Vote, eh?

Hey guys! Hope everyone is having a great time with families and friends. I am having a blast with mine. I'll have tons of pictures of my fun times and adorable niece soon.

For now: A request. Appalachian State is one of the finalists for the "Pontiac Game Changing Performance" of the season. There are only 4 teams left, and the winner snags 100k, which would come in handy. If you get a second, hit up pontiac.com/ncaa.

That's your gift to me.

Oh. What did I get for you?

Um. Something SUPER good. Totally.


Boonies Loving Life.

Hey there, Blogfriends.


In case you haven't noticed, I'm a pretty big fan of my alma mater's football team. Well, Appalachian State is poised to make history. Tomorrow, we play Delaware in the Div I-FCS National Championship. App State is coming off a scorching playoff run, which began with a down-to-the-wire game against James Madison a few weeks ago, and continued through ever-more-convincing victories over Eastern Washington and Richmond.

This picture was taken last week, as some Chicago ASU Alumni got together to enjoy the game at The Full Shilling. While we were enjoying adult beverages, ASU QB Armanti Edwards was busy rushing for 313 yards and 4 touchdowns and throwing for an additional 182 and 3 TDs. That's 495 yards of total offense. My first kid may be named Armanti Jerrymoore Young.

This week the Chicago folks will be at Feed The Beast. That's at 4300 N Lincoln in North Center.

Come join us, eh?


I went to Dallas a couple of weeks ago. Work stuff. Nothing exciting. Hence my post about banks heists.

I'd been to Dallas before, but this time I went to Dealey Plaza. The infamous grassy knoll.

See those buildings above? The one more prominently featured? Count six stories up.

It was a sunny day. I sat outside and enjoyed the warmth.

There's an 'x' in the road. Bizarre memorial.


Missing no more.

My cat went AWOL twice recently. First, she took off for two days. She came back looking rained-on and shame-faced like an off-the-wagon drunk resurfacing after an 8-day bender.

A few days later she took off again. She was gone for nearly a week. I put up posters. I called the shelters. All that.

I got a call from someone who had seen my posters reporting that someone a few blocks away had posters up reporting a cat found. She had wandered into the back door of a sandwich shop and one of the staff members took her home. She was missing for almost a week, but only outside for a grand total of a few hours.

Charmed life, that.

Anyway, here's a picture of her in recovery mode.


Jason came to town over Halloween weekend. Jason , for those of you not down with the Young Brothers, is my older brother. Tommy's the sensitive one. Sam's the complicated one. You know. Like N*Sync.

He was in town for his birthday. 31, Ladies and gents. 31 years old and he can be seen here with shoes strapped to his knees as a sort of "Dorf on Golf" tiny person.

We went to a lovely "Heaven and Hell" Party thrown by my friends Jason and Freddie. Great time. Don't believe me? Let's go to the reel.

Martin as a G. Kara as white trash. Jason again and Charley as a lazy asshole who can't be bothered to wear a costume. I'm not sure it was intentional, but Kara and Martin have a nice K-Fed-B-Spears thing going on.

In the corner? Sexy Lincoln.

Matt as Terry from Reno 911. Also, note my sweet Fu Manchu. You are WELCOME.
More Terry and lazy dude.

Fun night. Great to see my bro.


Black Saturday

October 20: At App they have a tradition called "Black Saturday". Get rid of the gold, and sport black on game day. It's a blast. I went down this year, and had an amazing time. I decided to go at the last minute, but made it safe and sound.

Some of my very good buddies were there for the festivities. Adam and Nicole. Dave. Sarah Fried Chicken. Rachelle. Carson and Siege. Ray. Shelby and Joe even came down. Definitely good times. The Cliftons brought along a pop-up camper, and many of the hardier kids slept in the parking lot. Great people. I made a few new friends, too. That's always nice.

Oh, and beer pong/flip cup tables are fully portable.

I skipped the parking lot camper sleeping and bedded down at the Morrison's mountain house. They were up for the weekend. They're like extra parents for me. Lovely people. I spent Sunday hanging out with them and recovering from around 36 hours of drinking and ridiculousness. Coffee. Hot tub. Food. And this view:

Notice I didn't mention the actual game much. It's still a sore spot. We lost at home for the first time in 30 games. The last home game we lost was in 2002. Ah well. It happens. It was a blast of a weekend, and if we had to walk away without a "W", so be it. Not my preference, but so be it. Great weekend.



So when it was still warm out, I got myself a bike. It's pretty great. Vintage '83 Trek. Ridiculously light for a vintage bike. Nice and fast.

When I was a kid surrounded by dirt paths and gravel roads, road bikes seemed pointless. In Chicago? Road bikes work just fine.

I like this bike a lot. Too bad it'll be too cold to ride it in about 12 minutes.
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I'm in Dallas for work.

Downtown Dallas really makes me want to rob a bank. Seriously.

I was walking around last night, and I passed big fat banks filled with lots and lots of oil money and there was NO ONE AROUND.

I want to meet a guy named "Big" or "T-Bone" in a blues bar and get him to be my lookout. I want a guy in a van guiding me through the process as he screws around on a computer and eats Twix bars. I want a former Ukrainian gymnast to crawl through an air duct and somehow come out inside the vault.

I'll be the guy who always walks. Never runs. Always walks. I'm already wearing a suit. I might as well be the cool, never runs, suit guy.

So yeah, Dallas. That's what you get for making me feel like I'm on an abandoned movie lot set from a movie about a downtown instead of actually having stuff going on. You get your banks robbed. In my mind.


Smoking Chimpmama!

Hey dudes. Believe it or not, I'm going to update this thing soon. I want to tell you all about my trip to ASU, Halloween, my brother Jason's visit, and all the rest. I'll probably get some of those up tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's a picture of a chimpanzee with little regard for the effects of second hand smoke.


d'ja ever notice?

What is this thing? I have a blog?

Oh yeah. I do.

Let's make this more interactive. Chicago people, chime in if you feel it. Seriously.

I run into people downtown all the time. I come down to the loop about once or twice a week, and it seems like every single time I do I see someone I know. It's weird.

Sure, there are lots more people downtown, but that means lots more people I know AND lots more people I don't. And yet. Lots of random street convos.

Anybody else notice this? I really want to know.

And yes, this is half interesting observation, and half confirmation that I am still alive and still have my blogger password.


Some Bailey Shots

Amber (my sister-in-law) sent me some great shots of Bailey from her 2nd birthday extravaganza.

I thought I'd share.

She looks thrilled with this gift. My two-year-old niece is a jaded rocker.

She graduated from the crib. Sweet bed, yo.

It breaks your heart, don't it?



So I won't bore you with the details of why exactly a went to Tucson. It was a work thing, so it involved lots of panels and presentations (some of which I introduced or moderated). I did get a chance to spend a little time in the city of Tucson, though. More importantly, I got to spend some time out of the city of Tucson. The conference was at a resort outside of Tucson in the foothills of the Santa Catalina mountains.

The last day of programming, I packed up a group of beautifully multi-national dudes and took a trip up to the summit of Mt. Lemmon. One of the highest peaks around Tucson, it also has a road that goes all the way up to its peak. The drive is only 15 or 20 miles from the edge of town, but climbs several thousand feet and takes you from this:... to this:

(The second one was taken through the windshield, but it's enough to get the staggering difference in flora.)

We made the drive right around sunset, and got some great shots. I didn't take most of these, but that's because I was at the wheel and many of these were stop-and-clicks as we tried to race the sunset up the mountain.

Here are some of the pretty ones.

From the car:

The moon (which was full, though this doesn't capture the color):

Looking down at dusk:

Tucson below:

I spent my last night in Tucson proper near the University of Arizona. I went to a bar by my hotel and drank beers, played photo hunt, did a crossword puzzle, and wondered if all dudes in Arizona were that obnoxious and wore that much hair gel.

I know that they probably aren't. And don't.


Random Acts of Random. Volume II, Issue I

Hey guys. Remember that time I posted a bunch of random stuff on my blog? Here's another one!

I have really lost my sense of narrative. Time to insert a throughline. From now on, posts like this aren't random brain puke, but rather a segment we're calling:

"Random Acts of Random".

(Like that? It beat out "Brain Beat" and "A Visit to the Hodgepodge Lodge".)

- Well, those who know me know that I've been using "App State" as a verb since basically the day after their defeat of U of M. It's catching on, people. Here's the coach of the Kaneland High School soccer team (from the Chicago burbs) on their upcoming game against nationally ranked New Trier High:

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” Kaneland coach Scott Parillo said. “We’re gonna try to Appalachian State them.”


-A few other current events nouns-as-verbs: "Larry Craig". As in, "I think some dude was totally trying to Larry Craig me in the bathroom." Also, "Britneyed". As in, "I shouldn't have gotten so drunk last night. I try not to get so Britneyed on the weekend."

- My roommate, who shall remain nameless, came home today and explained to me that she didn't realize yogurt was dairy. Wonderful. Explanation?

Nameless Roommate: "I guess I knew it was dairy, but when I think dairy I think milk and cheese."
Me: "Milk! Cheese! Yogurt! Butter!"
Nameless Roommate: "Oh yeah.... butter..."

I laughed harder than I have in a while.

- The weather in Chicago is so nice right now. I went to the beach on Tuesday and had one of the nicest beach days I've had all year. I'm going to miss you, summer.


This is Bailey.
This is Bailey wearing a hat.

This is Bailey after a nap.

This is Bailey being a daredevil.

Bailey is my niece. She is two today. Three cheers for THAT kid, huh?



Some randomness:

-I have a toothache.

- Fun Hogwash (kid's improv) show today at the Bailiwick. I played a car with two HEMIs. And a male model. With a sparkly hat.

-The only downside about the extra App State coverage is that people keep calling it "Appy State". No one at App called it that. Just like no one in Chicago says "Chi-Town".

- I just listened to a couple in my building argue for ten or fifteen minutes while trying to move a couch into the building through narrow doorways. Well, they weren't arguing. She was just yelling at him. Favorite quote? Her: "I DON'T underSTAND why you don't have LOGICAL THOUGHT!"

- I am craving White Caste like a fiend.

- Fall is coming. Despite my best efforts.


New Chapter

I know it's been a couple of days, but this win is still making my days a little brighter.

In addition to a beautiful win, which may be among the greatest upsets in the history of the NCAA, it also marked the first get-together of the brand new Chicago chapter of the Appalachian Alumni Association. This is a great bunch of guys and gals. The only thing that can make me prouder to be a Mountaineer than our performance on the field is being around a talented and impressive group of people who are just as proud to be ASU alumni as I am.

Living in Chicago, far from the sphere of influence of ASU, you meet a lot of people who have no idea where App is or why it's so special. After this weekend, people are learning. That means a lot to all of us.

I promise I'll move on to other subjects soon. For now?



I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it was to be this deep in Big Ten territory and watch App State beat Michigan 34-32.

The best.

More details tomorrow. For now, time to pass out.


GO APP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Alright, App State. Season opener vs. U of Michigan. Let's do this thing.
I'm going to be waist-deep in Beg Ten fans. Wonderful.
Good news is this is the first get-together for the new Chicago App State Alumni Chapter.


A few cool things lately.

The other night, the moon was near-full and I was with some friends, and we drove up Lakeshore, stopped at Montrose Harbor, and checked out the moon. There were tons of people out enjoying what may be among the last of the gorgeous summer nights.

Weird bit: We heard what sounded like waves moving out of the harbor and into the lake. It seemed clear that there was something dark in the water. At first I thought it was a rowboat or some other small boat with no lights, but when it passed into the moonlight, there was no boat. If we'd been in salt water, I would have said a dolphin or whale. They do call the August full moon the "Sturgeon Moon". Maybe a big ol' fish was catching some moon rays.

Great night.

Also, Sunday night Charley, his friend Brooks from Atlanta, and I went up to Alpine Valley to see the Dave Matthews Band. Go on. Make fun. It was a great show. They're great live. I hadn't seen them in years. We went up to Milwaukee first and had some food and some beers. It was my first time going to rather than through Milwaukee. Good town, it seems. I look forward to going back.

ALSO! This weekend App plays University of Michigan. We're meeting at Bowman's around noon to watch. Send me a note if you want details.





Man. These storms have been out of control. Floods. Downed trees.


I was downtown with Charley and his friend from Atlanta when we looked up and saw a curtain of rain approaching.



Downpour. 0-100 in seconds. We picked a door to the Nordstrom's mall downtown and darted in out of the rain, water pouring from our clothes, glasses fogged and streaked with rain.

We'd ducked into the street entrance of an upscale boutique.

We attempted to walk through the store as if we were shopping for a new cashmere scarf. Our shoes were filled with water.


Car Trouble

I had set aside a little money, and was tossing around a couple of options. Pay some things off. Maybe take a little trip. Update the ol' wardrobe.

My car was kind enough to decide for me. New starter and a new serpentine belt.


grumble grumble.

An afternoon trip to Rockford turned into two days, a rented Buick, reworn clothing, and a revamped week's schedule.

It would only have been more fun if it had been less expensive by hundreds and hundreds of dollars.



Last night, Cowlick had a show at the Playground. It was fun, but the aftermath was even more fun. We went to Guthrie's, which is a pretty great bar with a big cabinet filled with board games. People come and drink and play games. They allow (and encourage) you to order food from the takeout joint of your choice. It's a good place.

Cowlick has a tradition of playing Balderdash (shown above in a stock photo from holy_crap_that's_pixelated.org) and it gets.... I think.... pretty hilarious.

You know the game, right? You get an obscure word and everyone makes up a definition, writes it down, and hands it in. Then a reader reads all of the definitions without telling anyone whose is whose or which one is the correct one. Then everyone guesses. Funny, right?

I can't post most of the answers here. The later it got and the more beer we had, the more likely they were to contain euphemisms and not-so-euphemisms.

One cleaner example. I forget the word, but Martin's definition was: A method of curing bed-wetting during the Spanish Inquisition. Hint: It involved stakes. Sharp, sharp stakes.

Guess you had to be there?

ALSO!!!!!!!!!!! Saw the first pictures of BJ and Janelle's baby-to-be. He/She is around an inch long and looks suspiciously like a bean. BJ hopes its a boy because he'll be a wreck if it's a girl, wrapped firmly and securely around her tiny digit from the word 'go'.


In Defense of Leisure

I came upon this blog post this morning and find it really interesting. The blog is part of a site called 'Vagabonding', dedicated to long-term world travel, and this particular post references an article from the New York Times on the phenomenon of the vanishing summer vacation and whether or not it's a good thing.

I'll spare you the time of reading the NYT piece unless you feel so inclined; It's painfully 'yacht-club' and snarky and just the sort of article that causes people to eschew editorials by waspy Times contributors.

The underlying point of the NYT piece is that vacations are unnecessary in the States because our lives are filled with leisure, from strip-mall day spas to summer homes. (Whose lives? My life?) Furthermore, he indicates that mandated vacation time is a creation of the Nazis.

yawn. The 'Nazi' argument is tired. The Nazis didn't invent vacations. It's a red-herring, nonsense, inflammatory argument. The traditional US summer vacation is not tied to mandated time off anyway, since the US doesn't mandate paid leave. Summer vacations long predate WWII.

Besides, Volkswagens were invented by the Third Reich. Should they be junked too?

I suppose the thing that sticks in my craw about the NYT piece and a lot of other conversations about vacation has a lot to do with priorities. What are we doing here? What makes our time on Earth unique? What do we remember about our days and lives? I doubt any of us will say that "xeroxing" makes the cut. What ever happened to 'Work to live, don't live to work"? Is that not capitalist enough for the times in which we live?

I think we all need a vacation. Not 12 minutes in a tanning bed or a yoga session. A vacation. A hammock. A book. Or, if not relaxation, how about adventure? Travel? Excitement? A sense of place!

The NYT piece also mentions that we feel as if we can't take vacations or else some young ladder-climber will usurp our position back at the office and leave us jobless upon return. Good lord. If that's the sort of level of replacability we all enjoy then how can we ever relax. Let's just sleep in our offices, clutching our Blackberries and sobbing silently.

The value of the money we earn is limited by what it can buy. And what can it buy? Things we need? Sure. A lot of it does. Still, if you had to live poor and cut out a lot of your spending, I'd be willing to bet that you'd be surprised by how little we sometimes value the money that we spend so much of our time (a much more valuable commodity!) making.

Speaking of time, that most valued commodity, you've spent enough time reading this and I've spent enough time writing it. Go take a break. Even if there is a mailroom clerk eyeing your desk. Even if you can take a break next week at a shopping mall massage chair. Even if it's what Hitler would want you to do.



Speaking of other bloggers:

My friend Mac used to live in Chicago and do improv. He dabbled in photography here and there, but was, I think I can safely say, only moderately serious about it? It seemed to rank somewhere between Little Caesar's Pizza and Xbox on his priorities list.

High praise, when you think about it.

Since, he moved to Jacksonville and now out to Southern Oregon and is taking some really cool and very beautiful photos. He's been getting into portraits lately, and the level of work is pretty amazing. Visit his blog. http://www.macisaguy.blogspot.com/

And I promise my next post won't be about somebody else's blog....


Sayonara Bloggy-woggies.

So right over there -----> among the links are a couple of blogs that belong to Sarah and Arnie. Those two are pretty intense bloggers and have each finished year-long blog projects. It's sad to have them end at the same time like that. They're both great blogs. If you're ever feeling froggy, check both out.

Sarah's chronicled her move from Chicago, where she was born and raised, to Boston and back to Chicago.

Arnie's dealt with life in the working world and is a follow-up to his very excellent blog from the previous year, which dealt with the aftermath of a broken engagement and a cross-country move.

I hope they both start new blogs, though I can understand the fatigue maintaining a consistently updated blog must induce.

I guess I don't really know from experience, per se.

I think I went a couple months there with an average of 4 posts a month? And those posts were things like "I enjoy toast. That is all."

At any rate, we the readers of those blogs bid them a fond farewell.

Also, I stole the picture from Sarah.


And a meow morning to you.

My loud, awful, terrifying alarm clock can't wake me up, but my cat can.

She is such a jerk, dude.


KegPig 07

For those of you who have... never had a conversation with me, one of the highlights of my year is a reunion with my college friends known as KegPig. It dates back to the final day of exams my senior year of college when we decided to have a good old-fashioned blowout.

Kegs of beer. A whole pig. Why did we call it KegPig? "KegPigPalooza" didn't get the go-ahead from our copyright attorneys.

It has become an annual event that brings the old App State crew together from all over the place. What could besides a pig pickin'? It's worth the drive to North Carolina, and is an excuse to visit the mountains, play beer pong, and purchase FiberCon.

This year it was around a 140 lb pig. The tastiest yet. My friend Charley made the trip with me and we had a blast. I am, of course, looking forward to KegPig '08.

On the way back, we got stuck in traffic because a semi truck loaded with lemons crashed on I-40 and shut down traffic for miles and miles and miles.

Have the urge to make lemon puns? Don't bother resisting. The local paper didn't. (Looks like they don't keep stories for more than a couple of days. The headline was "I-40 Wreck Ends on a Sour Note", and the lead-in was the old chestnut about life handing you lemons....

Charley and I, after getting free of the wreck, serenaded the still-stuck eastbound traffic with shouts of "Don't Stop Believin'".

I'm sure that brightened up a day or two. It would have if anyone could hear our shouts as we flew down the opposing lane at 70mph. Suckers.

of lemons.


Dirge without music...

Yesterday I found out that an acquaintance from my hometown died by his own hand over the weekend.

I won't go into many details because who needs 'em.

It was a guy I always genuinely liked and respected, and who had gone through some rough times that, I guess, got a little too rough.

I was friendly with him, but my own loss isn't the most unsettling part of the ordeal for me. I have many friends who were very close to him and his family, and it will be a rough few days and weeks for all involved before the long-term effects even set in.

To the Fiennings, and to all others who are touched by this, my regards and my sympathies.

And Henry... the world will be a little dimmer for want of your talent, your wit, and your general presence.

Here's a bit from Edna St Vincent Millay's poem, from which I gracelessly cribbed the title of this post:

Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay



Shot a video over at Charley's Sunday. It was a lot of fun.

Um... there was some fake blood.




Tuesday morning, I woke up nice and early. It was pleasant out, I had a nice healthy breakfast, and I decided to go work downtown for a while.

I rode the Brown line to Belmont, and an improv friend happened to be on the same car. We chatted. I transferred to the Red line and continued toward the Loop.

Just before North/Clybourn, however, the train stopped so abruptly that everyone who was standing had to move quickly to avoid falling. (A few fell anyway.)

Then the air shut off.

Then the lights died (except for the emergency lights.)

It got warm, then very warm. It was a full car.

A recorded announcement told us that there had been a medical emergency. Then a live announcement told us to pull the emergency exit and move towards the station. We were on the second-to-last car, and were therefore still in the tunnel.

Our train had 'brushed back' someone who was standing too close to the incoming train.

He was on a stretcher with his head covered in bloody bandages as we exited the station.


Mr. Postman, check and see.

A few open letters on a fine summer morning:

Dear CNN,

YouTube wants you to quit beating around the bush and just ask it out already. I mean. It's really obvious. Everyone knows.


Dear YouTube users involved in last night's Presidential debate,

Thanks for being involved in politics. That said, stop saying what you did was revolutionary and that it's the first time it's ever happened. If we, as a nation, have waited until 2007 to actually let the electorate ask questions to the politicians, we'd be in a bit of trouble.

That's kind of... um... what that whole democratic republic thing is about.

That is all.


Dear Dell, Motorola, and OneTouch:

I don't know what iPod told you, but having your laptop, cell phone, and glucose meter come in different colors is no substitute for having actual features.

Work on that.


Dear Fiber,

Thank you.



Summer-so-far Scrapbook

I found my camera! Here are some bits and pieces that were kicking around on it that can teach us some lessons about summer.

Lesson 1: Here's what happens when you REALLY decide to put an anti-smoking label on some cigarettes (straight from London).

Lesson 2: Here's the difference between a Fowler Family group shot:
....and a Fowler Family album cover.

Lesson 3: Here's what happens when you get a severe eye infection on a Saturday. Lovely ER.

Lesson 4: Here's what happens when you go to Six Flags on a weekday when they are working on the Batman roller coaster, causing them to only run one train at a time.

Lesson 5: Here's what it looks like when you pack more beer than water in your Six Flags lunch to help alleviate the frustrations of said long line.

What happens? Fun.

It's been a good first-half-of-the-summer.