More comparisons.

I wrote a recent post about the street signs up here in MKE that remind me of places in Chicago/IL. It happened again in a slightly different way as I rode along some of MKE's lakefront. Many of the properties seem similar to the Northshore in Chicagoland. I think it's even called the same nickname up here. Still, very nice, quiet, neighborhoods, and lots to look at.

This first shot reminds me alot of the lakefront in Chicago or Evanston. I know, duh - it's the same lake dingleberry.

This house and lot could literally be in Kenilworth or some other neighborhood I'll never live in. It also required special street to be put into the neighborhood and some other interesting public infrastructure. If you drive all the way back here, they make sure it's only b/c you live here. Of course, if you have time to kill on a bike, you can pretty much get anywhere you want.

This last one seemed to be the best use of property entrance framing the lake. I mean, that's what people want to see when they "arrive at the lakehouse!", right? I thought they did a good job here.


Results, Poll #14, 4 Seasons.

I guess I was one of the few that's been wanting to get out of the long winters lately:

2 people (15%) already do live in nice weather places - lucky (?).
3 people (23%) thought about it like I did.
5 people (38%) might have thought about it, but have given up.
3 people (23%) just love bulky sweaters, the break from body grooming, and hot cocoa.

Perhaps I should run this again, but in the dead of winter. Though, this weekend we did have 40 degree nightly temps, less sun, and winds in the 25-35mph range - winterish.


No doubt I watch my fair share of TV. And I don't have one of those fancy commercial-skipping machines from the cable company... so, by default, I watch my fair share of commercials too. Many miss the mark or don't resonate with me, but every so often a few get my attention.

Just some commercials that made me laugh or said "whoa, different!" (all on youtube):
> New Balance Love/Hate Bench
> Farmer's Insurance Rush Hour
> There can only be one: Iguodala & Hamilton


Earth Day.

Yeah, that's right, Earth Day is TODAY! You didn't really remember either, did you? Until you hopped onto Google and saw their holiday logo. I heard on the radio this morning, and then rememebred something I heard last week too. I did not have a big green event planned though. In fact, all this forgetfulness helped me remember the first few Earth Days as a kid (er, teenager?). It used to be a big deal and our class/school would do something to help our planet.

In that spirit, I will once again plug GreenDimes. They can help reduce junkmail at home, but for a slight upcharge, you also get some cool green accesories. I happened to have the opportuinty to use my packable shopping bag the other day on my WholeFoods trip... and I have to say - one of the nicest reusable bags I've tried. It's small, light, and literally & figureatively green. When in use, it seems strong, comfortable, and still literally & figureatively green.

I'd also challenege you to stop using disposable items, when you could very well use a reusable one. For example:
> A resusable shoping bag instead of new paper or plastic [duh, see above]. This can be at all stores, not just grocery. And if you look hard enough, I bet you could find some colorful, cool, trendy, dare I say, fashionable ones now... maybe at WholeFoods, or Trader Joes, or Marshall Fields, wait, Macy's (yuck).
> Bringing real silverware into work instead of using plastic each day at lunch. I'm not sure if this will go over so well at my office though, whadda ya think?
> Get washable dishcloths instead of using papertowels for everything. Maybe those infomercials from that annoying yelling guy aren't so bad if the product works.
> Don't let Starbucks give you a new papercup AND hand protector cozy thingy (OMG) everytime you buy your half fat, no foam, carmel, mocha frappucino. Instead, bring in a cool reusable mug. Go ahead, I say you can treat yourself to the fancy stainless steel one you've been eyeing. The Earth says it's ok to buy it.
> Use your hand and a bucket of water instead of toilet paper... ok, just kidding on this one... but you don't need to be a roll-hog!


Results, Poll #13, Lucky 21

In honor of a certain someone I know turning 21 last Thursday (Happy Birthday again), I wanted to see how many t.c readers had been drunk before their 21st birthday. Of course, the law here in the US is drinking only after you're 21. Well, it turns out the number 21 doesn't mean much. In what I believe to be the most lop-sided poll so far, almost everyone had been drunk as a skunk before being legally allowed.

> 15 people (88%) said they had been drunk before being of legal age. Our parents would be appalled... or perhaps secretly proud... lots of dads get this way, right?
> 0 people (0%) said that they weren't sure. I guess when you do some underage drinking, you make sure you're drunk everytime.
> 1 person (5%) said simply, no. No worries, once you are 21, it'll come fast and furious, no doubt.
> 1 person (5%) said they were straight-edge - alrighty then.

Could we have guessed this outcome for the beginning? Perhaps. One final high note for me - 17 respondents this week and I haven't heard that anyone voted twice this time. Cool beans. New poll up AHORA!


Strange how the new city you live in often reminds you of the one you left... here's a few examples from a ride up MKE's lakefront this weekend.

We'll start with a city in the 'burbs of Chicago, and the same name used on a street here in MKE:

Maybe that's just not a very original name, for a city, street, or otherwise? Next, on to something a little more interesting. For those that don't know, the local high school in Glenview, IL is Glenbrook South, located off of Lake Ave. Another pic from the MKE burbs, I'm not making this up.

Finally, this is something that doesn't really remind me of Chicago at all... but was so odd, I couldn't help but take a pic.

Sounds a bit wonky, doesn't it? I'm not sure what it is or means, but maybe it belongs more on the Shire than here in MKE. What's next, "Elf Gorge Drive"?


Almost gave up.

I don't know about your neighborhood, but it's getting to be pretty nice in MKE (at least for part of every week). In fact, it was purported to be 70F today. A great chance to get outside on a new bike, or go to the lakefront for a walk, or run on the paths.

And I am in the midst of such a new bike project. I can't help myself (though they are more costly then cellphones). This has been in my apartment for months, only waiting in the last two weeks for a very small part.. about the size and weight of a couple quarters. The part finally came to me at the office yesterday and I ran home to install and finish the build.

Handlebars - check.
Rims - check.
Saddle - check.
Complete road bike at 16.5lbs - check.
Ready for some sweet jumps - check (no, not really).

Also, if anyone wants to "talk shop" about bikes, feel free to ask me anything (hardy har, don't get gross).

Oh, and thanks to spiceyride.


A new meaning of the phrase "cougar hunting" in Chicago.

This was all over the news coverage, even in WI.

Goto: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-chicago-cougar-shot-webapr15,1,5227121.story

The best part is the "About Cougars" section on the left hand side of the article. It includes the tip "Pick up Children Immediately" - wait, the cougar's children or our own? Hmmm.

And crap, if Chicago's got cougars, what's lurking up here!?!


Quiz Show.

I'm going to try something a little different - All you need to do is put on your thinking cap and scroll down. You'll see the image and the multiple choice answers. If you choose the right option, you get positive reinforcement in the form of a linked image. If you choose the wrong option, you'll get negative reinforcement in the form of a linked image. Good luck, the negative is bad juju.

Note: Alumni or students from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will do the best.

This is a picture of:
a> The beginning of a pagan ritual
b> The beginning of the Black Chorus' concert at Krannert's Great Hall on the U of I campus
c> Milwaukee's Opera House

This is a picture of:
a> My company's courtyard

This is a picture of:


This is a picture of:


These trees are located:


This is a picture of:

This is a picture of:

This mini-sized, chocolate and carmel topped, custard sundae is from:

That's it, all done. Did you get 100%?
Serisouly, no more, go to another blog!!


Results, Poll #12, Life

This was the poll about "ending it all", which at least one reader had trouble figuring out the meaning of - sorry. I'll try to be more descriptive in future suicide polls. This one was pretty interesting in terms of results, at least I couldn't have guessed the outcomes. In another small note of interest, we had 16 respondents!! This is a new record, but the same person that had trouble figuring out the poll's meaning, also admitted to me she may have voted twice. This is now a hollow record... I'm getting depressed... who's got a bottle of Aspirin? Anyways, here we go -

6 people (37%) have thought about ending it all only once - Kudos to you, you happy f*&ks!
2 people (12%) think about ending it all about once a month - not bad, but it's also the lowest total, uh-oh.

3 people (18%) think about ending it all about once a week - maybe a little frequent for most people, but maybe they're perfectionists in daily life?
5 people (31%) have never thought about ending it all - Really!?! This seems high to me, I'd have thought everyone has thought about this at one time or another.

An interesting poll that I've been wanting to get up on the blog for sometime. Thanks to everyone for your responses... even both your responses in some cases.


R.I.P. "Na na na na - na na na!"

I have some sad sad news to report from up here in the Great North - many of you may not know the name Bob Kames, but everyone knows at least one of his creations. It's original name is "Dance Little Bird", but the name we all know it by today is "The Chicken Dance". This is the song that made Bob famous and was recorded by him in 1982. It also wasn't his only hit song as he had hit songs (many on the organ) well before that time. In fact, I learned he used to tour the country with the Army as something of the official organist.

He died today here in Greenfield, WI. He must have been king of the neighborhood. I would be pretty satisfied with myself if I knew every GOOD wedding reception used one of my songs to celebrate the event.

Rest in Peace, "Chicken Dance King".

Site Sighting.

Nothing long and boring (zzzz) today:
I give you - Hot Chicks with Douche Bags.


Results, Poll #11, Guinness

So, this poll has been chugged down in a few frothy gulps.
> 6 people or 46% said "Yes, bring 'em on!". Seems like the majority, just by a couple, edge out the other options. Good news for Guinness. I should sell them this "market research".
> 1 person or 7% said "Yea, but only if I have to." Sometimes beggars can't be choosers.
> 3 people or 23% said "Nah, I'd rather eat my meals." They don't dig on the dark beers... but it seems to be an aquired taste, I understand.
> 4 people or 30% said " No beer, served here." Wow, you would not do well in WI. What do you drink!?! And don't tell me you don't drink...

This was a decidely light topic, but important none-the-less. The new poll is up and is of a heavier nature. Thanks for 14 total votes - keep it up!


A courtyard.

I don't hear much about courtyards anymore. I heard about them as a kid b/c (pretty sure) we had one in our gradeschool. Last night, I was led into one in downtown Chicago (no, it wasn't at gunpoint). Once invited, I was eager to go in b/c I had probably passed this courtyard (from the street) many many times in the past, but had never gone in. It's totally accessible by the public, but I suspect many people, like me, have never ventured inside. I would highly recommend checking out the "courtyard" in your own city.

The photos aren't the best quality (did you know almost all photos on t.c are taken with a camera phone?) - however, these should be almost unmistakable. I'd go far as to say that the darkest/worst photo might be the most recognizable. .. just give it a minute to sink in.

Challenge - The final "Clean Plate Club" t-shirt extra to the person that posts a comment with the correct courtyard location (or comes closest to it). Note: the other challenge winner has received her prize, as promised.

Is this bad?

Saw this when I go home the other day - Maybe I should call my landlord?


Opening Days.

As many of you know, this week marks the official opening of Major League Baseball around the country. Monday was the opening day for my favorite field, Wrigley, and team, the Chicago Cubs. Friday is the opening day for my current hometown's team, the Milwaukee Brewers (little known fact - players have to drink a Miller product before every at bat).

I heard something I did not know before the other day too - the stirrup pants, knickers, or short pants, baseball players can wear even to this day, started as a way for the players to show the umpires the location of their knees - yes way! This helped the umpires see the strike zone for each player that came to the plate.

Of course today, many players choose to wear full-length pants. But what about helping the umps?! Well, from what I researched, it seems as though the feeling of most players is that the strike zone is so small lately that it wouldn't help if they wore small, red, blinking, LED lights on their knees.

It is also comforting to point out that baseball is one of the most well-documented sports around. They have records that go back well over 100 years, pictures, video, etc. You can find out things on all kinds of websites, including MLB's. How do you think I found out about the Brewer's drinking game?

Food for thought - Nay, hotdogs and CrackerJacks for thought. Batter up!



Is anyone else continually amazed at the size and amount of receipts that we now get? And let's leave grocery stores out of it for now (they can be longer than my arm). Let's just take something that would seem really simple, uhh, BlockBuster. And no, I'm not sure anyone actually goes to BlockBuster anymore, but bear with me.

Before I had re-upped my Netflix subscription, I went to BB a couple of times. Not only did the movies cost about $5 each, the two individual receipt tapes that came with my movies were longer than the DVD boxes, and really couldn't have been more useless. I don't save DVD receipts (and we all know how anal I am). I don't think I've ever had to return a rental with proof of it (even the rental clerks can remember I was just there). And you return the movie the next day.

Why do we need so much paper for a $10 transaction? More examples can be found almost everywhere - take your car in for service, 4-5 sheets; eat out, up to two receipts; God forbid you return something at Kohls, 2-3 receipt tapes, all stapled together. And not only is a record of what you bought, it's often some coupons or marketing material stuck in for good measure. I mean, I just BOUGHT something at your store, why do I need more purchasing incentives?

Why can't we, as consumers, have the option for e-receipts for all transactions? You could be asked at checkout how you want your receipt - paper or electronic. If you choose to save a tree limb, they send it to your extra email account (doesn't everyone have at least 2?). Sure, some marketing junk gets sent too, but you were walking out with it stuff in your pockets anyways. And if you ever need the receipt in paper form, print it out.

This isn't rocket science and I've never been confused for some that smart.


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