Chicago – Day 2

Our first full day in the city, and our plans were to head to the Museum of Science and Industry. I figured that it was going to take a full day to really go through it, so we didn’t plan to do anything else. The museum was amazing, and not nearly as crowded as I thought it would be considering that it was spring break for lots of the schools. The first thing we did was slowly browse our way over to the U-505 exhibit. We did the guided tour and really liked it. The sub’s in great condition, with only minor modifications to accommodate tours. After that we grabbed some lunch and browsed more of the exhibits before doing the coal mine tour. That was an interesting immersive tour through coal mining technology. From there we did a little more browsing, checked out the Tesla coil, and a few more things, then caught the bus back to the hotel. Dinner was a return to the Elephant and Castle, then we sacked out.

Chicago – Day 1

We packed up the car, set the GPS, and hit the road for Chicago. We skipped breakfast in Peoria, but stopped at Krispy Kreme in Bloomington. It turns out that was Reese’s first time there, and he loved it. The rest of the drive was uneventful, and we got in to the hotel without any further issues.

After unpacking the car, we walked over to the Elephant and Castle for lunch. Imagine my surprise when I found out that they had poutine on the menu. Of course I ordered some, and it was pretty good! While we were eating, the hotel texted me that our room was ready, so once we were finished with lunch, we headed back to get settled in.

We took a walk across the river and went over to the original location of the Billy Goat Tavern for some cheeseburgers and chips (no fries!). The place is a dive, the food’s ok, the beer is decent, but it’s full of history and was well worth the walk over and was a good way to cap off our first night in the city.

Amtrak Day 2

Woke up this morning and headed over to the dining car for some breakfast and coffee. We were running a little late, so I called ahead and got Joi to head down to Bloomington to pick me up. It was good to see Reese, and man he’s grown! We went up to the Peoria Airport so that I could pick up the rental car. After that we went back to the house and chilled before getting some dinner. I did some work on Reese’s computer, getting the OS updated, making sure everything else was in good shape, and general fine tuning. After that we went over his packing and got everything ready for the week in Chicago.

An Amtrak Adventure

This upcoming week is Reese’s spring break, so to control costs, I’m taking the train up to Bloomington and then renting a car to drive us to Chicago. I went in to work a half day with Heather, grabbed some lunch, then hopped on the TRE to head for the Fort Worth station. That’s where the fun started. There is some construction on the tracks between San Antonio and Fort Worth, so we got bussed to Longview. When we got there it was pouring rain, but we all wanted to be off the bus, so we collected our baggage and hopped on. It pulled out a few minutes later, though a little behind schedule. I snagged a quick dinner from the cafe and settled in with a book. We’ll be in Bloomington some time tomorrow, around lunchtime if we get back on schedule.

Saturday Mini Painting

I went up to Reaper for paint club and worked on a mummy warrior mini. It was an experimental day as I was trying out some of the undead colors in preparation for working on the Zombicide minis. I liked how Reaper’s ghoul skin color worked for the exposed mummy skin. I also tried some washes to add shadow and depth to the mini. They worked well too! So I picked up a bunch more paints and headed home. Here’s a shot of the finished product.


That’s An Expensive Staple

I was getting ready to ride in to an on-site meeting with the client this morning, warming up the bike and putting my cold weather gear on, when I noticed that it wasn’t rolling as well as it should have. So it went up on the center stand, transmission in neutral, and I started rolling the rear wheel around. Lo and behold, there’s a large staple shoved through the tread, with both points puncturing about 4mm apart. It’s really not safe to plug/patch that, so I’ll be replacing a tire with about 4,000 miles on it. I’ve been hunting around for new ones, and it looks like that’s going to end up being a $150 staple.


Why We Ride

I finally got to go see this, after being in Kentucky for the first showing and being iced in for the second one. I almost didn’t make it to this one though. After a nice dinner with my sweetheart and a chat with Reese, I hopped on the bike, and headed out. Since I was part way there, thanks to a doctor visit, I decided to avoid the rush hour traffic by sticking to surface streets. Bad idea. Everything was a parking lot. I left at 6:15 and it took me an hour and fifteen minutes to ride about 20 miles. I got there just before the movie started, a little frazzed, but eager to see it.

It’s a great film about motorcycling, told from the riders’ perspectives. There’s some great shots of some of the really early stuff, like board track racing, as well as shots from Bonneville, Daytona, and more. It really did cover the spectrum of riding, from commuting to touring to the various kinds of racing and competition. There was a little more of a slant towards that aspect, but that didn’t detract from the picture at all. If you’re a motorcyclist, you really should go see it or even buy the DVD.

Hit the Why We Ride website for more information…

Thanksgiving – Day 2

We got up, grabbed some breakfast at the hotel, packed the car back up in the bitter cold, and started north, heading for Peoria. Again, the drive was pretty uneventful, with not much more than gas and food stops until we got in. We drove straight over to Joi and Reese’s place to pick him up, then went over to Granite City for some food, and then over to the hotel to get some rest before the drive to Louisville.

Thanksgiving – Day 1

Heather and I are heading to Peoria to pick up Reese and then drive to Louisville, Kentucky for Thanksgiving. Whit the road after work, driving up to McAlister, Oklahoma, our stopping point for today. It’s not much, but it shaves enough off that we’ll be able to get to Peoria tomorrow without running ourselves into the ground. The drive was pretty uneventful, even though we’d just finished dealing with another ice storm. The roads were mostly clear, with just a few small patches of ice that caused no problems. We snagged a little dinner then got settled in to the hotel room for the night.

LinkedIn’s Epic Security And Privacy Fail

LinkedIn released a new version of their iOS app a few days ago that includes a feature named Intro. It’s an interesting feature, integrating LinkedIn data to your emails. But the way they’re doing it is a spectacular fail. When you enable it, they add a profile to your iOS system that proxies all of your email through their servers. Yeah, they send your mail to them, scan it, modify it, then send it back. They claim it’s encrypted for privacy, but really, that’s a really lame claim since they’ve got to decrypt it in order to scan and inject their content in to it. Do we really need to go over all the ways that this is a seriously bad idea? I’ll leave it up to the reader (all two or three of you, based on traffic stats) to decide whether or not you want a third party to have access to all of your electronic correspondence. It’s not like the NSA couldn’t put hooks in LinkedIn’s servers or anything.

I’ve deleted the app and won’t install it again. I’ve also checked my settings to make sure there are no additional profiles installed. If you want to see if it’s got its hooks installed, go to Settings->General->Profiles. If there are any LinkedIn profiles, delete them.

Here is a link to their official uninstall instructions.