September 26th, 2005


Birthday update ...

Well, there were requests to see some pics from the activities this weekend, although I didn't end up taking very many (one of the downsides of being The Photographer in a particular group, when it's your thing, you can't hover around the periphery and snap pictures). There are two pictures of me from this weekend, both courtesy Medieval Times (one being Knighted even!), but they both look painfully goofy (yes, I'm wearing the cardboard crown in them), and I don't know if I can stand to have them in circulation.

Anyway, this shot here is from up at the Signature Room up on top of the John Hancock Center, at the 95th floor. As I noted previously, this is about twice as high up as our place (we're on 46, but they don't start counting until after about 4 floors of "commercial" stuff, so we're really about 50 stories up), and it certainly makes a difference. This is (obviously, to anybody familiar with Chicago) is looking north, from about Division (where that curved building at the bottom of the pic is) on up past Lincoln Park and beyond. I only got three shots up there (I just couldn't bring myself to do the "tourist" thing in the restaurant), and this was the most "interesting" ... I got another that shows the top of our building, but it was mainly blocked by the Bloomies' building (see the user pic ... it's the building inbetween here and the Hancock), so you'd really have to know what you were looking at to pick it out.

I covered the details from Friday previously, so won't bother re-hashing that in here, but I guess I'll fast-forward to yesterday. We got up early (although not pre-dawn, as is so often the case with The Girls and present events), and I got to open up a couple of things. The Wife had to get an early start for one of these NCLB Open Houses (which ended up being a total waste of time), so we didn't do much in the morning. While The Girls and I had sort of been supposed to have gone out and done something, we mutually opted to just hang out ... they watched cartoons and I took a nap! Anyway, The Wife eventually got back here with the rental car and we tried to get organized to get going. The Medieval Times thing started at 4pm, and we'd hoped to be on the road by 2:30, but it was pretty much 3pm by the time we got going.

According to the mapping thing, it should only take 27 mintues to get out to The Land Beyond O'Hare on 90, but nobody told all the other cars about that, and it was crawling for a large portion of the way out towards the airport. Once we cleared that, and got on the tollway, it decided to open up with some serious rain (see my weather post... the large purple mass in the upper right, just outside Chicago, decided to catch up with us at that point). However, we did have 60 minutes to make the "27 minute" trip, and ended up pulling into the Midieval Times parking lot with about 10 mintues to spare.

Now, I tried to get some "interesting" pictures at Medieval Times, but had to deal with my little flash-less digital camera's dislike for low-light situations (meaning that it was only worth trying to take a pic when they had all the lights up in the arena), as well as with the netting they have during the "tournament" to keep errant axes from flying out into the audience. Again, my little digital cam was not up to that challenge, so most of my shots from later were nice and clear of the netting, yet quite blurry of the the sword/axe/lance-play going on beyond it. This shot was from one of the "processions" (we were in the red/yellow section, although our Knight got eliminated early on), which at least gives a sense of the show. We were in the front row, so it was all right up in our face. Our Knight was stationed right in front of us for the first part of the show, so there was some interaction, he even gave Daughter #1 a flower.

While The Girls did seem at the time to be rather transfixed by the show, they didn't eat much of anything and were being somewhat cranky on the way out (they, of course, wanted us to get them tons of stuff from the Gift Shoppe). The car was running on fumes at that point, and we barely made it to the Lake Forest Oasis for gas. While there we ended up spending lot on no-grip claw machines and getting a Happy Meal for Daughter #2 (I guess that tearing into a half chicken with her little fingers ... and no silverwear ... was just too much to ask). I ended up dropping them off at home (so they could get the "party" stuff ready) while I went off in search of parking. I suppose that I was "lucky" in that I found a spot on my first "circle" around the neighborhood, but somehow a 6.5-block walk doesn't seem like the height of convenience ... it did, however, work out better than having me drive around for the better part of an hour.

So, I got home, we had birthday cake, I opened up prizes (my main goody was a new digital cam, although it was not one of the models I'd suggested, and wasn't even in the range I was looking for, but it was a "brand name", which is something that I'd never get for myself). and we crashed. This morning we had the "big birthday breakfast" that got pre-empted by the work thing on Saturday, and I watched football most of the day while whipping up some printed stuff for projects we're doing next week. La-di-dah ... there you have it. Another year older and deeper in debt.

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Baaaaah ....

Saw this over in selenite's journal, clicked on it, took the survey ...

It appears to be by somebody who's researching a paper to be presented at an upcoming "Association of Internet Researchers" (I thought the term for that was "porn hawks" ... heh!) conference. I guess that explains the "science". Frankly, I would have structured the questions differently (a lot of my responses really should have been "not applicable" rather than scored on an agreee/disagree scale), but I have a bad habit of wanting to micro-manage everything.

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