duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
And we're back! [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I spent the last few days down in St. Louis visiting with my parents and my sister's family. We had a very enjoyable time, and Christmas was lovely. We visited Soulard Market (though many vendors were closed for the holidays) and got lost (willingly) in downtown St. Louis. Mostly, though, it was just fun to spend time with the family.

The trip down was a bit unpleasant, as we were leaving Chicago in the throes of a snowstorm. Things were much better after we got south of Joliet, but the 40 mph crosswinds between Bloomington and St. Louis made driving difficult. The drive back was a lot more pleasant, though. We detoured into Alton, Illinois on a quest to find Pietown Stompin' Grounds (visited by Alton Brown in Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run) only to find that it was completely closed and out of business - but the website is still up? Bah. We instead stopped for breakfast at Forgettable Family Restaurant #2,341 and then hit the road north. We detoured onto I-39 from Bloomington and came across the nifty wind farm near Mendota, Illinois. Dan took a bunch of pictures - for some reason, I found the sight fascinating.

And here we are in a new, but short, week. Dan has gone off to work; he works today and tomorrow, while I don't have to go back until next Monday. Hooray! I shan't be idle today, though. We have a ton of preparations for our New Year's festivities, starting with a huge shopping trip this morning. I'm making four pans of lasagna, and Dan will be cooking up about twenty pounds of chicken tonight. We've got a bunch of other cooking to do, so we'll be busy today and tomorrow. After that, it's off to party!
duncandahusky: (License)
Hitting the road to St. Louis momentarily. Though net connectivity may be spotty for the next few days, I'll likely be Twittering (Just not here. You're welcome ;-)
duncandahusky: (License)
I'm still alive, and still around. Things are busy at work, where I'm juggling several projects, and at home, where it's premiere season on the broadcast networks and finale season on cable, meaning there's been lots of great stuff on like Burn Notice, Heroes, Eureka, and more. Still, I wanted to write about our amazing weekend.

On Saturday we drove up to Madison... )

Here is the entire album of pictures from Saturday.

Sunday was a bit more low-key. Dan and I watched a little Tivo, then there was the online Midwest FurFest staff meeting. All seems well on that front, which is good news. I've got several interesting projects in the works that I think will make this year's convention spiffy for a lot of folks.

In other random news: I'm still coughing, which is no great surprise. These bouts with bronchitis usually last about two to three weeks, unfortunately. The downside of this is that I haven't slept well for the past week and a half or so, which means I'm generally pretty sleepy during the day. Bah. This too shall pass. The other good news is that our shiny new bed is coming tonight! We took apart our old bed to make it simple for the furniture guys to haul it out. I'm just glad we're not the ones carrying everything up and down the stairs!

OK, back to work with me...
duncandahusky: (License)
But thank heavens, we're not leaving on a jet plane!

We are, however, leaving in a Honda Element. [livejournal.com profile] takaza has practiced his usual packing-fu and squeezed the ridiculous amount of stuff that we're bringing to Furry Connection North into a small enough space that the passenger will still be able to stretch out and sleep in the car if so inclined. Our alarm will be going off at 4:15 AM tomorrow and we'll be on the road within 30 minutes of that. The idea is to get a jump on the sure-to-be-crappy traffic (rain+thunderstorms+rush hour traffic=hating life) and also to get in to the con before Dan has a conference call for work at 10 AM CDT, since riding in a car with an uncertain cellular signal is suboptimal for such things. But hey, on the bright side, we'll be there for Opening Ceremonies!

Now, to go fold one last load of laundry and watch last night's Top Chef before going off to bed. Hope to see many of our friends at FCN!

Egad.

Dec. 26th, 2007 09:29 pm
duncandahusky: (License)
After fifteen hours straight of driving, we're home.

Oh yeah, that's why we don't do that very often.

Me sleep now.

{thud}
duncandahusky: (License)
And here we are at launch day, so to speak. In a few hours, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I will be getting into his car and heading southwards. Our tentative itinerary will take us through Chambana and Effingham, then down to Nashville, TN for the night. Then tomorrow morning, we'll continue through Chattanooga, Atlanta, then up to Anderson, South Carolina. (Apparently many Chicago furries migrate to South Carolina at Christmastime. Who knew?) I do hope that we'll be able to hit some back roads along the way, and I grabbed a subscription to Roadfood in hopes of discovering some nifty little out-of-the-way restaurants along the way.

Dan and I did our gift-giving last night. As I had mentioned before, since we bought ourselves a freezer we were just going to get each other small gifts for Christmas. Anyway, I did succeed in getting two of Dan's presents to him: a book on digital photography, and the collected Firefly miniseries "Serenity: Those Left Behind". Dan surprised me with something that has been in the back of my head but I had been holding off on: a whole new set of brewing equipment! This was an awesome surprise and I'm looking forward to getting back into brewing after the holidays. Unfortunately, one of Dan's packages is still en route, and at this point it appears that it's going to be delivered after we leave. Awesome! As I was writing this the package was delivered. He has to wait until I get home to open it, though :-)

Looking ahead, it sounds like this is going to be a busy holiday for us. Dan, my sister, and I will be in charge of cooking while we're in South Carolina, and coming up with a selection of foods that pleases everyone. Tuesday night will of course be the traditional Christmas Turkey (a la Alton Brown, natch). Then Wednesday the 26th we'll be driving all the way back to Chicago in one shot - won't that be fun? Dan has to work the 27th and 28th, but I have those days off for a change. I suspect I'll be quite busy those days, cooking and shopping for the weekend. We'll deal with that later, though.
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
I've picked up a couple of new blogs to follow that I thought I'd mention here. I started with The Stew, which picks up has commentary that doesn't appear in the Chicago Tribune as well as advance articles. That had a pointer to a post in Michael Ruhlman's blog by Anthony Bourdain (who I adore!) - I liked the blog so much I added it to my daily reading. Then recently, Ruhlman was a stop on the "virtual book tour" by Adam Roberts, The Amateur Gourmet. His amusing, occasionally profane food blog went onto my list. Then Roberts linked to fantastic and funny video about making lobster rolls over at Serious Eats which sent me investigating that blog more, and I became a fan there as well (particularly since they just added Mario Batali to their list of contributors!).

As an aside, you may wonder how I keep up with all these blogs? I use Firefox and every morning click a single button that loads 'em all in tabs, using the Morning Coffee extension. This works well with blogs that are updated daily; blogs that update less frequently I add to my Google Reader page. The latter is the case for Cheese Underground, which focuses solely on Wisconsin cheese, and Megnut, another interesting foodie blog, both of which only update a couple of times a month. Oh! And I should also mention another recent addition to my Reader, Winnipeg Eats. Sure, I don't live in Winnipeg, but it's written by a good friend and I like her writing :-)

Our calendar for the next few weekends is slowly filling up, as it is wont to do. It's looking like we may make a return visit to Brightonwood Orchard this weekend (mmm, heirloom apples!), and while we're there we'll see what's new at the adjoining winery. I expect a rigorous sampling of the winery's wares and other spirits may ensue afterwards!

I've been reading up on various farmers markets in the area, as well as other local foods (since it is, after all, Eat Local Month) and while the Grayslake Farmers Market is fun, it's a bit small. And yes, there's some interesting places in Chicago, but I was looking around and I found many references for the Dane County Farmers Market in Madison, Wisconsin. This dovetails neatly with my interest in finding out more about Wisconsin artisan cheeses (I even ordered a cool Wisconsin Cheese/Wine/Beer tour map!). Since I've been wanting to explore Madison a bit anyway, it sounds like a perfect excuse to get up that way. Some Saturday (not the coming one, but maybe the 22nd or the 29th), we're going to hit the road early and spend the day checking the place out. Should be fun!

And then we have the big trip coming up. As some of you may have seen [livejournal.com profile] takaza mention, we're going to hit the road for a weekend in late October (yeah, he couldn't keep it a secret :-) Patterned after Alton Brown's recently-completed Feasting on Asphalt 2: The River Run, we're going to tour Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin along the Mississippi River, shunning interstates and aiming for small towns to find stuff that's interesting, tasty, and different. We may fail miserably, and eat some of the worst food ever, but we may also find the most amazing and delightful places, too. We'll be renting a minivan that will hold everyone and drive out to Moline, Illinois on Friday night. Starting Saturday, we'll strike out north along the river and see what there is to see. While I have a couple of places I do want to see along the way (including Kalmes Restaurant, which AB visited - "A little bit of Luxembourg in Iowa") mostly we'll be relying on serendipity to help us find something interesting. We'll spend Saturday night somewhere along the way (Maybe, Dubuque? Maybe La Crosse, if we can actually find a hotel that isn't booked), then meander home through Wisconsin. I'm really looking forward to this trip!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Ugh. It appears that both [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I were afflicted with insomnia last night, during different parts of the night. That make for slow canines this morning!

The weekend was quite entertaining, for all that it started inauspiciously. On Saturday morning I had to make another visit to my podiatrist (cut for those not interested in medical details) ) After that, Dan and I puttered around the house for a while before heading out to [livejournal.com profile] dancingninny and [livejournal.com profile] artemisfur's place in Dekalb for their "Flood Party" (it hadn't started out to be a flood party, but due to the weather it kind of got that way).

The drive there was interesting - between detours for construction and random roads being closed due to flooding, it was something of a challenge to get to the house. And what a house! They've got some awesome digs there, hidden in the blandness of a suburban neighborhood. My only addition to the place would be a nice spacious deck on the back, but I can understand their priorities (and the delays, as well!). The party was a blast, and it was great to see so many of our friends there (and the burgers were quite tasty!). Alas, we had to head out early, once again having to hit the road before the party really gets started. Bleah.

The drive home is worth mentioning as well. We learned that while you might be able to drive around the "Road Closed" signs to carefully ford the water across the road in the daytime, if you try that at night you'll get a $300 ticket. Fortunately, we witnessed this happening as we stopped for directions around the closed road and were not the recipients of said ticket. Once we pingponged around Dekalb County a bit we finally got to IL 47 and headed home. I wasn't quite tired and I suggested something that we haven't done in ages (for me, in decades!): midnight breakfast! So we stopped at Around the Clock in Crystal Lake (the only 24-hour joint we passed on the way home) and I had pancakes while Dan had bacon and eggs. We amused ourselves by eavesdropping on the drunk people around us. We got home at about 1:30 AM and got to bed at about 2.

Sunday was intended to be spent working on Midwest FurFest-related stuff, but it didn't work out that way. We wound up making a circuit of Lake and McHenry Counties. First we took an extensive tour of some townhomes being built right near my employer. They are quite lovely, but they won't be building any more with basements until early 2009. We found just the model that we liked, and with a basement it would be a killer floor plan (think 12' x 16' kitchen with a nice big island!). The biggest problem is that, with the expected $20,000 - 30,000 of upgrades we'd probably want, I expect the price would come in at around $260,000. The good news is that we'd be better equipped to deal with a home purchase (at ANY price) come 2009, but will we be equipped to handle that much? We'll have to see.

After that, we drove over to the grand opening of Wickes Furniture in McHenry where we drooled over sectionals with recliners and sleigh beds. Alas, having looked at real estate immediately before, I was reminded that extending our debt with still more revolving credit is probably not a good idea, so we'll see if we can keep our sofas alive for a little bit longer. Toward the end of our shopping there, we stopped by the customer service counter to pick up tickets for the pig roast they were hosting outside. Taking in Dan's Hawaiian shirt and my T-shirt, the woman there (obviously) lied and said they were running out of food and declined to give us tickets as we walked out they were setting out more food from the grill). OK then. If we ever should purchase anything from Wickes Furniture, we'll be buying from some other store than that one.

After a quick bite for lunch and a disappointing stop by a farmstand, we circled back to Garden Fresh Market and picked up the week's groceries. I was supposed to make chicken tikka masala for dinner, but we had eaten lunch late enough that neither of us were hungry, so that got deferred to later in the week. The evening was spent relaxing and watching Alton Brown, which is always entertaining!

And now, this week: Not too much going on, though we'll be needing to make some decisions by Wednesday about what we'll be grilling up this weekend for friends and family; that will probably entail a trip to Antioch Packing House. Other than that, the usual grind, which is just fine.
duncandahusky: (Grr. Argh.)
It's Monday and man am I dragging. A nasty bout of insomnia last night had be up between 12:30 and 1:45, and when I did get to sleep it was pretty shallow and I kept waking up. I'm looking forward to 4:30 when I can head home and collapse.

I haven't really done a substantial update in a week, so I guess I should look back over the last seven days.
Tuesday at the Meat Faucet! )
Friday at Tramonto's )
Saturday at the DMV )
Sunday, we had a pleasant lunch with [livejournal.com profile] roho and Genet at Scott Dogs (first al fresco meal of the year, yay!), then ran a few errands. Once we got home, what began as a quick job of shoring up the storage shelf in our garage became a full-blown cleaning of the garage. I'm now happy to say that I can park in the garage without bumping any boxes! I need to hang our extension ladder to free up a bit of space along the side of the garage, but other than that the garage is pretty much good to go.

And then there's today. If all goes well, I hope to head home and collapse on the sofa and play some Okami and relax. Dinner is leftovers, which is nice and simple, and I suspect we'll be heading to bed early tonight, since Dan didn't sleep too well last night, either. And tomorrow...well, we'll see what plans develop!
duncandahusky: (License)
Yeah, as y'all may have heard, we got a little snow in the Chicago area today. In the city itself it wasn't too bad - I estimated that there was maybe two or three inches of wet, heavy snow on my car when I went out at 6:30 this morning. Once I extricated myself from where I had been parked in (gods, I hate parking on the street!) it was time to begin the fun:

North on Jersey to Peterson, Peterson west to the Edens, the Edens north to Touhy (took 15 minutes), Touhy west to Caldwell (traffic light was out), Caldwell north to Golf, Golf west to the Tri-State Tollway. Tri-State Tollway north (25 mph all the way, snow depth and accumulation rate increasing as I go - stop twice to clear snow out from under wipers). Try to get off at 137/Buckley Road - accident on the ramp between a truck and a car, no dice. Continue north to 120/Belvidere Road - truck stuck on the ramp, no dice. Continue north to 132/Grand Ave. Grand Ave. west (parts still unplowed, a good 10" of snow on the ground) to US 45. US 45 south to IL 120. IL 120 west to Wilson Road.

Total travel time: Three Hours. It's normally a 45-minute drive.

Well, that was fun.

I expect the roads are going to suck even worse tonight as everything starts freezing. With luck, I'll be heading northwards after work to Antioch rather than deal with all of the foolishness in the city. We'll see...
duncandahusky: (Geeky)
As one might have guessed from my last update, Midwest FurFest is weighing heavily on my mind.

Friday I took [livejournal.com profile] takaza into work and took advantage of the glorious weather to take some nice pictures in and around McHenry County (well, except for the first one; that's on Milwaukee Ave. in Niles). You'll be seeing some of those pictures again come the convention. After driving for several hours I made a big loop and stopped back by Schaumburg and found a good place for MFF to store our stuff for the next year right near the hotel. I'll be stopping by there later this week to nail down a contract with them. Afterwards I went to Dan's employer and read the paper and killed some time until he was ready to leave, only about two hours after quitting time. [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell was over visiting so we had a pleasant evening of dinner from the taquiera and good conversation.

On Saturday I took off early and headed up to [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet's place where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] neowolf2 and attempted to assemble all of the parts of the Registration server. Things didn't go quite as well as we'd hoped. Computer geekery ensued, and Unix-y troubleshooting )

After we wrapped up our work on the Registration system, I met Dan and [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff for dinner at Johnny's Chophouse in Prospect Heights. It took a long time to get seated and the food took even longer to get to us, but it was pretty good once it got there. And the "Moonshine" (Level vodka, Peach schnapps, and cranberry juice) was extremely tasty.

Then on Sunday it was time for the last-minute "Oh Sh#t!" MFF staff meeting. This just entailed going around the room and making sure all of the departments were ready to go. I made the happy discovery mentioned above, and that made the day so much better. After we wrapped up, Dan and I grabbed dinner at Potbelly's, then came home and worked on some last-minute signage and watched The Amazing Race (the ending of which, while sad, was pretty much destined to occur).

So here we are: a new week. I've got some househusband stuff to deal with today (laundry, groceries), as well as some more signs to work on. Wednesday I'm planning on visiting Neowolf's to work on the Registration system, and hopefully make any PHP tweaks that might be necessary for the system, though an additional pilgrimage to Rusty's sometime thereafter may be necessary (Rusty: we'll talk about scheduling should it become necessary. I don't want to dump anything on you unexpectedly!) Friday through Sunday we'll be at Windycon, where Dan and I are on staff in Operations. That should be a fun weekend, made all the better by a relatively relaxed atmosphere and the fact that we're not actually in charge of anything :-)
duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
My life, reduced to bullet points:
  • On Tuesday I had an interview with large nameless healthcare company that happens to be in Round Lake, IL. Promising position, and would be very exciting. Contract-to-hire, three or six month contract (to be determined), then hire full time at 15% less pay (but with benefits and vacation). If hired, it'd be a bitch of a commute for the short term, but we've been wanting to get a place in the Northwest Burbs, and this would be the catalyst to do so. I might know something by the end of next week. Maybe. The good news is that my recruiter is going to see about submitting me to another position at the same company.

  • Not much action on any other fronts. Still putting out lots of resumes, but not a lot of nibbles. It’s a bad time of the year to be unemployed, unfortunately. The good news is that between Dan's income and unemployment, we're covered for the short term, at least.

  • So this leaves me lots of time to sit around and play video games all day? Not likely. This is the peak time for preparations for Midwest FurFest. In addition to being an engineer, I suddenly get to become a graphic designer, making layouts for all of the items we're having imprinted, plus designing the staff and attendee badges. We're trying some new stuff (thus all of the nifty new equipment) that will hopefully make our lives easier and make Registration run even faster. So in addition to being an engineer and a graphic designer, I also get to be a software designer/network engineer, as we tweak the Registration system to accommodate the new equipment. I also get to flex my management skills, since once the programming schedule is posted I need to figure out how to schedule the seventeen (!) people we have on Registration staff to maximize volunteer hours for those that want them and to make sure no one has to miss any event they wanted to see. You understand why I get a bit flustered at the convention approaches.

  • It's been a chilly day here, inside and out. I didn't notice it earlier when I absorbed in computer work, but now I'm realizing my fingers are getting a bit numb. I've set foot outside only to get the paper this morning, but the chill is quite penetrating. I'll have to brave the cold later to go out and forage for dinner - I'm not really looking forward to that.

  • Tomorrow looks a lot more interesting, though. The present plan is that I will drop [livejournal.com profile] takaza off at work, stop for some breakfast, stop by the printer to drop off the files for the attendee badges, then strike out westward to take pictures of...something. Things that evoke "County Fair". Yeah, it would have been nicer to do this earlier in the year, but we didn't realize just what nice signs we were going to be having. It should be a nice, clear, chilly day, and I expect I'll be driving around Huntley, Marengo, and Woodstock, which is very pretty country anyway. Later in the day I'll pick Dan up at work and we'll do, um, something.

  • This bullet point intentionally left blank
duncandahusky: (License)
And so, five days and approximately 1,800 miles later, we're home again. A quick recap:

On Thursday, we left for my parents' place in Anderson, South Carolina. We only drove about two-thirds of the way there, stopping for the night in Knoxville, Tennessee (sorry we didn't call, [livejournal.com profile] partran, but we got in pretty late). We got up early the next morning and drove the last five hours down to my parents'. We tried to stop in Canton, North Carolina, to return the NC license plates for the Alero and Dan's old plates for his Element, but first we found that the DMV office had moved, and then that it was closed for the day. We shrugged and continued on, getting in at around 12:30 PM. My sister, her husband, and my two nephews were already there, having driven in from St. Louis the day before.

It was a great weekend, and it was really good to spend time with my family. [livejournal.com profile] takaza seemed to have a good time as well, and got along well with Chris (age 10) and Tim (age 8). Ruth and I did most of the cooking during the weekend, which I'm sure was a welcome break for my mom, and Dan and Marvin (my brother-in-law) did yeoman work with cleanup detail. Dad was looking fantastic for someone who had had back surgery just a few weeks prior. I was glad to see him up and standing for hours at a time, when before the surgery he was able to remain upright for less than a minute.

We did the traditional gift-giving on Christmas morning. Chris and Tim, of course, got a pile of loot; they seemed to enjoy the Legos and video games they received, and judging from the background noise from last night's phone call, Dan's choice for Apples to Apples Junior for the family was a huge hit. Ruth and Marvin will get a lot of use out of the accessories we got for their new digital camera, and Mom and Dad seemed to like our gift to them: a Tivo. I think they're still figuring out how to work it and why it's such a wonderful thing, but I suspect they'll come around with time. We had some fun trying to set it up since they had no telephone jack in the room we put it and even if they did, all they have is Vonage, which does not play well with Tivo. We wound up having to take the Tivo back to our hotel room for it to dial in and get all of the program updates. Fortunately, we had prepared for the possibility and we had picked up a wireless router and adapter for the Tivo; once we had all the program updates it was a breeze to get it hooked into the network. They should be good to go!

For Dan, I got a gift that I know he will enjoy: A night out on the town, with gift certificates for dinner at Heaven on Seven and two tickets for Blue Man Group (I'll point out those are to be used for him and anyone of his choosing - it's tacky to buy someone gifts that you'll use yourself :-) I won't list all the gifts I received except to say that they were all wonderful, and all very much appreciated. (OK, I will mention that I'm going to really enjoy the Thermapen that Dan got me, though!)

Christmas was over all too soon and yesterday we hit the road at 5:45 AM Central Time. We made great time; the only bad weather we ran into was some light rain/snow flurries and high winds through the NC mountains. Surprisingly, the traffic into Chicago wasn't horrible and we pulled into the garage right around 6:00 PM - darned good time!

Today, Dan is off from work, but I'm here like a good worker drone. Naturally, about half of the office is out until next week, but that makes things a bit more bearable. [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, who is already babysitting a surprisingly well-behaved large, white bird (I thought it was a cockatiel, but looking at pictures of them now I'm not so sure), surprised me this morning with another friend that he's keeping an eye on: Nita (she's in the center of that pic). She's a real cutie, but alas, only visiting for one day. But hey, any dog time is always good.

I slept poorly, so I suspect today is going to drag. Nevertheless, it should be pretty mellow - I've got some projects I'm working on, and it's nice to have some peace and quiet in which to do it. Looking ahead, Dan and I are going to see the Blackhawks tomorrow night, and then there's the LAFF New Year's Party this weekend. I'll be in touch with those of you who have volunteered to help out at the door - with luck, we can keep it down to 30 minutes apiece, leaving folks time to go and have fun with other stuff. But now, back to work!
duncandahusky: (License)
So, on Friday it was a fellow contractor's last day so we went out for lunch at the very tasty Opa! Estiatorio in Vernon Hills. I had the moussaka, and it was delicious. I had come into work a little early so I was able to leave at 2:30 PM. I swung over to the Lake Bluff train station and got there just as the [livejournal.com profile] takaza's train pulled in. After a brief stop at the Lake Forest oasis for gas and munchies, we were on the road towards Champaign-Urbana! Of course, until we stopped, about five miles later, as traffic slowed to a crawl. It turns out that the Tri-State Tollway was pretty much backed up its entire length from Lake Cook Road south. We headed off-road and wound up taking Route 45 all the way down to I-80. Yeah, it took three hours (ugh), but at least we were moving most of the time! From there it was a short trip down to Chambana. We got in at around 7:30 or so and went out for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff to a small Italian restaurant. Afterwards we went back to his place and hung out for a bit, then went to bed.

On Saturday we were slow getting going, slow enough that even with a late start [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus was able to join us for lunch when he arrived. I was reminded why I really should avoid the ButterBurger at Culver's, but the rest of the meal was OK. From there we went in search of a Christmas tree for Mirko's house, ending up at the local grocery store. That was fine, since we needed to pick up some groceries anyway. We went back to Mirko's place and did some decorating while he made chili, then folks started showing up for his annual Candlestick Lane party. We house-lighting went well, and then everyone retired indoors, out of the cold and snow, and a night of tasty potables and lots and lots of food ensued. It was a lot of fun.

On Sunday, it was back to the House of Lard for the traditional brunch. Excellent company, and a very tasty meal made it a nice way to cap off the weekend. The trip back was surprisingly quick, taking just a hair more than two hours. If nothing else, this confirmed for me that working a half day before we leave for South Carolina for Christmas is a Very Bad Idea, since traffic gets pretty much retarded very early on. We spent the rest of the day doing laundry, putzing on laptops, watching the Survivor Finale (Boo! I was cheering for Rafe) and chatting with [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck, who stopped by to make forty or fifty pounds of cookie dough.

Looking ahead to this week, we hope to be somewhat social during the week with a few friends, though I note that there is an impending snow storm on Wednesday/Thursday that could really complicate matters. And next weekend? No plans at all, gloriously! We'll be relaxing before we drive down to SC the following weekend to spend Christmas with my family.

And now we're up to date! Back to work I go...
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Another weekend comes and goes, and the clock ticks...ticks...ticks towards the middle of November. Agh!

So, anyway. We wound up doing very little on Friday night, which was pleasant - it offered some nice time to wind down. [livejournal.com profile] datahawk continued her visit into Saturday, and we spent the day bumming around the house. I made some nice pancakes for brunch. I highly recommend whipping the egg whites - it makes a huge difference in the texture of the finished product. Also, I recommend keeping a can of Saco's Buttermilk Powder around for those recipes where you just need a little buttermilk. It keeps for months, too.

For dinner, we met Ed and [livejournal.com profile] chouette for dinner at Reza's. The food was quite tasty, but we found unfortunately that Persian is not a good cuisine for [livejournal.com profile] takaza - too much onions mixed in. Afterwards we walked around a bit and allowed dinner to digest while Chouette talked programming stuff by phone with [livejournal.com profile] hartree. We found a (relatively) new ice cream place on the 5300 block of N. Clark, just up from the Starbucks. They carry ice cream from a small operation in Madison, WI, and it is absolutely divine. I had a hot fudge sundae made with Zanzibar chocolate ice cream (three different kinds of cocoas and almost black), which Dan got a cup of some delicious cinnamon ice cream. Their baked goods looked pretty good too.

Ed and Chouette offered to give us a ride home but we declined, figuring we'd take the Foster bus. Well, we found out too late that the Foster bus had stopped running two hours earlier. Ah well - exercise wasn't going to kill us. We walked the 2.5 miles home, and it was actually quite pleasant.

On Sunday, Data took her leave. After a suitable amount of procrastinating, lazing about, etc., [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus joined Dan and me in a venture down to Sam's Wine and Liquors for a, um, pre-MFF reconnaissance mission. Man, one of these days I'll get out of Sam's for under $60, but I haven't managed it yet. I picked up a lovely bottle of apple wine and a bottle of the extremely tasty Remy Martin 1738 Accord Royal cognac. We'll have these in our room at MFF, of course :-) Afterwards, we attempted to navigate the zoo that is the parking lot in front of the adjacent Whole Foods Market, leading to many and varied comments on my part on the intelligence of the average driver there and how the world would be improved with their swift and efficient eradication, preferably in the most painful way possible. Nevertheless, we were able to park and we picked up a very tasty bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with basil for dinner. We headed home, cooked up dinner, and life was good.

Today is a nice, slow day, for both Dan and myself (a welcome change for Dan!). He had some car trouble that I'll let him talk about (since he never seems to post to LJ - {poke, poke}), but all is well. I've got some grocery shopping to do tonight, and we'll probably take at least one evening after work this week to do some shopping in the Schaumburg area; there's a couple of items that I want to look for around there.

Man, it feels like it's 2 PM for some reason...

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