Monthly Archives: January 2009

Well, that was disquieting

So, a few minutes ago, a Lake County sheriff’s deputy rang our doorbell. Apparently our landlord has another property in foreclosure and the deputy was inquiring if we knew how to contact him. He assured us that our property was OK as far as he knew, but that we should probably keep an eye on things.

Whoa. Well, that’s exciting. We just re-upped our lease effective a few days ago, so we’re kind of locked in here. A bit of googling led me to a useful reference, though: Illinois Public Act 095-0262, 735 ILCS 5/15-1701(h)(4) effective January 1, 2008, which states that
In a case of foreclosure where the tenant is current on his or her rent, any order of possession must allow the tenant to retain possession of the property covered in his or her rental agreement (i) for 120 days following the notice of the hearing on the supplemental petition that has been properly served upon the tenant, or (ii) through the duration of his or her lease, whichever is shorter.

Whew. So if I read this properly, the worst that would happen is that we would receive word that we’d need to move within four months. OK, I can deal with that. I’d rather not have to move for twelve months, of course but you take what life throws at you, I guess.

[cross-posted] Welcome to Midwest FurFest 2009!

We have returned from our post-convention hiatus, tanned and well-rested (OK, not really), and ready to go to work on making Midwest FurFest 2009 our best yet. Why, you ask? Because our theme this year is:

MIDWEST FURFEST 2009: TEN YEARS OF MIDWEST FURFEST! celebrating our tenth anniversary by bringing back some old and dear friends, talented folks we have been pleased to welcome as Guests of Honor since 2000: Robert & Margaret Carspecken, Rapid T. Rabbit, Derrick Dasenbrock, Jessica Willard, Ysengrin Blackpaw, D.C. Simpson, Thomas K. Dye, M.C.A. Hogarth, Dbruin, Ursula Vernon, ScribbleFox, Gene Breshears, Tincrash, Kenket, Whitefox, Jen “Spunky” Seng, Erika Leigh “Chilly” Rosengarten, Jill0r, Will Sanborn, Matt & Darcy Sowers, Lucky the Evil Dog, and Foxfeather Zenkova.

Today we are pleased to unveil the shiny new Midwest FurFest 2009 website at That.s not all, though! Starting today you can register online for the convention, including for our new Anniversary Level Sponsorship.

Also, starting today you can reserve your room at our main hotel, the Westin Chicago North Shore, or at our overflow hotel, the Hampton Inn and Suites Lincolnshire. Just like last year, there will be a shuttle running between the Hampton Inn and Suites and the Westin until 2 AM Friday through Sunday of the convention.

Check out our new site, post in our forums, and start getting ready for what.s going to a fantastic birthday party in November. We hope to see you there!

Sleep? Who Needs It?

For as little sleep as I got last night (maybe four and a half hours?) I should be dragging a lot more than I am. I’m in a pretty good mood though, and it’s been a good, busy day.

Last weekend was a lot of fun. On Saturday morning, I met up with aureth, jenwolf, and linnaeus at Perfect Brewing so they could pick up some last-minute brewing supplies. It’s the first time I’ve seen their shop since they were down in Mount Prospect, and they have a good selection of stuff, though it’s a bit tricky finding what you’re looking for. After everyone was properly outfitted, we headed out and met up with roho and genet at The Full Slab for lunch. Yummy ribs, and yummy beer! I’m very happy with this place, and our server was funny and charming.

Then it was up to Antioch for the brewing to begin. Since I wasn’t brewing (that’ll be next month), I sat on the sidelines and socialized. takaza joined us later in the afternoon as well. The downside about brewing in the garage is that when it’s cold (say, a high of 12 degrees F), it’s tough to stand out there too long. The kerosene heater helped slightly, but it was just plain cold. After both batches of beer was put in carboys, we relaxed a bit playing the Wii, though I was tired and so Dan and I ducked out on the early side.

On Sunday we did…nothing. Well, I took a nap in the afternoon. That was about it. We don’t have days like that often, but it sure is nice when we can. I did create a Facebook account, though; I’m not sure what I’m going to do with it, but I figured what the heck. (Edit: If you want to add me, try searching for tabrady at gmail)

This coming weekend we have a get-together with Dan’s family on Friday night, and then the “Super Beer Bowl” beer tasting at Wine Knows in Grayslake on Saturday afternoon. Anyone interested in joining us for that?

A couple of noteworthy links I came across today:
* One of the more interesting teams in the upcoming season of The Amazing Race is Mel and Mike. That’s Mike White (screenwriter and actor from Nacho Libre and School of Rock) and his father Mel White (author of Stranger at the Gate and co-founder of Soulforce). That’s going to be very interesting.

* On a lighter note, you can enjoy Governor Crazy’s antics even more with the Blagojevich Media Blitz Drinking Game!

* Two notable posts from The Consumerist: was hacked on Friday and email addresses and passwords were compromised. Also, although I loved the walk through Expo I’d never buy anything there since the prices were sky-high. I guess I’m not the only one who felt that way.

Time to head off to the grocery store!

Merry Friday!

I’ve been obnoxiously cheerful all day for some unknown reason. It’s been a good day at work, it’s Friday, and we had a tasty lunch at BW3 where I got to savor their mango habenero sauce. Yummy (and burny)!

Last night takaza and I did a little shopping. You see, while we were watching TV on Wednesday night, I shifted a bit on the sofa and heard a >*thunk*< and suddenly was sitting lower on the sofa. Hmm. I checked the sofa structure and…oh look, here's a broken spring support. Right next to the other spring support that we didn't know was broken. Crap. Now, for what it's worth, this sofa was well past its prime. I bought it in 1996 when I had just bought my first home, a townhouse in Durham, NC. Since then it's been through six moves and sat in a storage locker for two years where the upholstery acquired a nasty case of dry rot. Dan's mom made a nice (though slightly too small) slipcover for it and it's been OK, but we knew that replacing it was an expense that was looming on the horizon.

So it's not like the sofa owed us anything. But we decided that if we're going to buy a new sofa we're going to get one that will last us another thirteen+ years. And dammit, I wanted a reclining seat. We both wanted a sectional sofa. So we knew what we were aiming for. It was time to head back to My Family Furniture (where we bought our bed last year) and see what they could do for us.

Sure enough, we went in, talked it over with the owner, who gave us a number on a piece of paper that didn’t quite make my eyes pop out of my head (but was still more than I was expecting), and we came to an agreement. We signed the papers to buy something similar to this. The differences: both ends have recliners, the seat to the left of the corner wedge is a recliner as well, and there’s a nonreclining seat where the console is in the picture. For upholstery, we went with a cafe-au-lait microfiber fabric that is very comfortable. The only downside is that it’s pretty much made to order, so it’ll be 6-8 weeks until we see it, but I think it’s going to be fabulous.

The downside is that this means some of the “fun” purchases I’d been thinking about (like a nifty new brewpot – perfect, evidently, for boiling small children) will need to be delayed. That’s OK, though. This was kind of important and necessary. And hey, it’s 18 months same as cash, so that helps a lot!

Speaking of brewpots, tomorrow is a collaborative brewing day! I’m looking forward to making (and possibly consuming) some good beer, not necessarily in that order 🙂

The Inauguration

Our boss told us to not worry about work for a while and watch the Inauguration on the internal network feed of CNN. Rarely have I been so moved by speeches and public ceremonies.

I am more hopeful now for the future than I have been in many years.

Soup and Meetings

It was a busy and productive weekend. The busy part came on Friday and Saturday when we sent out impromptu invites for a small dinner at our place. After spending the afternoon doing a bit of cleaning around the house (yeah, we still have bits of Wuffmeet stuff lying around that we needed to clean up anyway), we welcomed roho, genet, and linnaeus, as well as last-minute additions tozier_wah and mirkowuff. We had a lovely evening of chatting while I made a tasty dinner of tomato soup with roasted garlic and herbs and pumpernickel grilled cheese with extra-sharp cheddar, apples, and thyme. Extremely tasty!

Sunday morning was a slow start, then it was over to the first Midwest FurFest staff meeting of the year. We did a bit of a post-mortem for 2008 and looked ahead to plans for this year. I’m excited about some of the stuff we have in the pipeline, and I’m very glad that the convention is blessed by such a capable and creative staff. takaza was feeling under the weather so I opted to pass on the post-meeting dinner and go home with him. We had a quiet night at home, and headed off to bed surprisingly early, by about 8:30 PM.

I should also mention that Dan and I had dinner with several representatives from the Westin Chicago North Shore. Really, not much int he way of business was discussed, but it was more of a “thank you” dinner from them. We had a great meal, and the company was excellent. Clearly, they do like Midwest FurFest and are excited to have us back this year.

Not much going on this week – work is pretty steady, and I have a couple of small projects to work on at home. We’ll be doing some brewing this weekend (the first time in about four years for me!), so I’m looking forward to that.


Yep, it’s my anniversary. Today marks the sevent year of this LiveJournal’s existence. On January 11, 2002 I posted my first entry and launched myself into the world of online journaling. Through this journal I’ve documented some of the best times in my life, and some of the worst. I’m glad I’ve had it, and I will continue to use it for years to come, I’m sure.

Not much deep insight to add, but seven years of something is surely worthy of mention.

How I Spent My Winter Vacation

My goodness but I’m slack about updating this. Granted, I have good reason. Following my last substantive post (way back on December 29), we kicked preparations for Wuffmeet into high gear. Wuffmeet is the New Year’s Eve party that takaza and I have put together for the last few years. It generally consists of getting some meeting rooms at a comfy hotel, supplying a few tons of food, and putting together various bits of entertainment every so often, interspersed with visits to the pool and hot tub. This year we welcomed 50+ friends (down from last year’s 70, but the calendar was unkind to us this year) and we started on Wednesday, December 31 and went clear until Sunday, January 4. It was an awesome shindig, and we had a great time hanging out with friends and meeting some new faces as well.

One of the highlights of the party was putting together a dinner buffet for 50. We’re definitely still new to this so we had a few kinks, but Dan sauteed 20 lbs of chicken and served that with homemade gravy over rice, I made four pans of the lasagna Bolognese that I mentioned a few weeks back, and Dan’s mom made about ten pounds of Swedish meatballs and gravy. For dessert, I made a Texas sheet cake (which came out like potent chocolately brownies) and Dan made two “Sock It To Me” cakes. I was very pleased with how it all worked out, though next year we’ll work on getting everything warmer sooner.

Another highlight was a group of ten of us taking the train to downtown Chicago for lunch at Heaven on Seven, my favorite Cajun place and just an awesome restaurant all around. The gumbo was divine, and my shrimp po’ boy was delicious. The bourbon chocolate pecan pie was completely over the top, but fun to share around the table. We capped off the afternoon with a quick trip to Millennium Park and a nice stop by Intelligentsia Coffee to warm up. A perfect quick trip into the city, and hopefully enough to whet the appetites of those who hadn’t seen much of it before.

Mostly, though, the best parts of Wuffmeet were the times spent chatting with friends. The morning coffee chats, sitting around the hot tub, or sharing a truly awful herbal liqueur. It was a wonderful time, and we’re already making plans for the coming New Year’s Eve. Even more scary, we’re kicking around ideas for the upcoming year that may involve the return of FRAC. Could it be? We’ll see what happens!

We got home from Wuffmeet at about 3 PM on Sunday, and Dan went to bed about two hours later. We’ve both been pretty rough since the weekend, though he’s definitely fighting off a nasty cold bug of some variety. That’s had us going to bed early each night and dragging a bit through the days, which makes for unexciting journal entries 🙂 Still, we’re working on some stuff in the background and should have some good stuff to show for it in the next week or so.

And It’s a Wrap!

We’re home. The cars are unpacked, stuff is mostly stowed, and we’re relaxing on the sofa. Wuffmeet 2008 was a roaring success, and we’re already kicking around ideas for next year. That’s generally a sign of a pretty darned good event. Thanks to everyone who came! Watch LJ over the next few days for the usual requests for feedback and stuff to help us plan for future Wuffmeets!