Party time!

 Oh man.

Here he is at three days old, in one of the extremely rare quiet moments early on.  He looks thrilled, doesn't he?
And here he is almost a year later,taking steps and about to have a birthday party.  I can't believe how quickly this year has gone by, and thank god for that too.  The early parts were rough!

The smile makes it worth it though.  Every damn time. What a year.

Current beer-scale: 8.9


Remember this?

Yeah, I vaguely recall picking up a "treat yo' self" bottle of whiskey around this time last year, only to have the sudden arrival of a certain about to be one-year-old spoil the chance to drink any.  Not that I haven't had chances between now and then to down a little, but I admit to not feeling like I had the time to appreciate what I was drinking and sticking to something cheaper or newly gifted.

Oh well.  I feel like having all sorts of family around this weekend for a birthday party will be enough of a stress that when Saturday/Sunday night roll around this will be what I"m reaching for.  No shame in that.

Current beer-scale: 7.1 and climbing...


Desk dining

I don't have many rules for life, but when you see a frozen pizza offered by a local hockey legend, you damn well better pick it up.  When I saw a Savy's sausage pizza in the freezer section I did just that.  Unfortunately there were mixed results.

Denny Savard is a Blackhawks legend from the 80's and 90's.  Hall of Famer, former coach, Blackhawks ambassador, all-around great guy.  So this is kind of a Newman's Own deal, and the pizza on the box looked great.
At this point I should mention that most of these pizzas microwave up terribly, which is why some of the digornos are so fantastic b/c they're actually halfway decent.  That's all I'm looking for at the office when I don't have time/money/ambition to go get something.  Anyway, trying this in the oven would probably go much better.  Because even out of the box this pizza looked pretty good:
Out of the microwave was another story.  The middle would not get hot no matter how much extra time I gave it.  After 3 30-second reheats I gave up.  Nothing really changed color between frozen and cooked, which is never really appetizing. 

Taste-wise things weren't horrible, not again nothing stood out.  The bread had the tiniest crunch from being so overcooked, which was actually nice.  The sauce is bland, but the sausage had a little kick to it to balance it out.  It was actually very close to a crappy no-name pizza you'd get at a minor-league ballpark, which why anyone would want to shoot for that is beyond me.  But I'd definitely give it a second chance, only at home with the oven. 

Days like this make me miss working at the zoo with a decent foodcourt and an employee discount.  Not that I went every day, but there's not much that beats being able to grab a hotdog and eat it outside while you're at work.

Current beer-scale: 6.6


Short week(s)!

The take-away from this week? It's a short one. End of list.

And it turns out next week will be too, looks like this month is ending on a positive note after all.

Took the soon-to-be 1-year-old out to lunch yesterday while we were attempting to do some furniture shopping. He took things like a champ, even though the crayon-chomping was a little disconcerting.

Why yes, those crayons were delicious, thank you.
Plus, furniture delivery is giving me an excuse to take yet another day off, good times. Maybe I should squeeze in a vet appointment for our "senior" dog too...

Current beer-scale: a weekendly 7.2



I just had to mention that it would probably be in the teens in March.  Fuck I hate it when I'm right.
Yeah, it's going to blow out there on the way home.

Current beer-scale: 8.2


black slush

Ugh.  Never a good sign when you get to work and clumps of black slush are falling off your frame in all kinds of places.  Not a good day to have forgotten to grab my clean-up rag on the way out.

Oh well.  Yes it's freezing, icy, and wet, but fuck it, last week was my first 5-days ridden of the week and this will be the second.  Just hurry up and make it spring already.

Current beer-scale: a 7-point-I-fucking-hate-Monday-morning-9.


Confession time

Growing up really poor had a lot of different impacts on me.  For one, I'm a lot more materialistic than I'd like to be, but that's how not having much seems to have manifested itself in me as I grow older.  Balance that with my inner-Scrooge's penny-pinching ways and it's not always a recipe for success.  But as much as I don't want my kid to grow up feeling like that (jeez, it never fails to hit me, cripes, I'm a father, don't screw it up), one thing I would like to impart on him is getting the most bang for your buck when you're out shopping.

That's a stupidly long-winded way to introduce the idea that one thing I have a hard time ignoring is the appeal of a new watch.  I have a few different ones, each one from a different occasion and they're all in a kind of rotation.  Quiksilver and Invicta show up a lot, and even though it makes me look like a hipster doofus I do occasionally wear the pocket watch my mother-in-law gave me.  Anyway, I added one to the collection this week, much to the dismay of my wife.
Original listing pic. That dude had a tiny wrist.
Ebay is the devil.  If I'm looking for a watch and can find it for less than a third of the amazon price, more than likely I will by it.  And that was the case with this pro diver.
Classic "Goldfinger" shot
Very similar to a rolex submariner, hence the appeal.  Also very similar to the "Bond" watch from Goldfinger.  I'll admit I'm not going to drop $3K on a watch, but if I can get one of similar visual fashion for $50 then I'm all over it.

So when lunch-time Friday rolled around and I was already heading out, I figured I might as well stop by the Fossil in water tower to see if I could find a replacement band.  I know watch purists might say it needs to be the black-red-green of the movie to be a real Bond watch, but I was happy to find a plain black and grey option instead.  Popped the old band off, slid the new band on, and presto, instant new addition to the rotation.
done on a budget
Honestly, this might be the end of the collection for a while.  And the wife would be thrilled with that.  But this one's automatic so it won't need a battery, the band will work both at the office and on the weekends, and it's easy to replace if needed.  Win-win-win, even if it isn't an exact match to 007's.

Current beer-scale: 6.7

That's kind of sad

Jeez, it took me until the middle of March to get a full 5-day week of rides into work on the bike.  That's not a good way to start the year.  But things had to clear up eventually.

A year ago it was 80 damn degrees and I was loving climate change.  This year, not so much.   ETA: As of noon it's 41 degrees out, I'll take that over below freezing.

I'm a little tired this morning.  A certain someone decided to get up around 2:30 this morning and didn't go back to sleep until after 4 AM.  Not awesome, but he was really funny about smiling at us just when we were starting to get fed up.  He knows how to get away with all sorts of crap.

When the dog and I got back from our walk, I was so tired I threw my keys in the sink and put my travel mug by my bag.  I didn't realize what I had done until I couldn't find my keys when I was ready to go.  Good times.

Current beer-scale: a weekend-friendly 8.2



He is quick and it's hilarious.  Even when all I want to do is lay down after a long day, keeping up with him makes me laugh.

Current beer-scale: 6.8


March > February

And April & May > March, but we're not quite there yet.

So a week into March and I've matched my ride total from February.  Nice.  And not to belabor the point but man did last month suck.  Even if we get the snow that's predicted for Monday, I'm looking at a month with three paycheck Fridays instead of two, second picture day at the daycare, and a day off at the end of the month for Good Friday.  Fuck yeah March.

Now I'm going to go home and use up some of those big ice cubes I've been making.

Current beer-scale: 7.8


Zenni part II

Obviously, my satisfaction with Zenni's overall experience outweighed my disappointment with one of my selections. So it was easy enough to find a third pair cheap enough and try again.

For the past 6-7 years I've been sticking with the same kind of aviators at about $230 a pop. The dog got ahold of at least one pair, one pair got sacrficed to the Aztecs on a beach during our honeymoon, and I'd swear there's one more replacement in there but I don't remember. If Zenni can help me get that down to around $30 then I'm okay buying a few different pairs.

They actually have very similar frames to my old stuff for $45. Not bad but I'm looking to go a little cheaper. I settled on something in the $7 range, and with tinting, anti-glare, and shipping things came to just under $22. Fucking A right.
Again, nothing bad to say about their selection, prices, or communication. The main drawback for Zenni is always going to be the long shipping time. Based on the first order, I guessed a 2/20 order would get in on 3/6. I was pleasantly surprised when the shipping email estimated delivery on 3/4, then annoyed when they didn't show up and USPS said it would be 3/8, and ultimately satisfied when they showed up on you guessed it, 3/6.
The vision clarity seems dead on, and they feel much more solid than the flimsy plastic pair that I didn't like the first time. Completely worth the price and wait, I am shocked at how much I've liked shopping through Zenni. I wouldn't be surprised if I spring for the pricier frames when I find myself needing another pair in the future.

Current beer-scale: 8.1



Finally got back on the bike this morning, just in time for a winter weather advisory to hit with another midnight blizzard coming tonite.  Fan-fucking-tastic.  Really made dickheads driving semis and other bikers passing on the right extra enjoyable.

Oh well.  I only need two more rides this month to match last month's ride total.

Current beer-scale: 8.1