Happy New Year

The palms are looking a little wilty — high time I gave them some water and fertilizer, so here we go.

A few days ago I rode to work in a light snow. At the foot of the sledding hill, near Soldier Field, a Park District truck with an enormous fan was making snow and blowing it at the hill. Also over the recently plowed path. Reminds me of seeing Park District people watering plants during a rainstorm. That’s my town.

And speaking of my town, I can’t give you a top 10 list for last year, but a couple of things stick out. Chicago, of course, lost the 2016 Olympics to Rio. I think it’s too bad. I’m sure the critics are right, that we would have been on the hook for millions of dollars, the Games wouldn’t have brought anything like what the backers were predicting, the city would be a construction zone for six years and a zoo for about three weeks. And I won’t even mention the waste and fraud endemic to any big development. But it would still have been fun, and it would have been fun to see the city on such a big stage.

But the city got good news last year, too, and that was the Sun-Times getting a new owner. It’ll take a while to see how that plays out, but to have some certainty — and to have a local guy who appears to care about the paper — is a great step. I spent nearly 35 years at the place and I wish it the best.

Moving beyond Chicago: In 2008, we were lucky enough to have two trumpeters (Bob Civiletti and Bryan Shaw) release CDs exploring the highest regions of the baroque and post-baroque solo repertoire on baroque trumpet. In 2009, two groups of trumpeters released CDs of ensemble pieces on instruments without tone holes. I’ll review them together when I get to it (working a full-time job just gets in the way of blogging, you know), but both recordings display great skill — and great promise for future performances. (When I get to the review, I’ll explain tone holes and why it’s progress to go without them, though this is an arcane and probably uphill struggle…)

And close to home, we took in a feral cat (No. 5 for us, but she goes by Paulette), found homes for three more and managed to capture, spay and release another one (no, we are not amateur vets; we took the cat to professionals). And as of today, we’re hosting two more feral kittens till we can have them checked by a vet and adopted. So a slight dent in the neighborhood wild cat population.

Let’s see what the rest of the year brings!

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