A lovely photo from my brother Mark in New Jersey. He's a budding photographer.
My trip report.
Winter is the time to review the old trips. Spring is the time to plan the next ones.
When Chili's first opened locally, perhaps a dozen years ago, I was smitten with its spicy mix of foods and vegetables. It had Fiesta-ware style china, and a down home Tex-Mex attitude that made even a fajita seem fun. Well, I reluctantly ate at Chili's on Randall Rd the other day with my wife; she still digs Chili's. The meal, although tasty, simply seems dated and old. What was once interesting is now, to me, tired. My firecracker talapia, served on a plank, was hot and well cooked and went down smoothly with a 27 ounce Budweiser. It just did not have that "zing" that once would have had me choosing Chili's above most other dining fare. We all age. And so do restaurants. "Been there, done that."
Here are a couple of chairs. They have been featured on Geneva Daily Photo, posted by my friend and fellow Geneva resident, Kelly. They reminded me of Kelly and her wonderful photos when I walked by them. Rather than my usual poor photos that detail my personal life for all my faithful readers, I decided for once to try and capture a "good picture". Something with a touch of quality. Tranquility.
Linens N Things is now gone. Circuit City is all gone. Shoe Carnival--I recall when it opened about 8 years ago with fanfare and giveaways--is gonzo. This shell is like dozens of others; it's next to Home Goods on Randall Road. The space is for lease for anyone brave enough to open another store. A recent article on Yahoo mentions several businesses that are on the verge of bankruptcy: Sbarro mall pizza, Krispy Kreme donuts, Chrysler automobiles, Claires girl's store in the mall, to name a few. When will the carnage end?
Can see my home in the background. I wish I could say I snapped this beauty, but alas, it is a flickr.com image. Sweet capture, anonymous photographer. And of course, I changed my coolkayaker1 header from the warmth of Waimea Bay, HI (my favorite beach in the entire world--and the world is a large place, lemme tell you) to a local view that I am sure Kelly will know. See ya!
PS Have fun with Zena in Key Largo, Bruce. Please get plenty of pics, and in particular, enjoy those hours paddling the gin-clear waters of the Gulf. Pet a manatee for me, hombre. Remember, even though they're vegan, they'll nip you like a miniature pincher if you have any limey 'rita mix on those mitts.
Fun starts with Geneva Kayak's kickoff season event in March 6-7, Saturday. Lectures, photos, and gaze at the boats with dozens and dozens of other forlorn sea kayakers. Not the same as kayaking in La Jolla California, as I was in this photo from springtime 2008 (more photos in a future post--I adored this trip with tsunamichuck)
Click pic to enlarge.
Scored some tickets four rows back. Saw Disturbed on the mainstage and the incomparable Suicide Silence on the back stage at Mayhem Festival Summer 2008 in Tinley Park, Chicago. Amazing!
Anyone want to join, let me know.
The Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Elburn held a dinner and auction at the Fox River Banquet Center on North River Lane last night and it was a load of fun for a great cause. The slideshow revealed that over 1300 animals have been helped in 2008. The night had silent and live auctions, and we had a full table, including the company of Bryan, who put the event together. Nice job! I came home with so much neat stuff --three wood animal figurines, a stained glass window, a comforter, a clock, and more--that I had to have my friends each carry something. Thanks for a fun evening looking out over the river! Once again, Alexia and Dave to thank for the idea, and Kathy, Jay and Linda rounding out the group.
Yes, I survived "the pit" at SlipKnot Peoria, Illinois. Opened with Trivium and didn't watch a lick of Coheed and Cambrium (yuck!). My son is a Maggot in the Slipknot fan club, so we and about 30 others got lead into the bowels of the auditorium for a meet and greet and photos with Slipknot members Chris, Clown, Sid and lead singer Corey. Very impressive. Fully costumed, about 20 minutes before show time. Super heavy show. Super company in my son, Mark. Earplugs helped, and got some A&W en route home. Super fun! Here's a scene of the mayhem on the floor (by this time we were all sweatted out and climbed to safety in the rafters. Peoria, Illinois rocks!
Flowers on the bathroom vanity, across from the sliding glass door, which lets in a great amount of winter light. Here, nearing sundown, the light casts across the hallway to the flowers, and the mirror. Could springtime be far behind? I will go on record as saying that we will not have any further appreciable snowfall in late winter 2009.