BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Other stuff ...

We had a busy weekend ... if a bit stressful. As noted previously, I was off for a TweetUp being hosted by Concierge Preferred (a local "guidebook" for the hotel trade that is very active on Twitter) over at the opening of Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier. They had plugged it as being an "on-line pressroom", and I'd assumed that we'd be given space and connection to hook up with Twitter, but it ended up that they were up where Santa is going to be, and they had three wired connections, and had staff on 2 of those doing updates. I guess everybody else in the world does Twitter from their phone (and I don't even have a data plan on mine).

Anyway, I got there on time and discovered that nobody knew where the TweetUp was ... eventually going through several levels of staff via the information booth. The thing was scheduled for 3-5pm, and I was the only non-CP person there for most of that. One gal swung by, but had her kids in tow, and disappeared into the festivities, and another guy I know from these events showed up with about a half hour left. I did get to meet some folks associated with stuff down at Navy Pier, but got no cards, so can't really follow up.

Friday night was also when we were going out to celebrate Daughter #1's 14th birthday, she'd wanted some specific menu items and we ended up figuring that we'd be able to get them down at The Rainforest Cafe. Unfortunately, they'd dropped one of them off the menu, and we had a bit of a conflict about whether we'd stay or go. Hopefully #1 had a good time.

On Saturday, #1 had signed up for the D.U.C., the Degerberg Ultimate Challenge up at dojo. Daughter #2 hadn't gotten signed up, and had something else in the morning to go to, so it was just #1 and me heading up there. The scheduling could have been better, as they had to be there by noon for weigh-in, etc., but the next thing was at 4:30pm, with the actual program not starting till 6pm. We ended up having to "cool our heels" in various settings. Fortunately, that morning I'd finally gotten the information out of AT&T about how I could sign in to the various "hotspots" with my existing account information. It turns out that the associated e-mail account with that is a sub-account to an e-mail that I'd not used in almost a decade, which doesn't make any sense, but does explain why I didn't have a clue about how to get signed in on that! Anyway, I was able to get online with my netbook at both McDonalds and Starbucks, which made me happy.

At the D.U.C. participants could sign up for various events, boxing, kick boxing, grappling, or the "D.U.C." itself, which was one round of stick fighting, one round of kick boxing, and one round of grappling. Daughter #1 was just doing the D.U.C., and was matched with a boy who was the same height, a year younger, but already had his black belt (#1 is one belt promotion away from her black belt). She dominated him in all three areas, and really caught the eye of a lot of folks there (I was getting congratulatory comments all night about how well she'd done). Even Mr. Degerberg (who's known #1 since she was 4 years old) said "She's always been a Shirley Temple doll, but with fists of fire!".

Sunday was #1's actual birthday party, which was going to be her and a few of her friends (it was going to be 4 but we had one drop out at the last minute), going skating down at the Millennium Park rink. This is one heck of a public space, as you can see from the pic, right below the "Cloud Gate" sculpture, with a view of the Gehry pavilion behind it, a fine-dining restaurant, etc. It was a good thing that we got there at 10am, as there was a substantial line to even get in to rent skates by the time we left. It's nice that there's no charge to use the rink, so if you have your own skates, it's free.

We got the girls set up, let them skate, I ran over and got a "Box O'Joe" of hot chocolate (and some Munchkins) from Dunkin Donuts, then they skated a while more, and we (amazingly) actually got out right on schedule to head down to Chinatown for Dim Sum. I was surprised that most of her friends hadn't had Dim Sum, as ever since the 1993 re-alignment of the Red and Green lines on the El, it's a quick hop down to Chinatown (it used to require a fairly complicated transfer in the Loop), making it quite convenient (and possible to get there, have lunch, and get home within the same 2hr transfer on the subway).

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