29 February 2008

Good uses of YouTube

This is amazing. Supposedly the dolphins do this to lure fish in for food.

This is why they are the most amazing creatures on Earth.

Leap on this day

Of course, have to post on the day that only occurs once every four years.

I've been home all week taking care of Aidan while MK returns to work. He's just the most amazing little guy in the world and how quickly he learns things. Every day is something new with him. He's already shunned the pacifier in favor of just making sucking noises.

While this is something that will get him beat up in school around the other boys, it's hilariously precious at twelve weeks old.

Yesterday he was just the best boy in the world with no major fits or crying jags. I think he's getting used to my routine and how I will be around him. Wednesday was a bit nightmarish, but because I had him out and around town for most of the day AND he wouldn't sleep during all of it, he crashed major at night, sleeping almost NINE hours!!

I think that's why he was so calm, because he probably figured, "Geez, Dad, I really don't want you doing that to me again, it made me absolutely fatigued."

23 February 2008

Pot, meet Kettle

I love how desperate Hillary is getting with the mounting wave of support subsiding and low tide upon her.

Nitpicking everything from Barack just shows how petty she can be when things aren't going her way.

It's funny to me how she can criticize about borrowing words (supposedly WITH permission, now) but yet, she's done plenty to borrow from being the First Lady. It's amazing that First Lady now qualifies towards her years of experience.

She also tried to whip up a frenzy about the Tony Rezko contributor issues, but the amount of "dirty money" she's taken in the past eclipses whatever Barack might have taken in this "few years of experience".

Lastly, how quickly she forgets about the "right wing conspiracy" and of course the Vince Foster incidents as well as TravelGate and tons of shady dealings with real estate in Arkansas.

Maybe Barack being such a newbie isn't a bad thing. Not enough years of crap that was done to drudge up on him. With experience, comes a total review of your record Mrs. Clinton. Sorry about that, but you knew it could happen when you thought you wanted to run.

22 February 2008

The "King of Roasts" makes a comeback

I really couldn't be happier, but the resurrection of Prime Rib in restaurants around Northeastern Illinois is in full force.

Since I fancy myself an amateur restaurant reviewer, I have been signing up to receive emails from a variety of restaurants that MK and I like to go to. In the last four to five months, I've seen announcements specifically proclaiming 2-for-1 Prime Rib specials, reduced price specials and even surf and turf specials with Prime Rib.

For some, Prime Rib is "too fatty" or just "too huge" but that's where my arteries are sent on vacation for the night so I can enjoy a large piece of meat. Additionally, one really can't make Prime Rib at home like you could a NY Strip, Ribeye or Porterhouse.

As much meat as I've grilled, broiled, and probably fried in my life, I've yet to attempt a standing rib roast for fear of screwing it up. Slow-roasting is a MUST for good flavoring and that means that after five to six hours, if you've screwed it up, you've wasted time, money and surely, goodwill with your family and/or friends.

So it's "load up the car with the wife and kid and off we go". Restaurants recently putting forth specials that I've enjoyed:
  • Fisherman's Inn, Elburn, actually has had the Tuesday night monster special for almost two years now. 12 oz. for $17.95, a la carte.
  • Orchard Valley Golf Course, Aurora, resurrected their 2-for-$20 8 oz. special which includes soup or salad, veggie and starch and you can upgrade to the 2-for-$25 10 oz. Tuesdays and Wednesdays through March.
  • Foxfire Restaurant, Geneva, $15.95 10 oz. with soup or salad, veggie and starch on Wednesdays

I order mine usually Medium, unless it's the 8 oz. size and then I order it Medium Rare. Usually I will also want the Baked Potato since that's the classic way of serving it, but I'd PREFER a Yorkshire Pudding. Unfortunately unless you're in a restaurant that has English or Irish staff in the kitchen, it's likely NOT on the menu. McCarthy's in Tequesta, Florida used to have it. Yummy.

Now, you might be saying, "Yeah Duey, but these specials are during the week". Of course they are, but if you desire good quality meat and a fantastic price, one needs to make sacrifices. In the case of Fisherman's Inn, the same cut on Tuesday for $17.95 is $27.95 on the weekend and at Orchard Valley, the 8 oz. is $14.95.

So look for specials near you and enjoy. With gasoline back up over $3.10 a gallon, and my 401(k) down 20% in the last year, we need to live life not fearing about what food or drink can do to us. Moderation is key with everything you do, but enjoy life and enjoy quality meat!

18 February 2008

I need to be more patient

For 41 years of my life, I honestly didn't have too many people telling me what to do or that I need to do something differently. Those that did, I ignored happily as frankly it wasn't their business.

Have a kid and boy does that change. Everyone and their mother comes out of the woodwork to give you "parenting" advice, even if they haven't been a parent of an infant for a long time.

It's funny. The nurses in the hospital told us this would happen. They said to make sure that we do what WE want for our baby and make sure that anyone coming close follows those orders as well. Additionally, that everyone and their "best advice" should honestly just keep it to themselves and that we should reserve the right to tell them so.

So after 10+ weeks of his life where he's not hurt for anything and has been a very happy baby, we're getting over-analyzed at times in group environments. We bounce him too hard, patting him on the back makes his stomach upset, we're feeding him too much at once........

I tend to answer back a little "tersely" to these kinds of comments. I guess I need to realize that people feel that they are giving us the best advice, even when it isn't. I just feel that it's an affront to MK's and my parenting when, what we've been doing so far, is being met with approval from Aidan's pediatrician and others who have seen him.

I just don't know how else to answer these people than frankly, it's none of their business. I guess people have just gotten so used to the "It takes a Village" mentality (puke) that they feel they have rights to say these things.

It only takes a village if you're on welfare and foodstamps and then, it only takes a village to PAY for it all.

15 February 2008

N.I.U. School Shooting

Northern Illinois University is just 20 miles up the road from my house. What this idiot did was reprehensible and the fact that he was wearing all black just proves that he ultimately is influenced by other things in his life, as IIRC, that's what the Columbine boys were wearing when they did their happy routine several Aprils ago.

I think what we'll see come out of this is, yet again, someone who had mental illness issues, who had no direction in his life and who, for the lack of any role model either in his family or in his relationships, decided to model his life after "famous" people who had "had enough".

Two weeks ago, we (Chicago-area) had the execution of five women at a Lane Bryant store for no apparent reason. If the idiot who did this had taken even ten seconds to realize that they pretty much don't take cash payments there and that they only thing he'd get by robbing the place was a bunch of credit card receipts and checks he couldn't cash (and maybe a few 42DD bras) he should have never been there, but at some point he would have ended up SOMEWHERE.

I'm generally a pacifist when it comes to confrontation, however, this latest incident and having it so close to my home raises the issue of "gun control". What makes me very angry is that all the anti-gun nuts will now run around and scream that we need to ban guns. Yet all of the gun violence is either from guns that were ILLEGALLY obtained (i.e., gun control wouldn't have stopped it) or they were legally obtained by people who eventually had mental issues.

So what does this accomplish? Frankly, since I'm living in one of the two states who won't come close to issuing conceal-carry permits in any fashion I wonder if that would help? In BOTH cases, there was enough time for someone to get a 911 call out to police either just BEFORE or just AS the shooting started. This tells me that there exists a small period of time where, for a properly trained and certified individual who had a conceal-carry permit they could draw a weapon and protect themselves in some fashion. BEFORE you beat the crap out of me for that, I will recognize that these permits will never assure that someone can shoot straight, have the right weapon, won't hit innocent bystanders, etc. There is a risk but then the argument will segue to whether or not the possibility of someone ELSE having a weapon will deter the common criminal/deviant from even starting something.

There's plenty of open debate on this and research to prove that BOTH sides are the right side of this argument so I'm not quite sure what I'm saying (sorry). I just know that "banning" all weapons isn't the answer because, as the police/FBI/DEA and all other law enforcement personnel know, the bad people will ALWAYS find a way to get weapons. A ban would just be legislation against the law abiding citizen who want to own a weapon for target shooting or sport.

As someone who owns a few handguns which I use ONLY for target shooting and competition, these are legitimate concerns, but I know that I'd be a hell of a lot more confident if I could draw my weapon if the life of my family or I were threatened. I'm also fairly confident I'd accurately hit the evil bastard and no one else.

My condolences to the families of the deceased and to those who will now live with the trauma this ass has inflicted about them. My prayers are with you during this very difficult time in your lives.

12 February 2008

Super Delegates

I was watching the news last night and saw some interviews with these "Super Delegates" from the Democratic party. They asked one older white woman who represented Washington D.C. if her entire district where to overwhelmingly vote for Barack Obama (which is what the polls are saying is going to happen) would she still cast her vote, as a delegate who represents that district, for Hilary Clinton?

The parrot-babble that came out of her mouth reciting the Clinton campaign theme was almost on cue.

So no wonder why Hill is pimping out her daughter to call these people. If you can't win on the battlefield, and truly win the support of the populous vote of the people you are going to represent, just spend all of your money and time schmoozing people whose vote seems to count MORE than others.

The reporter went on to say that the "Super Delegates" position was created so that if there were some radical part of the party, it would keep their influence in larger elections to a minimum. It seems to me that the purpose of these "Super Delegates" has gone awry when a delegates OWN DISTRICT is telling them to cast a ballot for one candidate, but then they do whatever they want and cast it for another.

This is why the electoral college must end and the populous vote should be the ONLY way for someone to get elected. We stand in front of cameras and in the faces of other countries and talk about how we control our own Democracy, but yet, as we all learned in grade school before our Constitution tests, one vote, one person really only elects a small group of people who make their own decisions on who should get elected anyway.

I will say this, if Obama is able to win enough delegates (sans Super Delegates) to get the backing of the party to run in the general election and only because of "Super Delegates" does Hillary become the nominee, John McCain will be getting my vote in protest because I cannot live another four years of my life under the Bush-Clinton mafia-style running of this country.

10 February 2008

My eyes literally froze

It's 10:00am CST as of this writing and it's STILL -8° F. I took Wrigley out for a walk at 7:45am and it was -9° F with a wind chill of -34°. We were outside for four minutes and the only exposed part of my body was my face. By minute two, I could feel my eyelashes starting to stick together from the tears in my eyes.

I don't think Wrigley wanted to be out either and she was pretty freaked out by the gusts of wind which have gone from about 5mph to 20mph.

I hate to break the news to Wrigley, but she may be only getting walked 1 more time today (maybe 2 if i'm nice about it).

Is it Spring yet?

07 February 2008

What New Year's Resolution??

Yep, one of my resolutions for '08 was to be extremely active in posting to this here Internets blog ;-) Chalk that one up to the other ones from the last 25+ years such as:
  • Lose weight
  • Get more frequent haircuts
  • Get organized at home
  • Work smarter and achieve work/life balance
  • Lose weight
  • Date someone normal (hey, I actually GOT that one done back in 2004 and then married her!!)
  • Stop eating fast food (appearing for it's 20th straight year now)
  • Lose weight
  • you get the idea

So only today when someone mentioned that they Googled me and saw this blog (Hi Cheryl!!) did I snap into consciousness and remember how I love to do this. Funny how the OTHER Brian LoCicero's show up before me in that search. I guess I just don't work hard enough at tacking keywords into my webpages and posts to optimize my search rankings. BTW, I've spoken to both of the other Brian LoCicero's and both are cool (how could they not be?)

One has to admit (one meaning ME) that having and taking care of a newborn does take precedence over silly things such as blogging, but hey, 9 weeks old or not, he's gotta cut me some slack. I mean, am I NOT the best Father in the world that I bought him his own domain even before he was out of the womb? Of course it currently points to my sweet 4-letter .com domain (which ALSO goes without updates frequently), but he's having trouble understanding the basics of html/xml/rss at the moment. I'm sure he'll get better soon.

So, updates on the boy. Here's the entire catalog of pictures. With my folks back in Florida for awhile, this is the way to get updates to them including some video (in the most recent album). And about that, my Dad surprised the crap out of me the other day by saying he wants to buy a webcam when he gets back in Illinois so that when they are in Florida next winter, they can talk to Aidan face-to-face. Unbelieveable!!!! I think this is the 7th year now he's been using a computer (never used one EVER before that) and now he's editing digital pix and video for my Mom and soon, being able to chat to us via webcam.

Now, for those of you who know my Dad, he'd NEVER do this, but I'm going to love blowing him crap saying that he's setting up his own porn site and needs the cam for that.

Aidan is now 12 lbs., 10 oz., does a great job sleeping through the night (5-6 hours at a crack) and is very aware of his surrounding and incredibly strong (holds up his head like a champ and did so in the THIRD week of his life and also can "stand" on our tummies, with us holding him). My Mom believes he's going to be walking (holding onto furniture) by 6 months. She said that I did and he's very much like me.

By the way, nothing in the world smells like a Similac burp. I've been known to roust up even the most vile smells (after long nights of Sierra Nevada bottles), but having a child burp in your face just takes the cake. At least that is, as I hear, until he starts eating solid foods.