I’ve been a bad, bad blogger. In my pitiful defense, I’ve had two of the most insanely busy weeks I’ve ever had. I have some exciting news I’m working on for tomorrow, but in the meantime, here’s the highlights from the past couple of days.
On Father’s Day every year, my dad’s family gathers at my Aunt Patty and Uncle Jim’s cottage on Elkhart Lake. It’s always a great, relaxing time and the kids love to play in the lake and on the beach. My oldest daughter (almost four) was very brave, walking out to the little yellow raft off my aunt and uncle’s pier and climbing up on it all by herself. She’s a cautious little girl sometimes, but I was proud of her.
I also have to give a shout-out to Aunt Patty and Uncle Jim, not only for hosting Father’s Day, but also for their support of the Elkhart Lake Triathlon. Jim volunteers every year to take his boat out on the lake with a lifeguard to patrol the swim course, which is very cool. Plus, when Trimom and I want to practice lake swimming, they always let us use their pier and their spare bedroom to change.
On Monday and Tuesday, I was at the National Plastics Exposition (NPE) in Chicago. Working in the plastics industry, this is my nerd-vana every three years. The show always has the best technology and newest materials, and it’s almost impossible not to come away with a couple of good ideas. I won’t bore you with the details of the show, but I do want to make one point. The plastics industry is often vilified as being environmentally unfriendly and plastic products are held up as unhealthy for people and the planet. I wish those who criticize our industry could have been at the show, because the theme in almost every booth was “green.” From materials suppliers using post-consumer waste in new materials, to machinery makers using less electricity to run machines, to extensive recycling efforts to minimize the show’s own solid waste, care for our planet was everywhere. I was proud of my industry’s commitment to the environment, and bolstered that the marketplace sees an opportunity in making the world cleaner and healthier.
Being in Chicago also gave me the opportunity to see my good friend Al, albeit briefly. A few years ago, there would be no curfew and we might have hit the bars and an “arcade” or two until closing time. Today, responsible adulthood has us firmly in its grasp, so we agreed to meet for breakfast. At 7:30 a.m. God, I’m old.
However pathetically square I felt, I was quickly won over by the cafe at Fox and Obel, where we met. I took a quick spin through the store while I was waiting for Al. I was in ecstasy. Artisanal cheeses. Olive varieties I didn’t know existed. Gorgeous meats, beautiful produce and exotic chocolates and caramels. I didn’t buy anything, but it’s only because I wasn’t mentally prepared for how wonderful it would be. I was overwhelmed with gastronomic pleasure. But my feast for the eyes was nothing compared to breakfast. I had truffled eggs Benedict and fresh-squeezed orange juice and I could have died, right then, a happy man.
I didn’t die, and I headed home via cab, train and car. I made it back just in time to catch Trimom for the run leg of a practice triathlon with her tri training group. It wasn’t unbearably hot in Chicago, but back home, even at 7 p.m., it was damn near 90 degrees. It was a hot, slow run, but we ran (okay we walked some) the whole way together, which was a nice way to see Trimom after a night away.
Tomorrow, the big news I teased you with ‘way back at the beginning.