Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I'm worn out...

I know there are a ton of things to do this week, and I"m looking forward to doing all of them, but tonight, it's 7:30, and I am just looking forward to sleeping right now more than anything. And hopefully sleeping until 7 tomorrow morning. I'm hitting a point where my sleeping patterns are a little weird. Going to bed earlier. Getting tired earlier.

Today's update:
I'm in Melbourne. Ali and Craig's house is wonderful. I always have believed that Bonita was the ultimate troublemaker when it came to cats. I take that back. Maxsim the cat is quite something. He still won't let me anywhere near him for petting, but I had a bite to eat, and he was 3 inches from me so that he could try to eat it.

There is a nice little stretch of shopping near their house. I walked over today, and got some food for the week. They had a ton of GF options. Breads, tortilla wraps, and canned spaghetti. So I'm set in that respect for the week. There's also a place with GF pizza down the street. I should be all set.

OK. It's time to lay down for 12 hours. Or so. if Maxsim lets me.

g'night all.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Alright, I've got time at the airport on my computer....here goes with the photos...just a select few

Day 3 in Sydney is in the books, on to Melbourne

Lots of fun stuff today.
Walked to Circular Quay, and then took a ferry over to the Zoo. And yes, i did the touristy thing, and got my pictures taken with a freakin koala. Yep. it's hot. I know. I couldn't help myself. If that's my big splurge, so be it. It is what it is.
After that, took a long bus ride over to Bondi Beach, the legendary surfing and image conscious beach on the SE side of the city. I walked the whole beach, and it was really gorgeous. The water was quite cold, as was the sand, but I mean, it's winter. What do you want.
Came back, had a nice workout in the gym, showered, and just ate a very nice Italian meal at a restaurant owned by Koreans. Whatever works.
Tomorrow I head to Melbourne. I'm quite excited about having tomorrow night to do nothing. I could explore the city, but I think I'm going to just veg out, read some, and watch television. If something pops up, so be it.
Listening to Miley Cyrus over here makes me quite sad.
In my head, now, my voice has an Australian accent. I wonder how long it takes for that to go away.
I think that's it for tonight.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wrapping up day two....

Things I did today:
Eat well (massive helping of pad thai for 9 dollars, and a GF kabab/gyro that i ate about 2 hours later simply because it was a GF kabab/gyro)
Attended two markets, the Rocks and Paddington, except Paddington was closed. I looked at it longingly.
I walked the famous Harbour Bridge.
I walked inside St. Mary's Cathedral.
I shopped a bit. Glenn would have been very proud of me. I picked up a nice black shirt in boys town, so the gays must approve, hence, Glenn would approve. (In my head, I'm imagining Glenn shouting "WHAT!" in a high pitched voice)
Then I went and played poker. I took out $100. I played for an hour. I left with $200. I played solidly, hit a couple of lucky flops and played them well to get extra money. I was proud of myself.
Also, while at the poker table, I sat next to an elderly woman wearing a snuggie. No kidding. If they would have allowed pictures, i would have taken one.

The night is beautiful. It rained for about a half hour while I was in the casino playing poker, and now it's probably 60 degrees, and a clear sky. Perfect for me to walk around in shorts and a long sleeve. I'm going to head back to the hotel momentarily, shower, and go out to a nice bar to have a celebratory drink. It should taste quite delicious tonight.

That's all for now. Any questions, i'll be happy to take them. Again, I do apologize for the lack of pictures.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Again, my internet cafe time is limited...

but thought I'd give a quick update on my trip.

I slept from about 7:30ish until 8AM, so I think I'm on a regular schedule here now. Which is great.

The bad news is that Craig's father has passed. Obviously, I feel awful for him, and for Ali. But in terms of my trip, it means that I'll be spending 3 days on my own now in Melbourne. Which is fine. Not ideal.

I'm also going to be canceling my intended run in the half marathon. Its disappointing, but I'd much rather have Saturday and Sunday to spend with Ali and Craig, rather than go to bed early on Saturday, and then be exhausted all of Sunday.

So, that's my update.

Also, the Paddington Market is closed on Sundays, Marriott Hotel. You told me it was open, and have wasted an hour of my time.

I'm about to hit up the Olympic Stadium, followed by a long walk to the Rocks Market.

First post from Sydney

I only have about 12 minutes left at an internet cafe, so I want to be somewhat concise, and descriptive at the same time.
I have been in Australia now for 9 hours. I have stayed awake (its 4:15 here, 1:15 where most of you are) all day, after only having slept about 4 or 5 hours on the plane.
The plane ride was insane. I got pajamas to wear, my own TV, personal service, gluten free meals, and I think if I had asked for a rub down, would have gotten one. I didn't want to leave the plane. The seat folded in to a bed for god's sake!
I have more I want to write about my travels, but time forbids.
So far in Australia, I've toured the Botanical gardens, hit up Paddy's markets, did Darling Harbour (but skipped the Aquarium and its 32 dollar cost), went through Hyde Park, over to the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Art Gallerty, the Government House, and then walked up to the Opera House, but did not pay 35 for a tour. That is a full day, considering my body is telling me its 1:15 and I didn't sleep last night.
It really is beautiful here, although I'd imagine that if it was summer and everything was in bloom, it would be even better.
Tomorrow, I'm definitely going for a 7 mile run up to the Gardens, but probably not across the bridge...although that might change. I'm also going to the Paddington Markets, and "The Rocks." Outside of that, I don't know.
Also not sure when I'll be able to post pictures. THat may have to wait a few days. Until I get to Ali's.
I mean, 29 dollars a day for internet at the hotel? C'mon!
Any questions, leave them here, and I'll respond when I can.

Friday, June 26, 2009

I'm wearing qantas provided slippers on a plane. And pajamas. Lol.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I think I just saw the six flags guy at ohare

Later y'all....

I thought that Land Down Under would be too obvious...

I'll post when time and internet are available to me. At the every least, just to let everyone know I'm safe.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


If you're flying over the Pacific Ocean, and say, an engine from your plane falls off, wtf do you do?

These are the things that pop in to my head at 11PM.


Good night, moon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trying not to think about Australia for now...

I tend to get a tad bit paralyzed when thinking about all the things coming up over the next few days. It's so, so exciting. But at the same time, just a heck of a lot to process...flying for 24 hours, making sure I have anything, worrying about the cats, hoping that Julia gets through her last couple weeks of classes...


I've spent a couple of minutes tonight watching Jon and Kate plus Eight. I am incredibly pleased I've never watched any of this before. She's a nutjob, and he's a bluetooth wearing weirdo. I hope that it goes off the air, for the kids' sake.

One of the things I'm looking forward to when I get back from Australia is a office race that we're having to give away Nascar tickets on the air. Qualifiers will have to race in office chairs, facing forward, around our parking lot, twice, to win the tickets. I will enjoy watching them struggle, as well as Sarah and Jennifer Ketchmark. Mostly because I will be exhausted after having arrived back in the country 8 hours earlier, and will need a laugh.

I'm also looking forward to a Cubs game on the 24th. I'm not in charge of any of the planning. I went and looked at ticket prices anyway. And its something like 55 bucks per ticket if we all want to sit together, and its the worst seats at Wrigley.

I ran 10 miles on Saturday morning. I got up at 5 to do so, because I've hit the portion of the year when I absolutely melt. It was 75 at 6AM, and by the time I hit home at 7:45ish, I was soaking wet, and my clothes weighed several pounds. But it's a necessity if I want to get through these next two half marathons in the next 6 weeks. I think I can do it.

The poker thing continues to progress. I've won some, I've lost some...it's just a matter of learning.

I owe my mom a huge debt of gratitude for this trip. It's going to be amazing.

I'm going to miss watching the Cubs every night. Is that weird?
OK. Any thoughts?

Wow...I haven't posted since Wednesday? Here's some music until tonight...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Random things including a travel checklist for myself...

Alright, so I go to Australia one week from tomorrow. I will have more on that in a moment. Here are my other random thoughts.
I won a 9 person poker tournament on Sunday on the internet. It was the first time I've ever actually won a tournament, so I was very proud. I've been working very hard to get better at the game, so that I can some day go to Vegas, and not look like an idiot. I have no aspirations to play in the World Series of Poker, but I would like to have a chamce in a smaller tournament there. I think it's a fun goal to have.
I made a statement on facebook a few weeks ago that people shouldn't complain about the weather. So here is my once a year summer rant on the weather: My body doesn't handle it well at all. I get overheated so quickly, it's just miserable sometimes. I should probably move to Canada or something. Ideally, I would have two homes, one in Seattle, and one in, say, Tennessee or something, to get the best of both worlds, without getting too hot. I ran 5 miles on Monday, and it was 80 and humid. I wanted to quit after a mile, but somehow muscled through. Today, at 86, will be another challenge. Luckily, I'm going to Australia, where it will be 60-65 every day. Ideal.
Last night, I made a spectacular pasta, with tomatoes, mushrooms, turkey, and avacado. And a spicy sauce. I wanted to only eat the sauce.
Sammy Sosa's positive test is far from a surprise, but continues to be a disappointment.
The twittering out of Iran is just fascinating. I think the new media has some horribly negative aspects to it in terms of how we are slowly losing the ability to interact on a person to person basis (self included), but what is coming out of Iran on twitter is fascinating. I suggest you get a twitter account just to check it out. Also, follow me (@mikecation).

OK, now, to be self indulgent for a moment, I'm going to put together my list of to dos that I must get done before I go to Australia and feel free to include your suggestions in the comments (with great thanks to Christina, Jill, Tony, Glenn, and my brothers and father for their recent comments):

-Make sure all books are renewed from the library, and Arrested Development Season 2.
-Get an adaptor plug.
-Make sure to have all toiletries, and small supplies for the overnight bag I'll need on the plane.
-Visa information/Passport
-Hotel reservations/Plan reservations
-Make sure the cats have enough food.
-Clean my house.
-GPS and travel points.
-Running equipment ready to go.
-Get some Australian Monies for a taxi ride to the hotel.
-Get Ali's address.
-Make sure everything is set at work.

What else. I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton of stuff, and this list will continue to grow.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

WTF am I doing.

I go to Australia in a week.

I have no clue what I have to do to get ready and am starting to freak out just a little bit.

On Sunday, I won a 9 person poker tournament. I won $4.50. What does that mean.

Australia. Jeebus.

That is all. I need a nap.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ethical Dilemma....I guess.

OK, so, Kevin gave me a bit of crap about this on the air the other day, so I'm throwing this out as an ethical dilemma.

I work out at the Fitness Center (the Fitness Center and you.....it's time to get fit.) They have a stretching room, which includes a very small table with a TV and DVD player, with an instructional video on how to use the gigantic stretching machine contraption.

So, as I walk in on Wednesday, I'm in there by myself, sit on the mat to begin stretching, and I notice that on the table, there's a $20 bill. There's nobody else in the stretching room, nor the room to its immediate left, a group cycling room. There is no other leftover equipment, like a towel from someone who was just in there. Just, simply, a $20 bill.

Now, I sit here typing with that $20 bill in my wallet in my pocket. My thinking was that since it was a $20, it's not worth turning in to the Club, because what's to stop the teenager at the front desk from pocketing it themselves. And surely the next person who walked in would take it, right?

I felt it was karma paying me back. When I was younger, around 5 or 6, a guy dropped either a 50 or 100 in Memorial Stadium. I saw it, and immediately ran up and gave it back to him. He gave me a quarter.

Also, a couple of months ago, I lost 20 bucks because I'm an idiot, and threw away a receipt from County Market that had a 20 in it. That was really just stupid on my part, but again....karma.

Am I wrong on this? Am I a bad person for not turning it in as lost? Let me know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Things to do in Australia.....

Alright, as many of you may know, I'm headed to Australia in two weeks and one day. Now, I've got all the logistics taken care of, with plenty of thanks to my mother. My passport is up to date, I have a visa....I'm ready for that. (Money is another story, but that's beside the point)

What I'm trying to figure out now is what the heck to do while I'm down there. So far, I've figured out that I would like to go to a zoo, would like to see an Australian Rules Football game, maybe try to walk the Sydney bridge, run a half marathon...that's a good amount to start with. But I am always looking for more suggestions. Here are some that Ali sent me in an email. If you have any more thoughts on what I should do while I'm down there, please let me know! I'm all ears.

1. Snakes and koalas
Ballarat Wildlife Park is about 1.5 hours away. You can run around with and feed kangaroos. There is a reptile house (you might get to hold a snake or something). You can also get your picture taken holding a koala.

2. Surfing lesson
Keep in mind, it is winter here. It will be f'ing freezing. They'll give you a wetsuit, but still, it might be cold and raining. If you're interested, this is where I will take you: http://www.gorideawave.com.au/ in Torquay. BTW, Torquay is the location of a world famous surfing beach called "Bells Beach." The final scene of "Point Break" supposedly takes place at Bells, but they actually filmed it in Oregon. Enjoy the trivia.

3. Great Ocean Road
If you're keen on the surfing lesson and also going along the Great Ocean Road (http://www.greatoceanrd.org.au/Highlights.aspx) to the iconic Twelve Apostles, I would recommend that we do your surfing lesson one afternoon, then we continue on to the Great Drive to Apollo Bay, where we have dinner and spend the night at The Costal Motel www.coastalmotel.com.au. Standard room, which we could share is about $85 US. We could split the cost. Wake up early and go down the Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles, etc. take pictures. Come back to Melbourne and do something that night in the city or whatever.

4. Winery tour
I would not recommend doing a "tour." Rather, I can just drive you out there and take you to a few cool places. The Yarra Valley is only about an hour and 15 mins away...and we could spend as much or as little time out there as you want. http://www.wineyarravalley.com/

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Weekend plans, and some pictures.

Alright, so, as you can see from above, I shaved my head again. While Julia might not be happy about the situation, I certainly am, as the long hair was very difficult to run with. I sympathize with women who have long hair who sweat as much as I do, because it just isn't fun. You just get heated. Ick. So, the hair is gone, even though the new barber effed up a couple spots. I mean, how hard is it, when it's your job, to put on a 1 blade, and not miss spots? Jeez.
I had to fix it at home.

Now, speaking of home, the other picture is of my crowded, crowded living room. Two couches, the loveseat/chair, not to mention the bookshelves and TV you can't see to the left. It is very cramped. I'm not happy about the situation, but it will have to do until August, when Steve can come and pick up the couch. That's not pleasant.
OK, Buggin Out readers. Here's my list of to dos for the weekend:
-Pay hospital bill.
-Plan Australia
-Send photo to the Dentist
-Chicago hotel
-Sydney hotel
-Change the litter
-Clean my car
-Put two more items on ebay
-Run 7 miles
-Pay bills, get finances straight for Australia
-Golfing Range
-Find some checks (I pay pretty much everything online now...not sure where the actual checks are)

I've already done 5 of these things. 6 if you count this blog. Good start for it being only 1:05.

Also, The Hangover gets a Mike Cation recommendation.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I have a new couch...

So, I'm going to post pictures later today of the new (old) couch that was given to me by my mother. It's great in that it is extremely long, very comfortable, and taller than the old one. She also gave me her old love seat massive chair. The cats seem more enthralled with the cushion.

Weekend recap: Relatively uneventful, which is nice. I put a couple of items on ebay (including a pair of shoes, size 10...if you're in the market, let me know.) Julia and I went to a game night at her co-worker's place, but did not play any games, and had wonderful cake. There are now plans in the work for Glenn's "mega-bar-crawl" in July, which apparently will include 30 bars, and teams. (Oy). And the Crackmonkeys picked up a big win last night, which is great, because it meant I didn't have to pitch. I suck at pitching now. A lot.

I also got to have a nice internet chat with Ted. I hope that he's able to move back to the states at some point soon.

Also, a quick plug/follow up to the lack of gluten free foods in Champaign-Urbana. The Meisters are the couple that brought GF stuff to the Urbana farmer's market over the past couple of years, but unfortunately for me, they're not going to be there anymore. They have promised me that they deliver GF loaves of bread and other items to Strawberry Fields (and others ) on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can find out what all they make by clicking here.