Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What's that? You Say You Want More Pictures Of My Kids. Well. Alright.

Yesterday found us in Chicago at the Garfield Park Conservatory. I had never been there before, but Dave had recommended it and we want to get the kids together more often.

Finn and Philip

There are a number of huge colorful, sculptures on display in the garden by the artist Niki de Saint Phalle. The work is titled Niki In The Garden, and is meant to be played on and interacted with. Good times.

Finn and Ava


Cranky Patrick with Ava in background

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Monday, June 25, 2007

You Know You Love Pics Of My Kids.

We purchased a Slip'n Slide this weekend and are happily destroying portions of our lawn.

Ava giving me the 'Stink-Eye.'

Philip, Patrick, Conner and Ava.

I thought this was a pretty good portrait of Conner. He's a good kid.

Another in the long list of amazing things you think, feel and witness raising a child is their boundless potential. There is the standard talk of your kid becoming President, or perhaps making a difference in the world. Curing cancer and what not. I'm often struck by a child's, and Philip's in particular, physical potential.

Philip has always been big. Our last doctors visit measured him at the size of your average six-year-old. He's big and strong, possessing a never ending supply of energy. Now, I know common sense tells me he has no chance of being a professional athlete, but, look at him, that four-year-old is shredded.

The potential that is held inside them draws a sharp contrast to my declining physical prowess. I'm not suggesting I'm jealous of my son, but rather excited and a little nostalgic. Excited to watch him grow up and discover what he is capable of doing. Nostalgic for the good times that trip will offer. His potential will lead him somewhere, and neither he, nor I know where.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Hot Fun In The Summertime.

Morton Arboretum, 2007.

We have been busying ourselves with trips to Brookfield Zoo and The Morton Arboretum. The zoo is almost exactly as I remember it growing up as a kid. Shockingly so. The arboretum I had not gone to much growing up. It is very kid friendly and I believe they added the childrens garden recently.

More cicadas and a pond.

Though kids have the opportunity to wade through this pond, it is a living body of water, teeming with life. After a few trips I remembered one of my mother's motto's on all family day trips anywhere. Bring a change of clothes. It's priceless comedy to watch your son completely disrobe in front of a group of strangers.

While I was changing Patrick, I tried to brush some dirt off his feet, but it stuck to him. On closer investigation, a leech had stuck to his toe. I peeled it off and turned to ask a staff member if there were leeches in the pond. I have kind of a loud voice and luckily stopped myself before I caused a general panic amongst the kids and parents with, "Hey, are there leeches in the pond?" After quietly asking, he informed me there were. Cool.

Pond frog, Morton Arboretum, 2007.

The kids went crazy for this frog.

Patrick and Ava, Morton Arboretum, 2007.

Ava goes crazy for water in all it's forms. She loves the pond.

Philip at Xanadu, Morton Arboretum, 2007.

This is a sculpture called Xanadu, by Patrick Dougherty. It is made from various, large sticks all woven together. It took the artist fifteen days to sculpt, with help from volunteers. I wasn't blown away. The act of making it is impressive and the finished product was fun, but even so, I thought it would have been much cooler had it been grown and manipulated to this form, yet remained alive.

Ava, Goat and Patrick, Brookfield Zoo, 2007.

We didn't get to many pictures at the zoo, but this one of them brushing the goat turned out super cute.

Goat, Philip and Patrick, Brookfield Zoo, 2007.

Zoo lunch, Ava, Philip and Patrick, Brookfield Zoo, 2007.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Product Endorsement: ALPRO G500.

I think I have mentioned before that I'm a waiter, or server if you prefer. My first server job was at a Denny's in Normal, Illinois back in 1993. Since then I've been employed as a server at various restaurants from Hollywood to Key West. The constant problem at every job I've had is, progressively worsening foot pain. The job requires you to stand for long periods of time and over the span of years this can lead to constant discomfort.

A few weeks ago, the bottom of my foot started to feel like it had been set on fire when I walked. I tried buying some new cross-trainer gym shoes, which helped, but when I took them off, the pain returned. On top of my career as a server, I'm also the stay-at-home parent of two very active boys. I couldn't be limping around after The Boys. The discomfort had to be addressed. So I went to my local Moccasins & More Leather Shop and ordered a pair of ALPRO G500 black leather clog/shoes. ALPRO is the professional division of Birkenstock, designing shoes for work environment.

I've been wearing the ALPRO G500 for less than a week now, and my pain has largely subsided. The molded cork/latex footbed is a dream come true, the shock absorbing soles a revelation. Plus, they aren't just comfortable and therapeutic, they are a pretty handsome shoe as you can see. Aside from the black leather, they also come in white, which I now have my eye on.

I had owned a pair of Birkenstocks in college, but after they fell apart, I never replaced them. That's never gonna happen again.

Thank you, ALPRO G500.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Here's To You.

Alot of folks do a regular blogroll. They let everyone know when they add a link, or they highlight specific posts they found interesting. Chris wrote a particularly touching post, thanking everyone on his link list.

I wanted to give you all some credit for not attempting to mine a certain subject matter for any of your posts.

The subject I speak of, of course, is this:

So, thanks everyone.

Thanks for showing the restraint our major news stations do not.

If you don't read the blogs I link to, you should.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

48%Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

My Novelist Friends.

I know actors, I know playwrights, I know photographers and painters. I know musicians and I know dancers. I even know an actress who was once an Olympic gymnast. But I don't know many novelists, at least not any who are published. Well, I can now scratch that off my list.

My buddy Andrew, pictured here, has had his Novel, 'To The Last Drop' accepted for publication. I'll let Andrew tell you alittle more.

"After 11 years & 6 novels & 150+ rejections, the door has finally been cracked open just a wee bit.

The novel is about a war over water between Texas and New Mexico, set in the present day. In the story, Texas invades New Mexico and occupies it for its trickle of water. An insurgency grows in the oppressed territory of "New Texas" and it's all brilliantly executed. If you're interested in learning more about the book, please copy & paste your way to:

My novel will be published within the next 12 months by the press wing of a research institute in Boulder, CO called BAUU. They mostly publish hard science, social science, native American anthropology etc but, in their well-educated wisdom, they've decided to take a chance on my novel: "We believe that the book has merit and the topic is inventive and pertinent to today's times ... we are excited about working with you and bringing this book into production."
Congrats, Andrew!

For all of you aspiring novelists out there, keep it up. Successes like these could be your own.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Report From Cicada Station 60126

Warning!! The following post contains pictures of cicadas.

With all the goings on around here, I haven't even mentioned the cicadas. There are alot of them. Not as many as I remember in '90, but still quite a few.

I was initially disappointed in them. Just another memory from childhood proven false, or at least diminished, I thought. Perhaps it was exaggerated in my mind, the cicadas of 1990. Or, maybe there were more 17 years ago. I didn't know, there just seemed to be less of them this time.

Those assumptions were proved an overreaction. There are plenty of cicadas here in 2007.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Some Cool News

Awhile ago, I started a sports blog called Double-Nickel. It is dying a slow death and if anyone wants to join me there to write about sports please contact me. Write about anything you want really, or don't. If you are reading this blog, you probably have your own blog and could write about sports or anything you want anyway.


Double-Nickel gained the attention of some guys at another sports blog, Sweet Home Sports. (Which all Chicago sports fans should be reading.) They were looking for someone to cover Bears news exclusively. Cool. I like the sports blogging for the debate and discussions, this blog had more readership and more opportunities to chat sports.

A post I wrote yesterday got the attention of Deadspin. They gave it a mention and linked to the post. This is very cool. Deadspin is the Daily Kos of sports blogging. A site that gets 200,000 hits a day. Their link was much appreciated, and I'm feeling kinda good about it.

That is all.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Memorial Day At The Deely's.

Back in college, I was lucky enough to meet my friend Anita. Over the years, I've gotten to know her whole family. Last week The Boy's and I, along with Shelto and his daughter Ava, hung-out at Grandma Deely's house with Keira, Sheila's daughter, and Brenden, Michael's son. It is a special pleasure to watch your children play with the children of such good friends.

Philip and Brenden watering Grandma Deely's flowers.

Little Keira. Cutey. She cried whenever I got close to her.

Daddy Shelto plays with The Boy's while Ava climbs horse.

Shelto, Ava, Keira and her mother Sheila.

Boys love to hit things.

Philip and Ava.

Brenden, Philip and Patrick.