Thursday, July 21, 2016

Old Chicago Solo To, Too, Two - English Sure is Hard - Power on English Learners!

Yes, English is won of the most hard langijis in the world two lern. Just consider the sentence written and the word itself "written"! So many phonetic variations for each symbol and SO many irregulars (consider verb endings - yesterday I parked my bike - easy enough - stuff an ed at the end to make it past tense, but oh no my friend .... I sleeped - nope - slept; I eated no, no, no - I ate. And so on and so on. Think about it and after doing so, compliment a secondary English language learner on a job well done).

So, my first venture on my bike downtown. Perhaps the Tour de France had something to do with it but I think I have for a while been curious about the venture. I do thoroughly enjoy the Tour de France and have the unique luxury of being able to put in some serious time watching it. It is truly a completely unique sporting event - for example - today a cyclist crashed going 30 some odd miles an hour. To get how this might feel, go and get a rope, attach it to your car, get on to your bike, if you don't have strap in boots/pedals, tie your shoes to the pedals, grab on to the rope, give your thumbs up to the driver to get it up to 30 mph, let go of the rope and wipe out ....

And these riders go day after day so what happens one day impacts them thru out the race. For example, today a guy wiped out and trashed the back of his jersey so lots of skin was showing - so, no big deal - YES big deal. It is 90 degrees in Switzerland where the tour has taken a day or two visit, and sunburn is of course a huge concern. These fellows wear jerseys all the time and their backs are pasty. Imagine that un-protected back skin availed to 91 degree sun intensity for 3 or so hours. That would be one hell of a sunburn. So, the medic car comes up to him every so often and reapplies spray sunscreen on his back thru the shredded jersey to keep him from getting a debilitating burn. Another guy most likely just broke his wrist but doesn't want to stop and get an xray because that would put him out of the race.

Tour inspired or not, I decided to ride my bike downtown. It was a lovely day, warm but not stifling. I headed east on the Prairie Path from Elmhurst, and when it ended (most likely due to entering towns that do not have the means to maintain such a luxury as a path thru town which only only exists for the purpose of exercise/entertainment/mental health/ etc - perhaps this should be a serious consideration in urban design for less economically endowed neighborhoods as it is certainly a life enhancing type of  landscape),  I took to the streets and continued heading east. The Path dumped me on to what I think was Butterfield East, which changed into several other names and eventually, downtown with only a few street changes, I ended up in the west loop on Randolph Street.

I then continued to the lake and took a super refreshing dip in Lake Michigan - the water is still a bit chilly, but it was lovely.

Trained home and the only down point was that I had to wait for the 740 train which accommodates bikes. Earlier ones are in rush hour hours and do not accept bikes.

Selfie at the start - apologies for all the selfies but I do try and stuff a human in most of my images unless it is focusing on part of the natural landscape and I did not have any other humans available. My bike is about 20 years old and just had its first major repair - my back tire and tube went flat and needed replacing. Good, solid bike that I has served me well. 

In Route - much of the ride ended up being under the green line. The route had a bike lane on the road for several miles which was great. Pretty amazing the socio-economic changes that take place within such a short expanse of space. 

The bike lane under the L. Garfield Park is to the south - on the right.

Pond in Garfield Park.

Well all right then ... Emmerson will be paying a visit here - and maybe Daddy.

Ada Street! Yaaaaayyyy Ada!

And with the Serious Tower in the background for reference. 

At the lake. It took about an hour and a half to two hours. I was certainly not pushing it but did ride at a pretty steady pace. 

Chicago Yacht Club.

And the view to the south - quite impressive how much the south Loop has developed in recent years. 

Sure do appreciate when an interesting subject comes into frame. Lady and pup on a kayak making their way to their boat named .... 

Naughty Puppy - the name of the boat barely legible on the starboard side of the stern.

Marina facing north towards Navy Pier. The Ferris wheel is just barely visible amongst all the masts. 

Big ass dead fish - sure hope it is not an Asian Carp. 

"Monk" getting busted by a cop. She was pretty frustrated with him as he kept trying to give her his speel, but she was demanding his "vendors" id as he was soliciting money for whatever he was peddling. Interesting scene ... 

And the Segway herd plods down the path on their tour of the Lakefront. 

And then I went for a swim in the lake, air dried, made my way back to Ogilvie and home on the train. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

VBS in the Cave!

Vacation Bible School this year was a cave theme. Of course, Grace Lutheran did a fabulous job of  transforming several parts of the church into a "cave".  Emmerson worked for the service crew which make sure things are in running order each day. I think she enjoys being behind the scenes but involved. Ada, if I recall correctly, was in the Mammoth Cave group. 

It was 9 - 12 each day and since I am on full on Dad duty this summer, I would drop them off and then go and run in the forest preserves that are unique to this section of suburbs, which I "enjoyed" as much as I can enjoy running. At least it was a different venue.

Girls dressed appropriately for Friday crazy attire day!

And appropriate faces for the event.

A part of the transformation of the church - the chancel/pulpit area (depending on which part of history you want to apply to this particular area) turned into to the interior of a cave. 

Emmerson dutifully posing. Thank you dear child of mine.

And the random event ... seems like this is becoming rather frequent ... Emmerson got her first baby sitting gig. Her mission was to watch over one of our neighbor children as she made her way to the Y for swim lessons, participated in the lesson, and made her way home. Emmerson took all of this very seriously and hopefully she will continue in this pursuit. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cheeto Challenge and Po Making a Statement

Pretty sure in another recent post that I addressed the seeming reality that Burger King has thrown in the towel with even attempting to appear somewhat healthy with their options and are actually going the other direction. Thus the Cheetos Challenge - Cheeto encased Mac and cheese. At least this is what I am imagining. So here we go with our take on the Cheeto mac and cheese. Unfortunately, I am not sure why the video doesn't just appear without some downloading and such. Anyway - I will try and reiterate what was stated in the vid. 

Says it all!

So we made a video but it doesn't seem to pop up when you click on it. I think it can be downloaded from the site if you are so inclined to do so but here are basics of the tasting (I think we got the tech difficulty worked out). I stated that basically, it would best be enjoyed at 2 a.m. in large quantities but other wise, I would avoid it, really, and I eat pretty much anything. The girls see - sawed a bit as to their take but ultimately, both said it was ok but they would most likely not get it again. 

BUT we had a conversation about why in the world would BK come up with such a creation and here was my response.  There are 320 million people in the US and a lot of them get fast food. Even folks like me who don't eat at such fine establishments as the King,  might just be attracted to trying such a creation as a Cheeto mac and cheese. So I tried it and will never try it again and most likely will not go back to BK again until another road trip or something way down the road. BUT if there were enough folk in my mind set to go ahead and give the Cheeto treat a try - reality is that they most likely ordered supplements to the treat and perhaps a drink. And there you go, one visit like myself, just to try the Cheeto temptation, fisted over about 10 dollars to the King. So lets suggest that 1 million people did what I did - thats at least 10 million for the King for creating some ridiculous option that cost most likely cents. Reality, probably way the hell more than 1 million were curious and gave it a try - even if it is a complete flop and off the menu soon, still some solid cash - so good on you BK for working the system and coming up with what you did. 

And for so many reasons that is wrong but I am sure you can figure it out. 

On a brighter note, there is a zip line course set up in one of the forest preserve parks near where we live  a Emmerson is full on all about this so good. 

Emmerson's shirt. Big pizza fan.

And yes, yes, many years ago, in a place far, far, far, away, myself.

And Po was like ... the @#$%#@$% with you all leaving again without me!!!

That's right !@!#$^&$!!!!


Old Chicago Solo

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Road Trip Part 3: Tennessee Lake Living

Tennessee lake living compliments of the Great Depression and FDR's attempt to get us out of it with the WPA and CCC. Hence the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority) massive project of damming the Tennessee River and other rivers in the watershed in an attempt to provide jobs, control flooding and generate electricity. Now, the lakes created by the dams provide for some absolutely lovely lake living. Thanks to Brandon's mother and father in laws hospitality, we were able to enjoy this little known part of the US.

Dam on the Tennessee River that creates a lake extending some 30 miles or so back to Knoxville.


Do need to clarify that this was NOT in Tennessee but in one of those beach stores in Myrtle Beach that sells an amazing variety of merchandise including quite a collection of "colorful" t-shirts. 

Oh my, Burger King has simply thrown in the towel as far as trying to accommodate those in the US clamoring for more healthy fast food options.  They have pretty much said the hell with it and are going the other way - we are fast food, unhealthy so might as well embrace it. An obligatory selfie of their latest creation.

While out walking around the lake community, we came across this cemetery plot with gravestones dating back to the 1700's.  I gathered from the names that it was most likely a family plot on land still owned by the family. The communities around this particular lake were quite developed with lake, lake view and winter lake view (really) options and tastefully constructed and landscaped. 

Standing on the shore of one of the undeveloped plots of lake front. 

Good view of various boat houses and my chest sweat just starting to appear. 

Guess what day it is??? My wedding anniversary! We make the girls dress up like this to appropriately show their appreciation for the significance of the day.  Good job girls and I do appreciate the gesture.

Happy anniversary daddy!