duncandahusky: (Default)
Right, I have a journal here. I should actually use it :-)

Just to update a few things before they totally slip into the past: Following the craziness that was Wuffmeet, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I slipped into a comfortable winter rhythm. Our cooking has improved, or at least gotten more interesting, with the addition of a Sous Vide Supreme to our kitchen. We are still experimenting and testing recipes, but we've been really impressed with how it cooks steaks and other meats. The fish it makes is to die for, and butter-poached chicken is simply divine. The biggest trick is that seasonings behave differently with low-temperature cooking, so we are still learning what works, what doesn't, and what we still need to try. I'm having a ball with is, and I'm hoping to bring it to Furry Connection North to provide some interesting snacks for our parties!

Our social life has gotten a bit quieter with the departure of close friends [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet to the wilds of the east coast as they move to the heart of Boston. While we were very sad to see them go, I'm really glad to see Roho get his life back from his (former) evil employer. We provided some small help in moving some of their furniture out of their house (I still feel bad about what we did to the wall in their basement stairwell, but I'm told it was a relatively easy fix). Once the movers came and loaded up their stuff, Genet crashed at our place for a few days with Briana, their pretty-but-airheaded Samoyed. She and Buddy got along great (as always), and it was nice to have the extra company. Once all of the contractors were done making their place super-pretty so it could go on the market, she packed up the dog and their two cats and made the long drive to Boston. Here's hoping they can clear all the boxes out of their new place before summer! ;-)

We have been having a lot of fun planning our upcoming cruise to Alaska, coming up around Memorial Day. Somehow our group has reached 18 people from all over - even someone from Sweden! We purchased a good bit of the various parts of the trip over the last month, including flights (Frontier Airlines, MKE-DEN-ANC/SEA-MKE), reservations at a fabulous little lesbian-owned B&B in Anchorage, trains from Anchorage to Seward (where our ship departs) and Vancouver to Seattle, and various shore excursions. Dan is thinking about putting together a group chat on Saturday, March 5, for everyone in our group so we can talk about coordinating schedules and answer any questions that folks might have. We'll be sending around emails for that. This is going to be the longest vacation we've had, and I'm really looking forward to it! We're already brainstorming ideas for group trips for next year as well, including an extended weekend in New Orleans, and a ski weekend at Sugarloaf in Maine. More on that after the cruise!

I should mention that on Groundhog Day we got buried with a blizzard. Twenty inches of snow fell in a very short time, and then the 40-50 mph winds kicked in. We did the smart thing and made sure we had everything we needed and when it started coming down we sat tight at the house. Work for both of us was closed (the first time in a long time!) and we spent the snow day relaxing and Genet made cookies! Our HOA dues have never been more appreciated as we watched the snow removal company try to cope with the huge drifts, though we did get into the act a little bit by excavating Genet's car from the snow.

Somewhere in there was our first Midwest FurFest staff meeting of the year. It's always rough to get started again after the last convention, but there's contracts to sign and plans to get into place. The good news is that Hyatt Regency O'Hare was extremely happy with the convention last year, and now that we all know each other, the coming year will be much easier to plan. We have changed up our meeting schedule a bit, with more online meetings early in the year; this makes sense since most of the staff doesn't really need to spring into action until the summer.

Oh, for those wondering: our conventions schedule this year is to attend Furry Connection North and Midwest FurFest and...that's it. Since the cruise is so long and I only have ten days of vacation, Anthrocon just isn't in the cards for us this year. I wish everyone involved with AC well, though, especially [livejournal.com profile] rooth and [livejournal.com profile] chanur2000, who will be taking over my and Dan's staff positions there, respectively. Good luck, guys!

Finally, Dan and I will be hopping on board the Amtrak Wolverine this evening and taking the train over to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to hang out with the fine folks there for the weekend, and to help determine the beers that will be served at FCN's sponsor lounge. It should be tough, thirsty work! Dan has planned a fun dinner for Saturday night as well. The fun doesn't end there, as it appears that we will be visited by [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] bajahyena next weekend, when we will...well, those plans are a secret!

Off to work now - I hope everyone has a great weekend!
duncandahusky: (Wacky Alton)
So, life has been interesting at work, though it's not much I can comment on in a public journal entry. The good news is, I have a job, it's not in danger of going away any time soon (as far as I know), and I'm keeping busy. Let's leave it at that.

So last week [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I spent a little more time doing some housecleaning and dealing with some of the spring cleaning we had so artfully avoided the weekend before. This was because we were welcoming company. [livejournal.com profile] plonq and [livejournal.com profile] atara rolled in mid-afternoon on Saturday as part of their epic drive from Winnipeg to Ohio. We put together a nice dinner for them, inviting [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] aureth, and [livejournal.com profile] jenwolf (alas, [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus's car blew up and he had to spend the day dealing with that and couldn't make it). Genet made a tasty Asian slaw and banana pudding, and Aureth made a delicious (if sloppy) cherry pie. Dan made some killer macaroni and cheese with bacon.

For my part, I smoked a bunch of chickens in the smoker. Two of them I soaked overnight in a bourbon/honey brine, and two of them in a soy/ginger brine. Once I got the smoker up to a proper temperature, they smoked beautifully with some apple wood I had leftover from last year. Just perfect! The bourbon/honey brine was definitely the lesser of the two - some definite sweetness, but no real bourbon flavor. Everyone agreed that the soy/ginger was the real winner. We whiled away the night chatting and drinking some of Aureth's excellent homebrew, but unfortunately I conked out earlier than I would have liked.

On Sunday, Atara and Plonq spent the day with Atara's sister in Chicago, so Dan and I just hung around the house and relaxed most of the day. Roho and Genet came over in the evening and we watched the season finale to The Amazing Race (still not happy with how it ended, but it could have been much worse). We reheated the leftovers from the previous night, and I whipped up a simple Alabama white BBQ sauce that was absolutely divine with the smoked chicken. Atara and Plonq got home part way through the show and we spent the balance of the evening chatting and poking at our laptops - companionable geekery :-)

On Monday morning we bid farewell to our Canadian guests as they continued their trip eastward. Looking ahead to the coming weekend, we have more company coming, as well as the Midwest FurFest staff meeting. This should be a fun one - it's an in-person meeting at the Hyatt O'Hare in the middle of Anime Central, a 12,000-person anime convention. If anyone is at ACen and wants to stop by to say hi, we'll be in the Hartsfield Room at the Hyatt from 2 PM until around 4 PM!
duncandahusky: (Crochet)
Well, that was a fun-but-busy weekend!

On Friday [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I finished up the last bit of housecleaning from the week in preparation for guests. I went ahead and bought a gas grill and propane tank, too. We're not getting rid of the charcoal grill, I assure you! I love that smoker too much. No, this is for weeknight cooking, when we don't want to fool with getting a proper charcoal fire going but would like something grilled and quick. I still believe that the flavor and cooking qualities of charcoal are superior, but when we had a gas grill in North Carolina we used it at least 3 nights per week. Now...I just need to put the fool thing together :-)

[livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] baja_hyena drove in on Friday night (arriving late enough that I had already gone to bed!), and [livejournal.com profile] r_bear flew in on Saturday. We decided on a late lunch at one of my favorite places that we hadn't been to in ages, The Firkin. Their beer selection has always been top-notch, but we had found their food so-so. The beer was still excellent, but the big surprise was that the food was fantastic as well! We had a really enjoyable meal. We finished off the rest of the evening hanging out at our place and chatting (and, um, imbibing just a bit).

Sunday brought the Midwest FurFest staff meeting. It was quick and relatively painless, and after the meeting I was able to give some tours to folks who needed to see what was where. We had an early dinner at Red Bar in the Hyatt, and while the food wasn't bad the prices were, um, hotel-like. In spite of that, I suspect I'll be eating more than one meal there during the convention. Ford and Baja hit the road after the meeting, but RB and [livejournal.com profile] graywolf769 came back to our place and we hung out and chatted for a while. After Gray left for the ride back to Indiana, we watched a bit of TV and went to bed.

Dog-wise, we hit a great milestone this weekend. We tried giving Buddy the run of the house when we went to lunch on Saturday and again when we were at the staff meeting on Sunday. In both cases he behaved himself perfectly! As far as I'm concerned the crate is a thing of the past for him (thanks for the loan, [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet!). He seemed so much happier when I went home to walk him at lunch today, so I think we're making the right decision. Health-wise, his digestive system seems to be working much better and he's slowly gaining weight back into a more healthy range. We're going to need to buy him a new harness because the medium-sized one is quickly becoming too tight! He was also a perfect gentleman all weekend with our guests, snuggling right up to them :-)

So, now the new work week has started. There's nothing crazy going on at work, thank heavens. I've got an appointment with my optician this afternoon, then I'll probably go to work putting Boxee on an old server we have (not sure if I'll put Windows or Ubuntu on there for the OS - we'll see what happens). The new gas grill needs to be put together too - Dan may do that today or I'll do it tomorrow. Generally speaking, though, it should be a pretty low-stress week.

(Oh, and if you're waiting to reserve a suite for Midwest FurFest, watch this space! And [livejournal.com profile] midwest_furfest, and Twitter, and our website, and our forums...)
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Now the The Month From Hell is over, I can finally come up for air.

The last few weeks have featured a whole lot of early mornings, late nights, and working weekends. I'm looking forward to having a little more normalcy in our lives now.

Saturday sucked - I was at work from 8:30 until 4:45 PM putting the finishing touches on the final report for the project at work. Nothing like having your boss, his boss, and HIS boss keeping an eye on your work as you're writing the report. I got a nice round of kudos once it was done, though, so that was nice.

Yesterday was a real hoot. [livejournal.com profile] takaza, [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck, and [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus took part in the Fox Lake Polar Plunge, a fundraiser for the Special Olympics. I posted a sample of the pictures I took on Facebook, and you can see the full album here. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] rolliebear, and RJ for showing up and providing moral support. After the event we went home and the swimmers showered, then we got some lunch. Roho and Genet had to take off, but the rest of the folks hung out at our place for the afternoon, chatting. It was a lovely way to spend the day! After folks left we watched The Amazing Race. I have to say that I'm really liking the cowboys - they're smart, they play the game well, and they've got a great sense of humor. As for who will be gone next, my money is on either the detectives or the brothers.

So it's a new month, and I'm looking forward to working on some new personal projects. I have some MFF work to take care of this week, and we need to get the builders into our house to take care of some warranty work. We're working on possibly adopting a pair of adorable dogs, but the shelter is being amazingly picky about things and we may get turned down, though I'm still not sure why. I'll be calling them today and figuring out what's going on. Also, we've got some planning to do on our fall trip and Memorial Day festivities as well. Oh yeah, and there's this Anthrocon thing I need to start planning for...
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Right, about time for a proper update I suppose.

Once again, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I were able to celebrate the new year by hosting Wuffmeet New Year's Eve (our fourth in a row). Once again, it was an awesome party as we welcome about 40 friends to the cozy confines of our usual hotel for three full days of hanging out, swimming, hot-tub-soaking, and just a wee bit of imbibing. I think we really did well on the food this year: the New Year's Eve dinner from Brown's Chicken was tasty, but Saturday night's dinner catered by Smoque was definitely a home run. Add to that a very entertaining (and very inexpensive!) trip to Whirlyball, and I'd say that it was an excellent Wuffmeet all around. Thanks to all who could make it! A notable thing about this year: it's the first Wuffmeet ever where we were in the black, even if it was just a little bit. That was a nice change, too.

Work has been crazy over the last few weeks, including having to work between Christmas and New Year's for the first time in a few years. It was annoying, but not the end of the world, even if I did have to work until 2 PM on New Year's Eve. I finally wrapped up the last bit of really high-pressure stuff yesterday, so it's nice to actually have a chance to breathe again.

Things weren't helped by the fact that both Dan and I got sick after Wuffmeet (only two of several folks who got sick, unfortunately). Dan's getting over a sinus infection and mild bronchitis, and I think I need to see a doctor about my chronic bronchitis since I'm coughing a lot at night. This should be fun since at the first of the year I moved onto my employer's health plan after having been on Dan's plan for the last eight years. We had the distressing realization that with the tax penalties for domestic partners, we were losing about $1,300 per year by keeping me on his health plan. So, I don't have a health insurance card or prescription card, but I'll need to figure out how to see a doctor in the meantime. Fun!

Finally, we had the pleasure of spending the some time with [livejournal.com profile] girtygrin, [livejournal.com profile] nikvulper, and [livejournal.com profile] eddiddiums as they visited Chicago last weekend. After hanging out and chatting at their hotel on Friday (joined by [livejournal.com profile] daveqat, [livejournal.com profile] jimcyl, and [livejournal.com profile] tecknow as well as several locals who we saw fleetingly before they took off), we met up with them in time for brunch on Saturday, which we had at Wishbone (and were joined by [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus). The biscuits and gravy were transcendent, and my shrimp and grits were delicious.

We then walked up to Paulina Market where we picked up some tasty meats (and I got some duck fat, yum!), then it was over to Dave and Jim's place to hang out and chat for a bit. We ventured into the cold to stop by Evil Squirrel Comics to say hi to [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn and Ryan, then it was time for dinner. We wound up at The Curragh (yes, the Irish pub that was near Woodfield Mall - they finally re-opened in Norwood Park!). Dinner was excellent, and the Magner's cider was much appreciated. It was a very fun day spent with some very cool folks - we definitely need to return the favor and see more of Ann Arbor soon.

On Sunday...well, on Sunday we rested. It was glorious - a quiet day at home, and after spending the morning doing not much, I took a nap in the afternoon. Unheard of! Dan got to sleep in untilt he crack of noon as well. It was just what we needed, I think.

So that's about it right now. Oh, I did want to mention that yesterday marked the eighth anniversary of this journal. It's been a crazy eight years, but I'm pretty happy with how everything has worked out.
duncandahusky: (Thoughtful)
Oh my goodness, that was crazy.

As most of you already know, this past weekend was Moving Weekend for us. We have moved all of five miles to the west to the lovely village of Volo, Illinois. Here's how it went down...

On Friday [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I took care of some last-minute packing after work then relaxed a bit until [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd showed up shortly after midnight.

Saturday morning the alarm went off all-too-early at 7 AM. We dropped Dan off to pick up the rental truck, then Ford and I dropped off the TV at the new place, picked up some doughnuts at Lovin' Oven, and sandwich fixings at Garden Fresh. By the time we got back, the truck was already half-loaded! The next few hours were a blur, but I am amazed and gratified to report that the following wonderful and amazing people helped move everything out from the old place and into the new place: [livejournal.com profile] brianblackberry, Ford, [livejournal.com profile] fuzzbear, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] grabstein_69, Ian, [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] posicat, [livejournal.com profile] quickcasey, [livejournal.com profile] roho. [livejournal.com profile] shy_matsi, [livejournal.com profile] silverwind, Takaza's Mother, Takaza's Sister, [livejournal.com profile] tozier_wah, [livejournal.com profile] wolfbrotherjoe. We couldn't have done it without any of you. Thanks, everyone!

We wrapped up the move at about 5 PM. After everyone had rested a bit (and regrettably several folks had to take their leave), pizza arrived from Giordano's. [livejournal.com profile] aureth and [livejournal.com profile] jenwolf joined us after a long day of drywalling at their place, as well. There followed a memorable evening of friends, boozahol (who knew dirty martinis with pickled okra could be so good?), and much laughter. Highlights included Roho laughing until he couldn't breathe over a certain story involving skidmarks, Ford macking on Dan's mom (and getting shot down spectacularly), and a several things that probably shouldn't be committed to a public posting :-)

Sunday morning started slowly (for some reason...). Poor Ford didn't get much sleep the night before so I made sure he got at least enough sleep to function (though not quite enough, evidently). Once he was up and about we went out and had a nice lunch at a local Mexican joint, then did a bit of fake fur shopping at Jo Ann Fabrics. We stopped by the house to find Roho and Genet had come over with their Samoyed, Briana. We hung out there for a bit then Ford and I went over to the old place to pick up a few things that had been left behind; looking around the place and comparing it to what we're moving in to, I'm left with the indelible impression that our old place was, um, a bit of dump :-)

Ford hit the road from there, and I came back to the house and spent the afternoon putting up blinds in the living room. Unfortunately, as I was stepping around hanging the brackets, I stepped on one of the sectional sofa pieces wrong and it broke :( In talking with the guy who sold it to us, it'll be cheaper to replace it then repair it (and the quality will be better), so I ordered the replacement today. Ouch. Anyway, two of the blinds are up and I picked up the third at Home Depot during lunch; I'll be putting that up tonight.

We're awash in boxes, the garage is so full of stuff that we can't even park one car in there let alone two, only half the windows are covered, and there's no art on the walls. But you know what? It's ours. We have a home again.

Oh yes, and what usually follows moving? That's right, a housewarming party! September and October are a bit busy for us, but it looks like the best time for a housewarming party is going to be Saturday, October 24th. Look for more information as the time gets closer!
duncandahusky: (Wagging Husky)
And we didn't really even do that much!

Last weekend, [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd came up to visit. We were, of course, mostly selfish and kept the sheppie hidden away, enjoying a quiet weekend at home. We're mean that way :-)

Ford didn't get in until late Friday night, which is how we found ourselves sitting down to dinner at Tramonto's Steak and Seafood with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus at 10:30 PM. They were quite gracious, though, and the meal was delicious. We left there around midnight, and spent the next few hours chatting and unwinding.

Saturday started predictably late. We shared an excellent lunch with [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, and Roho's mom, who I really enjoyed seeing again. Afterward, plans for a semi-fancy dinner sort of fell apart in a fit of laziness and contentment as we relaxed at home, watched some stuff off the Tivo, and enjoyed Ford's company. Pizza was ordered, some truly amazing white port was enjoyed (thanks again, [livejournal.com profile] baja_hyena!), and we closed out the evening with a viewing of The Lion in Winter. Wonderful!

Sunday came all too soon. I enjoyed an excellent lunch at Cooper's Hawk Restaurant and Winery with [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn, [livejournal.com profile] ramalion, Ford, and Linnaeus (the peach bellini was yummy, the raspberry sangria not so much). The Midwest FurFest Board meeting followed shortly thereafter. The one item of note is that Midwest FurFest has a chairman for next year and that would be...[livejournal.com profile] takaza! Yep, it all comes 'round again :-) The staff meeting was mercifully short, and then we took our leave of the merry crowd, dispatching Ford back Columbus-ward with his crew in tow. We spent the evening unwinding and making plans for our trip next week.

After such an excellent weekend, it's tough to get back into the grind. Things were OK at work today, though, and the balance of the week should be busy, but no late nights will be needed.

Oh, and we're working on the real estate front, but nothing new to report there just yet. Sorry, Mom ;-)
duncandahusky: (Thoughtful)
My goodness, it's been a while since a substantial post, hasn't it? Unfortunately, work has risen up to eat my life and the last two weeks have been thoroughly insane there. So, what's been going on?

Click for a recap of our lives... )
Fortunately, Friday is approaching and we're looking forward to a pretty good weekend. A few things planned, but not too much, with some together time planned as well. After the week we've had, I think we both deserve a rest. Tonight, though, it's over to Dan's mom's place for dinner.
duncandahusky: (Tom and Dan)
Oh my goodness, what a weekend! We were graced by the presence of [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] kai_darkwolf this weekend, and I had a blast.

Friday: Surprise Visitors )
Saturday: A Romantic Dinner )
Sunday: Party One More Time! )

And here we are back at Monday. Dan is sick but working from home and I'm at work feeling very tired. I'm sad that I had to miss Ford and Jack leaving this morning, but I suspect they're glad I didn't wake them at 6:30 AM to say my goodbyes! I'm going to run home and have lunch with Dan (yay leftover baked ziti) in a short while. Tonight should be nice and quiet, and we'll probably be heading to bed early. This weekend should be relatively quiet too, which will be a nice change of pace!


Feb. 1st, 2009 11:04 pm
duncandahusky: (Wine glass)
It's far too late for us to be awake on a work night. We just saw everyone from our merry band off a few minutes ago, having spent a truly enjoyable evening of good company, excellent food and drink, and some football game or something. The roster included hot spinach and artichoke dip (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus), loaded fries with bacon and cheese (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] roho & [livejournal.com profile] genet), and tasty chips (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell and [livejournal.com profile] magicpaw). [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I made pork belly sandwiches, Chinese-style, mini-burgers with garlic-herb cheese and sautéed onions, and Dan made dessert: apple and chocolate pocket pies. The dead soldiers included Browning's Bourbon Barrel Stout, Unibroue 15 Strong Pale Ale, Gouden Carolus Classic Belgian Strong Ale, and several bottles of Brother Thelonius Belgian Style Abbey Ale.

It was a very good night! And now, we're off to bed. Zzzzzzzzz...
duncandahusky: (License)
When last I wrote, we were looking forward to seeing what Sunday would bring during [livejournal.com profile] takaza's and my visit to Columbus, Ohio as we visited [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] kai_darkwolf. After a whirlwind day on Saturday, Sunday was a bit less busy, something for which I was quite grateful!

Following a nice, lazy morning we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] rayneepanda and the five of us ventured forth to North Market, a kind of farmer's market/foodie paradise. With the exception of a parking lot that made me rather homicidal, I adored this place. I picked up a tasty Vietnamese sub (banh mi thit) for lunch from the Vietnamese counter, and then for dessert we had some of the amazing ice creams from Jeni's Ice Cream. As tasty as the cherry lambic was, I opted for a trio of goat cheese with cherry compote, cucumber Piersporter, and wild berry lavender. Oh my gosh, it was so good!

Following a bit of uncertainty about what to do next, we opted to skip the crowds and traffic craziness at Easton Town Center and instead crashed back at Ford and Jack's place and watched Little Miss Sunshine, a wonderfully twisted movie I had not seen yet. I really enjoyed it. Julie headed home shortly after the movie.

We wrapped things up with a delicious meal featuring garlic-rosemary-and-pepper-rubbed steaks, rosemary-infused mashed potatoes, and for dessert, a wonderful combination of creme fraiche with basil served over macerated fresh strawberries, as well as a molasses-banana pie. Ford claims he doesn't know how to cook; I think he's full of it :-) After dinner we relaxed for a few hours playing some Wii and winding down.

On Monday it was time to hit the road. We opted for a more scenic route home, through Van Wert, OH and Fort Wayne, IN. Shockingly, we ran into no traffic as we passed through downtown Chicago on our way home. We pulled in a few minutes before 6 PM, which left us some time to relax and start some laundry. Dinner was ordered from Olando's, with a small pizza for Dan and a half-rack of barbecued ribs for me.

Thanks again to Jack and Ford for their hospitality! We had such a great time. Your dogs are awesome (I want to steal Pete!) and your house is fabulous - I'm afraid I now have bungalow envy :-) I hope that we have the opportunity to get back to Columbus again sometime soon!
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
[livejournal.com profile] takaza and I are halfway through a lovely weekend in Columbus, Ohio, staying with [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and [livejournal.com profile] kai_darkwolf. We were able to scoot out of Chicago earlier than expected, at about 11 AM on Friday. Traffic was surprisingly light and we made it to Columbus in less than seven hours. Because we are horrible guests, we surprised Ford and Jack with a call saying we would be earlier than expected, but they handled it with aplomb. After some pleasant chatting and a tour of their lovely house. It reminds me of how much I really loved my bungalow in Joliet, subsiding foundation, collapsed sewer tile, and all. For dinner we went to the Elevator Brewing and Draught Haus. The food was quite tasty, though the beer was somewhat lacking. The company more than made up for that, though. And yes, visiting their place reminds me that we need a dog(s), since I'm really enjoying being around Nathan, Pete, and the visiting Jazz.

Yesterday we had a somewhat early start as we met up with Rob and Dean (alas, I can't recall Rob's furry handle, but Dean is SeetherWolf) at the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and an entertaining tour of the CSI exhibit ("Darn, I left my syrup of ipecac at home!"). After wandering around a bit we adjourned for a tasty lunch at Ted's Montana Grill where we amused our waitron muchly with silliness. The evening brought a great party with about 15 people, some truly amazing marinated and grilled pork tenderloins, and lots of beer. Life was good. I was amused to hear that Dan knows Dean from about ten years ago (and hey [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell - Dean says hi!). Furry fandom is indeed a small town. It was great to see some familiar faces ([livejournal.com profile] alaskanwolf, [livejournal.com profile] kwik, [livejournal.com profile] truegrave9) and make some new friends.

As for today? Probably a lot more laid back. We'll seek some lunch eventually, maybe meet up with Kwik, and there were rumors of going to see a movie. Maybe. Who knows? We're having a blast, that's all that matters. I'm keeping an ongoing gallery of the weekend, sure to be updated more as the weekend goes on.

On a more serious note, I'm keeping an eye on Hurricane Gustav. Even though my links to New Orleans are somewhat tenuous (a year and a half at Tulane University over twenty years ago), I still have wonderful memories of my time there. [livejournal.com profile] genet, I'm keeping your family in my thoughts and I'm hoping everyone rides out the storm OK. The same goes for everyone who has those they hold dear who are in the storm's path. After the terrible events of three years ago, I dearly hope that there were some good lessons learned and that those will be well-applied over the coming days.
duncandahusky: (Crochet)
(Narnia not included)

Wow, so this is what a quiet, lazy weekend is like. I haven't seen one of these in a long time.

Since my last substantial post, not too much has happened. Work has returned to more normal stress levels, thank heavens. [livejournal.com profile] takaza is finally feeling better - thanks to everyone for their kind words. Unfortunately, this is a chronic condition that can't be cured, but can be managed. He's working on finding a new doctor who will help him with that.

Meanwhile, on Monday I did join [livejournal.com profile] mongologue at one of the Chicago stops of his long, long road trip. [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] simbalion, and [livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar joined him for a fabulous dinner at Tre Kronor. Great company and delicious food.

On Thursday, [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet came over, ostensibly to go to the Lake County Fair. However, after evaluating exactly how much fun there would be available for an $8 admission fee, we instead opted to go to Vickie's Place for a pleasant dinner right out on the Fox River. Dessert afterwards was from Oberweiss, which was expensive but tasty as usual.

Following a quiet Friday night in, I went over to my friendly local podiatrist to have one last ingrown toenail taken care of. This has left me gimpy and slightly grumpy, unfortunately. Dan's mom came over for dinner last night and I'm afraid I wasn't the most sociable, but Dan did grill up an excellent steak dinner with Syracuse salt potatoes and grilled onions and grilled corn.

And here we are at today. Dan is working on the final reconciliation of Anthrocon's finances. I hope to add some small bit of help where I can as well. For the most part though, it's just a quiet, pleasant afternoon.
duncandahusky: (WTF?)
So the craziness of the past week and a half is done, and I'm looking forward to a busy, but not insane week ahead. Now that I have time to breathe, let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. )
duncandahusky: (Tom and Dan)
Oh my goodness. Now that was a heck of a holiday weekend!

On Friday night, the out-of-towners arrived... )
On Saturday, the party really started... )
On Sunday, things were more relaxed, but much fun was had... )
On Monday, we were sad to see folks go... )
What an amazing weekend. Thanks so much to Ford, Jack, and Kwik for coming up from Columbus, and thanks to all of our great friends for making this such an enjoyable weekend for us. I hope you all had as good a time as we did, and I look forward to our next party...just as soon as we've fully recovered from this one :-)


May. 26th, 2008 01:57 am
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
It's very, very late, and I'm just thinking about the last two days. A fantastic party, followed by a day of relaxing, games, and a crappy movie at a great drive-in theater with good friends. This has been a wonderful weekend, and I'm looking forward to spending a bit more time with friends tomorrow before we have to get back to mundane things like doing laundry and housecleaning.

If I'm lucky I'll be able to sleep in come morning, though...
duncandahusky: (Mmmm...beer)
Two great things go great together!

Yesterday, after a long day spent running back and forth across campus working on various projects, I got out from work just a little late and headed north to Milwaukee. I met up with [livejournal.com profile] tozier_wah and [livejournal.com profile] little_wolf near their place, then we carpooled in to downtown Milwaukee, taking the scenic route up I-794 along the lakefront. We had a few wrong turns along the way - did you know the Marquette Interchange is partially open now? Neither did I! We inadvertently drove through it twice. Finally we arrived at our destination, Milwaukee Public Market.

We were the for Mooo & Brew, a beer and cheese tasting to benefit the Hunger Task Force. Predictably, the place was a mob scene, but we had a lot of fun. We were joined at the last minute by [livejournal.com profile] jet_der_hund, and we had a great time critiquing the various cheese (yum!) and beers (mostly yum, though there were a few clunkers). My favorite was (of course) the Unibroue lineup, which featured a wheat beer (Blanche de Chambly), then the same beer flavored with apples (Éphémère Apple) and cranberries (Éphémère Cranberry). Best of all was the Don de Dieu triple wheat ale, which just knocked my socks off (easy to do, at 9% alcohol!).

After we had enjoyed all the beers and decided that it was probably really a good time to get some dinner, we wandered around the Market a bit and I introduced everyone to The Spice House and we hit a couple of other places. We visited the small wine shop there, which was doing great business selling the beers which were being tasted upstairs. I hadn't intended to buy anything, but when they mentioned a free Unibroue glass with every Unibroue beer, I had to pick up a bottle of the Don de Dieu! The guys working the shop were very friendly and we had a lot of fun joking around with them. We asked for recommendations on places fro dinner and they steered us away from our original choice and recommended a couple of others instead.

So off we went into the rapidly-gentrifying Third Ward, admiring the art shops and oh-so-trendy bars. We stopped by Hinterlands Gastropub, but were scared off by the entrees that started at $30. We wound up taking the wine shop guys' advice and settled on Water Buffalo. Dinner was delightful, with great conversation and very tasty food. I had a blast and I think everyone else did as well. And I learned all about IML! :-) Afterwards, we walked down to the Foundry location of Alterra, but alas they closed a half hour before we go there. So we walked back to our cars and said our good-nights.

What a great evening! My only regret is that I didn't get home until 11, so I'm dragging a bit today. It was worth it, though! I look forward to getting up to Milwaukee more and exploring with friends.
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Work work work, busy busy busy. It's a crazy week for me, but it's time to take a break a write a bit about the past weekend.

On Saturday, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I took the train into Chicago and met up with [livejournal.com profile] fordshepherd and his "Bestest Friend" Julie (tsk, [livejournal.com profile] kai_darkwolf - you're just going to have to try harder improve your friend status). We met up at Union Station and then jumped in a cab to visit the West Loop location of Wishbone Restaurant. We had a light lunch and a thoroughly enjoyable conversation about random things.

Afterwards we walked a block west and admired Oprah's Harpo Studios, then across the street and into the Oprah Store, mainly for Julie's benefit. Ford tried extremely hard to get us thrown out of the store for not showing the utmost reverence for the Great and Powerful "O"; it was vastly amusing to watch the oh-so gay male salespeople giving us the stink-eye as it became more and more clear that we really didn't belong there.

Once we escaped there, we started what seemed like a short walk but wound up being about two and a half miles through The Loop. Following a quick stop by Intelligentsia Coffee (which we had to pass on, since the place was jam-packed), we walked up to Moonstruck Chocolate. We relaxed for a bit there with some conversation and hot chocolate, then proceeded up Michigan Avenue for our next stop, Vosges Chocolate (at Ford's insistence). This turned out to be a good call - I tried the Bianca Cocoa, an astonishing mix of vanilla, lemon myrtle, lavender, and white chocolate. It was truly delicious. I also picked up a "Rooster" truffle, made of Taleggio cheese, walnuts, vanilla, and bittersweet chocolate. Delicious!

Our next stop was Galt Toys, since Julie wanted to peruse stuffed animals. Alas, their selection was limited, but Ford did find a plush cheetah that he decided needed to come home with him. Finally, we went to the Disney Store and I learned that Rémy is apparently an extremely popular character - so popular they can't keep any merchandise with him on it in stock. Ah well. Dan did pre-order the 101 Dalmatians DVD, so at least it was a worthwhile trip.

It was time to go back to Ford and Julie's hotel, some flophouse called The Drake Hotel. Ford wanted to take a cab, but I pointed out that it was a short bus ride. I was informed that one does not simply "take the bus" to The Drake. This would qualify as "medium pimping", and was simply not to be considered. So we took a cab :-) Following a brief tour of Ford and Julie's room (luxuriously appointed, and an ingenuous use of a relatively small space) and their dropping off their purchases, it was back downstairs and into a cab for dinner.

We chose the restaurant for dinner, so of course we had to pick our favorite restaurant: Heaven on Seven. The meal was divine, as usual, and I went with the "Feed Me Jimmy Junior". This time around that included: crawfish cake in remoulade, small samplers of gumbo and turtle soup (the latter the highlight of the meal for Ford, I think), a Voodoo chicken enchilada, and strip steak over mashed potatoes. For dessert, I can never turn down their chocolate pecan pie. It was a stellar meal, and the company was excellent. We parted ways after dinner, as Dan and I headed back to Union Station and the long train ride home. It was a fantastic day out with good friends, and I had a really good time. Somewhere in the course of the day Ford extracted a promise from Dan and I that we would be visiting Columbus sometime soon, so I suppose we're bound to that. Oh darn!

We got a late start on Sunday (gosh, I wonder why?), but Dan and I had to part ways - he to help his mother get her DVR running properly and get her tax information to help her file them, and I to the Midwest FurFest storage locker. I met up with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus there and we dug around a bit, looking for some Art Show equipment and checking out what Registration equipment Paul would have to work with. For lunch we went over to Pierogi Place (yum!) and had a nice like chat over lunch. That evening, there was the online MFF staff meeting, which went OK but not as well as I would have liked - I forgot to call on a few people, and I completely forgot to follow up on action items from the previous meeting. I'll need to take better notes before the meeting next time to remind myself of these things.

This week is, as I said, quite busy. Between some projects finally getting off the ground and lots of meetings, it's going to be hectic. But things are going well, and I'm enjoying what I'm doing. That counts for a lot, I guess!
duncandahusky: (Chewy!)
After all that hemming and hawing about what to serve on Saturday, we wound up punting and changing the proposed menu completely. [livejournal.com profile] takaza got up shockingly early (9 AM) and by 11 AM we were on the road running errands. We decided to make a big ol' pot of chili and supplement it with tasty accoutrements like rice, queso fresco, and chopped onions. I made a batch of homemade cornbread that unfortunately not only turned out dry and flavorless but, when I was trying to get it out of the Pyrex glass pan, the pan slipped and landed on the inside of my forearm, giving me a large, nasty-looking burn (fortunately, it only looks nasty - it's about as painful as a sunburn).

We wound up with 12 guests in attendance, including Dan's family. We had a really fun time, and there was good food, good beer, good wine, and good company. The evening seemed to fly by. We finally said good night to everyone by midnight. As usual, we didn't get to play as many games as Dan would have liked - next time, we need to focus less on the food and more on the games.

Sunday was delightfully lazy. We snacked off leftovers, and finally got around to watching the Super Bowl about an hour after it had started, Tivo-style. That made the game (and the commercials) much more enjoyable, and since I didn't really have a favorite to win, it was nice to just watch and appreciate some good football.

This week has been crawling by, as I knew it would - don't the weeks before vacations always slow down? I fully intend to take some work home with me this afternoon, though, since the forecast is for 8"-12" of snow up here, with the worst of it falling between 4 AM and noon tomorrow. If it's really bad, I have no intention of trying to get in to work. That's fine, though - I have a stack of about 50 SOP's I need to read by the end of the week, and I can do it at home or here.

By the way, on a complete tangent: Does anyone else use Del.icio.us? I can be found on there under the username DuncanHusky. I tend to use it to bookmark good recipes that I want to come back to, funny comics, and other random things (random example: the amusing comic "I Am a Host at The Olive Garden").
duncandahusky: (Mmmm...beer)
Yep, it's cold. Just like they said it would. It was 0° F out this morning and will be soaring up to 15° F by this afternoon...all with a 10-20 mph wind. Toasty!

So back to the weekend. [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I met up with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] datahawk, [livejournal.com profile] roho, and [livejournal.com profile] genet for lunch at my favorite suburban beer outpost, The Firkin in Libertyville. I had a fine time, sampling some truly excellent beers: Lagunitas Brewing's Lumpy Gravy American Strong Ale (celebrating the 40th anniversary of Frank Zappa's seminal album of the same name), Lagunitas Brewing's Brown Shugga Barley Wine, and Unibroue's Trois Pistoles Strong Dark Ale.
Given that the first was 7% alcohol and the other two 10% and 9% respectively...yeah, I really enjoyed those beers! The chicken and shrimp etoufee was only OK, but with beers like that, who cares? The downside is that for a little more we could have gone to Tramonto's Steak and Seafood and gotten a much better meal, so The Firkin isn't someplace we go all that often.
After lunch we all headed up to Roho and Genet's place in Antioch and admired their bowling-alley-in-progress (well, not really - they're installing hardwood floors, and [livejournal.com profile] feren commented on the similarity to a bowling alley...) and then relaxed with multiple episodes of Ninja Warrior and some fun conversation.

Sunday? Yeah. Lots of laundry. All day long. OK, and lots of Psychonauts, too, since I'm re-playing my way through the game. I also broke down the ten-pound pork loin we bought the weekend before into meal-size packages of pork chops, and then ground up the trimmings into sausage and froze that as well.

That'll hold for now. More to write but I have to tend to a few things...

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