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Bill Roper's Journal
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19th-Jun-2019 11:55 pm - Cubs, and Sox, and Rain, Oh My!
I went down to the Cubs/Sox game tonight with a friend. The weather was not nearly as good as last night, being both cold and rainy. We ended up leaving early, because the game was running late and standing in line in the rain after the game to get on the bus back to remote parking seemed like a bad idea.

But the Cubs won!
18th-Jun-2019 10:45 pm - Once More With Feeling
I think I've wrapped up the current project at work.

But we'll see how the testing goes...
17th-Jun-2019 09:47 pm - Time For a Handyman
I need to replace a couple of the interior doors in our house. I've found suitable replacement doors at Home Depot that should match our fine, builder-grade doors. The doors need to be painted. I can do that.

Then the slots for the hinges need to be routed out. I could *maybe* do that. Or maybe not.

So I think I will paint the doors and engage a handyman to do the installation.

My time has to be worth *something*.

The aggravation is worth something more than that. :)
16th-Jun-2019 10:07 pm - Father's Day
It was a very relaxed Father's Day and I got essentially nothing done other than grocery shopping. This was good, as I needed a day off. Also, it meant I got some nice steaks for dinner. :)

The high today was 60 degrees, which is just absurd for June 16th. I'm glad the picnic was last weekend.
15th-Jun-2019 11:25 pm - Somebody Else's Softball
Today was the annual DPGS outing to a Chicago Bandits (our local professional women's softball team) game. Before the game, girls were allowed to go out in the practice facility and shag balls during batting practice. These were some pretty fast moving balls and there was really nothing very soft about them.

The actual game was outdoors and turned pretty cold pretty fast. But the Bandits beat the U.S. Olympic team, so the home team won, which is good. Pictures were taken and everyone seemed to have had a good time.
14th-Jun-2019 11:55 pm - Meanwhile
Work is winning.
13th-Jun-2019 10:08 pm - Progress
I moved the old lawn furniture out to the curb ahead of tomorrow's trash pickup. As I expected, the scavengers have taken it away. The new lawn furniture is now out on the patio and the various boxes have been broken down for recycling and/or the trash.

Tomorrow, I will be able to get my car in the garage again.

Getting Gretchen's car into the garage remains a project.
12th-Jun-2019 11:10 pm - An Eventful Day
After a day at work where I got a lot of things done, I went downstairs and out to the garage to assemble the rest of the new lawn furniture so that I can put it out on the patio and dispose of the boxes which are taking up a great deal of space in the garage and making it impossible to find some things we are looking for that have been misplaced there.

I finished assembling the lawn furniture just in time for dinner and as the first period of the Blues / Bruins Stanley Cup Final Game 7 wound up the first period with the Blues leading 2-0. So we tuned in to that.

Just after the second period ended, it started to rain, knocking out our satellite reception. But I found I could stream the broadcast on my phone. And as the third period started, the rain cleared out and the TV came back to life.

And then we let Ruby out.

Apparently, there was a skunk who was about as annoyed by the rain as I was. Ruby caught a blast full in the face. I mixed up some deskunking fluid for Gretchen who was good enough to go try to bathe Ruby the Dog while I watched hockey. Sadly, Ruby did not really *want* to be bathed and the deskunking was not entirely successful. As I discovered later, the downstairs is pretty smelly. We will air it out tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Blues won the Stanley Cup, beating the Bruins 4-1.


And tomorrow, Ruby is going to the pet store for a better bath.
11th-Jun-2019 10:32 pm - Practice Makes Perfect
It's been quite a while since Katie's softball team was able to get together for practice, so her manager called an extra practice for today. Not very many girls were able to show up (it was relatively short notice), but the ones who did got a lot of good work in.

We are now on a brief softball hiatus until Friday, when we play another of the Des Plaines teams.
10th-Jun-2019 11:01 pm - Well, That Was Remarkable
Katie's team got off to a good start today, but stalled out on offense at about the same time that their pitchers developed some distinct difficulty throwing strikes. As a result, their early lead evaporated and going to the bottom of the last (fifth, in this case) inning, they trailed 18-11. Normally, you can only score five runs in an inning before you have to stop and let the other team bat, but if you've managed to actually declare the last inning to be the *last* inning, you can score an unlimited number of runs.

And the girls took pitches, and hit the ball, and hustled around the bases and scored eight runs to win by a final score of 19-18.

Ok, a pitcher's duel it was not. But Katie pitched a very credible first inning, giving up only one run. And she had problems when called on to relieve in mid-inning, but that's not unusual. And she was on base all five times today.

There was a *lot* of good offense today. And some good defense as well.

And it was a *great* comeback win. :)
9th-Jun-2019 10:15 pm - It Was a Picnic!
Picnicon appears to have gone off successfully today, which is a good thing.

Many thanks to Sam and Bonnie for helping get everything purchased and set up, to John for closing, and to Barb for being good enough to bring the grill and bring all the coolers and such back to my house, as I had to leave early for a pitching clinic.

I am *so* tired. :)
8th-Jun-2019 03:51 pm - Still More Softball
Nearly half of Katie's team was missing today due to sickness or conflicts. Despite this, they managed to claw back from an early deficit to lose 13-12 in a game they might have won if they hadn't run out of time.

Katie pitched pretty well (she was throwing strikes early, but got BABIPed) and had some great hits. (The other girls did well too, but Katie is the one I get to brag on. :) )

Three games in three days -- time for some rest. :)
7th-Jun-2019 11:37 pm - Run, Ruby, Run!
Gretchen glanced out the front window this morning and saw a black, furry dog butt vanishing into the distance. Upon further inspection, it turned out that two boards had come loose from the fence in the corner of the yard at some point. One was not to be found, but I have spare boards in the garage. Ruby came back looking for people and was confined in the house while Katie and I made a quick repair.


Well, at least she came back.
6th-Jun-2019 10:55 pm - Back to Softball
Katie's team played Tuesday's postponed game tonight. They gave it a good try, but lost 11-8 to a team which I believe is undefeated.

Unfortunately, it was a bit chilly tonight and I think that I managed to cramp a muscle in my side. We'll see how it feels in the morning. In the meantime, it's time for some naproxen...
5th-Jun-2019 10:47 pm - And Meanwhile...
I have to thank Uncle Jeff and Aunt Carol for all the time they spent taking care of Katie and Julie while we were gone. Without their being willing to stay with the girls for their last week of school, the entire trip to DFDF would have been absolutely impossible.

Thank you so much!
5th-Jun-2019 10:35 pm - Home Again
Gretchen and I got back from DFDF and through Customs in time for a moderately late dinner last night. This was followed not too long after that by collapsing into bed.

We had a great time at the con. Everyone was very nice and understanding about our essentially complete lack of German (I had two years of German in college -- one standard, one translation techniques for reading articles written in the language -- but that was a *very* long time ago). And I only made a few gaffes resulting from my lack of comprehension, so things went reasonably well on that front.

But the con was wonderful! We had so much fun playing there and listening to all the other folks singing, whether in German or English. It was a great, relaxing experience.

Thanks so much to Sib and Smac for having us and to all the folks there for being so welcoming.
28th-May-2019 07:59 am - Closer and Closer to Fine
I have now printed out two copies of our set list for DFDF.

Ok, calling it a set list is not quite accurate. These are the candidate songs. When we get there, Gretchen and I will sort these into two coherent sets, depending on exactly what condition our singing voices are in. The good news is that they're not too bad right now, nearly four weeks after the onset of the flu.

The better news is that they should be yet a bit better by the weekend. :)

See y'all there!
I am, however, gaining on the list of things that I have to do before Gretchen and I board a plane to head out to DFDF tomorrow.

We are looking forward to seeing everyone there!
26th-May-2019 11:24 pm - Slowly I Turn
I am constantly amazed at the number of things that can go wrong.
25th-May-2019 11:07 pm - Birthday Celebrations
We took Julie to see "Detective Pikachu" along with two of her friends and Katie for her belated birthday celebration today. The kids enjoyed the movie. Happily, so did the parents. :)

Then we adjourned home for ice cream cake. It was Gretchen's first attempt at making one and came out pretty well, all things considered.
24th-May-2019 10:57 pm - Vacation
I have sent my final work email before leaving on vacation.

Now, I just need to finish everything else that needs to be done before leaving town. :)
23rd-May-2019 10:56 pm - It's Been a Year
Thanks to everyone for all the lovely birthday wishes!

To celebrate, I went to Katie's softball game after work. They won, 18-12 in 6 innings. It was an impressive game.

And then we had dinner. :)
22nd-May-2019 10:45 pm - Play Ball!
The girls got to resume Saturday's postponed game today where they left off. By the time we finished, they had played a full six (well, five-and-a-half) innings and had emerged victorious by a score of 15-6.

This evens their record at 2-2. So far, so good. :)

More softball tomorrow!
21st-May-2019 04:36 pm - Surely You're Joking, Mr. Kaegi
I was checking through the mail -- Gretchen receives it and I end up looking at what's come in somewhat later -- and discovered that we had gotten our triennial reassessment notices. When I opened it up, I discovered that the value of our property has supposedly gone up by 50%.

Looking at what homes have and are selling for in this area, I find that *extremely* unlikely.

Great. Now I need a lawyer...
20th-May-2019 10:49 pm - Experimental Cat
Buddy (or Skeezix) has been mostly confined to the library, because he's still not sure he wants to share the house with Ruby. I've sat with him in the library a couple of evenings after Ruby has gone to bed in her kennel with the door open and he's wandered down the hall a bit, but not very far.

So I have a new plan.

Ruby has gone to bed. And the door to the library has been left open, although all of the bedroom doors upstairs are closed.

We'll see how this goes. (He's already ventured as far as the family room while we watched the end of the Cubs game.)
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