Back To School

School is back in session and we have Michael to bring us into fall.  The main photo is from his graduation last spring.  Surrounding it, clockwise from the top left, is a shot of him on the field at Guaranteed Rate Field, posing with White Sox legend Bill Melton at Grinder Bash, with Danny at the WWII Memorial in DC, on the balcony at the Newseum with the Capitol building in the background, with Danny again at Miller Park in Milwaukee, and at his final junior high band concert.

Fitbit 6: Week 29

Week 22 of working from home due to the corona virus saw my streak of days above goal come to an end at 14 and my streak of surpassing my weekly goal stop at 2.  Things got off to a poor start on Sunday, where I managed only 4800 steps.  Monday bounced back above goal, coming in just over 7500 steps as I dealt with the damage caused by the derecho that blew through town.  Tuesday fell back down again, finishing 8 steps shy of 5600.  Wednesday was another disappointment, coming in just 5 steps higher than Sunday’s total.  Thursday had an early morning meeting that I could take on my phone, leading to a walk that staked me out to a 9100 step day.  Friday, I took my first day off of the year and ended up at Brookfield Zoo with Danny, which led to 12,300 steps, my highest total since last October’s trip to Boston to celebrate birthdays with Angelina.  A strong Saturday could have saved the week, but I finished the day with 6200 steps, leaving me about 2000 steps shy of my weekly goal.

Total steps: 50,508

Daily average: 7215.4

Fitbit 6: Week 28

Week 21 of working from home due to the corona virus was my 2nd consecutive week surpassing my weekly goal, the first time I’ve managed that in a year, when I spent two weeks in San Francisco last August.  I’ve also put together 14 consecutive days over goal, something I have not accomplished in the past 2 years.  Things got off to a good start on Sunday, where I managed to finish the day 8 steps shy of 7600, my lowest total of the week.  Monday saw a slight improvement, coming in at over 7600 steps.  Tuesday was the high point of the week, finishing over 8000 steps.  Wednesday was back down in the 7700 step range, while Thursday came in a single step over 7700.  Friday again came in at 7700 steps, while Saturday used a haircut and Danny’s graduation party to get up close to 7900 steps.

Total steps: 54,382

Daily average: 7768.9

Celebrating Independence

Danny takes the spotlight as we enter the second half of 2020.  The main shot of him is after corralling a foul ball at the May 17th game between the Blue Jays and the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.  Next, he is posing in the outfield at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, followed by him and Michael at Washington’s Nationals Park.  Finally, he stands on the balcony outside the top floor of the Newseum in Washington DC.

Fitbit 6: Week 19

Week 12 of sheltering in place due to the corona virus was a big disappointment, especially after the gains of last week and with the world opening back up.  The week got off to a decent enough start on Sunday, where an overnight stay followed by supposed riot-induced closures left me with 4200 steps.  Monday was the high point of the week, coming in at 5700 steps thanks to a post-work trip to my sister’s house to celebrate Danny’s graduation.  Tuesday saw a decline, coming in 4 steps short of 4100.  Wednesday was the day of carpet installation, so I ended the day with 3800 steps and a staple in my foot.  Work continued on Thursday, with the return of all of the furniture, and I came in at 3000 steps.  Friday finished with only 3400 steps, despite heading out for a post-work soiree with college friends.  Saturday was the low point of the week, despite a trip out to a restaurant for the first time since March, and I finished 11 steps short of 1900.

Total steps: 26,296

Daily average: 3756.6

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Chocolate Cake Shake

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018.  To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities.  With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We continue things this week with one of the entries from the Drink category: Chocolate Cake Shake, from Villa Park, IL.

Portillo’s chocolate cake is legendary, and it’s a treat made all the more lip-smacking when jacked up with ice cream and given a run in the blender.  Indulge at the Portillo’s in the western suburb where the hot dog empire was born in the early ’60s.

Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a chocolate cake shake.  I’ve certainly purchased my fair share, though, as it’s a favorite for both Danny and Michael.

200 Things To Do In Illinois – Fighting Illini Basketball

Illinois celebrated its bicentennial as a state in December of 2018. To celebrate, the Chicago Tribune published the Bicentennial Bucket List: 200 Things To Do In Illinois, celebrating the best the state has to offer in history, food, architecture, culture, sports, nature, drink, and oddities. With the state still shut down due to the corona virus outbreak, I figured this was the second-best time to look through this collection and cover the ones I’ve done/eaten/seen.

We kick things off with one of the entries from the Sports category: Fighting Illini Basketball, from Champaign, IL.

Get swept up in Big 10 school spirit at the University of Illinois’ recently renovated State Farm Center.  The space-shiplike dome contains an intense student section, the Orange Krush, created at the urging of former coach Lou Henson in the mid-1970s.

Decades later, the Krush conyinues to put the squeeze on opposing teams with an intimidating sea of orange and trademark cheers.

I’ve attended 2 Fighting Illini home basketball games, one in 2016 and the second this past January.  In both cases, I’ve left the State Farm Center disappointed as the Illini managed to defeat my beloved Purdue Boilermakers.  With Danny now committed to Purdue, there probably isn’t a reason why I’d need to go back to Champaign to see another game.

Hail Hail To Old Purdue

Friday night, I got a phone call that brightened my day.  After much deliberation, Danny had decided that he will be attending my alma mater, Purdue University, in the fall.  We’ve made numerous trips down to West Lafayette over the years, for football and basketball games and, most recently, for a campus visit.

Assuming he joins the band, there will probably be many more trips over these next four years and in increase in football game attendance.


Continue reading →