DJ Dan Morrell

Every once and awhile I come across music that I really enjoy. If you like upbeat dance music – check out Chicago’s very ownDJ Dan Morrell. Make sure you check out his podcasts. I have bought more music after listening to them than I have in a long time! Good stuff.

Anything else? Yes – he also plays the guitar. Watch the video…

My Kind of Town

A few weeks ago A and I went on a special tour of Chicago given by Geoffrey Baer. If you are from this area – you know him from the WTTW tours of the city/suburbs. The weather was iffy – and we ended up driving home through tornadic conditions, but we had a great time. Check out the photos for a special tour of the city.

Valentine's Day = Lou Malnati's

Heart shaped pizza!

Nothing says Valentine’s Day in my house like Lou Malnati’s Valentine’s Day heart shaped pizza. I look forward to this every year – and every year they do not disappoint. Who needs a fancy dinner/restaurant when you have this?

Bracing For the Non-Blizzard (Chicago)

Growing up just south of Buffalo taught me quite a few things:

  • How to always be able to start a snow blower
  • The difference between “Upstate New York” vs. “Western New York”
  • How to not root for the home team
  • How to actually deal with snow

Out here in Chicago I have seen a trend which I call the “ok – it is our turn for the big news story”. Chicago always prepares and hypes up all storms and then after all the schools close down in fear – we end up getting snow that is easily moved by using a broom instead of a snowblower or even shovel. I feel like Chicago has felt left out with all the news and attention on New York’s storms this year so the media can barely hold back their excitement for this attention.

I am sure all the Chicago stations have been gearing up for this “Blizzard which will soon hit the area with all their fancy graphics and catchy phrases but most likely – we will get some accumulation but nothing near what they expected.

What I hope for: a lot of snow. I miss hard core snow blowing where I have to literally push the snow blower with my arms and one leg (oh yes – a hidden talent for extreme snow blowing). I can then go out and build a sweet snowman that will last weeks. What I think we will get – no more than 6-9 inches at most and a lot of hype/wasted time for all the catchy news phrases/imagery.

Meeting People

On the same note as my post las week “Time to Reconnect and Disconnect – I decided to take some time this past weekend to go golfing as well as to go to my first ever book signing: Alison Arngrim (actress who played Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie) (one of my all time favorite shows).

It was great to get out and enjoy the nice fall weather while golfing on my favorite course: Foxford Hills. While only my second time out all year (pathetic) – I did pretty well and came home excited to go out again this week. I need to work on my putting but everything else felt pretty good.

During show commercials – I often pick up the iPad and see what actors have done/are doing and decided to take a look at the Little House on the Prairie cast. I noticed the actress who played Nellie Oleson (someone that is in the thick of things in all my favorite episodes) was in town doing a book signing for her new book. I decided I had to go meet her in person and so on Saturday – I drove down to the bookstore where she was at and listened to her talk, had her sign my book, and told her how much of a pleasure it was to meet her.

Listening her tell stories and just seeing her in person was a real treat. I look forward to going to more book signings in the future. It was great to be able to ask questions and make a real connection face to face with someone you thought you “knew” all those years. Of course playing golf was also a blast and I am looking forward to a lot of fall golf in the next few months.

Random Fridays: Chicago 2016 No More

Well – after three years of waiting/planning for this day and 70 million dollars spent…Chicago got out in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympic location. I am completely stunned we got knocked out and during the first round at that. I had it all planned too…all my construction friends would have plenty of work, my family and friends would fly in for the big event, my son Evan would be 10 and actually be able to appreciate them, and so on.

Chicago is a fantastic town with all kinds of gems that people who have never been here don’t have any clue about and it is a bit sad to me that the world will not see our city for what it really is (our lakefront, great neighborhoods, amazing food, nice people, clean streets, world class architecture, etc).

Perhaps it was not meant to be, but man…I was really looking forward to it!

Random Fridays: Olympics in Chicago?

I have been anxiously awaiting the news of whether or not Chicago will get the 2016 games and it looks like some others are getting antsy as well. The Chicago Tribune put out an article “Chicago awards contract to clear Olympics site” today that makes me even more hopeful. Of course there are plenty of rumors going around, but this makes it sound a bit more promising!

So many people have little or no expectations for our great city and I would love for the world to see what all we have to offer. We have an amazing (perhaps great) lake, an unforgettable skyline, some of the nicest people, and some pretty interesting history.

Sure the traffic will be out of control and it will be a bit overwhelming, but the excitement, jobs, and the opportunity to see some events in your own city would be amazing.

Let’s just hope we get some good news in October!

Random Fridays: Train Surfing

Event hough I do not live near the ocean, I still enjoy surfing as much as anyone else (and have ever since watching the movie North Shore).

There is something very satisfying and exciting about catching the perfect wave – everything clicks, and you just seem to almost fly – or at least that is how it feels for me. Where am I surfing? I am surfing on Northwest Highway and I call it “train surfing”. For those that do not know this – Chicagoland has a number of commuter train lines and I happen to drive on a road parallel to the train tracks for about 10 miles every morning. If you can catch it (“the wave”) just right – you can literally go through almost the entire 10 miles without hitting a red light (there are several).

Every once in a great while – if you get in a position to follow an express train – it will cause all the lights to change with you so that you can go straight through. This is something I have only done a few times – but like any great wave – it is all about the chase.

Chicago: Cold

I know it is generally cold here in the winter – and even though we had a nice break a few days ago, it is cold here, but man I was shocked to see my Mac Mini’s ambient temperature reporting:

So much for that temperature reporting application!