Monthly Archives: February 2010

Let the Word Go Forth From This Day Forward:

President’s Day is NOT a trash pick up holiday in Chicago. Why doesn’t the Department of Streets & Sanitation have its holiday schedule on its website? We go through this every frakking year, running out as the truck lumbers up the street, moving both cars and hauling the cans out in a hot hurry through the snow. At least we made it this time.

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Happy Valentine’s Day To You — Now Get Shaking.

First, I’d like to wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you started the day as beautifully as the Siren and I did: our 6-year-old son marched into our bedroom at 7:30 holding an oversized birthday card one of us received last year, and opened it wide so that the sound chip played The Chicken Dance at top volume. Romance lives in the Unfocused household. With that rousing call to wake, I wished the Siren — the love of my life — a happy Valentine’s Day, and we hid under the covers until the children went downstairs and we realized they were making their own breakfast — yay Montessori-trained self-reliant older kids! — with the milk that had gone bad but was still in the fridge (because we weren’t absolutely sure it had turned) and I had to run down to the kitchen and dump the cereal out of their bowls.  Good times.

I had my first full 10 mile outdoor run in weeks? months? this morning. There’s just enough ice on the ground to make it hard to really pick up the pace, and wearing enough layers to make a run in 17-degree weather comfortable slows me down too, but I was glad to be outside. One of the podcasts I listened to on the run was Escape Pod #237, “Roadside Rescue” by Pat Cadigan.  It’s a very short story, very cool and thought-provoking, like a lot of her work. Cadigan gave me nightmares my senior year of college with a short story about an alternate history where the 1968 presidential election went so much worse than it did here, and what happened to the country after. I can’t remember the title or find it easily online, but it was published around 1990 or 1991 in either Asimov’s or Analog. I was a political science major in college, and I wrote probably half a dozen papers on either the ’68 election or the careers of candidates who ultimately ran for President in that election, and the story sank its claws deep into my brain.  I haven’t read a lot of her work since then, but now I’m planning to go back and catch up on everything I missed.

Time to Kick Ass and Post on My Blog.

And I’m all out of blog posty-stuff.

It’s been a busy few weeks. Here’s a quick rundown, the good and the bad:

  • A mentally ill parishoner burned down the church my wife and children attend, doing millions of dollars in damage and forcing them to seek temporary space for the next 9-12 months.
  • My wife got swine flu and, mostly, recovered.
  • My father came for a visit!
  • Junior spent the first night of my father’s visit throwing up.
  • I had to go to Austin for a few days while the Siren was sick. The Lass and I tried to work out a meeting in the holographic projection we call the real world, but our schedules didn’t mesh.
  • A case that was going to have me in Peoria for a week and a half straight for an arbitration settled at the last minute.
  • I wore my Vibram FiveFingers for a half-hour treadmill run shortly after my last post, and they chafed in a couple of spots badly enough that my feet bled. I’ll try them again to see if I can break them in a little, but I think they’re just a size or two too small.

Well, enough of that. We’re all in reasonable good health, I’ve started to get some more work done on Breezeway, despite having a busy time at work (I can’t recommend Merlin Mann’s recent post, “First, Care,” highly enough to assist you in getting off your personal stick, by the way). My running is off and on but I’m registered for the Shamrock Shuffle and getting ready for the start of the racing season in less than two months.

Unfocused Girl and I are testing for our high green belts in taekwondo next week, so today was board-breaking practice ahead of the test. Witness the Unfocused Family’s destructive might:

That’s five boards: Unfocused Girl and I each broke two, and Junior broke one. After TKD, Unfocused Girl and I take a marital arts weapons class. We recently moved from nunchaka to bo sticks, and our new bo sticks arrived today:

Don’t let the smile fool you — we Unfocuseds are totally badass.