Showing posts from August, 2015

The York Building - Coming To The Old Plass Location On York

This morning, on my walk to the train, I spotted this rendering that is up on the windows of the old Plass store on York Street.  It shows a three-story mixed-use building and has an entry on the 'public walkway' to the north of the existing Plass building with an entrance for something called "York Condominiums".

I covered the building back in February when they took the asbestos out of the first floor here on the blog.

It looks to have a terraced elevation with the second and third floors receding backwards - which I think will help with the street presence.  I am, a bit bummed that they're going to be ripping down the Plass building - along with the sign.  Take a look at this post that shows the sign and the building.

I know that government's role isn't to dictate to property owners what they can/should do with their property, but as the Elmhurst City Centre continues to evolve, I think we'll wish we had *more* of the old buildings that came fr…

Costco Christmas Creep - Hits In August 2015

Take a good look, America.  That right there is Christmas 'stuff' showing up in Costco in Oak Brook, Illinois in August.  Yes....August.

This isn't the first time Costco has gone out in August for Christmas.  Back in 2013, I posted some photos from August.  Same in 2012.

You'll hear lots of folks belly-ache about 'Christmas Creep', but I'm not one of them.  Bring it on. I LOVE Christmas.  I love everything about Christmas and having these retailers get ahead of Christmas by booking some revenue in Q3 of their year, than I'm totally ok with it.

We didn't buy anything, but don't think I wasn't tempted.  Can't wait for Menards to toss out the Halloween stuff and bring in the Christmas stuff.  Let's go.

Inflatable Halloween Train from Menards

The Babe *soooo* wanted the Halloween scary train from Menards.  She was like, "Daddy!  Take my picture by the train!"

Alas...this is NOT the year for it as we're in transition between homes and stuff.  Hate to disappoint her, but....maybe next year?

Edelman's Culture Statement

Spotted this in the hallway of the Edelman Chicago Office.  I've worked at a few very special places in my career and one of the things that tie those places together is that in each case, the powers--that-be have done far  *more* than simply paid lip service to cultivating a strong, unique culture.  They lived it.

While the business results and the 'setting' (like what the office looks like) are important, the concept of a culture is far more important in recruiting and retaining the brightest minds in the world.  I'm excited everyday about the people and the challenges my team is tackling.  Onward.

Thanks, Disney! Star Wars Emoji App Available On Android

It was just a week ago that I was moaning about how Disney ships a ton of iOS apps and very few Android ones - or at least ones of the same quality.

Well, well, well.  Guess what showed up in my inbox today?  This note about a new Star Wars app that is - huzzah! - available on both iOS and Google Play at the same time.

Downloaded.  Let's see what's doing with this thing.

The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared - Art @ York in September

I spotted this poster for 'The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared" outside the York Theatre this morning.  This is the September showing of the monthly "Art @ The York" series.   I've covered past screenings on the blog here and here.

Here's the synopsis from the York's site.
Based on the internationally best-selling novel by Jonas Jonasson, the unlikely story of a 100-year-old man who decides it's not too late to start over. For most people it would be the adventure of a lifetime, but Allan Karlsson's unexpected journey is not his first. For a century he's made the world uncertain, and now he is on the loose again.

'Cue For A Cause BBQ Competition - Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry

Spotted this flyer in a City Centre business window recently for a BBQ competition on Sunday, September 6th.  The host is the Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry - which I have no idea where/what they are, but the fact that they're having a meat competition makes me interested.   And...frankly...this competition is a success by just having people like me head to their site and try to figure out what they're up to.  (Turns out, it sounds like a really great organization doing hard, necessary work!  Good for you guys!)

The competition is set to take place in a spot that they're billing as "the Elmhurst City lot at the corner of York and Vallette", but I think that means it is in the lot behind (east) of those businesses at that intersection in the lot that hosts the Farmer's markets on Wednesdays.

The Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry is hosting a pdf on their website with the full rules and it appears that this is a true competition with judges and a 'clamshell turn-in…

Menards Halloween Inflatable Light-Up Animated Dragon

On Saturday, I wrote about how we went to Menards to check out the Halloween stuff, but on that trip there was a stand-out piece that is worthy of a separate post.  It is this HUGE inflatable animated light-up Halloween dragon.

Check out the video below to see it in action, but here are the details as I gathered:  it has wings that move back and forth, it's belly glows with a fire-y glow, the eyes light up red and it makes some noises of some sort.  (Pay no attention to the 'Monster Mash' you hear in the video, that came from some other inflatable!)

It is $199.99 right now on sale.  I didn't buy it (we bought a different inflatable that I'll post about later), but wondering if someone I know out in Naperville will/should buy it.  Granddad loves a good inflatable, right?!?

Almanac Saison Dolores Bomber

Nat grabbed my phone and took this photo of this Dolores beer when we were at some friends' house for pizza and beer last night.   We drank a few different craft beers, but I don't think we ever got down with Dolores, unfortunately.

Menards Halloween 2015 Is Up

We went to the new Menards in Melrose Park to check out the Halloween section.  This is the new two-story store and I wasn't sure where the 'seasonal' items would be set up.  They had a bunch of space for the Halloween stuff and even took over some of the outdoor patio section for the blowups, thing that they didn't have was the Halloween Village that the Glendale Heights store has up usually.

Wonder if they'll do a Christmas Village at the new Melrose Park store?

Here's a post from three years ago when I took the girls to check out the Halloween stuff at Menards back in the day.

Big Rob's Moving And Hauling

Looking for a mover in the Chicago suburbs that doesn't break the bank?  Look no further than my guys at Big Rob's Moving and Hauling.  We used Big Rob and his crew to move us out of our home and into storage and we couldn't be happier.  They took great care to protect our stuff AND our house and were courtesy and prompt and super hard-working.

Call Big Rob himself at (773) 858-3965.  Tell him Jake in Elmhurst sent 'ya!

Good Guy Clif Bar Customer Care On Twitter

Yesterday, I posted what I thought was a funny video showing off the new 'zero calorie' Clif Kid Z bars that we got from Costco.  I went on Twitter and gave the fine folks at Clif Bar a little bit of grief and included the #ThanksObama hashtag for these new light bars.  This wasn't brand-shaming and I wasn't going crazy, just trying to get their attention of the problem we encountered using a channel of my choosing.

Customer care via social isn't easy and the good folks at Clif Bar stepped up and responded and directed me to their other customer care channels.  Good for them.  Would have loved to see a little bit of brand personality come out in their reply, but we can't get everything, can we?!?

Thanks for the conversation, Clif Bar team.  I went to the contact form and filled it out with details.  We'll see if they get back to me.  If they do?  I'm sure I'll post it here.

@jakeparrillo Sorry about that. Please contact our CS team @…

We Got A Fake Clif Kid Bar #ThanksObama

Nat picked up a box of Clif Kid Organic Zbars at Costco this week and as I cracked it open to give one to the girls, I found what is best described as a 'fake' Clif Kid bar.  It was a perfectly sealed wrapper of a bar, but just simply filled with air.

Check out the video:

The girls thought it was awesome.  Me?  Not so much.   I had to dump the whole box out to figure out if we just got this as a 'bonus' or if we were short one bar.  Sure enough...short one bar.  They counted this 'air-filled' wrapper as a bar.  
Maybe this is a not-so-subtle message that we're eating too many bars?  Dropping some calories through ingesting air instead of granola? #ThanksObama

Come On, Disney! Where Are The Android Apps?!?

Imagine my delight when I fired up gmail and saw this promo email from the fine folks at Disney.  They're promoting some new mobile apps tied to the new Pixar movie 'Inside Out' - which my girls loved.

Squee!  I couldn't wait to open the note and then download some stuff to show off to the girls tonight.  I mean...anything to get them away from watching unboxing videos on YouTube Kids, amirite?!?

I open the email and my excitement quickly turns to frustration.  See all those iOS app store logos?  Hrumph.  All three apps that they're promoting are available in the Apple App Store only.

What about us Android users?  No apps for you, I guess.

Add this round of disappointment to the pile that exists because they rolled out their cute "Disney Side" app that allows you to overlay a Disney character image on a selfie.  We'd love to do that, right?

Oh...too bad.  No app for you, Android user.  iOS only.

Come on, Disney!  I *get* that developing for the iPho…

Jollay's Dairy Bar And Welcome Center in Coloma

This little spot is right at the exit ramp when you get into Coloma.  It is run by the same folks who run Jollay's Orchard and Grandpa's Cider Mill.  We stopped here on the way to pick some peaches and Nat picked up a (what she said was) tasty iced coffee and even (gasp!) a few apple cider donuts.  You loyal readers will remember that we covered our quest for 'off season' apple cider donuts back on the blog earlier this summer.  (what my baby wants, my baby gets, right Vince?!?)

Michigan Donut Peach - 2015 Edition

Four years ago, I posted about these Donut Peaches that we picked at Jollay's in Coloma Michigan.  Today, we picked more peaches (and nectarines) but had to just 'buy' the Donut Peaches at the little store that Jollay's has set up.  There weren't any on the trees.

So Long, 274 N. Indiana Street. Thanks For All The Fish

A week ago today, we moved out of this place.  We bought this home together back in September of 2008.  In fact, we closed on it the day of our rehearsal dinner.  We didn't go to the closing, but my Dad stopped by our attorney's office and picked up the key on the way to our rehearsal dinner at Southport Lanes.

I remember the smile on his face when he saw me and dropped that dangling key into my hand that night.  What a whirlwind.  Buy a house, get married.  Go on a honeymoon.  Then come home and begin a long rehab process.

That process took five months.  We moved in close to Valentine's Day 2009.  We had been staying at Nat's parents' place while we built the house and while that was awfully nice, it was different when we moved in here.

I think of our three kids as our 'second, third and fourth projects' together.  But the house at 274 N. Indiana?  That was Nat and my FIRST project together.  And it was A LOT of fun.  Her touch is all over this place.  …

So Long, Piano. See You In Six(ish) Months

That right there is our upright piano as it begins it's journey into storage for what I hope is just six months (Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb, March).  It was packed with cardboard, wrapped in plastic then covered in moving pads to settle in for a climate-controlled slumber.  I know we'll be 'home' when it makes a reappearance.  More on that at some point once I know the details and timing.

#TBT Of My Mom On Her Wedding Day

This morning, I found myself sitting at my sister's desk up in her office and noticed this black and white photo of my Momma on her wedding day.  Looks like she's carrying a bouquet of long-stemmed flowers.  Don't see that happening today, right?

Not sure where Vic and Equation Boy got some of the photos around their house, but they have some sweet ones of our family from back in the day - including a few of me as a little guy.  Maybe I'll share some of those here on the blog at some point...

Australian Mike And Ikes?

Anyone who has traveled for work with me knows that I have a soft spot for an airport purchase at the ole' Hudson News of Mike and Ikes.  You know...the little pill-shaped fruit candies.  They're my favorite.  Have been for years.  I'll pick those over the rest of the fruit-jelly crowd including Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, etc.

But, at Menards, I spotted this bag of "Australian Style Outback Beans with Chewy Red Centers".  This are the same folks who make the "Australian Style Green Apple Licorice" that comes in little cut down stalks that I pick up on occasion (Nat loves that stuff, too!).  I didn't buy these, but I'm thinking on my next trip, they'll end up in my cart.  Who doesn't need 10 ounces of Mike and Ike copycats, amirite?!?

"Incredibly delicious"?!?  I'll be the judge of that.

First Time Seeing These $100 Bills

I had to pay "Big Rob" this weekend in cash and that required a trip to the bank to pick up some cash.  They dole'd it out in 'big bills' including just one of these fancy new One Hundred Dollar Bills.

The ink well and feather pen on the right side of the photo and the super bright purple streak right down the middle are new additions, aren't they?  I don't deal a lot with benjamins, so I could be wrong?

Wall Calendars Turned Over To August - 2015

That's the 85th Anniversary of the creation of Pluto being celebrated on the left in the D23 wall calendar and Greg Hall at the University of Illinois on the right.  With all the events that have happened in the past 10 days (vacation, moving) I'm surprised that I got to turning these over to August this soon into the month.  Not too bad.

Here's the history so far this year:

July was bad. The 21st.
In June, I nailed it. Turned on June 1st.
Here's the post from May with the calendars. Took me until the 12th.
March's post - where I turned them on the 11th. February post introducing the concept. On the 17th.

Tomato Rapunzel On The Vine

Back in May, I posted about this variety of tomatoes called "Rapunzel" based on how they cascade down the vine.  That photo above was taken this week when I grabbed a few cuts of the vine.

Interestingly, this is the first tomato that I cut off the vine in bunches.  Normally....we pick them right from the stems and they fall into our hands.  But these things?  They're way too cool to not pick and 'show' on the vine, right?

I'd buy these again - when I have a garden again.  (Womp, womp.)

375 Years of Southampton

Neat sticker on the garbage cans out in the Village of Southampton, NY.  There are flags all over town that simply have the number '375' on them.

Couldn't figure out what the flags were for until I spotted this tattered sticker that shows a native and a settler on the side of the garbage can.  

Turns out...that's the anniversary of the settling of the community.  That's just 30 or so years after the settlement at Jamestown.  And 100+ years before the founding of our country.  Old school, baby.

Birthday Cake Candy Corn - This Changes Everything? Probably Not.

I've never been one to seek out candy corns.  At Halloween-time, they're usually around people's houses (maybe not so much these days?  But...when I was a kid, it seemed that plenty of candy dishes were filled with them come fall time?!?) and I've always stayed away.

They just never did anything for me.

But...when I was at Menards this weekend, I took the girls to peruse the candy aisle (as we always do) and came across these:  Birthday Cake Candy Corn.  Didn't buy them, but interesting to see the Brach's company trying to come up with other occasions for their product.  Birthdays seem like a good place to start.  Or...maybe they've already expanded before?  Are there Christmas Candy Corns?  Red/White/Green?  What would they taste like?  Birthday Cake is a natural.  But Christmas?  Some combination of pine and sugar?!?

A Sign Of the Times

Mixed emotions this morning based on seeing the survey stakes out front.  She was a good house.  A great house, in fact.  But more on that later when I give her the proper sendoff she deserves in a post of her own.  274:  we thank you for all you've allowed us to do with you.  We are hopeful the new folks love you as much as we do.

The Bell & Anchor In Sag Harbor: Coaster Collection

Adding this too-cute coaster from The Bell & Anchor in Sag Harbor to the 'virtual coaster collection' here on the blog. don't know about the coaster collection?  Check out the posts here.  Pretty spectacular, right?

The Bell & Anchor was a neat little restaurant and bar right on the waterfront by a working pier in Sag Harbor.  I think Nat found it.  It was a great pick.

We didn't have a water-view, but had a really great (big!) table and everyone - but me - enjoyed seafood and shellfish of various varieties.  We sat at the bar for a big waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive and I was stationed right next to the bar tending station with the fruit and such that was awaiting various drinks.   Mixed in amongst the cherries and lime wedges were sticks with three HUGE olives on them.  I house'd 3 stick-fulls while drinking my local beer.   (I forgot what I was drinking but looking at their site, it was the Southhampton Publick House Keller Pils -…

Cookie Puss From Carvel, Too!

On Sunday, I posted the photo of Fudgie The Whale from Carvel that I spotted when we were on Long Island.  But...he wasn't alone.  Eric "Fred" Norris' favorite - Cookie Puss - was also there in the freezer case.  I didn't forget about him!

Lollapalooza Aftermath: View From My Office

I turn back up to the office after being away for more than a week and I am greeted with the yellow grass and cleanup that lays ahead for the crew following this weekend's Lollapalooza.

Doesn't look too bad.  The grass will come back. The fountain is working perfectly.  Seems like the kids didn't trash the place even though some rain came through.

I've never been to this version of Lolla.  The one in Chicago.  I have, however, been to at least one of them.  I *think* two of them. When they were a touring thing that came through the World Music Theatre in Tinley Park.

Based on this listing of acts, I for sure went in 1994.  That would have put me in the summer after my sophomore year.  Sounds about right.   I went with my High School crew that included Matt, Steve, Neil and Mark.  We saw the Beastie Boys which was pretty awesome.

I also think we went in 1995.  Correct me if I'm wrong Matt/Neil.  But...I *think* we saw Sonic Youth that year, right?  But...I prob…

Fudgie The Whale From Carvel

If you are a Howard Stern fan, you can't go to a Carvel stand and not seek out a Fudgie the Whale cake, right?   On our trip last week, Nat and I took the kids to get cones and while I was there, I grabbed this photo of the cake.  Alas...I didn't get the cake, though.  For shame, right?  For shame.

Fudgie the Whale has his own Wikipedia entry where celebrities of all kinds pledge their undying love for Fudgie.  From the post:
According to his wife Beth Stern, radio host Howard Stern considers Fudgie the Whale his favorite Carvel product. She discussed this with Jimmy Fallon during an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Andy Bernard, a character on the show The Office, requested a Fudgie the Whale cake for the group birthday celebration in the "Survivor Man" episode.

#ShareaCoke - So Close...

That pesky 'e' at the end of *my* version of Jacobe.

Yeah...that's right.  I'm Thomas Jacobe Parrillo.

I endured many a first-day-of-class roll call that included plenty of "Ja-co-bee's", so by now I'm used to it.  But...hey Coke?  Can a brother get a little love for an odd spelling of a biblical name?!