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Showing posts from November, 2014

You Had One Job, Black Friday...

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Nat and I were out on Black Friday and the fine folks at Toys R Us did everyone a favor and dropped the price of this toy submarine exactly $0.00.  What an amazing deal!

Happy Thanksgiving Via The Last Waltz

Found this 'alternate footage' on YouTube this am of The Last Waltz.  Sound is pretty great.

Keeping the tradition alive.  This is the 10th year of 'documenting' it via this here blog.  Well...not 10 posts, but the first one was back in 2004, so this is the 10th year of sorts.  Looks like this makes 8 of 10 years.  Not too bad.

Here's my post from 2013 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2012 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2011 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2010 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2007 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2005 on The Last Waltz.
Here's my post from 2004 on The Last Waltz.


Vintage Light-Up Red Nose Santa Claus

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The first thing I bought this weekend at the Randolph Street Market was this Santa with a big bulb red nose.  He'll go great right next to our light up tree on the piano.

Randolph Street Market Christmas Visit - 2014

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Along with all three kids, a Grammy, an Aunt Sisi and one nephew, we went down to the Randolph Street Market to score some vintage Christmas stuff this weekend.  (and yes...we did take the Swagger Wagon, thank you very much.)

I'll document the new additions to the Christmas gallery later this week once they get set up into spots.

The Gang's All Here

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Look who arrived in the mail:  Santa!

We put in the order for the Bumble (actually...we think we ordered three of them somehow!), so hopefully he's on his way to our house via the USPS.

Rudolph 50th Anniversary Collectible Figures

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We picked up these guys (and Rudolph!) at Menards over the past few weekends.  They each have a belt buckle that you can push and make them say their catchprashes (like..."now....this won't hurt a bit.").

There are four of them in total that you can purchase: Hermey, Rudolph, Yukon and Santa.  We had three, but not Santa.

The issue?  Inside each of the boxes is a 'puzzle piece' that you put together and get a special order code for a exclusive Bumble figure that you have to mail away to receive.

Think of this as kind-of a new-age "D-R-I-N-K  Y-O-U-R  O-V-A-L-T-I-N-E".

We *had* to get the Bumble.  *Had* to.

So...off to Ebay I went.  Found a Santa for a bit more than they sell them at Menards and I pulled the trigger.  We're waiting on him to arrive (hopefully today!) and then the girls and I will assemble the puzzle and see how we can get the Bumble.

Got a Stripped Screw? Try the Speedout. Seriously.

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I am the KING of stripped screws.  Putting screws in.  I strip them.  Taking screws out.  I strip them.
We're getting some painting done and I had to take down some bookcases.  I took out a bunch of the screws, but encountered one last one:  and it was awfully stripped out.
But...fortunately...I had this little kit on hand called "Speedout".  
See that screw in the top photo?  That's AFTER I finally got it out of the wall.
Thanks to the Speedout.  

The Speedout is a series of 2-sided bits.  You pop the "a" side into your drill/drive and you bore a slightly bigger 'hole' into the screw head.  Then, you flip the bit over and use the 'b' side to 'grab' the screw out.

I received the Speedout from my in-laws for my birthday earlier this year and I had not used it before this weekend.  Now?  I'll keep it in my work-bucket and use it all the time.

Watch this video.  I swear...this was my exact experience.  It was *almost* magical!

Mayor Jane Byrne Memorial At City Hall

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I was walking through City Hall this morning and came across this Mayor Jane Byrne memorial set-up.  On each of the end tables there was a book and nice pen where people can leave greetings for the Byrne family.

In the minute or so I stood there, a handful of people walked up and checked out the book, but none of them signed it.

Vintage Christmas Carolers Spinning Music Box - 2014

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These three little music-box carolers were too neat to pass up.  They play 'Jingle Bells' as they turn and they came in their original box (see it below).

Someone - back in the day - bought this at LeeWards in Elgin for $4.49.  It is a bit delicate, but since it is a music box, it seems like these guys need to be 'out' and not tucked into the glass cabinet with all the other treasurers so folks can hear the tune and see them spin.



Vintage "Merry Christmas" Squirrel and Chipmunk Pot - 2014

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It wasn't all felt and cardboard that we bought last weekend in the latest binge on vintage Christmas stuff.  We also bought some pottery - which is what the bulk of our collection is made of currently.

These little guys have a nice Japan sticker on their bottom and are all smiles as they carry a big present away to their next Christmas party.


Vintage Cardboard Sparkle Snowman - 2014

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We also picked up this little guy over the weekend from AA in Naperville.  He's not a Santa (which I give preference to), but he is awfully cute.  With arms made out of pipe cleaners and bedazzled in glitter, he'll look great right next to rest of our vintage Christmas finds like that Christmas Tree lighter.


Vintage Christmas Felt Mice - 2014

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We picked up these two little guys over the weekend as part of a big vintage Christmas haul from Affordable Antiques in Naperville.

They're, unfortunately, not destined to have a permanent home in our place.  Nope.  I bought them with someone very particular in mind as they kinda remind me of something from my childhood Christmases past.

I think they'll make a nice St. Nicholas' Day gift...

Menards Lionel Tank Train Car Goes Political

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Menards comes out with a handful of Lionel O-Scale train cars each year.  They typically are Menards-related like flatcars with a Menards pick-up truck on it or a car with roof trusses on it or something.

But...this year...they came out with a new military-themed car.  It had a tank on it.  And...they even included a backstory.  I guess these aren't really meant for kids (the whole train thing is for middle-aged and older dudes like myself?) but the politicizing ('the vast military background' of the President) seems strange?  I don't mind it, and guessing.....the majority of Menards' shoppers don't mind it, but....seems odd, right?


The Babe Creates Some "Big Hero 6" Fan Art

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We went to see the movie 'Big Hero 6' late last week and over the weekend, the Babe whipped up her fan art of the six heroes all from memory.

That's Wasabi, BayMax and Hiro on the top.

Go-Go, Fred, and Honey Lemon on the bottom row.

She's a genius!

Chicago State Street Christmas Windows 2014

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The windows at Macy's Marshall Field's are open!  Just less than a week since I noticed the 'coming soon' signs in the windows, they have them up and open.

I only saw two of them on the very northwest corner of the building, so I can't quite figure out the theme...


Hallmark North Pole Communicator

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Over the weekend, we picked up this "North Pole Communicator" for the girls.

Add another 'activity' to the list of daily Christmas-related things during the month of December.  And...I'm not unhappy about that.

The story with this thing is: you set the internal clock to the date/time.  Then...each day the girls can try to tune into the right frequency and 'communicate' with the elves each day.  There's a cartridge in the bottom that contains little sound snippets.  The trick is that it only plays ONCE each day (when you tune in that day) and doesn't go back or forward.  Think of it as kind of an advent calendar of sorts.

The 'stay tuned' message that gets played right now (until December 1st) is cute (but loud) so I'm hopeful that the full month of messages will be interesting and worth waiting for...

Marshall Field's Holiday Windows Taking Shape 2014

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Took this photo as I walked by this morning.  Even though I refuse to call this place Macy's, I still get excited to see the windows get all decked out for Christmas.  Brings back all sorts of warm/fuzzy childhood feelings...

For the past few years, we've taken the girls down to the Walnut room and then spend a bit of time pressing our faces up against the glass to see what they've cooked up.  Even though I refuse to acknowledge Macy's and still call it Marshall Field's, I have to admit they have done a nice job with the windows since the acquisition.  Here's hoping they keep it up!

Last Friday's Tally - Halloween 2014 Numbers

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This year's total:  308 trick-or-treaters.

That's down from last year's number of 326.  (the numbers in parenthesis are last year's numbers)

As you can see, the 'neighborhood kid' number was up 7 from last year, but the 'non-neighborhood kids' number dropped by more than 10%.  Have to believe that's because of the weather.

In 2013, we had 326 total.
In 2012, we had 327 total.
In 2011, we had 269 total.
In 2010, we had 236 total.
In 2009, we had 184 total.

Canyon Trail Cemetery In Carol Stream

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On Thursday night, we packed up all three kids and drove over to Carol Stream where a family has set up a pretty incredible Halloween set-up.

It is called "Canyon Trail Cemetery" and...they live on a street named Canyon Trail.

The yard is chocked full of pneumatic-driven creatures that pop out at you.

The details are here on their Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/CanyonTrailCemetery.

The folks who own the house sit out front and don't ask for anything to check it out.  There is a place for canned food donations and cash donations to a Dalmatian rescue fund.  They couldn't be more nice.

We asked how long it took to set up and the guy said he starts the last week in September and then takes a full week off of work to get it going.

Pretty incredible stuff.  (Like Richard Kristie...) They really, really, really love Halloween.