greenman: (greensmile)
Because I like the idea of supporting small businesses, I've gotten an account at Dreamwidth as greenman. I'm not planning on dropping my LJ account, because I don't believe that I need to, and because there a lot of people who probably won't move to Dreamwidth. I also don't see this as a zero-sum game... I think both LJ and Dreamwidth can survive and prosper, if they both make their customers happy.

And one of the nice things about Dreamwidth is it's support of OpenID. You don't have to have a Dreamwidth account. If you've got an LJ account, you can log into Dreamwidth by effectively saying that you're "yourljname.livejournal.com", and as long as you're logged into LJ, you can browse through and post on Dreamwidth. Kinda nice.

Anyway, this is mostly just a "I am here, but I'm not leaving there either" kinda post. I'll see you where I see you.
greenman: (Default)
I had an incredible meal last night, at a restaurant in River North called Blue 13. (Sadly, at I'm writing this, their website seems to be having some issues, but an out of date menu can be seen at www.zagat.com/Verticals/Menu.aspx as well).



The food was great. I've never had Mac and Cheese that was so amazingly good, and that was just the appetizer. The other couples that we were with exclaimed over the grilled caesar salad as well, especially the "Camel-eye Croutons". Alyse had a vegetarian dish, a butternut squash pasta that she really enjoyed, I had a grilled trout with lightly beer-battered onion rings and wasabi tater-tots with a dill creme freshe that was just amazing. It was grilled to perfection, tender but with crunchy bits, and had been stuffed with lemon and rosemary during the grilling, which really enhanced the flavors. Two others at the table had the Seared Sea Scallops and thouroughly enjoyed them, one had the "Amish Chicken", which was a free range organic (raised as if on a family farm, not a production line) chicked, deboned and roasted, and one other had another fish entree that I don't remember (he was at the other end of the table).

The portions aren't huge, but between the mac and cheese and the entree, Alyse and I were both pleasantly full... And then he came out to describe the deserts. No one at the table could resist the descriptioins, and we ended up ordering an apple tart (and I'm a sucker for apple tart and other apple deserts), with a honey glazed vanilla ice cream, and a warm chocolate cake (gooey chocolate filling) with a raspberry "paint" that included white pepper for a bit of bite. They were both incredible.

The flavor, texture, and presentation of the food was consistently high. And the service... Dan helped us all night, and the evening was greatly enhanced by his knowledge of the food and the preparations, and his enthusiasm about the entire place. He's clearly a foodie, and knows his stuff, but he's also really good at talking to people and entertaining them, and just a great host. We talked with him a lot, about the food, the decor (tattoo art on the walls, and a lot on Dan as well) the design of the place, and so forth. Very personable, and definitely one of the draws to the place as much as the food.

Blue 13's has been open for less than a year, and the menu is still changing and evolving. I get the impression that the menu changes have as much to do with the day-to-day shift in what's the best that they can offer, as finding the things that work best, and what goes over better with their customers. But I also get the impression that the chefs (who own the place) enjoy trying new and different things, and the best of those experiments go through a rigorous tasting process with the staff before hitting the menu. There were so many odd combinations on the menu, and they all looked interesting. I'm going to have to go back, just to try some of the other offerings.

They do take walk-ins and reservations, but they have specials on a number of the weeknights (and a sunday "family style" dinner), prix-fixe meals that really caught our eyes.

As I said to Alyse on our way home, it's been quite a while since I went to a restaurant for the first time, and raved about it so much after walking out. And we kept trying to come up with more people that we wanted to drag there. It's not cheap, but it's not horrendously expensive, and it's well worth the price. And I don't usually rave about food this much.

greenman: (tree)
I'm too young for this shit.

Musing on death and dying... )
greenman: (tree)
I'd like to wish all of those veterans and families of veterans a Happy Veterans Day.

And I'd like those who read this to take a moment to remember all those veterans who have been lost over our many years, and to remember their families as well.

Sigh...

Oct. 21st, 2008 12:47 pm
greenman: (Dr. Horrible laugh)
Well, the waterfall in the kitchen has been contained, for (just) less than $500 dollars. Apparently, due to the age of the pipes (and the fact that we'd been using Draino on them to clear clogging) the pipes were going to go at some point, and they just happened to go yesterday morning.

Unfortunately, we were also informed that we're going to have to replace our hot water heater. The guy quoted us a price of $960, which included the price of the new water heater (a better model than the Sears model that we currently have), the installation cost, and the cost to remove the old one. I have no idea if that's a good price or not. One of the things that I'm going to be doing today is looking at the cost of water heaters, and see if that seems like a reasonable price.

But I'd be elated if we could avoid having any other of our household appliances or systems break down for a while.

On lighter news (literally), as I was putting clothes back in the closet last night (the access panel for the tub plumbing is in the back of our bedroom closet), I decided to try on an old sports coat that I'd been wearing a lot around the time Alyse and I got married. I hadn't been able to wear it for a while, since I'd gained a lot of weight, but I've been losing weight over the last few months. And lo and behold, it fit! Might still be just a touch tight, but it's certainly within the realm of wearable. And I'm still working on losing weight, so it will certainly be wearable again.

It's not that I want to wear that sports coat a lot... But it's a physical confirmation of the fact that I AM losing weight, which is a really cool thing.
greenman: (Default)
So, for the last few days the bathroom tub has been draining very slowly. Draino and Liquid Plumber have not had any signficant effect, and the snake that I bought didn't seem to want to get past the first bend in the pipe, but it wasn't hitting clog, it was hitting pipe.

This morning, after my shower, again draining slowly. I got dressed and ran out the door to a client site that I had to be at early this morning. I was almost there when I got a call from Alyse, telling me that there was a lake in the kitchen, as the tub seemed to be draining through a light fixture in the kitchen, rather than through the drain pipe.

So, since the beginning of summer, we've had the furnace replaced, we had a weak spot in the roof and a chimney that needed to be remortared, and now we've got plumbing problems.

I'm starting to really understand why they made the movie "The Money Pit". Twice.
greenman: (Default)
ganked from about 80gajillion LJ's today...

When you see this, post in your own journal with your favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

"Never go in against a Sicilian, when death is on the line! HahahahHAHAHA.... <thud>"
greenman: (sleepy)
So, I will... sorta be at Windycon. I won't be purchasing a membership, and I won't be actually attending the convention itself. I will be helping set up a private party on Friday night, and then will be attending and staffing the Barfleet party on Saturday night, and then will be helping with the breakdown and load out of the Barfleet suite on Sunday morning.

All of which means that I will need to be at the Windycon hotel both Friday and Saturday night, and Sunday morning. I'd really prefer not to have to drive from Lombard Home on Friday night, then drive from Lombard to home on Saturday night, and then back to Lombard Sunday morning. As such, I'm hoping that some kind soul would have some crash space at the hotel or nearby that I would be able to rent out, since I'm not keen on the idea of shelling out for a full hotel room if I'm not actually going to be attending the con.

I won't need much... I can and will sleep on the floor if need be. I don't snore (at least, not loudly or often). I can sleep through pretty much anything, and I can be pretty damn quiet, so if you're coming in later than I, or I'm coming in later than you, it shouldn't be a problem either way.

Please let me know if you or anyone you know has or knows of crash space that I could avail myself of. And I'd certainly be willing to pay for a share of a room, as well. Just not interested in paying full price for a room that I'll only be using for a short time over two evenings.

joy...

Oct. 3rd, 2008 01:23 pm
greenman: (firewall)
AT&T is experiencing service outages on their DSL service in the Chicago area. For the second time in two weeks. 500-1500 people/companies in the downtown area are affected. They would not give an estimate as to when the problem will be resolved.

Speakeasy will be turning up the secondary DSL line in our office this afternoon, sometime between now and 5pm.

And until then, thank the gods and goddesses (and my boss) for having gotten up wireless broadband cards. I'm actually using my both to post this, and to work remotely at another site, even as I write this.
greenman: (Default)
I don't want a candidate who is "just like me."

I want one who is more intelligent, erudite, level-headed, and overall better informed than I am. Someone who is willing and able to choose advisors who are more qualified than they are in specific and particular areas, and who is willing to listen to them, while not following their advice slavishly. I'm looking for a candidate who can work with people, not go his own way, and make decisions based on his own opinions and beliefs. And all of this goes for their running mates, as well, given that they may be called on to perform the duties of the President with little or no warning.
greenman: (Default)
First, Dan Savage comments on the infamous "Larry Craig Bathroom" (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] rmjwell)


But really, Linda Carter (of Wonder Woman fame) says it all... (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] taraljc
http://www.phillymag.com/news/2008/09/11/the-real-wonder-woman-on-sarah-palin-america-should-be-very-afraid
greenman: (Default)
Just got back from ferrying Rob and Dawn back to their apartment, and making sure that he got upstairs ok. He probably pushed himself a little too hard (shocking, I know!) going up the stairs, but he DID stop about halfway up to rest, so at least he didn't try to be some kind of iron man.

I got the call about 12:30 this afternoon to let me know that they were planning on releasing him early to mid afternoon. Wrapped up what I was working on at the client site that I was at, and headed up to Illinois Masonic to make sure that I was there when they let him go. Little did I suspect...

At about 2:30 pm, they took a "final" blood test and determined that his hemoglobin level was 9.5. They wanted it at least at 10 before they checked him out, so they decided to give him another transfusion before they let him go. So it's a good thing that he didn't need an emergency transfusion. The decision was made by 2:30, but they didn't actually get the IV hooked up until nearly 5, and the transfusion itself took until 6:30. At which point they needed to wait for an hour before checking his hemoglobin levels again. They came around to take the blood at 7:30, and told us that they should have the results back in about half an hour.

... Tick.
... Tock.
... ad infinitum.

Finally, about 8:30 we started asking about the results. Rob was clearly getting frustrated, since he'd hoped to be home in time for the weekly Monday Night Jam Session that he and Dawn always host at their place. Fortunately, someone was there to let people in, since we didn't get the results until 9:15pm. And then of course it took nearly an hour for them just to wrap up all the paperwork, get a wheelchair to roll Rob out of the building, and all that nonsense. Then home, take much care in getting him up the stairs safely, and I took off shortly thereafter, staying just long enough to see his breathing slow to a normal pace.

And then my own trek home. And now, my trek to bed. To sleep, perchance to relax and chill. Going to try and go into work a little late tomorrow, in the hopes of getting a decent night's sleep before I kill something due to lack of cope.
greenman: (Default)
I spoke with Rob last night. He is now out of SICU, and is in a normal room. He is currently at Illinois Masonic Medical Center, and is in room 6220, for anyone who would like to call or visit. It sounds like he'll probably be getting out sometime early next week, Monday or Tuesday is my guess.

I am currently down in Champaign, but I will be calling him again a little later today, and stopping by to see him tomorrow. Hopefully I will find out more about his release then.
greenman: (Default)
As of last night, he was still in the SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit) but continues to made great improvement by the day. When I got there last night, he was sitting up in a chair in his room, and had been for about an hour. He stayed there for another 45 minutes, then a nurse and I helped move him back into bed. He stood there for a couple of minutes on his own (leaning on me a little more for balance than for support) while the nurse straightened out tubes and cables, then we got him into bed and comfortable. He's still in a fair amount of pain, but they've been giving him good drugs, and he's pretty comfortable for the most part. They've also removed a lot of the cables and leads that they've had on him for the last few days, and while there are still a number left, there's a lot less than there have been. They're still closely monitoring a couple of things, especially his blood pressure and his blood sugar levels (he's diabetic, for those who don't know) but both of those were much improved last night as well.

He's alert and getting cantankerous, especially since he's never been very good about laying around. But he's in good spirits, and we talked about book and religion, and Rob being Rob, he pulled one of the nurses into the conversation for a bit as well.

We don't know when he's getting out yet. The doctor had originally told him that he'd be out about 4-6 days after the surgery, but Saturday will be day 4. They haven't given him any warning yet about kicking him out, so I'm suspecting that he probably won't be sprung until early next week, maybe Monday or Tuesday.

Overall, for the fact that he just went through a double bypass and had a french fry sized (and shaped) chunk of plaque removed from one of his carotid arteries, he's doing pretty damn well. And for that, I am incredibly grateful.
greenman: (sleepy)
He's still in SICU, and will remain there for (according to the person in the O.R. waiting room) approximately 24 hours. However, by the time we left this evening (about 9:30pm), he was much more awake and aware, and talking and interacting. He's all there, which is something I was worried about since the surgeon mentioned the possibility of a stroke having occurred during the surgery without their noticing. He's grumpy and in a lot of pain, but he was also very happy to have his family around him when he woke up. And he's still got his somewhat lecherous and twisted sense of humor, so I really do think that he's all there.

He'd been slowly waking up since about 5 or 5:30, and slowly pulling him off the respirator. As they got to the point where they were ready to take the ventilator tube out of his mouth/throat, they kicked all the family out, so that they could run some tests (at least some of which I suspect were cognative and neurological). We ran out and grabbed some dinner, then went back in to see him about 8:30, when he was fully awake, and while in a lot of pain, he was also very much there.

Sorry... I'm babbling. I'm coming up on 21 hours for today, so I'm going to go to sleep. I'm going in to work on Wednesday, but I've made arrangements to drive in and I'll go and visit him after hours, and post another update Wednesday night.

Thank you all for your good thoughts and support. I and my family, and especially Rob, all appreciate it.
greenman: (Default)
He's out of surgery, in a recovery room. The surgeries went well, they took a big chunk of plaque out of one of his carotid arteries, the double bypass went well. At this point, the only concern is the possibility of having experienced a stroke during the surgery, but we won't know about that until he's awake, which is going to be another couple of hours. But at the least, he's off the table and in the recovery room, so lots of progress.
greenman: (greensmile)
We just had an associate of the surgeon come out and let us know that the surgeon is closing rob up now, and will probably be out of O.R. in about an hour. She wouldn't answer any specific questions, but certainly gave us the impression that everything has gone well, at least up until now. They'll let us know more once he's actually out of the O.R. and into the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, where he will be watched for a while before moved into recovery.
greenman: (stressed)
I picked up Rob & Dawn at 4:30 this morning and drove them to Illinois Masonic Hospital for Rob's surgery. We got there 1/2 an hour early, so Rob was one of the very first people on the list to check in for surgery today. They took him in and started getting him ready, then sent us off to the O.R. family waiting room. The original schedule had Rob going under the knife at 7am, but the surgeon came in at 8:15 or so and told us that they were running a little late, but that they'd get him in very soon, and that both procedures would take 5-6 hours or so, which was interesting since they'd originally quoted 6-8 hours. At 9:15, they called us in the waiting room and told us that they were just starting the sugery. So, he could be out anytime between 1pm and dinner time. Unfortunately, I don't expect them to give us any information between now and whenever they're done with him. I'll try and put in a further update as soon as I hear more.

He was in good spirits right up until the time they shoo'd us away, joking and making light. That could just be whistling in the dark, but before we checked him in, he'd said that he was somewhat surprised, but he was feeling pretty calm and blase about the whole thing. We've gotten lots of information from a number of sources that say that open heart surgery is all but routine these days, and Rob and Dawn were already told that they'll be kicking him out of the hospital within 4-6 days, so we're feeling pretty good about everything.

At least the hospital has free wireless connectivity.
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