Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Trip to Chicago: Day 5

Day 5: Union Railroad Museum
This cool railroad museum is only 15 minutes from my grandmother's house.
Even though it was stifling hot (and humid), we had fun riding on two different trains. At one point, our train (which was electric) had to stop because we lost about 400 volts on the line. This apparently happened because they were putting away some of the older trains. After a few minutes of waiting, we were able to start up again. Train travel must have require a measure of patience.

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Trip to Chicago: Day 4

Day 4: Fishing at Busha's house
It was a rather pleasant day, and the girls and I fished for quite awhile -- a pretty strange thing for all of us. The water was clear and we could cast right in front of the fish. We caught two bass and a bluegill before everyone, including the fish, became bored. Mica demonstrated some excellent casting skills... better than mine.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Dinner at Frontera Grill

Carly grimaces for the camera at Frontera Grill. I decided to pass on the huitlecoche. Someday I *will* try this corn fungus, but today it sounded too plain -- especially next to the other platas poqueños.

We did see Rick Bayless. He was working behind the bar, and Karen noticed. Later he came to talk to a couple at the table next to us. Apparently they had moved from Chicago to Atlanta and wanted to come back to see how Frontera was doing. They gushed for several minutes, but that must've been the highlight of their meal, because they frowned a lot after that.

I had a few small plates: Gorditas (teeny, tiny tacos) filled with duck carnitas and garnished with some seriously hot sauce. The sopes (tiny masa tarts) I ordered were also delicious. They were contained an assortment of fillings, including chicken in mole rojo and guacamole. Mica ordered some really good peach ice cream for dessert. It came with cajeta (goat milk caramel), which was pretty good but a little heavy on the cinnamon.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Soap Box: Greedy Music Moguls

I think the artists are awesome. I think they are creative, work really hard, and often want to make the world a better place. The music labels and the RIAA, on the other hand, boil my blood.

I was looking at some statistics on how much was being made for them via iTunes, and how much they felt they should be making from music sales overall. Their reaction: Waaah! People aren't generating enough revenue in music sales for us. My reaction: Egads! These jerks should feel lucky that they are making as much as they are. They point out that 99 cent downloads don't earn as much for them as a $15 CD does. Ummm... Duh! That is exactly why people are buying those downloads. I always hated buying a CD full of songs I didn't care about just to get the two or three that I wanted. I think most people feel this way -- at least about a portion of the artists whose music they like.

I think these music execs need to crawl on hands-and-knees over to Steve Jobs and thank him profusely. While they are at it, they should send a little gratitude my way. I'm sick of listening to them disparage us all for not buying more overpriced music we didn't want anyway. :-p

Vacation to Chicago: Day 2

Day 2: Denver to Lincoln
On the second day of our trip, we stopped at a visitors' center in Nebraska and asked for recommendations of things to see. Karen was hoping for something like the world's biggest ball of twine. What the nice old lady at the visitors' center recommended was almost as good: The Great Platt River Road Archway Monument was equal parts Disney, American cheese, and pioneer pride. There was a, as Carly put it, "ginormous" bison statue; an outdoor maze; an escalator leading up into the interactive tour with a wagon train projected on the screen around you as you "entered" the pioneer life; and a procession of exhibit areas that led up through the Pony Express, to the railroads, to the Eisenhower highway project. Random factoid #1: Eisenhower was so impressed by the autobahn during the war that he came back to adopt the idea in the States. All of this in a wood, stone, and acid-treated stainless steel monumount stretching over I-80 in Kearny, Nebraska. Oh, and we can't forget Random factoid #2: The hapless Albert Schmidt (Jack Nicholson) in About Schmidt visited the monument on his post-retirement trip from Omaha to Denver.
Now this, ladies and gentlemen, is the very definition of American Heartland!

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Vacation to Chicago: Day 1

Day One: Albuquerque to Denver
On the way to Denver, we decided, impromptu, to stop at the US Olympic Center in Colorado Springs. It had been about 22 years since I had been there for a Junior Olympics Judo tournament. Things had really changed... a lot. We took a great little tour, saw the synchronized swimmers practicing, and heard about a rising shotgun star (I'm sad to say that I heretofore had no idea shotgun was an Olympic sport). Everyone really enjoyed this little excursion, and we had dinner afterward in downtown Colorado Springs at Old Chicago. That seemed like an appropriate way to start off our trip to Chi Town!

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mother's/Father's Day Preformance

Mica's class prepared for their "Mother's/Father's Day Performance" for several weeks. All of the children read inspirational poems (deep for 2nd grade), sang songs and read dedications to their parents. Mica read clearly and loudly (good projection skills!) and had a great smile on her face. I took the first picture before they started. I told her it might be the last clear one I got of her.

Carly and Hannah were wearing the exact same dress, so I had to take a picture. They are both hams, can you tell?

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Monday, May 08, 2006

Woot! First Blog Entry

Woot! My first blog posting! Except... does anyone really care? I am not really a big fan of weblogs. However, I have come to realize three things that became the impetus for the creating of this blog:
  1. Venting on a blog, like talking to yourself, can be therapeutic,
  2. Most web logs are more intersting to look at than free web-hosting template home pages,
  3. If I post an idea here first, and then someone patents it... I can claim prior work! Right?