Friday, March 31, 2006


SueT-RexThe Field Museum is justly known for its dinosaurs, the most famous being Sue, the largest, most complete, and best preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, ever!

She has her own website.

Now, when I think of my sister...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Chicago Skyline


This was taken about 9:00 last Thursday morning at the north entrance to the Field Museum. I Photoshop merged three (over?) exposures.

Since this landscape orientation neither fits nor does much justice to the view I decided to try another approach. Now take your screen and turn it 90 degrees clockwise and scroll. Isn't that better?


Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Palmer House - Chicago

Palmer-House001If Analog Man does not post for over a week something must be up. It was, in this case a trip to Chicago - with a side adventure to Wisconsin. Enough material was gathered for several posts, which are forthcoming.

My base of operations was the famous Palmer House in downtown Chicago. palmer1910My wife 4 C's convention was again there and I went along for the ride so I might attend the retirement party of Phil, my ex-boss, Friday afternoon. More on that later.

The Palmer House may no longer be the fanciest hotel in town, but it once was. What it may now lack in modern amenities is more than made up for by the best lobby in town, shown above on a postcard they gave me this morning. I wanted to lie on the floor and take a picture of the practically naked woman in the center of the mural, but I thought that a bit too, uh, obvious. The ceiling is actually much taller than the postcard would lead you to believe.

The second postcard - from 1910 - I pulled off Google images. By then the famous Brownie, invented by the chef at the Palmer House, was already 17 years old. And yes, I had one there three nights ago. It cost almost 10$ but was worth it!

After a bit of rest and reflection I will have much more...

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Signs of Spring

Pear-TreeThis Bradford Pear in the park did not spend much time wearing white this year; the green leaves rapidly began to show themselves.

And my tomato seeds germinated well but became quite "leggy," as last year. But this year I replanted them deeply in larger containers. So far no real tomato leaves.

Tomato-PlantsWhile it has been warm, a cold spell starts tonight - highs for the next week or so in the 50's.

We are celebrating my wife's birthday this week-end with friends and family from out-of-town arriving today.

More later...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

A Young Man of Letters


Now that I have taken over my mother's finances I have been looking through long stored piles of family papers. Last week I was looking for some old deeds and ran across perhaps my first letter.

It was to my mother when she was in the hospital having my sister and I was staying with her mother. I had just turned four.

I don't think my handwriting has improved much, although I am a better speler.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

For My Friends in Wisconsin

Spring-FlowersI thought you might like to see what spring will be like for you, in about TWO months.

The Bradford Pear tree across the road will be in full glory in about another week.

My tomato plants just popped up from seed.

Photos of both when I get back from my trip to Virginia.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

The Unequaled Self

Unequaled SelfOne of my first posts on this blog directed your attention to an online version of The Diary of Samuel Pepys. Pepys (1633-1703) rose from humble beginnings to become a high ranking English civil servant, Member of Parliament, and confidant of Kings during perhaps the most turbulent time in modern British history. His fame, however, lies in his private diary (1660-1669), at the time unique, and remarkable to this day for its eyewitness accounts and personal candor.

Pepys was seldom heroic; much of what he tells us about himself and the London of his day is unpleasant. He and London are frequently all too human. Only recently have versions of his coded diary appeared uncensored. Yet he transcends his time and place with a zest for living and honesty (at least in private) that is admirable and all too rare. Claire Tomalin, the noted English biographer, won the Whitbread Book Award in 2002 for her Samuel Pepys - The Unequaled Self, which I have just finished. It was wonderfully written, adding context and detail to my daily doses of Sam and making him part of my extended family.

While it helps to have an interest in English history during Sam's time - I am well underway writing a history of my own - Tomalin's book and the online diary are worthy for their window into the larger human condition - how far we have come, and haven't. As a bonus, the daily contemporary annotations on the website are frequently as interesting and amusing as Pepys. I recommend both highly.