Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's a short month. Skip, leap, and repeat!

It's a short month.  Skip, leap, and repeat!

Wanna Dance February Style?

February had its ups and downs.  The nice thing about February is that it's the shortest month of the year; it has leap days, repeat days AND skip days.  Keep reading to understand what these days are.  Getting out more, trying to break out of the social awkwardness is giving me more confidence in many areas, but I'm finding some need for improvement with some not so fortunate occasions.  I have pretty much made up my mind that the Venture Around Chicago group is the group I want and should stick with for now.  I'm finding it very difficult to go to some of these Single Mixers.  The hardest part of these is leaving them with a heavy heart.  I'm tired of going home like this, so I think it's best to stick with what is fun and helps build new friendships.  The Single Mixers are out for now, unless I go to one in a social group where I'm comfortable around the people.  This is one thing I've learned this month.

I'm an Introverted person at heart and I am trying harder to socialize more.  It takes a lot of courage to do so.  It is not easy, especially when you are stuck going to some of these things alone with no backup or wingman.  You all may think being Introverted is overrated?  Well, it's not. I am happy this past year I was able to overcome a lot of shyness and break out of that "anti-social shell."  It's not done though.  There is still a lot of shyness there around women.  I guess this would be the second phase to breaking that "anti-social shell."  I have to try.  I am learning how much more difficult it is to breaking that shyness around women.

Put your heart into it. Keep in step with the beat!


"ERIC FAILING DELETIONS"

«   »

Крокодилье время.
Даже если крокодил съел вас у вас есть два выхода.

Considering that February is the shortest month, there were a lot of fun activities I did this month and I found out how filled my February calendar truly was with work and other activities.  This month has been very heavy emotionally too.  Having new goals and hopes has caused yet another rift.  Maintaining friendships where there is a negative feed is affecting my own outlook on life.  I cannot live with people who insistently backstab or talk negatively about you or others when you're not there.  It's unhealthy to the heart, and is breaking the beat in my step.  I'm here; you're all there.  Like I once said before, I guess I'll have to say again.  "Figure it out for yourselves."  I am tired of giving advice and suggesting solutions to problems when they are not accepted.  It's nice to feel appreciated.  All I can do now is pray.  I'm slowly realizing who understands me the most, who is important in my life and who is not worth my time.  I'm tired of helping or caring for friends, when in return it's unrequited or brushed off.  If I volunteer for charity, it would be a different case.  I would've went down to Pacific Garden Mission on Canal Street to volunteer my charity to those who are willingly deserving of it.  I have new priorities.  I will no longer partake in any more of yours.  I have punched my final time card in the State of Ohio.  I'm done!  I am usually most overlooked in a group of friends and taken for granted.  I won't stand for this anymore!  If I'm not a part of your lives, I am not a part of yours.  If you're still reading and understand where I'm coming from, thank you.

HAVE A HEART!

February 1st was Go Red and Heart Awareness for Women.  What a very nice way to begin the month.  Not only thinking about Mom for this, but my friend Karen and a few other women who suffer with heart disease.

Going Red for Mom and other women!

Chicago's State Street going Red for Women!

My Mom had a surgery back in 2011.  Heart disease runs on her side of the family and I probably should go get my heart checked because of this.  She first had surgery to repair the heart valve in March 2011.  She went to Cleveland Clinic to have the procedure done.  I wasn't too pleased how they handled the procedure the first time because she ended up back there to REPLACE the valve the second time.  The "mistake" could've cost my Mom her own life if it weren't for my Dad being there for my Mom when she suffered a stroke!  As good as Cleveland Clinic is hyped up to be for Heart Awareness, they don't have my vote for making sure my Mom was taken care of properly.  My Grandfather (Taylor) died at a very young age from Heart Disease (Rheumatic Fever) so, once again, I believe that I should get checked very soon.  So, on February 1st, I wore a blood red sweater for Mom and those other women.

THE GROUNDHOG TOLD ME TO REBOOT...AGAIN!

All Systems Aboot!

National Reboot Server Day, Groundhog Day 2013

"It was the end of a VERY long day." Bill Murray, Groundhog Day.

Back when I worked at Broadvox, I started a tradition as the Systems Administrator there.  We had some in-house servers which were usually "forgotten" and never rebooted.  I assigned February 2nd, "Groundhog Day" as the Day to reboot these forgotten servers.  I believe I started the tradition in January 2009, if I recall.  It was a short lived tradition while I was there, but the logic I had in mind for that was, "if one can reboot a day over and over, then why not reboot these servers?"

It's more or less just a geek holiday if anything.  Working there no more, I still carry the tradition at home with my Home Network.  Everything electronic restarts on Groundhog day.  I should find a way to "brand" the holiday. At 9pm, I rebooted everything.  After rebooting, I was horrified to almost have one of the servers "crash."  After examining the case, it was no more than a broken monitor.  Wwwheeewww, what a relief!

Oakbrook 17-102 LAN

Earlier that day, I also took my new router back up to MicroCenter in Westmont.  I learned after trying to setup the new router that it doesn't recognize "classless networks."  When I talked to the Support Team at MicroCenter, they were dumbfounded and didn't know what a Classless Network was, so I had to teach THEM.  Luckily for them, I brought some network diagrams of my home network with me that day to help explain what was going on.  I told them that my home network uses 172.17.10.0/24.  I told them some reasons why I chose that CIDR as the network.  Everyone uses 192.168.x.x for their network.  It makes it easier to hack for one.  172.x.x.x is usually defined as a "business class network" under RFC 1918.

Oakbrook 17-102 LAN

Oakbrook 17-102 Mailflow

After explaining my network and showing the diagrams to the Support Team, we did some research and got one of their Network Support guys to encourage me to try the router again, setting up the vLANs on one of the LAN ports.  So, I will try the router again.  Luckily, for now, the old router works fine "hard wired," and I just have to reboot the router occasionally for the wireless to work.  I am finally close to adding an additional server onto the home network.  Oh, by the way, Oakbrook 17-102 has nothing to do with the City of Oak Brook nearby.  When I first built my home network, I was living at Oak Brook Gardens in North Royalton OH.  I used the location of my apartment on the premises as the Signage for all of the gear [Oakbrook bldg 17, unit 102].  I retain that signage on all my hardware and software licenses to this day.

MicroCenter
"No one here knows what a classless network is."

What time is it?  Ask a gnome accountant.

I'm not very impressed with my "Samsung Galaxy SIII" phone.  I had it completely wiped on Reboot Day and still having to pull the battery on it because it just freezes up randomly.  I pulled the battery again for the first time after the wipe on Februrary 10.  They need a "Flux Capacitor" APP on these phones just in case I throw it at 88mph!  Seriously, I don't remember all these problems with the "HTC Sense MyTouch" I had.  I ordered and received a replacement phone, so let's just hope it works.  Ever since the Jellybean update got pushed down, my phone has been nothing but a headache.

Verizon Wireless
"Complete wipe on phone!"

A 'TELL TALE HEART' AND AN UNKINDNESS OF RAVENS!

Chicago's North Center Neighborhood

"Nevermore," quoth the Raven.

Superbowl XLVII on February 3 was celebrated by going to Chicago's North Center neighborhood.  It was a last minute meetup and I wasn't doing anything else, so I drove down.  I parked somewhere near Damen and Lincoln, and didn't have too far to walk for the meetup.  It was a FUN TIME even though my team lost in the end!

Northcenter
"Lincoln and Damen"

A few Chicago Meetups merge for Superbowl Sunday!

Brownstone Tavern

The group met up at Brownstone Tavern, and there was a blend and mix of a couple other Chicago Meetups there as well.  The one end of the pub was sectioned off for all the meetup groups.  I was fortunate to meet some new people from the other meetup group, Northside Professionals.  I talked to a very lovely and beautiful Indian woman most of the evening; she is a school Principal's Assistant at a nearby school system in Chicago's Ravenswood Neighborhood.  She had a very interesting story and told me about her ventures in other countries.  I found her very interesting and intelligent!  Hopefully, we'll meetup for other activities.  The other woman I conversed with was originally from Milwaukee WI, so we were able to talk about the Packers a little bit, haha.  For a meal, I was shocked at the menu.  It wasn't your standard bar food menu.  There was some healthy choices listed there.  I ate the BBQ Rib Sandwich on Rye.  Within that sandwich were brussel sprouts!  Kurt called it the "Longhorn of Pub dining."

I rooted for San Francisco and even enjoyed the ads on TV between the game.  I still find something repulsive about a hot chick kissing a "disgusting" guy and hearing the sound of that kiss, lol.  It puts you off your food, yeck!  Oh, so, why did I root for San Francisco?  Simple.  I still love Cleveland even though I don't live there, and any Cleve lander will tell you how much they despise Art Modell.  It was rather interesting to hear the entire pub rooting for the Ravens though.  It was a fun social night and I even joined another meetup group at the encouragement of the lovely Indian woman I was talking to the whole night.  And, then, the LIGHTS WENT OUT!

Brownstone Tavern & Grill
"Superbowl party with the Venture gang."

STRENGTHEN YOUR HEART!

I've still been dieting and exercising, but it's proving to be very tedious.   I may finally sign up for a gym membership and look into "getting shredded" diets.  I don't want to eliminate carbs in my diet, at least the ones that matter like fruits and vegetables, but I'm finding that a lot of weight is stubbornly trying to come off.  I was shooting for my target weight to be 200 pounds or less.  I have less than 70lbs to go.  I still exercise on the Bowflex two or three times a week and get out on Waterfall Glen's Walking Trail.  When the weather becomes spring-like, I can start biking again.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve.  Brrrrrrr.

Cass Avenue Entrance.  Brrrrrrrr.

The winter weather makes it harder to get out and jog, even walk, a lot of times.  They say cardio is good for you during the winter months because our bodies like to store fat and hibernate during winter.  It also builds that "cold weather endurance."  I started using a new App to track my cardio.  I was using "Jog Tracker" previously.

BRRRRRRRRR!

Public Service Announcement on Winter!  Luckily, I know how to use that bristly-looking, stick whatchmacallit doohickey in my vehicle, so I don't have to play peek-a-boo with the other drivers on the roads.  People, it is not a hair brush or a tooth brush.  It is for your vehicle.  Use it.  Yes, that means brush your cars off when you see that white gunk covering it -- brush completely!  Yes, I am also a strong believer of the Wipers-Standing-Up-On-Windshield thing when it snows.  If there is one irritating pet peeve I have about winter, it is ice build up on my wipers!  Ungh! Ok, we now return you to your scheduled blog...

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
"WG Spur >> 91st Street >> Cass >> back. New Sport's App."

Sports Tracker Workout


New protein powder. I also started using a new protein powder for workouts at the recommendation of one of the guys at the Willowbrook GNC.  It's called "Amplifier Wheybolic Extreme."  He said that there aren't as many carbs in this protein powder, compared to the "Whole Gains" which I was using before.  Getting lean isn't easy but I still am trying.  So, I switched to this one to try in combination with my workouts. Overall, I should strive to have a hopefully, hearty and healthy heart.

GNC

I CARVE YOUR HEART OUT WITH A SPOON!

On February 8th, I met up with Venture Around again for the screening of "The Room" at Music Box Theatre.  I drove down to Chicago's Lake View neighborhood and parked on Janssen Avenue.  It was a very cold night and the sidewalks were very slippery.  Very close by on Clark Street is Wrigley Field.  I hope maybe this year I can go to a Cubs game.  I don't get into the middle of the Sox vs. Cubs fiasco here.  I still wear my Cleveland Indians colors proudly in these parts!  I grew up with the Indians, even when they really sucked, so they are my baseball team, and that will never change!  Haha.  My Uncle used to take my brothers and me to the games every Saturday in the spring time when we were young kids.  After parking, I walked and met the gang at Dags on Southport and Addison.

Lakeview
"Perfecting parrellel parking in these areas is an asset."

Yes, I misspelled "parallel" in the check-in probably because my fingers were cold and my brain was freezing, haha.

Meeting up with the gang, it was a total geek fest, lol!  We were all talking about Comic Books, Sci/Fi, Fantasy, the New Star Wars, and we even talked about 80s music.  Kurt and I had to be the oldest from the gang, so we both thought that was funny when a younger member in the gang expressed her love for Fleetwood Mac, lol!  So, we were even talking about Stevie Nicks' haunting voice and I told her that her voice always gives me the chills, haha.

Venture Around at Dags

Talking Geek

No, I did not eat Pizza that night, but Foursquare was good enough to award me with the "Pizzaiolo Badge," lol!  I just had Iced Tea and a Caesar Salad.  After our geek trivia, LeeJay, the one whom organized this meetup (not Kurt for this one) gave us instructions how to prepare and properly watch "The Room."  Apparently it's a cult classic and has audience interaction with the movie.  Little did I know, but I later checked online to see this.  It does indeed have a cult following.  So, being debriefed about the movie screening beforehand, I learned about three things from LeeJay.

Spoons

Bridge

Football

D'Agostino's Pizza & Pub
"No pizza for you."

Southport Avenue and Addison Avenue


Walking over to the theater, we stopped and bought a load of picnic spoons at CVS.  Even then, I still thought this was ludicrous, lol!  Little though did I know though what the purpose was, and what a hilarious surprise when I made the connection later.

CVS/pharmacy
"Buying spoons!"

Music Box Theatre

Finding our seats

Just a little history to the theater, but it is officially a haunted theater.  A ghost named Whitey does haunt the theater, so naturally intrigued and fascinated, I was curious to see if there would be a spook event and appearance.  Old theaters often have their own ghost myths and The Music Box is no exception. “Whitey”, as was his neighborhood nickname, was the manager of The Music Box from opening night 1929 to November 24, 1977. His wife was the cashier and they raised their family two blocks away from the theater. According to one of Whitey’s daughters and his daughter-in-law, he spent most of his time at the theater. Young people who grew up in the neighborhood tell tales of working for Whitey, being tossed out by Whitey and accidentally-on-purpose skinning their knee to get a free piece of candy from Whitey. Parents speak of the embarrassment of having their child’s instamatic photo in the cashier’s station “rogues gallery” of children not allowed back in the theater for any of a myriad of offenses. On Thanksgiving eve, 1977, Whitey returned to close the theater. He fell asleep on the couch in the lobby and never woke up. Patrons prone to superstitious beliefs sometimes attribute events at the theatre to his ghost.

Movie Ammo!

We arrived at the theater probably about 15 minutes 'til midnight.  After getting our free popcorn (for those who unlocked the free small popcorn special on Foursquare) and getting to our seats, we deployed our movie ammo!  The theater was PACKED!  LeeJay specifically chose our seats for the "spoon recycling."  The movie started promptly at midnight with a resounding BOO from the crowd, lol!  As each name displayed on the screen in the opening credits, loud BOOs were heard all throughout the theater, especially with Tommy Wiseau's credit, lol.

Watching the opening of the movie and getting into the film, I found myself booing the terrible acting too.  The crowd interaction was rather hilarious, very reminiscent of Evil Dead and Rocky Horror Picture.  Somewhere towards the beginning though, I started hearing the rustle and bustle of plastic spoons in the audience, so I knew something was up.  Suddenly, everyone started throwing their spoons at the screen and screamed, "SPOON!"  Hearing the cue, I, too threw mine, yelling SPOON as well!  Haha.

 SPOON!

Whoa, that was a lot of spoon projectiles being launched at the screen.  So, learning the timing for throwing them was important, and I got the hang of it by the end of the film.  Every time there was a scene with a spoon in it, you threw the spoons.  Spoons were also thrown for the bad acting as well, and even every time Johnny said, "Um, hi," continuously throughout the movie ( >.< ).  Continuing to watch and interact myself, I got thunked in the head by a nerf football.  This happened during one of the scenes in the movie where the actors were tossing a football (in tuxedos).  Without hesitation, I picked it up and threw it towards the screen, hitting someone else in the head I think.  Haha.  

I began to understand the timing more with the movie and with the awful acting, especially with scenes where the camera pans across the Golden Gate Bridge [to remind the audience that this was San Francisco].  The audience would stand to their feet and root for the bridge as the scene panned.  If the scene didn't complete the full length of the bridge, there was a loud expression of grief!  If the scene finished panning to one side, there was a loud CHEER in the audience.  Learning the timing, I was also standing to my feet and rooting the Golden Gate Bridge on with the rest of the audience too.  GO!  GO!  GO!  WOOHOO!  Or, GO!  GO!  GO!  AWWWWWW!  I wish I knew about this film when I was in San Francisco last year.  I could've been rooting for the bridge as I drove across it, haha.  No wonder it has this much audience interaction as it does.  The movie just ... um ... sucks!  Apparently, Tommy Wiseau does go to some of the screenings of this film at various locations for a Q&A.

By the end of the night, I was hoarse from the yelling and other interactions of the movie.  Aside from the horrible acting of this film, especially with the indescribable accent of Tommy Wiseau's character and his worst line "You're tearing me APAAARRRTTT, Lisa," what truly made the film fun was the audience interaction!

Music Box Theatre for The Room
"Throwing spoons!"

Spoon throwing at "The Room"

Root for the Golden Gate Bridge

After the movie I found these YouTube clips from the film at different screening locations.  I thought I'd share the experience with the rest of you in the blog.  Adjust the volume accordingly.  Enjoy. 

THE ART IN HEARTY LAUGHTER!

Logan Square
"George & Woodard."

I started the week off by going to see some live performances of some live comics at Logan Theater.  This was on a Monday night.  I drove down to Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood.  I normally don't plan activities on weekdays because of work, but it was a fun night nonetheless.  I parked near Milwaukee Avenue.

Northwest Neighborhoods

North Central Neighborhoods

Each time I meetup with members of the Venture Around group, someone mentions to me that I should move into one of the Northside neighborhoods of Chicago, so I've been starting to look into it.  I still have a year to search and make the move.  Several of the people recommending me to live in one of these neighborhoods, it was pointed out that moving to the Northside would be better.  The Southside neighborhoods are a bit more domestically temperamental.  I think I'm one of the only members that lives out in the 'burbs.  That hasn't excluded me from activities of interaction in the group though.  Kurt is really good with planning the activities for our group and he knows Chicago very well.  So, each time I visit a new neighborhood, it gives me a chance to get the feel of it and embrace it.  This will prove to help my chances to making a choice for moving into one of them.  So far, I've visited a couple of the neighborhoods like Logan Square, North Center, Old Town (for Pub Trivia) and Lake View.

Logan Theatre
"Stand-up Comic Night."

There must've been at least 10-15 stand-up comedians performing.  They each had 3 minutes to do their gig.  There was some really good ones, and some of those may move onto becoming famous.  I got the most laugh out of one of the comics about booking your flights.  "When we book flights, do some of you feel the flight numbers listed are crash numbers?"  Haha.  I was drinking and nearly expelled my drink through my nose when I heard that.  There was a wide range of genres that each comedian used for their gigs.  They had a "blind comedian" perform as well.  He was really funny even.  There were some comedians that were brand new and still trying to get a feel for the audience.  One of the members of our group helped them a bit with his "Japanese Top" attire.  One of the members of our group was also celebrating her birthday that night.  Happy Birthday!

The Lounge at Logan Theatre

Venture Around

Happy Birthday!

We may plan this event again in the future.  There were some other Comedy events planned for this month as well.

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY AND ART!

Tuesday, February 12th was an interesting day.  I got up really early and started work early, probably about 5am.  I worked up until 9am and took public transportation Downtown to the Art Institute.  It was a special day because it was Lincoln's birthday and all Illinois residents had free admission to the Art Institute.  It was also special because they had an exhibit and tour devoted specifically to our 16th President.  Again, a weekday, I don't normally do activities, so this was a rare occasion.  I picked up where I left off with work when I got home.

Metra - Westmont
"09:49 BNSF Downtown. >>"

Each time I use the Metra here, I often think back to this blog: Keeping a train of thought and keeping on track.  It is also funny because, now, when I think back to other points in my life like my time at Broadvox, I associate it with the "conductor" on the train saying, "...next stop Western Avenue" or "...now approaching Western Avenue."  Haha.  Remember, my brain works weirdly.

"Confucious say; he who high fives oncoming train make good impression on track."


Still maintaining a positive train of thought.


Still keeping on track.

Climb a Tower of Faith, keeping the perspective all in High Def

Cross at your own risk.

Chicago Union Station
"Art Institute, S. Michigan Ave. >>"

To anyone wondering what the '>>' or '<<'  prompts in some of my check-ins are, it just means "in transit towards or back to."  When travelling, I put them in the check-in for each part of the transit.

The Art Institvte of Chicago on Michigan Avenue

This was my first visit to the Art Institute.  It was so nice to go somewhere with the Venture Around group to a place I wanted to visit when I first moved here.  Just like the other museums here, you cannot completely enjoy the place in one day.  You have to return and do a little more each time.

The Art Institute has several exhibits for each Artist of each time period in history.  As a group, we went to a few of them.  I always enjoyed Monet's work and some of the more Modern works, so those were the first exhibits to visit.  Seraut is also another one whom has some very good art, especially his work with Pointillism Art.  I'm not a huge fan of all the art, but the rule of thumb in art (no pun intended) is about perspective.  It is a simple rule.  Remember a brief dialogue from the dark comedy of Dead Like Me.
Rube: If you stand too close to a painting — all you see are patches of color, if you stand too far back, you can't see any of the detail. Right now this is your particular perspective and if you ask me—
Georgia: I'm a little too close.
"Nighthawks," Dead Like Me.

Remember that now when looking at this priceless piece of Art which has a permanent home at Chicago's Art Institute.

"A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seraut, 1884.

Look closer!

...and, CLOSER!

It's Cameron's Painting.  Get the picture?  The careful brushstrokes used here are an example of the pointillism art form used by Seraut and another famous French Impressionist, Claude Monet.  Now, go back to the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off and play the Art Institute part of the movie.  Recall Cameron gazing on this painting, and seemingly relating himself to it.  Remember his character in the movie?  Recall my New Year's High Def resolution.  Found in this classic piece of Art, this is a perfect illustration of that resolution.  If you stand too close, the image is distorted and has no meaning.  Stand back and see it from just the right distance, the image becomes clear.  Cameron's painting is a life lesson.  Remember always the lesson in that movie as well.  It wasn't about Ferris ditching school for himself.  He ditched school for his best friend, Cameron.  Up close, Cameron felt his life had no meaning, but his friend saw more than that in him!  Here is another piece of art demonstrating pointillism.

"Rocks at Port-Goulphar, Belle-Ile" by Claude Monet, 1886.

Image of the painting

We were not allowed to use Flash Photography at the Institute, so some of the pictures of the paintings are blurry.  We went on some of the tours the Institute had to offer like the Abraham Lincoln tour and the Modern Art tour.  Who even knew that several French Artists were considered too contemporary for their time, and art had to be recognized by a higher social class before being exposed to the public?  This was common with the "Salon des Refusés," or "exhibition of rejects."  In 1863, this was a jury of peers in a group called the Paris Salon.  Napoleon III decreed that those Artists were allowed to exhibit their art in this "rejected salon."  It was very interesting to hear the tour guide mention that there was some art that was found so repulsive that women would become faint of heart.  When we see this art today, it is widely accepted as "real art."

Modern Art Tour, featuring Monet's 
"Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare"

Image of the painting.

There was a painting I was really fascinated with on the Modern Art tour.  It was painted by Francisco de Zurbarán, depicting the Crucifixion of Christ.  It depicts a unique portrayal of the Lord.  The painting is life size and it was first shown to a Monastery in Seville.  Noted very carefully in the painting, the Artist painted the Lord with the spikes in His hands as opposed His wrists.  You can also note that there are two spikes for each leg as opposed to just one.  The Lord is "resting" on a piece of wood at the foot of the Cross too.  The first thing I asked myself was what the artist was trying to portray with this particular representation of the Lord.  Was he trying to depict the crucifixion "less severe and painful?"  I pointed this out to one of the members in our group and she was intrigued by what I saw in the painting.  I tried to capture a photo but every angle had a glare over the Lord.  I think the "glare" on the painting was purposely done that way by the curators of the Institute for us to remember not only the humanity of Christ but his Divinity with the Father as well.  That's how I interpreted the "glare," when trying to take the photo.

 Modern Art Tour

"The Crucifixion" by Francisco de Zurbarán, 1627.

Image of the painting

Reflecting on the painting for a moment, I was taken by the more important representation of it.  My Sins were paid for on that Cross by the Lord.  I was very astounded with the collection of art we as the group saw. I would love to go back and see the other exhibits featured here. The President Lincoln tour was also very awesome. The tour involved the works of Daniel Chester French, the sculptor who did the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  We were introduced to some of his other work at the Institute like the "smaller" rendtion of the Memorial, sculpted in Bronze.

Bronze rendition of the Lincoln Memorial 
by Daniel Chester French

This particular picture I took was very interesting as far as perspective. President Lincoln appears nearly life sized against the people off to the right. The sculpture was only a couple feet high. The tour guide had us take note of the President's relaxed position, curled fingers on one of the arms of the chair, while the other hand more closed as a fist, representing his Presidency.  His presence on the chair is kingly, but you can feel the weight of the world by his position on the chair. One thing I did not pick up on was the "throne" resembles the spines of books. It was also interesting but this sculpture resides in the same location as the Greek and Roman works of Art, giving a "divine" and prominent placement for our 16th president in the course of time and American history.  Here is another sculpture done by French portraying the President in a more reflective and prayerful manner.

President Lincoln Tour

"Standing Lincoln" by Daniel Chester French

President Lincoln resides amongst the
Greek and Roman gods and goddesses

There was so much to indulge and digest for the exhibits and pieces of art we saw, so I do plan on returning here hopefully with a girl.  Ha!  Click "like" if you liked this place.  Er, wait.  How about a simple "thumb's up?"


The Art Institute of Chicago
"Time for art."

ANOTHER YEAR WITH A 'SKIP DAY' IN FEBRUARY!

Of Beren and Lúthien (Lay of Leithian).

English Bar & Restaurant
"Anti-Valentine's Day. Single mixer. No couples allowed."

I went to the Anti-Valentine's Day, "Love Stinks," Single Mixer at the English Bar on Valentine's Day.  Trying to be optimistic about it, I went in.  Taking my coat off and grabbing a glass of wine, I routinely did what I usually do: Stand off to the side.  Looking at the crowd, everyone had their own huddles and it was very intimidating.  So, sipping on my wine, I stood there for 20 minutes by myself.  Again, just standing there, everyone had their huddles or groups.  I'm not rude to just break into a huddle into the middle of someone's conversation.  I gave it a chance to see if any of the huddles would break up.  Nope.  So, finishing my wine, I gave up and left.  Let me just add and say but, considering all the activities I've been doing, I didn't brood for long about this disappointment, even though there were only 27 days yet again for this February.

Mingle Around Chicago.  This has been the third or fourth disappointment with this particular group. Each time I have tried doing a Single Mixer with Mingle Around Chicago, I leave and go home with a very heavy heart in the chest!  This was my last time attending one of these.  Maybe in the distant future I'll try again.  Let me attribute "distant" to something more hopeful and precious here.  I rated this event with one star! So, just let me attribute that ONE STAR to something more hopeful and precious for later here.  Each year, Valentine's Day is just a big disappointment.  This one was no different.  Like all others, it was a bust.  Everyone sees the rose and its bloom but they fail to handle the stem and feel the pain of its thorns.  I am, however, thankful I have my Mom to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to.  She has been the only woman I've really wished it to each year.  A couple years ago, I wrote a poem to that unforeseen Valentine, somewhere out there, just for me.  She is the "distant star in the corner of the sky," and I hope I cross paths with her finally!  Here is that DISTANT, ONE STAR I speak of!

THE DISTANT STAR IN THE CORNER OF THE SKY

My ship sails ever into the heavenly night sky
Into the sea of stars that are up so high
Towards the distant shimmering star so prominent
I will finally reach you, your light so dominant

You glimmer so radiantly neither waxing or waning
Since the beginning, there you are ever remaining
You bid me to seek you out and find your glow
That your life and spark will fill my soul

You guide my course onward to hold your hand
One day this long quest will reach an end
I've dreamt and seen your beauty from the start
When I looked into your night sky, I see your heart

One day our paths will finally meet
Until then, good night my glimmering star, my sweet.

I use the night sky and my love of stargazing for this.  The sky is a sea of stars, but there is a corner to that sky metaphorically.  That's where my distant star lies, far away, but shining brightly.  The corner implies a forgotten place.  Seldom do we look in a corner for something we desire; usually it's something we need or have forgotten that is in the corner.

Eärendil, Elwing and Vingilot, The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien.

"Now when first Vingilot was set to sail in the seas of heaven, it rose unlooked for, glittering and bright; and the people of Middle-earth beheld it from afar and wondered, and they took it for a sign, and called it Gil-Estel, the Star of High Hope."

"Elwing still held the Silmaril...

Elwing was borne out of the sea by Ulmo and given the form of a bird with the Silmaril upon her breast, and she flew to Eärendil returning upon his ship. They grieved for the destruction of Sirion and the capture of their sons, believing that they would be slain, but Maglor pitied them and fostered them as his own, and love grew between them.

With the Silmaril bound to his brow, Eärendil, Elwing, and his three loyal mariners sailed into the west, passed the enchantments of Valinor, and he set foot first of all mortal Men upon the western shores. His companions, he bade to stay behind, preferring to bear alone the wrath of the Valar. But Elwing would not allow them to be parted and leapt from the ship to run after him. He allowed her with him, but when they reached the pass of Calcirya, he went forth alone, for it was his fate to do so. He had come to Valinor on a day of festival, and many Elves did not remain in Tirion, but those that kept guard on its walls went with haste to Valimar, seeing the Silmaril. Finding Tirion deserted, Eärendil feared that evil had come even to the Blessed Realm, and he turned back for the sea."  


The Silmarillion by JRR Tolkien.

I got the idea for my poem from the Silmarillion with the story of Eärendil (lover of the sea), Elwing and the ship called Vingilot. Eärendil is represented by the Morning Star or Evening Star in Middle Earth. He bore the Silmaril upon his brow, sailed off into the heavens, and it shines brightly there, even today. We know this Silmaril today as Venus. I've read this book 3 or 4 times and still fail to fully appreciate the work Tolkien illustrates in the Mythology of Middle-Earth and Eä (May It Be). And, just a pointless observation here, but the picture in the heading with Beren holding the Silmaril looks inaccurate to me. Beren lost his hand retrieving the Silmaril from Carcharoth, the Wolf. It was bitten off by the wolf. I can't see the detail of the picture, but I try to pay attention to it, especially if I've read a book.

A WASTE OF TIME BUT A DAY OF "FIRST FRUITS!"

I probably would've been better off just spending Valentine's Day by myself then do this.  Walking back to my car after the Single Mixer, I decided and figured I'd just go back home.  I knew Downtown was probably packed with Valentine's Day events anyways!  No place for me.  What many friends fail to realize that with each passing Valentine's Day and with each invitation to be in their wedding, another part of me just dies!  Whereas my normal reaction to this type of failure would be self-pity and endless brooding, my mentality lately with these disappointments here has been: "Probably wasn't worth my time.  Try something else."  Keep reading to understand the point I'm making here.

Roads jammed for V-Day Downtown

The Circle Interchange
"Massive stuck!"

In my own stories, February 14 is called the "Feast of First Fruits."  There, it is considered the First Day of Spring or the season called Aóicónach.  The Second Wind of Arden blows on this day, instituting the Renewal and awakening of Nature after its period of Death.  The First Wind being the Scourge is blown on Elvish New Year, September 1.  Aóicónach, meaning "first fruitful seeds," (Wi-KO-nakh) is represented by the Rainbow. On the Ancient Calendar, it is the Day in which the Light of King Exiv returned to the Realm of Arden after the Light had gone out of him on October 31.

The Wheel of the Archive

Mocking Hills
"Home. Auto Show on Saturday to look forward to."

THE CHICAGO AUTO SHOW 2013 

On Saturday, February 16th, I got up very early to take public transportation Downtown to the McCormick Place.  I was very uninterested driving down there with regards to possible ill-traffic patterns for the Chicago Auto Show.  The Metra and buses here are very good for this sort of event and impressively clean for the most part.  Well, that at least has been my experience with the services so far.  Haha.  I caught the 07:49 BNSF at Westmont to Union Station.  I'm not a morning person, especially on non-working days, so I was at first a little punchy being up early and I'm glad the train was on time.  It was freezing out, and luckily the Westmont Train Station had its lobby open to keep warm! Heh.  Plus, driving to the station that morning, hoping I wouldn't get stuck streets away by a passing train, there was a huge fire in Westmont near the Post Office on Cass and 59th Street.  I could see the fire all the way from the Stevenson ramps.  I first thought, 'uh oh, another meteor?'  Haha.  Cass was backed up with firefighters and police near 63rd Street -- aggravating, but luckily I was on time and no train backups.  I did hate how long I had to wait at the 75th Street light in Darien with no one out that early on a Saturday morning.



Arriving Downtown close to 9am, I hung out for a bit in the Corner Bakery alongside Union Station.  I ordered a Hot Cocoa.  Wow, it was so cold outside.  A shuttle service was running specifically for the Auto Show from Jackson/Riverside at Union Station to Gate 26 of the McCormick Place.  Thank you CTA for the service!  I learned I could've taken #3 at Jackson/Michigan too, but um, brrrrrrrr, I was content waiting until the shuttle service started at 9:30am.  No sooner than I sat down at a table did I see the Bus pull up for McCormick Place.  There were a few other Auto Show people hanging out there too and they too ran.  Aaaahhh.  I quickly boarded the bus and paid the fare, haha.

Corner Bakery Cafe
"Something warm to drink before shuttle arrives at 9:30. Freezing outside!"

Getting ready to see some CARS!

I arrived at the convention center in a timely matter and walked upstairs and over to the Hyatt to meetup with the rest of Venture Around.  The meetup was set for 9am.  It is nice that the events are planned an hour beforehand, so that way everyone has a chance to mingle and talk [or get out of bed] before the event actually starts.  After everyone started meeting up, we bought our tickets and went into the show. $12 for Adult Admittance was an awesome price to pay for what was shown and what it was really worth to see!  It was worth every cent of it.

There weren't many people when the show first opened its doors at 11am, so this made it easier to get to see the cars up close and sit in them (some of them).  We weren't allowed to sit in the exotic cars though, ungh!  We started walking to the various spots on the one side of the convention center, starting at the Porsche and Audi sections.  Ok, so I was very impressed with all the vehicles but my eyes battled between "car gawking" vs. "girl watching," or the other way around.  LOL!  Luckily, I wasn't alone in that regard with one of the other guys in the group.  We tallied and lost out to girl watching at the end.  Final score that day: Cars 2, Girls 4. We both admired the woman on the Chevy Side, who had very elfin-like features!  And, when I mean elf, I don't mean short elves, I mean the Scandinavian elves in Tolkien's work.  By the time Noon approached, the place started filling up very rapidly with people, making it more difficult to get around the exhibits.  My personal favorites in the show are featured below.

2014 Jaguar F-Type S

2013 Lamborghini Gallardo


2013 Infiniti IPL G Convertible

 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray

2014 Honda Fit

...complete with a body inside.


Toyota Corolla 2014

Hanging with Padraig and the appealing Chevy Elf.

I don't remember the make and model of this car, but Kurt is standing beside it.

McCormick Place
"<< Shuttle back to Union."

By the time 4pm rolled around, everyone was exhausted and ready to go.  I planned on trying to get to Union Station before it got really late, so I headed back to the Bus for the station to be on time to catch the train back to Westmont.  Before leaving the Show, I circled back to Lexus, trying to meet with Lauren Strec to say hi, but missed her.  She is one of the spokeswomen/models for Lexus, and was working at the Auto Show that day.  The show was lots of fun!  Everyone had an awesome time and, before we all departed, we talked about upcoming events and gatherings.  I would love to see the Chicago River being Dyed Green on St. Paddy's day for the first time!  This was one activity mentioned and suggested.

Chicago Union Station
"<< 16:40 Westmont."

After getting on the 16:40 BNSF Metra and finding a seat, I couldn't believe how packed the train was just from people leaving the Show.  Plus, when I got off the train, usually the train is rather bare and has been emptied at previous stops.  Looking at the tickets out on the seats when I boarded, it looked like most everyone from the Show was heading back to Naperville or Aurora (Zone H).  The woman sitting next to me worried she got on the wrong train.  She was heading towards Aurora, and asked me if she were on the right train.  I said this train has intermittent stops on the way there.  When the conductor broadcasted all the stops, I turned to her and chuckled.  "Was one of those you?" She laughed and said she was on the right train.  The train departed and I plugged my MP3 ear buds into my phone and listened to music on the way back home.

Metra - Westmont
"<< Cass Avenue."

Chicago Auto Show 2013 -- McCormick Place Floor Map

2013 Chicago Auto Show
"Corvette!"

VALENTINE'S DAY REPRISED

Swissotel Main Lobby

I had a great time meeting up with a new Single's group after work Wednesday, February 20.  Weekdays with work makes it harder to do activities, so I only spent a few hours there.  The Meetup was called Successful Singles of Chicago.  I drove Downtown and parked near Grand Avenue.  I then walked over to 300 E on Wacker.  At first I thought the address was 100 E (near Michigan).  I checked again and saw it was a little further.  Brrrrrrrrrrrr.  Walking there, I forgot to stay on the "upper levels" of Chicago and had to backtrack a little at Michigan Avenue's DuSable Bridge.  Heh.  I just hoped that I would have a good time.  Fortunately, this event really made up for the disappointing Valentine's Day I had.  I met some really cool people, and yes, women.  I didn't feel awkward and both the Host (Jim) and Hostess (Shelly) both made it really easy to get out and mingle with the others there.

There were a lot of attractive women there.  I talked to a few of them with successful careers in Real Estate and I was asking them questions about our current economy and home buying.  They all said to buy a home now before it gets too late.  I told them I was interested buying or financing a home in one of Chicago's neighborhoods next year.  Interest rates are down.  They gave me their cards and I exchanged contact information with them.  It got me thinking.  I should get my own business cards made. The group was made up of professional and successful singles.  The hostess was very attractive, warm and very friendly.  She introduced me to some of the others, and it made mingling easier.  She gathered a bunch of the group together at a big table to eat, drink wine, chat and socialize.  I introduced myself, telling them I was new to Chicago and moved here last year.  I will be rejoining some of the activities with this meetup in the future and I was encouraged to come back.  One of the women I talked to also does activities with Venture Around, so we were talking about upcoming events.  It is often cool that some of the meetups here have members of other groups.  It's a good way to network!  I left there very happy and glad I attended. I'm learning that the key thing is "try and don't give up," especially with some of these events.  This one really made up for the disappointing Valentine's Day!

Again, one step at a time...
One foot in front of the other...

Amuse Bar

Successful Singles of Chicago.
No flash because I tried to capture the ambiance.

Swissotel
"New Single's Meetup Group."

MORE HEARTY HILARITY

Friday night, February 22, I went to Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood.  Venture Around was meeting up to watch the Comedy Show at Shambles on Division Street.

Wicker Park Neighborhood
"Crystal & Leavitt."


I drove down after work, getting stuck in normal Chicago inbound traffic as usual  It really got me thinking again about moving into a Chicago neighborhood next year.  Harlem Shake?  More like Harlem Ache as in headache!  There is an intersection here on the Stevenson that is such a headache driving through.  Harlem Avenue.  It takes a VERY long time getting passed this intersection and is almost worse than some of the driving Downtown.  Plus, the night before, Chicago was hit with some very nasty winter weather.  Waking up to almost a foot of snow was concerning since this was the first "real" storm I've seen here.  Roads were heavily salted throughout the day.  The Stevenson was no exception later on at night even.  Arriving in the neighborhood, I parked on Crystal and Leavitt.  I didn't have far to walk down Leavitt to Division.  I met up with the gang at Innjoy on the Ukrainian Village neighborhood side of Division.  We ordered drinks before and and chatted about various things, especially the 17th straight win of the Chicago Blackhawks, breaking an NHL record!!!  I've somewhat become a fan of them over the past few months, watching a few of their games.  Congratulations guys!!!  We were watching the highlights from their last game on the TVs at Innjoy.

Innjoy

Shambles on Division Street

Shambles hosts a free Comedy Show, called the Sh!t Show the last Friday of the month.  It's opened to the public, as demonstrated by the crowd turnout of this show.  The bar immediately started filling up as soon as its doors opened.  We all walked across the street to Shambles at 8pm as soon as they opened.  It started filling up right away for the Comedy Show.  I met some new folks in the group and we were able to talk about Computers and Programming, and even The Big Bang Theory, haha. Two meetups merged that night for the Comedy Show.  Everyone in Venture Around wore black, while everyone in Mingle Around wore red, so I wore my black Chicago Tee-shirt with all of Chicago's landmarks listed.

I'm wearing the flannel shirt in this picture.
Venture Around filled the first two rows.
Mingle Around was wearing red.



At 8:30, we all walked upstairs to watch the show.  They had a wide range of comedians that night and they were all rather funny.  There was one who really I didn't think was funny at all.  That person was Byron.  I don't think he captured the attention of the audience very well.  The one comedian that related to Tim Burton movies had me rolling off my seat!  Each comedian that performed had a chance to take a bottle of alcohol of choice if the audience shouted out "Best Joke!"  The lineup of hilarity was the following:

Nate Simmons
Jack Thurston Farrell
Aaron Weaver
Chastity Washington
Mike Lebovitz
Alexandra Tsarpalas
Mike Knish
Peter-john Byrnes
and Tim Paul

After the show, I took off and went home.  It was a VERY FUN night and so good to take time out after a long week to LAUGH!  I was rather tired and went right to bed upon getting home.

Shambles
"Free Comedy."

INTO THE LABYRINTH!

Ending the month of February, Saturday the 23rd, I hung out with Venture Around and we revisited Music Box Theatre to watch an 80's classic, Labyrinth, featuring David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, Jim Henson, and all the puppets.  Starting off the evening, I drove down to Old Town and met up with a new friend from Venture Around, Padraig, on Halsted Street.  We met at Karyn's Fresh Corner where he introduced me to a Vegan diet.  I met up with him at 9pm before the meetup for Labyrinth at 10pm.

A cool wall water fountain at Karyn's Fresh Corner on Halsted Street

Karyn's Fresh Corner
"Meeting up with new friend."

At the Deli, I tried a Vegan Chocolate Shake.  It was very delicious and I was worried it would taste like cardboard.  It didn't!  It was nice to drink, considering I worked out earlier.  The shake was a blend of nuts, and other vegetables, including goji berries and carob syrup, avocado, and  cacao nib. There was a wide range of items to choose from on the menuKaryn Calabrese has a very interesting holistic lifestyle and developed the items on the menu, based upon her own diet.  I picked up her free DVD after the meal and intend to watch it.  Paddy said I should try this diet and he has said I should eliminate dairy and meat, two things I will find a difficult time parting with.  Milk is an alternative to all the soda and sugary drinks I used to have.  Meat has protein.  This will be hard to give up.  He said this type of diet may help my Psoriasis.

A Vegan Chocolate (Protein) Shake

Aside from Paddy "Judo Chopping" his water glass on the table, breaking it into several shards, and getting me all wet, it was a fun time and I enjoyed my shake.  I was also introduced to one of his friends that he sees regularly when goes to Karyn's to eat.  Her name was Michelle.  She was celebrating her Me Day and enjoying a nice evening out on the town.  We told her that we were meeting up to see the Labyrinth and immediately she was hooked and wanted to attend.  I told her that since this was her ME DAY, I'd purchase her ticket to the movie.  She was fun to talk to and I told her that she needed to "brand" her ME DAY like I want to do for my REBOOT DAY.  I think it's a GREAT idea to set aside one day a year as a ME DAY as she was doing.  I think I'm making my ME DAY for January 19.  

Michelle

Keeping track of the time, we left Karyn's and all drove up to Lakeview for the meetup.  I GOT LOST!  Well, sort of.  I thought Southport Avenue was more east than west.  I was wrong.  Hey, I'm still learning the "grid streets" and the "coordinates" as Paddy calls them. 

Lakeview
"Janssen & Addison."

So, driving "towards the Lake," Paddy called me on my Teledental Device and said, "where are you?"  I told him I turned the wrong way, thinking that Southport was east.  Luckily, I turned the Navigation on when I left the parking lot at Karyn's, and "she" helped.  He said, "No, go back and go up Clark Street."  I was starting to head that direction.  "Halsted is 800W.  Southport is west of Halsted, 1400W.  Halsted and Ashland are the grid streets," he said to me on the phone.  I have to really hand it to Paddy, but he is really teaching me my streets, the coordinates, and the neighborhoods very well here.  Ever since I started meeting up with Venture Around, he really knows his town.  Paddy got me onto Clark Street and I drove north past Wrigley Field, turning left on Grace Street.  I was truly amazed he KNEW EVERY LANDMARK FROM WHERE I WAS LOST AT -- THE "L" TRAIN, THE BARS, THE CROSS ROADS, better than the navigation.  Now, that is just AWESOME!  I found a parking spot on Janssen Avenue again and parallel parked.  Whheewww.  I was just a little frustrated that I missed everyone.

After walking over to Cullen's I met up with Kurt and Venture Around.  We met for drinks and to socialize before the movie.  It was a good time of talking about the past week and the upcoming events, like the "Green Dying of the River" on March 16th.  I purchased our tickets (for Michelle and me) and soon we walked over to the theater for the movie.

Cullen's Bar and Grill

"I wish the goblins would come and take you away, right now."
Ooops.

The theater was packed for this movie!  I sat with Michelle and David, another member of Venture Around.  The rest of Venture Around sat a few rows back.  The movie began with thunderous cheer and applause in the theater.  Everyone applauded the credits, especially David Bowie's credit and Jim Henson's credit.  Watching the movie was very reminiscent of my own childhood and my Dad bringing this movie home from Curtis Mathes one day to watch.  I was in 5th or 6th grade when this movie first came out, so having the childhood memories of "family movie night" flooded at the beginning. Talking to my Dad earlier in the day, I mentioned that I was going to see this movie.  He said that he barely remembered it until I mentioned muppets and David Bowie.  He said, "I hope you and your brothers enjoyed your childhood."  I told him that I really did and have fond memories of it!  This movie was one example of that. Michelle and I knew the movie very well, so we were quoting the lines and singing the songs.  David never saw the movie, so this was a brand new experience for him, which I found out after the movie.  We all enjoyed the movie even the quirky acting, lol!  

Michelle pointed out that she never saw this movie in the theater and I expressed the same even.  A few things that we both picked up in the movie was the Clock and the time left for Sarah to solve the Labyrinth, seen throughout the movie, especially seen in the "forgotten sequence" when she ends up back in her bedroom with the old hag.  Look at the clock on her dresser.  It keeps the time she has left, as if it were still there and not forgotten.  Michelle pointed that out.  The other thing noted was the "old hag" who had the heap of junk on her back.  Watch the scene closely as she is getting Sarah to take her toys.  She heaps them onto her back in a similar manner, like she is making Sarah like herself.  I never pointed those out before.  Most of all, it was enjoyable to finally see it on the big screen, even years after it being released, haha.  Michelle and I both agreed that the best line in the movie can be found in this check-in for Music Box!  After the movie, I thanked everyone for a great night, and encouraged Michelle to come to some of the other meetups with the group.  Being really tired, I totally forgot to ask Michelle for her phone number and Paddy texted me later asking me if I did ( >.< ).  I told Paddy next time we meet at Karyn's, hopefully she will be there again.  Or, if she goes to another meetup.

Music Box Theatre for Labyrinth
"Nothing? Nothing? Tra la la!"

IN OTHER NEWS

Of bypassing asteroids and deep impacts...

President Morgan Freeman has hired Bruce Willis to take care of the problem. On February 15, Asteroid 2012 DA14 passed very closely to Earth -- 17,200 miles close.  On that same morning, just outside of Moscow, Russia, a meteor impacted the Earth, killing several and injuring a thousand.  Ok, yeah, we knew about the Asteroid, when were you going to alert us about the other object?  This should be a forewarning to you all, that information gets filtered and the general public is "misinformed" about such cataclysmic events.  Hearing about the meteor impact made me think about the Russians I worked with at Broadvox.  I know several of them still have families over there, and just hope they weren't affected!

"We watched as the bombs shattered the second comet into a million pieces of ice and rock that burned harmlessly in our atmosphere and lit up the sky for an hour. Still, we were left with the devastation of the first. The waters reached as far inland as the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys. It washed away farms and towns, forests and skyscrapers. But, the water receded. The wave hit Europe and Africa too. Millions were lost, and countless more left homeless. But the waters receded. Cities fall, but they are rebuilt. And heroes die, but they are remembered. We honor them with every brick we lay, with every field we sow, With every child we comfort, and then teach to rejoice in what we have been re-given. Our planet. Our home. So now, let us begin." Deep Impact.

If there were one person to narrate the end of the world, it would be Morgan Freeman.

Path of Asteroid 2012 DA14 in the Sky

Meteor exploding in Earth's Atmosphere over Russia

First major snowstorm for Chicago on February 22, 2013.  That Metra Train looks pissed off.  Look at it.

Stand behind the Yellow Line???
Ooops, that was the rail!

NOTEWORTHY OF WORTHY NOTES

"File's Done." ♪♪ AOL

2012 Taxes have been filed for both Illinois and Ohio [and the City of Brunswick].  I went to the 63rd Street H&R Block after work on February 21st.  I'm glad Illinois only has Fedreal and State taxes.  I'm so tired of filing for RITA or the City of Brunswick each year.  Less hassle for taxes.  I got deductions from moving last year from Ohio to Illinois.  Illinois deducted for gas, tolls, mileage to my new home, and truck rentals and services.  It really helped me get a better Refund for Federal, State of Ohio and State of Illinois.  I'm so glad I saved all that paperwork from my Move.  I'll probably take care of Brunswick when I go for job training in Ohio in a few weeks.

H&R Block
"2012 Taxes filed. Illinois doesn't have city taxes, so I still have Brunswick to do. >. <"

Featured Dashcam Video this month.

Going through my old videos, I came across this video that I did on September 17, 2011.  It was my first Dashcam Video, and the starting point is a place I shall choose to forget about.  I've added some music tracks in just like the previous ones.  It was driving from Cedar Road in Mayfield Heights, down I-271 onto Ohio 303.  It ends at my old apartment building, "Cross Creek" in Brunswick OH.  This was my first attempt at this, so the quality is not all that good.  Somewhere just past 32:31, "You Get What You Give," you'll see M&D there.  Mom and Dad, I love and miss you!  Enjoy though.  The song "Come on Eileen" is an homage to the movie Tommy Boy.


Cleveland Driving:
Mayfield Hts to Brunswick

Old dashcam video I found from 2011. Drive In, Drive Out.
Shout - 65dBA (0:55), Brainard Road.
Come On Eileen - Dexys Midnight Runners (4:28), Miles Road.
All the Kings Horses - Petra (8:43) - I-480 East Split.
Beautiful Day - U2 (13:04), Boston Twp.
True Faith - New Order (17:25), W. Streetsboro Road.
Disappear - INXS (23:19), Southern Road.
King of Pain - The Police (27:41), Hinckley Hills Road.
You Get What You Give - New Radicals (32:31), S. Carpenter Road.
Hysteria - Def Leppard (37:37), Old Home.

Happy Birthday!

February 5: Jessica Swenson
February 11: Vicki
February 15: James Cragle
February 23: Uncle Greg

Thank you for reading again and until next month...


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