Sunday, January 26, 2014

Now is the time!

Á nhu gcóa Para!

Chiberia!  A polar vortex immobilized Chicago in January. #Chiberia


"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." Ferris Bueller

Happy New Year everyone!  Welcome to another new year and a time to look at our lives and our goals.  Are you all ready for a new year?  Do you look forward to new goals in your life?  What do you resolve to do for yourself or others this year?  It's just amazing how fast 2013 went by and how quickly time moves by.  I'm often reminded of the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and the line that Matthew Broderick delivers at the end of the movie.  Seeing that movie with my family in theaters as a kid, always made me ask myself: "Why would my folks take us to see a movie about a kid that ditches school?"  Hmmm.  Watching the movie later in life as a young adult, I didn't see that.  The movie isn't about Ferris Bueller.  The movie is about Cameron Frye!  Watch it again.  Sure, we have a kid that ditches school, but he risks his own future and education not for himself.  He does it for his best friend, Cameron!  Sometimes, we need to step outside ourselves just as Cameron did!  No, it's not a message about ditching school to have fun!  It's a message about risks and sacrifice!  I'm sure Ferris knew the risks about ditching school!  He wasn't dumb by any standard if you watch the movie.  He was going to graduate soon.  I don't think John Hughes had that in mind when he wrote the movie, but this was the life lesson I took away from that movie as a young adult.  It wasn't about a kid ditching school to spite his education!  He knew the risks involved and he knew that he would flunk out and have to spend another year of High School under Rooney's personal supervision!  At the end of the movie, Ferris and Cameron reverse roles and attitudes.  We see a frantic Ferris Bueller wanting to take the heat for his best friend, seeing the trouble he got him into.  "Cameron, it's my fault!  I'll take the heat!  I made you take the car out!"  Cameron refuses, "No, it's mine.  I'll take it. . .it is possible to stop Mr. Ferris Bueller."  The movie was about Cameron Frye's day off, not Ferris Bueller's day off!

Also, just a pointless observation, one, Shermer IL is Northbrook IL and there is a Shermer Boulevard there.  Two, Alan Ruck is from Cleveland OH.

Most of us wanted 2013 to end, but many of us didn't.  I didn't want 2013 to end, and I was very sad the first weeks of January because a new year started!  Truth!  VERY SAD!  Whatever being the case, stop and reflect about the time we are given.  We are not guaranteed another day and we should remember that.  Last year, just after my birthday, I started considering that and the finite amount of time I have.  Often, I was thinking about death -- no, not in a suicidal way!  It made me think about not just myself but others around me and how I could impact their lives.  We're on this planet for a finite amount of time. Ferris' quote made me think about how I could start helping others this year.  Sure, I'm achieving new goals for myself this year.  I hope you all make new goals for yourself this year and I hope it's a great year for you all.  I hope that I can keep on the path of "High Definition" again this year, and I've kept in my New Year's Resolution again this year.  I hope I keep on track with my life another year and keep true with goals and careers.  Some of last year's goals I'm keeping again for this year.  Here is a list of some of them.  I copied them over from November's blog last year.
• Apartment Searches on Chicago's Northside (by April 2014)
• Home Church, Fruits of the Spirit and Volunteering (Moody Church?)
• Try new meetups and Single's groups (Kurt recommended 8at8)
• Stay on track with my career. (Continue a 5+ year career goal plan)
• About Face.  Get rid of Facebook entirely.
• Try a Gym membership and light therapy for Psoriasis (weather's getting drier)
• Start a Bucket List (I've done a few things from the list like travelling).

• Kill them with Kindness (Proverbs 11:17, 12:21, 22)
I came up with these last November in November 2013, "And, only I remain," and I've added a few items to the list like "Kill them with Kindness."  I thought about this last year in November and December, and another friend of mine confirmed it with her mentioning of "...doing something for someone else next year."  So, I have added "Kill them with Kindness."  I want to make it part of my resolution to help people, extend charity and mercy, and on top of that, finally find a home church.  At the same time, I don't want to be a doormat, like I've let people do to me before when I'm kind.  With some things that changed for me in the middle of the month, I'll have to rethink my locations, especially the Home Church thing.  Naperville will be far away.  I might look into Moody Church in Chicago's Near North Side.  My friend, Jeff Korhorn, a Chicago native and Pastor recommended Inner City Impact of Chicago.  Changes for me are rapidly happening this month too. Keep reading to understand what I mean by this.  I crossed off the first item on the list already.  Also, this month will be the last time I advertise my "Facebook" link in the footer of my blogs.  I have Facebook open right now mainly to allow those who know me, reach out to me as I make another change in my life over the next couple months.  I'm thinking that in April to finally having it deleted permanently.  Again, keep reading to learn what that is.  Things are rapidly changing in my life already!

A Resolution in Higher Definition

Reach for the clouds in 2014!  Now is the Time!
Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, Chicago IL

Last year, I made a Resolution in High Definition in January 2013, "A resolution in High Defintion."  Basically, I expanded on my life and tried new things, things that I never tried.  I climbed a "tower of hope and prayer."  I hoped in changes; looked ahead with some faith in my decisions.  I'm doing that this year still -- each new day is another step upwards, getting ever so close to the top with the clouds.  Have I reached the top of the tower, that safe place, that refuge?  Not at all.  I'm still climbing, but since I'm closer to the top, it means expanding that resolution to a deeper depth to include others, hence the Reach for the Clouds addendum.  I'm thinking of ways to help others this year.  There are many ways to help and show charity.  Pay it forward has become popular these days.  Yet financial donations are a great way for helping, what about TIME -- your time?  Time is as a great value, sometimes more than money.  How can we sacrifice our own time for someone who needs help?  What are ways to overcome social Bystander Apathy (look it up)?  How can we step out in a crowd and help someone up if they are hurt?  Maybe, time for us is sacrificing a drive to a party and stopping to help someone stranded on the median of the expressway?  Maybe, it could be as simple as helping a senior citizen with their groceries?  The "resolution in high definition" last year taught me a lot about myself and about people in my life.  It helped me grow personally and formulate new friendships here in Chicago.  It was a great year to grow and learn new things, break out of a shell and the fears that held me back in my life.  I also was able to do some travelling for work too, which I'll be doing again this year.  I already have out-of-state job assignments piling in for work.  This year, with time being filled for work, I want to think of ways to sacrifice that time for others.  Yes, a financial donation is just as effective for charity and, remember, a true gift is a sacrifice on your stead, meaning you sacrifice something of want or equal desire.  What about our TIME?  Time is valuable and precious to all of us in this fast moving age! How do you use your time?  I would like to think of ways and sacrifice my time this year to help others. Reach for the Clouds! The time is now!  From last year...

[Text Removed: September 29, 2018]

The Sears Tower

Reach out and touch Cloud 10!

Proverbs 11:17 says, "Your own soul is nourished when you are kind." 

One way I am looking at starting this journey is by starting an Excel Prayer Sheet.  I've already thought about some people I can add.  Not only am I going to add their name, but I'll include a column in there for ways to help them, ways to encourage them, ways to support them, etc.  I'm going to have a column in there for tracking my time with each person, how I helped that person, and include addresses or phone numbers.  It's a start, and I really need to reflect on this.  So, between time for myself and work, I will start the spreadsheet.  With things rapidly changing in my life, I believe there is a greater reason for some of the upcoming changes in my life.  I think I'm being put in position to help others.  I often think back to why I came to Chicago and I have wondered about it.  I don't think it was for me in many ways!  I believe it's a greater reason that's greater than myself!  So, maybe I need to see it this way and understand the greater reason with the changes.  Maybe it's time to start realizing that for myself that I'm here in Chicago, not for me.  Once again, faith.  Keep reading to see what that CHANGE is!  Now is the Time!  Will I be ready to meet the LORD in the clouds on that day, when he takes us up?

Now is the time. . .
Á nhu gcóa Para. . .
[Ay nyew gwah Par-a]...

I'm making that this year's theme!  Now is the time.  Not yesterday.  Not tomorrow.  After thinking about death and its immanency back in November and December, I thought about "am I ready to die yet?" Again, no not in a suicidal way, but for November and December after my birthday, I was going to bed with the preoccupation of death.  "Am I ready to die? Is my soul ready for the unknown?"  I don't like being a doomsayer, but I think time is short for all of us.  Remember, we are not guaranteed another day.  It is only by hope we achieve a new day.  With that being said, I believe time is short.  I believe the Lord's immanent return is happening soon, and I need to be that "smile," that "servant," that "caregiver," and "beacon."  I'm far from perfect, but I need to remember the fruits of the Spirit and my walk with the Lord.  He paid for my sins on the Cross so many years ago, and He is there with open arms ready to receive anyone that asks for Him and forgiveness.  All we need to do is receive His gift of grace.  I don't know when He is coming back; maybe today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next year, maybe in 100 years.  I think this year will be a special year for everyone close to me.  I think it will be an inauspicious year for us.  I need to keep forward with faith in everything I do.  Whatever that uncertainty may be, this may a year of good fortune for many of my friends.  I pray and hop it will be!  I need to remember that when trouble and adversity come, to trust Him.  He's called out to me before.  I believe He's shown me things.  It's faith.  This may not be an easy year for me.  I don't know.  Here's my favorite word again to describe that uncertainty ahead again: Mercurial!  Look it up.

"Time is the fire in which we burn.  Time is the school in which we learn."  Soran (Star Trek: Generations).

I hope and pray those reading or following my blog will seek Him with an open Heart this year!  Jesus does LOVE you!  He proved it by dying for your sin on a Cross and taking your punishment -- yours and mine.  We all sin and fall short of the mark (Romans 3:23).  We all have sinned and fallen short of His glory.  This year's theme will be II Corinthians 6:2.  The Time is Now; it is immanent.  [Text Removed: September 29, 2018]
II Corinthians 6:2 (KJV)

"For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation."

I've added "Kill them with Kindness" to my resolution this year too.  The basis for my "Kill them with Kindness" resolution started with a Bible Verse, Proverbs 12:21. 22, and "heaping burning coals" on mine enemies' heads.  Be Kind, to friends, neighbors AND thine enemies.  Last November, I was thinking about death often and, again, not in a suicidal way.  We are not here on this planet forever. What can I do to help people and be a light? How can I be gracious to my enemies (antagonists)?  I was thinking about that while thinking about death last November.  How has my life impacted others?  I ask myself this and it's not my place to ask anyone else close to me, save God.  How can I impact others, including my antagonists and estranged relationships?  Am I bearing good fruit like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control?  Galatians 5:16-26.  The Bible verse for, "Now is the day of Salvation" was used in my first story of the Chronicles of Tristan, and it was that story which inspired the "Resolution in High Definition" last year.  Last January, when I visited Wisconsin after a 15 year lapse in Time, it's where I thought about "new towers, new hope."  It encapsulated the last chapter of my first book.  I will share that section of my story again.  The resolution expanded on "Towers, Prayer and Hope." 

[Text Removed: September 29, 2018]
 Just because. . .

Lighthouse - Newsboys

"You know what's right from wrong,
Don't say, 'No way'
Don't wait till things go wrong,
Seek Him today

Love and joy and peace and hope
Is what He offers us
Love and joy and peace and hope
Is what He offers us


«   »

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


Truth be told, I did not want 2013 to end.  Actually, at the stroke of midnight on the new year, I was saddened.  Yep, this was first for me.  Usually, I look forward to the new year, but not this one.  I did not want 2013 to end at all.  I was having a great year.  I just didn't want to end.  For the first few weeks of January, I was sad with the new year!  Imagine that!  Yes, SAD!  I'll take with me a lot of good memories from 2013.  There were so many memories from last year.  Looking back at my blogs, I just see all of them, and it did sadden me that the year ended.  It was probably the first time I didn't want a new year ever in my life!  I spent New Year's over at Kurt and Sue's and enjoyed meeting new friends there.  It was a lot of fun!  Thank you, Kurt and Sue! It was a great way to spend the New Year with New Friends here in Chicago!  I'm thankful I've met some good ones here!  Kurt and Sue, you rock!

Albany Park
Tuesday December 31, 2013 · 8:19 PM
“Kurt and Sue's for NYE 2013.”

Here we are in 2014. Now is the Time. I've learned a lot about friendships this past year, and I'm so very thankful for the new friends I have.  It's been a learning experience for me, and one thing I've thought about this year is how I can give back some of that goodness to my new friends!  I pray and hope I find a way to express that.  Actually, there is one friend here in Chicago that always makes me stop and reflect on my life any time we correspond or talk.  +Lauren Strec, if you're reading, thank you for always being that friend which makes me stop and think on my choices to move to Chicago!  You have always made me stop and think about my decisions and.  Lauren has always been "Chicago Friend Zero," in my life.  No, not a zero by standard, but zero as a foundation to my life in Chicago.  She's a true Chicagoan with a heart of "not giving up."  It's no accident I became a Facebook friend of her way, way back before I even thought about moving to Chicago.  The greater reason beyond me!  She has been a very POSITIVE change and influence for me here in Chicago!

Now is the Time (July 25,2012)
The Pump Room
1301 N. State Parkway
Chicago IL 60610

Kurt, a look in a mirror.

People come into your lives for a reason, whether they be friends, neighbors or strangers even.  I need to consider that and as a part for my "Now is the Time" resolution this year.  I need to consider ways to give back.  When I first moved to Chicago, I wondered about the grand scheme of my life and I believe there is a greater reason why I've moved here.  If anything, recalling my Chicago Dream, it has taught me that the reason is greater than me and I NEED to look at that and find a way to give that back.  In July 2012, I was fortunate to start making new friends in Chicago with the big "New to Chicago Single Mixer," at The Pump Room.  It was sponsored by Jill Jackson's "Mingle Around Chicago" venue.  That is where I first met Kurt, and that is where I started making new friends.  It's where Venture Around split off from Mingle Around too.  Kurt has been a very important friend of mine and he has been a positive influence in my life.  Through Kurt, I started participating in his meetup of Venture Around.  Through that group, I started making new friends here.  Through that group, it's been an encouragement to look at myself and my other many friendships in life.  How can I give that back?  There are new changes for me on the horizon.  Again, keep reading to learn what that is.  2013 was a year where I started flushing out the toxins in my life and it was a major year of falling out with people in Ohio.  Again, I have learned what friendship should be and what it hasn't been.  I've never had a true reciprocal friendship.  There are exceptions.  +Richard Trigg and I have been life-long best friends since Maple Heights High School.

This New Year, now is the time to consider my new friendships and how I can move forward with them and give back to them the goodness of Chicago they have given to me.  Looking at the positive influence of my new friends, it's made me think about ways to give back.  They have made me fall in love with Chicago!  On top of all the new friends, I think Kurt is the only friend I've had that understands, relates AND empathizes the depth of my shyness and introvertedness.  Yes all three of those are important in a friendship.  Too many times, I'm just a sounding board for someone else, criticized, scrutinized and nitpicked at for my ideas, hobbies, advice or whatever it may be I try to offer in a friendship.  For once, I'm not taken for granted in a friendship.  Maybe it will finally hit home that I'm not there anymore in some other friendships.  It's not to say I don't care; it's to say it's time to move forward and stop wasting time.  I learned that last July on Independence Day when Kurt said, "You remind me a lot of me some time ago.  We need someone in our life to be a change for another friend.  Don't give up."  This really surprised me to hear from Kurt, but it's finally great to meet friends that understand, relate and empathize you deeply.

Estranged Friendships

Take these two banners with you into 2014, whomever you are.  Just after the New Year, I came down with an awful Migraine.  It was very bad and incapacitated me for more than a week.  I was trying to remember the last time I had one this bad.  Well, I checked.  It was April of last year, when there was a lot of turmoil in my life.  Yes, I still worked, but for one weekend, I was sick, the weekend after New Year's.  I think part of it had to do with the subzero weather we were having, but I think the other had to do with estranged friends.  Yep, estranged friends.  For the New Year, I'm keeping my Illinoid Attitude and keeping forward with my life.  That means moving without certain people in my life.  Some people need to know that their attitudes do indeed affect others.  I came to a point in a friendship with this that I was starting to hate myself because of the level of toxicity in it.  Reminder to self: Kill them with Kindness this year.  Moving on without them doesn't mean despising them or hating them.  Be kind.  Pray.  Find ways to help afar.  This is what I'm trying to do now.  Now is the time!

Take a walk...

Take a Walk - Passion Pit

"All these kinds of places
Make it seem like it's been ages
Tomorrow's sun with buildings scrape the sky
I love this country dearly
I can feel the lighter clearly
But never thought I'd be alone to try


It's gotten worse.  There are nights where I can't sleep because I end up with a severe deathgripping, blood drawing, itch fest!  Something about trying to get comfortable in my bed.  Once things get situated this month, I plan to start looking into Humira.  The Clobetasol cream is not enough to cover this anymore.  It's just gotten worse and with the weather the way it's been, it's really dry!  Plus, once I get situated, I plan to invest in a nicer bedroom set.  I think that's part of the problem with the nightly itchfests!  This month had one of the worst itchfests on record.  With the migraine after the new year, I can only hope things look brighter this year.  So far, this year has started off on the wrong foot!  With estranged friends, health issues and problems with extreme noise at my apartment, this year has definitely started off on the wrong foot!

The Chiberia Freeze!


On January 5th, I talked to a Dietician about my diet and how to eat better.  I drove into Andersonville to meet Jason Boehm, to go over my diet.  He recommended a Paleo type diet, limiting sugary carbs and dairy even.  He stressed getting the diet in place before concentrating on a hard-core workout.  He said first get the diet in place then worry about workouts.  He said walking and running for more than 20 minutes is fine for basic exercise. He also went over my health too.  Kurt and Sue introduced me to the Paleo Diet too.  Maybe, I'll follow in suit with them.

Friday January 3, 2014 · 10:53 AM
“Doctor's appointment.”

I also spent some in the time in The Loop early this month too.  So, moving forward with the new year, I just hope I keep on, keeping on with my life and invest time in some others.  It'll be in my prayers for this year.  I need to keep the "resolution in higher definition" and "reach for the clouds" this year!

The Loop
Friday January 10, 2014 · 12:09 PM


N. Drake and W. Ainslie
Albany Park, Chicago IL

I'm moving!!!  After working with Apartment Finders in Chicago and having no luck with them, I decided to walk down the street on N. Broadway and try Apartment People.  Looking back at my New Year's Resolutions here, that is why I crossed out the "Find apartment on Chicago's North side." Haha.  Apartment People was recommended by a friend after I told him I wasn't having much luck with Apartment Finders.  He said they may have a better selection!  They did!  On Friday, January 10, I made an appointment with them.  I sat down with Brooke Johnson there.  She was very helpful and she had a lot of places to choose from.  When she sat down with me, she immediately had a place in mind at which I would be interested in.

Apartment People
Friday January 17, 2014 · 11:58 AM
“Signing my new lease!!!”

After Brooke went over some places, we braved the cold, the snow, and the polar vortex and looked at some of the apartments that were matches to what I wanted.  We started in Albany Park, West Ridge, and finally Irving Park.  They were all nice places, but the first place I looked at was ideal.  It was exactly what I was looking for and it fit nicely into my plans and my current lease.  So, when we got back to Apartment People afterwards, I told Brooke that I wanted to put a deposit down on the place in Albany Park.  She said I could do this online Saturday morning. After Brooke dropped me off, it was late, so I walked over to DryHop Brewers on N. Broadway for dinner.  There, I ordered a Poutine and a Long Island Iced Tea.

That's a lot of Poutine!

DryHop Brewers
Friday January 10, 2014 · 6:31 PM

On Saturday morning, I called Brooke and we worked through putting the deposit down, background check and other details on the place in Albany Park.  She said you won't hear anything back from them until Monday probably since it's the weekend.  It was a long weekend just waiting.  Well, in the middle of the day of Monday, January 13, I got a call from Silver Property Group, welcoming me to my new home in Albany Park!  Shortly after, Brooke called me to confirm this, congratulating me on my new place!

Albany Park, Chicago IL
Lawrence Avenue (4800N)
Kedzie Avenue (3200W)

4W6N Drake and Ainslie
Friday January 17, 2014 · 1:06 PM
“Pick up keys. New home.”

I'm excited, BUT I will admit this: I'm very scared!  It's not the 'burbs!  Never had I thought I would move into a big city like this.  This is a big step into a big city!  There will be a lot more to learn and I will need to learn how to live in a big city.  It'll include learning public transportation, city venues, parking on the street, and getting around. I will have friends right around the corner now.  No more of this driving into Chicago just to hang out with friends.  They'll be right there.  It'll be easier now to do meetup events too!  I get to finally participate in some of them now too, now living in the big city.  ONE THING:  I'm not looking forward to the packing again!  UNGH!!!  The transition into the Big City will be a whole new frightful experience for me, but with new friends that hail from Lincoln Square, Ravenswood, Irving Park and Albany Park, it will make it happen with ease and comfort.  I'll be closer to new friends from the Venture Around meetup group now.  I will embody and achieve the actual Venture Around Chicago attitude literally when I move.  "Noting ventured is nothing gained!" Kurt Poppenhouse.

Error 486, "Packing Here."

The New Place.  I was surprised with the rent. It's a little more than what I pay now. Not much, but it's brand new, 2 bdr, washer/dryer in the unit, and everyone will be new in the bldg since it's all new.  I jumped on this and I learned that when I was approved on January 13, the 4 other apts in this bldg all were sold out over the weekend. I'm glad I moved on this!!!  Officially moving in March.

The New Apartment on N. Drake Avenue

Looking forward to that 691st day.

I've already blocked off the week of March 17 to concentrate on packing and, then Friday, will be the big move!  The new apartment is located minutes from the Brown Line at Kimball, it has two bedrooms (1 office), In-unit Washer/Dryer, and the whole building is gutted and refurbed.  It's all brand new, so everyone in the building will be new and moving in around the same time.  This will be an excited experience.  Getting the apartment was the Highlight for January!  Again, I'm really excited, but still anxious and scared!  Kurt and Sue both already are excited for me.  Kurt already has been giving me ideas about the area!  Parks, shopping, venues, etc!!!!  I may need to look into extra storage too.  I will have to go back on January 31st to the Landlord and pick up the signed lease, and the rest of my keys!  I will also have to buy two parking permits for the cars to park on the street.  And of course, time is counting down.  Pay Attention!  Pretty Hardcore!!!

Dune - Hardcore Vibes

This one is dedicated to all the ravers in the nation

On Friday night, after driving over to the new place, I celebrated by going to the new Texas Roadhouse on the corner of LaGrange and Joliet in Countryside.  IT WAS PACKED!  I had to wait a half an hour for a table, just for myself.

Texas Roadhouse
Friday January 17, 2014 · 9:19 PM
“Brand new! I'm hungry for steak.”

THE 634th DAY and 56 DAYS LEFT: It begins here!

Pay Attention!  Packing officially started with the dismantling of the Bowflex.  It was easier to do this time, having remembered how I disassembled it from last time.  I also contacted Comcast to arrange the Internet/Cable transfer time for March 21st.  I plan on moving all my computer gear myself with some help hopefully.  I'll transport it all in my car.  I don't want the movers touching any of it!  I have to figure out how to dismantle the desk -- in 3 parts hopefully (hutch, and two "L" halves).  There's got to be a way.  It's sectional.  So, it's begguuuuun...

Where is that Willow Tree?

I had to really think about this move and the reasons why I moved to Chicago.  I've made the Weeping Willow the symbol of my change and moving to Chicago.  After I signed my new lease to move to the Big City, I thought about the reasons I've moved here and I've always regarded the change and move here for a reason greater than myself!  Moving into the city, there are venues for volunteering and helping.  When I first lived in Chicago in 1994 and 1995 before moving to Wisconsin in 1996, I attended the Moody Bible Institute at 820 N. La Salle Street (Near North Neighborhood in Chicago).  I didn't complete the courses there.  I think the reason greater than myself plays from that.  I need to give back some of that and pick up where I left off there, not necessarily going back to school there, but I need to find Time to give back.  Meeting new friends here has taught me a lot about myself this past year.  I need to return some of that goodness!  

Keeping with the resolution of "Now is the Time," I think it's important to seek ways to volunteer my time in Chicago!  Maybe that involves reconnecting with the Moody Bible Institute and Moody Church somehow.  If that is the case, I would like to find a way to make it happen with prayer and God's help.  Going to bed each night back after my birthday last year, and thinking about death, it's taught me that time is short and "Now is the Time."  How can I help others?  How can I give back to friends?  I'll be in the Big City and I'll be put in populated area, the Third largest City of the United States.  Hmmm!  Big changes!  Big City!  Big population!  Dear God, how can you use me?  Once again, going back to my belief that people come into your life for a reason has taught me this.  Maybe the Moody Bible Institute has been a beacon all along!  I really need to earnestly seek out my reasons, and maybe my journey begins there.  This month I thought about that Chicago Dream I had on November 13, 2011 and the Weeping Willow Trees.  Maybe that's where God planted that Willow Tree years ago in 1994 at the Moody Bible Institute!  I think my heart has always been in Chicago all these years!  When did my heart go missing?  I think I truly know now!  I love Chicago!  It's a love affair that I hope doesn't end!  It made me think about the song by Rooney, the chorus mainly, lol!

When did my heart go missing?

Rooney - When Did Your Heart Go Missing?

"Love don't come so easily
This doesn't have to end in tragedy
I have you and you have me
We're one in a million
Why can't you see?

...I don't understand
How could you forget what we had,
It's so wrong..."


Well, I almost visited my Mom and Dad in Hinckley OH on Friday, January 24th. . .not!  I turned around and came back home. Things were fine until a semi-truck cut me off on the Indiana Toll Road at MP 73.6 (near South Bend). A wind shear caught my Honda, and yanked me off the road.  I slid right off the road into the ditch between the Lanes. After thinking about weather, I felt it was best just to turn around and go back home. I'm glad I have AAA Gold Membership too.  It came very useful at this time; it was the first time I had to invoke the service!  10 fingers, 10 toes, all appendages accounted for, etc.  I'm safe!  Car is safe!  I was missing my wits a few days afterwards though...

I first called AAA for roadside assistance.  I was stranded for about an hour.  In the mean time, AAA was trying to locate a towing service.  After an hour, stranded in the ditch, I called AAA back and they recommended that I call 911!  So, I did.  AAA said I could be reimbursed of the towing service.  I would just need to logon to AAA and obtain the form and attach the receipt of the towing service.  I called Dad, and he first made sure I was fine and the car was fine.  The next question made me slap my forehead!  "Did you pack your shovel in your car this year?  You should do that every winter."  Ooops.  No.  I thought about it too just as I was leaving my apartment.  Luckily, I had a full tank of gas and my hat and gloves!  I was able to keep warm in the car until Tony's Mobil Service of South Bend came to the rescue!

Mocking Hills
Friday January 24, 2014 · 11:30 AM
“To Hinckley to see Mom and Dad. >>”

Stranded for about an hour off-road on the Indiana Toll Road in the ditch at MP 73.6, South Bend IN.

Slip Slidin' Away..

Thanks, Paul Simon!  When I slid off, I was pointing westward (maybe it was on purpose). After AAA came and yanked me out on the west bound lanes, I turned around at US 31/US 20 and went back eastward towards Ohio. The car started to have this wicked shimmy, and I thought the alignment was out.  I called my friend John teledentally (one of the friends I was hoping to visit) and I mentioned the shimmy; it felt like the car was going to fly apart!  He asked if my steering was pulling at all.  Nope.  "More than likely you have ice and snow jammed in your tires and it's offsetting the weight and balance in your tires," he said.  "Wash it out at a car wash."  Relieved somewhat, I was already heading homeward at that point, after Mom said go back home. I thought about it and I'm glad I did.  Mom said that Cleveland got hammered with snow overnight on Saturday. I got home just in time before the snow really started coming down. The shimmy went away just somewhere around Portage Toll booth.  I was able to logon to AAA later and obtain a form to reimburse me for Tony's Mobil Service, the towing service in South Bend that yanked me out of the ditch.

Indiana Toll Road - Portage Plaza
Friday January 24, 2014 · 12:28 PM

After I was pulled out on the West Bound lanes and turned back around east, I gave up and went back home at I-69.  Thankfully no one else was hurt or that I was a cause to an major accident.  I safely slid off in the median of the Indiana Toll Road.  My Mom later said to me "...Angels were watching over you.  I'm glad you are safe and no one was hurt."  I'm still going to take the car in for service I think; it does need some new tires.  This month, my iPass Usage is so out of whack for this month.  Maybe when the weather is nicer, I can try again in a few weeks.  My friend Dena expressed an interest in visiting me for St. Patrick's Day.  She wanted to see the River Dyed Green.  She was one of the friends I wanted to see in Ohio.  Sorry, Mom, Dad, Amy, John, Dena and +Mary Coulter  that I couldn't see you all.  Let's hope the weather improves soon, so I can try again!


Friday January 31, 2014 · 3:12 PM
“Pick up lease and rest of keys.”

I picked up my keys and my signed copy of the lease agreement.  I met the property manager at the Silver Property Management building at 1800 W. Berenice in the North Center Neighborhood.  The property manager provided me with the floor plan too.  Looking at the arrangement of the rooms, I'm going to have to plan my furniture accordingly, especially the closet space.  I'm going to miss my Walk-in Closet here at Waterfall Glen.  I have too many books.  I also have a back porch and back door that opens to the alley in the back of the street.  I'm thinking about making dining area in the room kitty-corner the living room, and putting a breakfast table in the kitchen with some additional counter space.  The Office will be next to the living room.  My bedroom will be by the kitchen.  I told the property manager that I was going to start moving in little by little in February because I still had time left on my current lease.  Now that I have the signed lease, I can get my parking permits at the DMV.

4W6N Drake and Ainslie
Friday January 31, 2014 · 4:25 PM
“Almost time.”

On Friday, January 31st, after I picked up my keys, I went back to my new place to do some visual planning.  I also talked to Kurt about Task Rabbit Chicago too.  He said they may be able to help me with odd-job tasks like moving extra stuff into storage which is probably going to happen.  I am losing a walk-in closet in the moving, so a small 5x5 unit will be enough to make up for that.  I took some more pictures too of the new place.  Earlier in the week too, I went to the post office to start having my mail forwarded in March.

US Post Office - Westmont
Tuesday January 28, 2014 · 4:34 PM
“Forwarding address.”


• A special Anniversary!

The Lutheran Church of the Master
860 Northfield Rd, Bedford, OH 44146
January 15, 1972

January 15, 1972!  Happy 42nd Anniversary Mom and Dad!  I'm so very proud of my parents for still being together.  I love them both so very much and in an age where marriages fail, it's a real testament to "work out problems," and stay by each other's side when things go wrong.  I pray and hope for more anniversaries with them.  I'm thankful that they are still in my life and it's nice to visit them when I can.

• A Sick Kitty

My Mom's cat Felix was very sick this month.  Poor pootie!  It was sad news and it often makes me think about the familiar family we put in our animal families.  Felix had come down with some virus, which made him sneeze a few days.  Later in the month, my Mom called me and told me that they had to hospitalize him.  Aaaaaaawwwwwwwwwwww!!!  He had a 103 degree temperature, was moping around the house, losing fur by his eyes, and lifeless.  They rushed him to an emergency room.  Aaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwww!!!  It was very sad!  The doctor drew some blood work and put him on antibiotics for awhile.  At the last report this month, Mom said he's feeling much better, even chasing Ms. Thang around the house.  It's great news!  His fever is gone and he's eating more now.  The blood work turned out fine too with nothing out of the ordinary.

Felix and Ms. Thang in rare form actually sitting next to each other.

I thought back to our family cat, Tigger, when we had him, growing up in Maple Heights.  His death hit all of in the family very hard, more so than a human death.  For weeks on end, we were just saddened by it.  Tigger died in the arms of my Dad and brother on Memorial Day 1997My brother told me the story how Tigger died recently back in August when I visited him in San Diego, and it still brings tears to my eyes.  It was the first time I heard the story.  I never knew the depth of the passing.  Wayne told me that he and my Dad were working on something downstairs and they heard Tigger whimpering upstairs.  He had been sick for awhile now.  I guess Tigger was by the steps whimpering trying to get both of their attention.  Wayne and Dad went upstairs and Tigger was there, whimpering.  He went by the dining room table and laid down.  Dad cradled him in his arms.  Tigger was looking up at my Dad.  He knew it was time; Tigger knew too.  My brother was telling me the story and we were both holding back tears at this point.  Wayne said that Dad was saying to Tigger very tenderly, "...we're here.  We're here.  You can go.  You can go."  He knew it was his time to go!  He wanted to pass on with his loved ones there with him!  He let out one last yelp and passed away!  I have tears in my eyes now just typing this out!!!  Aaaaaaaaaawwww!!!  My Dad later buried him in their backyard in Hinckley OH.

RIP Tigger...

Tigger laying in my bedroom in Maple Heights OH (1991)

• I Surrender.  I'm letting go, falling into You.  Give it to Jesus this year.

Make it your prayer this year!  I make it mine!  Now is the Time.  Not yesterday, not tomorrow, not a month from now, not in ten years.  Don't wait until it's too late!  Now is the time!  He is there with open arms ready to forgive you this year and for all eternity!  Reach the clouds and the heavens!

John 3:16 NIV: 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Matthew 11:28 NIV:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

Just because...

Surrender - 4-Him

I could hold on to who I am
And never let go and find your heart
But what would I gain
My life would be in vain

And I could head down a thousand roads
Just going my way out on my own
But I wouldn't get far
'cause I need You more than anything
More and more than the air I breathe

I lift my hands
I lift my heart
I'm letting go
Falling into You

I lift my hands
I lift my heart
I surrender
I'm letting go
Falling into You
I surrender

You are the maker of all things
The giver of all I'll ever need
And I'm so amazed
You would live inside of me
Come and live inside of me


Mold and make me with Your fire
And consume me with Your love
Until Your will is my desire

All that I have and hold on to
All that I am I give to You
I give to You



• The weather is one frightful semi pileup!

"(MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.) Three people are dead at least 22 other people were hurt in a pileup involving more than 40 vehicles near Michigan City, Ind. Thursday afternoon. Eastbound lanes of I-94 were reopened Friday morning after at least 15 tractor-trailers and 15 passenger vehicles crashed about three miles east of the Michigan City exit, Indiana State Police said."

"January 24, 2014 (MICHIGAN CITY, Ind.) (WLS) -- For hours, traffic on a busy interstate that connects Chicago to Detroit was blocked by a massive pile-up involving more than 40 vehicles, several of which were semi-trucks..."

• The building plans to Noah's Ark found...

The discovery I believe is a "sign of the times!"  Back in a time where Earth had a FIRMAMENT for its atmosphere, the origin of the Babylonian word, KALAKA (carpool), and when Earth lost its water firmament with the flood, when "God opened the floodgates of the heavens" Ice Age followed with the extreme change in our climate.  Think about it.  The Earth is not millions years old.  It's a young 6000 year old planet.  God destroyed our world by water the first time.  He promised never to destroy it again with water.  The next time, it will be baptized by fire.  NOW IS THE TIME!

Genesis 9:8-17 (ESV)

"'I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.' ...And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh."
2nd Peter 3:4-10 (ESV)

"...the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction...But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed."

The 4000 year old clay tablet containing the story of the Ark and the flood stands on display at the British Museum in London during the launch of the book 'The Ark Before Noah' by Irving Finkel, curator in charge of cuneiform clay tablets at the British Museum, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014. The book tells how he decoded the story of the Flood and offers a new understanding of the Old Testament's central narratives and how the flood story entered into it. (AP Photo/Sang Tan).

"January 25, 2014 (LONDON) -- It was a vast boat that saved two of each animal and a handful of humans from a catastrophic flood.  But forget all those images of a long vessel with a pointy bow - the original Noah's Ark, new research suggests, was round.  A recently deciphered 4,000-year-old clay tablet from ancient Mesopotamia - modern-day Iraq - reveals striking new details about the roots of the Old Testament tale of Noah..."

The Day After Tomorrow, a brutal Chicago Winter

This winter has been very brutal.  Two times this month, Chicago was faced with an Artic, polar vortex.  It reminded me about the movie of "The Day After Tomorrow."  People do forget but global warming DOES INDEED drive extreme weather, cold or hot!  Albeit, the movie embellished and the scientific basis was fictional, global warming does drive extreme weather!  Tracy Butler of WLS, ABC7 Chicago has been updating Chicago with our extreme weather here on a daily basis, and we've been faced with bitter cold temperatures, record snowfalls, etc.  AND, I learned CHICAGO DOES GET LAKE EFFECT SNOW from Lake Michigan.  Western Michigan and Northwest Indiana (South Bend) suffer from the Lake Effect snow too.

Tracy Butler of ABC7 Chicago WLS

"January 25, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued from 3 a.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday for snow and blowing snow, with 2 to 4 inches forecast by Sunday evening..."

• Broncos to face off Seahawks in Superbowl.

Broncos overtake Patriots! Way to go guys!

"January 20, 2014 ( DENVER) -- Only three years ago, Peyton Manning could barely grip a football, let alone throw one.  A Super Bowl quarterback? Nobody had ever overcome those kind of odds. On Sunday, he wrote the next chapter in one of football's most remarkable comeback stories, outplaying Tom Brady to lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl for the first time since John Elway took the snaps in Denver some 15 years ago." 

• Sundogs

This reminded me about "Ice Pillars" or a fake Aurora Borealis, caused when ice crystals reflect light in the atmosphere.  "Ice Pillars" on February 18, 2006. Picture was taken at corner of Mattingly and Stony Hill in Hinckley OH. I saw them after I was leaving work at Tony Roma's in Brunswick OH. The lights in the picture were made from ice in the atmosphere and was reflecting light from Detroit MI..  January 27, Chicago saw a few sundogs.  We were in subzero, polar vortex climate again...

"January 27, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- Brilliant, luminous rings on either side of the sun are refractions of light called sundogs. They make it look like there's more than one sun in the sky or that the sun has a halo around it.  'They're not that rare,' ABC7 Meteorologist Phil Schwarz said. "But they were especially vivid this morning."

• 111th birthday celebrated by suburban man.

"January 25, 2014 (OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.) (WLS) -- Saturday was quite the special day for a west suburban man as he celebrates his 111th birthday. Family and friends gathered in Oakbrook Terrace to sing happy birthday to Wash Wesley."

• This month will host the Black Moon, two new moons in the same month


• I used the word TIME 83 times in this month's blog.  That includes the one here, and doesn't include the word PARA, the translation of the word.  I used the word NOW 45 times, including here, but doesn't include the NHU translation.

• The verb "cleave" is the only English word with two synonyms which are antonyms of each other: adhere and separate.

• Moses in the Bible had a burnnig bush.  Moses Cleaveland had the burning Cuyahoga River.

• The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."

• A sad math love story: Tangent Lines meet only once with a circle.  Parallel Lines never meet.  Asymptotes get closer, and closer, but can never never be together.

• Butterflies taste with their feet.

• Thomas Edison created the English word, ‘Hello.’

• Hello whose origin may stem from the French 'hullo," comes from the interjection of 'whoa there!'

• The word Chicago, 'Chigagou,' comes from a Native American Algonquian term for 'strong smell,' or 'onion field.'

• The fear of Friday the 13th (which I don't have) is "Friggatriskaidekaphobia," and any month that starts on a Sunday will have a Friday the 13th.

• Speaking of Friday the 13th, the movie is sometimes noted for being filmed during the months of July, August, September, October and November.  JASON.

• In any given year that is not a leap year, the month of February and March start on the same day of the week.

• "Standaroules Plumbarmacy" is the creation of two snow mobiles made into one -- well, actually three, if you include the motor too.

• We're all wearing winter coats this month.  The plastic tips on the ends of the laces of your hoods are called “aglets.” 

• Marriage is the oldest covenant on the planet Earth.  It's been around since the creation of our planet.  The tradition of the bride walking down the aisle between the two families goes back to a very ancient tradition of "making a sacrifice." In Bible Times, contracting parties would "walk in between the animal sacrifice" to seal a covenant.  Covenant stems from the Hebrew word "to cut or divide." Genesis 15:10.  Marriage between a man and a woman predates the Law given to Moses at Sinai.


January 5: Julia Masiella
January 13: +Lauren Strec
January 28: My brother, Wayne.

Happy New Year everyone reading and following my blog!  In upcoming months, I don't know if I can promise a monthly blog like I have done up until now.  I will certainly try, time permitting.  There is a lot to do and a lot planned this year in Chicago for me...

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My Life starts at the Chicago Water Tower!
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