This is my life. Sometimes shown through the eye of my camera phone, and sometimes not. I'll talk running, gadgets, music, and whatever else I stumble on to

Friday, August 31, 2007

Labor Day Weekend


They let me out of my cage a little early this Friday, so I went to Independence Grove to fiddle around on the laptop on the pier overlooking the lake. This is Lake County's finest forest preserve, and I try to get there every chance I get. The view from here is just beautiful.

Labor Day weekend kind of came as a surprise to me. I didn't notice the three day weekend until I opened my calendar at the beginning of this week. It was a little sad in a way because it meant that summer is winding down. I can already see the shadows are looking a little different these days as we move towards.. cough... cough... winter. The summer has been OK to me. I've had some great times, and some personal dissapointments. But thats fodder for another post.

The weather looks to be just dandy this weekend, so I'm going to spend it outdoors as much as I can. Perhaps I'll hit the beach, and join some friends for some good 'ol softball on Monday. I'll also be hard at work training for my upcoming 5K race on September 16- joy!

So I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I'll be posting again soon I'm sure.

I have some new photos up on my Flickr page, so check them out if you're able.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Keylime Cove Sneak Preview

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On Tuesday, 8/27/07, a battery of press and a small regiment of bloggers including yours truly, Kelly of, and writers for Chicago Mom's Blog were cordially invited by Michael Rubin of Arment Dietrich for a hard hat tour of the new Keylime Cove indoor water park and resort currently under construction in Gurnee, IL.

I can say one thing right of the bat- this thing is going to be HUGE.

The resort is scheduled to open its doors to the public on February 29, 2008, and features over 400 resort-style suites and staterooms, a 6000 square-foot state of the art arcade and entertainment center, two new restaurant concepts including DW Anderson’s Eatery & Ice Cream Parlor and the Crazy Toucan Margarita Grill, a luxurious KeyLime Cove spa and treatment rooms, and of course the 65,000 square foot tropical themed, indoor water park.

Walking into what would appear to be the front entrance of the building still under construction, you can begin to see the sheer size of this massive structure. I could already hear the excited screams of giddy children, the sound of rushing water, and the chatter of happy families enjoying a day indoors – at a water park! And In Gurnee!


Keylime Cove’s visionary, “Famous” Dave Anderson, award-winning restaurateur, and the man behind great restaurants such as Famous Dave’s Barbecue, and Rainforest Café, was our gracious tour guide and was nice enough to talk to us for a minute about his vision for the grand resort- a place where families can escape the daily grind of life right in their own back yard, where children and adults alike can enjoy some relaxation without having to worry about crummy weather and big crowds.


We were then walked over to the area where the resort will present guests with an indoor water park encompassing 65,000 square feet. We can already see the lazy river and the wave pool taking shape. Dave also pointed to holes in the outer walls that will send tube riders through long water-filled tubes from inside the park, and then outside, only to dump them back indoors in the pool below. How fun is that!


We moved along to what will become one of the resorts 414, resort-style guest suites, some accommodating up to 12 people. Is that a large screen, HDTV I see in the photo?

One question Kelly and I brought up to Dave is whether or not the resort will have general admission prices for guests who only want to enjoy the water park and not stay in the rooms. Dave’s vision of reserving the use of the water park for staying guests only made sense- to keep long lines to the various attractions low, unlike the lines you see at major outdoor amusement parks. I wholeheartedly agree.

I’m looking forward to opening day, and I can see it being a nice getaway during the winter months when cabin fever gets a good grip on me. There will be no putting away the swimming shorts this coming winter…

…I’ll be sipping a tasty margarita by the pool.

Visit the official Keylime Cove Water Resort website.

Visit my Flickr photo gallery for more Keylime Cove tour photos

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My Solace

This was going to be our finest year
I had it all thought out; A brand new start
But in the end, patience wore thin
And ended up with a broken heart

I find myself picking up the pieces
To a life that could have been
Only to put them away in a little brown box
With the question of If or When

So I struggle to avoid the silent moments
When thoughts of you can wander and sway
And find solace in the very fact
That I can be happy again someday

J. Mendoza

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Cubs vs. Brewers

Under the lights at Wrigley.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

My Kansas City, MO trip

(Click photo to visit my Flickr page)

I'm writing this as I'm back home from a trip to Kansas City, MO for a family wedding. Unfortunately, I don't have much to talk about the wedding, or photos to post, because the wedding didn't happen. The bride and groom are still a unit, mind you, but there were a series of "uncontrollable circumstances" that took place that prevented the wedding from going forward. It makes for good story telling.

It turned out to be an informal reunion of the Mendoza's (my dad's side). Family came from all over including Houston, TX. and Mexico where a majority of my family on my dad's side reside. We didn't get the news of the cancellation until Friday morning as we were getting dressed up. Needless to say, we ended up "dressing down" and joining the family at the mother of the bride's home.

Not all was lost, though. I saw family that I haven't seen since my trip to Mexico nearly 25 years ago (has it been that long??). I barely remember the faces and names, but I gathered some good memories that I'd lost since I was there.

You see, I was born in Mexico. My mother brought me to the United States when I was about 3 years old. She wanted a better life for me than what she had growing up, and to make me an American citizen (which I am) and make something of my life.

My father soon joined my mother and I shortly thereafter and we made our way to Waukegan, which is where I grew up, and was where most of my mother's family lived. When I was 18, as I was leaving for work early one morning, my father came outside to help start my car (it was winter), and told me that he was leaving, and would be back soon. He never did.

I've only spoken to my father off and on since then, and know that he now lives in Houston, Texas, and is doing well. At the gathering I learned a bit more about my father and mother's life growing up in Mexico, how they met, and my brief life there with them (I am the oldest of three children) before coming to the United States. I never really knew how big of a family I had, but the roots are deep and I am happy to be discovering them all again.

I was invited to stay with family in Mexico when I decide to make the trip back there. I've decided that it may be the next big trip I take next year, God willing. I would like to see my birthplace, the people, and the beautiful countryside as they describe it. One thing I remember very well is how grand and beautiful the churches are. I always said as a kid that I wanted to get married in one of them someday.

God willing, I will go back in what I expect will be a completely spiritual experience.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Cut -Sleeves Man

I can't get over the guy's sleeveless shirt he's wearing.

It looks as if he hacked off a long sleeve shirt to make the sleeves shorter. It's just a horrible hack job- seriously.

I crack up everytime I look at it.

The least he can do is make them even on both sides! LOL.

Only in Round Lake.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Spot the Cicada carcass

I'm currently with family in Independence, MO. I haven't had much time to explore, but it seems to be quite a quaint neighborhood.

The are a ton of cicada's making one hell of a racket around here making me wonder whether they are of the periodical type. I don't see as many as I saw back home, but they are loud, and I can spot a few here and there.

I'll be hitting the road Saturday morning. I hope I don't run into any nasty weather.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Resco Backup Saves the Day

I'm a happy owner of a Treo 755P, and up to this point, it has been solid as a rock- that is until 5:45 a.m. this morning.

I was sound asleep until I noticed something flashing in front of me as I was coming out of my slumber. I initially thought my alarm clock had lost power and was flashing at me as it normally does when that happens (it sits next to me on the bed). As I open my eyes further, I can see my 755P's screen flashing the "Access" logo in an endless loop sitting in its dock. Over and over.

I panicked.

Normally, I wouldn't bother with it until I actually got up. The only problem with this morning's scenario is that I had to drive to Kansas City, MO. in TWO HOURS! I MUST be able to use TomTom GPS on my Treo for this trip! Must I resort to printing out Google maps on paper? OH, THE HUMANITY!

I try a soft reset- nothing. Take the battery out- nothing. Bang on it- nothing. Kiss it- nothing. It's about as dead as dead can be. I did load maps on it earlier in the day, but it never caused a problem before??? I was confused.

The only thing left to do? A dreaded hard reset. Ouch. I'm due to jump in the shower and pack the car in one hour. How am I supposed to reload this thing in such a short time?

Resco Backup to the rescue.

I have Resco doing scheduled backup's nightly using two different backup sets. One backup set backs up on alternate days, while the other set backs up the day in between. I do this in case I need to restore a backup set done two days prior.

I take out the SD card (where Resco stores the backup sets), do a hard reset, put the card back in, start Resco, select one set and reset the device. Nothing- still getting a reset loop.

I start over, but this time I use the alternate backup set, reset my Treo, and whala! All of my data is back along with my beloved Tomtom GPS software. Everything works perfectly.

I did all of this while I was still in bed, head on pillow, and barely awake with one eye open!

What a sigh of relief.

Check out Resco Backup for Palm OS here

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I love seeing tornado's... on TV.

Pulled over just south of Des Moines, Iowa on my way to Kansas City, MO. due to tornado warnings all around me!

I've hit nothing but downpours on my trip so far.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Time for some new ink and inspiration

(click photo for my Flickr gallery)

All of my tattoo's have signified an important turning point in my life, or have marked an event that meant something at the time. They are a part of who I am, and remind me of moments in my life that were at times hard to deal with, and other times that I'll cherish forever.

So I'm taking another turn in life, down a different road that I'm familiar with, but at the same time, has doors that remain unopened. I had focus at one time, but lost a big part of it when recent times took an unexpected turn.

I'd like to think I'm a good person. I'd like to think that I've made a difference in someone's life, no matter how small. I know to appreciate conversations with friends a little more and enjoy their company. I know not to take the things that are asked of me for granted. I know to fully appreciate the things that are important in my life.

And so things are different for me these days. I have new goals in mind, I'm making my health a priority, and know to enjoy each and every day to the fullest.

I think it's time for another tattoo to mark another path in my journey. They give me inspiration and motivation to do bigger and better things someday.

I know it all sounds silly, but it's something that I must do.

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Running Log 8/22/07

Total miles: 3.10
Time: 31 minutes, 43 seconds
Avg. speed: 6.0 mph
Grades: 5% (x3)

Another good run. I peaked out at 6.5 miles per hour during the last mile and beat my last time of 33.4 minutes - still a little higher than I'd like. The three grades I threw in were not too bad at the higher speed.

I had a couple of goals I wanted to accomplish during this run:

Goal: Looking at your surroundings

One fear everyone has is falling off of a treadmill at high speed. An even bigger fear is falling on the ground while running outside at high speed. Since I've always looked forward during my run on the treadmill, I decided to practice looking around, simulating looking around at the other runners around me. It takes quite a bit of balance to do, and clipping on the Emergency Stop clip to my shirt added to my confidence!

Goal: Drinking water while running

I hadn't done this in a while. It's tricker than you think, and quite messy. I resisted pouring it over my head for fear of wrecking the treadmill.

Future goals:

Faster time per-mile, using conventional stretching exercises instead of the stretching cage.

A couple of things I noticed:

  • The factory iPod earbuds SUCK for running. They slip out and the cord is annoying. It may be time to invest in ear-hook earbuds or these great looking Motorola bluetooth headphones.
  • I'm trading in my cotton shirt for a good running shirt. The fabrics in these shirts take away the moisture from your skin and are quite comfortable. The cotton t-shirts I wear get too heavy when soaked. Yuck.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I win! I win! Thanks Treo...

(Click to visit my Flickr page)

The best thing about using Chatteremail with MS Exchange mail sync is immediate delivery of my corporate email to my Treo. Yea, how boring is that, right?

The usual buzz goes off on my phone during a meeting. I was expecting an email to help answer some questions during said meeting when I see it's from our HR department.

According to the email, a customer of ours donated 4 tickets to the Cubs vs. Brewers game at Wrigley on Aug. 28, and HR was having an impromptu contest to win them via our email system.

The contest was to guess a number between 1 and 300. The one to guess the correct one, or the closest without going over, wins all four.

I took a wild guess of '152' within 5 seconds of the initial email, and hit send on my Treo using Chatter.

Chatter starts to receive replies from seemingly EVERYONE in the office...

But alas, the final email says, I won!

How cool is that? 152, right on the dot. It's my lucky day. And to think just a few days ago I was struggling to find just one ticket to this series!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Halloween time!

Wow... aren't we getting an early start on the Halloween festivities this year...

The Halloween store in Gurnee Mills is in full swing and seems to be twice as big as last year.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cubs Vs. Cincinatti

Eagerly anticipating the start of my third trip to the Cubs this year.

Hoping the rain holds up, but feeling comfy under the upper deck canopy!

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Keyword Fun

This is just a little sneak peak at what search keywords people were using to hit my blog. I thought some were rather funny:


-jesse mendoza

-my first 5k

-jesse mendoza in chicago (Someone's apparently looking for me in Chicago)

-rockfest waukegan

-cowboy boots round lake il (Apparently I mention cowboy boots somewhere in my blog)

-treo 755p simplified my life (Oh really? Awesome...)

-mundu im crap (LOL!)

-jesse myspace ruby tuesday (Wonder if Brittany was looking for me??)

-air water show photos


Photos: Wisconsin Dells Trip 7-27-07


I put up some photos of my recent trip to the Wisconsin Dells area back in July. I hope to visit this area again soon!

You can check out this photo set and more on my Flickr page here...

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Running Log 8/13/07

Total Miles: 4.0
3.10 Mi. in 33.4 minutes.
Total time run: ~40 minutes
Avg. speed: 5.5 mph.
Grades: 4% (x4)

Another good run today. I made sure I was well hydrated, unlike the last time I was on the treadmill when I suffered some minor cramping when I hit just under 2 miles.

It's funny to feel some minor pain around 2.5 miles in my legs- this happens a lot. It's as if my legs are saying, "So we're in this for the long haul, eh? OK then..." and then the minor pain begins to subside after three minutes or so, and then I feel great the rest of the way. Perhaps taking just a little bit more time stretching will help.

I put in about 4 grades in this run, raising the treadmill about 4%, and concentrated on keeping my pace uphill for about 1 minute each. Not too bad. I'll have to raise it higher next time.

I'm still averaging a 10 minute mile, and I want to get it to around 7 minutes. I'll be cross training the rest of the week.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sundance Saloon

I'll have to wear my cowboy boots next time.

Great place, huge, and good tunes- if you like country that is.

The Sundance rests in the shadows of the now defunct Lakehurst Mall.

I'm looking forward to what this area has to offer in the near future.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Waukegan Rockfest

Crowd favorite Rule 22 wraps up Waukegan Rockfest 2007

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Geeky Pleasures

Ahh... One of the simple pleasures of IT work.

Someone at the office brought in his home computer for me to fix after it died taking a surge from a lightning strike.

Panic ensued when I gave him the, "It doesn't look good, but I'll do the best I can." speech.

Lo and behold, all it took was a fix of the master boot record on the primary hard drive and it booted right up- no major harm done.

The wine was a thank you gift! I think he would of needed it more than I.

Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Baseball history

Baseball history
Baseball history
Originally uploaded by automatic_man2.

Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron's home run record. I was actually surprised to be present at Buffalo Wild Wings when it happened, and not having to witness a replay of it..

A nice cap after a Cubs loss.


Sent with a Sprint Treo 755P Smartphone

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Treo 800P Spy Shots

As reported by

Palminfocenter has posted spy shots of what is rumored to be the "palm gandolf", otherwise known as the Treo 800P(??)

The touchscreen and keyboard are supposedly smaller in size with a translucent keypad. It also shows off a thinner profile and a pearly white exterior.

Personally, I think the thing is rather ugly.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Running Log 8/4/07

Course: "Kiddie Park and Back"
(Track my progress on Google Maps here)

Distance: 2.7 Miles
Time run: 00:27:05
Start time: 8:59 a.m.
Temp: 75 deg.
Goal: Condell Distance Classic 5K 9/16/07
Best running song today: Anything by Bad Religion!

A great run overall. Absolutely no pain anywhere and I kept a steady rhythm overall. I knew there was a reason I stopped at two beers watching baseball last night!

There are two small hills on each side of the run which made it a challenge, but the downhills were nice. I know not to look so far down my route, as it looks like it would take me forever to get where I'm going.

The sun is VERY warm running east on this route, but the east wind coming off of the small lake made it a bit more comfortable after the 1 mile mark.

I walked the first five minutes at the beginning and the end for warmup and cool down, but I'm going to see how how I feel doing away with those.

Still going to shoot for just over 20 minutes on this route, and then stretch it to 3 miles later in the week.

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Friday, August 03, 2007

First place is nice

Update: Ah well, 2nd place is just as good! Go cubbies!

Sure feels good for my beloved Cubbies to be technically in first place.

Time to cheer on the Phillies for some Brewer's ass kicking this weekend!

Sent with a Treo 755P Smartphone

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Thursday, August 02, 2007


(sorry for the fuzzy photo)

"Thank you for coming in!"

And Brittany, my Indiana Ruby Tuesday's server, draws her 'B' in the shape of a heart.

I love it when they put in the extra little touch.

I see a nice tip coming... And thanks for the pretty smile.

Sent with a Treo 755P Smartphone

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