Hanging Out at Ben and Allison’s

Earlier in the week, Allison texted a bunch of folks about an idea she had for a website. After some back and forth, the concept turned into a “let’s talk about this in person” get-together for the weekend. And next thing you know, it was a party.

Liz had the car today, as she was out in the suburbs hanging out with Michelle. So I had to make my own way via Lyft and then Metra.

Honestly, this was kind of fun as I don’t tend to hop on trains (beyond what I normally take in to work).

Searching for my train. It was a mundane thing, but still felt like an adventure.

Also, the struggle with water after rainfall seems to be a common thing, regardless of which station you’re at.

Fast forward about 20+ minutes and I nearly missed my stop, as I was working on my laptop. I just happened to look up and saw that we were at/near the station where I was getting off (Monte Clare).

Luckily, I walked by a conductor who asked if I needed to stop. When I said “yes,” he was kind enough to call up and got the train to stop to let me off.

I’m not sure if I missed the call for the station (don’t think so), or if this was a stop that needed to be requested. In the future, I should probably check ahead of time… especially on the weekends.

At the station, I saw a few of these scooters just hanging around. I didn’t have far to go, but I have to tell you… I was tempted.

I know these things are a blight, and I don’t want to encourage their proliferation (especially in the city). But I did want to just take one for a whirl.

I was surprised to see that these were from Lyft. Nearly got my phone out to try one of these guys.

In the backyard, about to sit down for some grub. Kind of a mini-reunion, with Ben, Jane, Allison, Chris and I all hanging out together again.

To add to that reunion feel, Matt (a former coworker of everyone else’s from NextRadio) made a surprise visit.

In addition to kicking around the idea for our website, we also got to catch up a bit. As we were talking, we learned that Allison had to contend with disposing of some radioactive materials in her house!

I’ll save the details (I honestly think it would make for a perfect Moth story for her to tell). Or hey, maybe a good 20×2 story!

The short version is: ebay, antique clock, old paint, and a concern about radioactivity led her to purchase a geiger counter off Amazon. And the clock actually was emitting radiation!

On learning that Allison owned a geiger counter, I immediately asked if I could be checked for radiation. It seemed like the most fun (and most practical) thing to do!

I guess I’ve learned that whenever there’s a cool device nearby that someone has, break that thing out!

Happily, I am not emitting any additional radiation, gamma or otherwise. And so, alas, no superpowers. Yet.

The details on the back of this thing are awesome and frightening, in equal measure.

Over the course of the afternoon, we all began to slowly refine the concept of the project. I think it’s still being defined, but it’s definitely in a better (and more viable) form than where it was at the start. As we kept talking, I could feel things moving back and forth between what we wanted it to be, and how it might possibly be sustained/grown.

This group is a creative group by far, and we’ve had no shortage of ideas in the past. But we’ve not had a good track record of moving from concept to actual MVP. That said, many of us are now older and wiser (and have managed more projects/teams since those early days). It will be interesting to see what comes of Allison’s original concept.

Still though, regardless of what happens, if it’s an excuse to see these lovely folks more… I’m all for it.

A Night at Marz Brewing and Antique Taco
Happy 40th Birthday, Ben!

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