Best Deal for Ice Cream in Chicago

March 6, 2012

It’s at Nookies in Old Town.  On Wells, 1746 North Wells.  Huge bowl of ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream.  Delicious.  For guess how much?  With tax, it’s only $1.66 !!!  That is served to you by a cool waiter or waitress in a chill restaurant with a great vibe.  Sit at the bar if you’re solo, table if you aren’t.  Crazy awesome deal.  Enjoyed myself one this evening.  The price is ridiculously low.  Sometimes you get a bowl, sometimes it’s in a long-stemmed sundae glass.  Delicious and excellent value either way.  A bowl of ice cream… in Old Town, Chicago… for $1.66… with tax.  What is this, 1957? Go git yerself some!


Adventure Engagement

January 5, 2010

So my girlfriend and I went to get dinner the eve of Christmas eve 2009 at the restaurant where we met – nice place, Four Farthings here in Chicago.  It was a cold, blustery night and there was a freezing rain/snowstorm going on.  We had a great time at dinner and then went for a planned walk on the beach, entailing  maybe a 3/4 mile walk through the snow in the park and over North Avenue bridge which was coated in a sheet of ice, handrails, stairs and all.  We crunched our way out onto the beach with rain and sleet biting into our faces, Lisa still in a great mood but having no idea what was coming.  I had wrapped some fake boxes back at my place that she saw before dinner – none ring-box-shaped to her disappointment.  We continued on down the freezing beach in the dark with wind and huge waves crashing onto the shore.  Lisa finally said she’d like to turn around, and as she did, back to the wind and the freezing rain, I said “well in that case I have something to ask you” and dropped to one cold wet knee.  She proceeded to lose her mind and eventually composed herself and asked me to do it again and said “yes!”  See the videos below for a sense of it.  The first video is pretty entertaining in my opinion.

Does this make me famous?

November 24, 2009

I think not, but still pretty cool – check out this article in Crain’s Chicago Business, about 2/3 of the way down:

I’m on a Toastmasters distribution list and a lady was looking to interview people who had taken Toastmasters to help with public speaking.  I emailed and told her that was why I had taken Second City classes and she interviewed me a couple times.  I believe she is independent and I didn’t realize it would be in Crain’s.  It was a fun shock when friends emailed me the day that Crain’s came out to tell me I was in the article.  No less than four people I know read it without me telling them, which is pretty impressive in my humble opinion.  So I’m not famous… but I think that’s pretty cool.

Late October Dinghy Danger, sailboat’s on the hard

November 23, 2009

It’s over.  Boat’s officially up on her rack for the winter.  Balanced on some iron rods on a cement parking lot, waiting for the return of summer days.  We keep her about 15 miles south of downtown, up the Calumet River at Crowley’s Yacht Yard.  It’s about a 2-3 hour sail south from Monroe Harbor where we keep her moored in the summer.  My boat partner and I do the trip together most every year and it’s always a great time.  This year we had perfect wind and weather, fairly warm for a late fall day, with a beautiful sun and nice breeze out of the west.  Each year we need to take the harness off our buoy, get the dinghy from shore, pump out the head (where the toilet proceeds are stored), and fill her up with diesel before heading south.  Noteworthy this year was the dinghy pickup procedure.  I dropped Aaron off on shore to get the dinghy, which he promptly did, dropping her into the water and shoving off while I pulled the big boat up beside him.  He got ahold of the boat, stood up in the dinghy and began tying her to the stern of the Imjatse (the boat’s name, she’s an Ericson 28).  I asked him “You all set?” and he said “yep!” so I gunned it as we were in a hurry.  Next thing I hear is “hey! hey! hey!” and I look back to see him laying on his back on the side of the dinghy, flailing around, body half in the water, half in the dinghy, desperately trying to stay out of the water as it slowly heeled over. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Random Clips

September 10, 2009

I haven’t posted in a while and have a hadful of random things to talk about that have occurred the last month or so.

First is this video of my friend Tadd Maudlin, cruising on his sailboat off the coast of Belize, doing a dance that I used to do in college and most likely still do called “the Trimmer”.  I’m very jealous of him – bought a boat and is cruising on it indefinitely with his girlfriend, they are now in the Carribbean off Belize – follow them on their blog at 

Speaking of boats, mine was broken for two long weeks – the motor went out while we were sailing, so we had to sail her into the can with pretty much no wind – super fun and challenging.  Then I tried a zillion differnet things to fix her, all to no avail and making it worse over about ten days.  Called a boat mechanic named Doug Pietz recommended by my boat neighbor.  He met me out on the boat and proceeded to tear into the motor fearlessly – fixing three problems, each of which could have been a major issue on its own, all in the span of under two hours.  A true professional and it was really amazing to watch him work.  I was very impressed with his skill and his pricing and efficiency and fun attitude.  If you need boat engine work done certainly call him at 847 533 9030, he is spectacular.

This past weekend I went to another lake house, also in Michigan and on the shore of Lake Michigan and its spectacular giant sand beaches – they are truly stunning if you have a chance to check out the west coast of the lower peninsula definitely do, they seriously rival many of the great beaches around the world in my opinion in the summer, and also very cool to experience in the wintertime.  Stretches a couple hundred miles up the coast.  Here’s a view from the kitchen:

 View of Lake Michigan from the west coast of Michigan

Took different crew sailing each day of the air and water show including Friday – very fun and gorgeous days.  Check the picture of the enormous American flag on a sailboat we saw. 

At the Air and Water Show in Chicago 2009

At the Air and Water Show in Chicago 2009

Went to Devil’s Lake one Sunday a couple weeks back to rock climb with some climbing friends, great time had by all.  Gorgeous, perfect day and terrific group of climbers. Devil's Lake near Upper Diagonal

This weekend we head to Lake Superior to kayak the Apostle Islands for five days, should be a great trip, sevn of us are going, really looking forward to it.

Went to a Purdue football game last Saturday, very fun to see all my old buddies and wander by my old apartment.   In college I managed to jump a car over the embankment shown below, they seem to have put up posts to stop this in the future.

Scene of trouble back in the day

Scene of trouble back in the day

Second City live Improv show with an audience!!

August 4, 2009

Yikes! Awesome!! Amazing – what a rush and how scary and crazy and cool to be on stage in front of a live audience – and have no idea what you’re going to say because it’s improv.  And be scared and nervous before the show but pumped and excited at the same time.  My class did great – we got a bunch of laughs from the audience and had fun and supported each other.  It was very cool – we were even better live than in class – I was worried we laughed so hard in class because we knew each other, but not the case, my friends that came said they REALLY enjoyed it – so next time I think I’ll invite more people, was a little nerve-wracking in case it was a total flop to invite people.  I didn’t stammer, stutter, or mumble – spoke loud and clear and people laughed at some stuff I said – whether at me or with me I suppose is irrelevant.  I wasn’t sure I was going to take the fourth class, level D as it takes time and going to class for three hours every week can be a drag, but I immediately signed up after the perfomance.   I had no idea it would be that fun while doing it live and so exhilirating when it was over and went so well.  I remember talking with Jimmy Buffett at the climbing wall one day and we were talking about how much of a rush it is to climb, and he said “yeah I agree!” and then he said “and surfing too, I get so fired up!”, and I said “yeah, for sure, me too!”  and Jimmy said “and being onstage in front of 50,000 people, it’s so amazing!” and I said… “er yeah….”  But now I have a small sense of what he was talking about – incredible, amazing experience, take Second City  improv classes if you have a chance!

The 101st running of the Race to Mackinac

August 1, 2009
The skipper in the Manitous

The skipper in the Manitous

Very slow race yacht race this year – not much wind. We didn’t finish until Tuesday afternoon, usually we finish sometime during the day on Monday. The Valkyrie was doing well through about 2/3’s of the race, holding our own, near the front of our section when we took a fateful gybe too late into the Manitou islands passage and got stuck too close in to land as the wind shifted and pushed us in. We bobbed there helplessly as all the little boats we had passed over the previous days slowly caught us and passed us in the middle of the channel, and all we could do was watch.  In frustration we slowly worked our way up the coast – and I mean slowly, 0-.5 knots per hour for a good 15-20 hours, enough to drive a crew bonkers. Read the rest of this entry »