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Showing posts from August, 2016

2016 Coloma Glad Peach Festival

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Way back at the beginning of August, we spent a weekend up in Coloma where we hit up our usual haunts like the Great Lakes Antique Mall, Silver Beach Pizza in St. Joe's and the Hilltop Harding's grocery store.

But, we also timed it right in order to be able to partake in the 2016 Glad-Peach Fest goings-on.  You know....carnival rides.  Cotton Candy.  Avoiding the expensive pay parking.  Those kind of things that every local hometown fest has going on.

I've written about the Glad-Peach Fest before on the blog.  Here's a post from the 2013 fest taken from just about the same spot as the photo above/below.

The festival celebrates both peaches (harvest time for them!) and gladiolas - the flower.  They don't do a great job of incorporating the peach theme, frankly.  And each year we're up there, both Nat and I talk about how if we had the time and were able to get involved, there'd be so much more peach-stuff.  I'm talking peach cobbler, peach ice cream,…

Our Tail Prop Suet Feeder Works!

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If you look closely at the photo above, you can see a woodpecker on our new suet feeder in the yard.  It is the wood thing hanging from the post on the right.  If you can't see it, and I don't blame you, here's a cropped version with a helpful pointer of where the woodpecker is below:


The girls and I bought this suet feeder - which features something called a 'tail prop' at Menards recently and it is hanging there right next to our finch/thistle seed sock.  The thistle seed sock is our second or third of the summer and brings in a lot of pretty yellow finches to the yard.  But, as the weather is turning cooler, we wanted to try our hand at a suet feeder.  I've tried them before - the metal grid-like ones - with no luck.  Either the suet melted away or no birds ever came or the squirrels got to it.  
And after poking around on the web, I think I figured out it was because we didn't have a 'tail prop' suet feeder.  Turns out, woodpeckers - which are …

Somersby Cider

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It wasn't just Rockets and poutine up in Toronto, I also had a chance to grab what I thought was a local cider.  Turns out, it is from the Danish brewer Carlsberg Group and sold all over the world.  
Didn't love it.  But, kinda liked the whole "Cidre de Pommes Aromatise" on the can.  

The White Sox - A Pictorial History - Estate Sale Find

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At the very same Estate Sale that I picked up that hobnail milk glass pitcher and the big set of vintage ornaments, I picked up this book from 1982 about the Chicago White Sox.  It is written right at the point when Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn took over the club and installed the big new "Diamond Vision" scoreboard out in centerfield with the old Veeck-era exploding pinwheels on top.   I thumbed through the book and it talks about the new arrivals like Carlton Fisk, Greg Luzinski, Tom Paciorek, Rudy Law, Ron Kittle, and Greg Walker who were all - incredibly - in their first or second year on the South Side.  Reinsdorf took over the team from Bill Veeck in 1981 and if you read the opening of this book (which...in the fine print states that the White Sox themselves cooperated with in terms of photographs and such), it reads like a love letter to the new ownership's commitment to making the Sox a winner.  And...just in looking at that list of players that they brough…

Google+ - The Emerald Sea Where My Past And Future Collided

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I was sitting in these internal meetings for Edelman in Toronto a few weeks back and my past hit me square between the eyes.  One of the speakers was Joshua Gans, a professor at the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto who speaks widely on the concept of disruption.  It was an appropriate topic for us at Edelman because our agency is undergoing a transformation of sorts as we head away from pure Public Relations to becoming a Communications Marketing organization.    He runs a blog called Digitopoly and covers disruption and economics.

Welp, during his talk, he cited a few examples of organizations that made moves based on the marketplace and talked about their being three factors in disruption:

1.  First...can you guys see the disruption coming?
2.  Can you identify and organize a response?  And...
3.  Can you execute on the response and adopt it to your organization.

He also talked about the three type of responses:

1.  Beat them.
2.  Join them.
3.  Do nothing. …

Vintage Care Bears Suitcase - Antiques On The Bluff

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Earlier in August, we spent a few hours at Antiques on the Bluff in St. Joe's Michigan digging through the tables and piles of stuff that the vendors have hauled to the bluff.  We bought a few things for ourselves, something that is likely a gift, and this yellow Care Bears suitcase that you can see above.  It was picked out by The Babe herself and was a deal at $10.   It has a tag that says 1983 and is super clean and in just about new condition.

Nat has a soft spot in her heart for Care Bears, so we've picked up a few vintage items (glasses, books, and now this suitcase) that the girls have glommed onto.  But, I don't think they've ever watched a single episode?

The Babe is proud of her 'treasure' as she calls it and has taken to it already and is using it for her American Girl dolly clothes and gear.  So much so, in fact, that I went hunting on eBay for another one for her and another one for her younger sister.

#TBT To The Lincoln-Way Soccer Club

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With my parents cleaning out their place in Michigan, I have recently come across a few photos.  One of them was the Dan Hampton picture I posted back at the beginning of August.  And above, is another one featuring my long-time soccer teammates and coach Mike Mural.  From the looks of it, we won a trophy of sorts? And, I was wearing two pairs of shorts?  Was *that* a thing?

Some of these guys I still see and stay in touch with, while others have faded away.  Oddly, I lived with two of these guys in college?!?  But, I still can name every one of them in the photo.

There were a few others (Russ, Ted, Tom) that are missing, but...this is the core of the crew that I spent likely thousands of hours with practicing, traveling and playing.   And having the time of my life.  I can only hope that my kids find a group or tribe that they, too, can grow up with and learn the joys of playing team sports together.

Menards Halloween Is Up - 2016

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 Just like in year's past, I took the girls to check out the recently put-up Halloween section at Menards.  Here's the post showing the Babe in the 2015 Halloween section and here's a post from 2012 showing both girls.  They've both grown up a lot, eh?

Here's The Bird doing her best 'scary' face and I'm not sure what the Babe is doing on the right.  With Back-to-School out of the way, we are now entering my favorite time of year at Menards: seasonal.  They quickly moved out the backpacks and highlighters in favor of ghosts and witches and it won't be long now for Christmas stuff to creep in.  Last year, we spotted snowmen and Santas as early as October 6th, so brace yourself, folks.  Christmas Creep is coming.

Partial Fingerling Potato Harvest - 2016

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Back in May, we planted two varieties of fingerling potatoes:  Magic Molly (the purple ones) and French.  I showed some of the very pretty flowers that the tubers threw off this year here.  Each of the girls took one of the varieties and we worked together to get them planted.  We cut the seed potatoes into segments and because we're not in our own house, we decided to plant them in containers on the driveway.  

Well...mostly in containers.

The Babe also planted some of hers in my sister's raised beds.  We didn't harvest those, but we did, indeed, harvest the ones in the containers/bags on the driveway.  That's what you see in the photo above:  our partial harvest.  There's a bit more than 50 total spuds of different sizes now sitting in this bucket in our cellar basement awaiting their time in the oven this coming week.    The harvest is A LOT smaller than the one I last had in 2013.  Next year, we'll hopefully be in a position to install some of our own rai…

Mosiac Floor @ The CAA

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Last week, I was, once again, at the Chicago Athletic Association building for an event called the Carrier Summit from one of my #clients at Edelman called Businessolver.  The folks at Businessolver are doing some incredible things for benefits administration and I'm honored to be able to partner with them to build their business and deliver solutions for HR pros.  Again...making sure I put this here:  #client.  
But, while there was some good stuff during the sessions, one of the stars of the show, was again the building at the CAA.  I've posted about the building and my visits before on the blog (here's the full set of posts) and I have a super soft spot in my heart for the place.  My oldest sister was married at the CAA back in the early 1990's and I spent more than a few afternoons eating sandwiches with the great Tom Roeser back in the aughts where we talked about his blog and he told some pretty incredible stories.  
And the building keeps delighting me every ti…

Smarties Are Rockets In Canada

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I don't know about you, but this just blew my mind.  Up in Canada, Smarties are called Rockets.  And something that is like a cheap M&M are called a Smarties.

Weird, right?

Miller Lite Retro Pint Glass - Pinched Glass Series

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This Miller Lite pint glass came home with us one night recently and joins it's brethren in the cupboard.  We weren't drinking Lite, but I have to admit that I kinda love the retro logo that they've brought back and this glass has some neat tapers in the front/back (or sides, I suppose??) and sits well in my hand.  

We're without much of our kitchen gear as we're living in Equation Boy/Man's place (and quite grateful for it, btw!!!), so we've (well...Nat would tell you that it is the royal 'we' in that it is 'I' doing the 'pinching') been supplementing our setup with interesting glasses.  I figure it is less pinching and more 'evangelizing'.  Or something like that.

I've dug through the archives here and can't find any other pinched glasses featured here, so consider this the first in the series.  More to come in the catalog.  I know you guys just can't wait, right??

Jimmy's Hall - Art @ York - September 2016

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The next film up in the Art @ the York Theatre series in the Elmhurst City Centre is Jimmy's Hall.  You can see the official listing here on the Classic Cinemas' site here.

There's also this Eventbrite listing that allows you to 'register' for the screenings?  Which is weird, but maybe you can buy tickets through Eventbrite, now?

Anyway, about the film:
In 1921, Jimmy Gralton's sin was to build a dance hall on a rural crossroads in Ireland where young people could come to learn, to argue, to dream, but above all to dance and have fun. Jimmy's Hall celebrates the spirit of these free thinkers. The film is set in 1932 and follows events when Jimmy returned from a decade in New York and re-opened the hall. The film is freely inspired by Jimmy's life and turbulent times. (109 minutes) The screenings are on September 14th at 1 pm and 7 pm. And...don't forget to get there early for the preshow entertainment at 12:30 PM on their Barton Theatre organ wit…

Hobnail Milk Glass Pitcher - Estate Sale Find

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Over the weekend, the kids and I went out and changed the oil in Nat's car, hit up Delta Sonic for a detail job on the rolling dumpster that is the backseats of our van, a quick stop at Menards for some mouse traps and candy for the girls and then we wandered around and found a few garage sales and an Estate Sale.

At the Estate Sale - which was in Elmhurst just north of St. Charles -  they had a whole table of milk glass.  See all of the stuff they had below:
Plenty of it was hobnail as you can see.  I took that photo and texted it to Nat and the only thing that jumped out to her - and me - was the pitcher in the back row.  So, I grabbed it, and a few other things and went up to the table to haggle with the hosts.  I'll post the other things later, but as everyone says: I got a great deal!  This time, it is true, though....

Our Job Isn't To Give Clients Exactly What They Want...

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This slide was presented at the meetings that I referenced yesterday up in Toronto and really struck a chord with me during the week.  It is the typically bawdy, brash talk that happens at these type of internal rah-rah's, but in thinking about it:  if I was a #client, I'd want my partners to embrace this philosophy.  To me, it means bring scrutiny to every engagement and making sure that we're doing the BEST every time - even it if means a tougher road to go in terms of team structure, time needed, outputs, etc.

Our job isn't to give clients exactly what they want.  It's to give them exactly what they need.

Toronto Visit

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I am back this week from a week long visit to Canada at some internal meetings.  And, although this was the first time I'd flown into Canada, I came away liking everything about the experience.  I have been a couple of times including a few road trips to Windsor in my college days (with some Fraternity brothers) and right after (with the Pawlak brothers) and my parents took us to see the Niagara Falls back when I was a kid.  But, this time was different:  it was for work and I was on my own.  

We stayed in the Yorkville neighborhood and had a bunch of great meals and walked everywhere during the full week.  I did, even, eat poutine and drank a Labatt's Blue, in addition to a few other Canadian treats.  I'll post about the poutine and candy and such later this week once I dig through my email inbox and have some time!

One Fifty One Kitchen And Bar - Elmhurst City Centre

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Last week, I posted a little update to the new restaurant coming to the Elmhurst City Centre right across the street from the York Theatre.  At that time, I didn't know the name, but today we do: One Fifty One Kitchen and Bar.  There's that new sign you can see above hanging on the fence if you walk by the site and you can check out their site here.  The url is 151 Elmhurst, so maybe that's how people will type it when they search for the location instead of [one fifty one Elmhurst]??

The sign proclaims:  An exciting new restaurant concept celebrating the bounty of the Midwest.

The USPS Still Calls It The "Amoco Building"

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Edelman's office in Chicago are in the Aon Center, which started it's life as the Standard Oil Building or "Big Stan" as the locals say and as their brand evolved to Amoco, so did the name of the building.

Today, it is now named the Aon Center, but if you go to the United States Post Office on the lower level, you'll be taken right back to the 80's and 90's when Amoco was 'a thing'.  They print it on the top of their receipts like the one I got when I bought some stamps there last month.

Virtue Cider - Big Cider?

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I had a few of these Virtue Ciders that are listed here on the menu above at Cindy's inside of the CAA a few weeks back and it struck me funny that they listed the location as "Chicago, IL".  If you go to the Virtue site, it says they're right in the middle of Fennville, Michigan - which we're familiar with being right by Crane's Orchard.  Weird, right?

But, if you poke around, you'll see that Virtue sold out to Goose Island last fall.  Which...means, Virtue is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.  Which makes it 'big cider', right?  Doesn't make it bad, but might explain the 'Chicago' address instead of Fennville, Michigan?

Also, for the record, I did also have one of the Butterfly Flash Mobs from the fellas at Solemn Oath.  Rootin' for the home team, and all, right?

A Farmbell For A New Old Farmhouse?

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Found this little blurb in the August issue of This Old House Magazine and now I'm thinking all about how we add a farm bell to our house.  And...if it should go in the front or the back?

Oh yeah....I said 'our house'!??!

A Look At My Office Succulent - August 2016

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Going to document this here on the blog, so I can track the changes with this succulent that is perched on top of the hvac unit in my office on the 64th floor.  This didn't start as *my* succulent.  Nope.  Someone on my team had one of these plants at her desk, but it wasn't getting much light.  So...she moved it to my ledge.  Having a bit of history with cultivating succulents from cut ends, I gave it a shot.  Cut off four little guys and planted them in their own pot.

I paid attention to keeping them wet and after a bit, they took off.  Now the four main plants are huge and gangly.  They're laying over the sides of the little pot and even throwing off their own little buds near the base that are, just PRIME for cutting and replanting.  I spy four of five that I could cleve off and transplant to keep the succulent mojo going.  Off to Menards I go for a few little pots and some dirt.

Update: Elmhurst Craft Kitchen Construction In City Centre

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If you head down York Street through the City Center, you'll see this construction site that is just north of BW3 on the east side.  Directly across from the York Theatre.

There's an interior gut going on as they transform the former Cocomera into the Elmhurst Craft Kitchen and Bar (or some other name!) as well as an exterior facelift.

I posted about this place here on the blog back in February and I heard that they were planning a big out front on the sidewalk outdoor seating section, so the facade work is likely to make it a bit more inviting?  Based on the looks of things, they're a ways away from opening, so I'm thinking that this will be a fall opening at best?  Should be a nice addition to the City Centre and we'll be sure to give it a proper shot with the kids once it opens.

Mini Wind Generator @ Menards?

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I went wandering in the electrical department at Menards recently and came across this 400 watt wind generator that was among a few different alternative energy supplies like small solar panels.  You can see on the box that it has a few applications like power failures, remote and backup power.  And, that had me wondering if you could fire this thing up and have it provide backup power for our house.

After reading the reviews, people *are* using this type of product for power, but it is mostly off-the-grid folks who are using this to charge a battery, which then powers various portions of their home/shack/what-have-you.  So, if I have a battery backup system for say, my sump pump, I *think* I could use this to charge *that* battery?  Not as cool as it seemed in my mind when I was in the store.

Peter Pan Lego Minifigure

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Last week, I showed off a few of the recently acquired Disney Lego Minifigs including Ursula, Mr. Incredible and the alien from Toy Story and talked about how the girls have been tearing through blind bags.  Well...an update.  Still no Ariel.  But, above is the one and only Peter Pan.

And...I kinda love him.  He's carrying some weird double-sword-like object?  But...his hair and hat combo is perfect (and removable) and while he doesn't have any 'back paint' (which...I've learned is important to Lego nerds???), he does a pretty good job of reppin' Pete, doesn't he?

For those of you guys keeping track of such things (which...I know you *all* are?!?!), this is the second post in the [Peter Pan] tag category.  First one was about the Reddit Disney Gift Exchange we did last year.

Vintage Pooh Bear Book - Garage Sale Find

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Another weekend, another stop at a few garage sales.  And...another vintage book added to the collection here on the blog.  This one is a Golden Book titled "Walt Disney's Winnie-the-Pooh and the Honey Patch".  It has a 1980 date printed on the inside and with Pooh Bear being The Bird's favorite (or all time!) and him being generally a big deal in our house, I couldn't pass this one up.  This will make for some good bedtime reading together!

Schlitz Stein - World's Finest Draught Beer - Passed (Once Again!)

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Came across this Schlitz stein recently and thought the graphics and slogan "World's Finest Draught Beer" were pretty cool.  It is pretty narrow, so doesn't hold a big volume.   This doesn't carry the tagline of "The Beer that made Milwaukee Famous", so perhaps this was either before/after that in their brand campaign heritage?

Alas, you can add this to the pile of Schlitz 'found' vintage items that I've passed on.  Here's a pitcher.  Here's a set of coozies.

If I would have picked them all up, I'd have quite the Schlitz barware collection.    Now that we have a *plan* for our house situation, maybe I can start to dream about a vintage basement bar.  Thinking...a tiki theme, right?

*Somebody* Is Getting Into Snapchat

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The Babe is just six (going on 16!), but she's way ahead of me with the snaps and the filters and the what-have-yous over there.  I went and peeked at my Snapchat account and my name and photo in the snapcode have been changed to her name and photo.  Sneaky work.  Of course she's all over Snapchat, right? #GetOffMyLawn

#TBT To That Time I Met Dan Hampton

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I spent a few minutes digging through some boxes in my parents' garage in Michigan recently and came across this framed photo that I *think* came from my Dad's office at Governor's State from back in the day.  That's me on the left right next to my Dad and my sisters Vic and Linda are in there, too.  Along with both Aaron and Matt Levy.

And the big guy in the middle in the Cosby Sweater?  That's the Danimal.  Dan Hampton.

I TOTALLY remember this day.  There was a brand new grocery store opening in Frankfort called Apples.  And they were having a sort of raffle of some sort.  I don't totally remember the logistics of the contest, but I *do* remember what you won:  Dan Hampton, of the Chicago Bears, was going to deliver a few bags of groceries to your house!

And, it turned out that a friend of my parents won and we weaseled our way in there to get this photo - and from the looks of something I'm clutching - an autograph or two.

That day had such an impac…

Indigo Rose Tomatoes Ripening - 2016

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 We started the year with two tomato plants in elevated planters on the driveway.  After going away for a while (5+ weeks!), we lost one of them to something (blight, maybe??) but the other one is throwing off fruit that is starting to ripen.  These are the Indigo Rose variety that I've tried in years past.  The critters have gotten to a bunch of the under-ripe fruits, but you can see we have a bunch of them coming in very soon.

The Chocolate Sprinkles cherry variety was the plant that we lost, so we won't be getting any of those this year.  Sad face.

In years' past, I've grown up to ten different tomato plants and with our move this year, things have been different, but I think having two was a good starting point.  We also are growing a few containers of fingerling potatoes, which we're waiting to see how they did.  Next summer, we'll still (likely) be in a place of transition, so our garden may NOT be growing just yet.  But, the future?  I can see a green…

August Wall Calendars - Turned Over 2016

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This month's wall calendar update comes on the 2nd of the month, which is a very fast turn around time if history serves as any indication.  On the left in the Pixar calendar, we have Toy Story 2 - yep!  - #2.  And on the right is the University of Illinois Hallene Gateway.  This thing was put up in 1998 during my time on campus and has a nice little archive page that the University has put up here.  Someone, had the foresight to preserve this when they were taking down one of the original buildings and after sixty years, someone 'discovered' it and brought it back to life as a bit of a gateway to the campus on the Urbana side.  From the UIUC archive page:
Dedicated October 8, 1998, on the 63rd annual meeting of University of Illinois Foundation, the Hallene Gateway Plaza was funded through the generosity of Alan M. and Phyllis Welsh Hallene, graduates of the class of 1951. As its centerpiece, the Plaza features the original sandstone portal of the New Main University Hall…

Winnin' Ugly Sox Glass - Found

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One weekend this summer, we were up in Coloma and Saturday was a bit rainy, so as we usually do, we found ourselves milling around at the Great Lakes Antique Mall.  Going up and down the aisles is kind of therapeutic and I seem to wander and linger in certain booths more than others now that I've kinda gotten to know them with each passing visit.

In one of the booths that we've scored a few items, I came across this Chicago White Sox rocks glass.  It was all by itself, but I have to think it was clearly part of (at least!) a pair at one time.  Alas...this is the only one that's survived.  The booth was having a 50% off sale and this was only listed for $2.50, so I figured I had to have it for the $1.25 - no haggling necessary.  It was going to be a perfect gift for my brother-in-law who is both a Sox Fan and the owner of a basement bar.  It'd be perfect.

Then I fell in love with it.  And...stuck it in the cupboard at our house.  To stay.