Sunday, November 30, 2008

if you build it, they will come

Bike lanes, that is.... It's time for a more comprehensive network of bike lanes and routes on the south side. If you have any suggestions, feel free to leave them in comments.

equal but not equal

Sorry for the delay in posting this. If you don't get "Candorville" in your newspaper, this series is worth a look. Some vote for a candidate who represents equality, but others see that equality as selective. And not all religions need apply. Ah, the irony.

Friday, November 28, 2008

funky Friday

Here's a Little Feat two-fer: Rock and Roll Doctor and Fat Man in the Bathtub, a real blast from the past.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

holiday treats

Christkindlmarket opens at Daley Plaza this weekend.

holiday market this weekend

Businesses on 99th St. and 103rd St. near the Metra stations will be having a holiday open house this weekend. On Friday 11/28 it's happening 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., with a Christmas tree lighting at 103rd & Walden at 7:15 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

a holiday break

The Beverly All Stars are NOT at World Music Company tonight or next Wednesday night, but they'll be back after that.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

best sky show of the year

Have you seen the two brilliant planets in the West on recent early evenings? They're getting brighter each day. The moon will join them for "The Best Sky Show of the Year" on December 1st -- and it's FREE, right outside your back door! You gotta go out and take a look...

something fun to do with the kid this weekend

This Saturday 11/29, there's a double treat for the kids on 99th Street. Blue Moon is having a pancake breakfast with Santa from 8 am - Noon and Cakewalk Chicago is having candy making from 9 am - 1 pm. Have a sweet good time!

Monday, November 24, 2008

how refreshing see a corporate recipient of bailout $$$$ NOT behaving like AIG.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

the wild wordsmith of Wasilla

Have a laugh or two here. Sarah Palin humor isn't quite dead yet.

Friday, November 21, 2008

funky Friday

It's an 80s musical time trip: Devo's Through Being Cool, the B-52s' Rock Lobster, and Romeo Void's Never Say Never.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

hanging out at Blue Moon

Want to see what's happening at Blue Moon? Click here. C'mon down to 99th Street and visit. Taste the exquisite pastries and delicious drinks. Hang out and read. Bring your kids to enjoy the play area. There's something for everyone.

Foreign language night was a lot of fun 2 weeks ago. We had two lively tables going, one in Spanish and another in Italian. In some weeks, we've also seen French and German speakers. I would have been there last week, but I was in NYC.

Whether you're just learning a language, brushing up after years out of practice or a native speaker looking for someone who speaks your language, come by tonight, enjoy a hot or cold drink, and meet some new friends.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Consensus Bluegrass at World Music Co. on 11/22

We have a special treat at World Music Company this Saturday 11/22: a show by Special Consensus Bluegrass band right here in the neighborhood. Click here for more info.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

bicycling into winter

Riding in winter can be a lot of fun if you're comfortably dressed for it. Sunday's Trib had a nice feature with tips for winter cycling. Go to the Bike Winter web site for more tips and activities.

Monday, November 17, 2008

expanding a mission

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation has announced its new name: Active Transportation Alliance. A while ago, the organization's mission was expanded beyond bicycle advocacy to include pedestrian and transit advocacy, encompassing a full range of sustainable transportation alternatives.

I think this is a natural progression, promoting improved options for doing more without cars and living healthier lives. If you're not familiar with the organization, check out the web site and try some of our events, including Bike the Drive. You may find some better ways to get around the city and meet some new friends.

a different perspective on the auto industry

Neil Young speaks his mind and makes some good points - never one to be a sheep. Your $0.02?

discount for cyclists

If you ride your bike to eat out, show your helmet to get a discount here on weekdays. And if you join Chicagoland Bicycle Federation, you can get member discounts in all these places.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

why can't we be friends

a political parody video - someone obviously had a LOT of fun with Photoshop.

Friday, November 14, 2008

funky Friday

Here's a different Little Feat two-fer: Rocket in my Pocket and Robert Palmer singing Sneakin' Sally through the Alley, backed by Little Feat.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

let's help World Music Company

World Music Company brings us some fine musical events and offers opportunities for music lessons right in the neighborhood. Times are hard, and it's having an effect on them. Let's help them get through these difficult times.

Monday, November 10, 2008

working for better transportation

California just voted to take a big step forward towards more sustainable transportation. High speed rail makes a lot more sense than flying for medium-distance trips such as LA to SF. It does not require enormous pieces of land to deliver good service to a increasing numbers of passengers, unlike an airport. It generates less air and noise pollution. Most train trips go from downtown to downtown, eliminating long expensive cab rides into town from distance airports. For shorter trips, a train full of passengers replaces hundreds of cars on highways and local roads, reducing congestion and air pollution.

Europe and Asia have been enjoying these advantages for years. Why should they have all the fun? Amtrak's Acela service in the Northeast offers an example of American success in high speed rail.

I hope that California's progress will inspire similar progress here. It's time for high speed rail in the Midwest. Can you imagine how many cars could be off our highways if we had high speed service from Chicago to Milwaukee, Springfield, and St. Louis?

It's a good reason to write to your elected representatives, as my friend Lisa discusses on her new blog. Building a third Chicago airport in Peotone is so 1980s. It's time to bring American transportation into the 21st century.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

RTA public hearings 11/10-11/19

The RTA is holding a second round of public hearings concerning the transit system’s budget for 2009 and address long-awaited capital investment needs.

North: Monday 11/17 6:00 p.m. at Truman College (Rm 1176/Faculty Dining Room), 1145 W. Wilson Ave, Chicago

South: Tuesday 11/18 6:00 p.m. at Carter G. Woodson Public Library (Auditorium), 9525 S. Halsted, Chicago

Southwest: Tuesday 11/18 6:00 p.m. at National Museum of Mexican Art (2nd Fl. Board Room), 1852 W. 19th St, Chicago

West: Wednesday 11/19 6:00 p.m. at Malcolm X College (2nd floor - room 2418), 1900 W. Van Buren, Chicago

North: Thursday 11/13 6:00 p.m. at Pace Headquarters (Board Room), 550 W. Algonquin Rd., Arlington Heights

West: Thursday 11/13 6:00 p.m. at Hillside Village Hall (Board/Court Room), 425 Hillside Ave., Hillside

South: Monday 11/17 6:00 p.m., South Suburban Mayors & Managers (Mtg. Rm. C), 1904 W. 174th St., East Hazel Crest

McHENRY COUNTY: Monday 11/10 6:00 p.m. at Woodstock Admin. Bldg. (2nd Fl Conf. Rm.), 667 Ware Rd., Woodstock

LAKE COUNTY: Wednesday 11/12 6:00 p.m. at University Ctr. of Lake Cnty (2nd Fl - Room 212), 1200 University Ctr Dr., Grayslake (Enter at Main Entrance off Washington St. at Lancer Lane)

WILL COUNTY: Monday 11/17 6:00 p.m. at Joliet Historical Museum (Caterpillar Auditorium), 204 N. Ottawa St., Joliet

KANE COUNTY: Tuesday 11/18 6:00 p.m. at The Centre of Elgin (Heritage Ballroom), 100 Symphony Way, Elgin

DuPAGE COUNTY: Wednesday 11/19 6:00 p.m. at DuPage Co. Building (Auditorium), 421 N. County Farm Rd., Wheaton

Meetings are open to the general public and are ADA accessible. If you require a reasonable accommodation in order to attend a meeting or have questions, please call 312-913-3153 (TTY 312-913-3111) at least 2 business days before the meeting. For more info, click here.

making things last longer

A San Francisco Chronicle article offers helpful hints on making clothing and other items last a bit longer.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

a new blog

A friend has started a new blog this week. Her goal: a letter a day to public officials with the goal of motivating positive change. It's a worthy goal, indeed, and she has some good ideas. Check it out, and write some letters of your own if you have ideas to share with our elected officials.

Another friend raised a point regarding Barack Obama. As much as it does not thrill us, Shrub is still president until 1/20/09. Barack Obama needs time to assemble his cabinet and prepare to take on the enormous responsibility of his new job. He may be gathering ideas now, but he won't be acting on them just yet.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Thursday, November 6, 2008

editorial cartoon

A constitutional thought: all men are created equal


There's a lot of celebrating going on around the world in the wake of Tuesday night's news, by Kenyans and Indonesians, and elsewhere and on lots of newspaper front pages.

And even though it's gotten to be a bit of a cliche, Kool and the Gang's Celebration seems most appropriate right now.

historical perspective

Click for a historical perspective on Barack Obama's achievement, courtesy of the BBC.

blue Hampshire

New Hampshire sure has changed a bit since I lived there. How ironic that the border area closest to Taxachusetts is now one of the most conservative areas of the state. Much of that area went for McCain.

Here's a map and some figures to give a little more detail.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

it's a beautiful day

The reality of last night's election results is starting to sink in. I look forward to the conversations I will have with so many others who have hoped for this day. Yesterday I heard many people say that they'd just voted for the first time because they finally felt like they could make a difference.

If you didn't see Barack Obama's speech last night, click here to watch. McCain's gracious concession speech is here. Both are worth watching.

And here's a musical thought to wrap it up.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

beyond words

I'm sure that Barack Obama's grandmother must be watching with pride and joy at tonight's news. I don't have words to express my own joy at the knowledge that we did it, that Barack Obama will be our next president.

John McCain's concession speech has been a class act. I hope that he will follow it with actions to help our country recover from the current crises.

get out and vote!

If you didn't vote early, today's it, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not sure what you need to bring? Click here. If you're in Chicago and you see anything odd in how your polling place is being run, call the board of elections: 312-269-7900.

I arrived at my polling place at 6:11 and waited 20 minutes in line. I was #38 for the precinct today, and they said that 1/3 of the precinct had already voted early.

Monday, November 3, 2008

this week at Jazz Showcase

Mon 11/3 Big Band night
11/4 CLOSED on election day
11/5 Willie Pickens Trio
11/6-11/9 Cedar Walton Quintet
Need more info? Click here.

the stage is set

Crews have been working for the last several days putting up the stage, lighting, bleachers, fencing, temporary cell sites, etc., getting all in order for tomorrow night's Obama rally in Grant Park. I'm on the wait list for a ticket, but I doubt that I'll get one. Going south on Lake Shore Drive the other day, I was struck by how photogenic the setting is, with the Field Museum in the background behind the stage. This will be an event to remember.

agree to disagree

I've had political conversations recently with a few out-of-state friends who are on the other side of the fence. One said that Obama is "too mysterious" and possibly a "Muslim threat," that Michelle is a trophy wife (and that Cindy McCain isn't), that the way Shrub has run our country into the ground and made it an international joke is okay, and that McCain represents a "stable, sensible choice." Another quoted Bible verses about prophecies.

We may agree on other issues, but on politics we should simply agree to politely disagree. If we are this far apart on political candidates, nothing either of us says is likely to convert the other.

election info: judges

If you've wondered where you could find info on judges for the election, visit the Illinois State Bar Association's web site to view their ratings on judicial candidates.

increased transit service on election day

Our local transit agencies will be increasing the level of service tomorrow for election day. Metra's information on extra runs is here. Their extra runs are mostly to get folks home at the end of the workday to vote. The web site says that they will add some extra late night runs between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. but does not list specific details.

still on the fence?

Have you tried the Obama tax calculator to see how his tax plan would affect you? Click here to check it out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

the whole world is watching

On the eve of the election, I wonder how much America considers the intense interest of the rest of the world in the results. Our relationship to the rest of the world in the coming months will be critical to the job market, the economy overall, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The question is whether our choice will help to repair the years of damage from Shrub's "shoot first, ask questions later" non-diplomacy or increase it.

I strongly believe that Barack Obama represents our best chance to get our country back on the road to the healthy international relationships that can help to pull us out of the current economic tailspin.

The whole world is watching. And they definitely have opinions.

Here at home, we all wait to see how the big night will unfold in Grant Park and downtown. I hope that it is nothing like 1968.

crank calling goes international

A post-Halloween prank. Priceless.