12/31/13

I should've taken Th & Fri too

Solid end to an interesting year.  Found out we're having a girl (yikes), having a great holiday with the wife and boy enjoying not being at work,  lining up an interview for the new year,  and putting this beast on the wall. 
Ugh that took some doing.  Panicked for a minute when the power cord got stuck and I couldn't get it back out, but putting some muscle into it got that solved.  I don't think I'll ever want to get off the couch again, even though I was right, I could barely watch the Bears blow it on a tv that size.
But there's snow on the way and I wish I had decided to take Thursday and Friday off too, so I'm looking for some liquid comfort to ease the end of this great vacation.  So here's to a good 2013 and an even better 2014. 

Current beer-scale: 8.3 and about to enjoy some more holiday whiskey.

12/28/13

Merry Christmas to me

My math ended up being right, but I wasn't quite sure for a while.
The wife was feeling a little guilty about getting a new ipad for christmas and me getting a few sweaters (for the record I didn't feel bad at all, I love the sweaters she got me) and we ended up talking about getting a new tv again.  The mount we already have is good up to 60", so that's what we checked out while we were killing time between some downtown appointments yesterday.

That time-killing ended up costing me 5" of diagonal space as she convinced me 60" was just too big for our current space, and that a 55" that costs significantly less would be a better choice.  So doing some research I found a solid price on the LG above, and ended up picking it up today.  It had to be a solo trip for obvious reasons, but things fit just about perfectly and now the box is in our bedroom ready to be put on the wall.  I have a feeling I'll put it on the wall tonite just in time to see the Bears get killed tomorrow.  Totally worth it.

Current beer-scale: a very happy 7.1 

12/22/13

Jbeam maple

Why am I still up and drinking? Because I found a bottle of Jim Beam Maple out shopping today and even though I have to cut it with rye to make it drinkable I'm finding it quite tolerable.  I guess there's no harm in an extra glass or two, even if the Bears are getting absolutely curb stomped right now.
Not a Dr. Who reference, but it should be.
Current beer-scale: 9.89999

12/21/13

More baking

Okay, this is pretty neat.
I only bake these once a year, and it's totally worth it b/c it's not christmas until I've had one of these.  But the google+ gif adding sparkles to the tree just makes it that much better this year.  Here's to watching Die Hard and drinking while baking.
The picture alone is enough to make me drool.
 Current beer-scale: 7.1

12/20/13

Still baking

Trust me, it'll all be worth it when they're done.
Plus, I totally went foodie-blogger and used some tricks to speed things up this year.  Got the dental floss out to save myself some time chopping everything up and it actually worked.  How about that.  
 
Current beer-scale: 6.9 and "Welcome to the party pal!"

12/16/13

technically not a disaster

but pretty damn close.

With Dominicks all over Chicago closing or about to be purchased by other chains, there's been a few news stories about stores getting cleared out.  We were out for some errands yesterday and needed to get a handful of groceries to get through a party and meeting-heavy week and thought we'd try our normal store.  Turned out to be a surreal experience.

We usually go to the Dominicks on McCormick.  It's a little further away than other options but a little quieter too and there's easier parking.  The closer Dominicks was actually one of the ones on the news since it hasn't been purchased by anyone else and it's pretty cleared out.  The same can be said of the McCormick location; it felt like a disaster was about to hit, or already had.  The only things left on the shelf was alcohol, and only b/c that's not 50% off yet.  Bummer.

Thankfully we found the one item I wanted to get, the last can of cream cheese frosting for some christmas tree rolls this week.  I honestly can't believe it was still there.  B/c that's about all we found, other than a bunch of junk we only got b/c it was severely on sale.  Still, a crazy experience. 

I did have to laugh while I was in line, the wife was keeping an eye on the kid who was running around using two rolls of saran wrap as drumsticks or swords.  This doesn't really give it justice but it was a pretty fair cap to a strange and weirdly fun trip.

Current beer-scale: 9.1

12/11/13

the trouble with beards

I had a signature petitioner try to stop me this afternoon by telling me he was hypnotized by my majestic beard.  I thanked him and kept walking, but I'm not sure whether that was a compliment or not.  In either case, it might be time to lose the scruff even if I don't get an interview call over the holidays.

Current beer-scale: 8.1 & still taking the narco

12/8/13

*fart noises*

That's more a Thomas blue than xmas, but fuck it, I've got a kid. 
These felt more like a "had to" vs a "want to" for tomorrow's office cookie day but I'll be damned if those aren't the nicest blue and green that I've put together.

Ribs are feeling better but with a few inches of fresh snow down and about 80 cookies plus bourbon balls to carry I think I'll still be on the train tomorrow. Ugh. Man I wish I dip into that bourbon right about now. Oh we'll hopefully in a couple more days I can put away the pills and pick up a tumbler.

Current beer-scale: a post-great weekend 3.5

12/5/13

See? There's always a bright side

One benefit so far to being on pain medication and having to take the train?  Having an extra 90 minutes a day to get some studying in.  B/c I sure as shit didn't do any over Thanksgiving, and tonite's mid-term really snuck up on me.

And that is the only benefit.  B/c not being able to drink and barely being able to sleep is starting to wear pretty fucking thin.

Current beer-scale: 8.9 but who cares, b/c I'm still taking vicodin.

11/25/13

You'd think that...

But you'd be wrong.

Yeah, here's me in the ER after falling hard on my way home and hurting so bad I have to make sure I didn't break my goddamm ribs. Good news: I didn't. Bad news: I'm still a stupid asshole.

Current beer-scale: 9.0 and thanks to some painkillers not really a good thing.

ooops.

That doesn't look too bad, does it?  I can make a ride home in that work I think.

Ah home.  Where I'm not having performance reviews moved back so I can worry about it over the holidays, where projects I've spent years working on aren't getting re-jiggered by new bosses b/c that's how they did it at their old job. 

Not to put too much pressure on myself, but I'm starting to hope for big things from an interview on Wednesday.  What is it about UC that I can get through the system but never nail down the job?

Current beer-scale: 9.4

11/23/13

And this is me too.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

11/22/13

Yeah, this is me.

Current beer-scale: a happy Friday 9.0

11/21/13

It really does rot your brain

Riding home after class tonite it was rainy but not too terrible. Little sprinkles, little damo, but pretty quiet for the most part and not many cars out.

But it happened again. Riding through some puddles all of a sudden I was chanting "splash, splash, splosh, I'll soon need a wash!" And that's after powering through a headwind the other day had me saying "I am Gordon, I am strongest and best!" nyone with a kid at home who's into trains will understand.

The scary thing is its happening more and more and it's not like I'm actively thinking it, it's just happening. I guess it's bound to when your kid says "train" and it's the cutest damn thing you've ever heard.

Current beer-scale: 7.9

11/11/13

Well shit.

Seemed like a good idea to ride the bike this morning at least.
video
Hell, it's November in Chicago.  We all knew it couldn't stay nice forever.  But it would have been fun.

Current beer-scale: 8.1 and it's a short week. 

11/8/13

Frost on the nikes

Ugh.

For the third night this week I'm staying late at work, so it was time for a long morning and park time with the dog.  She had fun.
I will endeavor to remember that when I'm trapped at an awards dinner at Navy Pier this evening instead of home putting my son to bed and nightcapping with a few fingers of 'shine.
Current beer-scale: 8.4


11/6/13

Holy shit

Want to put some extra pep in your legs for the ride home?  Read a few chapters of a book about a viral vampire outbreak and then ride home after dark on a cloudy evening.  I didn't feel like I had just finished a long day at the office at least.  Yikes.

Current beer-scale: 8.7 and trolling job sites

11/4/13

All it takes is a little perspective

I will admit to being in a mild funk on Friday.  No, it wasn't mild.  It was "holy crap I don't have the energy to leave my desk I hate my job it's crappy and grey out and all I want to do is crawl under my desk and sleep until May" funk and it didn't seem to be letting go anytime soon.  But then I got home, and saw the wife and dog, and went to pick up the little guy, and immediately felt better.

And we had a great weekend, and the wife and I found something out that will possibly make our lives even more interesting, and I keep going back to those moments to get through this crappy Monday.  And it seems to be working, and I hope it stays that way for a good long while.

B/c I'm becoming a student again this week, if I haven't already.  Class starts Thursday, and I spent the weekend wondering when the prof would finally post a syllabus.  And of course the library has an old copy of the book for me to reserve, but they don't know where and the student who does that kind of work is out.  Ah academia, I have not missed you at all.

Thankfully I will not miss MNF tonite either, and likely get to watch the Packers kick the Bears all over Lambeau for 60 minutes.  B/c it's the little things in life that help us get by.

Current beer-scale: 8.9

11/1/13

Seasonal Affect in full effect

It's crap out, and I'm having trouble concentrating on work.  So I'm screwing around with the copier instead.
Get me the fuck out of here.

Current beer-scale: 7.1 and climbing.

10/31/13

productive October

I guess this turned out to be a quiet month.  If it hadn't been for a day off mid-way though, every weekday would have been a bike commute.  2nd best mileage month of the year, barely topped out by May thanks to BTD. 

Which makes me wonder why I'm so dammed crabby lately.  Work stress, the start of school stress, it's weighing on me a bit.  But home is great, especially now that I don't have a halloween costume to finish getting together on deadline.  And the moonshine.  Delicious moonshine waiting for me at home. 

Yeah, that's not creepy at all, is it.

Current beer-scale: 8.9

10/29/13

aw dammit

Had to take a trip to the bike shop yesterday after the road bike tipped over while I was getting the single speed back on the bike rack.  Dammit.  Turns out a spoke popped off and the screwhead was rattling around the rim.  It was enough to knock the wheel out of true so I took the single speed back down to ride while I get the wheel fixed.  Can't wait to see how much this costs tonite.

As an extra headache, I punctured the tube getting the screw out of the rim, and now know that the spares I had saved don't have long enough valves to fit on the road wheels.  Woo hoo, more crap to buy. 

I will admit this got me way more upset than it should have, and I'm blaming that on not drinking enough lately and having an abnormally high amount of stress at work and soon, school as well.  But I sure did wish I had some gears last night riding through a nasty path headwind. 

Current beer-scale: 9.1

10/25/13

True, I didn't "have" to...

But fuck it, I did anyway.

No, I didn't need to spend my lunch walking to the closest grocery store that had more moonshine.  But I didn't have to come in at all today either, and I sure as shit didn't have to sit through some asinine webinar that our new Dean sent out this morning.  But I did anyway, and now there's moonshine on my desk waiting to be taken home and enjoyed.
Current beer-scale: a Friday high 7.1 w/ND on some random CBS channel that apparently I don't get.  Fan-fucking-tastic.

10/24/13

It's shit

Fuck me am I tired of people.

Propose a chintzy fee to ride a bike in Chicago?  Who cares.  Get your tits in a twist over this proposal and freak out about it?  Who cares.  Almost run me over on your way out of an alley b/c you weren't paying attention?  Who cares.  The old boss is moving jobs b/c of awkwardness with the new boss? 

Well, I actually care about that one, but only b/c it means even more awkwardness as we build a search for the new Assoc Dean.  Not awesome though.

Ultimately, I've finished a bottle of apple pie moonshine in just over a week and I'm going to have to find another bottle this weekend.  And I'm fighting off the urge to just say 'fuck it' and spend an hour right fucking now hunting another one down on my lunch break. 

Christ I need a drink and a burger right fucking now.

Current beer-scale: 9.2

10/18/13

dammit

What?  Two days in a row?  What's gotten into me?

Other than moonshine, just the usual bullshit of putting up with jerks while commuting.  Here's a tip, sunshine, if you don't want people to hop on your back wheel, pass with a little more distance and don't cut someone off.  I know I hopped on, I did it solely to bug you.  The fact that it seemed to work convinced me to keep doing it.  Learn some fucking manner dipshit.

Current beer-scale: 5.9 and Friday moonshine a'coming.

10/17/13

Late nights make for a long week

So I survived a week with the wife out of town, only to have to stay late multiple times this week. Not fun, and making me wonder what possessed me to apply to grad school. But the moon sure did look amazing reflecting on the lak on the ride home tonite.

Current beer-scale: 7.2 and enjoying the apple pie moonshine quite a bit.

10/7/13

Duh.

The new boss was surprised to see me still riding on a 45 degree morning and asked me how I cope with the colder temps.

"Wear more clothes, and that's about it!"

And that's about all you can do.  Control what you can control and try not to worry too much about everything else.  Words to live by and wise thought for Monday morning.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

10/1/13

gross

So the boy was home yesterday after having a bit of a fever Sunday night.  Nothing too high, but I didn't mind staying home an extra day.  Over the course of the day though, he started to get a few rashy bumps pop up, and he's home today again. 

Called the daycare to say he wasn't coming in again, and he's kid #7 out right now, thanks to a hand, foot, and mouth outbreak.  Dammit.  Not only does it sound like something that would make cattle sick, it probably means he's home again tomorrow.  Which is fine, b/c I was going to be home anyway thanks to his 18-month check up, but that also means he's coming with me to the vet too for the dog's senior wellness check.  That should be interesting.

Current beer-scale: a punch-drunk 3 hours sleep 7.8

9/27/13

There's no time

That's what she said.  No time!

How the fuck did fall picture day turn up again so quickly?  I had all these plans to nicely cut the boy's hair again and not have it be all bowly for today.  Ah, the best laid plans.
So out came the surf hair and some crossed fingers.  We'll see how things turned out when the proofs get here.  In the meantime, it's nice to enjoy the still warm weather and slow transitions to fall.  And I guess that's where the time ends up going.

Current beer-scale: 8.2

9/23/13

Thanks, I'll just move the coffee to my office

Sunday night football I can handle.  But only if the kid doesn't wake up at three AM and refuse to go back down until it's time to actually get up.  I will be having all the coffee, thank you.

And why is it that when you're the most tired, everyone wants to stop by and converse?  I even had a conversation with a fixie this morning, and all I could think of was getting away from him and the terrible music he was playing.  Leave me alone already.  But the Bears are 3-0, ND won too, and it will be next weekend eventually.  It's all good.

Current beer-scale: 6.1

9/16/13

Some day I will teach my son

the art of walking like you know what you're doing and trading up.

Not that it's difficult these days, but at wrigley right now you can buy tickets on the street and start here:
And then end up here before the first inning's even over.
Not that the first seats were bad, but the second were much better.  We might not have seen Air & Water show traffic or had 12-15 beers, but it was a fun time.

Current beer-scale: 5.6

9/10/13

Done chewing on project no. 1

It took longer than expected,  but as of 5 PM yesterday I can call the backsplash done. Outlets are floated,  grout is on and scrubbed,  the end is bullnosed, and everything is back on the counter in messy fashion. Enough for me to make burgers at least. 
But holy crap that was surprisingly difficult.  Every project guide for a backsplash is 4 or 5 steps,  very simple.  But that's for simple installs.  None of them mention raising outlets,  how to cap an end wall, or getting different tile shapes.  All things I had to work with,  all things that made the actual tiling the easiest part of the project. 
Hilariously,  we were going to see a movie yesterday after taking the day off to recuperate from a wedding.  But the kid put a stop to that having to stay home,  so I had all day to either stare at an unfinished project or just get it done already. I had already installed the end rules and raised the outlets during the bears game so all I was looking at was grout. Sounded simple,  I should've known better. 

The outlets practically drove me crazy Sunday, being hella hung over didn't help either.  But the grout ended up taking FOREVER.  Working on two big walls with a tiny float,  by the time a wall was done the stuff was so dry it work way more work to get things clean than I anticipated.  Sheesh.
But it's done now. Might not be perfect,  but not a bad amateur job, and with the counters so packed it looks fine.  Enough to check it off the list and move on to the next one,  good times. 

Current beer-scale: a still slightly hungover 5.3

9/3/13

when you bite off more than you can chew

the only thing you can do is keep chewing.

After a few trips to Immediate Care the wife and I decided it was time to get serious and find some primary care physicians.  This lead to a whole list of "adult" to-do items, including projects around the house and lots involving paperwork or insurance or retirement funds.  It's funny how having a kid puts a whole new level of pressure on feeling like you've got to have it together.

I'm completely onboard with this line of thinking (is almost the exact same wording I just used in a work email to respond to a condescending professor who I was not at all in agreement with), but the good news was I could pick a project to focus on that didn't require any paperwork or advance research, just the time and patience for several Home Depot trips.

Decided to spend Labor Day installing a backsplash to get the first item checked off our list.  The HD trips nearly ended, me, I won't lie.  Spent a lot of time looking at this:
Partly because we were doing two walls and the little accent tiles we decided on ended up being spread out over 4 stores in a 10 mile radius.  Good fucking times it was not.  But the project as a whole ended up going pretty well and after a day and a half it's 99% done.
Out of everything you need to work with tile, this tile cutter is your best friend.  It's only about $10 more than the smaller hand-squeezer model we started with that broke immediately.  Lesson: always get the bigger tool.

But cutting was a small part of the project, most of it was shopping then getting things on the wall.  And it feels like shopping took more time than getting things up.  It went from this
to this pretty quickly.
What's still not done?  There's no grout up and the open ended wall needs a cap, and halfway through fitting things around outlets I realized I need to space the outlet boxes to get them flush with the new tile, about a quarter inch higher than they were.  Of course, I can't find the spacers anywhere, so I have to wait until they get delivered.  Oh well.  As long as they're done by our BBQ in two weeks it's fine.  Always good to have a deadline.

Current beer-scale: a weary 6.5

8/29/13

free lunch is always worth it

Ah the fall block party.  A chance to see how frighteningly young the freshman look, and realize they're closer in age to your 17 month old than to you.  And pick up a free slice along the way.
Totally worth it.

Current beer-scale: 8.9 and 50 hours to kickoff.

8/27/13

project time

So this was one of the projects I wanted to work on yesterday, and actually the call from daycare interrupted finishing a third canvas of an actual ship at sea.  But I was winding down anyway and about to quit to hop on the bike when I got the call.

For now it'll have to be enough, b/c it sounds like the next project on my list is a backsplash, so we should have lots of fun pics of torturous trips to Home Depot and mucking around with plaster real soon.  Good times.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

8/26/13

The glass can be half full or half empty

God I love whiskey.

I was looking forward to a day off today where I could get some cleaning done, patch some bike clothes up, and then take a long ride into Skokie to pick up some 357 at one of the few Binnys claiming to have it in stock. And things were looking good too, one coffee and a few patches in. Then the daycare called.

Sigh.

I feel bad complaining about this, but the kid has some sort of sixth sense when it comes to us taking time off. But I picked him up, and then said screw it, we're driving there instead. So I took him to the liquor store at 10:30 AM, and he had a great time. We ended up having a fun day, I have no idea why he got sent home today, and I'm happily finishing one bottle of whiskey knowing I've got a new one to back it up. Good times.

Current beer-scale: 7.9 and still dumb enough to check work email at home.

8/22/13

If you run into an asshole, you had a bad day

If you run into assholes all day, you're the asshole. 

No, actually, if you run into assholes all day you're just on your bike too long.  Get off the path, get off the streets, and take some time out of the saddle.  I think I need to follow my own advice on this, but fuck it, I'm riding to the liquor store on my day off Monday.

Current beer-scale: 9.4

8/21/13

What, 'bow ties are cool.'

Yeah, that was unplanned but still funny.

I was wearing the one on the left when I bought the other two. The lady at register 7 didn't seem to understand why someone would want two extra bowties and I found myself quoting the doctor. Can't say it was appreciated, but still worth it.

And he's right, bowties are cool.

Current beer-scale: 6.2 and sippin' crappy pre-made mojitos.

8/16/13

Poor preparation and planning

Ugh. After staying late Wednesday it was a shower beer to take the edge off, tonite it's gonna need to be a little stronger. Hence the nightcap. Or two.

I usually love the ride home from the fall welcome reception, but the air & water show being the same night did not help. Neither did a long week in general or getting called a jerk for trying to walk with a dog and a stroller this morning. Oh we'll. they can't all be great days.

Current beer-scale: 9.3

8/9/13

Yes it's great, no I'll never use it.

This thing might change my life.
"Might" b/c there's rain in the forecast and I can't see a time in the next ten days where I'll have an extra 20 minutes to put the bike on for a little wash and lube. 

But at $52.99 with shipping it was totally worth it.

Current beer-scale: 8.1

8/7/13

so tired...

This was last weekend at Brookfield zoo.  So adorable.  I have to remember moments like this when he wakes me up at 5:30 AM and refuses to go back to sleep.

Even better, I was at the office late last night and slept like crap.  Two coffees and a slightly-too-quick bike ride in and I'm ready to call it a day.  Good thing it's not even 9:30.

Current beer-scale: 8.6 and looking for some big wave

7/25/13

Any excuse for a drink

Just found out I was accepted into an MBA program starting winter term.  Shouldn't be a huge surprise considering it's a program at the university where I'm currently employed and I had members of the administration writing my recommendation letters, but it was still nice to have confirmed.  It is a big change from originally applying to grad school, where my rejection letter wall was starting to rival some of the larger collections on my floor.

But it's a nice reason to have a drink with dinner tonite I guess, and that's all I need at this point.

Current beer-scale: 8.7

7/23/13

I've created a new drink

I call it a 'slightly canadian' and the key ingredient is a splash of maple rye. Start with any other whiskey or rye you have on hand on ice,  throw some maple rye over it and there you have it.  Now to try it with every kind of rye I have in the house.

Current beer-scale: a Tuesday-friendly 7.2

7/19/13

at least you're trying

With a 15-month old I'm trying to stop using certain words.  The c-word had worked its way into my regular vocabulary before he was born, and that's probably a bad thing.  But some mornings the commute is so bad it's like riding through a retarded assholes convention and you can't help but let a few things slip you probably shouldn't.

I don't care if you're also on a bike, but if you run a red to turn and cut me off I'm going to throw a few words at you when I pass you.  If you drive a cab but don't feel like stopping at a stop sign, I'm going to tell you to go fuck yourself.  That's just the way things work.  It's hotter than balls out and everyone is going crazy.

Current beer-scale: 9.5, just like the temperature out.

7/18/13

Gotta beat the heat

however you can.
Current beer-scale: 9.8

7/16/13

mush daddy, mush!

With a heat index in the mid-90's I was telling myself yesterday would be a slow day.  That lasted about half the AM commute until I got buzzed and decided to keep up with the ladies that zoomed by.  And then the daycare called, and the boy had fallen, hit his head, and thrown up.  So the commute back home to get him wasn't any slower.  If anything, it was faster.  Panic and fear can be great motivators.   

Turns out he was fine, thank god.  Just threw up after everyone fussing over him got him upset it seems, and a loooooooong trip to the ER confirmed a concussion was not likely.  It was a rough day though, made worse by the fact that the trip was perfectly timed so he missed his usual lunch and nap-times, and I wouldn't let him sleep in the car thanks to the concussion fears.  Ugh.  That was the worst part of the day actually.

So he's fine, I didn't quite get heatstroke, finished the day with a maple rye, and now everything is back to normal for a late night at the office today.  Goodie.

Current beer-scale: 8.9

7/7/13

That was quick

So the Sunday ride came together and then came apart just as quickly-it's hard to keep going if your kid doesn't really seem to be enjoying things. Which was too bad, I was looking forward to taking a longer ride this morning. But a ride is a ride, and there's always tomorrow.

Current beer-scale: 7.1 and going liquor shopping instead

7/6/13

Done shopping

Not sure about the fenders, but it's a fun ride. And for the right price too, 30% off. The wife is happy with her new trek, so all in all I feel like I can start to get over having the bike stolen in the first place.

There's still more to do to get a more personalized fit, but that can wait until I've taken a few more rides (took it out on the path in the burbs, I hate the path. Even with Dairy Queen involved). For now I'm happy planning a possible Sunday ride with everyone.

Current beer-scale: a sugary post-colada 4.9

7/4/13

The little things

Sniff sniff.

Yeah, smells awesome out.

Current beer-scale: a holiday-ish 7.3



6/27/13

comparison shopping

I stayed home yesterday with plans of going to an evening work event in the suburbs, but getting 6 inches of rain dumped on us cancelled those plans.  So I had even more time than I expected to spend at Iron Cycles.

One, I noticed a busted spoke on the rush hour so I wanted to get it swapped out soon anyway.  Two, hopefully anyone can get that done day of so it gave me some time to talk road bikes while it was on the repair stand.

BTW I don't think the spoke broke last week when I was mildly doored.  I think it happened later in the week when I heard a "sproing" noise hitting the crappy pavement at the North Ave beach parking lot.  Could be related, but it's a minor issue on a wheel that already got re-shaped once, so I didn't stress about it too much.

B/c there's plenty of stress already going into testing some bikes.  Big props to Iron Cycles for actually being able to talk to me about what I was looking for and what they had, I'll probably be back in the shop soon for a test ride.  But I'm already starting to worry about how this is all going to fit into our budget.  And having finally had one moderately successful stop, it's time to try a few more shops and see what's out there.  The whole thing is giving me anxiety.

Current beer-scale: 8.7

6/24/13

I hate this part

I have a gap in my bike stable and it's driving me crazy.  Worse, I have a reimbursement check from our insurance company for a sizable amount burning a whole in my pocket, and for the life of me I can't get any help when I walk into a bike shop.

Even if I did, there's no guarantee I'd buy from your shop, but if I have to walk in with a sign around my neck declaring "I'm looking to spend around $2K" then fuck you.

Two more possible shop visits this week, and if they don't go well I might just be waiting until the fall at this point.

Current beer-scale: 8.4

6/20/13

The bad & the good

Yesterday was all over the map.

Had to stay late, and got the day off to a great start with a mild dooring incident on the way in.  Some fat chick opened her cab door into my leg, knocking me into the curb.  Not much damage but you can tell the front wheel is way off true now and my left quad is sore as fuck.  How was it my left leg?  The cab she was in was trying to take up as much room in both the straight lane and the right turn lane.  Good job guy.

So I'm limping around a little, but it looks more like a strut.  Which is perfect, b/c our insurance company got back to us and confirmed they're reimbursing us 90% of the cost of my bike and 20% of the wife's 10-year old bike.  Not perfect, but more than I expected with less hassle.  So now we have to find some time to get some test rides in.  Goodie.

Current beer-scale: 8.2

6/18/13

Humpday grind

Ugh.
Almost got run over by some bearded douche walking home from daycare tonight. So I'm having a couple of these and trying to ignore the fact i have to go back to work tomorrow.

Current beer-scale: 9.0

6/13/13

BTWW 2013

Ah Bike to Work Week.  The five days a year I get high fives for something I'd do everyday regardless.  Still, I've seen multiple people riding this week who have made me wish I was the only one allowed to ride.

But let's not be too negative here.  My office actually has a unified team this year instead of different departments putting their own group up, and we're in second place in our category.  They're only doing events at the other campus but whatever.  I don't need the recognition, but I will probably use the participation points for a free 1-year ATA membership.  See, nothing wrong with staying positive. 

I do hope whoever's riding my stolen bike gets hit by a bus though.  Nothing wrong with that either.

Current beer-scale: 8.3


6/3/13

WTholyF?

June 3rd and I'm looking at temps in the mid-50's and wearing a jacket home in a few minutes.  Will someone please tell me what the hell is going on around here?

Current beer-scale: 9.2 and insurance forms in the mail

5/30/13

Slow boat back to normal

Been a week, had some steak and whiskey tonite. It helped.  The mint was even from our garden plot.  Thumbs up to local drinking.
Not helping is having not heard back from Trek confirming my info to submit to insurance.  Not a good way to convince me to replace what was taken with a similar bike.

Last Friday I ended the week with a beer and 5 Templetons at Pippins after work.  It made for a good start to the holiday weekend.  Won't be surprised if tomorrow ends in similar fashion.


Current beer-scale: 6.7

5/23/13

Ice in my stomach

So I went to take the boy to daycare this morning to find the gate to our yard open and the garage door open as well.  Not liking that, I handed him off and went to check it out.  Turns out my madone was gone, and so was the wife's mountain bike.

Let me just say a big FUCK YOU to whomever took them.  It's not going to help if I get overly worked up, and things could've been much worse, but if you steal a bike you deserve horrible things in the afterlife. 

Current beer-scale: 9.7

5/20/13

biking to blogging

My ride to post ratio is pretty strong right now.  It's perfect out in Chicago, who has time to blog about it when you should be outside.  Save it for a crappy day.

Current beer-scale: 8.1 & thank god b/c it's patio season.

5/10/13

And that's why

I convinced the wife to add mint to her gardening project.  Even though it grows crazy like a weed.
I do believe I will be trying this drink in mass quantities in the very near future.

Current beer-scale: a 8.9 and climbing less than 24 hours before commencement.

5/7/13

Business drink

Instead of 'drunk.'  Nice.
#2 in a series
Tonite is one of my favorite rides of the year, home in the late evening after a late event that has a high end bar.  A perfect storm of some of my favorite things.  Doesn't quite make getting through graduation any easier, but a few drinks never hurt.


Current beer-scale: 8.1

4/30/13

fingers crossed

Two rough mornings so far this week.  Today it was the wind.  I slogged through most of the winter and did okay, but a strong tailwind on the path still made me feel like crap. 

But the trek is riding well, and is now locked up outside the building.  U-lock through the front wheel and frame, with the back wheel chain-locked as well.  Not overly comfortable leaving it out there, but don't really have much of a choice at this point.  If it's going to be 80 degrees this afternoon I wasn't riding anything else.

Current beer-scale: 8.5

4/29/13

when it rains

it pours.

Couple of flats last week, not a big deal.  But I used my back-up tube, and couldn't get a patched one to work on the trek over the weekend.  Okay, I can still ride.

Rode to work this morning, couldn't get into the bike corral.  Turns out, demolition on the building started two days earlier than posted, and the building is closed.  Which is fine, but my lock was in there b/c I thought I had the two days that was posted.  And was still posted on the door when I got there this morning.  Fan-fucking-tastic. 

So I took a nice long walk to Kozy's at lunch, picked up a new lock (b/c there's little to no chance I ever see the one I've been using again) and a few tubes.  Took forever, but I needed to be outside for an hour anyway.  Let's hope the rest of the week picks up a little bit. 

Current beer-scale: 9.2 & rising

4/23/13

dammit!

Flatted for the first time in a long time this morning.  I was close enough to the office that it was a toss up between changing the tube then and there or just walking to the office.  I opted to walk which was probably a mistake.  It only took 10 minutes to change the tube, and 30 minutes to walk the rest of the commute.

Oh well.  It's not like I would have accomplished anything with that extra 20 minutes anyway.  Changing the tube is probably the most productive thing I've done at work in a while.

Current beer-scale: 7/8

4/22/13

Drink ALL the coconut beers

A few days ago, a big motivating factor in getting through the week was stopping at Half Acre and picking up some of their Hot Tropic.  Purely by coincidence, my eyes fell upon a Kona Beer display at the grocer's over the weekend, leading to a purchase of their Big Wave golden ale and Koko Brown with toasted coconut.  Talk about similar beers worlds apart.

First, the tropic.  Not terrible, even if going to Half Acre is increasingly becoming an exercise in patience.  At the end of a long day and commute, if I walk into your store I don't have any objectives other than purchasing beer and leaving, which is impossible in their tasting room.  My favorite part of the experience was the look another customer gave me when the guy at the taps served someone else who came in after both of us.  What can you do?

Tropic was an IPA with toasted coconut, but for all the talk of tons of coconut all it really did was take the edge off some of the hops.  The wife doesn't drink IPA's, but this one was mellow enough for her to try at least.  I love a hoppy IPA, but I want to be able to taste whatever else might be in there, and there wasn't any coconut to be found.  I didn't regret picking it up, and drinking from a half-growler always makes me feel like I'm in a science lab, but HT was ultimately disappointing.

Kona's Koko Brown was the complete opposite.  A brown ale would be pretty far down on my list of options for beers I'd usually drink, but the coconut in this one takes several swings at your taste buds.  There's an initial burst when you first take it in, then a secondary swell that surges back as you swallow.  It actually made me stop and say "whoa," which made the wife laugh.  And even though that kept up through the entire beer, it never got to the point of overpowering the rest of the beer.  A great balance between the sweet and the brown ale.  Can't wait to have the rest of it.

I can't say no to finding new beers to try from a brewer I like, so the Golden Ale came home too.  That one's not terrible either, just not as interesting as the brown.  It's fruity as hell, with a hops backbone that keeps it light.  They were both a fun discovery on a random grocery trip, one of those things that I'll probably spend the rest of the summer looking to replicate.

Current beer-scale: 7.1


4/20/13

Brrrrrr

What the shit April? What did we ever do to you?
Current beer-scale: 6.1