Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Holding my nose

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

My polling place is about a 10-to-15 minute walk from Obama’s (Chicago) house, which might account for the good turnout there this morning. Or the weather — cool but mostly clear, a beautiful fall day. Or the time — before work (several other voters looked to be on their way). So the numbers might be deceptive. I hope not. If it’s true that good weather helps Democrats, I’m glad we have good weather.

Have the Republicans had a decent idea since the Emancipation Proclamation? They must have, right? After almost 150 years the odds are surely in their favor, I just can’t think what it is. Eisenhower was prescient about the military-industrial complex, but that’s the best I can come up with.

I’ve voted for individual Republicans before — we get some mighty lame Democrats here on occasion — but not this time. Dancing with the partner who brung me, perhaps, but at least it’s a partner willing to dance instead of sitting, arms crossed, scowling and saying no to everything.

Blow the man down

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

We look to be about halfway through the Great Midwest Cyclone, at least at my house (about six blocks from Obama’s, on Chicago’s South Side). The warnings yesterday made me decide not to ride my bike to work today, and it’s probably just as well. On the walk to the bus, the wind was blowing the rain sideways, so the umbrella was useless below my elbows and despite my raincoat my nether lands were soaked. Pants dried off by mid-afternoon, socks were still damp when I got home.

I was tempted to ride: 60-mph gusts from behind? I’ll take that! But they’d be there on the way home, too. Hmm.

On the upside, my neighbor’s catalpa tree is north of us, and with the winds from the south, his leaves are mostly blowing into other people’s yards.

Tomorrow it’s still supposed to be windy, but no rain, so I’ll see how cyclonic this whole thing is. Sounds like something Dyson would come up with.

My kind of town

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

Chicago is …

a bike-friendly town

a goose-friendly town

a kid-friendly town

a shopper-friendly town

a spider-friendly town

a UFO-friendly town


Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

… at Madison and Franklin. StreetWise vendor to no one in particular as passersby ignore him: “They do’s the walkaway! They do’s the walkaway!”


Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

…on Washington Street — a woman, looking at her soft drink, to a second woman: “This tastes disgusting.”

The Mosque of Zero

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Thanks to people who actually live in New York, the rest of us know — or should know — that it’s not a mosque, and its proposed site is not at Ground Zero.

And people who actually live in New York have approved the thing — more than once — which ought to count for something with the rest of us, although it’s not easy to tell.

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have piped up about this unless New York had actually said no to the cultural center, which would have been a bigger story — and rightly so — than the current flap, but it bothers me to see, for example, an irrelevant hairpiece like Newt Gingrich get airtime to be dishonest about the place.

It’s another distraction from the real problems on our plate: no money, no jobs, and an out-of-power party that wants to keep it that way for political gain. Extend unemployment benefits? More stimulus? “Oh, you can’t spend your way out of depression.” Sure you can. I’ve done it lots of times. It was easier before Tower Records closed, but I still manage.

“But the deficit!” What about it? It was there before you pretended to notice it (thanks for the wars, by the way), it’s not caused by retirees getting Social Security, or jobless people collecting benefits, and we’ll dig out of it as we put people back to work. Don’t make this harder than it already is.

There, I feel better now. And for a pithier take, try Tom Tomorrow.

Speaking of coming aftershocks …

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

I ran across this ad on Facebook earlier today.

Dick Morris!?

Shouldn’t that thumbs-up be a big toe instead? Unlike.

Miles to go and gaps to mind

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

I read about this interesting site on the New Yorker’s Web site. It’s fun (and I say that despite their having published something of mine, not because of it).

We should do something similar for the CTA, although we have the disadvantage of fewer stops and some of them sharing names (four Pulaskis, four Kedzies, three Addisons and Ciceros for starters). And mostly they’re street names, although we could use the anagram CTA map instead, which is pretty hilarious. Not as good as London’s, but then we are the second city.

The power of the prez

Friday, May 28th, 2010

It happened again. On my way home from work, police blocked off the lakefront path because President Obama was coming to town. I’ve been through this before…

He and his family actually came to town yesterday, but today was his visit to Louisiana and the oil spill. My timing was so good I spent 20 minutes near Soldier Field with a bunch of other cyclists watching his helicopter — actually several helicopters — arrive. We traded stories of other times Obama’s arrival or departure had delayed us. “I wouldn’t have voted for the guy if I knew he was going to interfere with my commute,” one guy joked. When I suggested maybe he’d do Bike the Drive Sunday, a woman in front of me groaned and said, “Don’t even say that.” A very tall guy who gave up and cycled back north said, “This is cool — maybe it’s old hat in D.C., but it’s cool to see it here.”

And it is. I hope he and his family enjoy their visit home. He’s having a rough time, what with the wars he inherited, the economy going kablooey, the Party of Nope, the BP disaster — who’d want that job? But he’s doing it, and I think he’s doing it well. He’s a good president and may turn out to be a great president. He deserves a good weekend here.

Overheard . . .

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Near Clark and Monroe, guy yelling into cellphone: “What are you saying? That’s what I’m saying.”