Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Half Way Point and Over Half Way There

I'm at the halfway point of my trip to move my Dad in and we are well over having emptied out and dealt with half the boxes. In fact we only have two rooms (living room and dining room) to do. We've ordered his new mattress. His computer is over. His phone and internet get installed today. There is a real chance he will be sleeping in his house again before I leave Saturday morning.

I'm sore.

Tim de Buffalo - I assume we are on to football season?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Much Traveling Coming Up

Was pretty much at home the last two months but the next five weeks are going to be mostly traveling.

I'm currently in Connecticut helping my Dad move back into his house. He had a fire last August and the rebuild is finally done. So they've moved hundreds of boxes back in and we're going through the process of unpacking them all. So I will be here all week. The hotel that is closest to him has crappy internet so I need to go to a nearby Starbucks to really get a good connection. In general I find that hotel internet is pretty crappy. Why is that Jules?

After this week, I have a trip to Columbia SC for some business. The week after that the monthly trip to Chicago. A week home. And then a visit to the kids in Florida. Gonna have a plenty of credits to my frequent flier account this month.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Time To Come Out Of The Closet

We live in fairly enlightened times. There was a time not that long ago when you had to keep your personal preferences to yourself. It was follow the straight path or be condemned. But it's not like that anymore. You can be yourself regardless of your persuasions. So it really is time to come out of the closet.

I speaking of course about my friend and business partner Lakeview Coffee Joe.

Yes, we all know that Joe lives in that part of Chicago euphemistically known as Boys Town. So it should be no surprise that Joe is really a...


Yes, Mister go the Cubs, Bears season ticket holder, America uber alles is really a closet Europhile.

Exhibit One - Joe can go any where he wants with his lovely girlfriend. They can go to Las Vegas or Cancun. But where does he go? GENEVA SWITZERLAND!

And then he posts about eating DUCK LIVER and going to FRANCE!

Exhibit Two - Just a couple of weeks ago when I was in Chicago for the monthly business trip, He took us to this Italian restaurant, BECAUSE OF THE FAR SUPERIOR SUBTLE QUALITY OF THE FOOD! What kind of Glen Beck American loving behavior is that?

Finally and most damning...

Exhibit Three - I got this email link from Joe Saturday night. It is a You Tube highlight of a GREAT SOCCER GOAL hit by a Brazilian who PLAYS IN ITALY. For crying out loud, you have to be a real soccer geek to even be tracking this type of thing. The guy plays for Inter-Milan, a big club, but not the kind that gets much attention in the US unless you are really into EUROPEAN SOCCER! And he sent it to me the day of the game.

So Joe, it's time to come clean and come out of the closet.


I'll buy you some French Lessons for your Birthday.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Chicago Trip Review

I was in Chicago earlier this week. Now though this post is going to be mostly foodcentric. Lakeview Coffee Joe will be posting no sarcastic comments about my not working because he already has documented in a post how much work we did. So there. And he was the source of most of the food activities as well!

On Monday night he took me to dinner to Sapori Trattoria on Halsted. At first blush this is not the kind of place the screams great food. But that impression would be wrong. Joe had been there not log ago and found that they have a Family Style Night on Mondays. You get to pick 8 dishes (2 antipasti, 2 soup/salads, 3 pastas, 1 dessert) and its shared for $21 a person. I have to admit I wasn't expecting much. Instead I had one of the best Italian meals I've had in a long time. Each dish was prepared well. Each was distinctively flavored. This was food so far from the typical, "we have red, white, and oil sauces, and everything is a variation of those" Italian restaurants as to be in another league. And for that price! Awesome. When I went to their website for this post, I notice they also have a Tuscany Tuesday menu that offers a wide variety of excellent choices for very good prices.

Here's what we had. Sorry about the picture quality - it was pretty dark.

The Antipasti
A bruschetta with avocado on it and a grilled calamari

Minestrone Soup
A very meaty soup - not a canned tomato soupy version

Caprese Salad
Probably the weakest dish we had - its to early for tomatoes

The Three Pastas
Mushroom risotto, Butternut squash filled pasta, and a pasta with chicken and artichoke hearts.
The risotto was top notch (and I find most risottos very heavy here - this was not). The chicken pasta had tons of flavor. But the filled squash pasta was super; not too sweet. Lots of flavor. I think there was nutmeg in it. And they had these little cubes of squash that were roasted with crunchy corners.

Dessert - Bread Pudding
But not like any I've had before. Maybe they use a brioche type of bread because it was very light with the custard soft and distinct.

In addition, for lunch the next day we went to a neighborhood place near Joe's called Fallafil. This is basically a fast food falafel joint. They make all the falafel to order and they have this monstrous Middle Eastern salad bar with all kinds of cool stuff. I really was a bit of a glutton here but as I told Joe, "You can get this any day. I can only get this when I'm in town and our schedule permits." So there.

I was with daughter Motherrocker a couple of nights as well and she whipped up a great spinach, feta, raisin pie.

Finally, no Chicago trip would be complete without picture so the newest grandchild.

I think he thinks I'm a paparazzi. Surprised he didn't smash my cell phone.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Congratulations Dr. Niece!

Or Dr. SRM
Or Dr. Styling
Or whatever.

My Niece who blogs Styling with Renee Michelle completed the defense of her dissertation and is now officially a Ph.D. in Physics. Now some might say, "well if she's a physicist, she must be super brainy and it must have been a cake." Nothing could be further from the truth ... and I don't mean she is not smart because she is.

My niece had all kinds of false starts and disappointments in her life. When she finally decided that she wanted to pursue physics it was far, far from a slam dunk. She had to work incredibly hard just to get into a program and then work equally hard to stay in. This is the accomplishment of a woman who has shown what perseverance is all about.

Hats of to you Doctor.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Study of Rocks

On my hike last weekend, I decided that instead of focusing on the vistas and views, that I would focus on the more immediate. So here are some examples of other types of beauty in the Sandias.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Two in One

Business is definitely picking up (Yay!).

But there is still a lot of delay and indecision.

Today I got this phone message from a prospect that was supposed to be making a decision last week on my proposal to them.

"Hi Michael. I know we were supposed to have a decision but we have a meeting of the budget committee on Wednesday and we will decide then. But even if we don't move forward, it is not never because we really want to work with you."

A "not no" and an "almost yes" simultaneously.

If only they owed me money, it would have been the trifecta.

Out of the Darkness

Or at least the darkness of not posting. Work has picked up (finally) so that has meant a lot of time and energy in that direction.

I've been hiking as usual. I took some pictures this week but when I got back, I found Wife, two neighbors and a stranger with two downed trees in our front yard, taking them apart limb by limb. Actually Wife and I arranged for this but because of some false assumptions we didn't think it was this weekend. So after 3+ hours of hiking, I was immediately thrown into 4 hours straight of breaking down evergreen tree boughs into pieces, putting them in plastic bags and hauling the bags to the back. I was less than civil. I think I said three words in the four hours. They consisted of Wife asking if I wanted lunch - "No". Wife asking if I wanted some water - "No". Wife asking if I wanted a break - "No".

But all was done and considering everything, very little permanent damage done to our relationship plus our view from the front is much improved.

Then on Sunday it was on the way to Chicago for the monthly trip. United, my preferred carrier, is doing automatic upgrades now for frequent fliers when available so I got a really nice business class seat (the fully reclining kind) on my Denver to Chicago leg. As always it is a treat to see my daughter Motherrocker and family - lots of grandkid smoochy time. I don't make a lot of dollars from my Chicago gig but it does pay for and allow me to see the kids there each month and that is true blessing

Tim de Buffalo - where's that St. Petersburg partner?