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Sailing with Girls tonight

September 27, 2007

Taking my Sis and all her girlfriends out sailing tonight – should be a blast.  As the sole male on board, I’ll tough it out!  Great girls, I’m looking forward to it.  Weather looks great.

 Was out with my buddy Dave lat night – mmet at a bar downtown then moved up to Wells on Wells in Old Town – I love htat bar.  We had a great time, catching up on stories and what we’ve been up to recently, and telling old fraternity stories.  Great to see him as always.  After that was going to head home but texted John and Sleshy – who were out, so cabbed it up to Wrigleyville and the Sports Corner.  Great to see them too, it’s been a while.  Conversation was good and then sailing came up and we rehashed a bunch of races from the summer and different strategies and what to do differently next year.  Fun to see them and share stories.

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Atlanta Day trip

September 26, 2007

So I flew down to Atlanta and back on the same day.  Makes for a long day.  I took a programmer I’d like them to hire for me down there, a Bulgarian fellow.  Not sure how well he went over.  It was fun being on the road, but that’s a long way to go in a day.  Easy travel, just 1.5 hour flight.  Was good to see my Atlanta friends, I like them a bunch.  May be better party buddies than business partners, but that remains to be seen.  We’ve made some dough together, hopefully will make more, time will tell.

All good, out with my buddy Dave for beers at Poag Mahones in a bit, 6:00, heading out of work.  I need some more people in my office that are fun and cool – gets to be a long day just emailing and talking on the phone.  Maybe I need a full-time adventure job….

Taking 13 people sailing on my boat from Church Saturday – that’ll be an adventure.  Told them we’d be out all day, sickness or not.  Hope the weather will be nice – but the ministry is about adventure, so if it’s not, that will make for a better adventure, which is what we seek out.  Can’t really control the amount of adventure you have when you’re sailing.  Unlike mountaineering, climbing or caving, you can dial up the adventure by how challenging you pick it.  Sailing it’s pretty weather or equipment related.


Batman filming in Chicago

August 24, 2007

Today the road was blocked off right downtown where my office is – next to the Federal Reserve building and the Chicago Board of Trade, right in the heart of the financial district.  They’re filming Batman!  How cool is that?  There’s a big stage set up in the middle of the street and a bunch of police cars with GPD or Gotham Police Department on them – in intricate detail, plus Gotham city flags on the Fed and Bank of America buildings.  Fun times.  A few weeks ago there was a burned out helicopter in a parking space under the el tracks where I get off the train.  Check the pictures.

Gotham police car

Gotham police car up close

Gotham flag on the Federal Reserve building

Video of a bit of the Batman filming setup.

This weekend I have two bachelorette parties on my sailboat which is always a blast.  Sunday got a buddy coming in from Georgia who wants to head straight to “the track”, so that’ll be interesting and fun.  Tonight no plans, maybe tennis, Saturday my great buddy Dave is putting on the annual pubroll – which is bike or skate from bar to bar starting at noon.  I’ll join up with those drunken skaters later that night.  I chose the sailing with the ladies over the pubroll – some would call it sacrilege, I think it’s wise!  🙂  Have a great weekend all!


More beach

August 17, 2007

Last night I had this Trading Tribe meeting at my place.  I’ve been doing it for a couple of years.  It’s interesting – but I think I’m about done with it and ready to move on.  It’s about setting goals, improving your life, and mainly learning to feel feelings, especially the ones that make you uncomforable.  The theory is there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ feeling, they are all good and are all telling you something.  but don’t bottle them up.  If you do they creep out when you least expect it and cause trouble.  My thought is the group is too focused on ‘problems’ and not enough on positive thiniing and feeling and getting excited about the future.  I think you need to feel good and think about what you want and then you can get it.  If you don’t know what you want – it’s hard to get it.  The clearer you are on goals, the better.  I’ve read bunches of books these last few years and they are starting to sink in.  Karim Hajee, The millionaire Moses, Billionaire book by somebody, Excuse me your life is waiting, Think and Grow Rich, The Power of Now, the Bible, Autobiography of a Yogi, The Secret, and a bunch of others.  Great stuff, all say simlar things in different ways and all were valuable in some ways.

Going to a wedding this weekend, Lisa can’t go.  It’s in Ohio.  My good friend Persephone (is that a great name or what?  She looks probably like you’d expect her to) is flying in from her mountain home in Utah to roadtrip with me, so that’ll be a great time.  Missing out on the Air and Water show her.

After the meeting last night which finished early I cruised down to the beach on foot.  I waded into the surf and then climbed up on a lifeguard stand.  What a night.  I’m addicted to the beach these days.  Feels like summer is winding down so I’m soaking it up.  Good times!  Check out the panorama video I took from the lifeguard chair.

Had lunch at Perry’s today with Dave – when you use a cell phone in there they set off this REALLY loud alarm until you turn it off – pretty hilarious and different.  And the sandwiches are absolutely Enormous.  Enough meat for three.


Chicago Beach Bum

August 14, 2007

View south from my towel on North Avenue Beach

Video view east and south from my towel on North Avenue Beach, Chicago

So I realized how great of a beach we have here in Chicago.  Several actually.  North Avenue Beach has this great party spring break atmosphere.  It so fun.  Music pumping from Castaways, (my first or second favorite bar in the city depending on the day) tons of people playing beach volleyball, tons of people in the water, guys playing frisbee or throwing around footballs, people riding their bikes/running/rollerblading/walking up and down the lakefront path, a gym with all the equipment right there, it’s crazy.  I’ve been here seven years and never really appreciated it.  Lisa and I walk down there from my apartment on the weekends.  We hang out, swim, read books or magazines.  It’s like a regular beach, like being on vacation, and it’s like a ten minute walk from my place.  Crazy.  I’ve also been swimming two beaches south, Oak Street Beach I think it is, on Navy Pier.  They have a triathlon swimming course set up there in the playpen (same place we anchored out the boat last week).  It’s fun to swim, get the heart pumping.   The water is so so warm – or not warm – but perfect.  Refreshing and not freezing.  Which I like.

Over the weeekend also checked out this festival over in Ukrainian Village.  Not really my scene or my type of hood.  It was a dog festival and then like a hard-core punk rock-ish festival.  Was good to see my buddy Dave and some of his friends, and one band was insane.  They were pouring beer all over each other, fans were throwing full beer cups at them onstage.  They had a little kid on either side of the stage squirting waterguns out at the crowd the entire show, and silly string as well.  They rocked however.   They were completely nuts and very entertaining.  I wished I had some rotten veggies to throw at them, they’d have liked it.  They had a skinny drummer chick with huge cans in a bikini and daisy dukes and silver high heels that would emerge from behind the drums once in a while to get a beer.  Some dude came onstage in full sequin jeans and a top and a cape.  They were called The Beer Nuts.  I can’t imagine what their normal crowd is like and what would happen on a regular night for them.

Saturday I also did a bachelorette party on my sailboat – fun girls.  Really fun.  Mostly overweight, but they laughed hysterically at everything I said.  Who’s complaining about that?  All had a great time, and everybody went swimming when we stopped way out in the lake.  They brought a ton of alcohol and worked through a bunch of it.  The trip was free as I auctioned it off at a friend’s Coprodelli benefit for her.  however they did not tip my first mate, which was annoying – I should have said something but didn’t, I had the opportunity to.  He and his fiance and Lisa nad I went out to dinner – I bought for them to make it up to him.  Not that I couldn’t easily find somebody willing to “work” for me, but it’s the principle.   We initially went to Angelo’s on Sedgwick – Lisa had to run the Chicago Half Marathon Distance Classic the next morning at 6:30 so we wanted to make it an early night- Angelo’s people let us sit on the patio for I bet fifteen minutes.  Waitstaff walked right by us without saying a word, and we were one of two tables out there.  We left.

At the beach Saturday they had free skin cancer screenings with real doctors.  It was great – I had it on my list to do from my physical a few weeks ago.  Got the A-OK all clear sign on my skin, which is amazing as I ski, sail, mountaineer, etc and have been outdoors a ton and burned a ton.  Good news.


Retro on Roscoe

August 8, 2007

Sunday I hit the Retro on roscoe Street fair.  Second year in a row.  I went with my girlfriend and my buddy Dave from college.  It was fun – really hot, very eclectic stalls – vegan promoters, circus game booths, festival food, decent food, some fancy antique cars a bit off the main drag.  A kids band at one end, a mediocre band in the middle, and a rockin band at the other end.  A very laid-back, uncrowded, fun and slightly otherwordly atmosphere.  We wandered up the street, then back down, standing in the shade as the sun beat down on us.  Wandered into a bar and had some more beer.  I’m on a Guinness kick these days as I did some research to find out it has iron, protein (!), and carbs, as well as less calories than most beer, including many light beers.  Crazy?  And it tastes yummy.  I was so hot I walked through the dirty puddles leftover from the storm that morning in my flipflops to the amusement of my friends.  then Dave took off and we watched a really fun band – they were interesting as they did a medley – of probably 40 great songs, with only about 60 seconds for each one.  Michael Jackson, U2, Bon Jovi, ACDC, Daave Matthews, and on and on.  At one point the singer got a running start and leapt into the crowd.  He briefly sang with one girl right in front of us then turned around, noticed my girl Lisa who I must say is a bit of a hottie, and I stepped away from her.  He put his arma round her and had her sing a few choruses with him and then ran back up on stage.  She did great though was a bit embarrassed but secretly loved the attention I’m sure.  Everybody likes attention, especially girls.  And then she drove my blazer home, which she hates doing as it’s a big truck to her, with bad brakes she claims…  but she did terrific.  Got to try out my new camera too.  Good times, great festival!


Sailing Adventure Story, Map Room Chicago, 5.12 Whipper

August 8, 2007

So I’ve written a few stories.  Check out http://www.sailingbreezes.com/sailing_breezes_current/articles/may06/macrace.htm

I’ve also written some other stories, I’ll throw those up a few at a time.

I need to get a trip planned – a bunch of buddies are going to Argentina next week to ski – I’m just not in the mood to ski in the summer – it sounds sort of cool… but not really.  I’m in beach and sail mode.  Plenty of time to ski this winter.

Taught climbing at the gym Monday – no takers!  Zero customers, oh well – I need to bang out another twelve to be a slightly more legit twelve climber – however I’m in shape to climb like 10a right now, maybe this fall I’ll take some trips and work on it.  Southern Illinois – Cranial Implosion is on my list, soft 12 some say, I’d still like to get it.  Velvet Green was my first and only 5.12 to date.  What a beautiful climb – two heel hooks and a single finger pocket going to the fourth clip.  Got it after probably twenty goes over a period of 9 months I’d say.  Took one particularly nasty fall where I caught the rope, flipped, and slammed into the wall – ow.  Nothing broken and no blood, was bruised for a week.  My belayer girl, Kristen, was a little rusty – at the one-finger crux I said “watch me” – which she interpreted as “keep me tight” – thus yanking the rope in tight when I was extremely precariously balanced, 40 feet off the deck.  The slightest pressure would have pulled me off, she essentially yanked me off and down I went.  Should not have had my foot over the rope either, got a nice rope burn along my leg, yowch.

Last night I went into a bar for the birthday party of my best bud from college, Dave.   I had biked down to the lake and gone swimming in Lake Michigan, and had left my ID in my swimsuit.  The bouncer was adamant about not letting me in (I’m 37) which is fairly ridiculous and then treated me like a criminal, making me stand outside and not letting me tell my bud.  It used to be one of my favorite bars, the Map Room here in Chicago.  The guy was such a jerk on a power trip and really got me angry – I get mad so rarely, it takes a special person and this guy pulled it off.  Anyways, on account of that the party left the bar and moved on to another place – pretty cool of everybody.  My fault for not having an ID but it could have been handled far, far better.  I doubt I’ll ever go back unfortunately.

Wednesday sailing beer can races called off tonight… what to do with the evening…