Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Biggest Mistake was Lovin’ You Too Much…and Letting You Know.

Someone, somewhere once wrote/said that The Band played Mavin Gaye's "Don't Do it" like it was their own. There are a few songs that a group or artist plays so well and so convincingly that it somehow/someway becomes "their" song.

This is one example.

Although some will squabble with this, for me, below is just about the most perfect piece of rock and roll ever created.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

If I knew it was gonna be that kinda party…

I kinda-sorta made the Sun-Times today via Richard Roeper's column. In it, he takes on the Amy Jacobson story and points to some headlines in the blogosphere:
I loved all the talk about whether or not it was "newsworthy" for WBBM-Channel 2 to show that videotape of Amy Jacobson, formerly of WMAQ-Channel 5, hanging at Craig Stebic's house.

Let's see. A well-known and well-respected reporter who has been covering a high-profile case involving a missing woman and her estranged husband is seen on her day off at the couple's home while the husband is there. She seems comfortable and relaxed as she works the cell phone and watches the kids.

Uh, yeah. That's news. That's why the Sun-Times and Tribune had major media columns about the issue on Tuesday. That's why it was Topic No. 1 on the local talk radio dial. That's why it was a story on news stations across the country.

Among the headlines from blog-land:

"Pool Party!"

"The Worst Career Move Ever"

"Reporter hard at work in a bikini"

A quick peek through the Google Blogsearch results show that my post from yesterday is the only one up with the title of "Pool Party!". Sweet! Nothing like backing your way into the mainstream media.

It’s Time: Getting Back on Track

Some of the folks who are reading this blog may be startled to find out that I was once an exercise fiend. Yup. I was in a daily routine that included plenty of exercise and a healthy consumption of food. Somewhere in the midst of training for my 3rd marathon, I had a severe flameup of some back issues and that's where I fell off the wagon. Aside from the occassional jog and a 5K here or there, I've followed the doctors order's pretty strictly. When I asked him what I should be doing, he said, "Stop running". So I did.

And guess what? My fitness level dropped like a stone. The "el-bees" piled on. I lost my focus. There's plenty of attention on how brides need to/want to/should attempt to get into shape for their weddings, but there isn't a general guide for grooms. We want to look our best, don't we? I think that, knowing Natalie, we'll have those pictures up in our house for a long, long time, so it's in my best interest to drop the weight. I have a goal in mind, and I'd like to get there this year. I'm going to take a long-term approach to it, so you won't see me rocking Adkins or anything crazy, but make sure to keep me honest.

Shame is a powerful tool and that's why I'm going to use it against myself. I'll get this widget up on the right sidebar shortly, but for now, you should be able to see what's doin' with me and my own personal fitness challenge via this post.

traineo


It's kinda funny. For my wedding, I'd like to get back down to my "dating weight". So far this week, I'm 3-for-3. That's 3 days with 3 workouts. If I keep it up, and Google keeps serving some moderately healthy options for lunch, I'll be all set. Wish me Luck.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pool Party!

annanamy.jpgThe tragic story of the disappearance/killing of Plainfield resident Lisa Stebic took a bizarre twist yesterday. Her husband, who by all accounts is the chief suspect, apparently had some company in the form on NBC5 Reporter Amy Jacobson. That's her on the right with one of my other favorites from NBC 5, Anna Devlantes. (I sound like Steve Dahl with my "top 5 newsbabes", don't I? ) Apparently, "the Jake", as we like to call her, dropped by the Stebic's house in her bikini for a pool party with the accused husband, and brought along her kids.
Amy Jacobson, a reporter for WMAQ-Channel 5, is in hot water with her bosses for going swimming on her day off with the estranged husband of a missing Plainfield woman.

Dressed in a two-piece swimsuit, Jacobson brought her two young sons, ages 3 and 2, with her Friday when she swam in the backyard pool of Craig Stebic.

Lisa Stebic vanished from the southwest suburban home April 30. She and her husband, parents of two children, were in the midst of a divorce.

So..of course Amy will claim that she was trying to get the story out of him, and it does kind of make sense. A hot, blond reporter, arrives in a bikini, and viola! the guy spills the beans. It's quite a nice move on her part, I guess.

"The Jake's" attorneys have been swarming all over the place ensuring that that tape won't be broadcast, but I have to plead with them. We MUST see that tape. If it was a one-piece, I would understand. But clearly, from the looks of "the Jake", she doesn't have much to hide.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Steve and Barry’s: Beyond all Expectations

Natalie and I celebrated the 4th of July up in Coloma Michigan on Paw Paw Lake. It's an (almost) annual tradition that includes a sunset boat ride that leads to 360-degree fireworks. Pretty sweet. Yesterday, on our way to Meijer to pick up some supplies (meat, beer, etc), we saw a new Steve and Barry's store had opened in Benton Harbor. Natalie immediately noted that we NEED to stop there because the new Sarah Jessica Parker line of clothes is only sold there. I told her that we used to have a Steve and Barry's on campus in Champaign and they were the store that sold "Buy one Illini t-shirt, get 2 free". Times had changed, she said. They've apparently expanded their offerings immensly. Their strategy seems to be one of filling up the space of older midsize boxes in commercial areas. Think of the space that JCPenny's would occupy. Or Sears.

We pulled in and boy, was I surprised. I'm definitely no clothes horse, as anyone who works with me can attest to, but this place stunned me. They still had a ton of college sports-related t-shirts, but they had soooo much more. In addition to the SJP Bitten line, they had the Starbury's. For those of you who don't know, Starbury's are the sneakers from Stephon Marbury and Ben Wallace that retail for less than 15 bucks! I almost bought a pair just because I like the concept. natalie talked me out of it. There's a whole line of affordable "cool" clothes that go along with the sneakers. The SJP Bitten line follows the same tone. The tag line is: Your sweater shouldn't cost more than your groceries. Natalie picked out a few things and I went nuts. I bought shirts, shorts, jackets, and more shirts. I came home with polo-like shirts, short sleeve button downs (Nat calls them "nerd shirts", a few Illini products and more. They've somewhat clung to their roots with all the college t's, sweatshirts, and jackets.

For folks who hate the Old Navy experience, Steve and Barry's isn't for you. I'm a Patagonia snob, so I can appreciate quality pieces, but this place scratches me where I itch. If you spot one near you, I'd recommend stopping in.

Free FeedBurner Features

As a few others have pointed out, FeedBurner became FreeBurner a few days ago. I'll claim it's because we're patriotic and we're celebrating our country's independence, but it's mostly because we have the ginormous resources of Google behind us that allowed to give up our MyBrand and TotalStats features for free.

This is the first of more things to happen as a result of the acquisition. MyBrand is especially important to publishers who want to ensure that they maintain total control of their domain, brand, and name. Freeing it up is the first step. The next step is implementation. It's not simple, but we're here to help. Here's some tips on executing it.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Wedding Details on the Blog…

Natalie's been very "in to" our wedding planning lately and it's becoming a little contagious. She's been writing blog posts over on the wedding blog and just this week, she unveiled what I will call her wedding "touchstone". She calls it her "inspiration board". It's basically a bunch of reference points. She's done a great job of pulling together the details (which are more and more everyday). She's even gone so far as to participate in the wedding blogosphere. One way or another, Nat had her inspiration board featured on one of the more popular wedding blogs called Style Me Pretty. Natalie was really happy with seeing her work over there and reading all the comments about her style. I'm really proud of her. We didn't have a ton of traffic, but a pretty steady stream of regular visitors (friends and family) and quite a bit of search traffic (brides to be, I'm guessing based on their search terms).

The past few days, because of a link from Style Me Pretty, the site has been visited by 5X or 6X the number of normal readers. And our feed subscribers jumped about 50%, too. Good work, Nat. I'm really proud of you. I'm getting excited about all details that are coming together. September 6, 2008 will be here soon enough.

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