Friday, April 21, 2006

Analog Man Does Windoz

WindozIt has been about a week since HELL FROZE OVER. So far both Boot Camp and Windows XP have been performing flawlessly. I'm not surprised by Boot Camp - beta or not - but XP is remarkably better than the other half dozen Microsoft operating systems I have used. I still remain booted into OSX most of the time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rooms w/view


While walking to the Field Museum across Grant Park I took this of one of my favorite Chicago buildings.

Several years ago, one cold, windy but sunny morning, I was headed across the park to the Field Museum when I turned my back to the wind for a little relief. Until that moment I had not really taken in the magnificent Chicago skyline. My jaw dropped. So instead of the warmth of the museum I decided just to walk around and look at buildings. Not particularly dressed for the occasion, I like to froze.

The memory of this building, while not the most spectacular or famous downtown has to offer, stuck with me. Although the architecture is sort of typical of a century ago, it was where it was placed that caught my eye.


Here is another view. Makes you wonder how they got it up there.


P.S. Did you like that "like to froze?" My county boy personae peakin' round the corner.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Any Damn Fool

Any Damn FoolThe morning after Phil's party I stopped for breakfast at the Machine Shed in Rockford, IL. While settling up I noticed this book for sale on the counter, Any Damn Fool Can be A Farmer - Growing Up on a Wisconsin Farm, by Bob Knopes. I am working on a family history project of my own - and it looked like a good airplane read. So I bought it.

Turns out that Bob grew up just a few miles from where I worked in Janesville, WI. I must have driven past his family's farm hundreds of times. Small world.

What makes the book worthy of his efforts and yours - besides the writing which is much better than typical books of this kind - is the reminder of a way of life that is fastly disappearing. Family farming was - and is - hard work. It is reassuring that it usually does not make hard people.

Bob's story may not have enough drama for some; I'm sure that was just-as-well for his family. A couple of fires will have to do. But it is as real as that wonderful smell of earth being turned about now on Wisconsin's farms. I recommend it, especially to my friends along the Rock River.

P.S. - In case the book's title offends our friends in the agricultural community, Bob is referring to something his father often said, but did not really mean. Barnyard humor.

Friday, April 07, 2006


PhilThe real reason for my trip to Chicago was to attend my ex-boss' retirement party in Wisconsin. I didn't tell them I was coming; it was wonderful seeing the looks on my co-worker's faces and be able to thank Phil for being such a great boss.

It has been a full two weeks since Phil's party - and post party - plenty of time for the $500,000 in small bills, the two Dallas Cheerleaders, and the case of Glenfiddich to arrive. Since Phil has obviously decided not to be extorted, I am making good on my threat to post this photo.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Field Day

Marshall-Field-SignAfter my trip to the Field Museum I went downtown to pay homage to the enterprise that played a major role making it all possible, and do a little shopping.

Marshall Field's may or may not have been the world's greatest department store, but it remains my favorite. Although immitated, the atriums remain wonders to behold.

Marshall Field was a country boy from Massachusetts who moved to Chicago in 1853. Clerking in a dry goods store he saved his money, bought into the business, bought out his partners, and became the richest man in Chicago. TiffanyCeilingMarshallFieldsHis State Street store was as commercially innovative as it was beautiful. I wanted to take my own picture of the Tiffany iridescent glass ceiling five stories up, but found the floor traffic too dense. So I lifted this from Google Images. But photos cannot do the place justice; one must stroll about.

Fields had gone through several corporate owners recently and unfortunately will be rebranded as Macy's this year. That may be good for Federated Retail Holdings, Inc., but it will be another part of Americana lost.

P.S. I got some great pants on sale!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Soldier Field - Chicago

SoldierField1After walking about in the Field Museum for six hours week before last I decided to get some fresh air. Soldier Field is next door, so I walked the colonnades.

The stadium finished undergoing a renovation several years back, the new architecture making for some striking juxtapositions. Soldier Field2 This photo was the best I could do showing how the old and new blend - or don't. I'm more a Burnham man myself.

At one time the north end was open, framing the Field Museum as this old photo shows.

The NFL team that plays here most frequently shall not be written.