Tired of listening to those cable news anchorpeople? Want a concise, quantifiable summary of what’s going on “over there”? Consult the handy Iraqometer.
This is either funny or scary. I can’t decide which.
I posted new pictures for the kids last night. They’re from my parents’ visit last weekend. Both were taken with my mother’s digital camera.
My back is recovering from a marathon weed pulling session yesterday. I’m learning the hard way how much work it can take to maintain a decent lawn. I’ve pretty much neglected the back yard for the past four years and now I’m paying for it. A large section of grass died during the summer a few years ago and it’s gradually been taken over by weeds. I let it get too out of hand and the entire lawn was taken over by wild onion and bedstraw (or catchweed or vetch or whatever the hell other 30 names it’s known by). I filled 14 Home Depot lawn and leaf bags yesterday and I’m still not done. I’ll be making another trip to the Hall of Home Improvement
TM this week to get more bags and some Weed and Feed or Turf Builder or something. Anyone know if it’s too late to plant grass seed in Texas? I think I have St. Augustine.
We watched the Oscars last night. Unfortunately, I missed Michael Moore’s speech. The guy’s a bit of a crackpot, but I’m glad he’s out there making a fuss, even if he overexaggerates. I still haven’t seen Bowling for Columbine. Congrats to Adrien Brody, who became the youngest Best Actor recipient (and who is 18 months younger than me. How depressing.). I just noticed in looking up his age on IMDB that they don’t include him in the cast of The Boy Who Cried Bitch. I’m fairly certain he played one of the institutionalized kids along with Harley Cross and Moira Kelly in that little-known film. If you haven’t ever seen King of the Hill (no relation to the show). I recommend checking it out. It’s one of his first films, has good performances all around, and is directed by Steven Soderbergh.
We took the kids to see Piglet’s Big Adventure on Saturday. The Boy inhaled an entire bag of popcorn as usual and enjoyed the movie, especially the song that they sang during the North Pole “Expotition”. The Wife missed more than half of the movie dealing with The La for whom movie theaters apparently have a laxative effect.
Well, we went ahead and did it. No turning back now. Hooray.
Even if it turns out that this administration was correct and Iraq was about to develop and sell a bunch of nukes to terrorists (or whatever the hell their reasons were for needing to do this in such a hurry), we’re still f’ed in the eyes of the international community. I hope it was worth it.
I spent last week in Chicago on business. I’d never been there before, so I tried to do a bit of sightseeing and sampled a few different places to eat.
I had dinner a couple of nights at the Rock Bottom Brewery. It’s a chain, but the cheese factor wasn’t too high. The food was decent and I really dug their house IPA. I sampled the seafood at Shaw’s. It’s only about a block from the IBM building, where I spent most of my time. The vibe is cool, swing music and lots of dark wood. Very ’40s. The service was great. It was a nightmare Friday night finding a place that didn’t have less than a 30 minute wait, so I ended up eating at the bar at Big Bowl. I recommend it. I had a chili pepper chicken noodle dish that was excellent. Three separate people interrupted my inhaling to ask me what I was having because it looked so good. It’s not listed on their website menu, but I’m hoping the Dallas locations carry it for my next visit to my parents’ house. Of course, no trip to Chicago would be complete without some stuffed pizza. Several of the most well-known joints are just a few blocks from each other. I decided on Giordano’s. It was good, certainly superior to Mangia, Austin’s stuffed pizza chain. For some reason, their pizza always gives me an upset stomach, but I digress. I had lunch nearly every day at Potbelly Sandwich Works. They succeed where Quizno’s fails miserably. I highly recommend the Italian sub if you’re ever in the Chicago or DC area. I’m somewhat biased by the fact that they stock IBC in a bottle. Mmmmm….IBC. I also managed to squeeze in a Chicago style hot dog at Downtown Dogs near the water tower and Loyola on my last day in town. We actually have a very authentic Chicago dog place here in Austin.
The bar tour of Chicago consisted of fewer stops than the restaurant tour. I checked out the Billy Goat Tavern of SNL fame. The ambiance was ruined by a crew from Girls Behaving Badly, some horrid show on Oxygen which was filming a short spot there. Judging from the number of times that they had to redo the same 30 second spot, the on-air talent is none too bright. I didn’t order any food there, but the Bushmills was just fine. The next night was spent at Harry’s Velvet Room. The bar had a distinct New York vibe. The clientele was annoying, but the service was good and they had Basil Hayden’s, although they ran out while I was there. It’s not pictured on the web page, but the smaller bar is a shrine to Veuve Clicquot with rows and rows of bottles lining the back wall. Finally, I was obliged to check out Delilah’s. It’s run by a college friend of Casino’s. It’s very similar to his place. It’s kind of eerie that the two of them came up with virtually the same bar independent of each other. The doorman was very friendly and the staff was accommodating. I arrived around 10, parked myself in the middle of the bar and didn’t leave until closing. It’s a bit far from downtown (about a $10 cab ride), but definitely worth a visit.
My only sightseeing stop was the Art Institute of Chicago. I highly recommend it, especially on a Tuesday as they’re open until 8 (later than the rest of the week) and admission is free. They cover a broad range of styles and periods. The photography and throne miniature room on the lower level are not to be missed. The most well known paintings in their collection are Seurat’s La Grande Jatte, Grant Wood’s American Gothic, Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, as well as Surrealist works by Magritte and Dali.
If you checked the site in the last 12 hours, you either noticed that you got nothing or that you got a bunch of php/mysql errors. Apparently, my ISP was applying some security patches to the server that hosts all of my sites and things went south on the reboot after applying the fixes. They basically had to restore everything and, for some reason, database access wasn’t fully restored. It should all be working now.
I was going to post a journal from my trip to Chicago last week and some new pictures of the kids that my mother took from this past weekend, but all of the server crap prevented me from doing that. It’ll all go up tonight.
I finally updated the picture of the week for both kids. They were taken at Ethan Shackelford’s birthday party this past weekend. The weather was crappy, but everybody had a good time. I’m ready for our winter to be over. One more month to go…