Monday, February 28, 2011

Birthday Gift - Pictures of the Day - February 28th

So tomorrow is my youngest daughters birthday so I went out tonight to get her a gift.  I grabbed my oldest daughter and off to Toys R Us we went.  Of course as I left I told my wife we would be quick.  Uh, yeah right, going to Toys R Us is never quick. Never!

I took my oldest daughter so she could give me insight into the mind of a four year old girl.  So, of course, almost immediately we got sidetracked.  Seriously how cute is this t-ball helmet?  Oh wait what were we here for? Oh yeah, birthday present.  On to the girl toys!

 But.....somewhere along the way.  Yup, you guessed it, sidetracked again.  Honestly, with Toad's awesome victory in the Friday Poll still fresh in my mind how could I not stop to take a picture of this.  Yeah, take that all you loser Yoshi people! Toad Rules! Oh wait, birthday present.  Opps, ok on to the girls toys.  Hey wait, what's that? Oh shit, awesome.  Look at those cars? Sure, why not take a ten minute pit stop to check these sweet rides out.  Crap, it's getting late.  On to the girl toys.

 Ok, got here.  The land of pink I never once entered as a child.  These aisles so confused me, why is everybody suddenly speaking Latin? Barbie? Disney Princess? What do these words mean??? I'm so confused!  And my oldest daughters idea of help was to say her sister would want everything! That's no help, none at all!  Ok, focus.  Nothing here is going to work, time to move on.

 And that's when I found it, the perfect gift for my daughter.  Thank The Lord, Thank Jebus and Thank Superman.  I had the gift!  As we walked back to the car my daughter knew I had done well!

What did we get her? Playmobil! Some zoo sets and an animal doctor, success!  Ok, now its time to go to sleep knowing I'm the best Dad ever. Ha!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Night Out - Picture of the Day - February 27th

Last night was good.  Last night was exactly what I needed.  My wife and I went out to dinner with my parents.  We went to Wildfire and we had a great time.

We split three starters.  Braised Short Rib Ravioli, Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Basil Sauce with Focaccia and Oven Roasted Crab Cakes.  The goat cheese was really good, it really worked the tomato.  I really liked the short rib ravioli but that's because I've become addicted to braised short ribs.  Probably 5 years ago my wife took me to New York for a birthday weekend.  We did some crazy fun stuff like eating at Le Halles, Anthony Bourdains former restaurant.  Getting drunk at The Fraunces Tavern which has some brilliant Revolutionary war history tied to the building.   Getting even more drunk and watching the Rangers take on the Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.  We took the time to see everything at Moma.  But the clear highlight of the trip was eating at Gordon Ramsey at The London. Among the 6 courses of probably the best meal I have every had was braised short ribs.  I swear it was like eating perfection.  So, ever since then I will always try short ribs hoping to capture even a small flash of what I once had.  Wow, what a side story...So back to last night...

 I kinda knew I wanted fish before I even looked at the menu.  Actually, I knew I wanted to have fish all day.  I'm not really a huge fan of steak.  I like it, especially when it's a good steak place but I usually prefer fish. So I ordered the Cod special, it came with a butter sauce and zucchini.  I ordered mashed potatoes as my side.

 This was honestly the best thing I have put into my face in quite some time.  The fish was perfect, I couldn't have asked for a better piece of Cod.

Dessert was awesome, I had a dark chocolate pie.  The chocolate was very dark with nice bite of bitter that made it very good.  I like going out with my parents, I know I'm a dork.  It was a wonderful night, good food, good company & the promise of more in the near future.  Ahhhh, I'm happy.  Stuffed, but happy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Moving On - Thought/Video of the Day - February 26th

So its a new day, the page has been flipped, yesterday is dead and today is here.
I've embraced the idea of letting go of things that aren't good for me.  I have a new rallying cry, a new mantra.  A mantra I must embrace for the sake of my own mental well being.  I can't be angry forever and now its time to let it go, more importantly I'm ok with it.  It's on my own terms.

When I'm frustrated or angry, music always calms me down.  I find I can always retreat into music if I need to.  It has a way of leveling me, usually whatever was bugging me passes.  So last night I remembered this song and it struck me and helped me realize its time to let go.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my rallying cry is to not care about anything, just certain things.  I have plenty to care about, a wife who has grown so much in the past 6 months despite major obstacles. I'm really proud of her.  I have great kids.  My parents and siblings are also brilliant.  Our lives aren't perfect, we all have stuff to deal with.  I'm lucky that I haven't in a long time so I can deal with this, I can move on.  I'm a better person and I can take comfort in knowing that despite what certain others may think.  I'm sorry if you're left wondering what happened.  You will never know.  As of now I don't care to go into it anymore.  I've truly moved on, I'm happy again.  It feels good to be me again.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Hooray for New Shoes - Picture of the Day - February 25th

New Shoes! Well, not exactly new but pretty close.  I got a new pair of Ecco shoes for Christmas from my mums.  I've had them and I've wore them but it wasn't until this week that I have truly fallen in love with these shoes.  You know, the kind of shoe you wear till there are holes in the soles. The kind you continue to wear till there are holes in the soles AND sides.  The kind you wear till the holes are such an embarrassment that family tells you that you must buy a new pair or you are no longer welcome to attend Old Aunt Gertrude's 94th birthday party.  And you keep wearing them but this time its just to get out of that party.  Yeah, these are one of those pair of shoes.

So, yeah, they don't really go with a suit so I've been changing into them once I'm back from court. They will not be denied for long, they demand I wear them.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Greentacular - Picture of the Day - February 24th

So I wandered into my supervisors office a couple minutes ago to find four green Bic pens sitting on his desk.  Of course I ask him if the ink was green not expecting the pens to actually have green ink.  They did! Green Pens! Green Ink! Holy Cow Fun! Ok, I'm very, very, very, very easily amused.  I'm waaaaaaay too excited about this.  But lets face it, if I find myself in the position where I have to quickly draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and compare it to a peers drawing, the fact that mine will be green will almost for sure win me that competition and all the glory.  Yes, I'm prepared and that makes me feel good.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blur - The Universal - February 23rd

I love this song, one of my top ten.  It's been stuck in my head today so I figured I'd share so enjoy.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Quite possibly the dumbest thing I will do this week - Picture of the Day - February 22nd

You know what this is? Well, most likely my death after my wife reads this but...
No that's not the Grand Canyon, it's only the space my wife leaves when stopping her car.

It's the monster space my wife leaves between her vehicle and the car in front of her at a dead stop.  Yeah, she's one of those people.  I swear you could park a herd of bison in that space.  I know, I know you're asking yourself Why would you post this? What possibly could you gain?  The answer....Nothing.  I just didn't have anything else to post.  My wife was driving home, the opportunity arose and I took it.  I needed a picture of the day!  Sooooooooo, if there happens to be no picture tomorrow you can pretty much assume I'm dead......or severely injured.  All worth it for the blog.....I hope.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Support of Hockey Day - Pictures of the Day - February 21st

Yesterday was Hockey Day in America so what did I do? Went to a hockey game, of course!  I grabbed my ticket and headed down to the United Center to see the Hawks take on the Penguins.

I love Chicago

My Tickets are pretty close to center ice so I have a great view of  the game.

I settled in and got out my copy of The Committed Indian, the unofficial program of the Chicago Blackhawks.  Its so funny, if you are going to a Hawks game you must get one.  They sell them outside the stadium, just walk around and you'll find one.  You just need to see this one tiny example to know the greatness of The Committed Indian.

Pre game show, all the colors of the feathers in the Blackhawks Headpiece.  Getting pumped up at this point, Gonna see some Hockey on Hockey Day!

Some of the action on the ice.  The Blackhawks owed the Penguins in the 1st period but only had 1 goal to show for it.  The second wasn't so good but hey its the Hawks right? The Hawks got back up early in the 3rd only to let the Pens tie it up with 3 minutes left.  Luckily, the Hawks pulled it out on a Patrick Kane shoot out winner!

Somewhere in the 3rd period this guy danced for the crowd, its become a bit of a tradition.  At first I didn't like it but I have to admit it's kinda grown on me.  I really can't explain what exactly he does but its a cross between Irish dancing and rock? I'm not sure.

So I headed home and watched the Heritage Classic which I was recording.  The Calgary Flames beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.  Those are some ugly uniforms Calgary had on......Ok, I want one.  I'm a sucker for Hockey Jerseys.  One day I'll post a picture of the ones I have, I think I'm up to 25-26 jerseys now.  Crazy, isn't it.

So that's it, that's what I did to support Hockey on Hockey Day in America.  

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Great Bird War - Picture of the Day - February 20th

Stay Calm.  Listen to me carefully, I'm not sure how much longer lines of communication will remain open.  You have so very little time to prepare. I was sitting here reading @PeachezVilla's latest blog over at  I heard a thump, then another.  I looked out the window and saw this.

I knew it wasn't good, tensions are high and something could happen at any moment.  I knew being my families Southern most outpost, I was vulnerable and an easy target for initial attack.  I sat back down, I knew I had to get the word out.  That's when the shit hit the fan.  This is what I saw next....

In a barrage of tiny white missiles The Great Bird War had begun.  I've been under heavy fire for about 45 minutes.  I don't know how much longer I can hold my defenses.  @PeachezVilla, you don't have much time.  Prepare yourself, the birds are on the way......

Friday, February 18, 2011

Mario Kart Friday! - February 18th


It's Friday and you know what that means, Friday Poll Day!  A couple Fridays ago I posted a blog begging you to go and vote for Voltron's Blue Lion and success was had as the Blue Lion won the day.  Well, today's poll is greatest Mario Kart driver.  This one is not so easy. I'm torn between a couple characters.  Do I go with the character I originally loved and used? Do I vote for the character I use now?  Egad, first love vs. current fling?  As I'm writing this I still have no idea who I'll vote for.  Well, easiest way to figure this out is to go through the characters.  So lets go through them one by one.  Here's the list: Mario, Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Bowser, Wario, Princess Peach.

As I'm sure you are going crazy wondering where you can vote, click that link and remember vote with your heart not your brain.

Lets start with Wario.  Does anybody like Wario? If so, whats your problem?  Now if we were talking Mario SuperStar Baseball there is only one word to describe him, clutch.  He is one bad ass hitter in Super Star Baseball but unfortunately for him we are talking about Mario Kart and Wario just plain sucks at it.

Holy Cow, look at that nose.  Lay off the sauce Wario.

Next up, Luigi.  I don't get Luigi, I never have and never will.  Sure Mario has the burden of having an idiot for a brother and we all feel bad for both of them but why would you want to use Luigi?  Is it pity?  Luigi always seems to be scared of something and has a horribly annoying voice.  Mario is always better at everything so why not just use Mario?  Sorry Luigi, you just don't compare to your brother so you don't get my vote.
Look at him....Idiot. 
What to say about Bowser?  He's big so he can bully his way around the track, that's a good thing.  He can be deceptively fast, another good thing.  Ah, but now we come to the anger thing.  He cant control his anger and that's the heart of the problem.  I just don't trust Bowser to not jump out of his car in a fit of road rage and beat the crap out of Yoshi for doing something stupid.  You cant win a race if you aren't racing so Bowser, you don't get my vote.
Bowser would move up my list if he just got himself some therapy, just look at him.
I wish I had something positive to say about Yoshi but I don't.  Yeah, Yoshi is cute but not as cute as Toad.  So Yoshi fails the cute category.  Is Yoshi a good driver? No, below average on his best day.  Why? Well, Yoshi is a pet.  Nothing more than a filthy animal allowed to drive around in a go kart.  Would you let your dog kart against you? No, its a stupid idea.  So really Yoshi has no business being on the track.  Its really not even clear if the other characters know that he's there.  Maybe it was an oversight? Maybe Mario just needs to leash Yoshi and get him out of the way.  It would probably be best for everybody involved if he did.  Needless to say Yoshi doesn't get my vote.

Leash this guy before he takes a dump on the track.
I don't really have any problems with Princess Peach.  Sure she is a woman so inherently is a worse driver than the rest but..............ok, ok, I'm joking.  Hey stop throwing stuff. Ouch! that hurt! Eeeeee! IT WAS A JOKE!............Ok, now that that is over back to Princess Peach.  I've never really liked her as a driver.  Not fast enough, bad acceleration.  Just not what I look for in a driver.  What Peach does bring to the table is some kick butt courses.  Some of my favorite courses are in the Princess Peach Kingdom but that's not enough to get my vote.

So now it gets difficult, Toad and Mario.  Lets start with Mario. Mario is as balanced a driver as you need.  Great top speed, acceleration and turning.  You really can't go wrong with Mario, he'll win you most races.  I've used him quite a bit on Mario Kart DS.  Not many character flaws, you wont have a PR nightmare on your hands with him.  Always says the right thing and gives you all he has.  I like him, I like how he drives.  There is one thing missing though, loyalty.  That must be considered, so on to Toad. 

So close Mario but not today.
Toad is freaking cute, if you don't see it you must be blind. He's little, cute and always happy.  Even when he's angry he is adorable.  He's the perfect underdog, you never find yourself rooting against him even when you are playing another character.  Traditionally Toad has a very average top speed but that's made up for by having good acceleration.  You have to work a little harder for the win but it's so worth it just to see that smiling face at the finish line. Toad was the very first character I played in any Mario Kart game and for a long time the only character I played.  I worked at a BlockBuster Video in high school through college and we used to set up these massive Mario Kart tournaments.  I always used Toad and he scored me some major wins.  I think it's only right for me to return some of that glory today.  Toad didn't let me down when I needed him so I won't let him down today.  Toad, you get my vote as Greatest Mario Kart Character.   

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Quick Ghost Update - February 17th

So its been many moons since I've posted a ghost update.  Why? Well, not much is happening.  I've "felt" things but that doesn't really count so I didn't say anything.  So last night while watching TV with my wife I noticed what appeared to be something quickly fly by the doorway in the kids playroom.  It looked misty or almost like light.  Most likely it was just headlights in a dark room but it caught my attention.  This morning I was sitting at my computer for a minute before I went to work.  As I was sitting I swear I heard a whisper, actually seemed a bit louder than a whisper.  It was definitely a female voice.  It seemed pretty clear and sure sounded like my nickname.  My wife and kids don't use that name, only my parents and siblings.  This happened in the same room I thought I heard a voice before.  So I'm not sure what to make of it.  Its so easy to hear something out of nowhere and not know the origin of that noise.  Does it mean its paranormal? No, but its another thing I cant explain.  I've been really happy with the inactivity lately, I was kinda hoping it was done.  It might be done but now I don't know, maybe this was all just something else.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nachoes & cheese - Picture of the Day - February 16th

I ran across this at lunch today and I couldn't stop laughing.

What do you get when you combined a garden hoe with a wedge of cheese?

Apparently you get yourself a steaming pile of Nachoes & cheese.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good Vibes - Picture of the Day - February 15th

So this is my supervisor, Jason.  Despite his many, many, many, many, many, many......many...many.....many, countless flaws, he's a pretty good guy and friend.  In fact, I'm pretty sure Jason comes with Kung Fu action, a realistic karate chop, comes complete with a 40 piece artists kit, is way better than sliced bread, has zero calories, is pretty much potty trained, completely zombie proof, plays a mean train whistle and has a money back guarantee. Jason needs some love this week so I'm using my blog, as he would want, to ask you to send some good vibes his way.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Vacation - Picture of the Day - February 14th

This weekend we went up to Door County, Wisconsin for a four day mini vacation. I've been going there for my whole life so it's safe to assume that I love it.  Going to Wisconsin in February means its off season which means almost nothing is open.  That's not such a bad thing though.  There's still a couple good restaurants open, a few shops and plenty of winter scenery to take in.

Of course driving in Wisconsin would I have to pass this truck.  Blah, everybody was Packer crazy.  I hope the Vikes can rebound and give me something to be happy about next year.

So we got up to Door County with enough time to get dinner.  We knew exactly were we wanted to go, Al Johnson's.  I love their Swedish meatballs, they really are awesome.  Door  County is pretty Scandinavian so places like this are pretty authentic.  My understanding is that the building was actually brought over from Sweden!

The next day I took my girls to Hands On Art.  Its a pretty basic art place in an old renovated barn.  I created me and my wife's salt shaker doppelgangers.  Fun times was had by all!

These were just a few pictures I took of some cool winter scenery.

These are a few pictures of the crazy train icicles that were all over the place.   They were really pretty at night, pictures don't really do them justice.

My oldest daughter was really interested in where we got married.  She knew my wife and I married in Door County and she wanted to see where.  I took her to the Church, St. Paul's and I showed her the fireplace where we got engaged.  Lots of good things happened for me in this place.

This was the best Cherry Cola I have ever had.

So that pasta dish you see on the right is named after me, not kidding.  Angela Di Villasenor Pasta tossed with sun dried tomatoes, pine nuts, garlic, pesto and extra virgin olive oil.   How cool is that?  Maybe not very but I think it is.

 Ok, this is the best freaking pie ever in any place in this world or any world and that counts the mole peoples world.  Sweeties Pie in Fish Creek.  I cannot convey how much I love this pie.....well not the Packer pie pictured....custard and rhubarb, ewwww.  I had some caramel apple pie and chocolate walnut, I'd kill for this pie.....really.

 I took my oldest daughter to the Door county Confectionery to get some candy but also a teddy bear.  She had been so damn good the whole weekend, the girl deserved something special.  She got a bear almost half her size, it was love at first sight.

Kim, my wife Karen, My youngest son Ian at Mojo Rosa's

So this is me wearing my new favorite hat.  I love this hat, its so cool.  I love the color, the fit and most important the cute skeleton pirate logo.  Ok, so its a Milwaukee Admirals hat.  Five years ago I would have never worn any Admirals stuff, they are one of the Chicago Wolves big rivals.  BUT, they had to go and change their logo to this cute guy.  I couldn't resist so now it's my new favorite and I wore it all weekend.

So that's it, a small glimpse of my super fun weekend away.  Happy Monday!