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9 posts from October 2010

Nothing stays the same...

Windy HavocI'm so relieved I survived the pseudo Storm of the Century.

I know it knocked down a lot of trees and temporarily knocked out power on a pretty small scale, but, otherwise, it was pretty weak.

A lot of huff and puff, but little true blow.

I actually think there is a greater potential for disaster on my drive to the gym in the morning.

On my way there, I have to traverse a subdivision where a lot of the residents like to run along the street in the early morning. And I swear that every freakin' one of them wears black with no reflective tape or patches or lights at all and it's pitch black when I'm driving. Add to that the fact that there are so many curves in the road in this neighborhood that my headlights are usually pointing away from them by the time I come upon them that there is no possible way in all that's holy that I'll ever see them.

I hate to wish ill on people, but one of them needs to be hit by someone so they and their neighbors will learn to either wear light, reflective clothing or USE THE DAMN SIDEWALK!! Nothing against runners, but this particular batch are morons and deserve what's coming to them if they're not going to be intelligent about how they exercise.

Yesterday was an interesting day in terms of Twitter. Their servers were overloaded, as per usual, and I was craving an avatar change.

So I pitched my standard avatar, which had already turned Pepto Pink (tm) in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Twitter replaced it with their default egg avatar. Of course, the overload meant that nothing I was trying to upload was processing so the egg became a nice big joke amongst all my Tweeps.

Until, that is, the first of my uploads finally processed an hour or so later leaving me with a zombie I had created on the Sears Zombie Catalog site.

Then it became a new avatar another hour later when I created a variant of the default Twitter egg with my face hatching out of it.

Avatars Gotta be honest, I really dig the hatching egg -- as corny as it is -- and I'm gonna stick with it!


You will not go to Heaven...

I've been doing this blogging thing for a little more than five years now and if there's one thing I have not figured out, it's how to determine what's going to constitute a good post.

I come up with a post idea in my head and it sounds great. I type it up and I read through it and it comes off as the kind of extreme that I'm aiming to achieve be it highly humorous or rage inciting or emotionally edgy. Whatever.

Then I hit "submit" and zilch.

However, there are many posts that I consider to be not so great. Topics I want to write about and feel the need to post about, but, when I finally write it up, I hate how it sounds. And yet, it is so well received, you'd swear I was gunning for the webby equivalent of a Pulitzer.

This happened with my anniversary dedication to my wife. I really wanted to write something because, well, it was our ninth anniversary and I love my wife and I wanted to let the world know how I felt. But I just could not find the words to express it. In the end, I typed something right off the top of my head and I hated it. I really thought I could do better.

And everyone loved it. Commenters on the blog, commenters on Facebook... hell, my mother-in-law told me it made her cry.

So, um, what gives?

Has anyone figured out this crazy little thing called blogging?

When someone tells you that something is not one way, the assumption is that it's the other way, right?

For example, if someone says that something is not good and doesn't specify any further, then it's bad, isn't it?

I was listening to the radio on the way home from work tonight when a new song by the Old 97s called "Champaign, Illinois" came on. The chorus of the song is "You will not go to Heaven; you'll go to Champaign, Illinois."

In my mind, that means that so far as Rhett Miller is concerned, Champaign is the equivalent of Hell. It seems like a totally viable assumption to me.

So I guess I can add Champaign to a growing list of places I should stay away from in order to protect my mortal soul. This list also includes the entire state of Iowa if Kevin Costner's response to Ray Liotta in Field of Dreams follows the same logic.

Field_of_dreams

Liotta: "Is this Heaven?"

Costner: "No, it's Iowa."

Think of it in mathematical terms if you must... Iowa does not equal Heaven, ergo Iowa equals Hell.

Hey, I'm just the messenger here.

Oh, and somehow I doubt this little TUA will wind up as one of my more well-received posts. Heh.


More than meets the eye...

Happy Snippet Wednesday and Happy @kapgar Day!

Cobaxl
Steven Hyden of The Onion's A/V Club wrote a fantastic piece on the long-running feud between Axl Rose of Guns 'n' Roses and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the transition period from the metal era to grunge. I knew there was animosity between the two of them, but I had no idea how deep its roots were. If you like music history, check this piece out. Thanks to @petcobra for the tip.

Moon
I saw the first Transformers movie and enjoyed it. Never saw the second and never wanted to. Only want to see the third because of how much of the filming was done in Chicago and the fact that I actually saw it as it was happening. But, let me tell you, if film titles were the sole determiner when deciding if I was seeing a movie or not, Transformers: Dark of the Moon certainly would have me running for the hills.

I must offer my sincerest apologies to George Lucas. The Phantom Menace is no longer the dumbest movie title of all time.

Netflix
Netflix-logoI received an e-mail from Netflix informing me that they were sending me the next available film in my queue. It was the second film in the list since the first was on a short wait. Then, a day later, I got another e-mail telling me my first choice was available at a downstate distribution center and they were sending it to me as well. So my three-disc subscription was going to temporarily become a four-disc subscription. A way to keep users happy? Has this happened to anyone else?

iPhone
I've been using my iPhone 4 for two months now and I really need to get cracking on a review of what I think. There's just so much I want to say. I may have to spread it out over a couple posts or run the risk of having a post that reads like a novel. Yikes!

Typepad
This is the second time I wrote this post. The first time, I forgot to give it an interim save and the browser froze up. What I don't get is that Typepad has an autosave feature kinda like Microschlock Word and it constantly annoys me by telling me that it has a saved copy of a post that I already published a few days prior. Of course, the time that my browser freezes is the one time that the autosave feature kicks in only to save the title and nothing in the post. This makes no sense since I came up with the title after I wrote two and a half snippets. What gives?

Shows
So what shows have all of you given up on this new television season? There are a couple that we're thinking of ditching and wondering if any of you may have the same opinion. Please share!

Okay, I'm outta here. Time to catch up on the season finale of Mad Men.


But that don't change the way I feel about you...

About five years ago, Katie and I finally made the jump to owning a TiVo. Well, two of them actually.

Now, we can't imagine our lives without them. I can't even remember what it was like to constantly set our VCRs for shows we wanted to watch and constantly swapping out tapes and trying to remember what was on each of them when we wanted to go back and watch them.

Life was so primitive.

But the best part of owning a TiVo, or any DVR for that matter? Fast forward!

Sure, we could fast forward through recorded shows on our VCR, but being able to do it during semi-live TV? Ohmigod. It's so fantastic! We will intentionally not watch a show when it airs live for about 15 minutes on a half hour or 30 minutes on an hour show. Why? So we have enough gap on the airing so that we can fast forward through all the commercials.

And during campaign season, it's an absolute sanity saver!

We have a couple of particularly heated battles going on right now in the State of Illinois for the Governor's mansion and one of our U.S. Senate seats. The two running main candidates for Governor are Pat Quinn (incumbent, somewhat) and Bill Brady while the two vying for the Senate seat are Alexi Giannoulias (sp?) and Mark Kirk.

These candidates are fighting tooth and nail and pulling out every stop in the book in their quest to make the other look like a complete assclown by dragging their name through the mud and slop and excrement and any other nasty substance you can think of. You remember how dirty the 2008 Presidential campaign was? Compared to these two races, that was a gentlemen's duel.

Guess what? It's working. I think all four of them are jackasses and I don't want any of the four of them in office.

Sadly I have little choice in the matter. The two-party system that exists in this country makes it impossible for any third-party candidate to be a viable option. Hell, in most cases, we never even hear of their names.

I wish just one of them would come out with a simple, generic ad in which they say, "Hi, my name is Bobby Dunleavey [not a real candidate... I think] and I'm not Bill Brady or Pat Quinn." Honestly, at this point, that might be enough to sway me. I seriously don't want any of the available candidates to take office.

Or maybe I'll just start a write-in campaign for Dave2.

At least I know what to expect from him...

WineWhine
[please don't hate/sue me for using your graphic, Dave]

Katie and I are signing up for our first ever fun run!

It's the TriCity Family Services Second Annual Snowflake Shuffle 5K Run & Walk on December 4, 2010.

Why are we doing it? There are several reasons...

  1. It's scheduled for the day before my birthday.
    If I survive, I can really celebrate my birthday feeling like I've done something cool. If I die, I never have to turn 36 years old. Yay!
  2. It's a mile from our house.
    I don't really have to worry much about travel or parking or lodging or anything. And it's so close, we can actually practice on the planned route.
  3. The route map, oh the route map.
    Speaking of route, if this route map (PDF) doesn't sell you on the race, nothing will. C'mon, is it seriously that difficult to create a Google Map Mashup and make it publically available and link or embed it on the site?

 Wish us luck!


Who are you...

It's kinda funny how many people seem to agree with the idea that my dad and Rob Reiner are the same person.

Friends, family, the whole shebang.

But the ultimate confirmation came yesterday from my dad himself when I told him that I had put a picture of him next to one of Reiner on my blog. His response? "I saw it... those weren't both of me?"

Um, no. 

Heh.

I like Goodwill.

You can find some cool stuff at Goodwill.

Stuff that you might not even be looking for. 

For example, this past week I stopped in to look just for kicks and what did I find?

Low-priced porn!

Hey, at least Goodwill is acknowledging the sexual needs of the low income'd. Right nice of them, don'cha think?


Those were the days...

Since yesterday was our ninth anniversary, I couldn't quite make a Snippet Wednesday work properly. So, to make up for it, I'm bringing you a Snippet Thursday: The Reckoning!

Stool
Katie and I desperately need a new bar stool or two for the table in our kitchen. But, for some reason, we have not been able to find one we like to save our lives.

Huh?
Was that snippet just completely random? Yeah, I agree. It's actually a teaser I've been asked to place on my blog in anticipation of a future product review for a company called CSN. I put the word "bar stool" with that link on there and then they will send me a product of my choosing to review. I just felt the need to try to work "bar stool" into some semblance of context. And we would really like some barstools. But that's not what I'm planning to review. The good thing is that, soon after I do my review, I will be giving away a gift certificate to their online store to some lucky reader. Don't worry, this sort of thing won't become commonplace by any stretch. I just wanted to try doing another product review as it's been quite a while. We'll see how it goes. Plus, I have a pretty cool idea for the product I want to review and how I'm going to do it. But it's kinda time sensitive, so here's hoping I get it in time.

Brittany
But if there is one thing you may see a lot of around here, it's me avowing my love of Brittany on Glee. I did it a couple weeks ago and, after this week's episode, I'm going to do it again. The girl kills me and her scene with the meatball in Breadsticks a la Lady and the Tramp was absolutely adorable and heartbreaking all at the same time.

Brittany-meatball-glee

Museum
Speaking of cool girls, there's one named Kate McGroarty who recently won a Month at the Museum contest through the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Basically this means that she will be living in an exhibit and blog, video, and Tweet her interactions and experiences. How cool is that? She's going to eat there, sleep there, do some other stuff there. I'm hoping she gets a little privacy for the bathroom. Oh yeah, and did I mention she gets $10,000 for the month? Would you do it?

Reiner
For as long as I've been cognizant, my dad has had a full beard on his face. Until this last half year or so, that is. Lately, he's become a little more experimental. First, he shaved it down to a goatee and now it's just a moustache. Yes, of course we've been giving him crap about his "porn star" 'stache - we just couldn't help ourselves. However, this past week, Katie and I were watching 30 Rock with guest star Rob Reiner when she chimed in with, "that's what I miss... having Rob Reiner as my father-in-law." And it finally clicked... ohmigod, Rob Reiner is my dad! My dad is Rob Reiner! Finkel is Einhorn!

Robreiner  Wayneapgar

Well, yanno, minus the directing and acting credits, of course. And the huge bank accounts. And the Hollywood contacts. And... *sigh*


And I love you...

Us leavingThere are times when words simply can't convey just how deeply you feel about something.

That's how I feel today... my ninth anniversary with the woman I love and with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.

I wish I could come up with something profound to say...

Something that can make me sound like the ultimate romantic...

But I cannot other than to just say that these last nine years have been more amazing than I ever thought possible.

And it's all because, nine years ago, Katie said "I do."

And she continues to say "I do" every day.

And I continue to say "I do" right back to her and to our life together.

I hope that's enough.

I love you with all my heart and soul, hon.


Baby, we were born to run...

Yesterday, Katie and I were part of the 2010 Chicago Marathon! Yep, we dressed in our workout best, headed into the city, and raced around from point to point along the 26.2 mile course laid out throughout the city.

Of course, we did this to cheer for our friends and take a bunch of pictures and, later, go out together for dinner. Run it? Are you nuts? We left that to Eric, Michelle, and Kim. We're not masochists.

We started the day by racing to the 13-mile marker around 200 S. Wacker in hopes of seeing all the people we were hoping to cheer for. We did manage to find Eric just as he was passing, but could not find Kim or Michelle.

Then we headed to just south of the corner of Jackson and Halsted near the 17-mile mark. There we found Eric again, but Katie also saw the infamous Kimbot! She was just passing us as Katie yelled "Kim!" and Kim turned and moaned "Apgars!" then came over and practically collapsed in our arms for a giant, sweaty hug during which she said "it's so horrible out here." We tried to stifle a little giggle as it really wasn't the time despite the humorous way in which she declared it. Then someone took our picture together and she was off.

101010ChicagoMarathon12
[photo courtesy of Kim; not that I asked, but I think she's okay with it]

Still didn't find Michelle, though. Where was she hiding?

MarathonOur final stop was on the bridge before the final turn right under the 300m To Go sign. There we saw Eric and Kim as well as a coworker of mine and her boyfriend.

And, yet, still no Michelle.

I think she was avoiding us. *sniffle*

If anything, I'd say my one complaint was the lack of a well-planned out way to get from the bridge to the finish line area. Everything was blocked off and guarded. To traverse the 300m from where we stood to the finish line would've been nearly a mile of walking.

We said fuhgeddaboudit and headed to the River North area and dined at a place called Dos Diablos. Quite tasty Mexican food, if we do say so ourselves.

But we did have a lot of fun at the Marathon and watching everyone run was quite inspiring. People of all ages and sizes were racing. Enough of a variety that I'm convinced I could actually run it with the proper training. Doesn't mean I will, just that I believe I could. I do think Katie is interested in training if not for a full marathon, then definitely for a half.

Sometimes, I think the best part of the race is reading all the stories that surface after the fact. Like the barefoot runner or marathon cheaters or the blindfolded runner or bib swappers. The fun truly never ends.

Maybe I'll become a race-day journalist! That can be my contribution.

Well, maybe not. Enjoy the photos all the same.

If you can't see the Flash slideshow above, click through to the Flickr album.

I've discovered something, baths suck.

After getting home from the Marathon, Katie and I decided to clean up. She opted for a shower while I took my first bath in probably five years.

No, don't misread, this was not my first time bathing, just my first bath. I much prefer showers. And I have several reasons why...

  1. Baths are dirty. How do you clean yourself when what you just washed off of one part of you is now floating in the water you are still using to clean another part? This gets me thinking about public swimming pools and hot tubs. Those things have gotta be festering with flith. In many cases, they're exposed to the elements so who knows what happens then. Plus you get a ton of different people using them without water being changed. Sure, they "chlorinate" them clean, but you're only allowed to use so much chlorine before it becomes harmful for a human to use the pool. So if the chlorination isn't strong enough to be harmful to humans, can it truly be powerful enough to kill off our filth? Just sayin'.
  2. You get cold quickly. Not all of you gets covered at all times. Especially when you're my size. Always something exposed. And the whole water displacement thing gets me every time. Overfilling is a constant worry.
  3. It's boring. I can't sit there and use my iPhone because I'd probably drop it in. We don't have a TV in the bathroom. I don't want to read a book as it will find a way to get wet no matter how "dry" I might be. And, not being a kid, I can't exactly drop a bunch of Star Wars figures in the tub to play with anymore. Well, I guess I could, but I'd be locked up and the key thrown away rather quickly.

Showers rock. 'nuff said.