Best Hour on the Radio


Over the last few months I have really enjoyed listening to DJ Flipside on B96 both on air (as shown) as well with his podcast available via iTunes. You can even go to his web site and catch older shows: If you are looking for some upbeat great dance music – check him out.

One of the Best Finds in 2012


I never would have thought about touching this stuff until this past fall when everyone I was with at a party was appalled that I had never tried it. One bite and I was instantly transformed into a fan. If you are ever in Chicago and get an Italian beef sandwich – make sure to ask for it!

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.

Jappler Recommends: Mr. Duct

After living in our home for over 5 years and having done some construction/having dogs and cats we decided to get our air ducts cleaned. I did some initial research last week and after talking to the people at Mr. Duct I decided to go with them. They were not the cheapest – but they had they were certified and took time to explain everything.

The process itself took a few hours and was well worth it. Before the cleaning started – they put a camera into our ducts and showed us what they looked like (which was disgusting). After the cleaning – they showed us the same view and low and behold – it was clean.

If you live in the Chicagoland area and are looking to get your ducts cleaned – please give these guys a call. They do great work and are very easy to work with.

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?

My Volvo Has No Fear

I am a Volvo fan tried and true. This morning I needed to go out. My Volvo was pretty buried from the Chicago blizzard (the snow was even packed tight in my wheel bases!). Without fail – I turned it on and backed right up, no problems. Thank you Scandinavia!

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.

Jappler Recommends: Patrick LandRover

If anything – I am a loyal customer. Once I find something I like and trust – I generally stay with it for the long haul. I have been nothing but happy with my Volvos and my Volvo service experience with Patrick Volvo in Schaumburg, IL.

When it came time to upgrade our 2002 Land Rover Discovery – we decided to give the Patrick Land Rover dealer in Naperville, IL. Within moments of getting out of the car – we had a friendly salesman come over and not hassle or hurry us at all. He was extremely interested in buying the Discovery we drove there (they are hot items) and we took a few test drives in some of their LR3s. The LR3s are basically an upgraded version of the since discontinued Discoveries which are much more elegant than the Discoveries but still built for the off road adventures that Land Rover is known for.

Once we found the one we wanted to buy (2008 LR3), the manager took a look at the Discovery and offered a very reasonable offer on the car we drove in, and I actually got him to go up $500 – which I would have been fine if he did not. There was no long drawn out back and forth – and we were able to move through the process. We then moved over to the finance manager which was very nice and we moved through all the paperwork very quickly.

Over all process was completely stress and hassle free – and I appreciated that. If you are from the Chicagoland area and looking for a new car – check out the Patrick dealer group before going anywhere else. The level of professionalism was and has been top notch.

Side Note:
While we were going through the process I realized that the LR3 did not have any floor mats (a mistake I made with 2 previous car purchases). Knowing the driver side floor mat retailed for $267 (there was an ad on the car salesman’s desk we were at) – I knew if I wanted to purchase Land Rover floor mats – I would have been out another few hundred dollars easily. I mentioned it to the salesman and he told me to bring it up to the finance guy. I told the finance guy and he told me to go talk to the salesman who promptly told me it was up to the Business Manager.

I walked into the Business Manager’s office and said “I was told you were going to give us some floor mats since they were missing from the vehicle”. He looked at me and told me I was crazy because that was easily and extra few hundred dollars. I did not give up and told him that he was going to make a few thousand on the car we traded in and that this would be nothing compared to that. I think I caught him off guard because he stood there for a moment and then came back with “if I make $1500 on it after commission, etc I will call you”. I said great – I will expect a call in a few days since our car salesman already had someone picked out for the Disco we brought in. I told him I would be checking inventory daily.

I think he was getting tired of me – and so he asked me (to change the subject) if I had ever taken the Land Rover to one of the Land Rover events (they set up off road courses). I told him no and so he went over and got a book to show me the photos from last year’s event. The first page included a few Land Rovers covered in mud and I said “wow – it really looks like a lot of fun…and it looks like I will certainly need some floor mats for that!”. He laughed and kept going through the book. A few pages later he was showing us a LR3 on a “teeter totter” and the winner of this balancing event won prizes. I said – “wow – that is really cool. I hope the prizes included floor mats”.

After that – I finally broke him down and guess what? I got the floor mats 😉 Phew.