The Windy City

Sure is windy here… The lake-effect wind is blowing rather briskly through the streets here in Chicago. It’s almost like another winter, which is fine with me, but not quite so wonderful for Laura.

We’ve arrived here safely in Chicago at the beginning of our much-needed vacation. I’ll be showing her some of my favorite restaurants and we’ll go touring here together – something I really didn’t get to do before as I was here to work.

I know what you’re probably thinking: “Hasn’t this guy complained endlessly about the amount of travel he does? So what does he do on vacation but hop on yet another airplane?!?!” Yeah – I think I’m crazy, too. One reason I liked the job in the beginning is that I love travel – I have discovered that I want to do it on my terms. So: barely a day’s turnaround and I’m back out of Houston and off to Chicago. I’m hoping to take some really good pictures of the city with the new wide-angle lens Laura got me for our anniversary. I know I’ll be playing with my new toy…

Of course, the real difficulty I’ll have here is choosing which restaurants to go to and which of my old favorites I have to pass up…

Soon To Come: Vacation!

That much-needed time of relaxation approaches for the first week of May when Laura and I take a two-year anniversary trip to Chicago. That’s right: two years! Congratulation, Us! Two years and still in love! That’s a record so far – one I intend to break every year.

I haven’t really had a vacation in quite a while as the last vacation I had was interrupted with the death of my good friend Jason. So, this time we hope to relax both mentally and emotionally – but probably not physically. Chicago is a walkin’ town. We certainly won’t rent a car except maybe one or two days. So, we’ll be walking to dinner, walking to sight-see, walking to… well, anything. The walking should help us digest the local cuisine.

Yum! Chicago Pizza! And, yes, Robert: Goose Island beer.

Slow Month… Sort Of

I know you’ve been eagerly awaiting my next post, but I can tell you that not too much is going on. Or: maybe I’m just too busy; or even maybe all of my complaints are the same and you’ve already heard them before. Whatever the reason, I’ve not posted much this month. In fact, after last month’s record number of posts, I’m down to two for the first half of this month. I must have hit writer’s block.

What has been going on with me, you ask? Well, I have taken some good pictures of the cherry blossoms here in DC and did that again this morning in better light.

I’ve also been experimenting with network-wide anti-spam products so that I can keep my mailboxes clean. After working with Laura on a slide-show presentation eulogizing Jim Kiley [another friend of ours who passed away recently], we’ve decided that I need to re-install her machine fresh so that we can rid it of it’s legacy of Windows 98 and old software as well as the infestation of spy-ware that is on it. After cleaning and reinstalling that machine [as well as my own desktop which had a serious bout of “crash” this weekend], I will look into transferring my firewall to a Linux box and maybe adding some anti-spam filtration on that [since it’s free…] instead of the setup I have now. I haven’t quite decided what I want to do, but I know I want to do something to keep the garbage from coming into my network.

So: if anyone knows of some good free-ware or open source anti-spam, anti-virus, anti-spy-ware, firewall products out there, post a comment…

The Blossoms

They are comin’ out now. Those famous little cherry blossoms of Washington, DC. I drove by one of the groves tonight on my way into town and saw several trees all… well, blossomed. Most, however, are being lazy. I suspect that I’ll be able to get some good pictures mid-week or so. It was dark, so I couldn’t really tell what the state of “blossoming” really is, but a least a few trees did have a bit of a “glow”.

I must say that the weather has warmed nicely for just such an event as taking pictures of trees outside. It’s much more mild than it’s been in a long time here. I guess that’s what they call Spring. Living in Houston, we just kinda skip straight on to Summer, so I don’t really have too much experience with it. It’s rather nice.