Monthly Archives: January 2005

My Car is Conspiring Against Me

Yesterday before I left work, I had the joy of changing a tire on my Alero in a snowstorm. What fun! I knew the tire had a slow leak, but I was hoping to nurse it along to the weekend. No dice. So I drove home and back up here on the teeny spare (not a good idea, but oh well). I intend to drop the tire off at a local tire place at lunch and see if they can fix it (or replace it, which would be bad, since if I recall correctly if you replace one you should really replace both on the axle).

As I was driving up with the LOW TIRE PRESSURE light lit up on my car dash, I get the dreaded bong bong bong sound and another light comes on – LOW WASHER FLUID. Whew. That’s easily dealt with. And to top it off, I got the alarm and a new light one more time before getting to work, as my low fuel light came on. I think my car hates me. Fortunately, the fuel is easily fixed, and a trip to Autozone will garner me some windshield washer fluid, as well as some new windshield wiper blades (the ones I have are original, I think, and I’m at 57k miles) and an air filter. A few weeks back Jiffy Lube kindly offered to replace my air filter for only $16, but I figured I can buy the $3 filter and pop the clips on the housing myself, thanks. Let’s see, $13 labor for a 30 second job. That’s over $1,500/hour. Nice work if you can get it!

And to top all of this off, I really need to do something about the brakes. Granted, my first thought is to sell the stupid thing (since the warranty runs out at 60k and this thing is a lemon), but since I think I still owe about the same as the trade-in value, that’s not really an option. Bummer. I want an Element! Wah!

Coffee went well last night, though it was a small crowd. Need to do some laundry tonight, and think about how we’re going to fit our bed into the back bedroom at Linnaeus‘ place. That’s gonna be tight. Also, need to line up some places to look at around Lake County this weekend, so we have some idea of what costs might be and what’s really feasible.

But first, I get some work done…

After the elation, the nitty-gritty

Now that we know that takaza is going to be moving up to Chicago, we’re left with the details. As near as we can tell, we’re going to try something like ABF and get everything packed up by Friday, February 11. Linnaeus is going to fly down and keep Dan company on the drive up, which I know will be very much appreciated. They’ll be driving up on February 12-13, getting in on Sunday afternoon. Whether I fly down the weekend before is up for grabs, though the airfare has jumped up a good bit so it’s starting to become an expensive proposition. We’ll have to see…

The current plan for housing is that we’re going to move a few things in with Linnaeus in Chicago and stay there for about six months or so. The balance of our stuff will go into storage (which ain’t cheap, but we’ve found some good climate-controlled places). We’ll be paying rent, of course, but the costs involved will be far cheaper and will help us save up a little bit, even with the additional storage costs. I will admit to having misgivings (it’s going to be tight with all three of us there), but as Dan pointed out we can handle things on a month-to-month basis and if things don’t work out, it’s OK. I’ll probably continue to poke around at places in central Lake County and see how much we’re going to be talking about in rent/utilities eventually.

Oh yeah, I need to make some lists of stuff to deal with in preparation for the move – new bank accounts, address changes, etc. I think I still have my to-do list from the last move (to Durham) around, so I can deal with that.

We’ve got LAFF Coffee tonight, which I’m looking forward to; I’ve been antisocial for the last few days and it will be nice to get out and see folks again. Don’t have much plans for the rest of the week. I hope to make it down to aureth and jenwolf‘s place on Saturday, but that depends on how house-hunting goes (if it goes at all). Jim, I’ll keep y’all apprised. Oh, and I’ll need directions to your place, too.

Finally, I just wanted to say: Plonq and Atara, I’m keeping you both in my thoughts today. You did all you could for Bit, and I’m sure her life was a very happy one. Take care, both of you.


I’ve been hinting for the past few days, but we finally got the confirmation today…

Takaza now has a job in Chicago!

Whee! See all the details here.

Edit: Oops, I didn’t realize the entry was Friends Only 🙂 The short version: he’s got a job with his company in Mount Prospect, IL (about 5 miles north of O’Hare). It comes with a pay raise, a promotion, and a relocation allowance. He starts on February 14, and will be moving up here on February 12-13. Yay!

It’s A Little Bit Of Sweden In Your Mouth!

I knew going into the weekend that I was going to get precious little done. And what do you know? I was right!

They were predicting a big snowstorm to hit the Chicago area starting on Friday. I hightailed it home Friday afternoon, stopping for a brief run through the besieged Jewel Supermarket to grab a few staples. The place was a mob scene, of course, though not quite as bad as I’ve seen in North Carolina when snow is predicted. The people there seemed to have a “we’re all in this together” attitude, and that helped. By 7 PM the snow had started falling, and I resigned myself to a quiet night, chatting with friends and watching a few things on TiVo.

Saturday morning I slept in until 8:30, which is really unusual for me. As I expected, we were at 9″ on the ground and the snow was still falling. I’d guess we topped out at around 14 inches or so, yay. After a few false starts and telling ourselves that the food was worth it, Linnaeus and I ventured out into the teeth of the storm to walk the four blocks to Tre Kroner, a little Swedish restaurant.

Wow, what a fabulous place. The coziness was extremely welcome after the walk, and the coffee was quite tasty, too. Paul and I each ordered something different,t hen split it so we could get a good overview of the menu. We ordered a cinnamon roll (weirdly lemony, and not enough cinnamon), a maple pecan danish (delicious!), vanilla-orange French toast (yum!), and an omelet with roast beef, red peppers, goat cheese, and Jarlsberg cheese that was unconventional, but quite tasty. It was a great brunch, and surprisingly inexpensive. We really need to go back for dinner some night and try the traditional Swedish smorgasbord. And no, neither of us said “Bork, bork, bork!” while we were there. Nyah.

The rest of the weekend was spent lazing about, doing a bit of laundry, and generally being slothful. Paul made a batch of chili on Saturday that unfortunately had a bit too much heat for my taste (for his too, it turned out). On Sunday I made chicken and dumplings that turned out quite well. I hadn’t made it with the peas before, but I really liked the addition. As always, I used Bisquick dumplings ’cause I like those a lot better than the baking-powder type.

So that brings us up to speed. The biggest problem I have today is that, because I ran out of Protonix over the weekend, I’ve been having problems with reflux. I wound up waking up twice last night, the second time at 4 AM and I never did get back to sleep. As a result, I’m really dragging this morning, though I’m trying to dose myself with caffeine as much as possible without kicking off the reflux again. Bleah. With luck, Takaza is going to express-mail the Protonix that came into Durham on Saturday today, but if that doesn’t happen I’m going to have to find my way to a Walgreens or Osco and get some Prevacid OTC (which takes 24 hours to work, just like Protonix). Bleah. I really need to stay on top of when to reorder medicines better – this is entirely my own fault.

Eh, back to work. Hopefully I’ll have something to write about later.

Friday Fun!

Wow, it’s been a good week. Dinner with Daveqat and Jimcyl and kittylad at Geja’s Cafe was excellent (though maybe not worth what they charged for it – I’m thinking fondue is something best done at home. At least the wine was good). On Wednesday, I had dinner with partran and Linnaeus at The Hopleaf. Oh. My. God. Take a 11 x 17 sheet of paper. Cover it front and back with 8-point type – that was their beer list. And one side is devoted entirely to their specialty: Belgian beers. I want to live at this place. The food was pretty tasty too!

Following that, the LAFF Coffee Night was fun as well, and I got to have a good chat with unclevlad about Worldcons and Chicago SF fandom. Last night was a nice quiet night; I did some laundry and finally finished Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. That only took about six months, and by the end the game was really starting to annoy me. So I guess I need to pick up a new addiction for the few hours a week I have to play PS2 games…

And then we have today. I’m very excited right now. Things were pretty good with our original plans, where takaza was going to catch an evening flight up and arrive at O’Hare at 9 PM or so. However, things got interesting this week when one of the managers at the Mount Prospect office called one of the managers in Dan’s office in Raleigh and said, “Hey, I know you’ve got a guy looking to transfer up here, and we have this accounts receivables job that we’re going to post in a couple of days…” Phone calls and e-mails were exchanged, resumes were sent, and the upshot is that as I write this Dan is on a flight to O’Hare. He’s going to meet with the branch manager in Mount Prospect, as well as the person the position would report to. This isn’t the actual interview, but I think it’s something better – a “we want to get to know you and see if you’ll fit” kind of thing, which I’m certain Dan will excel at. I’m very excited about this!

Once he finishes meeting with folks down there, the plan is that he’s going to hang out for a while with chouette (who never posts, dangit!). I’m going to pick up datahawk on my way home, and I’m thinking that we may all meet up with Linnaeus at The Hopleaf for a tasty dinner. Tomorrow, it’s a full day of geekery as Dan, Linnaeus, and Data and I all go to NoCoasterCon for a full day of presentations by amusement parks from around the country on what new and exciting rides they are rolling out for 2005. Tomorrow night we’ll be hanging out with feren, then on Sunday it’s the first MFF Staff meeting of the year.

This is a going to be a great weekend, made even better by the fact that I get to see Takaza again, which always makes me happy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed since good news on the job front seems to be epidemic around Chicago this week.

A Happy Announcement

Good news everyone!

As many of you already know, Midwest FurFest has been lucky enough to welcome the amazingly talented artist kenket as one of our Guests of Honor for next year. If you’re not familiar with her work, hie ye hence to her website and be impressed.

Last night, our esteemed chairman (and really cute wolf) takaza confirmed our other two Guests of Honor. First off, we have a talented writer and the editor of the long-running fanzine Tales from the Tai-Pan Universe: genebreshears! It will be a pleasure to welcome Gene to his first MFF in grand style!

Second, we have a gifted artist who’s definitely on the rise. a longtime supporter of Midwest FurFest, and a contributor to Furry Ninja High School: tincrash!

Congratulations to all of these fine folks!


I finally got my car dug out on Sunday and now we have an ice storm coming in. Dammit. Ah well, another few days taking the train in, it sounds like…

I’m going to try out Geja’s Cafe tonight with daveqat and jimcyl. Should be good, and I’m looking forward to some tasty fondue! With luck, linnaeus will be well enough to join us.

Finally: At last, the secret behind takaza and my short haircuts can be revealed: Let Us Trim Our Hair In Accordance With Socialist Lifestyle!

Well, this is interesting

Six Apart to buy Live Journal

Six Apart is the parent company of TypePad and creator of Movable Type blogging software. By all accounts they’re one of the Good Guys, and I’m guessing the purchase will be transparent to most users. If anything, I’m hoping this might mean incorporation of some of the better blogging features out there (like something similar to BlogThis!) into LJ, but we’ll see. I’d reckon this will mean quite a windfall for brad, though – good for him!

In other news, gatcat just ain’t right!

New Years And Beyond!

Well, that was a busy few days.

In my last (non-tipsy) post, I mentioned that I was going to be heading up to Roho and Genet‘s for dinner. And so I did, and we went to the Double Eagle in Antioch. In spite of it sounding like a leather bar, it’s actually a passable restaurant, though the service needed some slight improvement. The beer was cheap, though! After dinner Roho and I went down to their basement and watched some Family Guy while Genet went to poke at Evercrack 2 for a bit.
Surprises That Aren’t Surprising, But Nonetheless Welcome

It’s 2:11 AM, I’m way tipsy, and Takaza surprised me and flew in to help me celebrate the new year.

Life is mighty damn good. And 2005 is going to be even better. I know it will be.

May 2005 be better and better for all of you as well!