Friday, December 25, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Ricky Martin.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

dead politicians club

Found this one in the drafts file and still found it funny, so I thought I'd revive it. Cheers!

Monday, December 21, 2009

a new category

I was catching up on work stories with a police officer friend and heard one worth retelling. On a narrow street, genius #1 is driving with headlights off. Genius #2 is driving in the same direction in front of genius #1. #2 attempts a 3-point turn and is t-boned by genius #1. Of course, each blames the other. To make it even better, each is driving while his license is suspended for drunk driving. The most amazing fact of the incident is that neither driver was drunk while it happened. They were this stupid without alcohol!

Drivers like this need their own category of citation: Driving While Stupid.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Ana Gabriel.

Como Olvidar

No Entiendo

Thursday, December 17, 2009

holiday sale at Blackstone Bikes

Blackstone Bicycle Works, a program of Experimental Station, is holding a HOLIDAY BIKE SALE through this Saturday. They have refurbished bicycles for children and adults ranging in price from $25-250, as well as helmets, locks, and other bicycling accessories.

This is a great time of year to buy a bike. If you are looking for a refurbished bike, which can offer more reliable transportation than a cheapo bike from a big box store, this is the best time of year to find a broad selection of bikes.

All revenues for purchases of bicycles and accessories help to support Blackstone's youth education program. If you want to know more about Blackstone Bicycle Works, you may view this WGN piece on the shop from this past August.

Shop hours for the remainder of the week are today 12-5pm, Friday 12-6pm, Saturday 10am-5pm. You can find them at 6100 S. Blackstone Ave.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

holiday parking hell

Had enough of the malls and holiday shopping? Need a laugh? I hope this video will help you blow off a little steam. Remember, Christmas shopping will be over soon.

caroling at Cloud Gate

This Friday evening at 6 pm will be the last night of the season for this Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a tuneful way to spend an evening

Looking for something cool to do this week? Check out the Jazz Showcase calendar.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para risas. Here's a very silly Shakira parody.

...and the original Shakira video.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6 pm thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call it the Bean?

Monday, December 07, 2009

Jarvis Square Artisan Market Holiday Fair

Looking for some holiday gift ideas? Check out the Jarvis Square Artisan Market Holiday Fair on Saturday 12/12 from 11 am to 6 pm. You could make a day of it. Stop for a bite to eat and go to the theatre in the evening. Cheers!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Mercedes Sosa.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

have a greener Christmas

A lot of harm is done to the environment at the holidays, through increased household waste, consumption of non-recyclable products, energy use, etc. Have you thought about how to make your Christmas greener but weren't sure how to do it? Look here for some tips on how to make your holidays greener, by smarter food shopping, your choice of gifts, how you wrap them, how you decorate your home, etc.

Donating unused household items in good condition to charity can help the environment as well as aiding people in need. Did you get a new winter coat this year but still have an old one in decent condition? Donate it to a holiday clothing drive. It's a great way to feel good about recycling.

RPCC holiday request

I'd like to share a holiday request from the Rogers Park Community Council:

The Rogers Park Community Council has a growing amount of families stopping by in need of non-perishable food items.

Due to the obvious turmoil in our economy and the ever increasing number of those unemployed throughout our community, we would like to offer the less fortunate families within our community a small gift of food for the Holiday Season. We will be accepting any non-perishable food items throughout the month of December at our office, 1530 W. Morse, Mon-Fri, 10 am – 6 pm. Please look through what you have in your homes or perhaps when you are at the food market, think of those whom are less fortunate than ourselves and drop some items off to us this month. Even a small bag of items or a few cans of vegetables, etc. would make a huge difference in the lives of those unable to feed their families during this holiday season.

In addition, we are assisting a family with Holiday gifts this year. We are seeking small toys for a 10-year old boy. He would very much love a basketball, but any children’s toy for a boy would be GREATLY appreciated. Please do what you can to help.

If you have any questions about food items or toy requests, please contact Jennifer Caruso (jennifer at_ or Faye Walker (faye at_

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6 pm thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Chicago Children's Choir, December 4

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call it the Bean?

Monday, November 30, 2009

community input wanted: rehab ideas for purple and red line stations

The CTA is looking at the possibility of rehabbing stations along the Red and Purple lines from Addison to Linden, if funding becomes available. As part of a preliminary "vision study," the CTA is seeking a community wish list." Which station would you most like to see fixed up? What improvements would you like to see?

There will be no formal presentation, strictly an open house to get community input. Tonight's session will be open from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Loyola Park Field House, 1230 W. Greenleaf.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Orishas...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

caroling at Cloud Gate

On Friday evenings at 6pm from this Friday thru December 19, enjoy a Millennium Park holiday tradition. Caroling at Cloud Gate returns featuring Chicago's favorite choral groups:

Apollo Chorus of Chicago, November 27

Chicago Children's Choir, December 4

Old Town School of Folk Music, December 11

The Wooten Choral Ensemble, December 18

Chicagoans and visitors alike are invited to sing along and enjoy complimentary coffee and hot cider courtesy of Caribou Coffee. Caroling at Cloud Gate is supported by the Comer Foundation.

...but don't we all call the the Bean?

Pullman candlelight house walk

On Sunday 12/6, take a candlelight house walk through historic Pullman from 3:30-6:00pm.
Tour select Pullman homes decorated for the holidays, then enjoy a light holiday buffet and silent auction at the Visitor Center. Reservations are required. Call 773.785.8901 for reservations/info.

Monday, November 23, 2009

theatre in the neighborhood

The Side Project has a world premiere production now on stage: Laura Eason's Rewind. Check it out in Jarvis Square until 12/20. You can enjoy a tasty dinner at one of the nearby restaurants and have a drink afterwards at Poitin Stil.

Theo Ubique's production of Man of LaMancha has been extended through December. Catch it at No Exit Cafe.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma. Dos por Banda El Recodo:

Te Presumo

Para Toda La Vida

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Evanston Public Library holiday book and art sale

Save the date. The Evanston Public Library will be having a holiday book and art sale on 12/19 and 12/20. Stay tuned for more info...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

one less car

My ancient car wasn't getting much use and had reached the point where the $$$ needed to make it reliable and safe again weren't easily justified. I was talking recently with friends who live in places where sprawl is the norm and getting anywhere without a car is impossible. At times I felt like I might as well be talking to someone on Pluto.

In most parts of the Chicago, bikes and public transit can get us around pretty well. Public transit has been a priority in my choice of jobs. I would not accept a job in a location where bikes or public transit are not a viable commute option.

For me, the answer "just buy a new one" doesn't sit well. A lot of resources go into making a car and transporting it to a dealer. A lot of energy is consumed by the average car during its lifetime. A lot of time and money are spent on getting a car to and from the mechanic and getting it serviced. I've experimented with how to get by without, using bike, bike plus trailer and public transit. With the continued growth of I-Go locations in Rogers Park, it's a lot easier when a car is the only workable answer.

One friend, who drives a Chevy Suburban, pushes the idea of an SUV or crossover. Putting another SUV behemoth on the roads is definitely not the answer for me. I don't believe that putting more tanks out there makes the roads safer.

In car-pedestrian accidents, the pedestrian is much more likely to die or be severely injured if hit by an SUV than by an average-sized car. Studies are being done to modify designs to improve pedestrian safety, but that doesn't change basic physics: force of impact is directly proportional to the weight of the object. Heavier, taller vehicles hit with more force in ways that are harder to survive. They make the roads less safe for pedestrians, cyclists, occupants of smaller cars, etc.

I've donated the car to charity. Even though I haven't had a car payment in years, the cost of insurance, license plate, city sticker, parking, gas and minimal maintenance adds up. That's roughly $800-1000 a year that I can spend on other things. That money will more than pay for as many Metra, CTA I-Go and Pace trips as I need to take, with cash to spare for bike maintenance. Having one less car in traffic is a beautiful thing.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

silly Saturday

Here's a bit of visual humor for your Saturday. No, I'm not ready for snow yet. They've gotten some in Colorado already, but I don't want to see it here anytime soon.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday en español

Musica para los pies y la alma.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

special treat on Monday night

If you've never seen Dee Alexander, you have a special opportunity to see her on the north side on Monday 11/9. She'll be at the Green Mill, giving everyone a taste of her unique vocal stylings. It's easy to get there on the red line, so there's no need to worry about parking, or about driving home if you have a few drinks. Go and enjoy some tasty tunes.

working in the neighborhood

Have you noticed the improvements this summer at Kilmer Triangle (middle of the Rogers/Ashland/Birchwood intersection)? Take a look. All plants, mulch and labor were generously donated by Gethsemane Garden Center. Next time you're at Gethsemane, thank the staff and management there. Gethsemane has been very active in landscaping traffic circles and medians and other public spaces – donating shrubs, trees, labor and other materials. Jargowood Block Club is a lucky beneficiary of their generosity.

If you're new in the neighborhood, the boundaries for Jargowood are Clark on the west, Birchwood on the north, Jarvis on the south, and the lake on the east. If you've never been to a meeting, you might want to check it out. It's a good way to meet more of your neighbors and get involved in the neighborhood.

Jargowood Block Club is currently fund raising for further improvements (stepping stones?) for the Kilmer Triangle and also because the Jargowood Treasury is EMPTY. If you'd like to contribute, please drop off a check made payable to “Alan Walker, Treasurer” in the mail slot at 1625 W Jarvis. Alan can provide you with a receipt for tax purposes. Membership dues are voluntary. $20 per household is a good starting point – more if you can bear it.

Monday, November 02, 2009

a way to help balance the city budget

What do you think of this idea? I think it's a great one. For more background, read through posts here. 25 less rubber stampers. Millions saved. The fact that aldermen have continued to approve raises for themselves over the last few years while other city employees have faced layoffs and unpaid furlough days is nervy, to say the least.

Here's a link to the petition. If you want to gather any signatures, keep in mind that they have to be sent in next week. Here's the info on where to send 'em:

Send completed AND notarized petitions to:


Appropriate postage, no certified or registered mail, no page numbering, and a standard 8.5 by 11 printed page. Include contact info in the return address or a self addressed envelope or postcard for receipt info.

Signers must be registered voters, living in Chicago, listing their actual voting address.

Petitions have to be in Sgt. Northen's possession prior to 15 November as the filing deadline is 16 November. Remember that 11/11, Veterans Day, is a postal holiday, so mailing by 11/10 is recommended.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Jargowood meeting on 11/3

Jargowood block club will be meeting Tuesday 11/3 at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues.

Friday, October 30, 2009

fun on a rainy day

I don't know about you, but all this grayness and rain is getting to me. Needed a bit of fun to remedy that situation. Hope it does you a bit of good, too. TGIF!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Evanston Public Library book sale

It's back again next weekend. The Evanston Public Library book sale will be happening Friday 10/23 thru Sunday 10/25. Want first pick? There's a special preview on Friday from 10 a.m. to noon, $5/person admission. Regular sale hours are Friday noon to 5:30, Saturday 10 a.m. to 5:30, and Sunday (1/2 price day) noon to 5:30.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

drag queen bingo at Hamburger Mary's

Eat, drink, and be Mary (literally or otherwise) as I-GO and the Active Transportation Alliance co-sponsor an evening of high-spirited bingo, sequined sass, pub and grub, and fab prizes at Hamburger Mary's in Andersonville (5400 N. Clark St.). I-GO and Active Trans members get in free, and both orgs will be chipping in with discounted sign-ups for any sidekicks you bring along. The fun starts at 8 p.m. on Monday 10/19.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Historic Chicago Bungalow & Green Home Expo on 10/17

Stock up on advice and resources for bungalows, home restoration, and energy efficiency at the Merchandise Mart, 222 Merchandise Mart Plaza, Saturday 10/17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here for more info.

Friday, October 09, 2009

new I-Go locations

I-Go has added several new cars this week: 2 in Rogers Park, one at the Linden El station, and several others. Yeah!

funky Friday

Monday, October 05, 2009

Pullman house tour this weekend

The Pullman house tour is happening this weekend, Saturday and Sunday 10/10 and 10/11 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It's an interesting look at historic preservation and home rehab. You might pick up some ideas for your own place. Click here for more info.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

winter cycling workshop

Have you been thinking about riding your bike in winter but weren't sure how to stay warm, or needed a few other ideas to make it happen? Check out this Bike Winter workshop - Get Layered: Winter Cycling Tips and Tricks. It's a free outdoor workshop to promote biking as year-round transportation in Chicago. Free gaitors and stickers! It's happening on 10/11 from 11am-1pm at the Logan Square Farmer's Market: 3111 W Logan Blvd.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Partners for Rogers Park meeting 10/5

There will be a second meeting of Partners for Rogers Park on Monday 10/5 at Chicago Math & Science Academy, 7212 N Clark, from 5 pm to 9 pm, in case you missed the first one or would like to participate again!

Jazz Showcase

Looking for something cool to do this week? Check out the Jazz Showcase calendar.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working Bikes 10th anniversary

Working Bikes is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this Saturday 9/26, 6-10 pm at its "new" location, 2434 S. Western Ave. There will be live music, food and Fat Tire and Hoptoberfest beer provided by New Belgium Brewing.

Over the last ten years Working Bikes has gathered, repaired and distributed about 10,000 bikes in the Midwest and about 30,000 bikes internationally, providing sustainable transportation all over the planet, making people smarter and healthier and the earth a better place to be. Celebrate 10 years of community service and international aid!

weekly Irish music sessions at Poitin Stil

If you'd like to get an Irish music fix on Sunday evening, pay a visit to Poitin Stil, 1502 W. Jarvis (at Greenview) from 5:30 to 7:30. Music sessions are planned for 9/27, 10/4, 10/11 and 10/25, with additional dates TBA. If your timing is right, you might get some dancing entertainment as well. Cheers!

Sauganash bike ride on 10/4

When: Sunday 10/4 10:00 AM
Where: South end of the Sauganash Trail, Bryn Mawr & Kostner
Host and mover: Alderman Margaret Laurino of the 39th Ward
Reason: to explore Sauganash and some history of the area (Ald. Laurino is a history major graduate of Northeastern)

REAL reason: to convince another alderman that bicycling is taken seriously by a lot of the city's residents!
It's a short ride, but everyone is invited so we can get a MASSIVE turnout, as many as possible, hopefully far more than Ald. Laurino is expecting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Daniel Burnham scavenger hunt 9/26

It's happening on Saturday 9/26. Check it out if you and a team of friends want to test your knowledge in local history and architecture.

transit freebie today

McDonald's is giving away free coupons and transit cards this morning for a promotion. Read the article for details.

Evanston gets 2nd grant for bike path rebuild

This is good news. Evanston's lakefront bike path has been in tough shape in recent years. Now they've got a second grant to pay for rebuilding it.

Friday, September 18, 2009

(park)ing day

This event has been happening for a few years now, but I know that plenty of you haven't heard about it yet. It's a creative way to make a statement about the need for green space in our cities.

Here is the current list of the various Park(ing) Day sites taking place in the Chicago area.

Moss and Strand Design, 3552 N Southport Ave near Addison
Quatrine Custom Furniture, 670 N. Wabash
Architecture for Humanity, 3337 N. Broadway

World Music Festival in Rogers Park tomorrow

Rogers Park's contribution to the World Music Festival is happening on Saturday 9/19 from 10 to 6 at Willye White Park, Howard & Ashland - featuring Kusun Ensemble, Rebel Roots Reggae, Yves Francois et Rocambu Jazz, Demi Lobo, Nuestros Tambos and more.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

a new bike trail in the works

How cool is this? And why haven't we heard more about it? The Weber Spur Trail will be a nice addition to our local trail network.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Just Energy FYI

If you've been solicited by Just Energy, read here for more info. You might not want to rush into signing anything.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Boulevard Lakefront Tour

This is absolutely my favorite big ride in Chicago - a wide range of city neighborhoods, a great mix of people, live entertainment, food, and fun. This year's 21st anniversary event is happening on Sunday 9/13. Registrations are accepted up to the start of the ride.

It starts at Washington Park, within easy riding distance of the CTA red and green lines, if you prefer not to drive. It's even a Climate Neutral event (the first of its kind in Chicago). There's a route for every ability: 15 mile family ride, 27 mile Beverly Cruise, 35 mile Boulevard Tour, and 62 mile (metric century) Ultimate Neighborhood Ride. The 27 and 62 mile routes visit Beverly and Pullman.

The Ride Guide will point the way and offer details on Chicago’s rich history and main points of interest along the route. The post-ride festival will feature live entertainment, picnic lunch and drinks by Goose Island Brew Pub.

Registration includes:
• Event T-shirt and post-ride festival
• Volunteer support and five rest/water stops on the course
• Ride guide with points of interest along the route
• Scavenger hunt for raffle prizes
• Live entertainment at the festival

If you'd like to support the event but can't ride, please volunteer.

Either way, I hope we'll see you out there!

Jargowood meets tonight

Jargowood block club will be meeting tonight at its usual time and place: 7:30 p.m., Sherwin Manor Nursing Home community room, Sheridan Road between Jarvis and Sherwin. If you live in the area between Jarvis and Birchwood, Clark and the lake, this may be of interest to you. Come out and meet your neighbors and talk about neighborhood issues, including ideas discussed at last night's Partners for Rogers Park meeting.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009

Glenwood Ave. arts fest tonight thru Sunday

The fest starts tonight at 6 p.m. and runs thru Sunday. Click here for more info.

Triangle Park cultural fest on Sat. 8/22

If you're looking for something fun to do north of Howard on Saturday, check out this new event.


funky Friday

Two great Chaka Khan versions of jazz classics...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

walk under the stars south of Howard on Friday night

A message from Eva McCann, CAPS beat facilitator, beat 2422:

Join us for another walk under a Starry, starry night in Rogers Park.

Friday, August 21st, 7:00 p.m.
Meet at: Jarvis and Greenview by Charmers

All are welcome,

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422
24th District Police Department

Starry starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
pick up garbage along the way
with eyes that know the darkness in our souls
Shadows on the lake
sketch the pot holes as we take
notes of buildings that forsake
code violations that will be in court

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rogers Park Garden Group meeting 8/26

This month's presentation will be Keeping Your Trees Terrific with John Eskandari, Plant Acquisitions Manager, Tree & Shrub Dept., Gethsemane Garden Center. We rely on trees for beauty, shade, and multiseasonal interest in any green space from a garden to a terrace. Colorful bark, mosaic-like exfoliation, bud colors and overall structure are important interests to consider when choosing a tree - even for a pot. Now, how do you care for it? Last year's popular speaker and certified arborist, John Eskandari, returns to talk about all things arbor: the overall health of woody plants, winter protection and moisture, fall feeding, what to do in the spring, and much more. There will be a raffle drawing for a copy of The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich.

The meeting will be held at RP Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Room, 7059 N. Greenview, 7 p.m. For more information, click here.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

caring for trees and planting new ones

Have you ever seen neglected trees in local parks and forest preserves and wished you could do something to help them? Or have you seen open spaces that really need some trees and wanted to plant some? Are you interested in habitat restoration in local forests and prairie preserves? Treekeepers could offer you an opportunity to help.

There's a new 7-week session of classes starting 9/12 at Humboldt Park. If you're interesting in the fall class session, check out the brochure here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

meeting on health care reform tonight

There is a community meeting tonight to discuss ideas for health care reform currently under consideration in Congress. U.S. Representative Danny Davis will be the keynote speaker. Other speakers include Dr. Anne Scheetz, member of Physicians for a National Health Program (a non-profit research and education organization that supports single-payer national health insurance), and William McNary, Co-Director of Citizen Action/Illinois, the state's largest public interest organization. The meeting will be at 6:30 p.m., Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf, 2nd Floor (at the Lake).

jazz in the parks

As a preview to our Labor Day weekend favorite, the Chicago Jazz Festival, you might want to check out Jazz in the Parks, happening throughout August at various locations around the city.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Thursday, August 06, 2009

a local film you should see

If you didn't catch "The Merry Gentleman" when it opened in commercial theaters in spring, it's playing at Beverly Arts Center tonight and Saturday at 7:30 pm.

Michael Keaton expresses more with eyes and body language than with words. The exquisitely subtle cinematography adds to the mood and complexity as the story develops. It was entirely filmed on location in Chicago (including interiors), and not in all the usual places. This independent film (also Michael Keaton's directorial debut) is a refreshing change from mainstream Hollywood flicks.

It was a fairly full house for last night's showing, followed by a Q&A with the executive producer and a couple of the actors. Check it out. If you don't make the trek to 111th St. to see it on the big screen, watch for the video. It's well worth seeing.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

community meeting about 2016 Olympics

As part of its pledge to hold community meetings in all 50 wards, the Chicago 2016 Committee will hold a public hearing in the 49th Ward on Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, 8/5, 7:00 p.m. at the Rogers Park Library, 6907 N. Clark. 2016 Olympic Committee President, Lori Healey, will give a presentation, followed by time for questions and answers and comments from the community.

This is an opportunity to learn more about the 2016 Olympic proposal and express your views. If you can't attend this meeting, click here for a complete schedule of 2016 Olympic hearings. You can also share your views by sending e-mail to Joe Moore at ward49 @ or calling his office at 773-338-5796.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Open Streets is happening tomorrow!

If you'd like to experience a portion of Chicago's boulevard system as an extended festival, tomorrow is your golden opportunity. From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., from Marshall Square to Logan Square, you can ride your bike, walk, skate, dance, play with your kids, or otherwise enjoy car-free streets with music, games, children's activities, art activities, workout classes and more. Open Streets is free and open to anyone who wants to come. Check it out!

If you enjoy this festival and would like to help support the work of the Active Transportation Alliance, please become a member. The organization has presented Bike the Drive and other cool events, developed a regional bike route map, provided consultants to many local municipalities to develop bike plans and bike route networks, developed extensive educational programs and materials and more. Use the code STSAVE5 to get $5 off your membership.

funky Friday

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

a loss to Jargowood

The Jargowood block club has lost a very special member. Ed Kahn was one of the founding members over 30 years ago. He was a lifelong Rogers Park resident and a good neighbor. He died on Sunday night of complications following surgery. My heart goes out to Pat Shaw, his wife, who I know will miss him terribly. Ed will always be a part of what makes Rogers Park a special place for me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

be careful out there

I've gotten a few reports of muggers assaulting people and stealing their wallets in the Jarvis/Greenview/Fargo area in broad daylight.

One incident happened yesterday around 5 p.m. A man was mugged on Fargo near Greenview, then came into Charmers, upset and with a small cut on his forehead. He said more than one assailant came up from behind. He thinks they were teens. Police were called.

Another person reported the following: "Yesterday afternoon I saw a guy run east in front of my building (1423 Fargo) with what looked like a black wallet in his hands. He was in a hurry and dove into the alley just east of me. There was a guy in front of him a ways and another behind him that seemed to be connected somehow...this AM I heard a woman talking to someone outside saying that her neighbor was robbed and then she had found a credit card in the yard next to me."

Keep your eyes and ears open and don't let them victimize you. Call 911 if you see suspicious activity. Help the police to catch the guys who are doing this, and help keep the neighborhood safe.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sheridan Road resurfacing starts

Work has started on a complete resurfacing of Sheridan Road from the Evanston border south to Devon. The project will include repairs to curbs and gutters and sewer and water mains where needed. Funding is primarily from the federal stimulus plan.

Construction is to be finished in November. During construction, Sheridan Road will be reduced to one lane in either direction, except at morning rush hour, when two southbound lanes will be open, and the evening rush hour, when two northbound lanes will be open. You might want to use Clark or Ridge as an alternate route during construction.

dancin' in the park on 7/30

Thursday 7/30 6-8:30 p.m. it's steppin' night at Willye White Park, 1610 W Howard. May I Have This Dance will offer 1 hour of free steppin' instruction from 6 - 7 p.m., followed by an hour and a half of open dance. Come on down and dance!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

dancin' in the park on 8/27

Thursday 6/25 6-8:30 p.m. it's ballroom dance night at Willye White Park, 1610 W Howard. May I Have This Dance will offer 1 hour of free ballroom dance instruction from 6 - 7 p.m., followed by an hour and a half of open dance. Come on down and dance!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

a bit of good news

Among all the dismal news of this year, here's a bit of good news. The cool wet weather has worked in our favor in terms of disrupting the breeding activities of the Northern House Mosquito. The Dept. of Public Health reports that they have trapped just over 10,000 Northern House Mosquitoes citywide so far this season and that none has showed WNV infection. That may change as the summer goes on, but it's nice to be this far into summer with no evidence of West Nile virus in the city.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

hope on the water

This story offers hope that paraplegics may find more ways to exercise, retain strength and aerobic capacity, and reduce or reverse bone loss. Very cool.

Friday, July 10, 2009

funky Friday

49th ward bike day tomorrow

This Saturday 7/11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. will be a Pedal Party at Touhy Park, 7358 N. Paulina (across from the new Clark Street fire station), a day of fun activities focused on bicycles and bike safety.

Whether you're a hardcore bicycling enthusiast, or simply want to spend a nice summer day riding bikes with your kids, this is the place to be. Local businesses and community organizations will offer the following:

* Bike safety checks
* Helmet fittings
* Cycling merchandise
* Gift certificates
* Rider safety tips
* Children's activities

The Recyclery, Rogers Park's used bike collective, will be accepting donations of used bikes, and the Rogers Park Parents Group will host some kid-friendly activities for all ages. Mayor Daley's Bicycling Ambassadors will also be on hand with a table of activities for kids and adults.

At Noon, it's time to enjoy an Ambassador-escorted bike ride through the neighborhood and back to Touhy Park for a picnic lunch provided by Partners for Rogers Park!

Many thanks to Roberts Cycle, 7054 N. Clark, for providing the safety checks, helmet fittings, cycling merchandise and gift certificates.

The 49th Ward Green Corps is one of the sponsors of Bicycle Day. Making our community more bicycle friendly helps to make a greener, more liveable community.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Space Shuttle in view until 7/16

The Space Shuttle will pass within 200 miles of earth between now and 7/16. It will be visible briefly at dawn and dusk. Here are general instructions for using NASA's skywatch web page and data for Illinois on when the Shuttle will be in view, how long, and where in the sky. Now we just need some clear mornings and evenings....

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New 400 Theater opens today

The New 400 Theater is opening today at 6746 N. Sheridan Road (at Columbia). This neighborhood landmark movie theater has been transformed. The building's new owner, Anthony Fox of CDF Capital, bought it in 2007 and restored much of the terra cotta facade and thoroughly renovated the interior with eco-friendly materials.

The original name of theater was the 400 Theater when it first opened in 1914. Its name was changed to the Village North in the early 1990s.

All 4 screens will feature new-release movies. The owner plans to occasionally show art films and provide some live performances in the largest theater, such as poetry readings, comedy acts, children's activities and other cultural events.

At tonight's grand opening, you will receive a free large popcorn with your ticket purchase. You can get showtimes by calling the New 400 Theater's recorded phone line at 773-856-5980. A web site will be up soon.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

funky Friday

Two from Peter Gabriel:

Monday, June 22, 2009

scram, skyrats!

Here's a bit of good news from one of Joe Moore's e-mail blasts. He says that spike strips have recently been installed under all the Metra viaducts from Howard to Pratt to prevent pigeons from roosting there.

This is a welcome change, as the stench, mess and risk of getting splattered by pigeon crap has been a real problem for years.

Too bad there aren't any raptors in the 'hood to reduce that pesky skyrat population. (At least I don't think there are. I know that downtown Evanston has several. Uptown does, too.)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

dancin' in the park on 6/25

Thursday 6/25 6-8:30 p.m. it's Swing night at Willye White Park, 1610 W Howard. May I Have This Dance will offer 1 hour of free instruction from 6 - 7 p.m., followed by an hour and a half of open dance. Come on down and dance!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ridgeville Farmers' market on Wednesday evenings

Check out the farmers' market at Ridgeville Park, 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays, where you can get fresh coffee from a new Rogers Park business, Songbird Coffee Roasters.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

RP gets Jefferson Award for new theater neighborhood

Seems like Curious Theater should have stuck around a little longer. The theater scene in Rogers Park has really developed, and folks outside the 'hood are recognizing it. Very cool.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tour de France Penitentiaire

This is an interesting alternative to traditional jail recreation. Your $0.02?

Gale Academy plant sale

Gale Academy (7650 N. Marshfield) will hold a greenhouse plant sale every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon, starting June 13. A small selection of herbs and flowers from the greenhouse are also for sale at Neighbors United in New Possibilities (1507 W. Morse Ave.).

Friday, June 05, 2009

RPGG spring plant sale

The RPGG is holding a special spring plant sale Sunday, 6/7 from 11 am - 3 pm, based on donations from the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Chicago Park District, and a few RP neighbors including Diana Burrows, Ellen Perlman, Theresa and Basil Doyle, Chris and Lisa Chigas, Carol Goldman, Jocelyn Gerard, Karen McCarthy, and Pamela van Giessen. Great plants will be available at bargain prices in this special spring sale to benefit the 2010 Adopt the Public Way and Community Gardening programs. On Tuesday, May 26, the RPGG issued 17 grants for Adopt the Public Way projects totaling over $3000. They hope to raise even more this year for 2010 public gardening projects in Rogers Park!

For more information, and to get the latest things on all things gardening related in Rogers Park, click here.

Sweet Home Chicago bike tour tomorrow

The Sweet Home Chicago Bike Tour is happening tomorrow, Saturday, 6/6 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, starting at Calumet Park Fieldhouse, 9801 S. Ave. G. This 20 mile tour focuses on locations where movies were made in the neighborhoods of South Chicago, Eastside and Historic Pullman, movies like The Road to Perdition, The Package, and the Blues Brothers. Ride through blue collar neighborhoods, natural open spaces and historic streets. Organized by the Southeast Environmental Task Force (SETF). Call 773-646-0436 for more information. Helmets required.

funky Friday

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

bring recycling to your condo or rental building

Green info from Joe Moore:

The Chicago Municipal Code requires apartment building owners and condominium boards in buildings of 5 or more units to offer their residents an effective recycling program. Unfortunately, not all owners and boards are aware of this requirement or understand how to implement it.

The 49th Ward Green Corps is offering a workshop on HOW TO BRING EFFECTIVE RECYCLING TO YOUR MULTI-UNIT BUILDING. on Monday 6/8, 7:00 p.m., at Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf (at the Lake), 2nd Floor.

This workshop is ideal for landlords, condominium board members and individual renters and condominium owners who are interested in bringing recycling to their building or would like to improve their existing program. Rae Mindock, Primary Consultant for the Chicago Multi-Unit Recycling Study Project, will offer advice on creating an effective recycling program that best fits your building's unique needs.

To get the most out of this meeting, please try to bring the following information, if possible:

** # and size of garbage and recycling containers on your property. Check the containers outside your building or your waste removal invoice.

** # of garbage and recycling pick-ups per week. Check your waste hauling invoice or contract.

** Amount of material in the containers at pick-up. Overflowing, 3/4 full or only half full? Try to estimate an average volume for all your containers at collection time.

** Cost for garbage and recycling pick-up. Check your waste hauling invoice or contract, usually a monthly fee.

Friday, May 29, 2009

funky Friday

Two from Peter Gabriel.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Bike the Drive is tomorrow

I love Bike the Drive. Can't believe tomorrow is almost here. If you haven't registered, there's still a little bit of time to register online today. You can use this discount code (FOR6A5) for $5 off your last-minute online registration, or come down tomorrow morning and do day-of-event registration (which takes a little longer).

Looks like a beautiful day for a ride. Hope to see lots of you there!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rogers Park Garden Group meeting

...Tuesday, May 26th, 7 pm at Rogers Park Presbyterian Church, 7059 N. Greenview (@ Greenleaf) - Urban Farming and Growing Home - more info here...

funky Friday

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

disappearing parking meters and the local economy

In recent media coverage about the city of Chicago's parking meter fiasco, an issue has arisen that needs urgent attention from local cyclists. A few months back, a friend posted an item on a local online forum mentioning disappearing parking meters creating a shortage of bike parking in some neighborhoods.

The latest bit of news is that, due to pressure on the new parking meter companies to make up for their screw-ups so far, parking meters will be phased out quickly to ensure more accurate metering and reduce the number of erroneously issued parking tickets. The plan discussed on Chicago Tonight was for 30,000 of the 36,000 existing meters throughout the city to be replaced by pay boxes by year-end.

How does this affect cyclists? It creates a fairly urgent need to get a LOT of bike racks installed really soon. IMO, I think it's critical to emphasize to the powers that be that many of us shop and dine by bike, supporting neighborhood businesses, thus supporting the city's tax base. In light of stories like this, asking for bike racks so that we can help support local business may improve the odds of our message being heard sooner rather than later.

Ride of Silence Wednesday 5/20

The Ride of Silence is an annual memorial ride happening tomorrow in Chicago and many other locations to honor the memory of bicyclists who have been killed in crashes. Many of us have lost friends to crashes. I'm planning to do the Chicago ride. Will you join the ride?

Bike the Drive

Bike the Drive, one of Chicago's coolest bike rides, is happening Sunday 5/24. Click here for all the details. If you register online, use this code for a $5 discount: FOR6A5. C'mon out and ride!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

garden walks in June

Click here for a list of local garden walks happening next month.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

new exhibit at Pullman State historic site

Just got this info today from a friend:

THE GREAT MIGRATION : Celebrate more than 150 years of African American Ancestry in Chicago at an opening at the Hotel Florence this Saturday, 5/16 at 11 am. The Bronzeville Historical Society will display artifacts provided by Black Migrants to Chicago. The International Society of Sons and Daughters of Slave Ancestry will exhibit the work of former slaves in a heritage quilt. The Pullman State Historic Site and the Swahili Institute are also exhibit project partners. Call 773 291-9115 or send e-mail for more info.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

there should be a law

If incidents like this one don't make the case for a law to create appropriate penalties for negligent vehicular homicide, I don't know what would.

If this issue is important to you, please take a few minutes to call or write to your Illinois state legislators. It's inexcusable that careless drivers continue to kill and seriously injure people because they have so little regard for others on the road that their desire to shave, talk on the phone, polish fingernails, eat, or send text messages takes precedent over safe and responsible operation over the potentially lethal weapon that their vehicles can be. It's equally inexcusable that our legislators allow them to get away with it.

green festival 5/16-17

If you're interested in green technology, architecture and products, you may want to check out the green festival.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

CAPS 2422 walk tonight 5/9

An invitation from Eva McCann: Join CAPS Beat 2422 for a Community Walk south of Howard Street. Our last walk South of Howard was a walk Under the Rainbows.

We will meet tonight at Jarvis and Greenview and walk from 7-8 p.m. Buggies, Babies, Wheelchairs, young ones, old ones, four legged ones are all encouraged to walk and roll as we survey the area, for troubles, trials and tribulations as we engage in pleasant conversation along the way. Help us scout out problem areas and locations that require city services.

Hope to see you there,

Eva McCann
CAPS Facilitator, Beat 2422

Organic Plant Sale 5/16-5/17

Gardening news from the Chicago Park District:
Buy all you need to garden organically at the Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse plant sale. The greenhouse will sell more than 150 varieties of organically grown vegetable, herb and flower seedlings at this annual sale on May 16 & 17. Plant prices range from $2 & up. Kilbourn Park is located at 3501 N. Kilbourn Ave. Click here for more information, or call 773.685.3351 or 773.685.3359.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Saturday, May 02, 2009

silly Saturday

box cat - for folks who appreciate cat funnies

Friday, May 01, 2009

Sheridan Road to be resurfaced

Good news in my e-mail: Sheridan Road will be completely street resurfaced from the Evanston border south to Devon Avenue. The total cost is estimated at $1.4 million, to be paid mainly from federal stimulus funds, and partially from state capital program funds. The word from CDOT is that it will happen either this year or next. Yeah!

portraits on 5/8 and 5/9

If you need a Mother's Day gift idea, I got this one from Sue Rosengard at Under the Wire, 2210 S. Halsted:

Anne Farley Gaines will be artist in residence on Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th. Stop by and have her do your portrait in pencil, pen and ink, or watercolors. Prices start at $25 for a 5x7 pencil. Frames available.

funky Friday

Thursday, April 30, 2009

jazz at Warren Park Friday 5/1

Eric Schneider will be playing a tribute to Benny Goodman on Friday 5/1 at Warren Park, 6601 N. Western Ave. The All City Jazz Band plays @ 7:00 pm, followed by the Tribute to Benny Goodman @ 7:30 pm.

Eric Schneider, one of Chicago's premier clarinetists, pays homage to the King of Swing, Benny Goodman in a concert with a special band he is putting together solely for this event, a group that will include Ron Dewar on tenor sax.

In addition to the influence Goodman had on Schneider's development as a musician, Eric actually had a chance to sit in with Benny in the early 1980s at a neighborhood festival here in Chicago. For his tribute, he will play some of Benny's charts. One thing is certain: it's sure to swing.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rogers Park house tour/history walk Sun. 5/3

Please join the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society for its 23rd Annual House Tour/History Walk featuring Germania, Howard Street, and Eastlake Terrace, on Sunday 5/3 from 1-5 (registration open from 12:30-4).
Price: $16 for Society members, $20 for the public
Starting point: 1643 W. Howard, the historic Howard Theatre building immediately east of the newly renovated Howard "L" station (free parking in rear).

For further information or to reserve tickets, please call (773) 764-4078, email, or click here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Rogers Park Green Workshops

The final Rogers Park Green Workshop is happening on tonight at Loyola Park. Click here for more info.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rogers Park Garden Group meeting having a meeting on Tuesday, April 28th, 7 pm at Rogers Park Presbyterian Church, 7059 N. Greenview (@ Greenleaf) - The Power of Two - Too Good Design Ideas from Two Good Designers. More info here...

funky Friday

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day celebration at Loyola this Saturday

Loyola University will host its second Earth Day celebration on Saturday 4/25 at the Quinlan Life Sciences Building, 1050 W. Sheridan Road (at Winthrop) from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will kick off the event with a keynote address on the efforts of the Obama Administration and Congress to implement meaningful changes in U.S. policy on global climate change. State Senator Heather Steans will speak in the afternoon portion of the event on her efforts to advance the cause of sustainable living at the state level. Speakers will include: Stephen Anderson, Foreign Exchange Services of Illinois; Nancy Benjamin, Master Gardener; Helen Cameron, co-owner, Uncommon Ground; Shawna Coronado, Columnist, "The Casual Gardener;" and many others.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

take a walk on Saturday

I'd like to relay a message from Eva McCann:

Come out and join Beat 2422 as we walk this Saturday, April 18th at 7:00 P.M.

We will meet at the Willye White Community Recreation Center at 1610 W. Howard

The weatherman says the temperatures are expected to be in the mid 60's. Great weather for a spring walk through the North of Howard area. Engage in pleasant conversation, get to know your neighbors and enjoy the warmer weather.

Bring pen and paper so that we can take note of troubled and abandoned buildings, street lights that are out, sewers that are backed up, trees that need trimming and other city services that need to be reported.

We will try to cover the area from Triangle Park to the west down to the lakefront on Eastlake Terrace.

Bring your four legged friends, your strollers and babies and little ones. All ages are welcome, if you have someone in a wheelchair bring them too or a new friend. Everyone can use some fresh air and company besides the television or computer.

Hope to see you out there.

Facilitator, Beat 2422

Saturday, April 11, 2009

cozy house

This place in Virginia makes a Pullman rowhouse look big. It's a compact home with character.

silly Saturday

Pit bulls in Spamalot.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thursday, April 09, 2009

a White House seder

This is the first time a sitting U.S. president has hosted a Passover seder, another step in the right direction towards cultural inclusiveness.

Potemkin village

Eric Zorn summed it up well. All that apparent enthusiasm for the 2016 Olympics was just a shallow illusion. Shocking!

Do the vast majority of us support the Olympic bid? There are plenty of reasons NOT to do so.


Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-chia! More Kass silliness....

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

CAPS meeting and walk w/commander 4/9

Just wanted to share a bit of info I got from Eva McCann:

Join Police Commander Sobczyk (and special invitee Mayor Richard Daley) for a special Walk and Talk through Beat 2422, Thursday, April 9th at 6:00 p.m. at the corner of Bosworth and Howard. The walk will go west on Howard to Paulina, north to Juneway, east to Ashland and south through Willye White Park. Then head over to Beat 2422's monthly beat meeting at the Gateway Senior Apartments, 7450 N. Rogers at 7:00 p.m., and enjoy refreshments after the meeting.

The Commander at last conversation seems pretty positive that the mayor will show up at our walk and talk this Thursday, April 9th. We are trying to get as many people as possible to come out and walk with us.

urban farms

I'll be curious to see if this idea is adopted here. It could help to solve a number of problems. It could provide jobs in communities that have vacant land and few jobs. With farmstands, it would offer a source of fresh produce in areas that lack healthy options. Could be a win-win if we do it here.

Monday, April 06, 2009

what next?

Here's the latest about the new Rogers Park fire station.

Jazz Links jam session 4/8

Are you a young musician looking for a jam session? Do you know one? Read on. Here's a bit of info from the Jazz Institute of Chicago:

Through a partnership with the Chicago Cultural Center, the Jazz Institute of Chicago has initiated a monthly jam session for young jazz musicians in Chicago. Students are given the opportunity to perform with world-class professionals in the Jazz Links house band, led by pianist Ken Chaney. As a free event, the jam session is both an educational experience for the students and an inter-generational community event, where parents, teachers, students and the general public witness the development of young talent before their eyes and ears. If you've come to a jam session you know that there is some serious talent in the next generation of musicians, and they improve every time you see them.

Jazz Links Jam Session this Wednesday, 4/8, 5-7 PM
Randolph Cafe, Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St

Sunday, April 05, 2009

more twisted humor

Try a little surrealism for your Sunday.

last week's circus

Chicago has been quite the circus in the past week. On Thursday alone, we had the huge mid-day demonstration at City Hall and Daley Plaza by Chicago police and firefighters, the Blago indictments and associated media circus around the Federal court house, then the evening anti-Olympics protest at the Federal plaza.

Yesterday, there were plans for pro-Olympics groups running and cycling along the lakefront, to coincide with the IOC evaluation team's tour of potential venue locations. The weather may have put a damper on that. In mid 30s temps, rain and wind, I don't know how many people were motivated enough to get out there.

Will it be a circus again this week? Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

silly Saturday

Excellent blog post on April Fool's pranks - lots of funny stuff. The Xbox one is excellent.

Friday, April 03, 2009

funky Friday

More from Senegal's Baaba Maal. If you enjoy African percussion, I think you'll like this one.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

the circus resumes

After a long lull, the Blago circus is revving up again

anywhere but here

Toni - Well said.

Tonight's anti-Olympics protest at the federal plaza was vocal and well organized. The police presence there seemed almost as large as that at the noontime protest at City Hall and Daley Plaza. I was there in support of our officers and firefighters. The fact that they've been 2 years without a contract is a disgrace.

The track record of Mayor Daley and the city with major projects like Millennium Park does not inspire confidence in the likelihood of building multiple sports venues, an Olympic village, transit improvements and other necessary changes on time and without significant budget overruns. There's a very real possibility, based on the last few Olympics, that Chicago could end up incurring enormous debt without enough of an increase in tourism revenues during and after the games to avoid making our current budget deficit much worse.

I'd be happy to see Rio get the 2016 Olympics.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

into the 21st century....someday

Anytime I deal with significant delays on Metra, I wish for notification like this, or, even better, this, especially if I rushed to the train station, only to wait a long time. I have not been a fan of Twitter so far, but delay notifications would be extremely useful, unlike much of the fluff there.

I appreciate the fact that Metra usually runs on schedule, but too many aspects of their service are antiquated and inefficient. After seeing conductors unable to collect a substantial number of fares on many runs in recent years, I'd imagine that any investment in faster, more modern fare collection technology would be recouped in a reasonable time span. Train Tracker would be a VERY welcome update to at least dip a toe into modern technology.

no April Fool's joke

This idiot was seriously lucky that nobody was killed in this freak accident. I'll bet her neighbor doesn't want to talk to her now.

more April Fool's fun

The Economist opens a theme park. Don't forget to click on the different sections of the map at the bottom of the page. IMO, that's the best part.

Would you like a grant for a garden?

Is there a space around you that could use a little tender loving care? A parkway, playlot, building frontage, bus stop, corner - really any space in the public way that might be more pleasant for all if it had some plants, maybe some greenery and something blossoming? Would you and maybe some friends be interested in planting it but could use some financial assistance to jump start the project? RPGG Adopt the Public Way Grants program is accepting applications until May 15. Click here for information and an application form.

to my readers in Fargo

When I look at my web traffic stats, I see that I've had some regular readers in the Fargo area for a while. We've been seeing media coverage of the flooding, so much worse than what we've experienced here in the past year. I have an old friend from Grand Forks, and have thought of her and her family. I've heard a few stories about the big flood and fire in 1997. Just wanted to send some positive wishes from Fargo Avenue to Fargo, Moorhead, and other places in the area, hoping that you are spared the worst in this soggy season.

at the sound of the beep

Something fun for April Food's day: actual answering machine answers recorded and verified by the world famous International Institute of Answering Machine Answers. A few of them are a little dated but still fun.

From a machine at a college dorm: A is for academics, B is for beer. One of those reasons is why we're not here. So leave a message.

Hello, this is Sally's microwave. Her answering machine just eloped with her tape deck, so I'm stuck with taking her calls. Say, if you want anything cooked while you leave your message, just hold it up to the phone.

This is not an answering machine, this is a telepathic thought-recording device. After the tone, think about your name, your reason for calling and a number where I can reach you, and I'll think about returning your call.

Hi. I am probably home, I'm just avoiding someone I don't like. Leave me a message, and if I don't call back, it's you.

If you are a burglar, then we're probably at home cleaning our weapons right now and can't come to the phone. Otherwise, we probably aren't home and it's safe to leave us a message.

You're growing tired. Your eyelids are getting heavy. You feel very sleepy now. You are gradually losing your willpower and your ability to resist suggestions. When you hear the tone you will feel helplessly compelled to leave your name, number, and a message.

You have reached the CPX-2000 Voice Blackmail System. Your voice patterns are now being digitally encoded and stored for later use. Once this is done, our computers will be able to use the sound of *your* voice for literally thousands of illegal and immoral purposes.

There is no charge for this initial consultation. However our staff of professional extortionists will contact you in the near future tof urther explain the benefits of our service, and to arrange for your schedule of payment. Remember to speak clearly at the sound of the tone. Thank you.

Please leave a message. However, you have the right to remain silent. Everything you say will be recorded and will be used by us.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

signs of spring

I'd like to see more of this.

Not this.

a bit of local political commentary

...courtesy of SCC

local talent at Jazz Showcase

Last night I enjoyed an energizing show at Jazz Showcase. Maurice Brown has a tight band of talented musicians, bouncing syncopated rhythms off each other and making the room come alive. They're playing today - last day. Boost your weekend with some outstanding music.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

a bass god

If you appreciate really excellent bass playing, here's an interview with Victor Wooten, with a link to a Youtube video. Really amazing bass player. Here's another cool solo in a slightly different style.

silly Saturday

Friday, March 27, 2009

closet shopping - this Sunday

If you have some clothing in decent condition that you're not wearing, the Chicago Clothing Swap this Sunday might be a great closet shopping opportunity for you.

funky Friday

Here's one from Senegal for your Friday. TGIF!!!

pedestrian accidents

This article in today's Trib about local pedestrian rates had one surprise for me. I would not have expected Oak Park to be so high on the list. Your $0.02?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

DIY craft supplies - Saturday

Interested in a little DIY project? I just got this info from Sue Rosengard.

I have way too many pearls so I am joining 40 other artists in an different kind of show this Saturday - Do It Your Own Damn Self (see below). We are selling our excess, discontinued and overstock supplies. I have hundreds and hundreds of strands of freshwater pearls in all kinds of different colors, shapes and sizes. $10 per strand. Buy 10 get one free.

If you can't make it this Saturday and are interested in pearls, give us a call to schedule an appointment. 312.733.9350

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a little too much excitement

Sounds like somebody's joyride in a stolen ambulance caused a little too much excitement for some folks. I hope that nobody was seriously hurt.


This is just plain odd. Your $0.02?

Monday, March 23, 2009

new Olympic cycling events?

While I was reading a news article about the city repaving some streets in advance of the IOC's upcoming visit, I had a moment of inspiration. Why doesn't Chicago propose a new Olympic cycling event or two? Some pothole-cratered streets could be preserved in their decrepitude for this very purpose.

Mountain bikers have technical courses, usually in the woods. How about an urban equivalent - the pothole course? Seems like a combo of slalom and jumps would be a natural. On second thought, BMX might be more suitable for maximum urban flavor.

What do you think?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

penny postcards

A friend sent me a link for this web site: Penny Postcards. There's an interesting selection from the Chicago area and locations all over the country. There are a bunch from Riverview. Any special memories for you?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Friday, March 20, 2009

looking for a bargain?

The Evanston Public Library book sale is coming up. They're having a first pick preview on Friday 3/27 from 10 a.m. to noon. $5/admission for first dibs on the good stuff. Regular (free admission) hours are Fri. 3/27 noon to 5:30, Sat. 3/28 10 a.m. to 5:30. Sunday is 1/2 price day from noon to 5:30.

funky Friday

For those you haven't experienced one of Chicago's most internationally eclectic music groups...Funkadesi

one glove

In this week of changeable weather, I've been seeing a lot of single gloves in the Loop - lying in the street, on the sidewalk, on train platform. You know there's a punny theme song tie-in here.....invent your own lyrics for the circumstances. TGIF!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

tonight at uncommon ground

...the GREEN ROOM SESSIONS, a FREE monthly "eco-mixer" from 6-8 pm at uncommon ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave. The theme for the March green room session is Composting, Recycling & Re-Use.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rogers Park survey

A friend forwarded a survey that may be of interest to you. Here's the info.

Partners for Rogers Park (PRP) is seeking your opinion about the Rogers Park Neighborhood. Results of the survey will help shape efforts to plan for the future of the neighborhood. PRP is a network of Rogers Park community organizations, including DevCorp North, as well as residents and other stakeholders that are working to improve the quality of life in Rogers Park by broadening outreach and community development opportunities.

What improvements would you like to see? This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete, and you do not have to be a resident of Rogers Park to complete it. Your answers will remain confidential and will be shared with no one.

To take the survey in English, click here. To take it in Spanish, click here. Thank you so much for your feedback.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

bike commuting workshop on 3/29

Keystone Ecological Urban Center will be hosting a basics of bike commuting workshop. They will cover the basics of how to get to work by bike including handling weather, smelling work-appropriate, locking up your bike, handling traffic, planning routes, bikes on transit, and how to display your bike helmet to garner the most co-worker compliments! Please pass the word onto anyone you've been trying to convince to bike to work (including yourself!)

It's happening on Sunday, March 29th at 3 pm at 4750 N. Sheridan (corner of Sheridan and Lawrence).

If you are an experienced bike commuter who would like to share your knowledge with others, you are welcome to join in.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


I used to be a semi-regular customer at Heartland. In the last few years, all the ass-kissing b.s with Joe Moore was a big turnoff, and the deterioration of service and food quality more of a turnoff. Their whiny attitude about these serious health code violations does not exactly entice me to return as a regular. It disgusts me that they would choose to respond in such a childish way. If anything, it would make me inclined to patronize almost any restaurant in the 'hood EXCEPT Heartland. And there are plenty of other neighborhood restaurants that I enjoy.

Michael and Katy - You are in a service business, and the quality of your products can affect your customers' health. If you're not focusing on that, your priorities are seriously screwed up. Instead of trying to hide the suspension notice on your door, and trying to blame other people, take some responsibility and APOLOGIZE to the community.

I have a friend who was a health inspector for many years. They do a tough, largely thankless job in order to ensure safe and healthy conditions. As a general rule, they are NOT in it to screw people over. There is a reason why they keep a place closed at least 3 more days after it fails the 1st re-inspection on the day after suspension. If conditions are such that a business fails the 1st re-inspection, there are usually significant problems that couldn't be fixed overnight. It's not because they want employees to lose wages for days the business is closed. If you don't want to keep the place clean and ensure good food safety, perhaps you should consider a career change.

You really need to get a clue on this one. I suspect you'll be losing a lot of long-term customers if you don't.

something positive at Sullivan High School

If you'd like to see a positive event at Sullivan High School, you might want to check this out. I got this notice from a neighborhood photographer who volunteers with their drama department.

Roger C. Sullivan High School Drama proudly presents

VANITIES, A Comedy by Jack Heifner

Thursday and Friday, March 19th and 20th, 2009 at 7 pm

Sullivan High School Auditorium, Corner of Bosworth and North Shore

Come support your local high school students’ talent and hard work!

Vanities is a laugh-out-loud comedy about the growth of a friendship among three women as they come of age in the 1960s and ‘70s. It chronicles their journey together and bittersweet drift apart with astute, witty dialogue that keeps the audience laughing and wholly engaged.

The New York Post called Vanities “a brilliant, clever play” so don’t miss your chance to see it next week at Sullivan High School!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

silly Saturday

check into the samurai hotel - wait to see who shows up halfway through the sketch

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

hope for the Morse?

This short Howard Reich article in today's Trib offers some hope.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

feeling charitable

Here's a different suggestion for a wedding gift. This is kinda cool.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Friday, March 06, 2009

a bit of fun

I'm exceptionally grateful for Friday this time around. It's been a rough rough week. That made me appreciate the video in this David Byrne blog post even more than I otherwise would have. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

silly Saturday

A video blast from Steve Martin past.

Friday, February 27, 2009

flower & Garden Show 3/7-3/15

The show is back at Navy Pier this year - yeah! Another sign that spring is coming....

funky Friday

Two from UB40: Groovin and Kingston Town.

cycling and the economy

food for thought

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Albany Park bike tour 2/28

Click for info on this Saturday's Albany Park bike tour.

stimulus watch

Go to this site to view a list of proposed projects by state and city. Evanston has a bunch. Blue Island has a bunch. Chicago has NONE on the list. Interesting. You can vote on projects and leave comments.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

anyone order garlic?

Tim - This cartoon is SOOO right. Thanks for the laugh.

silliness for your Wednesday

I don't know about you, but all the economic gloom and doom, combined with some good old fashioned work stress, leaves me craving silliness. Nothing like a laugh to relieve stress. Kittens + Roomba seems to be a popular theme. This is a more entertaining version of one of the earlier Roomba kitty videos. Then we have kitten and computer and treadmill kitty...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

priceless arrogance

It's no surprise that there are arrogant windbags like this Santelli jerk. His well-publicized rant about the mortgage bailout proposal has gotten too much air time. If you watch this pair of videos, 1 minute of the first is sufficient to get the message. The only reason I could suggest watching this a$$hole's rant is to show how out of touch he is with the reality of regular Americans. Do you think that a roomful of traders is representative of the American public? From his words and tone, one might infer that he'd like to see the mortgage portion of the stimulus be directed to speculators like him rather than given to people who really need it. Remember that speculators buying properties to flip them contributed a LOT to the inflation of real estate prices, a major contributor to the current situation where so many homeowners are underwater on their mortgages. I wonder how many of these a$$holes helped cause that part of the problem. The second video is much more worthwhile- an appropriate response to the arrogant prick.

black history month

How many of you are familiar with America's first black sports superstar, Major Taylor? He was one of the biggest stars in bicycle racing in the early 1900s. Today there are clubs and organizations in a number of cities that honor his memory. Here in Chicago, we have a Major Taylor bike club and a trail named after him.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

what a waste!

After all the hard work (and more hard work after the fire) and beautiful results, it sickened me to read this and this about the Morse Theater. I've heard nothing but positive feedback about the quality of the acts, how much the musicians love the room, and how great it is as a listening experience. I really hope there's some way they can work things out and keep the place open. It's been such a wonderful boost to that section of Morse.

Friday, February 20, 2009

funky Friday

Here's my old favorite New England band, Entrain, playing a gig in Key West. If you want to hear more of their tunes with much better sound quality, click here to visit their web site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

what were they thinking?

Or were they thinking when they published this? Today while I was at the gym, I caught part of this story on CNN. I didn't see the cartoon itself until later.

I find it hard to believe that a responsible editor, even at a rag like the New York Post, would approve such a bigoted piece of work. It's my understanding that the cartoon was placed adjacent to a photo of Barack Obama and a headline about the stimulus package. I tend not to agree with Al Sharpton, but this is an exception. It's one thing to do a caricature. It's quite another to unite a nasty old racist stereotype with an image of violence.