duncandahusky: (Ky00t Duncan)
...of doing pretty much nothing. Ain't it grand? Yesterday we bummed around the house until late afternoon, then drove over to Sunset Foods, a Chicago-area grocery chain that kind of falls between Jewel and Whole Foods Market. They had everything we needed, but had a very interesting selection of stuff. Nice to know that there's an option when I need something a little more upscale than my usual haunt (Garden Fresh Market) come up short, like when we need crème fraiche. On the bright side, we scored some Passover Pepsi, made with cane sugar - very tasty! While we were out the rain turned to sleet and then snow; I'm glad we wrapped up when we did. We stayed in for the rest of the night, making a simple dinner and watching the latest episode of "Dollhouse".

Today has been even more relaxed. Dan and I had a nice shower, and he is now making homemade macaroni and cheese with bacon while I enjoy a nice drink (Tanqueray Rangpur Gin + Meyer Lemon Soda - yum!). We've got a new episode of "The Amazing Race" tonight, which is always awesome. We've been talking about plans for Memorial Day, and clearly we have a couple of weekends that will be spent doing a deep cleaning of the place in order to get it up to snuff according to my various neuroses :-) Hope everyone has had an excellent weekend!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
What a great weekend! The skies were sunny, the temperatures were above 60 degrees (F), which made it cause to at least open a few windows and air out the house a bit to celebrate the impending spring (geeky meteorological note: This was the first weekend in Chicago in six months where the highs on both Saturday and Sunday have been over 60 degrees, according to Tom Skilling).

As I mentioned on Friday, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and [livejournal.com profile] justincheetah attended the Cubs game while I slaved over a hot computer at work (there's some neat tales to be told from that, but I'll let Dan tell that story). After work, I drove down and met them and [livejournal.com profile] calapurr, then from there we met up with [livejournal.com profile] perro and [livejournal.com profile] darkwolph, then headed over to [livejournal.com profile] kodi_pup's swanky new digs, where we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] invncble.

After some hemming and hawing (and being assisted by Cheetah's forethought to bring his EVDO-equipped laptop with OpenTable bookmarked), we decided to head down to Emmett's Ale House. Tasty beer was had, and my burger with portabellas, sautéed onions, and Boursin was divine. The company was excellent as well! Afterwards we retired back to Cheetah and Cala's to watch Ratatouille, but Dan and I had to bow out early due to the long drive home. What a great evening, though!

On Saturday we celebrated the weather by getting out and indulging in some retail therapy. Highlights included some wardrobe expansion at Berman's, some tasty ice cream, picking up some lovely rosemary-mint bath products, finally spending my Williams Sonoma gift card (thanks [livejournal.com profile] colliedoc!), and making our second round of purchases for a certain party next weekend. Oh, and getting sleazed on by the used car Sleep Number bed salesman. I'm afraid it will take more than just sweet-talking to get us to buy at $2,500 - $3,000 bed.

We were tired after all that running around, so we opted to go home and crash in lieu of further socializing. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tozier_wah and Perro for the invite, though!

The weather on Sunday was every bit as lovely as Saturday's. Following a nice and relaxing morning and a quick grocery run, [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, and [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus came over for some very enjoyable grilling. Nothing complicated, just burgers and brats and grilled veggies, but it was all delicious. The evening flew by and we had a lot of fun. It's so nice to know that the grilling season will soon be on us. My to-do list for smoking includes ribs, pork shoulder, brisket, and chicken or turkey. I can't wait!

This week is going to be pretty low-key. Since we're heading out to Ann Arbor on Friday, we're going to stay in, keep costs down, and get ready for the weekend. I've got a couple of statistics classes on Wednesday and Thursday, so this is effectively a two-day work week for me, which is quite lovely. I've got a rather extended to-do list of stuff for MFF tonight, though, so there's plenty to keep me occupied at work and at home!
duncandahusky: (Grr. Argh.)
Another Tuesday, another exciting weekend recap. Well, for some value of exciting.

It was confirmed that we got a full twelve inches of snow on Friday. Fortunately, it warmed up and half of it was melted away by the end of the weekend. Still, it was very pretty to look at on Saturday morning and relax with a nice cup of coffee and some nice music playing. Once [livejournal.com profile] takaza woke up, we got to work cleaning up the living room and dining room, then moving all the furniture into the kitchen to give the carpet a needed steam-cleaning.

While the carpet dried we went out for a tasty dinner at Scott Dogs, stopped by Antioch Liquors for the first round of purchases for Furry Connection North, then stopped by Garden Fresh Market to do some grocery shopping. It was an expensive trip there, but with boneless skinless chicken breasts and strip steaks on sale, we laid in a supply of both for the freezer. The carpet was almost, but not quite, dry when we got home, so we arranged furniture as best we could and relaxed for the rest of the evening poking at our laptops.

On Sunday, Dan was feeling sort of blah and antisocial, so I struck out on my own for the Easter dinner that [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus was hosting at his place. [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] siriuswolfstar and [livejournal.com profile] simbalion, and [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck were also in attendance. Dinner was a very tasty roasted turkey breast, sausage wrapped in brioche, garlic mashed potatoes, and salad. Just excellent! For dessert, Roho and Genet made their tasty cinnamon monkey bread. They were also kind enough to give me a lift home. I had a blast, but getting to bed at 12:15 AM damn near killed me the following day.

Monday both Dan and I were dragging. After we both got home and took care of some chores around the house, we were feeling a bit better, and Dan made a delicious dinner of chicken and rice. The rest of the week looks like it's going to be pretty low-key, as will this weekend. That's good, though - I like having some quiet time with my wuff!
duncandahusky: (Grr. Argh.)
It's been a week since I posted, and there's a reason. It seems that the time when work gets busiest is always the time you get sick. Those two things buried me last week.

Cleaning up the pieces from a broken project at work kept me busy for the first two days of last week. Then Wednesday and Thursday were the first two days of a four-day course on introductory statistics. Oh my god, you have no idea how boring that was. And me attempting to cough up a lung during it - yeah, I was having a great time. When Friday came around I came in long enough to get all of the paperwork for my project squared away then I went home and relaxed for a while. A brief trip to the doctor showed that the sore throat, coughing, and sinus issues were pretty much just the garden-variety Upper Respiratory Ick that has been going around. She said it was probably viral, but prescribed some antibiotics anyway (um...yeah. Well, OK.)

I felt a little better on Saturday, though I woke up far too early and wound up having to grab a nap in the afternoon. [livejournal.com profile] takaza took good care of me and made a run to the grocery store. Then we went up to [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet's, where were joined by [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] feren, [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon, [livejournal.com profile] colliedoc, [livejournal.com profile] hypersnazz, and Straif and Hux's sweet short-haired husky Vic. We had a very pleasant evening of tasty food, good drinks, and good company.

I woke up waaaay too early Sunday morning with reflux issues. I poked at my laptop a bit but then the plug to the computer from the power adapter (which I just bought two months ago) finally shorted and gave up the ghost, leaving me computerless. I still had a pleasant morning of reading, so it was OK. That afternoon, Dan and I met Linnaeus at American Science and Surplus (I was looking for spice jars) and Linnaeus was kind enough to lend me his power supply from his old computer, which is identical to mine. After a brief stop to pick up Dan's pre-ordered DVD of 101 Dalmatians, we grabbed a quick dinner then went home where I collapsed, feeling pretty drained.

And here we are, the start of a new work week. I'm clearly still not up to 100%, but feeling better incrementally each day. The project I'm working on is now humming along without my assistance (yay!) and I can start looking ahead to future projects. I have the last two days of my statistics course this week as well (boo!), but otherwise it should be a pretty easy week.
duncandahusky: (Default)
Yesterday was a bit of an oddity. Both [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I had to work; Dan had to help out in his office for a bit following their relocation on Friday, and I had to go in as part of a plant-wide work day in exchange for everyone getting Monday the 24th off. I was OK with this. The majority of my department sacrificed a vacation day not to come in, but considering I went in at 9 AM and left at 1 PM, I'm glad I went in (plus I don't have any vacation days left!).

Once I got home, I worked on the dish I was making for [livejournal.com profile] datahawk's birthday party while waiting for Dan to come home from work. And waited. And waited. Right when I really started to get worried I heard the garage door open. You see, it was snowing heavily by that point, and he had to drive Route 12 from Palatine to Volo at 25-30 mph. After he got home, the snowfall intensified, and after much discussion and deliberation and worrying, we decided that it just wasn't a good idea to try to make the 42-mile drive down to the party. We're sad we couldn't attend, and I hope that everyone had a great time.

Instead, we spent the evening relaxing, watching the snow fall, and catching up on some of the tons of stuff we have on the Tivo. Dan also made some tasty macaroni and cheese. I trundled off to bed early, while he stayed up to watch stuff I'm not interested in, like "ER".

The sun is out this morning and it looks like the snow has ended. The Magical Snow Elves have come through and plowed our driveway and shoveled our sidewalk, which is lovely. We don't have much plans for today besides laundry and making plans for Christmas. I may try to get a bit of cooking done for Wuffmeet, though, if I feel motivated to run to the store. This is the first time in a few months that we've had a day completely that we didn't need to do anything, and it's a lovely, though strange, feeling!
duncandahusky: (Thoughtful)
Well, as lazy as weekends can be, given the proximity to Midwest FurFest.

On Friday, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I had talked about possibly going out for a quick and simple dinner. Dan lay down to relax a bit at 7 PM, and long about 9 PM I went up and tucked him in for the night 'cause we weren't going anywhere. Eh, I'd had a big lunch, so I had a little cheese and crackers and called it dinner. At least I got caught up on South Park and Drawn Together.

Saturday, I helped Dan with the MFF pocket program and con book, then ran out to do a little shopping. Dinner was tasty homemade buttermilk fried chicken with mashed potatoes. Dan worked hard on the con book into the evening until I suggested he take a break; we relaxed a bit in front of the Tivo then went to bed.

It was more of the same on Sunday, except that while Dan put the finishing touches on the con book and the room setups (since he's Hotel Liaison, too), I worked on dinner. [livejournal.com profile] perro and [livejournal.com profile] wolphy came over and Perro and Dan hammered out the last of the Programming details while I was all domestic in the kitchen and Wolphy noodled on his laptop. For dinner we had baked polenta (imagine lasagna made with strips of polenta instead of noodles, layered with a Bolognese meat sauce and béchamel sauce, with a sprinkle of freshly-grated Parmesan. For dessert, we had hot fudge pudding cake with vanilla ice cream. Yum! Once the programming shop talk was done, there was a lot of good conversation about MFF '08, and general chatting. It was a lot of fun, and it was a real pleasure to hang out with those two!

Then came this morning. I slept poorly, and Dan had to wake me up when the alarm went off at 5:30 AM (he usually sleeps until 6 AM). In spite of dragging a bit this morning I'm doing a lot better now. After work I'll be heading down to our usual staff badge engraver (the shop right around the corner from our house quoted me a price twice what we usually pay, so back to the old reliable). We should be getting a ton of packages this week, from sponsor goodies to A/V equipment to credit card terminals. Somehow our house became Midwest FurFest Package Central! We're going to need to figure out where to stick everything around the house for a few weeks, but we'll make it work.

OK, back to work with me!
duncandahusky: (Ky00t Duncan)
What didn't we do last weekend? Well, we didn't drive any great distance, or fly, or deal with hordes of people. We opted instead for a quieter (and less expensive!) approach to the holiday. As my previous short posts hinted, the weekend had its ups and downs, but it all worked out well in the end.

After work on Friday, we did some quick cleaning around the house in preparation for the weekend's company, then grabbed dinner at Scott Dogs and did a bit of shopping at Sam's Club and Garden Fresh Market.

On Saturday, following a trip back to the podiatrist, who did things that not everyone may be interested in reading about ) The good news is that there's not nearly as much pain as from past procedures, and I'm not gimping around at all. However, I did have to keep my foot elevated on Saturday (as much as possible, anyway) so I was pretty much sidelined while [livejournal.com profile] takaza's family was visiting. We had a lot of fun, though, and played a number of games. Dan cooked up some delicious burritos that everyone enjoyed. I retired on the early side, at 11:30 PM; apparently the party continued another two hours after that.

On Sunday we met [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet for brunch at Scott Dogs (we've seen their Sunday breakfasts advertised and figured it was time to try it). The food was mostly good, thought he service was a bit slow. I could swear that the hollandaise sauce on my eggs benedict was actually a chicken-based white gravy with lemon added, though. Hollandaise sauce should not taste chicken-y, really. Trust me on this. Fortunately, everything else was good and we'd definitely go back, assuming I could ever get Dan up that early again on a Sunday :-) Our original intention had been to go see Stardust after lunch, but nobody was really motivated, so instead we caravanned to Antioch where, following a supply stop at Antioch Liquors, R & G picked up their floofy brainless Samoyed, Briana, and then we headed back to our place.

As mentioned in my previous post, an epic afternoon and evening, of mixed drinks, wine, good company, good television, and amazing steaks did ensue. At some point [livejournal.com profile] colliedoc joined us, and we insisted that he partake until he finally consented to have the steak and oven fried we saved for him and had a little something to drink. We stayed up surprisingly late and had a great time chatting.

Straif had to leave early on Monday, but the rest of us enjoyed a tasty baked French toast casserole with maple syrup for breakfast. Afterwards, Roho, Genet, and Briana took off for home, leaving Dan and I to relax for the rest of the day. We napped a bit, and then enjoyed a quiet evening of snuggling on the sofa and watching Tivo. It was a terrific end to a terrific weekend.

And now we're into the rest of the week. I believe we may be joining friends for a Thai dinner on Friday, then on Saturday we'll be helping folks move, then on Sunday is the Midwest FurFest staff meeting. At least we have a few days to recuperate before the upcoming busy weekend!
duncandahusky: (Chewy!)
Great googly moogly what a weekend. Let's start with the easy part: On Sunday, we didn't do much of anything. Yep, we just sat around the house, watched some TV and relaxed. Why? Well, therein lies the tale...

Friday: Venturing into Chicago )

Scoping out new function space? )

Saturday: The Air and Water Show! )

Attack of the delicious food! A dinner to remember )

So now you understand why we didn't do much on Sunday, eh? :-) As for the rest of the week, we have a gaming night coming up on Thursday, and cleaning to be done in preparation for that. Ah, domesticity!
duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
Sometimes a weekend is so low-key you hardly know it's there until Monday whacks you upside the head with a two-by-four.

We had a nice, relaxing "cat weekend", something that I promised [livejournal.com profile] takaza we'd try to have at least once a month. I'm a go-go-go social butterfly kind of guy, but he needs a weekend to recharge his batteries every so often (and I suppose it doesn't do me any harm either). Dan got to sleep in late both Saturday and Sunday, and we even stayed up far too late on Saturday night (yes, I can stay up later than midnight! So there!).

On Friday we relaxed a bit after work then thought about going out for dinner. We started to leave but looking at the radar and the approaching storm front elected to delay our departure by a half-hour. It's a good thing, too, because a fast-moving storm blew through with torrential rain and 40 mph+ wind gusts. The sky was amazing right after the front went through; Dan took a couple of pictures and e-mailed them off to the local CBS affiliate, who posted both of them to their website! For dinner, Dan wanted to try the Popeye's Restaurant, just because it was something he hadn't had before. One underwhelming meal later, we knew why he hadn't had it before. We won't be returning. After dinner, we decided to stop by the Round Lake Streets of Summer Festival. The rainstorm had taken its toll, and the actual festival attendees were outnumbered by the festival staff and security. It was really pretty sad. We walked through the festival grounds and listened to the increasingly-awful band playing (more volume does not mean better music!) and decided to leave.

On Saturday we had to take my car in to the dealership to have some upholstery checked for a possible warranty repair. That's a whole other rant, though. Afterwards we got a tasty late lunch/early dinner at Scott Dogs. We bummed around the house for a bit, then snuggled up on the sofa and watched Spellbound. I had meant to see this years ago, and I am pleased to report it is every bit as engaging and entertaining as I had heard. What a great movie! Afterwards, we stayed up far too late watching Flip This House.

Sunday we pretty much just bummed around the house before heading out to the week's grocery shopping. Dan made a big pot of a very tasty chicken/rice/chorizo stew which we had for dinner and we'll both be having for lunch for the next few days, then we watched some TiVo before going to bed.

Excitement city, eh? But it was a very enjoyable weekend nonetheless. Oh, and obviously we never did get out to see Waitress. Hopefully it'll still be around next weekend.
duncandahusky: (huskypuppy)
Whoa, that was a crazy weekend. A whole lot of fun, though.

On Friday, [livejournal.com profile] takaza was stuck at work until late. When he got home, we elected to grab dinner at Charcoal Delight, finishing up just as we got a call from [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff the he had arrived at our place. We stopped by to pick him up then went up to Garden Fresh to do a bit of shopping for the following morning. The rest of the evening was a whole bunch of laptop geekery and the very amusing season finale of Ace of Cakes (with a bizarre furry reference in the opening minutes).

Saturday morning we were joined by [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus. Following a quick but tasty breakfast of pancakes, we headed up to the Sports Center in Round Lake Beach for the Spring Stampede. That's a big enough deal that it's going to get its own entry following this one (with very silly pictures!), but suffice to say that we had a lot of fun. After that wrapped up we met up with [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet at Antioch Liquors (of course). After some shopping there, we stopped by Lovin' Oven Cakery (om nom nom) on the way home, and enjoyed hanging out for a bit and sampling some of the pastries we picked up there. After some chatting, we decided on Dog and Suds for dinner, since the weather was so nice out. The atmosphere was great, the place wasn't too crowded and the food...well, the food was only mediocre, unfortunately. It's a shame because it's a nifty drive-in, but I don't see us going back any time soon. After dinner we went back to our place and spent the rest of the evening trying out some of our purchases from Antioch Liquors, including Roho's kek Ke Ke Beach key lime liquor. It tastes just like key lime pie...including the graham cracker crust. To my taste, it was actually more graham than lime. It was deemed to be Not Right and pretty much undrinkable (well by most of us. I think Genet liked it in small quantities!). Sadly, because we're all old and boring we wrapped things up by 11:30 and Paul, Roho, and Genet headed home.

Sunday morning, Mirko, Roho, Genet, and Dan and I made the requisite pilgrimage to Las Vegas for brunch, which was delicious and remarkably filling, as usual. Mirko had to head out afterwards, so Dan and I went home and napped a bit. That evening, Paul, Roho, Genet, [livejournal.com profile] steviemaxwell and [livejournal.com profile] magicpaw came over to watch The Amazing Race. It was an OK episode, though the ending was disappointing, leaving us with none of our favorites to cheer for during next week's season finale. On the bright side, we ordered some delicious pizza, and had French silk pie from Lovin' Oven for dessert. Everyone had a great time, and I look forward to seeing folks again next week for the finale. I think I'll have some fun making dinner :-)

Following a lousy night's sleep (it was too hot - need to reset the thermostat's programming!), here I am back at work. Not too much going on this week, except for dinner with [livejournal.com profile] partran on Friday night. After such a busy weekend, it'll be good to relax! Oh and hey - Heroes tonight. Yay!
duncandahusky: (happygolucky)
Well yesterday was a bit nuts and I didn't get a chance to write much. Let's backtrack a bit, shall we?

Saturday was surprisingly busy. I was up stupidly early, as usual (darned early sunrises) but that gave me some time to relax before my follow-up appointment with the podiatrist. It was a blessedly short visit, pretty much just long enough for him to check that my toe was healing well, give me some simple after care instructions, and send me on my way (with no co-pay. yay!). I woke up [livejournal.com profile] takaza when I got home and after a bit we went down to The Firkin to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] roho, and [livejournal.com profile] genet. After a delicious meal and some excellent beer, Paul had to take his leave to return to his evil employer. The rest of us wandered around a bit and picked up some yummies from a local bakery. After that we retired back to Roho and Genet's place and spent the afternoon chatting on their deck and enjoying the lovely weather. Once we finally rousted ourselves out of the sun-induced torpor, we trekked up to Gander Mountain and shopped around a bit (we got some new folding chairs), then stopped by Jewel on the way home and picked up some munchies. The rest of evening was spent sampling some tasty beer and enjoying several episodes of Venture Bros.

On Sunday, Dan and I finally got around to getting some work done around the house. I took apart the plumbing under the sink to find the cause of the leak I had noticed there; I determined the cause, finally, but I still need to stop at the hardware store to get the parts to fix it. I also finally got around to hooking up the ice maker, a reasonably simple task that cost all of $8 (the cost of the ice maker tubing kit). We now have ice! We also did a good bit of housecleaning, which made me feel a bit better. Roho, Genet, and Linnaeus joined us that evening for dinner, the online MFF staff meeting, and The Amazing Race. Genet made an extremely tasty pot roast, supplemented by Dan's mashed potatoes and a salad with a quick vinaigrette I threw together. Much fun was had, plus we got to enjoy said bakery yummies from the day before.

And here we are, a new week. Work is keeping me busier than usual, as I noted above; it will be that way for the next few weeks, I think. This weekend, [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff will be joining me, Dan, and Linnaeus for a scavenger hunt hosted by the local park district. I'm really looking forward to that! Meanwhile I hope to get some MFF work done, and I also need to come up with at least one more person for my staff for Anthrocon. Anyone have any suggestions?
duncandahusky: (huskyface)
Great fun here yesterday, as we got five or six inches of wet, heavy snow. This caused numerous blackouts in the area as tree limbs started falling on power lines, but nothing too bad. It played heck with a lot of people's commutes, even doubling the length of my commute! 'Course, since it only takes me five minutes to get to work, I don't expect a lot of sympathy.

It's been a boring week so far; not a whole lot going on at work, and evenings have been quiet. Just for a change of pace, I'll be heading down to the doctor's office after work today to have an ingrown toenail looked at (right there with ya, [livejournal.com profile] rustitobuck!). It's gotten bad enough that it's making me limp a bit and the pain is waking me up at night, so yeah - time to see what can be done. This will probably be my last visit to this doctor - while she was convenient to my last job, that's no longer the case. Her office is a good half-hour away (and 45-60 minutes back, with traffic). Couple this with the fact that what used to be a small office with a receptionist, one nurse, and one doctor, all of whom knew you by name (and I their names) and were all quite friendly, has suddenly grown to a three-doctor practice with multiple support staff. I understand the economics of it, but it's like I’m going from being a valued patient whose history the doctor knew without looking at the chart to just a another insurance claim to be filed. Time to check with Aetna and see what doctors are on their plan in the Round Lake/Grayslake area.

Meanwhile, it looks like I'll be doing some work around the house this weekend, finally getting the bathtub in the master bath unclogged, and probably pull the elbows from under the kitchen sink and clean those (oh, those are gonna be gross) as well as doing some house cleaning. On Sunday, it appears we'll be seeing some hockey with friends, which is always fun as well.

Time to go grab a soda, I think...
duncandahusky: (Amused)
Now that was a fun weekend. As planned, we had lunch on Saturday at The Firkin in Libertyville with [livejournal.com profile] roho, [livejournal.com profile] genet, [livejournal.com profile] feren, and [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon. I need to remember that while their beer is divine (mmm, bocks) and their appetizers are tasty (the duck quesadillas were to die for!), their entrees aren't quiet always up to snuff; the steak sandwich I had tasted like a whole lot of horseradish and not enough of steak. Still, I'd go back, even if I only ordered a couple of appetizers. Afterward we wandered town around a bit, including a stop by Rocky Mountain Spotted Chocolate Factory, where we introduced everyone to the yumminess that is "Apple Pie Apple", an apple rolled in white chocolate, caramel, and cinnamon sugar. Yum! Afterwards we stopped back by our place to pick up [livejournal.com profile] nymphara and headed up to Antioch for an evening of hanging out, pizza, boozahol, and Apples to Apples. We had a wonderful time!

On Sunday I finally got my taxes taken care of (yay federal refund! boo state taxes due!) and we cleaned up a bit, and did some grocery shopping. Roho and Genet came over for dinner and we enjoyed some yummy burritos and watched The Amazing Race. A nice, low-key day.

So, other random stuff going on: We have tickets to see Weird Al Yankovic in June! He's playing at the Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville, IN. [livejournal.com profile] takaza saw him on his last tour, and apparently it's a great show. I'm really looking forward to it. Hey - anyone else want to go? Get your tickets now, 'cause they're going fast!

Maybe more later - gotta run!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Well, [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I were supposed to go away last weekend for a relaxing mini-vacation together, but after evaluating our finances we decided that it would be better to postpone that trip until April. So what did we do instead?

I got a last-minute call for help from [livejournal.com profile] wyldekyttin on Friday afternoon to lend a hand with moving on Saturday morning. I got up far too early and headed down to the Chicago to help out. I learned how to remove the seats from the Element (man, that's easy!) and I was impressed just how much extra space that buys you. Because of the huge turnout of folks, I didn't have to do too much heavy lifting (many hands, light work, etc.) , so it wasn't an unpleasant experience at all. After dropping everything off, I headed back home and spent some quality time with my wonderful husband. Sorry, [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn - I wish we could have made it to the party, but it sounds like you had more than enough fun without us. [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff wound up crashing at our place for the night after he left Woody's party.

Sunday was all about Midwest FurFest - first the Board meeting, then the staff meting immediately after. Both meetings went quickly, and there's lots of good stuff on tap for 2007 and 2008 (yeah, we plan that far ahead!). We had a pleasant late lunch/early dinner with friends afterwards, then headed home. Dan napped a bit while I played some Okami (I'm just starting the final part of the game - maybe someday soon I'll break this addiction!). We were mildly annoyed when the basketball games pushed the start of The Amazing Race back by 40 minutes, causing us to miss about 15 minutes in the middle of the show. Fortunately, we didn't miss too much, it seems (mainly everyone attempting to get out of Johannesburg Airport), and I was more than satisfied with the results. I note that next week's episode is two hours long. Yay!

I'm working long hours this week, coming in each day at 7 AM so I'll be able to leave at 11:30 AM on Friday. We'll be heading over to Ann Arbor, MI for the Dorsai Thing, which should be a new and different experience. Other than that, though, it should be a boring week.
duncandahusky: (Heroes fanboy)
Well, this was the weekend of "Gonna do it...but didn't." But in the end, that's OK, I reckon.

The weather forecast for Saturday was dismal, but as the day approached the arrival of the sleet/snow/icy death was pushed further back, finally to late afternoon. We'd been intending to stay in all weekend, but an enticing invitation from [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet found me joining them for lunch in Libertyville ([livejournal.com profile] takaza had actually believed me when I said we'd be staying in all weekend, and very reasonably opted to sleep in instead). We met up at The Firkin. I really liked this place! Imagine someplace like The Hopleaf only without quite the insane number of beers and a bigger menu (and not insanely packed!). They have a good 25 beers on draft though (as well as Sprecher's root beer, cream soda, and ginger ale!), and appear to change them regularly. I was in a bock mood, so I started out with an Anchor Bock, which was delicious, then moved to the always-reliable Spaten Optimator. Since they were running Creole/Cajun specials for Mardi Gras, I opted for the smoked alligator sausage and blackened chicken fettuccine, which was...well, it was capable, and the sausage was good. I'd probably stick to their regular menu, which is supposed to be much better.

After lunch we walked around a bit until I was safe to drive to enjoy the shops of downtown Libertyville. We found a fun little kitchen shop that offers cooking classes, then got ice cream from a little shop that also hosted children's parties on Saturdays. Gah. Anyway, I took my leave of R&G and headed back home.

As for the rest of the weekend? Wow. Not much to say. Saturday night Dan made a fabulous lasagna-esque thing with chicken, tomato sauce, bacon, and lots of cheese. I played a whole lot of Okami (yeah, I'm an addict). And we watched the snow come down from Saturday afternoon through Sunday night; I think we finished off with about six inches of snow and sleet, all told. I also made a very tasty chocolate bread pudding on Sunday night, though the recipe could have been slightly sweeter.

So here we are this week. We have a housewarming party coming up and a good bit of stuff to get done before then. Tonight my main goal is to get the drapes in the master bedroom up, and put a few finishing touches on the guest bedroom as well. That's pretty much all the structural stuff - after that it's just cleaning and cooking.

Oh, and last night? Yeah, we watched Heroes. And were suitably blown away by all the wonderful plot tidbits that were leaked out. I very much agree with those who have said that that episode alone qualifies Jack Coleman ("Mr. Bennett") for an Emmy. For those counting along, that was episode 17 of 23 for the first season, so the finale is coming soon!
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
Right. Wow, long time since my last decent update, huh? Anyway, last week found us at Gameworks on Thursday night for my contracting agency's holiday party. It was exactly what I look for in a holiday party: bring a guest, free food, free booze, fun stuff to do, and no onus to socialize with cow-orkers (who I don't know, having just been hired a few weeks ago, and they all work at other companies anyway). We had a lot of fun, even both [livejournal.com profile] takaza and I injured ourselves playing Hyperbowling (imagine a giant bowling ball going down a crowded city street. "Yay! I flattened a car!").

On Friday we went over to [livejournal.com profile] perro and [livejournal.com profile] darkwolph lovely house to celebrate Andrew's birthday and to help, um, warm their house. Or something like that. We got to meet Chaos, their German shepherd, who has the sweetest disposition of any dog I've met recently. The libations flowed freely, and Dan had a heck of a lot of fun playing bartender at their fabulous basement bar (that you can barely see over for all the bottles of booze perched atop it). Good times, great company, and we stayed out later than I have for a while. It probably helped that I didn't drink much, since I had to drive home.

On Saturday we were going to get up early and go get Dan's new driver's license, then take a bunch of stuff up to our storage locker in Lake Villa, then go to Dan's employer's holiday party. Well, the first two were scotched by the 2:30 AM bedtime the night before, and Dan had some nasty workplace drama that left him not particularly interested in the evening's festivities. Instead, we made some short-notice dinner plans and met [livejournal.com profile] daveqat and [livejournal.com profile] jimcyl for dinner at Cafe' Bernard. It was a very tasty meal, and I got to try their cassoulet which was...well, not as good as mine, quite frankly (which reminds me - I have a monster post about making cassoulet that's been waiting in the wings for weeks). The meal was excellent, though, and we had a great time.

Sunday we were just plain lazy, but we did finally roust ourselves out in the late afternoon to stop by Bobtail and pick up some coffee beans for me. While were in the area, we decided to grab a quick dinner at Potbelly Sandwiches, which really hit the spot. After buying provisions for the next few days' dinners at Whole Food$ (for $6.99/lb., those had better be some pretty damned amazing chicken breasts), we came home and watched some Tivo and did laundry, then spent some time celebrating the birthday of one of [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus' friends.

And here we are at Monday. Woo. There's plenty at work to keep me busy, but I'm still learning procedures, and the sequence of projects and spending an inordinate amount of time waiting for assistance from others. Hopefully this awkward period will pass soon and I can start going ahead full speed.
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: (Oh really?)
It was such a great weekend, it took me a day to recover from it before I could write this! (Or I'm lazy. One of the two...)

We had a fabulous weekend, though! On Friday I picked [livejournal.com profile] takaza up after work and we headed north to Antioch to hang out with [livejournal.com profile] roho and [livejournal.com profile] genet. Traffic being what it is, our 6 PM arrival became 7:15 PM, but that's OK - we weren't in too much of a hurry and I always enjoy the time spent with Dan. We chatted a bit once we got there and then headed out to a Mexican joint that was...well, a wee bit underwhelming. We need to take R&G to the taquiera around the corner from our place for something a little more authentic. Following a stop by Armanetti's Liquors, we chatted for a while back at the house and tested some of the Tasty Beverages we had purchased. After a bit, I was shocked by the arrival of [livejournal.com profile] datahawk! Yeah, she lives there, but it's not like they ever actually see her :-)

The next morning was the usual slow start, but pleasantly so. Eventually we motivated enough to head down to BD's in Vernon Hills to meet up with [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus, [livejournal.com profile] feren, and [livejournal.com profile] lady_curmudgeon. Tasty stir-fried food was consumed and we had a great time chatting. Afterwards, we returned to Antioch for a quick stop by Antioch Packing House for dinner grillables, then a stop by the house for pit stops. As we were leaving there, I unfortunately managed to step approximately in the same place that Feren did and twisted my left ankle. I imagine I looked pretty impressive staggering around a bit before collapsing to the grass. Ack! I was still able to walk, though, so we pressed on, though somewhat slowly.

And press on we did, to Brightonwood Orchards! This fabulous place is just north of Richard Bong State Recreation Area and only about a 20-minute drive from Antioch. When we pulled in, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the orchard also had a winery! The winery made apple wines and hard ciders, and they had a tour - well, not so much a tour as one of the guys who makes the wines and ciders who just loves talking about it and showing off their shop. I took several pictures, some of which should amuse you homebrewers out there. After the tour, we had a great time tasting their wares and picking up a few bottles of the drinkable apple-y goodness. We were joined by [livejournal.com profile] grabstein_69, [livejournal.com profile] silverwind, and their daughter Chayla right around then, too.

We walked (well, I hobbled) over to the apple barn where they had a respectable variety of heirloom apples. I grabbed a variety of different apples, though of course now I have no idea which are which but hey - it should be an unusual eating experience. As we were leaving I remembered that [livejournal.com profile] neowolf2 had mentioned how good Northern Spy apples were. I hadn't seen any on display, so I asked the cashier and she said they had some in the cooler. I bought four of them and tore into one as we were hanging around while Giles fed Chayla. OH MY GOD that apple was so good! Slightly tart, slightly sweet, and nice and firm. Just excellent, and very flavorful. I'm glad I bought them!

After the orchard, we had a nice evening relaxing back at R&G's place, enjoying grilled meat, mojitos, and good company. We capped off the night by surprising Roho with a birthday cake I had made the day before. Yay for surprises! The cake was tasty, too, though a bit dry due to a little overbaking. The dark chocolate frosting made up for that though. Yum!

On Sunday Genet made a tasty breakfast for us, then we said our goodbyes. Dan and I headed south, all the way down to Glen Ellyn, where we helped [livejournal.com profile] crim_ferret and [livejournal.com profile] wyldekyttin move some of their possessions to their new place in Naperville (if anyone wants to know where it is: Conveniently located just south of The Big N). Unfortunately, between the fact that my ankle was shot and we had an online Midwest FurFest staff meeting that night. we weren't as helpful as I would have hoped. We got some of their bookcases over, at least. We returned to The City by about 5 PM, which gave us time to grab dinner from the taquieria before the meeting. The meeting was moderately useful and mercifully short, and we spent the rest of the evening working on con-related stuff.

And Monday? The usual - apply to a bunch of jobs, go to the grocery store, run some errands, that sort of thing. Today was more of the same. You see why I don’t write much about my weekdays? They're boring as heck!
duncandahusky: (Husky Sign)
Even when I'm unemployed, I seem to have a lot to do. Yesterday morning I drove [livejournal.com profile] takaza to work, then killed the morning at Panera, then at Mount Prospect Public Library, working mainly on the Restaurant Guide. We met for a quick lunch, then headed over to the Hyatt Regency Woodfield where Dan had a meeting with the hotel representatives. I sat in, took notes, and mentioned a few things where I could, but mostly stayed in the background. It was a long meeting - three hours! - but a lot got discussed and I think everyone came away feeling pretty confident about the stuff that was discussed. Afterwards, we stopped by the overflow hotel (the Amerisuites Schaumburg) just across the parking lot, and Dan made sure everything was in order there. That's a really nice hotel, and maybe a possibility for a future Wuffmeet. Hmmm...

After that we fought our way home through rush hour traffic, and had leftovers for dinner - Dan had the last of the chicken and dumplings from the night before, and I had some of the pork roast from Monday. Mm,, that made some tasty sandwiches! Then it was out to the previously-announced Ice Cream Night where the attendance was a bit light: only [livejournal.com profile] lisagems and [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn were there, besides us. It was fun, though. Woody thoroughly schooled Dan in Connect Four, and Lisa and I commiserated about the lives of the unemployed. The pumpkin and cinnamon ice creams that Bobtail has for fall are divine, and I had an ice cream latte with a scoop of the cinnamon ice cream in it. Delicious!

Today has been somewhat less busy, but still I've gotten a lot done - mostly laundry and shopping. We're going to try some mini-meatloaf from Cook's Country tonight. We're making plans for the weekend, and it looks like we're going to take advantage of what may be the last warm weekend to visit a local apple orchard, and generally spend time with friends. Sounds like a great plan to me!


Oct. 3rd, 2006 08:47 am
duncandahusky: (Inquisitive)
So, I spent most of Friday driving around Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, Hoffman Estates, and Arlington Heights collecting information for the Midwest FurFest Restaurant Guide. I've got a lot of additions, a couple of deletions, and I need to come up with a bunch more restaurant reviews. Fun! That's something that will keep me busy this week. It was also the end of the financial year for [livejournal.com profile] takaza's employer, so he was a crispy critter when I picked him up at the end of the day. We came home and we both collapsed, eventually getting around to making quesadillas for dinner.

On Saturday, Dan had gotten some tickets to see the penultimate Cubs game of the season at Wrigley Field. I wasn't much interested, so he shared the tickets with [livejournal.com profile] perro, [livejournal.com profile] darkwolph, and [livejournal.com profile] woodychitwn and they had a good time. [livejournal.com profile] linnaeus was off hanging out with the visiting [livejournal.com profile] saboutlours and [livejournal.com profile] carol_kitty (and I hear [livejournal.com profile] mirkowuff was around as well), doing the tourist thing, leaving me at home alone. While that's not unusual given the current state of my employment, it was nice to have a day when I didn't have to do anything - I watched college football, relaxed, and even dozed a bit. It was a nice break, actually. Come evening, the two groups converged (less Mirko, who had to take the train back to Da Region), and we went to the always-tasty Tre Kronor for a delightful dinner (and abused their BYOB policy with a bottle of Sarah's Blend and a wonderful pinot grigio, the latter a gift from [livejournal.com profile] camstone and [livejournal.com profile] mooivos that was very much appreciated!).

Dan and I relaxed around the house Sunday, eventually wandering out to walk around the neighborhood in search of the makings for dinner. The supermercado a block and a half from us had some good produce, but the butcher's section was mobbed (and I still need to learn what to do with all of the unusual cuts of meat they offer), so we instead wound up at the halal meat market around the corner and picked up some ground beef. The grind was a bit finer than we were used to but it made for some tasty cheeseburgers! Unfortunately, we ate a bit late and the dyspepsia plus worry about miscellaneous things led to a bit of insomnia for me.

And then there's yesterday: I took Dan in to work, got some promising calls from various recruiters, and worked out at the gym. For dinner, I made a very tasty pork roast seasoned with Argyle Street Asian Seasoning, as well as fried potatoes in butter and olive oil. Arr num num num! As for today, there's the trip to the gym (ow, still sore from yesterday...) , the usual shotgun-blasts of resumes across the net, a bit of food shopping around the neighborhood, and working on a nice batch of chicken and dumplings, since Dan has had a taste for it lately. Bored? I don't have time to be bored!

Note to Woody: I don't EVEN want to hear you complaining about how many links you have in your posts! :-)

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