Repetitive

By , May 25, 2016 6:37 am

You know who is really courteous to runners (at least where I live)?

FedEx Freight drivers.

My safest (traffic-wise) route takes me on a country road back to a one+ mile sidewalk next to FedEx Freight. I worried at first they’d be annoyed I was running near (not on) their facility, but they’re always so nice to me! Ha, maybe they are annoyed and are just really good at hiding it.

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photo along the route this am

This is my go-to route for runs under six miles, so… almost all my runs lately. Thankfully those drivers are so friendly!

(The dog on the first house I pass? Not so much! I blame that on him being chained up all the time though. Poor thing!)

Let’s go to the Pyramid House!!!

By , May 24, 2016 7:17 am

Several times before she got here, Mica said to me, “I hope we get to see Peoples when we visit!”

No Peoples sightings. The coyotes stopped yowling when she came in to my room to hear them. The bison weren’t out (they live on another street). The ducks didn’t visit until Monday morning (probably because our pond is so scummy right now – we’re about to start working on that), and didn’t stay long when they did.

Sigh. We just had birds, squirrels, chipmunks and frogs (and horses, but not on our property, ha).

Nature was mocking me!

Then, of course, this guy shows up Monday night, after she left:

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And another one visited our bedroom balcony in the middle of the night! I’m not sure if either was Peoples, though. The one in the photo has different markings, and looks slimmer. I wish he would have visited when she was here! 

Luckily, the animal portion of the trip was the only bust. Well, that and me thinking their train to the city came later, and getting them there with a minute to spare but not being able to get on the train because the train came early and blocked the track crossing. I felt like such an arsehole (and they were completely cool about it). Moving on.

Mica and Harrison are in Chicago for a long visit and spent Saturday night through Monday afternoon with us. I know Mica through blogging, and Steven and I spent time with her and Harrison in 2013 and hit it off. And we hadn’t seen them since then (but Mica and I text most days)! I was greatly looking forward to chilling and catching up, but also, showing them some of the stuff around our house.

Like… the Pyramid House!

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I totally forgot about this place until I drove by it on moving day with my Mom in February. And I showed it to my snister when she visited in April. When I emailed Mica and asked if we should check it out she responded enthusiastically “OMG YESSSSSSSSS.”

(I love Mica’s enthusiasm for things. She’s a lot of fun to be around.)

So basically, this family was interested in pyramids, and the dad was always building small ones around the house (to test their powers…). When it became time to build a new house in the late 70s, they decided to build it on the land he had for his construction business, in the shape of a pyramid. They didn’t intend for it to be more than their home, but people were so interested in it, they opened it to the public in the 80s and have been giving tours to some extent since then.

The house itself is very dated (and a bit tacky with the combined Egyptian/country/floral themes).

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The most interesting part is the exterior – they’ve gone through many different surface materials and different methods to try to make the house appear to be gold. And they’ve had many issues – with the quality of the materials, the materials’ reaction to snow and ice, and with people complaining about them (being too shiny).

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They also had an interesting response from the county after building this fifty five foot Ramses II statue… they were a bit over the county height limitation. It’s actually been raised to sixty feet since it was built so they’re okay now. (I only know the county height limit because we had to research it when we thought we needed to built a wireless tower on our property – at ninety feet.)

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The father who started the pyramid interest is no longer alive, but the mom still lives there, and the youngest son gives tours. The tour is a bit of a sales pitch – for their mineral water they have on site, their beer made with the mineral water, trips to Egypt, and their conference/reception area. Ha ha. And don’t forget their HUGE gift shop.

But the tour was interesting. In a nosy, peering in to other people’s lives sort of way. I like that it’s unique, and that it makes them happy. And it sounds like a very interesting childhood, to be constantly working on these Egyptian themed house projects with your parents!

After our tour, we hit up a local ice cream shop we’ve been wanting to try. Then drove by the decommissioned Zion Nuclear Power Plant,

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and went to Illinois Beach State Park.

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These are all parts of our new town that I’ve been wanting to explore and it was fun to do it with Mica and Harrison!

We also went where we do with every guest – El Famous Burrito!!! And caught up on Game of Thrones so we could watch the newest episode with them Sunday night. It was fun to talk about the show with other people who watch it! (And so weird to watch it the same day it aired!)

And it was really fun to catch up, in general. There are so many stories that are hard to share over electronic communication, and it was a treat to do that face to face.

And we asked them a zillion questions about San Francisco (where they live). I’d love if that was a trip we could make happen next year! We shouldn’t go three years without seeing each other again, and it’s our (overdue) turn to visit!

I actually said that

By , May 23, 2016 10:34 am

When I called the vet last week to make Data’s annual appointment, they asked if he’d be wearing a bow tie for his visit.

“Actually,” I said, “I knitted him a long tie this winter, so if it’s cool enough, he’ll be wearing that!”

What in the actual F, Kim?! Did you seriously just say that? As in, you said that, seriously? Not as a joke.

Sigh. I did.

Since the vet knows I am 100% cat lady (and probably finds it amusing), I should have Steven wear his matching tie to the appointment, too! Ha ha ha.

But I don’t think I’ll make time to knit something for myself so I can match the boys. Drat!

Training Week 344

By , May 22, 2016 11:56 am

Highlight of the Week: Teaching a fun, high energy boxing class / getting back to my weekly mileage goal.

Week344

Monday | May 16, 2016: 6 m run + teaching strength class
Loc: hood, Temp: 46°/44°, Time: 55:43, Pace: 9:17 avg, Difficulty: medium then easy, Felt: good
Strength: soft balls and cones, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good

Tuesday | May 17, 2016: 5 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 52°/51°, Time: 44:07, Pace: 8:49 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, annoyed with the wind at first
Wednesday | May 18, 2016: 6 m run
Loc: Chicago Lakefront Trail, Temp: 57°/58°, Time: 53:37, Pace: 8:56 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good! thirsty!
Thursday | May 19, 2016: 3 m run
Loc: hood, Temp: 41°/47°, Time: 26:32, Pace: 8:50 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, thirsty
Friday | May 20, 2016: teaching strength class + 10 m ride + 3 m run
Strength: soft balls and cones, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Indoor Ride Time: 37:55, Pace: 15.8 mph, Difficulty: easy, Felt: great to ride after so much time off
Loc: hood, Temp: 60°/59°, Time: 26:01, Pace: 8:40, Difficulty: easy, Felt: really good

Saturday | May 21, 2016: 11 m run + teaching strength class + 2.7 m run (w/Anne)
Loc: DPRT, Temp: 53°/57°, Time: 1:44:30, Pace: 9:30 avg, Difficulty: medium, Felt: body felt great, lungs a bit tired
Strength: Boxing and body weight moves, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good
Loc: Grayslake, Temp: 67°, Time: 35:00, Pace: 12:59 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: good, thirsty

Sunday | May 22, 2016: 3.3 m run (incl. 6×1:00) + walk (w/Steven, Mica & Harrison)
Loc: hood, Temp: 65°/66°, Time: 29:48, Pace: 9:02 avg, Difficulty: easy, Felt: a bit tired, but good!

Notes:

  • Last week when I was leaving for a run at work, the security guard asked me “You running five?” I said “Yep! And maybe speedwork too!” (<— that didn’t happen). This week, he said “You running five?” I told him yes, maybe six, and he asked “what was that thing you were talking about doing last week while you run?” It took me awhile to remember speedwork! But I explained it to him and he sounded interested. I’ll have to ask if he gave it a try the next time I see him! I like how nice the security guards are at my building. Another guy and I used to chat above movies all the time. I can’t get too attached though, because they get rotated to different buildings based on seniority.
  • I’m so thankful my body is on autopilot. I get up at 3:45 am on Fridays to teach. Somehow, my alarm was turned off for this Friday… but I still woke up at 3:45 am, thinking “Isn’t this when I am supposed to get up?” Eek, that would have been bad if I kept sleeping!
  • I rode my bike on Thursday after not riding it since Monday the previous week! I thought it would feel horrible but it felt so great for my legs. I’ve still only ridden it outside one time this year though!
  • I listened to a podcast for most of my long run on Saturday. I forgot how I used to do that. And now I remember one of the reasons I stopped – it slows me down quite a bit and takes a lot of my energy to focus on what they’re saying! It was a nice change of pace (har har) though.
  • Anne’s birthday was Saturday, and we boxed, ran, and ate lunch together! What a fun treat to get to spend so much of her birthday with her!

Link to Training Week 343

Early morning astronomy

By , May 21, 2016 8:20 am

When I got up around 4:45 this morning to use the bathroom, Steven was making noises like something was wrong, so I asked him what was going on.

“Why is it this light out so early?!” he whined.

Ha ha.

“Because of the tilt of the earth and how we’re rotating around the sun,” I responded.

“Stupid tilt!” (or was it “effing tilt”?!) he exclaimed, then went back to bed.

Ha ha

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I took this (blurry) photo at 6:30 am!

Yeah, the daylight hour shifts really mess with me too. I have a much harder time getting out of bed in the summer when it’s lighter so early. Counterintuitive? Maybe, but for me it makes sense – we stay up much later because it stays lighter so much later – so I have a harder time getting out of bed in the morning. I feel like the sun is mocking me. You should be running. You should be doing things. “But I’m sooooo tired.”

It’s been really bad this year. We’re doing projects most nights and intuitively keep working until it starts to get dark, then it’s “Oh crap, do we still have time for dinner and an episode of Game of Thrones before bed?”

I am wondering how it will be when we’re in Alaska – we are there right after the summer solstice, and I imagine it’ll be odd to have so much daylight (but great for sight seeing… if things stay open).

Anyway. I don’t see us putting up bedroom shades any time soon (or ever), so we’ll just have to deal!

I can see clearly now

By , May 20, 2016 7:22 am

Well, someone’s becoming a bit vain:

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Ha! I don’t blame him for staring at the glass. It wasn’t very clear before:

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And now it is:

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That balcony is just asking for me to sit out there and read a book!

These new doors were installed as part of our FHA 203(k) work yesterday. They really change the feel of the room. The old doors were bulkier. These doors make me feel like our bedroom is part of nature! I like!

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I was curious what the house would look like without any doors/windows in the bedroom, so I asked Steven to take a picture of it for me!

Do not like: that this is not how we asked for the door to be set up. We had told the contractor one door all the way to the left (from the inside) would be fine. We got two centered sliding doors. Which, in all truth, is better! Just NOT what we asked for. When Steven brought it up to the guy installing it, he said he thought it seemed different than what I told him to order.

As it is with most problems in life, the main issue with this contracted work has been poor communication (and cutting corners and quality control). I won’t get in to it, but that it’s still happening, even though it’s a “good” mistake, makes me irate. (And it doesn’t help that I’ve been gone all week and am exhausted. Blah. I hope I can recharge today because I have a packed weekend ahead of me!)

Anyway. I expect to catch Data admiring himself more and more here. What he was previously using as a magic mirror (the kitchen hood enclosure) was cut and prepped last night by Steven, and will be installed soon! Although it would NOT surprise me to see him jump on to the kitchen counter so he could catch a glimpse of himself in the nice shiny hood. Ha.

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Random Thoughts Thursday 100

By , May 19, 2016 6:35 am
  • Whoa! One hundred Random Thoughts Thursdays! I wrote the first one on July 14, 2011. I don’t write them every week, but have been on a kick with them for awhile. It’s a nice way to share little thoughts that don’t warrant a full post.
  • Gah, Data is still being a turd. Steven text me on Monday to tell me Data snuck out again. Then Monday night, Data decided he didn’t get enough popcorn, and had to get some on his own. Ha ha.

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(It’s not a spanking to hurt him – just a gentle tap to remind him who’s in charge.)

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SO HUNGRY. (It cracks me up so much that Data doesn’t like any human foods… except popcorn.)

  • My brain is so fried from my work training. But I did learn a lot, and actually enjoyed it! I liked that the class was math based, and the group activities were solving numerical problems, rather than setting up project plans, flow charts, etc. I like that it was logic based and there was basically one right answer.
  • I switched out my Chicago Marathon shadow box for Dallas! I am anxious to hang it up now! I think I will put it, and one of my medal racks above my desk.

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^before

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^after

  • Has anyone every had this weird message pop up on their iPhone – “you must change your iPhone unlock passcode within x minutes”? It showed up for me and kept popping up each minute. I didn’t find a reason online as to why this is happening (there were theories about exchange servers and VPNs but that did not apply to me) but I did try someone’s suggestion to clear my Safari cache/history and do a hard reboot and that seemed to do the trick! Other people said they did change the password and it forced them to do six digit passcode (which I think you can change back to four digits in the settings)? So strange.

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Link to Random Thoughts Thursday 99

Hidden rainbow

By , May 18, 2016 6:34 am

Hidden as in, I did’t notice it when I was taking the photo!

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I was walking to the train and looked up and thought “that’s an interesting perspective of the Sears Tower,” so I quickly snapped the picture and kept walking. Then saw the rainbow later when I was looking at the photo! Fun surprise!

I had a classmate in high school named Rainbow. She said her mom was drowning in a lake and a Native American named Rainbow saved her. So she named her daughter after her.

Ahh, high school friendships. I was never part of a group. Or, “squad,” as people are now calling it. Do people really say squad, seriously – not to be funny? The term sounds so NOT inclusive to me. It seems like another word for a clique. Maybe that’s not how it’s intended?

Anyway, I was the same way in college – I had one or two friends who weren’t part of the same group (and those relationships quickly dissolved after college, naturally).

As an adult, I’ve belonged to bigger groups – and interaction with them has left me drained. I do best in one on one or in (VERY) small groups! I’m “squad”-less and that’s what works for me. My closest friends know or know of each other, but in no sense are we a group. Part of that may be because no one is in the same geographical area. I wonder if it would change if we were. Hmm.

And… all this thought from a rainbow! Ha! You guys know I love to talk about (and read about) relationships. And hopefully this doesn’t sound like I am knocking having a close knit group of friends that all hangs out together! I actually know several adults who have crews (<— apparently that’s the word that comes to me for it) like that, and they get a lot of joy from it!

Day 2 of training…

By , May 17, 2016 5:31 am

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Thankfully, that book is mostly appendices.

And thankfully, the training is only three days long!

I’ve been taking a lot of training courses at work this year. It can be a nice change of pace… as long as your projects aren’t on fire while you’re in training. Luckily, they aren’t too bad, for this session! Which is good, because this session has A LOT of math in it. Which I enjoy, but really need to pay close attention to (read: I can’t constantly be checking my work phone to take care of things!)!

A month later…

By , May 16, 2016 5:51 am

Yay! It’s finally in my house!

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Now, to set aside enough time to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens all the way through! Maybe I’ll start with the deleted scenes and special features.

Although Data said I’d be much better off using that time feeding him, because it takes a lot of work to break in to his food container, and I could save him the trouble.

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Although I doubt that would make him stop breaking in to it. I took these photos of him immediately after he finished his dinner.

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What a turd!

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