Top 5 Albums of the Year

1. Four Tet – There Is Love In You
2. Male Bonding – Nothing Hurts
3. Jonsi – Go
4. Frightened Rabbit – The Winter of Mixed Drinks
5. The Tallest Man on Earth – The Wild Hunt

Albums of the Year Honorable Mentions

* Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record
* The Black Keys – Brothers
* The Sword – Warp Riders
* The Tallest Man on Earth – Sometimes the Blues Is Just a Passing Bird (EP)
* Gauge – Mints (EP)

Top 5 Albums from Long Ago

1. Hoover – The Lurid Transversal of Route 7
2. Rush – Power Windows / Signals / Permanent Waves / 2112 / Hemispheres
3. The Dismemberment Plan – Emergency & I
4. Girls Against Boys – Venus Luxure No. 1
5. Rocket From the Crypt – Circa Now

Top 5 Films of the Year – The Kid Version

1. Toy Story 3
2. How To Train Your Dragon
3. Tangled
4. Shrek: Forever After
5. Anything That Will Keep Ian Still for 90 Minutes

Top 5 Family Memories

1. Seeing Ian jump into a pool all by himself
2. Potty training completed
3. Disney World
4. Flying kites on the beach with the Barrons
5. The tough ass day of surgery for Ian

Best Books I’ve Read This Year

* A Song of Ice and Fire Vol. 1 – 4 – George R.R. Martin
* The Name of the Wind – Patrick Rothfuss
* The Farseer Trilogy – Robin Hobb
* The Walking Dead – Robert Kirkman

Top 5 Things I’m Thankful For

1. A wonderful wife and an incredible son
2. The roof over our head, as small as it is
3. My steady as a rock family
4. The job I get to do every day
5. The team I get to work with

Top 5 Things for 2011

1. Keep the weight down and keep on working out
3. Program more often
4. Read more
5. Figure out a tasty pizza dough recipe

If You’re Gonna Scream, Scream With Me

My foot’s been killing me since August. I noticed it when we were driving to St. Louis, a dull pain in my calf and a splitting pain @ the base of my heel (not under my foot). After many months of self-treating with ice, stretching and strengthening I finally went to see a doctor. My concern was that I had a heel spur, since the pain was really concentrated in a couple of points.

Well, an x-ray and an exam later leaves me with dreaded Achilles Tendonitis. The plan for the next month:

* Cold Water Therapy – This is the brutal “submerse your entire foot and part of your ankle into a bucket of ice water.” Those screams you hear in the North? Those are me. 15 minutes in … 20 minutes out … 15 minutes in.

* Night Splint – It keeps my foot @ a < 90 degree angle so the tension on my Achilles is engage throughout the night. And yes, in answer to your question, it sucks sleeping in it. I end up taking it off somewhere in the middle of the night. * Flector Patches – This is really the coolest thing that I got. Basically these are transdermal NSAID patches that I can apply to the area to help reduce the swelling. What I think is neat is that I don’t have to take a pill, but rather I can put a patch on the exact spot that is killing me and the meds get there. 4 more weeks of this.

Where Have I Been? Reading.

Man, I’ve dropped off the blogging planet. At least my father has stopped pestering me about my lack of blogging. However, I will try yet again to start it up some. What have I been doing? Reading … a lot of reading.

* Game of Thrones
* Clash of Kings
* Storm of Swords
* Feast for Crows
* The Name of the Wind
* Dragonbone Chair
* The Stone of Farewell
* To Green Angel Tower vol. 1
* To Green Angel Tower vol. 2
* The Blade Itself

Much of this, I attribute to finally getting into George RR Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” series. The other part is that I think I was really down on Fantasy as a genre. Also, some of it I attribute to L. getting me a Kindle 3 for my birthday. I know the iPad people will want to know why I don’t have an iPad. The answer is simple, I have a laptop for that. If I want to read, I read. And to be honest the Kindle 3 is easy on my eyes, which I like.

Age 5 in 1979

I celebrated my 36th birthday along with my older brother’s 39th birthday this weekend. For a very long time, my brother and I celebrate our birthday’s on the same day since our birthdays are about 3 weeks apart.

I got to thinking about my 5th birthday in 1979. We were living in Downers Grove at the time. My mom was still working nights, so my dad had night duty watching my brother and I. My dad was driving a maroon Monte Carlo (I loved that car). He came home that night and handed me and Mike the keys to his car and said, “Ter, your birthday present is in my trunk. Mike, help your brother get it!”

When we opened the trunk, a gigantic box was sitting in there all wrapped. It turned out to be the Star Wars Death Star Playset*. And, I think it still holds as the single greatest birthday present that I’ve ever gotten.

Thanks Dad.

* As an aside, $17.87 in 1978 is the equivalent of $50.00 in 2010. That was a lot of coin for my dad to drop then, considering he had boys aged 8,5 and a new born Tommy Peppers … as well as a bigger house in Downers Grove.