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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!
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 ALL7 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 knows...it could even be a future daily destination for me.
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.
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?
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.