it's very difficult to get a cab back from, so screw it, I drove.

Maybe I wasn't quite part of the problem, but I was definitely witness to it.  Saw a bunch of drivers I would have called douche bags on a bike or not, but I also saw a bunch of bikers make what I would consider the absolute wrong decision if I was in the same scenario.  Basically, everyone commuting is dumb except me.

The fact that I found a spot right on the street and didn't have to go into a garage is something I'm considering a karmic award for good driving, which just reinforces that everyone else is dumb. 

It's Thursday and I can't wait to have a drink tonite.

Current beer-scale: 9.2


suck it up

Two cold commutes down Lincoln and I'm already done with it.  Spent yesterday yo-yo'ing with some doofus the entire AM, and I swear it was the same guy in the evening.  Other commuters were fine today, but there was honest-to-god snow on the ground in spots after some flurries accumulated overnight.  Not cool. 

Especially not cool since I'm staying until 7 tonite.  All in all the last full week before the holidays start is kind of sucking so far.

Current beer-scale: 9.7


And that's why it's my favorite holiday

He's a little young for the reference (and so are the daycare staffers apparently) but he seemed to be having fun. 

Current beer-scale: 7.1


Not a bad weekend.

Going 2-0 on a weekend's worth of football will make a lot of things a lot easier to deal with come Monday.
Unfortunately, it doesn't do shit for someone waking you up at 3:30 AM and not being able to get back to sleep before the alarm goes off at 6.  I'm hurting pretty bad today.

Current beer-scale: 9.0


The thing about weddings

Yeah, you can't tell but that's how I watched last weekend's game.

And I wouldn't have cared if the NBC sports app wasn't terrible and casinos weren't designed to give you no other option than to gamble by making everything else around you terrible.

Vegas is not my kind of town.  See the drinks on the table?  One whiskey, one whiskey sour, two waters, $27.  Fuck that.  Watching the game on my phone b/c the sports book is on the complete opposite end of the casino than the wedding?  Fuck that.  Bringing my six-month old b/c the rest of the family is coming as well, only we just got him sleeping through the night and now the week after the trip has been a nightmare b/c he refuses to go back to sleeping all night?  I can't quite say "fuck that" but yes, that sucks.

Maybe my perspective is skewed but traveling for a wedding has been something I've rarely enjoyed.  And Vegas was not one of those times.  Add the idea that we're back to poor nights sleep every night since getting back and the longer I'm home the worse this trip becomes.

It's not all bad.  The baby started rolling over this week, and even though it's one more thing to watch for it's cool to see him develop.  And I am definitely continuing my recent whiskey drinking when I get home tonite.

Current beer-scale: 8.2


Vegas baby, Vegas

No, literally, a Vegas baby.

Four days in Vegas for a wedding was perhaps a day too long.  Someone freaked out on Saturday afternoon, leading to a very quick visit to the reception instead of being able to down several mojitos.  Bummer.  Not that I blame him, I'm not crazy about Vegas either.

He did make the best of hotel living though.  Look at that smile.  Now if we could only get him back on his old sleep schedule again.

Current beer-scale: 8.1 & wishing I was still out of the office.


Right back at'cha chief


That was a brutal ride home.  Started with getting cursed at by some old fart in a BMW for taking up his road space on State street, ended with nearly getting clipped by some chunky soccer mom pulling away from the curb without looking two blocks before home.  Good times.

At least I was able to track down a random UPS guy who was able to confirm the truck with the package that couldn't be delivered earlier today was just down the street and would give me five minutes to run over and sign for it. 

And it was totally worth it, b/c the package was a pair of levis for the baby. 

How cute are they?!  So glad I could actually get them since our buzzer is broken and who knows when that'll get fixed.  But that, coupled with a smiley baby and some picture day proofs, was more than enough to make a bad commute fade away. 

Current beer-scale: 8.4



Might as well just switch to posting dog beach updates.

Yesterday was all about vaccination.  The baby hit 6 months and I had the day off to take him to his pediatrician's appointment.  So the dog got a beach trip before heading to the vet to get her shots too.

Unfortunately, even though I'd had the off day on the office calendar since the baby's two month appointment in June, a co-worker set a board meeting for last night from 6-8 PM.  With the Bears on MNF.  Good fucking times.  All I will say is thank god for the watch ESPN app and my ipad.

So the baby got to visit the office after his appointment while we waited for the wife to come by and take him home.  And I got to watch a football game while I was trapped at work.  I think that counts as enough of a day's work that I can save the vacation day too.

Current beer-scale: 8.2



This is how we spend our trips to the dog beach these days, playing with rocks.  Fascinating

Current beer-scale: 8.2


let's GO already

Free lunch is never a bad way to wrap up a short week.
What?  You mean I have to stay until the end of the day?  Nuts to that.  It's a holiday weekend. 

Current beer-scale: 9.1



If you've ridden 10 mid-day miles in late August and stopped by 7-11 before heading into a meeting, always go with the bigger slurpee size.

I'm dying here people.  Thankfully we only have two more hours to go. Guh.

Current beer-scale: 8.8


dog days

 Looks like someone's trip to the beach tired her OUT. 
Nice to know some things never change.
Current beer-scale: 5.7


Ah, dammit

I was all set to make fun of having to go to baptism class last night. Until one lady explained she was coming down from the WI border b/c her sister, who had just succumbed to cancer, was originally going to be her pick for godmother and went to the church hosting the class.

Damn. People are taking this seriously.

And even though the woman running the class did NOT look like she appreciated the one thing I did say the entire time, it ended up not being too terrible. At least monster baby slept through most of it.

Current beer-scale: 8.9



Our AC crapped out last night, which made the baby's 3 AM feeding a disaster of epic proportions.  And that was before the yoga ball we use to bounce him to sleep ended up with a hole in it.  So I'm tired as all fuck today, putting me in a great mood to go to some baptism class tonite.  It looks like I'm really not doing anything productive today, so let's review my crappy lunch instead.
Seen those commercials with people dancing all around the room as they shake up their frozen just add juice smoothie?  I'm not a dancer but I do enjoy the occasional smoothie.  So when we saw them this weekend we picked up a few.  Being lazy, it's easy to grab a bottle of juice and a tube of frozen goo for lunch, so it fit the bill today.  Turns out when you're exhausted and crabby some overly sweet fruit slush isn't quite as appealing. 
This stuff is pretty much idiot proof.  See that line?  Don't fill it up past that.
Then shake.

Ultimately you end up with some puke-colored fruit-based liquid.  A different juice would probably go a long way towards turning this experience positive, but apple was all I could get my hands on. 
After eating about 75% of it, my stomach is starting to churn a little bit.  Which might not be a terrible thing.  If I spend most of the afternoon in the bathroom, at least I can play games on my phone.  Hopefully it will help the rest of the day pass at a quicker pace. 

All of these factors have planted me directly in the "meh" camp on this first experience.  Getting past the color and extreme sweetness, the convenience and portability outweigh any outright negatives.  I would try it again, but not expect much out of it. 

Current beer-scale: 9.2


hands up!

That's exactly what it feels like diapering a four-month old at 3 AM, trying to find the right mix of quick enough to not really wake him up complete and yet complete enough that it's still worth having on the kid.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  This morning things happened to go pretty well.  The rest of the day not so much.  I'd like to go back to bed after a couple of drinks now, thank you.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


7 hours!

Holy crap.  The little guy slept from a little after 10 PM last night until 5:30 this morning.  Yeah 5:30 AM was a little early for me, but I happily offered to get up and feed him when I realized just what had happened.  That was the best night's sleep I've had since late March. 

Current beer-scale: 8.1


"victory has defeated you!"

Woof. Rain this morning convinced me to take the rush hour instead of the newly-cleaned madone. Gears spoiled me. When the heat comes back so will they, rain or not.

Current beer-scale: 6.7


That backfired

More early morning adventures got me out of bed today, with a baby who takes great joy in being wide freaking awake at 3 AM.  The really funny part is that sometimes singing to him will only make things worse, as it did this morning as I tried to sing the Beatles' "Good Night" after he was done with his bottle.  His eyes shot open as soon as I started and he babbled through the entire first line. 

Eventually he got back to sleep, and I realized I should stick to shushing him.  Now to have my third cup of coffee in the hopes of making through the afternoon.

Current beer-scale: 7.7


Yeah, I said "one"

I had to clarify with the cashier. What do I fucking care, I'm a 33 year old man, I can handle going to the movies solo. And I'm damn glad i did, b/c there was no way I was avoiding spoilers for an entire extra week.

And yeah, that was awesome.

Now to get the kid and have a drink!

Current beer-scale: an ecstatic 9.3


still yawning

It was my turn to take the late (or early) feeding last night.  So when the little monster started fussing at 2:45 this morning I made up his bottle and got to feeding him.

Amazingly he barely stirred for most of the bottle.  Even changing him went pretty well, until he woke up at the very end.  He finished the bottle, and I thought I had him back asleep.

When I went to put him down, his eyes opened as soon as I set foot in his room.  Okay, I sat back down in the dark to shhhhhh him back to sleep.  Same thing happened on attempt #2, literally as soon as I crossed the threshold to his room.  This time I wrapped him up like a burrito and really made sure he was asleep when I set him down.  By that time it was 4 AM.  Nice.

Each time he closed his eyes he was still making faces in his sleep.  Making things more difficult, when he was awake he'd look right at me and smile, which is impossible not to laugh at, even at 3:30 in the morning.  And laughing just wakes him up more.  Eventually we were both able to get some sleep before starting the day today.  And even though I'm pooped, thinking of that makes me smile.  I fell asleep with a full heart last night, and it made getting up and riding to work that much easier. Now if only the rest of this week would hurry the hell up.

Current beer-scale: 7.8


That's a rough last day

Yeah, riding home in that today might not have been a great idea. But fuck it, it's not like the train would have been any better. Now it's time for beers. Current beet-scale: 7.8


That about sums it up.

Yeah, that pretty much encapsulates my Fourth this year. 

Actually, that's more like every day this summer.  Not a bad thing.

Current beer-scale: a HOT 9.4


more coffee please

There comes a moment during a usual morning that if I'm late past a certain point, it's time to stop caring and just let things happen as they happen.  Today was one of those mornings.  A rough night, a sick kid, and a hot dog walk all lead to leaving much later than usual, and not a fuck was to be given.

On an unrelated note, I love that my farmers tan has extended to include a tan line where my gloves end as well.  It's time to start using more sun screen before I ride.

Current beer-scale: 7.8 and about to have a day off, thank Christ.


Had to happen eventually

There is nothing I don't find annoying when I'm on a late night run to pick up children's Tylenol.

Current beer-scale: 9.4



Yeah, that was at 8 AM this morning.  101 degrees might suck on the way home today.

Did that stop me from riding?  No.  It's not going to be any better on the train.

Actually, the baby's 3 AM feeding turning into a triple diaper changing and not going back to bed might be the bigger factor at this point.  That was not awesome.

Current beer-scale: 9.2

yeah, that's fucking awful


this gets me through

Is he looking at me?

Are you sure he's alright?

Okay, I'll say hi.

These two are getting along more and more, and it's heartbreakingly adorable to see.  Other than the whiskey I had late last night, the thought of having that level of cuteness to come home to is getting me through a Monday where I didn't really have it this morning.

Current beer-scale: 5.5


I (almost) see dead people

Pardon the 10-year old reference, but I thought I was going to see someone die yesterday on the way home.  The Montrose intersection of the path is not the time to prove how fast you are.  People heading to the dog beach at the end of a long work week or leaving the park before it gets too crowded don't give a shit that you're that much faster than everyone else.  They don't like cyclists, and they especially don't like to stop. 

Take it easy and make sure you're around to do the same thing tomorrow.  Yikes.

Current beer-scale: 8.2


oh snap

Nothing like breaking a tire lever while changing a flat on your commute to get your day started right.

Thankfully I never leave home these days without a spare tube (and multiple levers).  I ended up using the extra effort as an excuse to wheel suck on an obnoxious roadie that didn't know how to merge onto the path without nearly causing a pile up.  I got towed practically the entire second half of the ride down.

Now to get dirty again checking the old tube to see if it's patch-able.

At least it's Thursday, and I've got whiskey at home.

 Current beer-scale: 6.4


Bikes are great but I can't exactly carry everything...

I've been charged with running some errands on my way home tonite so it was back on the raleigh for the day.  The primary stop I'll be making includes purchasing a new dining table and seating, so it doesn't really matter what I rode today b/c it's not like I'm strapping a 70+ inch table anywhere on my person. 

But it is incredible how different going from bike to bike can feel, even with just one ride on the madone to compare.  The raleigh is 520 steel but doesn't feel too heavy after riding the tank all winter.  Compared to the trek though the thing is an anvil.  Maybe I'm just a tired old man.

Yeah, that's probably it.  Can't wait to run some errands in my least favorite part of town to ride in.

Current beer-scale: 7.8



Finally picked up the rebuilt trek this weekend and took it for a spin this morning. 

Looking good!

It was a decent ride but the gears were slipping a bit which took some of the fun out of it.  So did worrying about riding a Madone for a normal commute but I think I'll get over that eventually considering I saw a delivery guy riding the same thing yesterday.

Not a bad looking bike though, even with most of the old components still usable.  The chain, bottom bracket, brakes, and seat cap are all new, everything else was on the old bike.  Ultimately I took the bike in for a tuneup, and two months & $440 later I have a new ride. 
One more reason to look forward to riding home tonite. 

Current beer-scale: 5.8



I am sometimes dumb enough to take the train to work. After last nights wet ride today was one of those days. Of course as I'm trying to call it a week the sun is out and the red line only has 'delayed delayed delayed' as status reports for the next three trains.

The lesson as always? Ride your damn bike. So bring on my plans for tonite. 

That beer is going to taste good. Happy motherfucking friday.

Current beer-scale: 9.1



Ugh. I came down with a bad case of "fuck-this-I'm-riding-home" a little early today, and ride home I did. Nice and wet the entire way, just in time to walk the dog once the rain stopped. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 6.7


And that's why

Two tubs of formula
ziploc bags
Little Tummies gas relief
Ipad & case
bike pump & tools
two tupperware containers & a coffee creamer nalgeen

Plenty of room to spare.  As much as I loved the bag that had been through ten years of wear and tear with me, it never would have gotten all of that home in one trip.  Cool cool cool.

Current beer-scale: 7.1

And speaking of beer, I could have even fit some in the bag as packed too.  That is awesome.


holy crap that's a huge bag

I finally bit the bullet and upgraded my bag.  It was time.  The "duct tape and hope" approach to commuting with a bag full of crap had reached its conclusion.
I went with a personalized timbuk2 messenger, and decided to go with the large over the medium.  Holy crap that's big.  This morning I had a new towel, a pair of clean shirts, and a full lunch to bring to work, which with all my usual bike tools in the old bag would have barely fit.  It barely made a dent in this monster.
A Bears-orange-and-blue number looked pretty good too, but the Chicago flag motif just spoke to me.  Once I found the right star patches to put on that was it.  We're only one commute in, but it's a big thumbs up so far.

We'll see how it handles a few containers of baby formula in the next week or two.

Current beer-scale: 7.7 


Now that's a day off

An extra day off, a trip to wrigley, then pequods. Even with drunk sox fans that's a great day.
Current beer-scale: 4.7