New Toys!

Check out the new stuff I get to play with!

Okay, while it would be really cool if I got to play with the bulldozer and excavator, I can’t convince the builder to let me.  Womp, womp.

So, I’ll just have to be satisfied playing with my new drone/quadcopter.  I’ve been researching for quite some time and kept hesitating on pulling the trigger.  After all, it is a pretty expensive toy.  Ultimately, though, I was able to convince myself that I needed it to be able to get awesome shots of the build in progress.

And, as you can see in these pictures, we actually have some progress at the site!  Things are no longer just theoretical plans on paper; the wheels– or more accurately treads— are finally in motion and it is so exciting to see.  I should have more photos and even 4K videos coming soon.

Back to the drone, I ended up getting a Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K.  It’s not the fastest one around, but it has great reviews for ease of use as well as picture and video quality.  So far, I’m starting to get the hang of flying it.  There are a couple of “smart modes” that make learning to fly and getting great shots much easier.  The one I plan to use most is called “Watch Me” and will allow me to have the drone orbit around me while keeping the camera pointed at the controller to capture 360 degree shots of the house as it goes up.

Like most electronic devices, battery life is the limiting factor.  It takes 2+ hours to charge one battery for about 20 minutes or so of flying.  So, I’ll happily accept any donation for more batteries and a nice multi-battery charger.

That’s all for tonight (actually this morning since it is 3am).  I’m hoping to head over to the site to see some digging later on today.


Go Cubs Go!!



I have good reason for not posting anything recently.  The Chicago Cubs just completed an amazing playoff run and brought the World Series trophy back to the north side of Chicago after a 108-year drought.  And I just had to watch every minute that I could… and I’m so glad I did.

I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and was a Cubs fan from my earliest memories.  Ryne Sandberg was my favorite player and when I wasn’t watching him, I was trying to emulate him on the field.  It’s safe to say that baseball was a huge part of my life during my early childhood.

I’m not going to claim that I’m a diehard fan or tell you that I have season tickets and never miss a game.  Quite the contrary, I’ve fallen away from the game as I’ve gotten older.  But my allegiance to the Cubs has never swayed.

I do remember thinking and hoping that Theo Epstein would be able to work his magic in Chicago the same way he did in Boston, but it still seemed so improbable.  The Cubs have always been the “lovable losers” and it seemed to so many people that they always would be.

But all of that frustration was wiped away by this season.

It was an absolutely heart-pounding, edge-of-your-seat postseason that culminated in one of the greatest endings I could ever imagine.  I don’t think anyone could have dreamt up a crazier, more intense game 7 if they tried.  It seriously looked like the Cubs were purposely letting the Indians back into the game on a couple of occasions.

Perfect Hollywood drama… except that it wasn’t scripted.  It was pure and genuine competition and watching and hearing the players’ reactions as the playoffs progressed and seeing their joy and gratitude through their victory rally today reminded me much more of Little Leaguers winning it all with their friends than grown men who make 6, 7 or even 8 figures a year to play a game.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt a bit betrayed by professional sports.  Yes, of course, the players would like to win a championship, but it frequently seems that the fans are more invested in the outcome than the players are.

This year’s Cubs team, however, seems to genuinely embrace the game and recognize the significance of what they were ultimately able to accomplish–not just for themselves, but for the city as well as fans and former players, many of whom lived their whole lives and never got to see a Cubs championship.  I’m sure the fact that they are a very young team has something to do with it, but the team leadership and ultimately each individual’s character played a huge role too.

So I’d like to join the estimated 5 million people who lined the streets and packed Grant Park in Chicago today for the victory parade and rally–along with probably 10s of millions who would’ve liked to have been there– in congratulating and thanking this Cubs team and the whole organization for an amazing season.