Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Five

The Week

I’d been getting a little tired of heading off to cold, snowy destinations. Fortunately for me I was in Chicago this week. Ugh. What I did find interesting about being out here was how this city handles snow as compared to Cincinnati. The night I got to Chicago the city got about 5 inches of snow, yet nobody was more than 20 minutes late getting to class. The 5 inches of snow Cincinnati received crippled the city for at least 2 days. It’s amazing how much better you handle it when you’re used to it.[1]

This week I was teaching a class of 15 people who were new to the product (SharePoint). This meant that I essentially had no breaks during the day, as I was constantly answering questions and troubleshooting labs. However, at the end of the week one of the students came up, shook my hand and gave me a very heart-felt “thank you” for the class. That’s why I love doing what I do.

The Restaurant

Finding a restaurant this week was a struggle, not because of the weather but because of the location. Being in Schaumburg, which is a suburb, means my choices range between Applebee’s, Outback and Olive Garden. However, I did succeed in finding a local restaurant named Entourage on American Lane which, oddly enough was on American Lane.

The place itself is huge and just gorgeous. The restaurant area is two stories, and the lounge is rather large. You’ll notice I use the word “lounge” as calling it a bar just doesn’t do it justice. That being said, I settled in at the bar and ordered my typical manhattan, which was made perfectly.

One of the main reasons I sit at the bar is because I feel less lonely there than at a table for one, and because on occasion I can strike up a fun conversation. Unfortunately, you wind up running the risk of getting caught in a conversation you really don’t want to at times. My trip to Entourage featured exactly that – a good 10 minutes explaining to the gentleman next to me how to use his iPhone, followed by hearing an overly detailed story of his trip to Bangkok.

Back to the restaurant. I started with one of their highlighted items, which was a salad featuring mixed greens, pears and goat cheese fritters. Deep fried goat cheese? Yes, please. The salad (and the fritters) were just as good as I was expecting. For my entree I went with their pork chop “t-bone”, which is a double (triple?) cut chop with a twice baked potato and sautéed spinach. The spinach was good, but the baked potato and pork chop were honestly just OK – not bad, just not overwhelming and certainly not up to par with the salad. (Did I mention the salad came with deep fried goat cheese?)

All in all I was very impressed with the place, though not overwhelmed. I do intend to stop by again the next time I’m in Schaumburg.

The Travel Note

Because I travel so much I often get to cut the security line and almost always get to cut the boarding line. No, I don’t feel the least bit guilty about doing this, despite the glares I get on a very frequent basis.

The Five

I know I’ve done this particular topic before, but due to a particular incident I feel the urge to do another things I’m ashamed to admit I like/do.

  1. I’ve curled before, and I really enjoyed it. I don’t believe this is something to really be ashamed of, but I took a lot of static for it in a bar recently, so it goes on the list.
  2. I willingly watched women’s figure skating on Thursday night. Sorry, but the story of the one skater losing her mother days before the competition hooked me.
  3. OK – I admit it – I want to get a pedicure. There. I said it.
  4. I own more pairs of shoes than my wife. Although I’m not sure if that says more about me or about her.
  5. I’ve worn a red dress in public. Yes, there are pictures.

[1] I’m living proof of how one struggles with it when he’s not used to it.

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