Leslie's Omnibus

Signs of Autumn




Leslie

Drive-Bys

"Five percent on millions of dollars of profit creates many jobs . . . As the government gets more and more involved in business and more and more involved in taxes, what you're finding is you're strangling those job-creation vehicles."

Before Greenspon could complete his question, his microphone was cut off and taken out of his hand.

The president disputed Greenspon's statement, saying he's already signed eight pieces of legislation providing small-business tax cuts.
Yessir, President Tin-Ear. That's listening to your constituency and treating them with respect! (And you get extra style points for that nifty microphone grab.)
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Hmmmm. I didn't know this nifty bit of info, and thought I'd share with my fellow deviled egg lovers, too:
The key to perfect deviled eggs is in the selecting and cooking. Buy your eggs a week ahead of cooking so that they will be mature and will be easier to peel. They will also be less likely to crack while cooking. Don't boil the eggs and don't cook them too long. These strategies will avoid tough eggs and those unappetizing gray circles around the yolks.
Very interesting!
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Having lived through not one, but two parents who were in and out of hospitals over time, I found this tip from a Dear Abby reader right on the money:
Please advise your readers that when they send Get Well cards to always use the person's own name -- like, "Betty Jones" instead of "Mrs. John Jones." Also, when sending a card or note to someone in the hospital, put the patient's home address as the return address on the envelope -- not their own. If your readers do this, the person is sure to receive it, even after being discharged from the hospital.
Thank you, Judy from Lorain, OH!
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I think it's fairly obvious that if Rahm Emanuel needs to do a listening tour to find out what's on the minds of folks in Chicago, he's pretty out of touch with the Chicago voting public. Pat Hickey apparently agrees with me. (Spit-take alert)
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Once again academia proves how far outside of the mainstream it really is:
In a proposed resolution, highly-regarded professor Elliott Kaufman suggested that the Faculty Senate ask the board to reconsider its decision, one he said was a conflict-of-interest and "inappropriately influenced by personal and political comments."

He urged board members to "adhere to the ethical constraints that normally govern their meetings."

"Isn't this the new, squeaky-clean, highly-ethical board of trustees? What happened? It is worth airing the laundry here," said Kaufman, who retired last year after serving in numerous faculty leadership positions, in an interview with the Tribune.

"The chair had a conflict of interest and he put the other trustees in an impossible position," Kaufman said. "He drew a dotted line between the assassination of the Kennedy brothers and giving Bill Ayers emeritus status. The result is what we got and I just don't think it was a fair way to do it."

Lurvely, innit?

Leslie

Drive-Bys

Giggle of the Day:

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Goggles4U is having another 30% off sale and I'm getting more "eye jewelry":

Pretty!

Funky!

I have had nothing but great experiences with G4U -- the quality of the specs are great, and the prices simply can't be beat. (I'm getting both of these for 1/3 less than I paid 5 years ago when I bought a single pair of D&G frames at LensGrifters...) Type the word "DEALS" into the box at checkout to get the discount.

No, they don't pay me to sing their praises; I just like to share the savings.
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When I'm wrong, I admit I'm wrong:
Evanston police have concluded that Colin Dalebroux — the 21-year-old who died Sept. 14 in a pipe bomb explosion at Fitzsimons Park — intended to commit suicide, and left a note on his computer outlining that plan.
Yeesh. I was wrong and he was serious.
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Blaming the voters and calling them stupid is not the way to win friends and influence people... unless it's to influence them to vote against you.
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Love stories!
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Ear Worm of the Day:

Leslie

Sunday Schedule

For my BlogDaddy:


(Via those awesome guys at The Awesomer.)
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Giggle of the Day:

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This wasn't me. I swear.
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Leslie

World Tour

Someone in Baku, Baki, Azerbaijan was the latest visitor to hit the ol' sitemeter. I can't tell what the search string was, so I'm going with "camel toad." (After all, they've got the 1000 Camels Hostel in Baku.)

So... bordered by Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Russia and right on the Caspian Sea...
Neither Europe nor Asia, Azerbaijan is an incredible tangle of contradictions and contrasts. It’s a fascinating nexus of ancient historical empires. Yet it’s also a new nation finding its feet as it emerges from a war-torn post-Soviet chrysalis on a petroleum-funded gust of optimism. Surrounded by semi-desert on the oil-rich Caspian Sea, the nation’s cosmopolitan capital Baku is a dynamic boomtown, where flashy limousines and mushrooming skyscrapers sweep around a picturesque Unesco-listed ancient core. Yet barely three hours’ drive away lies an entirely different world: timeless villages clad in lush orchards from which shepherd tracks lead into the soaring high Caucasus mountains. Where Baku is multilingual and go-ahead, the provinces shuffle to the gently paced click of nard (backgammon) on tree-shaded teahouse terraces: women stay home, herds of cattle wander aimlessly across highways, and potbellied bureaucrats scratch their heads in confusion on finding that an outsider has wandered into their territory.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, Azerbaijan (which is smaller than the state of Maine) has a population of approximately 8.25 million. The main languages are Azerbaijani (Azeri) 90.3%, Lezgi 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5% and the main religions are Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%. Interestingly, the country has a 98.8% literacy rate. (Given that the U.S. has a 65-85% literacy rate, depending on the measure used, that's downright amazing!)

Leslie

Sunday School


Missing Sunday services at Camp MacLean this morning. Oh, heck. Here's another one that we always did:

Leslie

Rubber-Necking

This guy thinks he's a candidate for visitation with his child:
To muzzle his alleged tendency to spit on officers and anyone who passes by, jailed murder defendant Regional Potts was given a "mouth guard" Friday to prevent him from showering his anger on others during a court appearance.

Potts chewed through three of the guards either on his way to court or during a hearing at the downtown Daley Center on a matter unrelated to his pending murder trial: whether he'll have a chance to visit his child, sources said.
Even more charming?
He also chewed through the leather hand coverings that would have kept him from pulling out the mouth guard, the sheriff's staff said.
Yup. That oughta impress the judge.

Sounds to me like they needed one of these:

... and one of these:

Zoiks!
Leslie

Saturday Ramblings

"Heaven" Salted Buttered Caramel Bacon Gelato. Have you ever heard such a beautiful combination of words in your entire life???
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Because I have pals for whom the phrase "don't try this at home" was invented:


I'll see most of 'em in Tennessee soon. (Yikes!)
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Giggle of the Day, gleefully swiped from phlegmfatale:


(Thanks for the pointer, AD!)
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Ear Worm of the Day:


It's going to take a week to rid myself of this one...
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Leslie

Saturday Morning Cartoons

The Mighty Heroes:


Cartoon Break:


Secret Squirrel (Embedding disabled.)

Cartoon Break:


Why do I love the Saturday cartoons so?


(And I'm drawing a blank here, folks. What was the name of the cartoon featuring the monster high school from back in the '70s?)
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

Not only is it Friday, but Jihad Gene's birfday is coming up soon. "It's Friday! Let's Dance!"

Here's a slow dance for you, my friend:

Leslie

PSA


Dear people like this lady who simply must end it right now and hurl themselves headlong in front of a train...

... please wait until after rush hour and find yourself a nice freight train. It's not fair to the poor Metra engineers and conductors and the gazillion commuters at the train stops in the morning to screw them up emotionally and make them late for work.

Callous? That's three Metra-cides and one stupid jerk who was late for a meeting and decided to ignore the flashing lights and lowered barrier in six weeks on my train line alone. You betcha I'm getting more than a little callous about this.

Leslie

Busman's Holiday - New York City

Love stories from New York:



Like comfy old shoes, nothing fits better and words are unnecessary.
Leslie

World Tour


It's always interesting to see what brought folks from around the globe to my little corner of the blogosphere:

Hungary: funny dog pictures not laugh
Estonia: funny dog pictures your dog bit the mailman
Netherlands: funny pictures cat has a message to you from your liver
Poland: funny pictures cat does the wave
Italy: funny pictures cat and dog kiss
Australia: funny dog pictures we has a pomeranian

Nice to see it's my serious side that attract y'all.
Leslie

Prayer Warriors

video

Prayer Warriors apparently come in the furry, four-footed variety, too.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

Ear Worm of the Day:


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Giggle of the Day:
They could have at least tucked a dollar into my flipflops, right?
I love, love, LOVE leeann!
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Oh, great! Now there's a product line that combines two of my biggest lusts -- purses and photography. Thanks to Dooce, I stumbled over Epiphanie. Now I want the Belle. And the Lola Red. Argh! (And I just got a really great camera bag for my birthday and a new Fall bag, as well. I'm an ungrateful wench, I know...)
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Just when you think politics can't get any lower or dirtier:
The Florida Democratic Party today said it made an "oversight" when it included Republican congressional challenger Allen West's Social Security number in an attack mailer.
For shame. (And the Dems must really be scared of him if they have to stoop that low.)
Leslie

Rules of the Road

1. Get OFF the phone:
[A]lthough many people now agree that driving while on a cell phone can be dangerous, they think the rules should apply to those other drivers -- not themselves. A University of Utah study found that 97.5 percent of the population does not have the ability to multitask in the manner required to talk on the phone and drive safely. The rare group who can might make good fighter pilots.

"The big problem is that people think they're in that 2.5 percent," said Smith. "Unless you're 'Top Gun,' you can't do it."

The problem is not caused by holding a phone -- people don't drive less safely because they have a stick shift, Smith noted. The problem is a phenomenon called "inattention blindness," which means you can be looking straight out the windshield and not see what's in front of you because your brain is elsewhere. Many drivers who have been in cell-phone related crashes said they didn't see that the light was red, Smith said.

"Their brain is task-switching, instead of multi-tasking," said Smith. Drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to half the information in their driving environment, according to Dave Strayer, an author of the Utah study. Talking with a passenger is different, because a passenger can point out hazards and stop talking if driving conditions change.

2. If you're tired, pull over, turn the car off and take a nap:

Andy Dangerfield had been on his way college after an early start when he nodded off at the wheel.

He careered into the centre of Interstate 90 in Montana and straight into a metal guardrail which speared through the engine of his Chevy Suburban.

Before he could slow the station wagon, it had passed through and exited via the rear window - missing his body by inches.
3. In Illinois you are required to stop for pedestrians anywhere there is a marked crosswalk, even if there is no stop sign:
Chicago police have gone on a ticketing blitz focusing on dozens of high-accident locations to enforce a new state law requiring drivers to stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.

The law, which took effect this summer yet remains little-known among the public, is all about improving safety and reducing crashes involving pedestrians, officials said....

From neighborhoods to congested business districts, the two-month-old crosswalk law is intended to create a sweeping change in the rules of the road pertaining to pedestrian safety by clarifying drivers' responsibility and making it clear-cut for police to ticket violators, authorities said.

The former crosswalk law in Illinois required drivers to yield to pedestrians and stop only when necessary.

Now, drivers must stop for pedestrians in all crosswalks — even those that are unmarked or don't have a stop sign or a traffic signal. The penalty for failing to stop is a traffic citation of $50 to $500. Fines vary by county.

The new law also applies to instances in which a pedestrian enters the crosswalk against a "Don't Walk" signal or a red light, just as the old law required drivers to yield in such cases, officials said.
Fun, huh? (Having been hit by a taxi while crossing an intersection on a green light with a walk signal, I can tell you that no one is going to obey this law unless the tickets fly fast and furious and without end.)

4. Curb Your Dog. I totally agree with Zorn that this woman was the victim and not the perpetrator:
Those who don't pick up after their dogs deserve nothing less than a little frontier poop justice.

Update:

5. Don't Drink and Drive:
A Crest Hill man died early Tuesday in a crash near southwest suburban Lockport....

Angus would not comment as of 7:15 a.m. on whether or not alcohol was a factor, but did say Mahalik’s driver’s license was revoked for DUI in the past.
Act like a future Darwin Award Winner and you'll more than likely get your wish. (Just ask Jake if you don't believe me.)
Leslie

World Tour

Ooooh -- Barbados! I love Barbados; in fact, I swam with sea turtles there and was hooked for life on the beauty if its tranquil waters and sugar sand beaches.

It also has a lovely climate, with an average temperature of 75 to 85 degrees. Tradewinds provide balmy breezes year round. Also, Barbados is uniquely situated and may get the occasional tropical storm, but they haven't had a hurricane since 1955.

The people are lovely, the rum punch is spectacular and the attitude is definitely laid back.

Yep. I've got to talk to my family about doing a getaway there!

Leslie

World Tour

Guyana? Now that's a new visitor. Someone from Georgetown in the state of Demerara-Mahaica ended up here to view this post.

Here's a little bit of local color:

Leslie

Bus Fumes

Argh! Governor Give-Away is at it again:
The State of Illinois is implementing a three-phase instant rebate program to help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with ENERGY STAR® qualified models....

The third phase be similar to the second phase but offer rebates on a smaller number of products. The program will begin at 8 a.m. on September 24, 2010 and run that day so long as funds remain.

Eligible products include

Refrigerators
Freezers
Clothes washers
Dishwashers
The State of Illinois can't pay most of its bills, but it can throw $3 million of tax payer dollars away so people can buy appliances???

*Bangs head repeatedly against monitor*

At this point I'd even vote for that wingnut Alan Keyes if it meant getting Quinn out of office. He's killing this state with his freaking "kindness."
Leslie

Sunday Schedule

Aye, Giggle o' the Day. Argh:

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Aye, funniest commercial I''e seen in a while Aye:


Arrr, oddly, it brought t' mind the old York Peppermint Patty commercials. (Ye'll ne'er get me buried booty!)


Arrr, me ha'en't got a clue why. Aye.....
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Arrr, do you have a 'ideo that needs a great sound track? (Gar, Where can I find a bottle o'rum?)

Aye, if so, head on o'er t' the Benny Hillifier, argh!

(Arrr, it actually quite suits my attempt t' flog the Pirate Speak Translator for this entire post. Aye.)

Arrr, a tip o' the cap t' me maties o'er at The Awesomer. (Aye.)
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Just sign me Second Mate Catherine Hagerty the Dark for th' day, me hearties!

Woi, aye! It do be International Talk Like A Pirate Day. Woi d' ye ask?

Leslie

Sunday School

Ear Worm of the Day:

Leslie

Book Your Ticket

When you stumble across two posts in one day on not judging a book by its cover, you'd better pay attention.

For those who think I read nothing but chick books, I'm off to finish The First Wave, then I'll tuck into The '85 Bears -- We Were The Greatest (no, I couldn't wait for it to come out on Kindle, plus I'll really enjoy all the photos)... and then I'll take on The Believers, which I just bought.

Never judge this book by its cover, either!
Leslie

Saturday Morning Cartoons

It feels like a Looney Tunes day to me.

Foghorn Leghorn, the Dog and Henery the Chicken Hawk:


Commercial Break:


Tweety vs. Babbit and Catstello:


Cartoon Break:


Pepe Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat:

Leslie

World Tour

A quick check of the ol' site meter shows that not only did I have visitors from Australia, one of them is from Launceston, Tasmania!

Just so that we're clear, this is not a real Tasmanian Devil.

This is the real deal:



This is Tasmanian folk music:



And so is this:



Just thought you'd like to know!
Leslie

How Much...

... is that goggie in the window?

Two quick things for pet owners:

How much is your goggie or LOLcat worth?

If you have to fly with your pet, which airline is the most pet-friendly? (Having flown all over the place when I was showing cats, I know this is valuable info.)
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Ear Worm of the Day:



(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window
- Patti Page

How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the wagglely tail.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

I must take a trip to California,
And leave my poor sweetheart alone.
If he has a dog, he won't be lonesome,
And the doggie will have a good home.

How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the wagglely tail.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

I don't want a rabbit or a kitten,
I don't want a parrot that talks.
I don't want a bowl of little fishies,
'Cause you can't take a fish for a walk.

How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the wagglely tail.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.

How much is that doggie in the window?
The one with the wagglely tail.
How much is that doggie in the window?
I do hope that doggie's for sale.
Leslie

Say What?

Giggle of the Day:

Leslie

Driving Me Insane

Irritating Time Waster of the Day:
CLICK ON THE "BALL" link AND IT WILL CHANGE COLOUR.

Yes, it really does change colour.

Whoever made this up needs to be shot!

I changed the colour TWICE (that was enough!)
Blame it on Catfish.
Leslie

Quick Stop

No. I could not possibly be more smitten.
Leslie

Drive-Bys

True dat.
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Do you live in Chicago, San Fran, LA or DC and enjoy fine dining, but not the high prices? VillageVines boots up tomorrow. If you're expecting a check of $50 or more for dinner, you might want to give this service a try!
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Apparent suicide???
A man walking his dog this morning near an Evanston middle school discovered a decapitated body, perhaps the result of a pipe bomb explosion, and some hours later police destroyed what they suspected was an explosive device in the vicinity.
And, even better...
Dale Wyatt, 31, told the Tribune that he came across the body about 5:15 a.m. near Nichols Middle School, 800 Greenleaf St.

He said his dog Buddah led him to the body of a shirtless man whose head was missing and whose legs were folded behind him. A shopping bag and a black plastic jug lay nearby, and there was a strong odor of what he thought was gunpowder.
And it gets even better yet...
Police pushed the media back from the area after discovering what appeared to be an explosive device near the body, WGN-Ch. 9 reported about 8:40 a.m. Some residents were being evacuated from their homes. The Cook County sheriff's bomb squad was on the scene.
Suicide? Nah!

It sounds to me like karma was a bitch this morning and there's a new candidate for this year's Darwin Award. (Thank Krishna there were no kids around when the whole mess went down!) I'm guessing our boy was up to no good and fate stepped in to stop whatever evil he was about to perpetrate.
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Remember that sea change I predicted?
The Chicago City Council could be in for its biggest turnover in decades -- with as many as 20 seats changing hands -- thanks to a surge in voter turnout tied to the wide-open mayoral race, alderman and political observers warned Monday.
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Oh! On a related note, one of the more ethically challenged representatives we Illinois voters sent to the Senate only once before we pulled our heads out of our collective *ahems* and vowed never to make that mistake again, a former disgraced ambassador to New Zealand and former presidential candidate has come crawling back out from under the rock she's been hiding under and thrown her hat in the ring.
With names like White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, state Sen. James T. Meeks and Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart being tossed around, not to mention the perennial candidates such as Cook County Clerk Dorothy Brown, you might be wondering whether Moseley Braun is seriously considering jumping back into this arena after venturing into the world of teas and honeybees.

Apparently, she is.

"I think people are prepared to support the most qualified person, without regard to race and gender," she told me. "My qualifications should win the day.

"Just to show you how things work in life, last month I started having conversations with the people who wanted to buy into the company, and in the middle of that Daley announces.

"I am positioned perfectly to do this. Who would have thought it?"

Let the games begin!
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Speaking of games -- HBO has started their own blog about the making of Game of Thrones.

Winter Is Coming also has some GOT teasers here.

(Be still my little geek-girl heart!)
Leslie

Tootin' the Horn

Harvey makes birthday shopping easy:
[T]his year I was wondering what to ask for and drawing a blank. But I was pruning some of the dead links off my sidebar (which, apparently, I haven't done since 2005) when I noticed that the section labelled "USEFUL TOOLS" (right side, way towards the bottom) needs more links.

So, that's what I want.

Links to web sites that belong in the "USEFUL TOOLS" section of my sidebar.
Alrighty, then! I'm gifting him with one of my favorite sites -- The Awesomer -- which features tons of cool and useful tools... like this:



Happy 44th, Harvey!
Leslie

Saturday Morning Cartoons

For Billy, H.R. Pufnstuf, Part 1:


Cartoon Break:


Part 2:


Cartoon Break:


Part 3:

Leslie

Drive-Bys

My new hero:
A North Carolina restaurant has put a ban on unruly children, with a sign on the front door saying screaming children will not be tolerated.

Brenda Armes, the owner of the Olde Salty's restaurant in Carolina Beach, said she got sick of customers complaining about parents who couldn't control their children during meals.

She said many parents allowed their children to treat the restaurant like their personal playground, misbehaving and 'squawking'.
And of course you know someone just had to bitch about it:
But Ashley Helfin, a mother of two, said: 'I've never seen a restaurant say, don't bring your screaming kids in here. You can't help it if your kids scream.'Ummm, Ashley?
The Princess Mom made sure each and every one of her children knew how to mind their manners in public. Just because you don't know how to parent doesn't mean the rest of the world has to suffer.

If you're ever in Carolina Beach, NC, go visit Olde Salty's!
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I saw this article and just had to buy the book. How could you not find NASA's "coefficient of flatulence" fascinating?

And I do hope Mike Ditka's The '85 Bears: We Were The Greatest also comes out on Kindle. From these excerpts, it looks to be a hilarious read.

(I do have eclectic reading tastes, don't I?)
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I see President Tin-Ear strikes again on the issue of illegal aliens. Too bad if the (legally) voting public wants the immigration laws already on the books to be duly enforced...
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Speaking of President Tin-Ear, nice to see he's knee-capping Emanuel's chances as a mayoral candidate here in Chicago:
“My expectation is, he’d make a decision after these mid-term elections.”
And...
"I think right now, as long as he is in the White House, he's critically focused on making sure that we're creating jobs for families around the country and rebuilding our economy.

"But I think he would be a terrific mayor," said Obama.
Right. As long as he's doing what you want him to do, its fine to think in the abstract about what a fine mayor he'd be.

In the meantime, da locals have da edge.
If Emanuel remains at the White House until Nov. 2, he would be forced to play catch-up unless he has an army in Chicago “laying the groundwork” for him, said Ald. Pat O’Connor (40th), Mayor Daley’s City Council floor leader.

Candidates for mayor must file at least 12,500 valid signatures between Nov. 15 and 22 — and three times that many if they want to be certain they stay on the ballot.

“It could work. Clearly, he’d have enough money and it could allow him to size up the field. But, it could also allow people to make commitments [to other candidates] they can’t come off, which would limit his ability to make alliances,” O’Connor said.
Nice of President Tone-Deaf, who knows Chicago and Illinois politics, to cut the guy who's had his back all these many months a break. Now that's politics Chicago-style.
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Leslie

Bus Fumes

Everything that's wrong with the Catholic church today can be summed up by the fact that this pervert has not yet been defrocked:
A Roman Catholic priest who pleaded guilty Wednesday to sexually assaulting a young west suburban boy had his ordination delayed twice over concerns by Joliet diocesan officials that he had a sexually abusive childhood and viewed male pornography, prosecutors said in court....

Flores, 37, a native of Bolivia, started abusing the boy over a five-year period in 2005 after befriending members of his family, who were parishioners at St. Mary Catholic Church in West Chicago. Flores was posted there as a seminarian and deacon while working toward ordination.

Assistant State's Attorney Deb Bree said Flores' crimes took place during the time church officials were deciding whether to elevate him to the priesthood.

Yes, the powers that be in the church made a mistake in ordaining him, but they've compounded the damage by not stripping him of his priesthood once they knew he was supremely unfit.

Don't be surprised if they find a parish for him when he's finally deported back to Bolivia.

Leslie

Book Your Ticket

I loved Rob Kroese's (a/k/a Diesel of Mattress Police) Mercury Falls so much that I ordered The Force Is Middling In This One when it came out on Kindle.

Today, I got this message from Rob:
Greetings!

THE FORCE IS MIDDLING IN THIS ONE is now the 726th most popular book on Kindle!

For a self-published book, that's HUGE. Imagine my silly little book of humorous essays outselling thousands of books published by "real" publishers. And with your help, I think it might just break the top 500. That kind of exposure will help me sell a lot more books. Which is a good thing, right?

If you have a Kindle, please take a second to download TFIMITO. It's only $1.99 right now, and I'm giving all proceeds to the Red Cross's flood relief efforts in Pakistan.

Don't have a Kindle? YOU CAN STILL HELP. Just go to Amazon and get the FREE Kindle reader app for your PC, Mac, iPad or phone. Then download THE FORCE IS MIDDLING IN THIS ONE. It will take less than 5 minutes and cost you $1.99. And all proceeds go to charity, so it's worthwhile even if you already have the paperback.

Thank you very much for your help!
Rob Kroese
He'll have you rolling on the floor, and you'll get warm fuzzies for doing a good thing. It's a win-win for everyone!
Leslie

Roadmap


Mayor Shortshanks' announcement that he's not going to run again has indeed set Chicago's newsies on their collective ears. After all...
Next year Chicagoans will face what for most of them is a lifetime first — a mayoral election without an incumbent candidate. That hasn't occurred since 1947.
That is, indeed a big deal in a town where for years the only way out of the mayoral office has been to be voted out or to croak on the job.

I've always had mixed feelings about Daley because he clearly loves the city and has done a ton to improve it and make it livable on the one hand, but his fiscal acumen is lousy and he's always been tainted by bad judgments in his associates and in his land and power grabs on the other. See? There's very good reason for my ambivalence.

Now businesses, theater organizations and leaders in the Chicago music scene all have reasons for concern about Da Mair's successor and are scurrying to protect their interests.

Personally, I think we're going to see a hell of a lot of interesting signs along the way to the next elections. I predict a sea change in Illinois politics and governance.

Leslie

From the Glove Compartment...

... these photos from yesterday of flowers fair and flowers prickly...







Guess which is which?

Leslie

Whoa, Nelly!

Mayor Shortshanks just made a most interesting announcement:
Mayor Richard Daley says he will not run for re-election in 2011, saying it's "time for me, it's time for Chicago to move on."

"The truth is I have been thinking about this for the past several months," Daley said at a City Hall news conference that stunned the city. "In the end this is a personal decision, no more, no less."
Yowza! While I'm not completely surprised, as his wife has been battling cancer again this year, that's still going to throw Chicago politics into quite an uproar.

Stay tuned, boys and girls. It's about to get even more interesting around here!
Leslie

Sunday Schedule

Because it makes me happy:

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My Giggle of the Day...


... set off my Ear Worm of the Day:


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DWTS is coming. Yay!
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Leslie

Rules of the Road

Back in the day when I still drove to and from work every day, I witnessed women putting on make-up, men shaving, people talking nonstop on cell phones and even one guy who worked a crossword puzzle in the middle of driving in rush hour. I was rear-ended once on Lake Shore Drive during evening rush hour by an idiot on a cell phone -- back in the day when they were really new, came with a carrying case the size of a small sewing machine, and were only used by high flying business people. Another time I was rear-ended so hard at a stop light that I was shoved into the car in front of me -- because the woman who hit me was talking to her toddler in the back seat and didn't even see the red light.

And let us not forget the time I was hit by a taxi as I was crossing at an intersection on a green light -- because the cabbie was most likely on the phone and definitely not paying attention as he made a left-hand turn on a red light in his direction.

I gave up driving over two years ago, mostly because I no longer felt safe on the roads in this area. Allstate's recent survey of the safest and most dangerous cities to drive in bears out my perception that the roads are far more dangerous now than they've ever been before.

Worse than all the other distractions available to today's "auto pilots," however, is simultaneously text messaging and driving.

Whether you're guilty yourself of texting and driving, or you have a teen who you suspect may be texting and driving, you really need to read this article from Car and Driver about the results of its test which proved that texting or reading texts while driving are far more dangerous than driving drunk:

If you can't put down the freaking phone while you're behind the wheel, you really shouldn't have a license to drive. If it's really that important to make that call or send that text, pull over.

BTW -- If you live in or plan to visit Illinois any time in the near future, as of September 15th, fines for moving violations are going up significantly.

(A tip of the cap to Grunt Doc.)
Leslie

Sunday Funnies


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Update: This may not be a comic, but it is funny!

Leslie

Pub Crawl

So what are the critics saying about Seanachai Theatre Company's production of The Weir?
"The Weir" always owes part of its success to a set designer's vision. The atmospheric touches have to be just right to move the audience into the total picture. Here the worn pub set by Robert Groth and Jenniffer J. Thusing is perfect in every detail, from the massive bar to the family pictures on the wall and the iron stove around which the storytellers gather.

Director Miller found the perfect actor in Armacost, who gives a standout performance as the likable Jack, a man who has never married and claims he has no regrets. But as his tale unfolds, he clearly does have problems with his solitary life.

Theis is suitably manic as always as Finbar, a man whose mission is to succeed above everyone else. And Wellington carefully etches a woman filled with pain and loss who is trying her best to recover some semblance of happiness.
-- Mary Houlihan, Chicago Sun-Times

Perhaps you saw the play at the Steppenwolf about 10 years ago. I thought that version was quite good, but the current effort from Seanachai Theatre Company is far more effective in capturing a type of campfire intimacy, and director Matt Miller uses the small-ish confines of Seanachai's space to the show's advantage (even if the theater's air conditioning isn't quite up to the task). The set from Robert Groth and Jenniffer J. Thusing, with its dark wood tones and old photos on the wall, is evocative enough that you may want to climb in there for a drink yourself....

What is a belief in the supernatural, after all, if not an explanation for things that go bump in the night? McPherson's script takes it a step further, to include all the things that go bump in our minds. Certainly those assembled in the pub have plenty of baggage to go around, and Miller's cast embodies a believable, lived-in chemistry as longtime neighbors who have forged friendships out of circumstance — their nightly pub stops a brief reprieve from self-imposed isolation.

Jeff Christian's mama's-boy handyman aches with incipient loss and confusion.
-- Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader
Under the direction of Matt Miller and dialect coaching of Barbara Zahora, THE WEIR ensemble is authentic in pub talk, walk and gawk. To impress the feminine stranger, the conversations between Brad Armacost (Jack) and Kevin Theis (Finnbar) is a healthy pour of boast with a shot of swagger. Armacost is outstanding as the charismatic Irish drunk that hold courts with his nightly tavern rehashing of the past. Theis is hilarious as he competes with Jack's overshadowing presence. By bragging, he continually sets himself up as the arse of Jack's joke. Meanwhile, the gawkers, Brad Smith (Brendan) and Jeff Christian (Jim) are delightful as the awkwardly entranced barflies with the lady company. Smith's bashful bartender, debating over joining in a libation, is understated charming. Christian is a perfect social misfit that bumbles into the limelight with a graveyard remembrance. The chemistry between the guys is like good Irish whiskey. It goes down smooth with a bit of a bite and lingering giddy affects. Holding her own with the tavern buddies, Sarah Wellington (Valerie) is equal parts frivolous and poignant. She flirts with tease expertise and then halts the playful banter with a haunting narrative.
-- Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh
This is a movingly powerful drama that is a tribute to the depth of the human spirit. Seanchai Theatre Company’s production i[s] filled with terrific performances led by the brilliant work from Brad Armacost. This is marvelous Irish storytelling.
--Tom Williams, Chicago Critic
The ensemble is on top of a tough script filled with demanding monologues. The actors goose the humor with nice, natural touches; Christian’s awkward pauses and over-long eye contact are genius. But the jewel of the evening is Armacost; his mundane tale of love and life squandered is heartbreaking; his pain is very much of this realm.
-- Lisa Buscani, New City Stage

I've seen it, and I can tell you it's a marvelous production. Do yourself a favor and buy yourself a Guinness or a Harp from Seanachai's concessions before you enter the theater, because it'll make you feel even more a part this lovely story.

One more thing -- yes, there are tales of faeries and ghosties and other chilling fair... but there's also a ton of humor in this play, too.

This only plays through October 3rd. What are you waiting for? Go buy a ticket!

(Photos by Eileen Molony.)
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Update: To prove it's not just me, I received this email from my friend Paul: "Saw it Sunday; it was fantastic."
Leslie

Saturday Morning Cartoons

At Pam's request, a little Bugs Bunny... and while I'm at it, I'm making it all banned Merrie Melodies:

Poking fun at the Old South:


Commercial Break:


All This and Rabbit Stew:


Commercial Break:


Coal Black and De Sebben Dwarfs (embedding disabled)


Leslie