Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Destination Is There!

Happy New Year 2017 Everyone!

North Avenue Beach Deep Freeze
January 15, 2017

A rough start to the new year.

Hello to all. Happy New Year! It's the year of the Rooster! Time to wake up! I hope each of you had a great new year. It's a brand new year. We have a new president and change is in the air. How did I spend my new year's? Well, I got hit with a nasty flu that had me laid out sick on my couch. Whatever it was took a long time to shake off too. By the the end of the month, I was feeling better up until the last couple days, when I got hit with an awful migraine which had me down for the count for a few days. Yeah, I get those, usually when the weather makes a dramatic change. The worst part of migraines is trying to stand up without puking!

Can I have a ping Vsiliy? One ping only please...

I chose "The destination is there" for my theme this year. What does that encompass? Each year, we set goals, but do we ever follow through with them the entire year? Usually no, with myself included. I make goals, but I fail to follow through as well. Since 2011, I've given a theme to my new year.

2011: DIBS! 2011 was one of my worst years on record, and it came due to career path and other choices. Late in the year, I had chosen an entirely different journey which brought me back to Chicago. In 2011, I was living in Brunswick OH (south of Cleveland). I worked downtown at a company called Broadvox but, just as we all do, I learned from my mistake switching jobs in August of that year. The company I went with does not even deserve to be mentioned here. Even though it was a pitfall in my life, it also became a shining light at the end of the tunnel. November 15 is celebrated as my Chicago-versary. Luckily, that light at the end of the tunnel was not an oncoming train, but I did stay on track after my 38th birthday on October 13. By NYE 2011, I was hoping for a different journey in life and I called out DIBS as the ball dropped to usher in 2012. No one in the room knew what that meant, only I did. I didn't belong in Cleveland anymore. The destination was not there.

My regular commute to Downtown Cleveland

2012: Welcome home. In 2012, I visited Chicago for the first time since 1996 when I last lived here. I was here for job interviews. In April 2012, I packed up my place in Brunswick OH and moved. I started my Chicago Journey by moving to Darien IL for a couple years before moving back into the City. 2012 was a brand new start and a fresh start to pick up the pieces from 15 broken years of my life. 

Sears Tower with our Daytime Star
August 4, 2016

2013: A Resolution in High Definition. I picked this theme in 2013 to represent all the new changes and exciting things happening in my life. That year, I was part of a meetup group called Venture Around and it allowed me to explore Chicago and meet new people in the city. I also picked that theme because the Sears Tower is the tallest building in Chicago and I once wrote about towers and prayer. Towers allow us to see down the road further and to see what lies ahead. If you want to capture the world in High Definition, climb a tower.

2014: It's Time. The year started out with a very foreboding feeling and it really felt like the year was off and time was short.  Since then, each year, I've gotten this ill-foreboding year including this one. In 2014, I moved into the city to Albany Park, where I am currently residing now. 2014 was not an uppity year. Work took me away to different parts of the country each week, and it was a depressing year.

2015: Twelve Moons. In January, I started with IPsoft. It started off great and got me back into the swing of things and there wasn't weekly travel, so it was nice to enjoy life in Chicago again and be put in charge of the meetup group called "1001 Things to See in Chicago before You Die." 2015 was a very positive year! I got out more.  The only blog I wrote in 2015 was about the Blood Moon. I took a lot of photos that year and I composed a YouTube video of my work.

2016: A Letter from the Front. The theme for this year came from a Mylon and Broken Heart song, which I heard on my MP3 player on NYE 2015 as I was riding home on the Brown Line one night after work. The year was a challenging one.  I fought many battles, mainly with health and career. I overcame some of the health issues and I overcame the career change late in the year in September. The chorus of the song reminds us to "keep the home fires burning."

The Destination is there

This year, I hope to reach my destination with many of the goals I set forth.  Already, I've gotten things in motion including trying to get a Pre-Approval on a house (my first one). I paid my car off last month. I hope to continue with the photography and the blogging (more) too this year.  Last year, I nailed my weight loss goals as well.  I'm at a weight I was last at in my early 20s. I'm hoping to continue that goal with diet and exercise. For photography, I hope to do move portrait photography this year. So, already, this soon, I've gotten some things going for the new year.  Like I said before, the new year started off sick on my couch and actually the last couple days of the month are the same as I have battled a migraine for 3 days in a row.

The new job has taken off too. I got my first job review this month with room for a raise, bonus, and room to grow. I thank my friend Chris Johnson (former IPsofter too) that got me when I did. It's brought back so many fond memories I had working for Broadvox in Cleveland (thank you Sergey Galchenko).

Catching Brown Line to Kimball
Fullerton Station
January 21, 2017

2017 Goals:

• "Happy Now? Happy Later?" Happy Now! Todd, if you're reading this, you remember when you said this to me 10 years ago, and I said Happy Later? I'm making it a goal in 2017. I still don't know to this day why you asked me this, but it has made me think about my own happiness lately. Thank you, Todd E. Florian

• Landmark Chicago. I was introduced to this by a friend. I'm making this a goal. I'm still finding my purpose here in Chicago.Thank you, Therie Yi-Shin Lai. That November 15th date has a special meaning for me, being my Chicago-versary, but I'm yet to find my place and purpose here.

• I want love and it's out there. Love and acceptance have been areas of my life I've battled with. Dating.

• More portrait photography in my portfolio next year. There is still a lot to learn. First item on my list to purchase is a lens with faster glass. Thank you, James Baranski.

• Build my faith stronger and filled with the Spirit. Accountability. Destination Church in Wrigleyville. Thank you, Michael K. Lawrence II.

• Continue on with the diet and exercise and maybe join a gym next year. So far, I've been doing stuff at home and getting off at Damen instead of Kimball for cardio (2 extra miles of walking). I'm at a weight I was at in my early 20s now. That's the first time I've been at this weight since.

• If there is one thing Chicago has taught me is resilience and a certain kind of stubbornness. So, continuing on to not be a door mat and have a little dignity is not a bad thing either. Thank you, Karen Sobolewski for always being supportive of my decisions and pointing me in a self-respectful lifestyle!

• Find a new home! Yep, as much as I like my neighborhood (Albany Park), the apartment I live in has several faults, including kids that don't care about other neighbors in the building. 401k. Pre-Approval on mortgage.

• Grace, mercy, kindness, generosity and charity. Continue to put friends first when the situation arises.

• Stop being snubbed or ignored! You may think this is a selfish goal, but really it isn't. I never stand out and I'm often brushed aside, ignored and forgotten.  Far too often in my life, this has been a serious problem, and I never do anything about it.  Some people in my life get FAR too much praise, attention and adoration than they actually deserve, including cohorts, friends and family. So, meekly stand out.

These were goals that I came up with last year at the close of 2016.  The last one was added at the end of January.

My daily commute on the Brown Line
Packed in like sardines

"Welcome to Brown Line run 402. Kedzie is next. In the direction of travel, doors open on the left at Kedzie."

CTA Kimball.

I start my day each day at CTA Kimball at Lawrence and Kimball.  I've started my day like this for the past two years actually. This is my regular commute downtown to work and other things. In 2015, I worked 2nd shift, so I'd get on the train by 1:30.  After September last year, I get on the train by 8am. When I worked 2nd shift, the trip was 40 minutes. Now that I work 1st shift, that changes daily since there are more delays in the morning. The nice thing about Kimball is that it's the terminus, so I can find a seat pretty easily. By the time the train gets to Diversey, you can see commuters struggling to get on board the train.  Sometimes, boarding at Kimball isn't all that good. 3x times I had an issue with my phone here, and the 3rd time, I actually lost my phone. This month has started out with several snags. Losing my phone here was one of those. My daily commute takes me to Merchandise Mart. I used to get off at Washington/Wells for IPsoft, one stop after Merchandise Mart. I've noted to myself to wrap my phone in bubble-wrap at Kimball.

"Merchandise Mart is next. Doors open on the right. Transfer to Purple Line trains at Merchandise Mart."

My train passing in front of Merchandise Mart.
February 2, 2017


I board at Kimball and deboard at Merchandise Mart each day for work. The company I work for is inside the Merchandise Mart. It's called VelocityEHS. I joined this company with a friend and colleague on September 12, 2016. This was one major milestone goal I succeeded with last year when looking back over the year. My friend Chris and I worked together at IPsoft on 155 N. Wacker. He left the company first and went over to Velocity. Having worked there for a couple months, he contacted me and told me that he was trying to bring me in too. This was late in 2015. He said, "sit tight," because the company was moving its location into the Merchandise Mart early this year. I was struggling with my career choices as early as January of 2016. I felt I was directionless and going nowhere at IPsoft. I tried to move to another department there to no satisfaction. Only I would understand that battle! I don't expect others to. In August of 2016, Chris contacted me and told me to APPLY NOW. Actually, he invited me out to dinner to discuss the proposal and talk about VelocityEHS. We had dinner at Monk's Pub on Lake & Wells. I remember it. I got the offer in September and I was overjoyed. I put notice in at IPsoft. You really start to learn about people after you leave a company as well. I was glad to be out of that negativity. I felt held back and I was never allowed to shine there.

In the 6 months I've been with VelocityEHS, I've done much and even done some new things I can readily put on a resume. That's all in 6 months. The challenge was back and the freedom to be creative in my job was also back. I have told Chris on many occasions, THANK YOU for helping me get in when I did! I love it! It's still taking some time to fit in, but I work in a positive atmosphere and the team morale is superb! CJ, if you're reading, THANK YOU AGAIN!

By the end of the year last year, I've done much including learning new technologies including vSAN and Microsoft Azure. This past Friday, my boss sat me down and reviewed my performance. To my surprise, I was given a 1.5% increase and included in with some of the bonus from last year even though I started late in the year. I didn't expect any of it. I told this to my boss. He commended me for "killing it" and getting projects done and meeting our deadlines. In fact, at our first Team Meeting this year, our department manager said that "we finished several items on our team, that were stale in 2016 for awhile. With thanks to our team pulling together and making our deadlines happen, we finished those items." It was the greatest thing I heard in that meeting from my boss' manager even. In the back of my mind, I knew I had a hand in that. This past week, a woman I sit next to at work in our department said she told my manager I was a great addition and my manager shared this in front of directors. That really made my day!

Our department on 17 in the southeast pinnacle
Merchandise Mart
February 2, 2017

VelocityEHS brings back so many fond memories of Sergey Galchenko and Broadvox. Why? Sergey was a manager that assigned you a project, expected YOU to keep to manage the project yourself, do the research, make it work and complete the goal. He never told you how to get there. He gave you the independence and freedom to make it happen. Thank you Sergey. My current manager is the same. We have weekly meetings (just like at Broadvox) where we discuss our projects, the dos and don'ts, the gotchas, the best practices, etc, managed by my boss and his boss. These help everyone on our team work with each other, help, and contribute! This year it will be "serenading a rainbow by PM Dawn" with Azure Cloud Computing, my biggest project this year -- as we gain presence in the cloud.

You're on the Wrong Floor

Our team does some cheeky things, including this short video lol. We're nerds. In what I mean, one of those things we do is name our meetings after songs or album names. So, we've had meetings for David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Fifth Dimension, U2, and as I mentioned previously PM Dawn (which is specific for Azure lol). Our server names are also cheeky with a lot of the named for Motown singers. Love this group! 

Practicing Portrait Photography
West Loop Photo Shoot
January 22, 2017

• More portrait photography in my portfolio next year. There is still a lot to learn. First item on my list to purchase is a lens with faster glass. Thank you, James Baranski.

Portrait Photography with Jim Baranski.

On January 22, 2017, my friend Jim called me up and volunteered me to help with a photo shoot which would expose me (no pun intended) to more portrait photography. Ultimately, my main goal for 2017 is to get more practice in portrait photography. This is an entirely different kind of art than landscape photography. It requires a lot more to attention to detail. You are shooting a picture of a person, an individual that lives and breathes, has feelings and emotions, and is sentient. It different type of life you capture. The art of light a big factor in this.

Jim picked me up at my place and we drove over to the West Loop to meet with the models and the beauticians. There, we discussed our plan for the shoot. We decided on doing an L photo shoot. Jim and I had some knowledge of the L and where some good places would be to shoot. I proposed Merchandise Mart, being well lit, and with plenty of platform space. Having been a frequent commuter and in use of the platform, I thought this would be great for our L shoot.

Sriram Parthasarathy
January 22, 2017

While the models were getting ready, Jim taught me some technique for shooting models and how controlling the Aperture affects the light on the subject, while the Shutter Speed affects the light in the background. This made some sense even having shot landscapes. The narrower the aperture on the camera, the more sharp the image is.  The faster the shutter speed the darker the background and the slower the shutter speed, the brighter the background.and so on. Aperture controls the light on the subject while the shutter speed controls the background lighting. This photo was taken by Jim Baranski and Chicago Protography.

Model: Sriram Parthasarathy
Makeup Artist: Laurel Bast/ Samantha Christiansen
Photographer: James Baranski
Key Lighting Grip: Eric R Chatham
Canon 5DMark III 
Canon F1.8 50mm @ F4.0 — with Sriram Parthasarathy.
January 22, 2017 at Clark and Lake subway tunnel

Riding the L. After the models were ready, we left and parked on Hubbard Street near the Mart. We unloaded our gear. I already knew that I wasn't be using my camera for this one, since we had to be quick. I put money on my Ventra Card in the Mart and allowed everyone to piggyback on me. Little did I know then, but I was the only one there with any knowledge of the trains and the routes. Ha! We boarded at Merchandise Mart, and I told the gang, "I'll be back here tomorrow for work." Nearly getting unpacked, CTA approached us and told me that we could not shoot without a permit. Oh boy! They were friendly with us as we were with them. We boarded the train and got off at Quincy. Again, CTA saw what we were doing but emphasized "no tripods." So we took that as a good sign we could still shoot without any tripods. I was designated to handle the key lighting for the shoot and Jim directed me what to do, where to stand and how to direct the light. CTA also told us that if a train stopped at the station, to put the equipment out of sight. So we complied and we were swift and intrepid for the shoot. We did some shooting at Quincy and in the Blue Line subway tunnel at Clark & Lake. 

Co-Worker Pablo Gutierrez
VelocityEHS IT
January 19, 2017

This was very fun learning experience and it helped me see things in action, get familiar with the lighting, the model posing and the type of equipment. I purchased two new Nikkor lenses this year for portrait photography: A 50mm 1.8G AF-S and a 35mm 1.8G AF-S. I was able to test and experiment with those during the night, mainly before the actual shoot.  As the year progresses, I hope I can gain more experience.

Chicago Sunrise
Albany Park, Chicago IL
February 4, 2017

• Find a new home! Yep, as much as I like my neighborhood (Albany Park), the apartment I live in has several faults, including kids that don't care about other neighbors in the building.

Wintrust Mortgage with Ryan Barouth in Lincoln Square.

On January 21, 2017, I ventured over to Wintrust Lincoln Square to meet with Ryan, a loan officer with the bank.  This was an exciting appointment and it was also a beautiful day weather-wise, so naturally, I took my camera for the trip.  The meeting was early in the morning.  After missing my stop and getting off at WRONG train stop -- Damen instead of Western, I jogged back a half a mile to Western.  It was a nice day and barely jacket weather, so it was nice to jog. Getting back to Lawrence and Western, I met with Ryan. We discussed my intentions trying to get a pre-approval on a mortgage, so we went over the fine details of that. He talked about the options and then he generated my credit report. I was shocked and overjoyed. 

Credit score 787. Fixing little debt to income. Little debtors. Next steps for home ownership!

That was the run down of the report. I paid off my car last December. He stressed a few things in the meeting. One, get the lowest amortized rate on my student loans (try to consolidate) and pay off a little credit card debt.  He said it should bring down your debt to income ratio, making it better. I should be fine and once those are handled, we would meet again. He said I'm VERY close to getting a pre-approval and just need to clean up a little to make it look nicer and more appealing.  With that, I can officially enter the final step into the world of adulthood. Ha!

Chicago Sunrise seen from Living Room 
My Apartment on N. Drake & W. Ainslie
Albany Park, Chicago IL

I would love to own a home of my home, having to live in apartments most of my life. This push to get a pre-approval went full steam late of last year after my limits with neighbor problems arose and construction flaws compromised the SAFETY in my own apartment. I have sprung TWO leaks in my ceiling, one in the hallway and well the other one IN A CIRCUIT BREAKER PANEL. Yeah! I was very scared too. The water from rain and snow was dripping down into the panel and shorting out the breakers. I called the fire department once then immediately the landlord.

Both these problems, including the inconsiderate kids in the building have pushed my patience limit and my unfriendliness factor. I'm an easy going, nice guy, but I have limits like the next person. I've had it and I don't think it's entirely safe to keep living where I'm at now with the water leaks, especially with no real assurance from the landlord or bldg management. So, I really hope I can finally own a home this year before my lease is up.

Beautiful Winter Weather
Diversey Harbor
January 21, 2017

After I met with Ryan, I had lunch in Lincoln Square at Potbelly, got my haircut on Diversey, then walked over to Diversey Harbor to take some pictures with my new portrait lens. It was a fun day and the weather was awesome! Earlier in the month, I resumed my apartment search as well, looking at locations in Albany Park, Irving Park, Lincoln Square and Ravenswood. Time to make that move again.

Chicago River
August 13, 2016

Ok this goes without saying. I didn't vote for the guy either, and time will tell just like our last president. We're Americans. Let's not forget what we do have that other countries do not. We're not whiners and complainers. We're over-comers and we make the best of what we can each day, yes even if that includes fighting for what's right. Ask yourself. Could it be worse? The best attitude starts with ourselves --- not our leaders. You want to change the world? It starts with your own hands and feet. It doesn't start with your hatred and anger --- a good attitude. The Golden Rule. Speaking of golden -- I know a lot of people dislike him and his name, but stop here and smell the colors and appreciate the beauty we do have.

Third hole drilled into my belt
January 25, 2017

• Continue on with the diet and exercise and maybe join a gym next year. So far, I've been doing stuff at home and getting off at Damen instead of Kimball for cardio (2 extra miles of walking). I'm at a weight I was at in my early 20s now. That's the first time I've been at this weight since.

I feel like I might've hit a plateau with this, but maybe it has to do with the weather being cold and dry. On January 25, 2017, I went to work with an awful headache. I tried to block out any noise or whatever and focus on my job. It was tough. I woke up the next few days with a full blown migraine headache which carried over into the weekend. The worst part of having one is standing up or moving suddenly. Your stomach gets really queasy, aside from the throbbing pain in your head AND neck. I sought out my doctor about these and I've pegged it to dramatic change to a colder climate.  It got cold quick after the warm weather we had. I see the doctor again next month and I'm going to ask him if there is something else I can take for them, even asking about CBD (Hemp oil).  I'm hoping when the weather gets nice, I'll be a bit more active with jogging and exercise. This last migraine headache had me down for the count though.

Thankfully, on January 25, I had another hole drilled into my belt (three altogether since last July). Someone said to me, "why not just go get another belt?" I said, "well, then there's no challenge." I'm at a weight I once was at in my 20s. If I can keep this up, I want to be at 190 pounds. I've considered also joining a gym this year (first one since 2001). I also thought about taking up swimming again as a form of exercise. I learned to swim when I was kid at the urging of my parents. Ha! I shunned away from swimming mainly due to my auto-immune disease. Since I've been on the new medication though, that has been a major improvement to  general character and appearance. I need to get off at Damen again! Lately, I've been so tired and this was an awful start to the year as far as my health. It took me weeks to kick the flu out of my system and it caused some setback.

Del Mar Beach
San Diego Vacation 2016
July 10, 2016

• "Happy Now? Happy Later?" Happy Now! Todd, if you're reading this, you remember when you said this to me 10 years ago, and I said Happy Later? I'm making it a goal in 2017. I still don't know to this day why you asked me this, but it has made me think about my own happiness lately. Thank you, Todd E. Florian

This year, just like last, I'm striving to be happier with my life. It's had its moments though and a lot of the negative stems from people.  I remember back to when I had tons of debt, owing a lot of money, working three jobs, going to school and paying bills. That would be 2005-2007 I refer to. It was a lot of pain and a lot of work. I would continue like this for awhile and I truly empathize with friends and others that live a similar lifestyle like that. I've been there. I don't come from a wealthy family and we had tough love growing up. You want something, you earn it. We worked hard to earn, not only respect, but building a life.  I have two wonderful parents in Cleveland that just celebrated their 45th Wedding Anniversary on January 15. They have been my constant, and though, they live 360 miles away, I love them more and more with each passing day after I moved BACK to Chicago. In that distance though I constantly worry about them now -- along with a few dear friends back in Cleveland.  Karen Sobolewski, if you're reading, you are one those dear friends.

My friend Todd asked me in 2007 when I was working myself to death with no break,  "Why are you doing this? Happy now? Happy later?" To this day, I have no reason why he propounded that statement and he never admitted to me why, but it made me reassert myself. I remember telling him, "happy later." I recently called him and asked him about this. He said he remembered saying it but never said why. He went on to say, "look what you did for yourself after that. You made yourself happier and you took a new journey in that happiness." This year I intend to enroll with Landmark Chicago once I take care of getting my 401k back in order. My friend Therie introduced me to this last December and encouraged me to sign up -- not because I needed help but to find purpose.

I moved BACK to Chicago (lived here in 1994 before), but it wasn't because of determination or wanting to change. In my personality type, I'm phlegmatic and an INFJ. I hate change. I needed this new life though. I have told people I regard November 15 (my Chicago-versary) more than October 13 (my birthday), because it was a day that really stood out for me and opened my eyes to something I feared the most (other than death) which was change. It took me to lose everything I built myself up to and learn how to overcome a mercurial point in my life. I had encouraging friends that put me straight and to show a little self-dignity.

American Heart Association
VelocityEHS IT Team
Go Red for Women Day
February 3, 2017

I thank God that I have crossed paths with these people.  Even yesterday for Go Red for Women Day, I remember and honor two special women in my life: Karen Sobolewski and my Mother -- both suffer from a heart disease. Yesterday was a great day to remember them both and keep them in my heart -- the things they taught, the love the shared, and their kindness.  Karen has an amazing story of her life too, "a miracle of sorts." We had the pleasure of working together at Broadvox in Cleveland in 2008-2011. There we became friends.

So, with this new year ahead, I really hope I can achieve that happiness I was so long looking for. I was off to a good start last September when I joined VelocityEHS with my friend Chris Johnson. There is a lot to do this year. I hope you all make it great one. Don't forget, it's the year of the Rooster. It's time to wake up!!!!

Friday the 13th.  There are two this year.

Something about January 13th and more specifically, the number 13 in my life. It's never been misfortune, having been born on October 13!

• Five years today in 2012, Cleveland, I packed up my Honda for the week to spend in Chicago for the first time since I moved away from there in 1996. I was visiting here for job interviews for a week. 2011 was the worst year for me ever, and my new year's resolution in 2012 was simply DIBS, since I said, "I call dibs" on NYE 2011 while watching the ball drop. I gave 2011 year theme name as "Dibs."

• Four years ago today in 2013, I was living in Darien IL. I drove up to my old stomping grounds in East Troy Wisconsin for the weekend. On January 13, I visited the house I stayed at while I lived there. I met the new neighbors dwelling there. I stood on the very spot where I believe TIME froze in my life back on November 15, 1996, when I "ran away." In 2013, my New Year's resolution was "A resolution in High Definition." November 15 is also my Chicago-versary (November 15, 2011 was an epiphany for me).

• Three years ago today in 2014, I did something I didn't think I would find myself doing for someone that's lived in the suburbs or exurbs all his life. I packed up my place in the Chicago suburbs and moved into the city into Albany Park. This by far was one of the toughest decisions I made, but with the help with several friends, it made things a little smoother. Still today, I am finding new challenges by living in the city and it's not been easy. My New Year's resolution in 2014 was "It's time" for many reasons. The year started off with an ill foreboding feeling. Plus, I was living outside my comfort zone -- still am to some degree!!!

• Two years ago, today, I received a phone call saying I was hired at IPsoft. This was an exciting year for me all around, one of my best years ever! For once, I started enjoying my life and the new challenges I was encountering. It was a year of breaking comfort zones and going beyond myself in many ways. Again, with the help of friends and new coworkers, 2015 turned into one of my best years. My New Year's resolution was more or less "Tabula Rasa" for me.

• Last year, nothing extraordinary happened on that day. I was battling with life decisions.

• This year, again, nothing extraordinary, but I am glad to be part of a new team and being valued. I was recently told that I've been valuable with helping goals being met. However, I was able to share one of my photos on ABC7 (through my favorite weekend newsperson, Stacey Baca)...

Wrigley Building, Chicago
Photo was shared on ABC7
January 15, 2017

On this year.


* 45 years ago, my Mom and Dad were married in Bedford OH at Lutheran Church of the Master (January 15)
* 40 years ago, I think I was living in Hilo, Hawaii with my Mom and Dad and 1977 was my first time moving to Cleveland, Ohio with family. I was born in NC.
* 35 years ago, moved to Maple Heights OH from Lakewood OH. Went to McKinley Elementary in Lakewood then to Stafford in Maple. 2nd grade. Ms. Micelli.
* 30 years ago, I was in 7th grade (Team 7-II) at Milkovich Middle School (Maple Heights OH). Mr. Vincent, Mr. Milkovich, Mr. Stephens, Mr. White, Mr. Wuznuk, to name a few teachers...
* 25 years ago, graduated from Maple Heights High School.
* 20 years ago, I had moved from E. Troy, Wisconsin and living in my first Ohio apartment (Pinewood Apartments) in Brunswick on S. Carpenter Road. Year before, lived in Chicago.
* 15 years ago, fell in love with a woman. Still at Pinewood in Brunswick. Shift Coordinator at Ponderosa. Writing.
* 10 years ago, I was living in N. Royalton OH at Oakbrook Gardens (how I got the name of my home computer network btw). I was working at Broadvox (Downtown Cleveland), Tony Roma's and just left LifeBanc (Shaker Heights OH) at the end of the 2006.
* 5 years ago this week was my first trip to Chicago (returning to Chicago) for job interviews. Living at Cross Creek in Brunswick. Unemployment.


In other news...

2016 WF9 to Strike Earth.
Russian scientist warns.
February 16, 2017

Day after Payday
February 16, 2017

This is for all you conspiracy theorists out there (including myself):

"NASA has confirmed that the 2016 WF9 is approaching Earth and we should be able to see it orbit the planet next month. Spotted in late November, the giant rock is in the middle of its nine year orbit between Jupiter and Earth. It is scheduled to approach us on February 25, flying by at a distance of 32 million miles from the planet, they claimed.

Experts at the space agency believe the 2016 WF9 asteroid is between 0.3 and 0.6 miles across. If correct, it would be likely to burn up on entry to our planet. But the wilder minds of the internet are spreading claims from an apparently non-existent astronomer called Dr Dyomin Damir Zakharovich. 

The doctor has allegedly accused the space agency of a cover up and suggested the space rock is a fragment of fabled planet Nibiru which is headed straight for us, according to reports. Nibiru is a fictional planet predicted to bring about the end of the world, according to doomsday theorists. It’s believed it will rain asteroids on the planet causing mass devastation."

Deep Impact event on Feb 16
Planet Earth

If we are struck by an asteroid on February 16, I won't have to go to the doctor on that day...

Fullerton Beach
Give thanks!
January 21, 2017

• Build my faith stronger and filled with the Spirit. Accountability. Destination Church in Wrigleyville. Thank you, Michael K. Lawrence II.

The ultimate destination is there!

It is the year of the Rooster. This very well may be Earth's wake up call! In any event, always remember Jesus Saves! John 3:16. I am a whosoever.  If the inevitable on February 16 does happen, and we are struck by NEO 2016 WF9, we are assured of eternal life through his sacrifice. Jesus' mission on Earth was not only to teach us. His Word also teaches us he came to save sinners by dying for our sins -- yours and mine. He asks us to trust Him and to follow him. 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.

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."

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Romans 3:23 (KJV)
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.
"It was the end to a very long day"
February 2, 2017
Groundhog Day

This has been my life verse ever since I first lived in Chicago back in 1994.

Hebrews 12:1, 2 (KJV)
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Remember these verses and pray today.

A Very Special Happy 45th Anniversary to my Mom and Dad.

January 15, 1972

January 15th. This day deserves much appreciation and recognition. In a world of divorce and unfaithfulness, it shines strongly and brightly. It is a very special day! It happens once a year and it has since 1972 in Bedford OH. It celebrates two people in my life that I'm very proud to call Mom and Dad. Today they celebrate their 45th Anniversary! Mom and Dad, I am proud to be your son and I love you both very much. Thank you for being the best parents you are. Many blessing on your joyous day of days. No one is perfect but you have both demonstrated a very lasting, enduring and persevering relationship of honesty, trust and love. You make it work. I love you!

I hope this year is a good one to you all.  Thank you for reading. The pictures in this blog were all done by me (except the graphic of 2016 WF9 and my folks).  If you would like to see more or connect with me, I have a public photography page on Facebook and discovered the wonders of Instagram. I also maintain my own website (the server sits in my apartment).

Find Me:
• Instagram (treikayan)
• Eric Chatham Photography

CTA Kimball
Albany Park, Chicago IL

"This is Kimball, as far as this train goes. All passengers must leave the train. Thank you for riding the CTA Brown Line."

Thank you all that took a moment to read my blog. I hope to do more of these this year. I was told recently to start doing this again actually. I hope you all have a great year!!!

Chinese New Year Lunar Parade
Chinatown, Chicago IL
Year of the Rooster!!!

From the desk of...
Yes, the PC wallpaper was a picture I took
Day 1743

Connect to me elsewhere at your own risk.

My Life starts at the Chicago Water Tower!
Mark 0, 0, 0, 0. The last 0 is for the time parameter
Keeping a train of thought and keeping on track.