Friday, October 1, 2010

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Meat Pic

Boneless ribeye and grilled asparagus
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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Favorite Percussion

Nothing beats a good bass line...except perhaps INSTRUCTING a good bass line!

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just Good To Know

Also good advice as you get older.

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Friday, August 27, 2010


There is nothing that can compare as a sound of summer like a lawn sprinkler.
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Steak. It's What's For Dinner

Skirt steak that has been marinating for the past 36 hours. And yes, it is my special blend marinade.
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Monday, August 23, 2010

First Mum

Saw the first bloom on our fall mums today. It will be great to have that late-season explosion of color in the front planter!
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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Instructional Staff

Well it's official:  I'm on the instructional staff for the local high school's music department.  While it is not a paying gig, it has given me reason to look into getting my teaching credential for the state of Illinois.  I really feel back in my element...

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I've passed by this drainage channel a million times, only to see it empty and full of weeds and grass at it's bottom, 15 feet down from the top.  After Friday night's storms and torrential downpours it was not only full, but it had overflowed onto the main highway (by about 6 inches) and had flooded several surrounding neighborhoods.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Die Hard Drum Corps

I love Drum Corps. From involvement to spectating, it's an amazing activity. This is a view from the bottom of the stands as a small part of the crowd waits for rainstorms to pass so that the show may get underway, taken just before the show in Naperville, IL.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Downtown Drive

Many of my friends have an aversion to driving in major downtown areas of whatever city they happen to live in.  I've never understood this.  Maybe I'm just an odd sort.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just Call Me A Devil (Ray)

Baseball season officially begins tomorrow...

Our son has played baseball for several years, but this year will be different than the others.  This year, I am helping coach the team for the full season as opposed to filling in when needed on the occasional game.  I must say that I am excited about the opportunity to spend some additional quality time with The Boy. 

The season consists of 16 regular season games with a Divisional Tournament and our own league's playoffs adding from 2-6 games to the mix.  We begin the journey tomorrow against the Angels.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Swing Trainer

I don't understand. Why is everyone snickering at the title?

Yesterday I attended a coaching clinic for our area's little league. The clinic was actually very well run: interesting, informative, and FUN. It also gave the coaches (and prospective coaches) a chance to bond a bit. The picture above is of the prize I won at the end of the clinic: The Joe Morgan Swing Trainer.

If you coach or even just have a child that is or will be playing baseball or softball, this is a FANTASTIC tool that not only takes the place of a "Tee" for improving your form, but it shows you exactly where the ball would be going. You also don't have to waste time shagging down balls from the outfield when you're done.
(post 48/365)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Let's See Your Bloomers

It's springtime in Chicago, and the annual sprouting of various flowers has begun.  Soon, there will be beautiful tulips of various colors in place of the greenery that seems to double in size every two days.

Of course the downside is that with the color comes pollen.  And alergies.


(post 47/365)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friends For Dinner

Well, we're not actually having friends FOR dinner, but it's nice to get together with friends for a a meal.

Tonight's menu?  T-bone steaks, baked (on the grill) sweet potatoes, and grilled ears of corn. 

I know that it's been a LONG time since I posted here, but I will be making a concerted effort to regularly contribute from this point on.

(post 46 of 365)

Monday, March 1, 2010


I feel horrible that I've missed so many 365 pics lately.  And the first one that I do after decades (at least in blogging years) is yet another food pic.  Be that as it may...

Tonight I made Paella for the family.  If you're not familiar with it, it's a dish with everything in one pot/pan with a Spanish origin.  There are also many, MANY variations of it.  Mine contains chicken, sausage, shrimp, rice, tomato, and green peas.  Of course you have to season it with cinnamon and a touch of saffron, along with a few "secret" ingredients. 

(post 45/365)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Ready for the oven...

I know that I've talked about meatloaf sandwiches before, but I didn't show the actual meatloaf.  At least not before it goes into the oven.  My family loves it and my grandmother would be proud.

(post 44/365)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sexy Redhead

2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP640

This is, without a doubt, the sexiest car at the 2010 Chicago Auto Show.  What defines it as a "real" sex machine?  Styling, power, and complete non-practicality. 

And it can be yours for $447,000.

(post 43/365)

Very Sweet Ride

2010 Dodge Viper ACR

Ok.  So I've missed a few days of 365 postings.  I will be posting some "bonus" pix over the next few weeks to make up for it. 

I spent the day today at the Chicago Auto Show.  What an amazingly cool thing to do!  This was one of my favorite speedsters at the show.  Very cool car.

(post 42/365)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This is my ultimate weakness

I'm really not a big fan of candy. I really never have been. While other kids would wig-out over the ice-cream truck or a candy bar, I was quite content with an apple or a pear. Unless it came to Reeses's. That is my Achilles’ heel when it comes to candy. All bets are off. 

Sweet chocolate peanut butter goodness.

(post 41/365)

Monday, February 15, 2010


I used to make chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies with my grandmother...

It may seem odd, but most people know that I enjoy cooking.  It's always been a great hobby for me, and at one time I actually considered taking on formal training for it.  The odd thing is that I really havnen't done that much baking.  That's why tonight's foray into a fairly simple, straight forward item like chocolate chip cookies was a fairly new undertaking for me.  With "The Boy" beside me acting as my sous chef, we whipped these little gems out.

Maybe I'll try a pie next...

(post 40/365)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday dinner

Cashew Chicken in Red Sauce

When I lived in California, there was a Chinese restaurant that served an incredible cashew chicken in a red sauce. I have never been able to find another establishment that made it just that way, so a few weeks ago I did an internet search and found this recipe.

I am happy to say that it was very close to what I remember. And the family loved it. Bon Appetite!

(post 39/365)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beer and taxes

A small sampling of the stein collection at our accountant's office

Today was our tax day.  Not the day that we pay taxes, but the day that we make the trip into our accountant's office to have HIM prepare the returns.  One of the things that I like the most about him (aside from getting us a great return) is his collection of steins.  This is a VERY small sampling of the collection that runs around the length of the office on several shelves.

Any accountant that drinks beer is ok in my book.  Hopefully the IRS feels the same.

(post 38/365)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Greasy goodness

Fresh homemade onion rings

Ok, so I haven't posted a picture of actual FOOD in a few weeks.  Made these tonight just because it sounded so good.  We also made corndogs...if you were wondering...

I fully expect our arteries to clog completely overnight.

(post 37/365)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Battle Royale. Almost.

What should have been a battle was a route...

Tonight we hosted the first "Name That Tune" contest on our show, pitting Annie against the very musically capable Vinny Bond.  Many were expecting a blood bath, with many listeners choosing to be either Team Annie or Team Vinny.  Unfortunately, Vinny had an off day.  Final score:  155-55 with the win going to Annie.

For my part, Vinny still gets a huge "W" just for showing up and taking on "Competitive Annie."

(post 36/365)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let it snow...

The snow blower will get quite a workout in the morning

This is the view out of our kitchen window.  What you can't see from this picture is the constant falling of NEW snow.  Even though the snow plow came through an hour ago, the street is already covered in a fresh layer of snow.  We've had about 6 inches so far and the National Weather Service is predicting another 7-10 inches overnight. 

(post 35/365)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Grill Time...

There is never a bad time to grill...SUPER BOWL SUNDAY!

Today, with snow on the ground and the temperature hovering around the 30 degree mark (a heat wave), we uncovered the main grill at the "ABL Compound" and threw some ribs over the fire.

This is one of the biggest things that I miss from my life in California:  the ability to grill year-round.  Nevertheless, we make it happen for special occasions in the winter. 

(post 34/365)

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's baaaacccckkkkk...

Snow returns to Chicago...

After a couple of weeks with (relatively) little to no snow on the ground, the white stuff makes it's return to the Windy City.  Not enough to break out the snow blower yet, but more is predicted on the way.

Have to admit that it's pretty just after a first snowfall.  Then it just sucks.

(post 33/365)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Good things (in this case "treats") come to those who wait...

Martini "patiently" waits for her morning treat.  It's a routine we have.  She goes outside, comes in to her crate to warm up/dry off, then she gets one of her favorite treats.  She gets testy when we break the routine.

And before you ask, yes.  We named our dog Martini.  Our cat is named Oreo.  All we need now is a fish named Reeces and we've covered MY 3 favorite treats!

(post 32/365)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Disappointed but not (quite) disillusioned...

For the first time in my life, I actively campaigned for a political candidate.  By this I mean that I volunteered to work at a local campaign office, as well as talked up the candidate.  I've spoken of him before.  I did this because he shares many of the same beliefs and core values that I do, not becuase he was the "popular" candidate or because he was endorsed by a television celebrity, movie star, or musician.  Yes, he did get some endorsements from other people that I admire to varying degrees, but I supported this campaign long before those endorsements materialized.

In a primary with a startlingly pathetic turnout and a crowded field of candidates, Adam Andrzejewski showed well in the polls but did not secure the party nomination.  Am I dissapointed?  Yes.  Very.  Actually, I think this is the biggest loss I have ever felt on a personal level for a political cause.  Am I disillusioned?  Only in the fact that as of this moment, out of a state of over 6 million registered voters, the ENTIRE total of votes received by ALL 7 candidates was 748,473 with 96% of the totals in.

So yes, I am disillusioned in the voting public as a whole, but not my candidate.

I know this turned into more of a standard blog posting than a P365, but it's just what flowed out.  I'll be back to regular pics on Wednesday.

(post 31/365)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Simple Goodness

Few things in life are as simple and good as an Oreo cookie.

I admit that I'm not much of a "sweets" eater.  I really never have been, with two notable exceptions:  Reeces and Oreos.  I mean, how can you go wrong?  Reeces has the best pairing of treats since the Sweedish Bikini team, and Oreos give you the option of enjoying them a billion different ways.  Do you eat it as one piece? Take it apart and eat the creamy filling first? Dunk them in milk (or coffee)?  Or maybe you have a combination that you like.

However you do it, Oreos are one of life's simple pleasures.

(post 30/365)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Volunteering for something you believe in

Today I spent several hours at the local campaign office of Adam Andrzejewski, an Illinois businessman running for the GOP gubernatorial ticket on this Tuesday's primary. This was a first on several levels.  For one, I had never actually "volunteered" at a political office prior to today, and secondly, our son (aka "The Boy") was right beside me...sorting information cards, putting lawn signs together, etc.  He has an interest in the political process and was very eager to see how things worked "behind the scenes."

While I've spoken with Adam on the phone for an interview and even saw him speak yesterday at a luncheon with Lech Walesa, I had never met him "face to face" until today, when he (unexpectedly) showed up at the Oak Lawn office.  One of the best parts of chatting with him?  Our son got the opportunity to meet Adam as well.  "The Boy" was quite thrilled.

(post 29/365)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Luncheon (bonus post)

Ok, so I know that I missed 2 days this month for my Project365 blog.  When that (occasionally) happens, I will attempt to make the posts up with "Bonus Posts."  Here is my first make up post...

This is the view from the back of the banquet room before the start of the luncheon.  You can see that some of the press had already set up their cameras...imagine that same view with about 6 sets of gear and you will have an idea of what it wound up looking like.

(post 28/365)


Lech Walesa, former President of Poland and champion of democracy

Today I had the extreme pleasure to attend an event and meet a legend in the fight for freedom and democracy:  Lech Walesa. While he spoke through an interpreter, his actions and the tone of his voice were captivating to the point that it crossed the language barrier. He was charming, captivating, and passionate in his remarks. And believe it or not, this man has a sense of humor I suspect is much larger than the glimpse we got today.

(post 27/365)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Party Bus?

Bus for the Polekatz Gentleman's Club sighted this afternoon

So I have to wonder two things:
  1. Who do they have to send this bust bus to pick up?  Is it a shuttle service for the employees or are they ferrying old codgers from the local retirement home?
  2. If the city of Chicago were to employ these buses, would I be more likely to use public transportation?
(post 26/365)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yummy flashbacks

One of my favorite childhood memories revisited:  my grandmother's day-after meatloaf sandwich

Last night I made my grandmother's meatloaf for the family.  This always brings back very fond memories of my childhood, not the least of which was the day AFTER sandwiches.  We always kept it simple: bread, Best Foods (or Hellmann's if you're East of the Rockies), and of course a big slab of the meatloaf.  Today I was able to relive a bit of that as I sat down for a bite out of the past.

(post 25/365)

Monday, January 25, 2010


My nightly routine.  At least during the winter.  Blueberry flavored tea with a touch of honey.

(post 24/365)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Throw someone from the train

For a few seconds after taking this photo, I honestly thought this guy was going to throw me in front of the oncoming train.  Could have happened.

(post 23/365)

Friday, January 22, 2010


Ok, so I know it's not a REAL Hofner bass, but it's close enough...

Been playing The Beatles Rockband with The Boy for the past 3 hours. 

I am the walrus.  Coo coo cachoo!

(post 22/365)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

State Offices

So this is where I spent my day taking tests on Thursday, and will be returning to on Monday for even MORE tests.  Meet the inside of the Thompson Building which houses many of the Illinois state offices for various departments.  Located in downtown Chicago, the building is actually very impressive.

Who could even be a future daily destination for me.

(post 21/365)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So with the exception of a little show prep, the time we were on the air tonight, and running a few errands this afternoon, I've spent the vast majority of my time today preparing for my trip downtown tomorrow in order to take a few tests that will (hopefully) finalize the qualification process for a job with the State of Illinois. Up to now, I've taken 1 test and I was fairly happy with the results. Yes, these are graded. Tomorrow will have me taking 3 other tests for positions that I am otherwise completely qualified for.

Keep your fingers crossed!

(post 20/365)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Real Love

Sometimes it's the simplest things that prove real love exists.

(post 19/365)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Manly Sandals

Yes, it's true.  I wear these sports-type sandals in the house.  There is an actual reason for this, and I'll briefly explain. 

We live in Chicago.  It gets COLD here in the winter.  The floor gets cold, even with the heat and rest of the house a fairly comfortable temperature.  When my feet get cold, my entire body gets cold.  Even when I wear socks.  I've always been that way.  This stylish footwear is an easy way for me to keep the bottoms of my feet off the floor, keeping my feet warm, and thereby my body at a nice cozy comfort level.

I can't be the only one out there like this, right?

(post 18/365)

Sunday, January 17, 2010


So I've Twittered about the ongoing "new floor" project at the house a bit over the past two months, but I thought I'd post a pic from today's progress here on my 365 blog.

The picture above is from the master bedroom.  On the left, you see the carpet that was here when we bought the house several years ago.  The middle is what is UNDER the disgusting old carpet.  On the right you can see the new flooring after it's been laid down. 

Before anyone asks, my answer is NO.  I am not going into the flooring business.

(post 17/365)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday night in the studio

Saturday nights are usually spent in the ABL studios. This gives you an idea of my view during the show.

(post 16/365)

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, January 15, 2010


What happens when the temperature rises to 36 degrees in January.

Yes, it was a warm and balmy 36 today in the southside of Chicago.  The picture shows the only trace of ice or snow left on our front porch.  Time to break out the t-shirts, shorts, and flip-flops!

(post 15/365)