April 29, 2003
Heeeelp! My Pelvis!

So last night after work I decided to work out by running on the treadmill. I ran for 30 minutes (a little over two miles). I noticed after I got off the treadmill that my right knee was a little sore but nothing unusual. I decided not to do any other lower-body weights, though, just in case I had done something that weights would just make worse. Instead, I stretched for about 20 minutes and went home.

Once I got home, though, I knew something wasn't right. My knee was now throbbing with every step I took. Each time it had to bed, it would hurt. When I had to twist around and change direction, it would scream! I ended up trying to ice it, but I'm not sure how much good that did. By the time I went to bed, I couldn't take another step and had a heating pad around it as I fell asleep. FYI - the pad has an auto shut-off feature, so I was safe.

This morning, the knee is fine. A little hurty, but nothing compared to the pain of last night. I'm able to walk and go up and down stairs, and there's no sense of a limp in my step. I took some Advil, but I'm not sure I really needed it.

Next week - My trick hip will be able to forecast the weather.

Posted by Austin at 10:18 AM
April 28, 2003
Rain, already!

Over the past week I've managed to wash my car three times. Don't ask why, but it's just how things turned out. In each circumstance, though, the car managed to get dirty within days or even minutes of the previous wash. Such items included normal dirt and road grim all the way to bird poo and about half of Michigan's insect population. My car is definitely in need of some of my patented TLC (R), which involves about four hours of washing, waxing and cleaning everything... Janine can attest to my car cleaning fits.

With the weather so sunny (even if rain is in the forecast) and the temps starting to rise, a cleaning day like Janine's is looking like a better alternative to work. Then, again, anything is a better alternative.

Posted by Austin at 11:36 AM
April 24, 2003

Oh, man! Ooooooooh, man!

Posted by Austin at 04:20 PM
April 20, 2003

In other news, I spent close to 4 hours playing Amplitude today. I beat the Brutal difficulty level of the game in about 2 hours or so.

After that, I went back and beat the Mellow difficulty level... just for kicks. ;-)

All that's left now is the Insane level. I've tried a few songs at that level, and they ain't joking!

Posted by Austin at 06:25 PM
Happy Easter!

So the happy couple ended up coming out after all. They pretty much stayed to themselves, hitting four museums and the Mag Mile in two days. It was fun having them out here, though... especially when they buy me prizes.

The weather around here has been decent enough to allow me to get some outdoor activities in over the weekend. Yesterday I ran 3 miles (~9 min/mile) and today I rollerbladed up and down the lake shore path. It's little things like this that make me love Chicago - being able to live next to a lake and play along side, or even in it... that is, if the e-coli levels are safe.

I'm thinking about going tanning again to get ready for the wedding and honeymoon. I know that I have a sun deck and a beach right outside my door, but I'm usually in a big building way out in the 'burbs working during peak sun hours. There are plenty of tanning shops to choose from all over the place, but it's too bad that they don't open up the roof of my building during the lunch hour. That would be sweet!

Posted by Austin at 06:19 PM
April 19, 2003

A few signs in Chicago that Spring hath sprung:

- The water fountains along the lakeshore path are flowing;
- Grant Park looks a little more green each day;
- The harbor slips are slowly being populated with more boats each weekend;
- The temperature will be 86 on Monday, then 56 for Tuesday;
- You're torn between hot tea to iced cappuccino;
- Boat tours along the Chicago River are running once again;
- Coat Check?! *Bah*

Posted by Austin at 05:22 PM
April 13, 2003
Momma, I'm Coming Home

For the first time in a week, I get to sleep in my own bed. That is a joy unto itself.

The trip to New York / New Jersey was interesting / fun / stressful, all rolled into one. Janine got to know a lot of extended family on Bonnie's side that I rarely get to see but can be fun to hang out with. We got to sit through three and a half hours of Jewish services, making the 1-hour Catholic Sunday much more appealing (hence Janine attending Palm Sunday this morning). Oh, and Janine got to see what a REAL Bar Mitzvah party is like. ;-)

Today we flew back to O'Hare, where we killed 2 hours and six margaritas while waiting for Janine's connecting flight to Saginaw. Needless to say, she called me when she arrived at MBS to let me know she was still drunk. Now THAT'S how everyone should travel! ;-)

Now... on a slightly more solemn note...

On Friday we ended up going into Manhattan with my step-sister, Beth. We decided that we were going to ditch my parents and to go down to Ground Zero, just because it seemed like the right thing to do. Well, after 45-minutes of NYC's Public Transit System (Note: I like Chicago's much better), we emerged upon the financial district and found ourselves staring into a 10-story pit of dirt and construction equipment.

It was surreal, sanitary, and bland all at once. Imaging that two skyscrapers and three other buildings used to stand right in front of us was believable but mind-boggling. Most remnants of the towers was all but gone - a big 15-acre hole staring right back at us through heavy-duty permanent fencing.

The sidewalk was repaired, the streets were repaved, the storefronts were open and bustling... everything seemed normal, almost as if that huge hole had always been there. The massive amounts of construction equipment down in 'The Pit' seemed as if it belonged there. Most everything had been cleaned up and removed... hence the sanitary feeling of it all.

The most obvious evidence of the disaster was a 30-story building to the east of the WTC, draped in black mesh like a woman in mourning. Instead of hiding tears, it was hiding the damage that resulted from 1.8 million tons of debris falling into it. The building still stood, but was draped to protect the people and traffic below from any bits and pieces falling to the ground below. The scars were still fresh, and somehow still seemed to bleed.

When speaking with friends and residents of the NY/NJ area, all said the same thing - "Things have changed." National Guardsmen armed with M-16 rifles are a mainstay at the area's airports, bridges and tunnels. Traffic into and out-of Manhattan was much lighter that years past. People didn't want to live there anymore.

After 18 months, things had definitely changed. Pride and freedom had been replaced by fear and vulnerability.

... I don't know how to finish this post, except to leave it as-written above. Words escape me.

Posted by Austin at 06:59 PM
April 10, 2003
Which Way Did He Go?

So... umm... yeah... I'm alive.

I've been in Texas since Monday afternoon, and I just got back about two hours ago. I'm at work, but I'm leaving shortly to head home and unpack/pack for my trip to New Jersey with Janine.

I was down in Texas for an extra day that I wasn't really planning on, mainly because the factory had MAJOR issues with building our prototypes. I can go on and rant for a few hours, but let me just make a few points:
- Tuesday was a 10 hour day;
- Wednesday was a 12 hour day;
- I basically bitched-out a Plant Manager.

That last one felt really good. Imagine, if you will, talking to your boss' boss and opening up a big ol' 40-ounce can o' Whup Ass. Yeah, it felt goooood.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to jet set... again.

Posted by Austin at 12:51 PM
April 06, 2003
Lets Jet Set

*Whew* What a weekend. I walked my ass off this weekend with Melissa and Greg (The BF) while showing them what Chicago has to offer. Literally... I think it fell off around LaSalle and Wacker.

We had a really good time this weekend, and I'm sorry we didn't have more time between Friday night and this afternoon. I'm sure Melissa will write up some details on our adventures, but we ended up hitting the Art Institute, Lou Mitchell's (DAMN good breakfast joint!), the Four Seasons mural by the Bank One Building, a few other places in and around the Loop, and - of course - the Mag Mile. Heck... I even bought a new toy!

As a write this, though, Melissa and Greg are flying 39,000 feet above Iowa on their way back to California, and I can't help but use this as a segue into my upcoming travel plans. ;-)

In the next week I plan on sleeping in my own bed a whopping 2 times. I'm flying out tomorrow afternoon to make my way to the Austin, Texas, area for our manufacturing build ("Austin's in Austin"... I know...). I come back Wednesday night, unpack, repack, sleep, and then head off for New Jersey Thursday afternoon with Janine for my something-eth cousin's Bar-Mitzvah. My jet setting ways will come to an end Sunday evening.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a pile of laundry that I need to take care of before it starts taking over the closet. Toodles!

Posted by Austin at 04:17 PM
April 02, 2003
Dragged In To The Melee

So Janine's younger bro and his girlfriend (A subject for a completely different post) want to come out to Chicago and stay at my place during a portion of the week-long Easter Break said girlfriend's school practices.

On a related story, I've gotten a few phone calls over the past couple of days:

Call #1: Janine's Mom.
Call #2: Janine's younger bro.
Call #3: Janine's younger bro's girlfriend's Dad.

You still with me? Good, 'cause you can help me figure out how the heck I'm getting dragged into this!

Posted by Austin at 07:01 PM

So here I am, all nice and comfortable in my robe at home. It's a nice, bright, sunny day, and I have the chance to work from home today by bringing my computer home and connecting to work's networks via broadband...

That is if my ethernet port would work.

I stick the cable in, and nothing happens - no little blinking lights, no ability to find the connection. Something like this happened to my computer over the weekend, but since I was getting ready to shut it down I didn't care that much. No I have to drag my butt all the way to the office to call for tech support. Here's how I see this playing out...

Me: Yeah - my computer's busted, and I called for you to come out here about 4 hours ago! Anyway, I think that the ethernet port isn't being recognized by the computer anymore... and I think it's hardware related, not software. Tech Support Geek: Duuuuu... okay. Let's try plugging it in to the wall. Me: I already tried that. It didn't work. TSG: But I need to see it and confirm it. I let the TSG play with the computer for all of 10 minutes TSG: Yup... it's busted. Looks like we'll have to send it to Dell for repsirs. Me: Cripes! How long will that take. TSG: Duuuuu... about two weeks.

Just in time for me to return from Texas when I'll need my computer the most. *crapinahat*

Posted by Austin at 08:32 AM
April 01, 2003
The Tradition Continues

It's good to see that things haven't changed since I left the collegiate world.

Go check your couches...

Posted by Austin at 10:28 AM