Duck, Duck, Troll

Sunday visiting Cora, was a fun day in blistering hot Seattle.  The day started with a nice long drive to see the troll that lives under the bridge.  Yup, a real troll.  A massive troll.  A real massive troll.  (It also gave me a chance to get to know her brother a little, which was great, also.)What you eyeballing?Here the troll is, obviously making eye at my gal.  Jealous much?  I thought "Jealousy" was the "green eyed monster" not the "silver eyed monster". Oh no!  He's got Cora and GwenLook out gals, he's gonna get ya!Get your hands off my woman!(Note to self:  Cora does not seem to mind getting pawed by much larger men.)The Flock Before The FallAfter the Troll, we went to see the ducky derby, where else, but "down" town.  I had heard of these races, but never actually seen one.  And the most interesting part to me, was the fact that the river running through their urban area was so clear and clean that people swam in it.  You don't get that in Chicago.

Sorry about the video.  I was panning up stream as the ducks were going down stream, and so they really appear to be zooming.

And here is what happens when somehow you turn on the video recording part of your camera when you don't know it.  But see how clean the water is!

Speaking of water, at Cora's birthday party, the young and young at heart engaged in a wild water fight.  (Look out! Momma's gunning for ya!)She's a deadeye, I tells ya.But I think the most important picture of the weekend has to be this one:Oddly, she's not pissed.I have a feeling that I'm, going to be getting that look a lot in the future!  But seriously, despite the scowl and the glowing eyes, she's actually not upset.  Just caught off guard.  But oddly, others in the family say that they've seen that look before.

And that about wraps up my trip to Seattle.  I left just after lunch on Monday (much kissing and sadness at the airport) and got back to my place about bed time.

I want to take this time to thank all of you who have such kinds words to say about Cora and me.  (See S&C, I got it right, right?)  I am continually awed by the fact that cool people like yourselves are out there cheering for the toad (me) to kiss the princess (Cora).  Seriously, thank you, it means a lot.  I really, seriously, and truly am over the moon for this smart, sweet, sexy, charming, fun, funny, witty, flame tressed woman.  Oh, and cute and beautiful (they are different) with a quick and warm smile and and infectious laugh.

Cora, I love you, very, very much.


Knox County, Illinois – A Good Place To Be FROM

I love following behind Cora.  Not just because I like looking at her cute buttocks, silly.  Butt I do.  :-)  No, I mean I'm a blog post behind her on our weekend together.  Assuming that most of you have read her post, it means that I don't have to go into all aspects of the day, but can focus on some, and skim over others.

Such as, I will skim over how wonderful it is, as a life time bachelor, to wake up snuggled with this gal.  Won't even mention that I don't even notice her sleeping on my arm.  Nope, not a word of that from me.

Saturday morning, I got up and headed out to the public area of her house for breakfast while Cora hit the bathroom.  It takes her a bit.  (You may notice from the pix, she's got some fabulously curly red hair.)  I tooled around on my netbook, and wrote up a post that I have no idea when I'll finish, and generally waited for Cora to finish up.  Before she does, her mom and her brother who is in town for her birthday pop up stairs to grab her daughter and head off to the town fest.

About 5 minutes later, Cora comes out of the bathroom, claiming that the meeting with her brother didn't count because she didn't introduce us.  She was looking so cute and a little pouty standing there in her towel.  Until it dawned on her that we were alone…


Holy Smokes, That's Alex Galvez!Eventually, we made it out of the house and onto the bus downtown.  We grabbed a bite to eat at Pike Place Market, and then fought our way against a stream of Sounders fans to Pioneer Square for the underground tour.   The tour was pretty neat, but what I think I liked best was the pre-tour information session.  Turns out, the Denny Party that settled in Seattle departed from Knox County, Illinois.  The very country I was born and raised in.  It is truly a great place to be FROM.  ("FROM" = "No Longer There")  And they even had a picture of the time traveling sometimes blogger, and former college classmate, Alex Galvez.

Post tour, and tons of just stopping on the street for a snog session,Cora & Scope discover a new way to share a stick of gum. we went back to the Pike's Place Market to make sure we make a wall post that has nothing to do with Facebook. Yup, we hit the gum wall again.  But this time the smart cookie Cora brought gum for us to put up there.  Seriously, the place isn't as nasty as you think it is.  Okay, it hasn't to call her "Ms. Jackson", but still, it doesn't smell or anything.    But there was a second where it looked like a gal who was down there putting her gum on the wall about fell into it face first.  That would have gotten me to blow chow, on the spot.  (As you can see, we are trying to do the Seattle "green" thing, and share one piece of gum.)  I place my gum up high, where I could hope to remember it, to see if it is still there in the future.

For God's Sakes, Don't Accidentally Touch It!

My gum is in the colorized section of the wall.

After Seattle, we did something that had the potential for being even less appetizing than the gum wall:  meeting Cora's Ex (Mr. X) and his new wife (Mrs. X) for dinner.  He wanted to meet me before his daughter stayed at my house for a week.  Okay fine.  Parental concern.

Cora and I get the the restaurant a little early, and I destroyed a bread basket, and she nibbled on a bit of crust while we were waiting for them.  Cora and I sat on the same side of the table, and when they showed up, he took the seat opposite Cora, so she sat across from me.  I had already discussed with Cora that I was going to pick up the tab as a sign of good faith.

Honestly, it did go as well as you could hope.  Mrs. X seemed nice enough and she and I actually chatted most of the evening.  At one point, he did mention that Chicago had a reputation for crime and wanted to be sure I wasn't going to be taking his daughter anywhere dangerous.  I left the snappy comebacks in my pocket (see list below), but instead assured him that where I live is as safe as anyplace is going to be.

After dinner, we went back to Cora's and I think we, umm, went to bed.

Sporting wood indeed! What?  It's a picture from Pioneer Plaza that I couldn't find room for further up the page.

Some snappy comeback to the "crime" statement:

  • No, I won't take her someplace crime ridden and full of questionable people.  I don't even know if the White Sox will be in town.
  • So, how was "Public Enemies"?  You know that was in the 30's, right?
  • Yeah, getting her daughter shot would probably be a deal breaker with Cora, too.
  • The biggest criminal mastermind in my 'hood is impeached ex-governor Rod Blagojevich, who live about 6 blocks from here.
  • Yeah, and Seattle is supposed to be cool and rainy.  How's that working out for ya this year, Mr. Heat Miser?


The ~E True Hollywood Story

My flight to Seattle on Friday afternoon to visit Cora went smoooothly.  (Yeah, with 4 o's, that's how nice things went.  You can read about it here.)

The plan for the evening was to meet up with the ~E-nchanting and ~E-lusive Ms. ~E from ~E Deconstructed.  For those of you unfamiliar with ~E, let me get this out of the way first.  There is NOTHING "deconstructed" about this young lady.  She has it all put together quite nicely.

Before we were set to meet up with them, however, Cora  and I had some time to kill, so we did the All-American thing, and walked around the mall.  (Okay, we made out in the car for a while, but Seattle is undergoing a heat wave, and the car was like an oven that we where adding extra heat to.  It was either go inside, or burn a tank of gas idling while the A/C ran.)  We walked around the mall, kind of doing more exercise laps than anything.  I was waiting for my right ear to clear.  It wasn't painful, but I was deaf as a post on that side.  After routine stops to spin Cora toward me, wish her "Happy Birthday" and give her a kiss right there in the middle of the mall (yes, we're THAT couple, get over it), Cora came to a dead stop.

Crossing our path not 20 yards in front of us were:  Cora's mother, daughter, sister, niece, and nephew.  And they were carrying the shopping bags with Cora's birthday presents in them!  Ooops!  Luckily, they didn't see us.  Well, eventually Cora's niece did, but she's only 2, so was cool, and didn't spill the beans.

Close call, but were now over the mall.  I had managed to pinch my nose, and blow hard enough to pop my ear so that I could hear, and sent puffs of air out of my tear ducts, so that was good too.

Cora and I got to the Bahama Breeze a little early, to get our names in and all.  And they seated us right away.  (This will occur again on this trip.)  Fine, it's 8:00, which for me feels like 10:00 (I never did get on Pacific time this trip), so I was happy to sit early, get a drink and an appetizer, and gaze across the table at the birthday girl and let about every other sentence be, "I love you."  (Yes, I'm THAT guy, get over it.)  One flat bread pizza and a Captain and diet or two later, (but I must state, right on time), ~E and her friend Nerick from no so ge-Nerick joined us.CORA-E-01I write this next bit knowing that my girlfriend is reading it:  ~E is drop dead gorgeous (Cora may have mentioned this yesterday.)  You've seen her do beauty tips on her beauty blog, but nothing prepares you for the "live and in person" effect.  And after hanging out with her for at least 2 hours, I have to say, her physical beauty is a pale imitation of the inner beauty of this woman.  Although I must admit it was a tad difficult keeping eye contact with her, due to a certain other STUNNING attribute she has.  I mean SERIOUSLY look at her smile!CORA-E-02 (You thought I was talking about her B(.)(.)Bs, didn't you?  Pervs!)

But, as mentioned, jet lag was kicking my buttox, so Cora decided to whisk my off for a steamy, sweaty night in bed.  (PERVS!  I do declare.  It was like 95 in her house with no air conditioning.)  But I did find the BLOWing JOB that the fan did helped me relax immensely.  Oh, you went dirty on that, too?



Happy Feet – Lose Seat

"Passengers, flight 229 to Seattle is over sold, we are offering $200, a hotel room, and a guarantee that you will be in Seattle by 3:00 tomorrow.  We need 4 takers…"

Looks like it will be a full flight to visit the lovely and talented Ms. Cora.  When I boarded the plane, the seat that I really like, and the one I had on my previous trip to see her was already taken by a well dressed African gentleman.  (I call him this because above his well tailored suit jacket, he had a necklace with a red, yellow, and green pendant shaped like Africa.  He also wore a red, yellow, and green knit cotton looking scarf.  Personally, I would feel that he would be offended if I called him anything else.)  He was athletically built.  About 5'8".

Anyway, I wanted the seat right by the over-the-wing-exit-door on the right.  For those of you unfamiliar with the layout of the Southwest 737, over the wing, the seats on the right side can be like this:


While all the seats in these two rows have extra legroom, due to the fact that there is a seat missing, there's super legroom in front of seat #5.  The downside is that you cannot reach the tray table in front of you, it's that far up there.  Like I said, that's my fave, but the African already had it.  No big deal, I grabbed seat #1 and settled in.  Still more legroom, but on the aisle.  Eh, better than seat in the exit aisle on the left between a HUGE man and a HUGER woman.

S.M.O.H.  (Small Miracle Occurs Here – A term I use when engineering a computer solution, and haven't worked out all the answers.  I just put a "S.M.O.H." box in the diagram.)

The African gets up, takes his bags, and exits the plane.  I can recognize the hand of providence even if I've never been to Rhode Island.  I hop up and grab the catbird seat. 

Whoo Hoo!  Major score!  This is going to be a good flight.

About 10 minutes later, guess who reappears in the aisle looking for a seat?  Yup, the African.  I intently avoid his gaze as he scan the plane looking for the last empty seat.  He saw it, but kept looking desperate to find another seat.  In the end, he wedged himself between the HUGE man and the HUGE woman.  You could see in his eyes the misery and dread.

Sure, I felt a little guilty, but not guilty enough to give him his seat back.  I said I felt guilty, not that I'd lost my ever loving mind.

And there was a squealing baby and toddler sitting behind me, so it's not like I got off completely scot free.

Later, I realized that this story had some fine parallels to my story with Cora in regards to her EX.  He walked away from the catbird seat.  I was content where I was, but knew there was more out there.  I don't know if he feels trapped where he is, but I'm not giving this spot up for him, EVER.

Happy feet.  Lose seat.


Saturday Silliness

While I'm out roaming* the streets of Seattle with Cora, you're at home, thinking today is just another day.


Today is the day your life changes forever.

"But Scope, I generally like my life, why would you want to change it forever?" you ask, a little nervously.

Because today is the day I introduce you to:  HANDERPANTS!

I know.  How can your world be so complete yet turned upside down at the same time?  It just is, and that's the magic of the HANDERPANTS!

* Man, and I wish I was out Romaning the streets of Seattle.  Dressing like a gladiator and speaking like mjenks on a Friday bender?  That would be awesome, blossom!

FYI – I got the video from the tech blog Gizmodo.  Too soon for the Billy Mays inspired "blue shirt"?


I Met A Rock Star

As you all know, the BlogHer convention is going on in Chicago right now, as I am heading out of town for the weekend to visit Cora.  Trust me, I'm VERY HAPPY to be going, but knowing that some of you will be running amok in my city, and I won't be here makes me feel like a bad host.  (How's that for Catholic guilt?)

Well, I gate crashed the hotel, and then called a rock star bloggers cell.  She answered!  She had just gotten to the hotel from another party.  (Partying like a rock star!) and she was in the lobby.  30 yard in front of me.  As we talked, be eyes swept around until they finally focused on:


Yes, VodkaMom!vodkamom  THE VodakMom!  Whoo-hooo and a WOOT WOOT!

And "yes" she's exactly like you think she's going to be, but extra so.  We had a great conversation over a Captain and Diet for me, and a vodka and Diet Pepsi for her.  We talked about YOU.  We talked about Cora and I.  We talked about her.  We talked blog talk.  (I preached the joys of Windows Live Writer).  We talked about everything, and for at least half an hour.

But all too soon, our time was up.  She needed to go register, and I needed to go home and pack for my to Seattle.  But I will fondly remember the day I met the rock star.

Next up on the blogging meet-ups?  ~E of ~E Deconstructed.  Friday night.  It's like BlogHer, the Road Trip or something.


Scope vs. Harry Potter


Harry Potter


Scar on forehead? Button-Check Button-Check
Wears black Chuck Taylor tennis shoes? Button-Check Button-Check
Smoking hot redheaded girlfriend? Button-Check Button-Check



11 inch "magic wand"? Button-Check Button-X

The other night, I went to see the new Harry Potter movie.  Opening night.

As you may recall from THIS POST, I am fairly new to the Potterverse, and this is the first of the movies I saw.  My review:  WOW, if I hadn't read* the book, there are a whole lot of things that would not have made sense to me at all.

I don't want to get all SPOILERY, but seriously, I think the really removed the sense of danger and peril that permeated the book.  The school didn't seem well guarded.  The kids strolled into town like it was nothing.  The movie was 99.9% Tonks free, etc.

Oh, I liked it well enough, but it just didn't seem to stand up on it's own as an independent movie as much as I'd hoped.

Feel free to start ripping me.

* OK, listened to the audio-book.


Talking Tuesday – Up On The Roof II

I meant to include this little vid-clip that I took with my camera on the 4th with the FIRST PART of this post, but I'd left it on the camera when I downloaded the rest of the pictures, so I couldn't find it and so went without it.

Sorry about the fuzzy focus sometimes.  But when using a point-n-shoot still camera as your video camera.  At night.  Trying to focus on something that isn't there most of the time.  This is as good as it gets.

(And for you stalkers, this lets you know EXACTLY were I live.)

"Totally Blowing Shit Up Tuesday" is brought to you by the iNDefatigable mjenks.


Dear Cabinet Designers,

I my Medan computer desk that I bought Arhaus Furniture a year ago, I really do.  I understand that it is a modern interpretation of an antique that you found, and I love the sliding printer shelf, and the cutouts for the wires and stuff.  The cabinet is beautiful, as your website shows:Is anybody's desk that clean?But one feature left me confused. Maybe it's a cultural thing, since it was designed in Indonesia.

The little brass latch that holds the desk surface vertical for that 0.001% of the time that the desk is closed… You know, this thing…
That's not phallic? the bit that looks a lot like a flatwormTurbellaria Seriata indeed. American men aren't so keen on having a brass spear tip pointed right at their junk.
Arrow points out danger!Yours truly,


PS – I little Scotch Tape solves the problem.

This post was inspired by Cora (for the love letters), Cowguy (for the cabinets) and Lorena Bobbitt (for ummmm, the fear).


Boy Ain't Right In The Temple

GlassesTuesday I was waiting in line @ Potbelly's (think "Starbuck's" for sandwiches) for lunch and I noticed that the guy running the cash register had done a "MacGyver" on his glasses.

Oh, there was tape.  But not the standard "nerd tape across the bridge" thing. No. He kicked it up a notch.  Or seven.Straw
He taped a green bendy straw to the side to replace the missing temple.

GENIUS!  It even bends behind the ear!

I got to the register and had the following conversation:

Scope: So, when did you break your glasses?  And I fear the answer.

MacGyver:  About 2 months ago.  But I'm going to get them fixed.

Scope:  (laughing) No you're not.

MacGyver: (sheepishly) You're probably right.


Wordless Wednesday – Up On The Roof

Fireworks-02  Fireworks-03


Oh, boo.  You've been humming it since you read the blog header.  And those are the craptastic pictures from my roof on the 4th of July.  It was much cooler in person.  Everywhere you looked, fireworks were going off.  Including the fools in the Aldi parking lot setting off an ammo dump that would have made George S. Patton get a raging hard-on.  The were actually shooting some rockets OVER my 4 story building.

Okay, so that last bit doesn't qualify as "wordless."  Fine, I'll refund your admission fee.


Right Place / Wrong Time

I have a lunch friend, "Ann" (we have lunch probably 4 times a week together).  We've known each other for something like 18 years, and this is technically the 5th time we've been co-workers.  When we leave the front doors of the building, she always asks the same question:  "Where to?"

I'm in charge of picking the place.  Every day.  And it's not so bad, since she's a vegetarian, it keeps me out of the fast food joints, but we do hit Mexican 2 or 3 times a week.  But different places, ya know, to mix things up.

Well, Tuesday's answer was, "My Thai."  It's a reasonable Thai restaurant over on Michigan Avenue that we've been hitting for 5 years between 2 different employers.  I would guess I've been there maybe 25 times or so.  It's no Star of Siam, but it's pretty good.  And EVIL CANDY had just put the idea of Chinese food into my head with THIS POST.  And there's really no good Chinese in our area of the Loop, so the de facto Asian is Thai.

As we entered the place, I notice that they'd replaced their chairs, or stained them or something.  Then the table was set different.  The old white placemats were not a chocolate brown and then had orange napkins, and serious chop sticks.  "Sprucing up the joint" I muttered as I notice that they'd repainted the walls, reupholstered the bolster cushions on the bench seating, etc.

Then we got the menus.  They were different, too.  Long and narrow with lots of sushi offerings.  But it still had our Thai favorites on the menu.


Then I looked at the cover of the menu.

The place was no longer "My Thai" but now "Hot Woks / Cool Sushi".

Yeah, the super observant Scope didn't realize that, since the last time he'd been in that space, the old restaurant had closed and a new one had opened.

Food was good, though.

And with that I give you:


Harry Potter & The

I was on the phone chatting with Cora the other night (duh) when I mentioned that Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter movies,  looked a little "off" in the pictures I saw on the Tribune's website.  I wondered if he was starring in a vampire movie or something.

I have "liberated" the following picture from the Tribune site:

Daniel Radcliffe
(Getty Images photo by
Tim Whitby / July 7, 2009)
And I know have an unfortunate thought of him now getting arrested in a porn theatre for playing with his "magic wand."
Spermin' Herman I will never think of the spells 'Erecto', 'Engorgio', or 'Aguamenti',' the same way again.


$ign$ Of The Time$

Okay, I've resisted writing a Michael Jackson post until after he was buried.  And in fairness, this isn't really about him.  But, here are some of my thoughts.

T-SHIRTS – Michael Jackson died late on Thursday afternoon, June 25th.  On Sunday afternoon, June 28th, about 72 hours later, while we were at the Taste of Chicago, Cora and I saw people wearing different styles of Michael Jackson Tribute T-Shirts.

 They weren't like this shirt These weren't crappy, home made iron on things that people made on their ink jet printers.  These were quality t-shirts with well done graphics and looked to be on reasonable quality cotton.

Think about that.  Less than 72 hour for someone to design, silk screen, and distribute the shirts.  Not sure if I should be impressed or repulsed.  And I wonder if it's like obituaries, where they have them ready to go, and all you need to do is add a date or something, and start the production run.

I bet in the last week and a half, the t-shirt guys have made more money off of Michael than his record label has in years up to that point.  And I'm not sure I feel good about that, either.

MEDIA – I'm almost starting to wonder if the "leadership" in Iran had Michael assassinated, in order to swing the media spot light off of them.  If they did, it worked.  I'm pretty sure I know how I feel about the media coverage of this whole affair.  I've been desperately trying to avoid this sideshow, but it's not easy.

So, I've distracted myself with the whole Steve McNair thing, instead.  As a Steeler's fan, I often rooted against the Oiler/Titan/Raven QB, but with respect.  This is a real shame.

PRODUCTIVITY – During the memorial service, our internet connection at work was super slow with people streaming the video feeds.  Really?  You can't watch at home?  It took me forever to try to navigate around my vendor's sight looking up the status on an issue.  I finally gave up and did something else.

Our crack networking team shrugged and went back to talking about the Tour de France.  Thanks guys.

VICTIM STATUS – Michael Jackson was not a victim of his celebrity.  Michael Jackson was a victim of Michael Jackson.  He was an adult who chose to live his life not grounded in the real world that you and I know.  He had lots and lots of enablers, I'll give you that.  But he was an adult who made choices, and he should be used as a cautionary tale in the celebrity world:  This could happen to you.  Sadly, I fear too many wouldn't think it was such a bad deal.


Plentifuller Pleasure Than A Pallet of Primates

Monday, after work, a group of us headed out to see a show.  Not a movie.  Not a play, exactly.

A show.

header_logoOne of my co-workers is married to an actor, and they have been involved with a theater company called "Barrel of Monkeys" for years.  It's a theater group that does workshops in the Chicago Public Schools where they teach the kids creative writing work shops.  After the workshops, they take the stories, songs, poems, etc. that the kids write, and rework them into sketches that they then perform for the kids.  And then they perform them for the public (they are a charity, and the money from the shows funds the workshops).

As much as possible, they leave the story as the kids wrote it, but then they embellish it.  And since it's based on what the kids wrote, the stuff can get a little trippy.

They turned this "Buy one – Get one – Free" into a fun round.

The theater where the show is performed is in a neighborhood called Andersonville.  It's the neighboring neighborhood to mine, just a little north east of me.  While it would be within walking distance, it would be a good hike.  But since after the show we went out with some of the cast (like I said, the co-worker's husband was in the show), walking wasn't so much of an option at midnight.

If you're in visiting Chicago with kids on a Monday, I would definitely recommend this.

A Once In A Life TIME

July 8th, 2009.  Just past half past midnight.

12:34:56 7/8/9

Yes, I'm a geek.  So?


Walking Hand In Hand With My Gal

So, as I teased you a few days ago, last Sunday when Cora was here.  As we left the Taste of Chicago, it was such a way too nice of a night to just head to the CTA and go home.  So, we crossed over Lake Shore Drive and headed up the lake front path, and strolled hand in hand along the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan

Due for a need for a bathroom break, (like we were going to use the Port-O-Potties at the Taste), we ambled over to Navy Pier.  On our way in, Cora got a chance to say, "Hi, Bob" to a statue of Mr. Newhart.  (The original show was set in Chicago).CORA-3-BOB At the Pier, we spent a little time relaxing in the Crystal Gardens, a beautiful and tranquil spot, with lush tropical plants and leaping and splashing water features.  And we had the chance to just sit for a while.  And just BE together.  We'd spent so much of the trip DOING it was nice BEING.CORA-3-CRYSTAL-GARDENSAfter a bit, we continued up the lake front for a while, past beaches with their swimmers, as walkers, runners, bladers, and bikers whizzed around us.  We didn't care.  And really barely noticed.  Cora had mentioned a few times, how the shoreline reminded her of Honolulu.  City on one side of the shore, and massive expanse of blue water on the other.  Was she ever in for a surprise.

At Oak Street Beach, they have planed palm trees.  I was too busy watching Cora take pictures to capture any of my own, so here's one from Photobucket.Oak Street BeachThe sun was setting behind the skyscrapers, and everything was just kissed with oranges and golds.  It was magical.  Umm… did I just say "magical" and "kissed" right there?  I think I did.  :-)

Monday morning was a great lay about morning. CORA-3-BEAVER Cora's flight wasn't until 8:00 pm, so we had plenty of time to lounge.  Eventually, we did get up and go for a walk.  And for those of you looking for a little "wild beaver action" (*Cough*JJ*Cough*) , look what we spotted along the shores of the mighty Chicago River.

But after lunch, it was time for the whole packing, and heading to the airport thing.  And that really sucked.  As I watched her disappear down the security line I thought "What a great ASS on that girl It's only 3.5 weeks until I see her again."


Wyoming Comes Thru – Followers – I'm a Cheater

Don't worry, I'll get back to telling you about the wonderfully romantic stroll the beautiful and talented Cora and I took along Lake Michigan soon, but with the long weekend and all, I didn't want it to get missed while you were in the emergency room, hoping they can re-attach you thumb after that M-80 incident.

Not that you can skip reading this blog entry.  The fate of the free world just may depend upon you reading (AND COMMENTING) on the life changing information contained within.


I know you all have been waiting with baited breath (and you always bait your breathed when fishing for compliments) to hear the results of my desperate attempt to get a blog hit from that elusive state of Wyoming, as chronicled HERE.  Well, I am please to report that just a few days after that post, I got a hit from Gillette, Wyoming.

If had nothing to do with the post, however.

They Googled "realistic sex art" and found THIS post.

But a win's a win.  Now to get Luxembourg…

Recently picked up a few gnu followers, which pushed me up to 71.  It's not like I'm on some kind of followers hunt.  But I do enjoy and appreciate you stopping by.  And those of you who drop a comment.  I have a special place in my heart for you.

So with no further ado, I'd like to welcome:

I have a confession to make.  I've been cheating on you.  And I plan to keep doing it.

And Cora knows about it.

And she watched me do it.

I've started a "Family Blog" for myself, my parents, siblings, cousins, etc.  I still don't think they've figured it out exactly yet, but I'm going to keep it up.  It's a place for us to leave news, write down old family oral history stories, etc.

I'm keeping the two blogs very separate (even using different Google accounts).  I even made them even look a little different.  Sure, sometimes I will cross post but I won't ever link the two.  I have been thinking about this for a long time.  I have even suggested doing this very thing to other bloggers who were worried about having people they know find their "real" blogs, and then feeling trapped into not being able to write what they want.  I made sure I told the family that I would be checking analytics to make sure that they weren't popping up over here.  Also, I had to come clean on how I actually met Cora, and so I was sort of trapped.

So, if you get a random comment from some "Eric" guy who happens to look like me, I must have forgotten to switch accounts.


Cora – Meet the Parents

Sunday we did not have as much time to lounge around as we did Saturday.  It was "Meet the Parents" Day.PANICAfter calling my parents to confirm the meeting time, Cora and I once again piled in the car and hit the road.  My parents live in another part of the state, and it's about a 3 hour drive.  We chose a meeting place with good food and that was about 1:15 for me and 1:45 for them.

We pulled in to R Place about 10:00, and parked right behind my parent's van.  Time to face the music.

I had finally disclosed to my parents how Cora and I met through blogging and not through a dating site.  Had to come clean before the big intro.  It was going to come out eventually.

Mom and Dad were already sitting in a corner booth when we got there.  The meeting went well.  Mom didn't ask any questions I was dreading and Dad behaved.  We talked about Cora, and her life, but mom also filled me in on family news, etc.  All-in-all not nearly as scary as I was afreaded it would be.  After breakfast, we all took a walk around Wal-Mart, because that's what you do in rural Illinois to pass the time.

When we got back to my place, Cora and I crashed out for a couple of hours, and then headed down to the Taste of Chicago, our annual 4th of July food fest.  (It runs for 10 days surrounding the 4th.)  The crowd was decent, even though there were a lot fewer vendor than in past years.  I really enjoyed the alligator sausage.  Cora was able to sample the Ricobene's Breaded Steak Sandwich that I mentioned HERE.  (FYI – If you Google Image Search "ricobene's breaded steak sandwich", that post is the 5th link on the page.  I'm just saying.)  But I think her favorite was the Eli's cheese cake.

And then came the trip home…


Cora – Meet the Friends – II

Saturday came and was a gloriously beautiful day.  Cora and I lounged around and just enjoyed an unhurried morning.  We'd wake up.  Kiss.  Go back to sleep.  Wake up.  Kiss.  Go back to sleep.  For the first time, no place to rush off to.  Nothing to do.  Just to be.

But then Cora got a hunger.  A desire for something that was denied her on her last visit.  The girl NEEDED a CHUBBY WIENER.

Across the street from the Chubby Wiener is a chunk of the Berlin I Take Her To A Real Hole It The WallWall.  Yes, the real wall.  You can sure tell which was the East German and West German sides of this thing.  The area has a very strong German heritage, and the section is located in the Western Brown Line train station.  It's kind of in a corner and as easy to miss, as any 20 ft tall slab of reinforced concrete is going to be. 

And then we went shopping on Lincoln Ave., and Cora found… well, I'll let her tell that part of the story.

Eventually, we were off to visit my friends Laura and John for a party at their place.  While still TECHNICALLY in the "Chicagoland Area", it did take about an 1:45 to get out there.  But, Cora and I chatted and listened to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on CD in preparation for the movie coming out in just a few days.

As we pulled up and were going to parkGwen, Cora, and Some Dude the car, Cora shouted, 'There's GWEN!' (She even managed to include the link in her voice.  Girl's got mad skills.)  They hit it off and chatted quite a bit.  But oddly, things got very hush-hush when ever I got near. 

It was a great party, and plenty of other college people showed up.  And there was even a couple there from a Seattle suburb that was pretty near Cora.

At 10:00, Cora and I decided to turn into pumpkins and head back home.  The drive was fine except it got a little sleepy the last 10 miles or so, but we made it home without incident.

We needed our sleep, because the next morning, I was going to introduce Cora to my parents.